When drivers arrive at the Nussbaum campus in Hudson, Illinois, the first thing they are likely to appreciate is the parking lot: it’s paved, well-lit and a short walk to our maintenance facilities. Parking lots don’t usually come with bragging rights, but we gave ours careful attention, knowing first impressions count, especially at the end of a long highway.
We also gave a lot of thought to the design of the shop building, asking drivers and technicians for input and talking about how to balance our current needs with goals for growth at Nussbaum.
Since opening in the summer of 2013, we have been delighted with our new facilities and how they are helping us take care of our drivers and our equipment.
While most shops are long and narrow, our shop floor is a square by design. In the planning process, we did a lot of flowcharting and determined a square floor plan would maximize our service capacity. We have room for 16 trucks, and our techs have quick and easy access to everything. That means we are quicker in turning around trucks and getting drivers back on the road.
Truck Centers operates a parts department out of our facilities. Having them here, gives us quick access to parts needed for maintenance and repairs. Drivers can also stock up on supplies they need to carry in their trucks.
We made certain to set everything up for service and speed, even our staff. We utilize a double team approach with one technician on the topside of a truck and one servicing the vehicle from the bottom up. This helps us reduce a standard service visit by about an hour. When you are scheduling preventive truck maintenance every 25,000 miles and bringing the trailers in for service every six months – those hours really add up!
Other built-in driver aides include a DEF pump, scale, and mirror check station. These things can help save a driver time down the road and make sure he’s safe in the process.
RELAX AND RECHARGE
The Driver’s Lounge is located on the second floor of the maintenance building and provides a great place to relax during down time. Here, drivers can take a hot shower, heat a meal, watch television, catch up on paperwork or personal business, and even get in some miles on the treadmill. The lounge and shower area are available to the drivers 24-7.
It was important that we not make this area feel closed off. Panoramic windows line two sides of the lounge, giving drivers a view of the shop floor below and the pond in front of I-39.
DRIVERS AS CUSTOMERS
While our drivers serve Nussbaum customers, our maintenance team strives to serve our drivers. Currently, we have three maintenance coordinators scheduling service and repairs, meeting drivers on the shop floor, handling breakdowns, or manning the after-hours breakdown hotline. We also have 10 mechanics who service and clean the equipment. We even run two shifts to extend our service hours to midnight, giving us the opportunity to address service needs more effectively.
When it comes to our drivers, we really listen. We value their feedback about trucks and trailers. We also take the time to hear about their challenging days or special family moments. It gives us a chance to get to know them and connect on a personal level.
While we grow to better serve the needs of our customers, it is critical that we maintain a family environment at Nussbaum. We want our drivers to feel at home while they’re here.