A few weeks ago, I was at a new product launch for one of our OEM customers. It was an exciting event, with all the glitz and glamour of a major unveiling – which, quite frankly, it was. A new, stylish and aerodynamic tractor platform to replace the previous generation. (Gotta admit, I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of this new model when we get one for our demo fleet at Bendix!)
Besides the new truck look, one of the most exciting parts of this launch, at least for me, was that fact that this OEM took a major step forward and announced that the Bendix® Wingman® Advanced™ collision mitigation system would be standard equipment on the new highway tractor. In my book, that’s cool! And, they were the first major OEM to make that step forward – which also in my book, is pretty cool! (For those non-baby boomer readers, cool is good!)
Even cooler, you can also supersize your collision mitigation package at this OEM by upgrading to the Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™ system. (Alright, I promise not to use the word “cool” any more in this blog!)
Other OEMs have done similar things in the past around various options, including safety technologies. For example, full-stability technology is already standard on a number of OEM platforms – well before the FMVSS139 stability mandate is due to begin implementation on August 1, 2017.
Reason for the blog, however, is not to promote our safety technologies. That’s for other tools, such as ads, press releases etc., etc. The reason for laying out the foundation is to deliver a simple message – check your spec. (The “spec,” as you know, is your truck specification which you usually develop with your dealer to outfit the truck with the equipment you want on it – from drivetrains to safety systems and interior comforts to chrome bumpers. The pieces parts that make that truck your truck!)
Why check your spec? Simple. Because you may not be getting what you think you’re getting.
Let’s go back to the event. A fleet owner, who had just ordered a number of the new trucks, was talking with us about how excited he was to get these new trucks with the Wingman system installed. It was going to be the first time they were adding a collision mitigation technology to their fleet, and he was looking forward to getting these new vehicles into the hands of his drivers. In fact, after we talked about the differences between the systems, he decided that maybe he should go ahead and upgrade to the Wingman Fusion system. Off he went to find his OEM sales representative to discuss the costs and potential addition of Fusion to his order.
That’s when this particular fleet owner learned why he should have checked his spec.
The OEM sales representative informed him that he was not getting the Wingman Advanced collision mitigation system on his truck. Why not? Because the fleet owner had told his salesman to simply apply his existing specification to his new truck order. Guess what was missing on his old specification? You got it…no collision mitigation system. He hadn’t spec’d collision mitigation in the past, and because there was a significant delete credit, the OEM sales rep went ahead and deleted the option. Surprise! And, major disappointment.
So, before you assume the standard option on a particular new vehicle is going to be on your new vehicle - check your spec! If you want it, make sure it is part of your spec, even if the option – whether safety technology or not – is standard.
Don’t assume. After all, you know what happens when we assume!
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