As previously reported by RV News, vehicle care service provider Valvoline will provide routine maintenance services for Class 5-8 vehicles, including motorhomes. The first company-owned, heavy-duty fleet service center is in Lexington, Kentucky, the town where Valvoline’s corporate headquarters is based.
Company executives recently elaborated on the types of services it currently provides for heavy-duty vehicles and discussed Valvoline’s general roadmap for developing and deploying future heavy-duty vehicle service centers in the U.S.
Valvoline’s 75-minute RV preventive maintenance service offered in Lexington includes:
- Change oil and oil filters
- Change fuel filters (for diesel engines)
- Grease chassis zerk fittings
- Check and fill steer hubs, trailer hubs, and PSF
- Check coolant level
- Check underside components for evidence of leaks
- Tire assessment
- Check and set tire pressure
- Check air filter
- Check wiper blades
- Check lights
- Check battery
- Additional services and safety checks include:
- Generator oil change
- Coolant service
- Serpentine belt replacement
- Air filter replacement
- Differential fluid drain and fill
- Transmission fluid drain and fill
- Battery replacement
- Light bulb replacement
- Wiper blade replacement
Pilot in Atlanta
Valvoline began planning to expand its light-duty vehicle service model about 18 months ago. The company piloted a program to service larger vehicles in Atlanta in September 2021 in partnership with the Atlanta Cummins facility in Forest Park, Georgia. Valvoline had one service bay in a “store-within-a-store” concept. The company worked on heavy-duty trucks, sending RV business to Cummins.
According to Valvoline Vice President of Fleet Solutions Keith Peshke, the company honed its processes and designed a training program for heavy-duty fleet service in Atlanta. The company built a center in Lexington and established the company’s first standalone heavy-duty fleet service center nine months later. He said the Lexington facility will likely be the model for other centers going forward.
“Our aim is to continue our growth and progress in the future. There is real opportunity in larger classes of vehicles, RVs being one, to provide a quicker turnaround of standard preventative maintenance,” Peshke said. “That seems to be a huge pain point, not just for RV owners, but for large fleet vehicles in general. The idea of being able to do preventative maintenance in 75 minutes or less is something that really resonates with customers.”
Complementary Service Designed for RVs
The company does not aspire to provide OEM-specific body or interior repair services commonly provided by RV dealers. Frederick said the company will remain focused on preventive maintenance for the engine and drive-train in order to complement the services provided by most RV dealers.
Valvoline also said it is not simply performing light-duty services on larger vehicles. The company spent hundreds of hours on heavy-duty trucks and RVs and consulted experts to refine their processes.
“The Lexington center is the product of a great deal of research,” Director of Heavy-Duty Retail Services Joshua Frederick said. “We knew going into it that servicing these heavy-duty vehicles would be a much more involved process. What we took in from the passenger car side is our commitment to developing world-class processes, training and customer services.”
The company sent its training team to third party, nationwide training centers to ensure the processes were adapted for heavy-duty.
Future Expansion Likely
Once the company has its pilot program in Kentucky running smoothly, Valvoline likely will establish stand-alone centers separate from the more than 1,500 Valvoline Instant Oil Change Centers across the U.S.
“Everything is on the table,” Peshke said. “As we continue to prove out the pilot and make sure it is operationally and financially viable, there are absolutely goals to expand.”
Valvoline passenger vehicle centers are “stay-in-your-car” centers. For heavy-duty service centers, Valvoline likely will acquire industrial locations with space to accommodate parking, RV hookups, and waiting rooms with TVs and Wi-Fi.
Two weeks ago, the company recently decided to extend valet services in active partnerships with Lexington-area RV dealers. Dealers interested in valet services can contact the Lexington center.
“We have some active partnerships locally where RV dealerships are sending us their service to flip RVs very quickly,” Peschke said. “We also have a valet service, for certain situations where we can pick up the RVs and then return them back to make it incredibly easy for RV dealers.”
Access more information about the Valvoline heavy-duty fleet service center.