Making the most of CSA

Management Lucas Deal March 14, 2013

“No one wants to deal with a light that is always failing,” Van Riper says. “I think even if a fleet is good at maintenance, the link [for an incandescent bulb] is so weak. It’s not going to last nearly as long as the LED, and the fleet is going to be at a disadvantage.”

Luthe says lighting is one of the biggest CSA issues for Six Robblees’ customers. He says his sales staff promotes LED lighting constantly, as well other new products that lower the risk of CSA violations.

Six Robblees’ customers don’t always choose the new product, Luthe says, but at least they know it’s out there. He says that’s better than the alternative.

“I know one company that didn’t even know about CSA until they got a letter in the mail for a bunch of violations,” he says. “That’s not a good sign.”

That was a small fleet though, Luthe says. Most fleets are well aware of CSA and are working hard to upgrade their trucks and trailers with the best components possible, says Dennis Damman, manager of national accounts at Phillips Industries.

“I think most large fleets are focusing on getting the best products for their [equipment],” he says. “Actually, I think that’s a focus of about everybody. The old mentality of buying the cheapest product is going away.

“I am seeing a lot more, ‘How am I going to get my trucks down the road without a [CSA] stop?’”

The answer is by purchasing and maintaining top-quality components, says Michael Keller, director of product management at FleetPride. Keller says FleetPride has increased inventory levels nationwide of high-value CSA components, and its sales staff is working hard to promote those products in its stores and on sales calls.

Combining that with receptive and interested buyers, the opportunity to increase sales is great.

“When we make a sales call to a customer, we try to know [in advance] what their needs are,” says Don Purcell, partner at Stone Truck Parts. “We try to know where we can help them and make sure they have the most information available about the products we carry.”

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