Too Much, Too Fast

Winning the battle with truck complexity.


"That's the big question out there anymore," he says. "A few years ago, I'd have thought that would never be a question, but that's the way it's played. So that's something that needs to be defined also, because Volvo thinks they own the truck after they sell it to you. And I can understand that because of lawsuits; that's why they won't let us perform any recalls, because they want your hands off of that. I don't know if other fleets can do their own Volvo recalls, but they won't let us do it. And we can do anything with International."

KEEP IT SIMPLE

While the TMC Task Force works on its plans, Sabo isn't sitting still at home. He has his own action list for Norrenberns, and the first thing he'd like to see is a simpler day cab for his LTL business.

"So you've got your over-the-road truck. You're going to make that a whole lot different than a normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill day cab that everybody runs out there just to peddle freight off of," he explains. "That, to me, should just be a very, very, very simple truck. And then we should be able to get a little bit more complex with that other truck.

"They've got to make a truck that almost anybody can drive, and it's got be able to be fixed by almost anybody that can half-assed fix a piece of equipment. To go that route, I think they take too big of steps at one time."

Once those big steps are taken, though, they're not easy to undo, and Sabo understands that. But he also has some smaller issues that probably could be settled:

"No matter what the manufacturer, speedometers are always an issue," he says. "They probably wouldn't be such a big issue, but the odometer mileage means a whole lot. The odometer definitely has to work. Vehicle speed sensor's always a problem, instrument clusters are a nightmare… it's like, let's go back to the cable system; at least it halfway worked."

It's clear that Sabo is passionate about this issue, but he's not a complainer. He blames himself for not negotiating better training and customer support on some of his purchases, and, by chairing the new TMC Task Force, he's putting his money where his mouth is.

"I think if we try to stop some of these things now, then maybe the fleets will have more say five, 10 years down the road.

"I'm a young guy," he says. "I'm going to be playing this ball game for a long time."

Contact Steph Sabo about participating in the TMC Truck Complexity Task Force at: stephs@notsservices.com

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