SEATTLE, Wash., Oct. 27, 2010 – After converting The Salvation Army's fleet of trucks at its San Jose and Oakland locations to Kenworth PremierCare(R) Preventive Maintenance, the organization's western territorial director of production estimates that the contract maintenance program has saved his organization about 15 percent on its maintenance costs.
For years, Henry Filoteo said his organization used a variety of dealers, service locations and on-site service providers to handle fleet maintenance and repairs. That arrangement led to inconsistent quality, higher costs and difficulties in managing the fleet.
"With Kenworth PremierCare we're getting a full inspection every time a mechanic goes under the hood," Filoteo said. "As just one example, we saved about 300 percent on brake jobs because the technicians at the Inland Kenworth-Fontana location replaced worn brake pads before they caused damage to the brake components."
Kenworth PremierCare Preventative Maintenance provides fleets of any size a customized preventive maintenance (PM) solution for their trucks, regardless of manufacturer. Since maintenance is as close as the nearest participating Kenworth dealer, fleets like The Salvation Army and their drivers don't have to rely on unfamiliar maintenance shops to complete regular PMs and other repairs. For The Salvation Army, the key to saving money is preventive maintenance – catching things before they fail or get damaged and cost more to repair, Filoteo said.
"Also, when our trucks are scheduled for their PMs, the local Kenworth dealer has all the parts waiting in its inventory before the truck goes in," he added. "That means I'm not having to spend time going to other OEM dealers to get the parts we need."
The Salvation Army operates a fleet of 300 Class 6 straight trucks and 20 Class 8 tractors out of 22 locations throughout its western territory, which covers an area from Colorado to Hawaii and includes California, Oregon and Washington. The count includes 54 new Kenworth T270s that The Salvation Army acquired earlier this year from NorCal Kenworth in the San Francisco Bay Area to meet emission regulations issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). NorCal Kenworth also set up the Kenworth PremierCare PM program for The Salvation Army. The new Kenworth trucks are a weight class higher and more durable than the trucks they replaced, which has improved driver productivity, Filoteo said.
The truck fleet picks up donations and delivers them to warehouse locations where they are sorted, cleaned and prepared for sale at The Salvation Army's family stores. Proceeds from the sales fund the organization's residential adult rehabilitation centers.
By the first of the year, The Salvation Army will use Kenworth PremierCare PM at 12 of its 22 locations, with plans to convert its remaining 10 locations in the following months. By converting its locations, FilnMo said The Salvation Army's western territory will also be better prepared to meet the fleet maintenance reporting requirements of the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implements them.
Filoteo said as The Salvation Army has brought more locations on board with the contract maintenance program, the savings have beenonsistent. The program also makes it much lessikely that his organization misses a scheduled pickup. Just the thought of missing scheduled pickups makes Filoteo cringe since he also serves as business administrator for The Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center in Seattle. Filoteo knows too well that if one of his organization's trucks can't pick up donations of appliances, furniture, clothing and other household items from businesses or residences, it's likely that the organization not only doesn't get the donation, but also develops a negative reputation that can be difficult to overcome.
"Each of our trucks makes about 30 stops each day, and we have to schedule appointments a week or more ahead of time," Filoteo said. "If we have a truck that breaks down after the first three stops and we have to call 27 other donors and tell them ‘we're sorry, we can't send a truck out to pick up your donation today,' not only is that a huge inconvenience, it's likely we'll lose a lot of donations. These are people who may have stayed home from work or rearranged their personal lives so that they could be at home for our drivers to come pick up their donations. They may end up telling their family and friends that you can't count on The Salvation Army to pick up the donation when they say they would.
"We can ill afford to lose any donations because demand is up at our retail stores and donations are down," he added. "During these troubled economic times, people are holding on to their furniture, appliances and clothing longer, so we're getting fewer donations."
That's why Filoteo and The Salvation Army have come to depend increasingly on the Kenworth PremierCare Preventive Maintenance program to keep the organization's fleet running.
"I've always been an advocate of preventive maintenance," Filoteo added. Although he's been with The Salvation Army for 14 years, Filoteo's background is in truck maintenance. For 21 years, Filoteo worked at a truck repair facility and body shop in Bakersfield, Calif., to service oil trucks and other equipment on the oil fields. "I learned the importance of spotting things ahead of time, and that it was much cheaper to be pro-active and fix things locally than to have it break down on the road and have to tow it to another facility."
Kenworth PremierCare Preventive Maintenance provides fleets of any size a customized PM solution for their trucks, regardless of manufacturer. The program offers several maintenance schedule choices and service levels. For more information, contact your Kenworth dealer, call 1-800-KW-ASSIST, or visit Kenworth PremierCare Services under Parts and Service at www.kenworth.com.
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World's Best(R) heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth is an industry leader in providing fuel-saving technology solutions that help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The company's dedication to the green fleet includes aerodynamic trucks, compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks, and medium duty diesel-electric hybrids. In 2009, Kenworth became the first truck manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products. Kenworth's Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth. A PACCAR Company.