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24,000+ Daymakers Delivering on Service Commitment to Customers

By on March 1, 2016
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Training to Serve Customers’ Needs

“What a great experience. Glen enjoys his job, and it shows with the service he provided. He was training a fellow technician and made sure all steps of the service were verified and completed. We have been having our PM services done at a local garage and are sorry we have not met Glen sooner. No one has ever mentioned our second drain plug before.”

– Customer comment about Glen Helmer, Tech V, Mentor Technician, Petro Waterloo, New York.

“I arrived this morning as planned (I had called ahead the day before) and everything went smoothly. Lexi had a bay open and was waiting for me with her usual smile. She’s a real peach and always makes sure I am taken care of thoroughly. Lexi is always cheerful and seems to enjoy her job, which in turn is infectious among her customers turning their bad days into good ones.”

– Customer comment about Alexis Beede, TSA II, TA Baytown, Texas.

Coincidence? Probably not. Glen and Alexis are good people with a good sense of what makes great customer service, and they’re well trained. They and more than 24,000 of their TA, Petro and Minit Mart® associates are regular participants in training programs, both online and at the TA-Petro Training Center in Lodi, Ohio.

 

The trucking industry is changing rapidly, and so is the equipment that fleets and owner-operators run. TA Truck Service and Petro:Lube understand that in order to take care of your equipment, we must have the most experienced group of technicians on the interstate. Every one of the nearly 3,000 service technicians takes part in extensive training. TA and Petro value training and want to put only the most highly qualified technicians in our bays to help service your trucks.

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Want to Learn More?

To share the approach used for developing the skills of qualified technicians and others who you encounter every day at TA-Petro locations, Field Training Manager Mark DeLima, Sr. participated in a recent Q&A session. Here’s what he had to say about training programs for all employees at more than 400 locations nationwide.

Let’s start with truck service. How are technicians trained? When technicians are hired, they are provided with an individualized training path that includes 20 to 52 courses designed to develop skills for entry-level techs and refresh skills for experienced techs. New technicians are assigned mentors who provide hands-on training sessions and monitor the employees’ training course progress on-site. We also provide a wide range of instructor-led classroom and hands-on training in Lodi, Nashville, and Phoenix, which includes heavy-duty truck systems, electrical troubleshooting, electronic systems, HVAC, Tire Industry Association (TIA) wheel and tire certification.

What about your Truck Service Advisors (TSAs), Service Managers and Assistant Mangers?

We invest in their learning as well. TSAs have a full slate of classes geared to their responsibilities including computer systems, work orders, scheduling, parts and procurement, and customer relations. TSAs in training also have on-site mentors. Trainees must demonstrate they can handle all responsibilities before they’re signed off to fly solo.

Truck Service GMs and their Assistants have their own training track. More than 100 are trained each year including on-line technical courses and 40 hours of instructor-led technical classes.

How do you measure the progress of technician training? Technicians’ electronic training records are updated as they successfully complete training requirements and gain experience. Technician recruits typically visit one of our three training facilities four times over a two-year period. Completing a robust offering of online e-learning courses is required between visits. Training plus on-the-job experience are the two critical factors in career progression. For service technicians, and most other positions, we utilize a tiered approach to monitor progress. Technicians climb a ladder based on supplemental training, demonstrated technical proficiencies and in-bay performance from Entry Level I to Level VIII—based on extensive training, plus successful testing for eight ASE certifications.

Extensive training is also required for TIA Level 200 tire repair and replacement certification. Annual DOT training is also required for every technician, and safety courses are mandatory every 12 to 24 months. When it comes to truck service training, our goal is not just for our techs to achieve ASE certifications. Rather, it is to provide the appropriate level of expertise to fix customers’ trucks right the first time and get them rolling quickly and safely. Certifications will follow as practical, hands-on experience is gained and technicians prepare to take the tests.

How do you handle training for the Daimler Trucks North America ServicePoint program? TA and Petro Stopping Centers have an exclusive authorization to provide ServicePoint express service and light-duty repairs for Freightliner and Western Star trucks. We’re also a key referral resource for Freightliner emergency and roadside assistance handled through our RoadSquad Connect team. Daimler provided programs are used to train our service technicians.

What service training capabilities do you have at Lodi? The Lodi Training Center is a 12,000 sq. ft. facility with four classrooms, three computer labs, two truck service bays (one with a half pit), extensive service equipment and numerous training aids, and offices for our training staff. We develop and conduct training programs online, here at Lodi, and at field locations. All of our 24,000+ team members are engaged in training of one form or another when on-boarded and as their careers progress.

In addition to service and truck repair training, what other training do you provide?

Management training is provided for our Field Managers, site General Managers and their assistants. We now conduct training for all departments at 50 certified training locations. For some classes, the train-the-trainer concept is used to carry training lessons back to the site locations.

How do you train your staff to focus on the customer and the commitment to providing legendary service? The Daymaker and Q-FORCE programs have their own dedicated training module and are cross-referenced in several training classes and online modules. They’re very positive influences in our daily interactions, not only with customers, but also with each other. When we go the extra mile to do something special or unexpected to serve customers, they notice. The Daymaker and Q-FORCE culture is at the core of who we are and what we do; it gives us a competitive advantage in the industry.

Wall of Fame

Facing walls of fame were required to display all of the awards won by truck service personnel across the TA-Petro network in recent national, regional and state competitions. The growing number of awards year over year confirms the benefits of technician training, experience and certification in a wide range of truck service categories.

Opportunities Knocking

If you know someone who is an energetic, enthusiastic type searching for a career path and thrives in a fast-paced work environment, please have him or her check us out at jobs.net/jobs/travelcenters-of-america/en-us/. It can be a brother or sister, son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter, other relatives, friends, neighbors, or someone else you know. Returning service men and women are welcome. Have them check our online Talent Network:

  • They can browse jobs by category or TA-Petro location
  • They can receive alerts about new job opportunities that match their interests, skills and experience
  • They can share job opportunities through social media or email

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