It’s been a little more than a month since Navistar officially opened its state-of-the-art Used Truck Reconditioning Center (UTRC) in Melrose Park, Ill.
The third such facility in Navistar’s history, the new UTRC is housed within the company’s more than 1 million sq. ft. Melrose Park complex, which also includes a medium-duty assembly line and the company’s expansive testing and development center.
During an exclusive tour of the facility on Tuesday, Successful Dealer was offered an up-close look at the center and how Navistar is using it to support its dealers and customers in the secondary market.
Navistar’s UTRC is the headquarters of a five-location reconditioning network the company has built across the United States. With satellite locations in Georgia, Nevada, California and Tennessee, the reconditioning network serves to inspect, maintain and qualify vehicles for its Diamond Renewed used truck sales program, as well as supplement used vehicles inventories for International dealers and the wholesaler market.
Vehicles come to the facility mainly from direct fleet or dealer trade agreements, and once reconditioned are quickly moved out to dealers, wholesalers or into existing sales.
Sam Lombardo, manufacturing operations manager at the UTRC, says customer demand drives the shop loading and prioritization for most trucks in facility’s eight service bays.
“It’s really about customer need,” he says. “If someone is big on box trucks then that’s what we’ll be working on.”
Fortunately for customers, the UTRC’s procedure is built to minimize downtime.
Lombardo says the process starts by getting a vehicle maintenance and service history report for each truck, and is followed by an exhaustive 185-point bumper-to-bumper inspection. These steps, which take a few hours on average, allow UTRC technicians to ensure past service issues are resolved and identify any additional service that may be required at that time.
From there technicians begin the process of quickly testing the unit for performance, then replacing wear parts, cleaning the truck and making any additional body or interior repairs.
Julio Munoz manages the specialized warehouse that supports the UTRC and its satellite facilities, and actively works with Navistar’s suppliers to maintain product and technical information necessary for immediate service turnover.
“We support each site with the same level of parts and service capabilities,” he says. “Whether a truck is here or in Atlanta (Ga.), we have the same level of technical support [for the technician].”
In addition to its separate warehouse, the UTRC also features a wash bay, paint booth, mobile service unit, DPF cleaning unit and performs in-house differential repairs. Its location within the Melrose Park complex also provides access to Navistar’s engineering and technical teams, which enhances diagnoses for difficult issues and allows the UTRC to peform almost any vehicle test if need arises.
Lombardo says the result is a level of truck quality unmatched by any other OEM in the used marketplace.
“Whether a customer wants one truck or 50, they know they will have that consistency from truck to truck to truck,” he says.