Working Demos and Work-Ready Dump Trucks Attract New Customers
One year ago, Los Angeles Western Star was working to get Western Star on the construction industry map in Southern California. Due to tough competition and the misperception of being too heavy, Western Star trucks were often overlooked by fleet managers, business owners, and owner-operators.
Instead of accepting the present situation, the dealership jumped on the opportunity to go head-to-head with the competition by aggressively promoting the quality and craftsmanship of Western Star vehicles to the tough construction market. As a result, the dealership has grown its customer base and expects its sales to increase by more than 150% from a year ago.
Although they are selling a comparable and competitive product, the dealership faced several challenges as it reached out to potential new customers and searched for a solid footing in the industry.
“The vocational market has been dominated by our competition for several decades and it’s tough to get people to try something different,” said Todd Albanese, Vice President of Sales for Los Angeles Western Star. “We knew it was going to be an uphill battle, but there is great potential for growth for us and the Western Star brand.”
To jump start the new sales initiative, dealership management comprehensively trained each of their salespeople on the Western Star product line. The training was followed up with a review of the competition. Finally, they made a huge financial investment by purchasing the bodies needed to build complete working demos and work-ready super dump and transfer dump trucks.
With the dump bodies installed, dealer salespeople took the working demos to potential customers, allowing them to test the performance of the vehicles on their job sites. After using the vehicle in the field, customers were able to buy the truck on the spot or purchase one of many work-ready trucks on the lot at the dealership.
In terms of manpower and money, this type of effort is very intense and can often be a slow process. But Los Angeles Western Star has been patient and tenacious, willing to do what it takes to have this rather risky initiative pay off.
“Once you get a driver behind the wheel, they experience first-hand how well the vehicles handle and perform, showcasing all that Western Star has to offer,” added Albanese. “This initiative has been so successful that we expect our sales to more than double from last year, which also will make us one of the top selling Western Star dealerships in the country.”
For new customers like TC Construction in San Diego and Dewey’s Transfer Services in Fontana, the immediate availability, unique options, and weight savings available on the trucks sold by Los Angeles Western Star has convinced them to give Western Star products a try.
TC Construction Adds Super Dump to Fleet
In the booming San Diego real estate market, TC Construction continues to set the standard for water, sewer, and storm drain systems for both the private and public sector.
In addition, TC Construction operates demolition and retaining wall divisions. As the company was looking to add one more truck to its fleet, the outstanding fuel economy, horsepower ratings, weight savings, and ease of maintenance offered on the Western Star 4900 FA seemed to be a good fit.
Although Marty Palmer, Truck Foreman at TC Construction, never thought he would buy a Western Star, through the efforts of the dealer, he decided to test out a super dump truck on Los Angeles Western Star’s lot.
Palmer found himself impressed with the eye-catching truck, especially with the powerful Mercedes-Benz MBE4000 engine. Offering the high horsepower ratings he needed, the engine also was lightweight, cost effective, fuel efficient, and was covered by a great warranty.
“The MBE4000 engine was a good way to go, so I bought a 4900 FA super dump with a 450 horsepower engine straight off the lot – all they had to do was paint it,” said Palmer. “Although my driver had never driven a Western Star before, both he and I would not hesitate to buy another.”
Dewey’s Transfer Service Reduces Weight, Adds Payload
Payload is everything in California – especially for transfer dump trucks. Paid by tonnage, Dewey’s Transfer Service has been transporting bulk building material such as sand and gravel to job sites for 20 years.
Recently, owners Dewey and Sharon Rowland were looking to purchase a new transfer dump truck to replace an older vehicle. At first, they didn’t consider a Western Star truck because it was perceived to be too heavy for their application. However, when the dealer spec’d a work-ready Western Star 4900 FA transfer dump truck against the competitors’, they found it to be the most lightweight.
“Compared to our previous trucks, we’re able to haul more tonnage per load with the Western Star,” said Sharon Rowland. “When you’re running four loads a day, five days a week, it really adds up. Plus, it’s so nice inside the cab – the dash is well laid out, the cab is quiet, and it’s a really good ride.”
Only having to make minimal changes, Dewey and Sharon purchased the Western Star 4900 FA and put it to work within 48 hours. “We are very impressed and pleased,” she added.
Western Star Trucks, headquartered in Redford, Mich., produces heavy-duty custom trucks for long-haul and vocational applications. Western Star is a member of the Freightliner group of companies. Freightliner is a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.