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Overdrive Staff | August 01, 2010


Survey finds truck satisfaction peaks early

According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Heavy-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study, Class 8 truck owner satisfaction peaks in the first nine months, or in 50,000 miles, the truck is in service, then decreases notably.

The study examining 2009 model year trucks was conducted in March and is based on 1,682 responses from “primary maintainers.” Results showed satisfaction levels peak during the first nine months of usage, averaging 768 on a 1,000-point scale.

Between 10 and 14 months of usage, satisfaction tends to decline by an average of 20 points. After 14 months of ownership, satisfaction declines by an additional 25 points, on average.

The study ranked models based on scores in seven categories: overall satisfaction, engine, transmission, ride/handling/braking, cab/body, cost of operation and warranty.

In the vocational truck segment, International ranked highest with an index score of 775 on a 1,000-point scale. The truck maker also finished first in dealer service with a score of 844.

— Jeff Crissey



FedEx Ground settles driver suit

FedEx Ground will pay $3 million to Massachusetts to settle claims that the company misclassified drivers as independent contractors.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley announced the agreement with Pittsburgh-based FedEx Ground July 15. She alleged the misclassification resulted in less revenue in payroll taxes, worker’s compensation and unemployment assistance for Massachusetts.

FedEx Ground denies liability in the settlement. A spokesman for the Pennsylvania-based subsidiary of FedEx did not return a request for comment.

In 2007, Coakley’s office cited FedEx Ground for violations of the state’s independent contractor law, which included failing to provide drivers with a proper pay stub and not paying overtime to certain drivers.

FedEx Ground appealed this to the Division of Administrative Law Appeals over penalties of more than $190,000. The AG then did further investigation with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Revenue, which indicated significant underpayments to the revenue department, Coakley said.

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