Do You Really Get What You Pay for When You Buy a Heavy-Duty Truck?

Freightliner Trucks
Vocational Trucks

There is nothing like getting behind the wheel of a new truck. Whether it is a new severe- or medium-duty vocational model, or the latest on-highway truck ready to take on the open road, there is a level of excitement to knowing you have the latest in fuel efficiency, comfort, safety and technology at your control.

But as the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months, you start to measure quality by things like the reliability and durability of the truck. How often is it in the shop for maintenance? You start to compare fuel efficiency to your last truck or to the trucks that competitors operate along the same routes. Is the truck performing like the dealer promised? Are you still happy and confident getting into your truck at the start of the day?

Are you getting your money’s worth?

Measuring Quality

A number of factors come into play when considering overall quality for on-highway and work trucks.

Certainly, staying on the job and avoiding unexpected maintenance is a major factor. Estimates vary for the cost of an unscheduled day of downtime – up to as much as $1,000 per day depending on how you use your truck. Unscheduled downtime can also hurt your reputation and cost you business.

Real Cost of OwnershipSM, which measures a range of factors that add up to the actual cost of keeping a truck on the road, is another way of looking at quality. Every dollar a company can save because their fleet has a low RCO is a dollar that falls straight to the bottom line.

Performance is also a big factor. Is your truck a tool that makes you even better at your job? Whether you are looking for fuel economy or need outstanding maneuverability to get to a work site, you need a truck that is up to the task.

Driver Satisfaction

Driver satisfaction is a big part of measuring quality. The men and women who drive and operate trucks for a living want reliable vehicles that are comfortable, easy to drive and safe. They spend many hours a day inside the cabs of their trucks and will tell you instantly what they like – and don’t like – about their truck.

With driver turnover rates hovering above 90 percent and the cost of recruiting a new driver costing thousands of dollars, your trucks are a key retention tool. No one wants to go to work each day feeling like they are using a poor-performing piece of equipment. Truck driving is a demanding profession and your drivers should feel that you are giving them a high-quality truck when they hit the road.

In addition to long-haul models, Freightliner’s vocational trucks balance toughness with efficiency. But for any application, high-quality construction, durable materials and cutting-edge manufacturing technology, including robotics and automated systems, create precise, reliable trucks. Freightliner’s goal behind rigorous testing is to ensure each model exceeds your expectations. By maximizing longevity, we’ve designed our trucks to drive profitability on jobsites for years down the road.

One other useful measure of quality is to take a look at Kelley Blue Book and NADA Used Truck resale values. Freightliner Cascadia® and Cascadia Evolution models have had the strongest resale value according to these two independent sources in recent years. What others are willing to pay for a used Class 8 truck will not only give you an idea of what you can expect to get for your truck on the secondary market, but also underscores the importance of a quality commercial vehicle.