WINNIPEG, Manitoba—TruckDown Info International Inc. has upgraded its www.TruckDown.com Service Locator to expand the services it offers to truckers, fleet managers and suppliers to fleets. Going online in 1997 with about 4,000 listings for trucking service providers—including commercial tire dealers and retreaders—TruckDown has increased its listings nearly sixfold, to approximately 23,000, in three years.
"It may actually be more than 23,000 by now," said Bob Toews, webmaster for the Winnipeg-based TruckDown. "It's been a little while since I made a count."
Free to truckers and fleet managers, TruckDown is designed to provide them with fast information on towing companies, mobile repair services, truck and trailer repair shops, tire dealerships, truck-friendly motels, emergency services and other service providers.
"The focus of TruckDown is to continually refine and enhance the delivery of timely information to connect carriers in trouble with commercial trucking specialists who can help now," according to the Web site's home page.
The new upgrades allow truckers and fleet managers who have established free user accounts to earmark "preferred" and "do not use" suppliers on the Web site, giving them the ability "to build their own confidential network of service providers," according to a TruckDown press release.
For the first time, TruckDown users will be able to add private comments on individual service providers listed on the site. They can update area codes as needed, and even add service providers to the list, subject to verification.
"This enhancement will allow carriers and fleet managers to manage their own networks of preferred service providers, while still taking full advantage of the entire www.TruckDown.com database," the company said.
Also part of the upgrade is an enhancement letting users save searches they use frequently.
"They can run preferred supplier reports and even request a free virtual equipment lot that carriers can use to list equipment they have for sale," the company said. "To help TruckDown keep listing information current, there is a hot key link beside each service provider listing that, with a mouse click, allows users to advise TruckDown if there is an error in one of the service provider listings."
Updating area codes at a time when they're changing at a record pace is crucial for truckers and fleet managers who need to find help quickly, Mr. Toews noted. Last year alone, TruckDown updated the telephone entries on some 8,900 listings.
"We keep on top of that area," he said. "I'll tell you, if we miss one, the phones light up!"
TruckDown earns its keep by selling listings, posting display advertising and managing Web sites for service providers.
The site offers a free service provider listing in one category—including company name, address, business and fax numbers and dealership affiliations—to all service providers, with a graduated scale for additional services such as listings in all applicable categories, a detailed description of goods and services offered, e-mail and Web-site links and banner advertising.
While truckers and fleet managers are never charged anything for using the Web site, they are encouraged to apply for a free User Pass Account, including a user ID number and password. It takes less than five minutes to apply for such an account, the company said.
While anyone can get access to listings using only a guest pass, Mr. Toews said, only those with user accounts have access to the earmarking and private comment features.