Trucking suppliers are increasingly turning to service solutions in addition to their products to build brand awareness and heighten customer satisfaction. A solid example of this trend was reflected by a special event held at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s Danville, VA, truck tire plant. Goodyear took members of the media as well as tire dealers deep into its fleetHQ operation and its assorted business-solution offerings in part via a live simulation of its 24/7 roadside assistance program, complete with a remote video linkup to its fleetHQ solutions center.
Along with providing emergency road service and new Goodyear and Dunlop tires as well as its Gold Medallion retread line, fleetHQ offers a variety of other services and tools designed to address various needs of fleets of all sizes that have been identified by the tire maker.
The simulation laid out exactly how fleetHQ handles an emergency service call, starting from the truck driver’s initial toll-free phone call to the fleetHQ center to a follow-up check by fleetHQ to ensure the driver is satisfied with the assistance and all set to roll.
But the staged road call, featuring a tractor-trailer and a service truck - was more than a step-by-step demonstration of the popular program, according to Bruce Woodruff, director of business solutions marketing, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. “We wanted to demonstrate all of fleetHQ’s many components, which, when fully leveraged and working together, can help fleets make better business decisions, improve truck uptime and drive down their cost of operation,” he explained.
Woodruff pointed out that fleetHQ has been up and running for three years and remains geared to making its benefits available to fleets of all sizes, from owner-operators to the largest national operations. “Many benefits, such as the fleetHQ Solution Center, are offered at no cost to the fleet,” he stated. “The fleetHQ program – including its diverse and powerful components - demonstrates Goodyear’s ongoing commitment to help our customers save time and money.”
He said the program’s key features now include:
- A preferred fleet program that includes nationwide pricing and billing available through the fleet or owner-operator’s hometown dealer. “Once you establish your tire and service program with your local participating fleetHQ dealer, you will pay the same price for covered fleetHQ services, regardless of where you get service throughout the fleetHQ network,” said Woodruff. “For preferred fleets, billing is handled through your hometown dealer, so they don’t need to carry cash.”
- The fleetHQ Solution Center employs trained tire professionals around the clock to help get trucks back up and running by dispatching service techs from one of more than 2,000 dealer locations to the location of a down truck. Users can contact the center via a dedicated phone number, 1-866-fleetHQ or online at fleetHQ.com, or through a smartphone web app. “Your smartphone’s built-in GPS can pass your location to the fleetHQ Solution Center, where trained tire professionals will quickly dispatch road service technicians,” Woodruff explained. “The application is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.”
- TV Track, an online tire-management tool that helps fleets and owner-operators monitor their tire performance. TV Track can also capture vehicle information, tire wear conditions, and more. Individual fleet reports are available online.
- Gold Medallion retreaded tires, available in six of the most popular truck tire sizes. These retreads meet the premium casing standards of large national fleets and are backed by the Goodyear Retreaded Tire Limited Warranty.
- TirePix, a service that provides photos of tires that were replaced during a road service call.
- The fleetHQ TruckStop Network, which numbers more than 300 locations, includes Wingfoot Truck Care Centers, Travel Centers of America, Petro Truck Stops, PTP Truckstop Network and Boss Truck Shops locations.
Goodyear also announced it has launched a fleetHQ blog—titled “Ask The Tire Answer Man”—that is exclusively available at http://blog.fleethq.com/. “This unique blog gives fleets and owner-operators an opportunity to interact with Tim Miller, Goodyear’s ‘Tire Answer Man,’” said Woodruff. A 30-plus year commercial tire veteran, Miller also serves as marketing communications manager for Goodyear’s commercial tire business. “Having spent his career working with original equipment truck manufacturers, fleets and owner-operators in a variety of capacities from engineering to national account sales, Tim will draw upon his vast knowledge of the tire and trucking industries to discuss issues that are important to transportation professionals.”
“In 2010, the Goodyear fleetHQ Solution Center helped more than 164,000 customers get their trucks back on the road,” said Tony Starling, gm of fleetHQ. “And that’s a nearly 60% increase over 2009. And, we got them back on the road fast. We track each and every call in real time, and that information is easily available to fleet managers through fleetHQ.com,” Starling added. “Time is money, and we reduced the average roll time [from initial call to the truck being back on the road] by nearly 30 minutes in 2010.”
Starling noted that fleetHQ emergency road service has no enrollment fees, no incidence fees for calling its toll-free number (866-fleetHQ), and the price customers pay for tires on the road is the same as they pay at home. He said other emergency tire-service programs by contrast charge incidence fees that can range from $25 to more than $75.
Because customers can establish complete portfolios listing all tires installed on each of their trucks, upon calling in, a fleet driver or owner-operator can simply tell the fleetHQ agent what vehicle is being driven, and the agent immediately knows what type, brand and size of tire is needed for replacement. “Truck operators, fleet owners, managers and dispatchers find that fleetHQ can save them the hassle of making several calls to find a location that’s open, or a tire dealer with the right tires in stock,” Starling pointed out. “With fleetHQ, one call is all it takes.
Doc Hyland, president of Dade City, FL-based Rowland Transportation, has been enrolled in fleetHQ since its beginning. The fleet runs 90 tractors and 150 refrigerated trailers in all 48 states “so it is critical to have someone come out quickly when there’s a tire failure—within the two hours Goodyear promises us,” he told Fleet Owner.
“Having our drivers receive emergency road service via the toll-free number saves our dispatchers from being woken up sometimes two or three times a night,” he pointed out. “And we can pay the [tire] bill monthly, so there’s no need to pay for a tire on site and we get our local dealer’s pricing no matter where our trucks are. Peace of mind,” Hyland added, “is a big part of this program.”