As a truck dealership with 13 locations spanning four states, Roberts Truck Center has plenty of trucks to keep in service and customers to assist roadside.
George Deffenbaugh, a general manager at Roberts since 2010, splits his time between the Abilene and San Angelo locations in Texas, though he’s been working with International trucks for more than 40 years. “I started in Abilene, when it was an International branch, as a part-time delivery person back in 1971,” he recalls. “And they’ve never been able to get rid of me.”
A HELPING HAND
Deffenbaugh’s role has grown from delivering parts at Abilene to overseeing all services at both locations. “We provide a full line of services,” Deffenbaugh explains. “Anything from preventive maintenance service to an engine overhaul and everything in between.” On top of that, Deffenbaugh’s crew provides roadside assistance for trucks en route. And, while the Abilene and San Angelo locations sell and service trucks from a range of OEMs, the International TerraStar won as the service vehicle of choice.
It’s not just Deffenbaugh’s longstanding history with International that caused him to switch from running Chevrolet C3500s to the TerraStar. It was simply the best truck for the job. “Before, we never had a truck or chassis that we could utilize for this function because we didn’t have anything at the 19,500 GVW level,” he says.
Providing reliable and fast on-road assistance to customers is an important component of the services supplied by Roberts Truck Center. The Abilene and San Angelo locations’ switch to the TerraStar has helped to deliver that service. “We’ll get an average of one to two calls, day or night, for someone who’s down on the side of the road,” Deffenbaugh explains. “The TerraStar is a great ride and the driver loves jumping in it and taking off to go help somebody.”
SHOWING OFF THE GOODS
The dealership also likes that it can display one of its own trucks to its customers. “Why would I want to show up at a customer’s yard in either a Chevrolet or a Ford when I could do it in a TerraStar?” Deffenbaugh asks. “It’s a great way to show off our own model to our customers.”
Considering how happy Deffenbaugh is with the truck’s performance on Texas highways, this is no false advertising, either. “It has a tremendous amount of room in it compared to what we had,” he says. “I drove it from Abilene to San Angelo, which is 90 miles with a lot of hills, and I was totally impressed with the way it drove.”
A TRUCK THAT FITS
Previously, Roberts had been using Chevrolet C3500s as its service trucks, but had some issues. “We had problems with it holding up to what we were doing,” Deffenbaugh explains. “Over its life we had to replace the engine once and the transmission twice.”
Without stepping up to a full two-ton truck, Deffenbaugh was able to find the strength he needed with the TerraStar. “It has plenty of power,” Deffenbaugh says. “I was really impressed with the way it handled. For a commercial-grade truck, the maneuverability is better based on the hood design. There are no blind spots.”
It’s with a similar level of excitement that Deffenbaugh looks forward to seeing the TerraStar’s popularity grow in the marketplace. “The TerraStar fills a niche in the market that’s been lacking for some time now,” he says, “and I think it’s going to be very successful.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Roberts Truck Center operates 13 dealerships in four states—all conveniently located on major highways across the Southwest region. Today, Blaine Roberts and Blair Roberts are now Partners of Summit Holdings with Dick Sweebe. Find out more, visit www.summittruckgroup.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: JULY 2016 ISSUE
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