Fleets are increasingly seeking to extend the ownership cycle for all types of trailers, and that in turn is forcing trailer makers to keep working on ways to improve durability and reliability, according to Jon Jeffries, VP and general sales manager for Great Dane.
“The number one consideration we see from customers is the length of trade cycle; they are evaluating that much more now,” Jeffries explained in an interview with Fleet Owner at the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show. “We still have some that are staying with 3 to 4 year cycles, but most are looking to push them out to 10 years, with some looking at 12 to 15 years.”
That demand for longevity is resulting in a greater focus by trailer makers on product characteristics such as corrosion resistance, damage resistance, and moisture resistance when it comes to refrigerated trailer design, he said.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new Compliance Safety Accountability or CSA program is affecting the longevity as well, Jeffries pointed out, raising the demand for more robust and long-lasting components such as lights, as well as for longer warranty coverage periods.
Faster access to information plays a role in meeting CSA rules, especially when it comes to locating parts for trailer repairs, which is one reason why Great Dane designed a new mobile application or “app” for use with smart phones and table computers at the show.
Available for free from the Apple App Store and the Android Market, the initial version of Great Dane’s app enables users to easily locate and access their nearest Great Dane branch, dealer or authorized parts and service facility, with location-specific phone numbers, hours of operation and GPS-enabled mapping.
The functionalities of the trailer maker’s mobile app will also include the ability to access to the company’s AdvantEDGE national fleet services network, which includes emergency road service in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, along with links to product information, noted Brandie Fuller, Great Dane’s VP-marketing.
“It’s important for us to utilize the latest available technology and tools to connect with our customers, making sure they have access to our products and services 24/7, whether they’re in busy metro areas or in the middle of nowhere,” she said.