Overall customer satisfaction with heavy-duty trucks has declined from 2004, according to the J.D. Power and Associates' “2005 Heavy-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Survey.”
Lower scores were reported for all six factors — quality, exterior, engine, ride/handling/braking, transmission and interior — but especially for quality and engine.
According to the study, respondents reported nearly twice as many days of downtime for their Class 8 trucks.
In addition, for the first time in the history of the survey, fuel economy fell to below 6 mpg.
“As operating costs, including diesel fuel prices, continue to rise, truck owners grow more sensitive to areas such as fuel economy and truck downtime,” said Brian Etchells, J.D. Power senior research manager in the commercial vehicle group.
“Any additional day of truck downtime or a slight drop in fuel economy can have a big effect on a fleet's bottom line,” he explained.
Kenworth achieved the highest ranking in the over-the-road, pickup & delivery, and dealer service categories. For OTR, Kenworth excelled in quality, engine, and sleeper scores; for P&D, all six factors; and for dealer service, ratings were “particularly high” in six of seven factors.
Peterbilt was a close second in the dealer service category.
Volvo Trucks North America received the highest ranking for the vocational segment, leading in quality, ride/handling/braking and interior.