Valley Freightliner rises from the ashes

Jason Cannon February 22, 2013

The Hino dealership eventually was ready to open long before the Freightliner team had its new permanent home. The plan for this challenge was much the same as the one that late summer morning; roll with it.

“We had a Hino team and a Freightliner team,” he said. “Separate parts, separate operation, separate everything. We just ran the two businesses from the same location.”

That should have made for some interesting competition, but O’Donnell said that wasn’t always the case.

“It worked really well,” he said. “It was crowded, but it brought (the employees) closer together. They worked really well together.”

Valley Freightliner rang in the new year in its new Parma location, a former car dealership renovated to suit the heavy truck dealer’s needs.

Site acreage fell from 5 acres to 3.5 at Valley's new site.Site acreage fell from 5 acres to 3.5, but O’Donnell says the footprint is more conducive to inventory display.

“It’s more of an open rectangle with more frontage and good lighting,” he says. “The trucks wouldn’t fit, so we converted showroom into nice office facility and customer comfort zone for drivers waiting for service.”

The move also expanded service capacity for the dealership’s 14 technicians. The previous location had 14 service bays and two wash bays. Currently that is up to 20 service bays and two wash bays. 

The brief Hino/Freightliner experiment turned into what could become an expansion in the coming months. The partnership worked so well, O’Donnell said the company is considering offering Freightliner service as a regular fixture at its Hino location.

Through the ordeal, O’Donnell said his team walked away with a deeper appreciation for one another, knowing they could rely on each other to pull through in a crisis, and confidence in the company to support them along the way. 

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