Penske Truck Leasing has added a major upgrade to its Penske Driver app, giving drivers the ability to quickly and easily call for roadside assistance without the need for a phone call.
The upgrade could benefit drivers delivering time-critical shipments, such as food, beverages and e-commerce deliveries during the holiday season. Once activated, the app keeps the driver and fleet notified of the issue status through real-time digital updates.
By reporting the roadside issue through the app, drivers quickly secure a place in line for assistance, the company said. There is no phone call and no time waiting on hold.
“Through the app, a driver cannot only begin a road call … but it will also provide them real-time status updates throughout the process,” Brandie Searle, director of interactive solutions and innovations for Penske Truck Leasing, told FreightWaves. Searle added that the app provides “piece of mind” for drivers.
When there is a vehicle issue, instead of calling the nationwide 24/7 emergency service number, a driver simply turns to the app, which provides a “list of easy-to-select items” to help identify the current situation with the truck. The driver can also input information that is not covered by the preset options, Searle noted. Drivers are not obligated to use the app for service if they prefer to speak to a person.
“That’s a really key part of our strategy of providing options and security,” Sherry Sanger, senior vice president of marketing, explained. “We’re not trying to eliminate personal interaction, so if you need to speak to someone, [you can. A [key part] of our strategy is to keep that human interaction where the customer wants it.”
Searle explained that even if the driver chooses to make a phone call to the service center, updates will be provided through the app to both the driver and fleet as status changes.
The goal of the app is help get customers back up and running quickly, Sanger noted. One key to that is the time it can potentially save in simply locating an out-of-service vehicle. Using GPS coordinates, the vehicle’s location is automatically transmitted to the service center, saving minutes, and in some cases up to 15 minutes.
Once a driver submits a request for service, the call is routed into the same service center as a call would be, Searle said, so it is the same expert Penske team handling the issue. If additional information is needed, a call center professional would follow up with the driver.
“The [initial] information is enough to determine how much follow-up is needed,” Searle said, noting that a tire failure is an obvious call that probably will not require much follow up, but some engine problems may require more detailed information to ensure the proper service vehicle is dispatched.
“This is the latest benefit we’re making available to our customers and their drivers through our mobile apps,” Sanger said. “We’ve worked closely with our customers and their drivers to help improve and speed up their roadside assistance experience using our mobile app. This new option frees up the driver to take care of their freight loads and make other important arrangements until we help get their vehicle back on the road.”
The Penske Driver mobile app is available to Penske’s full-service truck leasing, contract maintenance and commercial truck rental customers. Launched in 2017, the app allows truck drivers to:
Log hours-of-service (HOS) in Penske rental vehicles and comply with the ELD mandate.
Quickly locate Penske service, rental and fuel locations as well as other locations, including truck stops, CNG stations and public scales.
Access essential vehicle information, including full visibility into a vehicle's recent service history.
Digitally submit fuel receipts with a simple form and receipt photo, virtually eliminating paperwork.