RENTON, WA - For 10 years, PACCAR Customer Center specialists have provided truck and fleet operators rapid roadside assistance through Kenworth PremierCare, Peterbilt TruckCare, and PacLease PacCentral roadside assistance services.
The PACCAR Customer Center, operated by PACCAR Parts has changed a lot since the center began its 24-hour, 365-day operation. When the center first opened in May of 1999, a crew of eight customer center specialists worked in three shifts. Several months later, specialists were fielding about 375 calls per day.
Today, the PACCAR Customer Center handles about 1,500 calls each day from customers across the United States and Canada. The center serves mixed fleets and all makes of trucks giving customers access to more than 25,000 service providers in the United States and Canada, including more than 700 PACCAR locations.
Keen Transport Inc. offers a good example of how important the center's rapid and knowledgeable response can be to truck operators. Keen's fleet of 400 Peterbilt tractors, including both Peterbilt Model 387s and 379s, haul oversized loads of construction, mining and agricultural equipment that may gross as much as 250,000 pounds. Often the Carlisle, Pa.-based company must make specific arrangements as to where and when it can haul, usually limited to daylight hours.
"We only have so much time to get the job done," said Lloyd Hair, director of maintenance for heavy hauler Keen Transport Inc. "It's not a happy moment for us if there's a roadside emergency or breakdown."
Because the center has a stable workforce with online access to consistent information about his company's fleet through a profile that he can access and modify, Hair said he does not need to constantly retrain service representatives as to the unique needs of his company.
"Reliable emergency roadside service is absolutely critical in our company's operation," he added. "And the PACCAR Customer Center certainly provides that."
The center uses leading-edge telecommunications and computer technologies to accomplish that goal. A specialized phone system at the center's main facility in Renton, Wash., manages the large volume of calls.  A roadside assistance system allows specialists to easily log all aspects of the call, said Joe Hutchins, center manager. Fleet operators can then access that information through online customer profiles they create through Kenworth PremierCare or Peterbilt TruckCare.
"A custom mapping system allows our service specialists to locate dealers and independent service providers nearest to the truck's location," Hutchins added. "They can also call up the dealer's hours of operation and contact information; saving fleet operators and managers the hassle of trying to find an open service facility should the truck have to be towed."
Center specialists can access a database with digital illustrations of all truck components.  This allows them to reference which components may need to be fixed or replaced when communicating with the dealership or service center before the truck arrives.
The center has Spanish-speaking specialists available to answer calls around the clock, and French-speaking specialists during its hours of heaviest call volume. A language line also provides dependable translation service around the clock in French, Spanish, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian or just about any of a wide variety of more than 150 languages.
"By providing specialists with the latest technology, PACCAR gets more than two-thirds of truck drivers who call in back on the road within six hours or less of the time the dealer or service provider accepts the job," Hutchins said.