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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — With professional drivers a key demographic for Pilot Flying J, the travel center operator is upping its game to meet their needs. That includes implementing a new truck care program, which includes both roadside assistance and service centers.
"Making drivers' lives more comfortable and convenient while on the road is our top priority. In order to meet the needs of our drivers, this year, Pilot Flying J rolled out our new truck care program, including brand-new service centers and roadside assistance trucks to provide professional drivers with the critical maintenance services they need on and off the interstate," said Dave Latimer, vice president of strategies and operations.
Speaking during a call with the media July 19, Latimer said the company has 84 service trucks on the road to date. Pilot Flying J is "well on track" to meeting its goal of having 150 roadside assistance trucks by the end of the year — if not earlier.
The program has been well-received by fleet owners and operators. "Ensuring we launched this program with the right resources and people in place, we have been able to meet the needs of our guests and, most importantly, keep our professional drivers on the road," Latimer said.
Pilot Flying J opened its first service center July 8 in Warrenton, Mo., and the company is developing more service centers across the West, Southwest, Midwest and East regions of the United States. The service centers provide tire sales and service, preventive maintenance, DOT inspections and light mechanical, as well as the 24/7 roadside assistance.
"As we know, parking will always be a top concern for professional drivers, so we are building the service centers in areas with minimum impact on parking and driver flow," Latimer acknowledged about the ground-up developments.
"As fleets continue to cut back on the number of vehicles they are putting on the road and/or choosing to maintain, they must try harder to get the most out of the vehicles they have. In turn, the need for service on the road is more important than ever," the VP explained. "Through our truck care program, Pilot Flying J will continue to serve a valuable role with our professional drivers, and we understand the importance of continuing to expand the support to our customers."
Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J operates more than 650 travel centers in North America.