Goodyear's fleetHQ Solution Center program, now in its third year, is nearing the 500,000 milestone for the number of broken-down trucks it has helped get rolling again.
For tire dealer Jeff Lecklider, owner of Dayton, Ohio-based Gem City Tire, joining the program has tripled the number of emergency road service calls his dealership receives now vs. two years ago. The service calls from fleetHQ plus the additional opportunities for tire and retread sales have been paying “big dividends” to Gem City Tire, he told Tire Business.
Chris Chase, president of Frederick, Md.-based Donald B. Rice Tire Co., also has seen what he estimated is a 30- to 40-percent increase in his dealership's after-hour emergency road service calls since joining fleetHQ in 2008.
Meanwhile, Daniel Hutchison, president of Moore's Tire & Service Centers in Shreveport, La., said the truck service program has helped his dealership become a “better and more professional supplier.” He said he can receive a notification on his smartphone whenever one of his stores accepts a fleetHQ call and then review the details of the call by email if he'd like to know how his employees handled the customer.
Moore's Tire has seen its 24-hour emergency calls double to an average of 60 to 80 calls monthly since joining fleetHQ, Mr. Hutchison said.
Messrs. Lecklider, Hutchison and Chase were among Goodyear fleetHQ dealers who attended a Sept. 27 event at Goodyear's Danville commercial tire plant. The Akron tire maker brought in dealers, trade media and fleet representatives to Danville during that week and demonstrated how all the components in the fleetHQ business solutions portfolio work step by step, beginning with the initial emergency call to Goodyear's Fort Smith, Ark., call center.
During the simulation, Bruce Woodruff, director of business solutions marketing for Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems explained the various features of the program and noted that fleetHQ was on track to reach 250,000 trucks serviced and put back on the road in 2011 alone.
The company benchmarks the program not only by number of service calls but also roll time—the amount of time elapsed from when the call is made to when the truck is rolling again. Goodyear said it has achieved average roll times of 2 hours and 10 minutes and is working to shorten that.
“What that shows you is how fast the adoption is happening with fleetHQ,” Mr. Woodruff said, noting that calls are increasing because more fleets are participating. “We grew nearly 50 percent from 2009 to 2010. Last year we grew to 160,000 (calls). That was a 30- or 40-percent increase.”
The fleetHQ network comprises about 2,000 servicing locations in the U.S. and Canada—including more than 300 Wingfoot Truck Care Centers, Travel Centers of America, Petro Truck Stops, PTP Truckstop Network and Boss Truck Shop locations—and about 20,000 preferred fleet customers, according to fleetHQ Vice President Roy Sutfin.
FleetHQ's features and benefits include:
* A preferred fleet program with nationwide pricing and billing negotiated between the fleet or owner-operator's local dealer;
* Truck Finder, Goodyear's GPS tracking system for service truck operators;
* TV Track, an online tool that manages tire performance, captures vehicle information and tire wear conditions for fleets and owner-operators;
* Gold Medallion retreaded tires, Goodyear's premium retread service that incorporates Goodyear, Dunlop, Michelin and Bridgestone casings, a limited warranty;
* GTRACSng, a computerized system that allows dealers and fleets to track casing through the entire retread process;
* TirePix, a service that provides photos of tires that were replaced during a road service call; and
* No enrollment fee for a fleet or owner-operator to join.
Regarding the choice of casings for Gold Medallion retreads, Mr. Woodruff said fleets told Goodyear that they wanted “tier 1 casings. That was their specification for the Gold Medallion program…. And that's because fleets have gained confidence in those brands.”
Mr. Lecklider called the preferred fleet program a “godsend” and said he's signed about 200 fleets.
“It's a nice selling tool when you go out and talk to a big fleet customer and say, ‘Hey, you know I'm good here locally. There's hundreds of others that are just as good as me that can service you and price your tires just like I can here in your background,'” he told Tire Business.
Gem City Tire operates 35 to 40 service trucks and has locations in Cincinnati, Dayton, Somerset, Ky., Indianapolis and Columbus, Ind., and Champaign, Ill.
Goodyear said it charges an administration fee on all national account billing as well as billing of preferred fleets, but there are no additional fees to participating fleetHQ dealers.
Mr. Chase, whose dealership operates 35 service trucks and nine stores in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., said fleetHQ has helped Rice Tire grow its after-hours service as a profit center. He said he likes the fact fleetHQ's call center is staffed by tire professionals and that he no longer has to hire an outside answering service with no knowledge of trucking or tires.
Like Mr. Hutchison, Mr. Chase said he's found fleetHQ's recordings of calls “helpful in a couple of instances where there was a dispute over what was said.
“So if people said, ‘We got fit with the wrong tire, I didn't want that, I wanted something else,' we can listen to the tape, and that's helped us a couple times.”