The J.D. Power and Associates’ 2006 Heavy-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study suggests that problems with emissions reduction technology degraded Class 8 truck quality in ’04 models compared with ’03 models. EPA’s 2002 diesel engine emissions standards were implemented for all diesel-powered trucks in 2004.

Owners of ’04 models report their trucks were down an average of 4.1 times in the past year compared with 2.9 times in ’03 models. Downtime in ’04 models increased to 9.7 days from 6.6 days in prior-year models. According to J.D. Power, “much of that increase [was] attributed to engine-related problems.”

Owners of Class 8 over-the-road trucks reported the lowest satisfaction, while owners of vocational Class 8 trucks reported the highest. Over-the-road truck owners had 310 problems per 100 trucks, vocational truck owners 225 per 100 trucks and pickup and deliver truck owners had 216 problems per 100 trucks.

Kenworth ranked the highest in customer satisfaction in three of four segments: over-the-road, pickup & delivery and dealer service. International Truck and Engine Corp. ranked highest in the vocational segment, and came in a close second to Kenworth in the dealer service category.

The J.D. Power study includes responses from 2,529 primary maintainers of two-year-old Class 8 trucks, focusing on owner-operators and smaller fleets, with an average fleet size of 61 trucks at a single location.

Kenworth models included in the over the road segment were: T2000, T600A, T800 and W900.

Kenworth models included in the over the pickup and delivery segment were: T300, T600A, T800 and W900.

International models included in the over the vocational segment were: 4000 series, 5000 series, 7000 series, 8000 series and 9000 series.