Atlas Trucking relied on third-party service providers until about four years ago when the fleet decided to take its service matters into its own hands.
“Our problem started much like everybody else’s problem: We couldn’t get our trucks in anywhere,” said Marc Scibilia, Atlas Trucking director of safety and maintenance, who explained that its service operation started on a dirt lot then grew into a two-bay shop that ballooned into a 10-bay shop that services all trucks—not just Atlas Trucking’s iron. Scibilia said that the growth was driven primarily by opportunity.
“We had an opportunity to purchase a building and renovate it to build out our service capabilities and sell our services to outside customers,” Scibilia said. “What we found was that even in our two-bay shop, we had outside customers asking if we would do work for them. So we fix anyone’s truck. We have our competition in here. I don’t have a list of people I won’t work with.”
Scibilia runs 24-hour shifts, tackling 100% of Atlas Trucking’s service needs as well as those of its outside customers. Oftentimes that means working on Atlas’s trucks on the midnight shift and opening the daytime shifts to outside customers, and word is getting around.
“We have found that word of mouth is a strong driver,” he said. “We’re not as busy as we’d like to be, but we’re still in our infancy and we’re still growing and making a name for ourselves.”
While the operation still has plenty of room to grow, its understanding of the latest in heavy-duty service technology is on the cutting edge. Scibilia noted that its shop has been leveraging predictive maintenance solutions for the past year and a half.
“We have been able to save at least two engines from rebuilds by pulling oil samples and catching issues before they damaged the whole engine. We fixed the issue and got the trucks back on the road,” he said.
Atlas Trucking performs intensive preventative maintenance inspections and captures all of that data in order to analyze and see service issues that are coming down the road. It’s incredibly powerful, but it’s not easy.
“It takes a ton of training and continuous, daily management,” Scibilia stressed.
Integration is also key.
“Our system integrates into Omnitracs, and it also integrates into our back-office dispatch software,” he explained. “If a driver performs a DVIR, it automatically opens up a work order and we get to see it. Then we contact our operations or even the driver to schedule it and get it fixed. It also lets us re-order our parts right from the system. When a parts request is filled out by the technician, the parts department automatically receives it, scans it, puts it on the work order, gives the parts to the technician. He completes it, closes out the work order and then it comes to the front desk for finalization.”