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Utah’s Warner Truck Center keeps the big rigs moving
Transportation » One-stop operation takes care of driver, vehicle needs with services that also go on the road.

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"They have been very creative helping us meet the new and growing challenges that face us in this business," said Corey England, executive vice president of operations. "It’s been a great relationship."

Freightliner also took a creative approach with Airgas, a national distributor of air products, to get its business. To show that it could save the company more than $1 million a year, the dealership started a company in 2000 called Warner Fleet Services that provides a road service call center for thousands of Airgas trucks, trailers and pieces of equipment.

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The service also reviews and tracks every repair order and bill, and writes software to provide customized information, such as what percentage of repair costs goes toward items not under warranty.

"This service provides a unique advantage to us compared to our competitors when it comes to selling trucks today," a Warner company report says. "Instead of just selling a ‘price,’ we sell a cost per mile that we can back up."

Warner also puts mechanics in its larger customers’ shops to do small repairs and staffs a Kennecott Copper shop in West Jordan with a dozen technicians.

Cutting edge » The Warner Truck Center is undergoing a transition with the sale of the business by Bart Warner to his sons, Buzz and Tony. Bart Warner will still be a part of the center, and Buzz Warner said he and his brother will continue the operations as they are, with updates in technology.

One tool already in use is an iPad app, developed by Freightliner and Apple, that sales representatives can use to provide an on-the-spot quote on a customized truck. A customer’s specifications, including performance requirements and custom features, are entered to come up with an immediate number, a process that used to be time- and labor-intensive.

"It gives our salesmen a great tool to help our customers control costs and find efficiencies," said Buzz Warner, who was one of the Freightliner people who provided suggestions on features for the app.

Mckay Taylor, one of the owners of Lehi-based Alfalfa Express, which hauls agricultural products, said Warner Truck Center helps his company get the most out of its four trucks. Computer software monitors where his trucks are and what mileage they’re getting, he said, and helps him nail down the costs of operations.

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"Warner Truck Center provides us with the ability to be on the cutting edge of technology so we can stay one step ahead of our competition," Taylor said.

He praised the service, saying he can call his designated representative at Warner day or night if he has a problem and will get a response within a half hour.

CEO Kim Robinson of Robinson Transport Inc. in Salina also is pleased about the efficiency of the trucks he buys from Warner and the money he saves.

"They take care of their customers," Robinson said. "They’re the best."


Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

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