MANAGER: Mark Shackleford
FLEET: Shackleford Enterprises, Rossville, GA
OPERATION: Emergency roadside repair service
Problem: Time is money in the emergency roadside repair business—and no one knows that better than Mark Shackleford.
In 2003, Shackleford established a repair shop in Rossville, GA, along with a fleet of seven 24-hour emergency response service trucks covering the major highway corridors in Georgia and Tennessee plus parts of Alabama.
“When I started out, I did everything no one else wanted to do—working at night, on weekends and holidays,” he explains. “Today we use an on call rotation for our roadside techs, with all of them sharing overnight, weekend and holiday duty.”
To provide faster and more efficient service, Shackleford has gone so far as designing his own storage bins and racks for his trouble trucks. Yet the initial parts search still proved a vexing hurdle for Shackleford’s team as his roadside technicians relied on data— especially for fuel and oil filters—contained in well-thumbed paper catalogs either at hand or back at the shop.
So he kept searching for a method or tool his technicians could use to conduct parts research right from the roadside, without having to call back to dispatch for help or spend precious minutes tearing through dog-eared reference books.
As a long-time user of Luber-finer filter products, Shackleford got introduced to a new mobile application the company started: a parts “look-up tool” designed as an easy one-click reference device for filter product search and cross-reference information to help speed up filter changes.
“All of my technicians use either Android smartphones or Apple iPhones so this mobile app fits how we work perfectly,” he explains. “We can even use it on tablets, which we’re also starting to use.”
It may not seem like a big deal, Shackleford says, but every minute counts on an emergency roadside repair job. “We’ve got a 30-min. dispatch window when a customer calls in with a problem, and we provide them with continual updates: when our techs are on the road, how far they are from the disabled truck, when they arrive, what the diagnosis is, and estimated time to repair,” he points out. “When we’re working on a truck with a load of freight in the trailer, customers almost don’t care how much the repair will cost. They want that vehicle back on the road.”
With the Luber-finer mobile app, Shackleford says his technicians can efficiently and accurately cross reference and locate any filter needed during a service call. “And since we no longer use catalogs and manuals, we rely completely on the Luber-finer application to provide us with that information we need to get the job done,” he notes.
In addition to providing quick product search and cross-reference information, the mobile site allows his crew to quickly and easily look up the nearest Luber-finer distributor or reseller.
“We keep a lot of parts on our trucks—from hoses to filters and brass connectors— so we can take care of almost any kind of roadside problem,” Shackleford adds. “We’re also constantly changing out parts that become obsolete or that aren’t required with much frequency, and the mobile app helps us there, too.”
It’s all part of his effort to bring to bear as many modern-day resources as possible so his technicians can get roadside repairs done faster and with less hassle.
“We do a lot more work on the front end so we save time and money both for ourselves and our customers at the roadside,” he explains. “In the end, tools like this mobile app make us more efficient, which helps get the customer back on the road a whole lot quicker.”