Swift Transportation

Swift Transportation

Eaton parts help fuel Swift success

“What I like best about working with Eaton is that they listen to us. We can give them feedback about their products and they will investigate it and always seem to come up with a solution. I really like that about them.”

Gloria Pliler,
Director Parts Procurement, Swift Transportation

Background

According to the 2012 edition of Transport Topic’s list of Top 100 trucking companies, Phoenix-based Swift Transportation is the seventh largest for-hire carrier in North America.

With some 50 locations in the U.S. and Mexico, roughly 18,000 employees, more than 16,000 company owned tractors and close to 50,000 trailers, Swift offers customers a wealth of trucking services, including dry van and refrigerated hauling, flatbed and heavy hauling, cross-border services, dedicated contract carriage, inter modal service, freight brokerage, logistics support and more.

Revenues in 2012 were just a shade below $3.3 billion.

Challenge

To best keep feeding all of that revenue, all of the Swift trucks and a good number of the Swift people need to be on the road delivering payloads from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. Breakdowns, however, will inevitably occur with so many pieces of equipment moving about North America and traveling as many miles as the Swift fleet covers.

When interruptions to servicing customers do transpire, it is important for the vehicles to return to the road as quickly as possible.

“To best do that it is important that we have the right part in the right place at the right time,” says Gloria Pliler, director parts procurement for Swift, “That is the biggest challenge that our department faces on a day-today basis.”

Her second biggest challenge is making sure that replacement part is just as good as, or even better than, the one it is replacing.

Solution

To meet that challenge, Pliler says she turns almost exclusively to Eaton when she needs a replacement clutch.

“We have had significant reductions in breakdowns that are the result of an Eaton component,” adds Pliler.

That’s because all Eaton replacement clutches are genuine and certified to meet or exceed original equipment manufacturers (OEM) specifications. Eaton also employs an intense and comprehensive testing regimen to ensure all parts deliver long-lasting, strength-of-character performance.

Seven separate tests are conducted by Eaton before any clutch is sent to a customer. Testing includes a Gear Wear Test, a Full Load Gear Bending Test, Geometry Measurements, a Hardness Test, a Microstructure Test, Bearing Durability Test and an Accelerated Material Wear Test.

Eaton’s top-of-the-line Advantage Series Solo and Advantage Series Easy Pedal clutches are her preferred specification. Highlights of the Advantage Series include:

  • 50,000-mile lube intervals for linehaul applications.
  • Proprietary facing material for longer life and better engagement.
  • Premium dampening through Eaton’s Vibration Control Technology (VCT).
  • Industry best 2-year/unlimited miles warranty protection.

Eaton Advantage Series clutches are also the number one OEM spec in North America.

Result

While Pliler is a big fan of Eaton clutches, she’s an even bigger fan of Eaton people.

“What I like best about working with Eaton is that they listen to us,” she adds. “We can give them feedback about their products and they will investigate it and always seem to come up with a solution. I really like that about them.”

As if overseeing $ 76 million in parts purchases last year were not enough to manage, Pliler recently took over supervising the Swift warranty department.

“I just took over the warranty department so I have limited experience working with them,” she says. “However from what I know about it I believe that we have a very workable and fair warranty program with Eaton.”

Pliler went on to comment on Eaton transmissions, which she says are the vast majority of transmissions in Swift’s fleet.

“We buy and run every major nameplate vehicle here,” Pliler notes. “We may be running a Freightliner or Kenworth or Navistar. They will all have Eaton clutches and transmissions.”

Here again, she says, the customer service that Swift is receiving throughout its organization from Eaton people will very likely keep Eaton the company’s transmission and clutch of choice well into the future.

“Like I said,” she concludes, “they are a really good company and we really consider them to be a business partner.”

Partnerships like that Eaton is swift to embrace.