The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

TMC Committee Working to Improve Fleet & Vendor Relationships

April 17, 2009

ARLINGTON, VA – A new committee formed by the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations, Inc., will take on some long-standing issues between fleets and service providers in order to create industry practices, improve efficiencies, and build better relationships between fleets and service vendors, according to

The Service Provider Committee (SPC) will promote the creation of recommended practices that will improve maintenance practices and relationships relative to both independent service/OEM dealer networks and transportation providers. 

The committee will rely on the interaction of TMC's Fleet members and its growing service-dealer membership, according to SPC Chairman Chas Voyles, service manager for Truck Centers Inc. "As we gain a better understanding of the challenges that both the fleets and service providers face, procedures can be created that will benefit both parties." 

The committee, formed during TMC's Annual Meeting in February, is already off to a solid start. It has designated seven Task Forces that will target issues frequently identified as problematic.

These Task Forces include:

  • Repair Assessment Task Force - Chairman Scott Zeppenfeldt, vice president of service operations, Velocity Vehicle Group. The Task Force will create a recommended practice to provide customers with a repair diagnosis within a specified period of time.
  • Warranty Task Force - Chairman Jack Porter, fleet/service trainer, Decisiv Corporation. The Task Force will create a recommended practice for each OEM to follow that will allow them to determine a customer's basic coverage and extended coverage.
  • Approval and Authorization Task Force - Chairman Gary Cummings, executive vice president, Fleet Net America. The Task Force will create a recommended practice for estimating repairs and determining the approval process for repairs to begin.
  • Customer Notification Task Force - Chairman Ike Chunn, group service manager, Lonestar Truck Group. The Task Force will create a recommended practice for communicating the status of a fleet's truck being repaired at a service provider.
  • Customer Satisfaction Task Force - Chairman Dick Von Lehman, national sales and marketing manager - service, PACCAR. The Task Force will provide a training outline that will cover the elements needed to facilitate a successful and repeatable service event from a customer satisfaction perspective.
  • Successful Practices Task Force - Chairman Bob Bullard, service director, Empire Truck Sales. The Task Force will identify the practices that successful providers employ to achieve the highest levels of trust with their customers.
  • Fair Bill Times Task Force - Chairman Randy Haines, service center division manager, Bosselman Companies. The Task Force will define a fair industry standard for repair times.

Voyles is confident the committee will benefit the industry, and that as the Task Forces advance, additional issues will be identified that the committee can tackle.

"It's an important mission - a partnership that the industry has needed for a long time and now we're off to a good start," he said.

Creation of the SPC was the initiative of immediate past TMC General Chairman Brent Hilton, director of maintenance for Maverick Transportation. Hilton was assisted in his outreach efforts to the service-dealer community by Chairman of Associates Advisory Group Jerry Anderson, manager for national aftermarket fleet sales for Daimler Trucks North America, and Chairman of Membership & Publicity Committee Jerry Warmkessel, marketing product manager for Mack Trucks. General Chairman Steph Sabo, maintenance manager for Norrenberns Truck Service, has pledged to keep up the momentum, building on Hilton's initiative.

In addition to Chairman Voyles, SPC leadership includes: first vice chairman, Ken Calhoun, vice president for customer relations for Truck Centers of Arkansas; second vice chairman, Eric Ostrowsky, vice president of operations for W.W. Williams Corp.; and secretary, Jill Gingrich, director of business Implementation for Wheeltime; and board liaison, Oren Summer, president & CEO, FleetNet America.

For more information about the SPC, contact Chas Voyles at 800-669-3454, ext. 3241, or e-mail: To become a TMC member, call 703-838-1763.


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