First established in 1999, the Michelin Certified Truck Specialist Network is designed to provide Michelin fleet customers with exceptional truck tire service, according to Michelin Americas Truck Tires (MATT).
MATT's network offers expert fleet support and dependable tire service and maintenance performed by technicians trained in the latest tire technology, according to the company Web site, www.michelintruck.com. It includes Michelin's 24/7 ``OnCall'' emergency maintenance and road service, which utilizes state-of-the-art communications equipment and mapping software to get trucks back on the road in the shortest time possible, it added.
There are three qualifications for Michelin truck tire dealers to become Certified Truck Specialists, according to a Michelin spokesman. These are:
* Having the correct equipment and location. ``The network depends on state-of-the-art equipment, and each location needs to be close enough to a major thoroughfare for easy access,'' the spokesman said;
* Having personnel with the proper, uniform training. The training course for the Certified Truck Specialist Network involves both software and hands-on training, with part of the training offered by Michelin itself and part through the Tire Industry Association, according to the spokesman. The training is offered both on-site at participating dealerships and at Michelin's headquarters in Greenville, he added; and
* Having the willingness to offer the OnCall emergency service.
The spokesman declined to say how much revenue the Certified Truck Specialist Network brings Michelin every year. He also did not have an exact number of participating dealers.
``The vast majority of Michelin truck tire dealers qualify to be designated as Certified Truck Specialists, and there are more than 1,000 dealers in the U.S.,'' he said. ``But only about a third have bothered to obtain the designation so far.''
The Michelin Truck Web site has a link naming Certified Truck Specialist dealers, as well as a map of Certified Truck Specialist locations across the U.S. All participating dealerships also bear a sign with a star logo and a ``Michelin Certified Truck Specialist'' legend.