Randy Kerr is the Service Operations Manager at Stahl Peterbilt in Northern Alberta, with locations in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, and Grande Prairie. As such, he manages all service departments, including the body shop, pre-delivery inspection, service dealerships, and mobile truck servicing. He is responsible for maintaining his fleet of service trucks, ordering and upgrading equipment and vehicles, and managing all service personnel.
After almost 4 years as the Service Operations Manager, Randy continues to appreciate being part of this reputable company. “Stahl Peterbilt is owned by the Stahl family, who built this dealership, and continued to grow the company over the years,” says Randy. “They’re phenomenal to work for and work with. It’s very family-oriented.”
Stahl Peterbilt: Best in Class
Stahl Peterbilt’s mission statement is to “Consistently provide high quality customer service in all areas of our business”, and Stahl Peterbilt lives this mission every day. It’s this dedication to their customers and this team that has led the Edmonton branch to consistently rank in the top 10 of all Peterbilt dealerships in North America over the years. Most recently, at Peterbilt’s Best in Class awards for North American dealers, Randy and his team were awarded the Top Service Department in North America for 2017. This prestigious honor recognizes the dealer that scores highest for standards of excellence, financial performance, parts and service performance, and utilization of Paccar (Peterbilt’s parent company) training and programs.
So what does it take to foster a high-performing service center dedicated to customer service? Randy took some time to delve into how he keeps things running smoothly.
Managing an Award-Winning Service Center
“We are proactive when it comes to our customers’ needs,” says Randy. “Stahl Peterbilt offers fleet health checks, where we have our technicians check our customers’ entire fleet.” This proactive and free service enables Stahl Peterbilt techs to diagnose problems early and make recommendations for future maintenance. It has big rewards for their customers, allowing them to catch potential issues early, plan for maintenance, and most importantly, decrease downtime.
Though there are shop locations in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, and Grande Prairie, with technicians in each one, the mobile technicians really enhance and expand Stahl Peterbilt’s service business. Just four years ago, there were only four service trucks—now they’ve expanded to nine.
“A service truck is a profitable expansion of our shop footprint, having our technicians travelling to our customers is much more convenient for them,” explains Randy. “We entrust our technicians to manage our customers as their own; they’re responsible for customer retention and acquisition. Our mobile techs are paid a premium, and by empowering this team, they run their service truck like it’s their own business.” Not only does this organizational structure produce remarkable results (like Top Service Department for North America!), it keeps employee turnover low and the knowledge base high. Many of Stahl Peterbilt’s most talented and experienced technicians have been in the same territory and with the same truck for years.
The Right Equipment For the Right Job
As Stahl started growing their fleet over the years, from 4 trucks in 2015 to 9 trucks in 2018, they took advantage of the opportunity to review the equipment their technicians were using. Reviewing the truck-mounted air compressors, they found that their gas-powered compressors had several problems. “It was a nightmare. The air compressors took up too much space, they wouldn’t start in cold weather, they had no power, no capacity, they were completely substandard,” explains Randy. “And because our trucks are diesel, using gas-powered air compressors meant we had to use two different types of fuel.” Randy knew it was time for a change, so he contacted Jim Raymond, VMAC Sales Manager, to discuss switching to VMAC air compressor systems.
“Jim listened to our concerns, and understood our needs, and suggested we test out the VMAC Multifunction Power System,” says Randy. “We tried it out and loved it.” From there, Randy called Dematco, a custom truck builder in Acheson, Alberta, to build a new service truck, and included a VMAC 6-In-1 Multifunction Power System on it. “Mike, the Dematco owner, is amazing. We’ve worked with other dealers, but Dematco has the best quality products, and the best service, it’s superior to anything we’ve experienced,” acclaims Randy.
As for the equipment, this VMAC multi-power system ticks all the boxes—it’s proven to work in extreme cold climates and diesel powered, plus it’s compact, up to 6 cubic feet smaller than other leading multi-power brands. This one piece of equipment provides the Stahl Peterbilt technicians with everything they need, including a 45 CFM rotary screw air compressor, an 8 kW continuous AC generator, 250 A DC welder, 12-48 V battery booster and charger, a 2,800 RPM PTO port, and a factory-installed cold climate kit, tested to -40°F (-40°C).
It’s now been two years and Stahl Peterbilt’s fleet has grown dramatically, with each new truck being equipped with a VMAC 6-in-1 Multifunction. “We get air 100% of the time,” says Randy. “It works incredibly well. The VMAC Multifunction never fails.”
And his advice to someone considering a VMAC Multifunction? “Just buy it.”
Setting The Standard
Being an award-winning Peterbilt dealership and service center, Stahl Peterbilt employees like Randy are always trying to improve their business and better serve their customers. The VMAC Multifunction helps achieve these goals of continuous improvement: “The VMAC offers better performance and better productivity. After being recognized as the Peterbilt Service Center of the Year in North America, Peterbilt started looking at our trucks, and how we do it to help set standards for other dealerships,” say Randy. “Part of our success is due to our equipment, and Peterbilt is looking at the VMAC Multifunction as the benchmark for service truck business.”
Overall, under the leadership of Randy Kerr, and through the contributions of his exceptional team, Stahl Peterbilt’s success continues to trend upwards. “Expanding in Alberta is a big opportunity for Stahl Peterbilt,” says Randy. And the VMAC 6-In-1 Multifunction Power System plays a role in that expansion, ensuring his technicians have the right tools and equipment to do their jobs. “The VMAC Multifunction improves efficiency, which allows for business growth. We want to expand our business, and the best way to do it is through our service truck business.”
About Dematco Manufacturing
Dematco Manufacturing Inc. is located in Acheson, Alberta, and has served customers all over Western Canada, including Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Fort St. John, and Lethbridge. Dematco was started 12 years ago by company President Mike Dejanovic, who has over 35 years of experience in the industry. Dematco is known for building custom truck bodies, upfitting them with accessories, and even offering custom fabrication, allowing for a product to be built to their customers’ exact specifications. Each truck service body is built for reliability, serviceability, maximum payload, while conforming to rules and regulations.
Like Stahl Peterbilt, Mike at Dematco ensures his customers are treated to high levels of service, and a superior product. This is where VMAC fits in: “We’ve been a VMAC dealer for about 5 years now,” says Mike. “I love working with VMAC. It’s a great product, and I enjoy working with the people; they all have a good sense of humor.”
And while Mike has been selling VMAC products for years, it’s the VMAC Multifunction Power System that has many of his customers, including Stahl Peterbilt and Finning, interested. “The VMAC Multifunction is smaller and lighter than the other multi-power systems, and that’s important when you’re building a truck,” says Mike. “And what’s most important, is that it’s well-designed and functional. We get lots of positive reviews from our customers about the VMAC Multifunction.”
And with positive reviews on the VMAC Multifunction from experienced customers (like Randy and Stahl Peterbilt) Mike knows VMAC is a product worthy of promoting. “Randy is very easy to work with. He understood what he needed and was very precise in his request. It’s a pleasure to work with a customer like this. Stahl Peterbilt is a great company offering a quality service.”
From VMAC and Dematco, to Stahl Peterbilt Service Department and the entire Stahl Peterbilt team, congratulations on being recognized as the Top Service Department for North America!