Tallman Truck Centre

Tallman Truck Centre

Eaton comes through in the clutch for large Canadian truck dealer

“The Eaton clutches are great. From being packaged very well to the support that we get after the fact, we have had no issues whatsoever. That’s why it is the only clutch we sell.”

Ed Brito
General Manager, Tallman Truck Centre

Background

With eight full service dealerships and six associate locations across the Canadian Provence of Ontario, Tallman Truck Centre sells and services a complete line of International medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The company opened its doors for business in 1973 and today employs more than 400 people.

It is one of the largest truck dealerships in Canada.

For four consecutive years Tallman has been selected as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. For 19 consecutive years, Tallman has received the prestigious Navistar Circle of Excellence Award.

President of the company, Kevin Tallman, attributes those accolades to loyal customers and exceptional and dedicated group of employees.

Challenge

One of the more enthusiastic of those employees is Ed Brito, general manager and the person responsible for most of Tallman’s replacement parts purchases. With a solid background in the aftermarket side of trucking, the 22-year industry veteran is also responsible for managing parts sales.

“It is a very competitive business,” says Brito. “Not only are we competing with other dealerships, but we are also competing with independent warehouse distributors.”

Inventory management is another priority. “When someone needs a part and we don’t have it in stock, you know they are going to go somewhere else for it,” says Brito.

To avoid lost sales, as well as increase the likelihood of repeat sales, Brito has to make sure the parts he’s selling are reliable with the highest of quality standards. He also wants to make certain he deals with vendors who support their products.

Some vendors, he notes, are better than others in helping him meet both of these key objectives.

Solution

High on his list is Eaton. “I have had great success with Eaton clutches,” he states. So much so, Brito says company-wide Tallman Truck Centre will buy and sell more than 5,000 aftermarket Eaton clutches annually.

The majority of those clutches are Eaton‘s top-of-the line Advantage Series, which includes both the Advantage Series Solo and the Advantage Series Easy Pedal designs. Highlights of the best-selling clutch in North America include:

  • Both are designed and manufactured to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications.
  • Both have the industry’s best warranty, which is 2-years/ unlimited miles.
  • Both feature 50,000-mile lubrication intervals.
  • Both are manufactured with proprietary facing material for long life and superior engagement.
  • Both feature premium dampening through Eaton’s exclusive Vibration Control Technology (VCT).

Result

“The Eaton clutches are great,” adds Brito. “From being packaged very well to the support that we get after the fact, we have had no issues whatsoever. That’s why it is the only clutch we sell.”

That wasn’t always the case. As an old-hand in the aftermarket, Brito says that years ago he bought and sold offshore or offbrand clutches. Too many problems with too many customers, however, convinced him that genuine OEM quality clutches were far more reliable and far more profitable for Tallman.

“We got rid of them,” he adds. “Customers do not want to have any hassles and they do not want to have to take out the transmission. So we just sell the Eaton clutch today after having so many problems with the non-genuine products.”

As big a fan as he is of Eaton clutches, Brito just may be an even bigger fan of his Roadranger sales representative, Keith Robertshaw, and the product support he gets – even when the support arrives unexpectedly and has nothing to do with an Eaton component.

Brito recalls an incident recently where one of his better customers was repeatedly bringing one of his trucks into the dealership for what the customer believed was a transmission issue. Robertshaw says he was passing through the shop on one of those occasions and offered assistance.

“I asked them what was wrong because I also know the customer very well,” says Robertshaw. “I immediately recognized that it was definitely not a transmission issue.”

“He showed us that it was an issue that was related to the suspension and driveline angles,” adds Brito. “So Keith went ahead and actually built up the suspension with a lot of spacer washers to temporarily resolve the issue and show the customer it was not transmission related and until the correct torque rod assemblies could be ordered for permanent installation.

“Customer service like that is hard to match. And I can’t say anything bad about the Eaton products either. We also handle aftermarket Eaton transmissions. So overall I would have to say that the Eaton clutches, other Eaton parts and Eaton representation have gone a long way in helping make our parts operation a profitable one.”