Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is expanding its Freightliner and Western Star dealer network with 700 additional service bays in more than 40 locations across 30 U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
“This expansion represents an investment by DTNA’s dealer partners towards a mutual commitment to a 24-hour-or-less repair turn-around,” said Kevin Bangston, DTNA general manager of Dealer Network Development.
The service expansion comes after two of the best sales years for new equipment in recent memory. New trucks tend to need less routine maintenance, but manufacturers are going all in to increase the number of service locations while reducing the time a truck spends there.
“Thanks to sales growth, our vehicles in service have grown quickly in the past five years,” DTNA spokesman Fred Ligouri said. “By working with our dealers to strategically expand service capacity, we are getting closer to achieving our collective repair goal of 24 hours or less for maximum uptime.”
Manufacturers also are making increased use of over-the-air software updates for computer reprogramming and specific parameters fleets want, such as limiting top speed.
DTNA’s new service bays increase potential network capacity by up to 3.5 million service hours per year.
DTNA’s announcement Monday comes about a year after Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) announced a partnership with Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores to add 320 Love’s and Speedco locations and more than 1,000 technicians to its International service network.
By adding strategic planning and a technology approach to its expansion, Navistar expects to lead the industry by 2025 in predicting when a truck needs repair, directing fleet managers to the best-located service facility and completing the repair within 24 hours.
Three hundred new service bays will be added in the Southeast. Ninety additional bays will be added at a single Texas location, rivaling the 102 bays for Volvo and Mack trucks at TEC Equipment in Fontana, California.
“The need of our customers for maximum uptime has never been more apparent than it is in today’s environment,” Bangston said. “They are what makes the complex logistics and supply chain of our global economy work. When our customers do need service, DTNA and our dealers are committed to getting them back on the road as quickly as possible.”
DTNA is significantly expanding service capacity in South Bend, Indiana; Kansas City, Missouri; Columbus, Ohio; and Nashville, Tennessee.
In Canada, a new 30-plus bay facility is under construction in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A new location with 20 bays is expected to open by the end of the year in Montreal.
The DTNA dealer network comprises more than 1,100 dealerships, distributors and partner locations across North America.