Excellence in Shop Repair


Professional speakers have a lot of good knowledge to share, but oftentimes the best ideas come from fellow travel plaza and truckstop operators.

This year The NATSO Show is offering several interactive workshops centered on operators sharing their great ideas.

On Tuesday, January 28 at 2:45 p.m., several successful operators will share their best ideas in Shop Repair. During their session, Excellence in Shop Repair, they will share how they exceed their sales goals, manage safety concerns and evaluate new equipment purchases.

To help get a taste of what they will offer, we asked them to describe some standard operating procedures they use daily to excel at customer service, safety and retail sales.

“We’ve developed a customer call back log where we contact several of our customers one day after our services are performed. This is done at the location level and logs are reviews on Mondays. You would be surprised at the outcome of these calls. We make the calls to make sure:

  • Our repairs was up to par and everything is working properly with no issues;
  • The service that was provided was at a high standard, and
  • To thank them for the business once again and invite them back.”

We don’t like the word upselling as all too often some shops will try and hold the customer hostage until the repairs are made. Our preventive maintenance work is done with a free inspection of the vehicle and we simply let them know what is wrong or needs attention, if anything. It’s then up to them to pick and choose. We find that by not being high-pressure salesman they’ll come back or stop at another location for the repairs. We have started doing free grease jobs/free CSA courtesy inspections. This allows us to point out what if anything needs attention to in their vehicle.”
– Randy Haines, Bosselman, Inc

“We set daily Service Advisor Sales Goals in our system and split .02% of the daily sales. These are done on closed work orders, which forces our Service Advisors to work their open orders. Our mechanics and techs also use a preliminary checklist form that lists any issues. The form is sent to the advisor, who then goes over it with the customer.”
– Keith Wade, Dodge City Travel Center

“We practice a program called Valuable Time. Drivers time is valuable…we understand it, we believe it and we live it. Everyone must participate in improving the speed of service, the reduction of driver wait time, and improving driver experience. As a single owner shop with no associated food or retail presence, our livelihood and success depends on making drivers happy. All 14 of my staff, including myself, do everything as a team, no job is too hard or too good for someone else. Valuable Time is 1) Team Work, 2) Speed Of Service 3) Creating and Executing expectations.”
– Sal Torres, Silvers Truck Repair

“The Professional Transportation Partners (PTP) Shop Network group makes customer service its number one priority. We work with the customer in obtaining the best results in a repair. For example, if a truck has a blown outside drive tire and the customer wants one new tire, the location will explain the tread rubber depth and tire height difference between the old tire that is paired side-by-side to the new tire to the customer. Most of the time the customer will either buy two new tires or take a used tire that is close in height and tread depth. This prevents the customer from wasting money on a new tire that he will have to replace in a short period.

Also, as a Shop Network group we try and make emergency road service calls a priority. We don’t do this because of fleets complaining of the response time or the amount of money these calls generate, but rather because are services are really needed for these drivers who are often sitting on the shoulder of the road usually in the middle of nowhere with no food or water. Over the years I’ve seen too many corporates or shop owners say, “Don’t worry about the one broke down on the road, they can’t go anywhere until we get there to fix the truck.” And then they would continue on with a oil change in the shop.

Since adopting these practices, the Shop Network’s volume in revenue as well as vendor’s volume in goods has increased every year including 2008. It’s all about taking care of the customer—he/she is a shop owner’s business partner as well.”
– Nathan Tuggle, Professional Transportation Partners (PTP)

“All of our new hires are required to go through the level 100 TIA training before working in the shop. This ensures they have demonstrated they can work safely and allow us to set the expectations on how to properly and safely work around tires.

Also, as a company we changed to using the Pro Torque nut with every wheel seal replacement instead of all the other style axle nuts. This gave us one way of training our technicians’ companywide on how to put a wheel end together and have accurate bearing adjustment and the nut has twice as many threads along with a better locking system preventing the wheel end from coming loose. This in return reduced come backs and the potential of wheel off issues.

Lastly, we have a standard inspection form that we use with every preventative maintenance service to let the customer know if anything is wrong with their truck and then offer to have it fixed. All technicians are trained specifically what to look for such as play in the drive line, worn brakes, etc.  Also, we are currently testing the JPRO diagnostic station in one of our facilities. This allows us to connect to the computer of the truck and tells us if there are any active or inactive faults, which allows us the opportunity to upsell the repair.  This service is offered to every customer that comes through for service at no charge.”
– Chris Parker, Sapp Bros. Travel Centers, Inc.

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