Among Class 8 truck owners, satisfaction peaks in the first nine months the truck is in service, then decreases notably, according to the J D Power and Associates 2010 US Heavy-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study.
The study examines trucks that are one-model-year old and finds that satisfaction levels peak during the first nine months of usage, averaging 768 on a 1,000-point scale. Between 10 and 14 months of usage, satisfaction tends to decline by an average of 20 points. After 14 months of ownership, satisfaction declines by an additional 25 points, on average.
“Many of the quality issues with heavy-duty trucks begin to appear after the 50,000-mile mark, which typically occurs around nine months of ownership, and more problems equate to lower satisfaction,” said Todd Markusic, senior director of the commercial vehicle practice at J D Power and Associates. “Unfortunately, the change in quality can be fairly dramatic, given the number of problems truck owners experience increases by roughly 70% on average after 50,000 miles.”
The number of problems experienced by owners of one-model-year-old trucks in 2010 averages 233 problems per 100 (PP100). In comparison, problem counts in 2009 averaged 249 PP100 among owners of two-model-year-old trucks.
“After moving from looking at trucks that are two-model-years old to one-model-year old, it would have been expected that the quality improvement would be greater than 16 PP100,” said Markusic. “However, 2009 was a tough year for the commercial truck industry, and many of the resulting layoffs and sporadic plant shutdowns likely had some impact on overall quality in the industry.”
International ranks highest in the vocational truck segment with a score of 775 and performs particularly well in the engine, cab, and body and transmission factors. Freightliner (760) and Kenworth (753) follow in the segment rankings.
In the service segment, International also ranks highest in Class 8 customer satisfaction and performs particularly well in all factors driving satisfaction: service delivery; service advisor; price; dealer facility; service quality; and service initiation. Freightliner follows in the service segment rankings.
The 2010 Heavy-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 1,682 primary maintainers of 2009 model-year Class 8 heavy-duty trucks. The study was fielded in February and March 2010.
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