Survey: Truck owner 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 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.

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

“Many of the quality issues with heavy-duty trucks begin to appear after the 50,000-mile mark, which typically occurs around nine months of ownership, and more problems equate to lower satisfaction,” said Todd Markusic, senior director of the commercial vehicle practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Unfortunately, the change in quality can be fairly dramatic, given the number of problems truck owners experience increases by roughly 70 percent on average after 50,000 miles.”

The number of problems experienced by owners of 1-model-year-old trucks in 2010 averages 233 problems per 100 (PP100). In comparison, problem counts in 2009 averaged 249 PP100 among owners of 2-model-year-old trucks.

To see full results of the study, click here.