TCV's customer-specific trailer solutions

29-04-2024
TCV's customer-specific trailer solutions
Customer case

TRUCK CENTER VREDEN

Truck Center Vreden has been involved in the repair, overhaul, maintenance, upgrading and conversion of all types of vans, commercial vehicles and trailers since 2002. The company also provides tailor-made solutions for vehicle fleets and trailer lock installation support, and that includes our SBS locks. Because we were curious to find out exactly what Truck Center Vreden does, who its customers are, and why they chose our trailer locks, we arranged a chat with Günter Mulder, who has worked as a manager at Truck Center Vreden for more than 20 years. 

"TCV is a truck and trailer workshop with 22 employees spread over 2 sites in Vreden, just over the border in Germany. We are actually an extension of Schmitz Cargobull AG trailer construction, which is also based in Vreden. We are able to meet special customer requirements that they cannot fulfill themselves. It is, for example, very difficult for Schmitz Cargobull to add an extra feature to trailers that is not in its collection. If a customer wants a specific trailer lock which Schmitz Cargobull doesn’t offer, the customer simply goes to a competitor. So they brought us on board to prevent that happening. We can basically do anything and everything a customer wants and that’s how we’re able to satisfy a niche market that the manufacturer can’t," Günter explains.

SBS trailerslot Truck Center Vreden
quotes

We fit everything on or to a trailer that a customer wants and that Schmitz Cargobull AG cannot offer. We have a solution for every problem!”

Günter Mulder | Director TCV

Activities

"Besides locks, we fit all kinds of extra lighting, ramps and, for example, crates to store ramps, as well as tailgates and water tanks. So basically anything extra a customer wants added on or to a trailer. There are lots of things you'd never imagine were needed until a customer asks."

"We once had a customer who wanted to order ten trailers from Schmitz Cargobull, but only with pink lights on the back. All his vehicles had them and his wife insisted he only order vehicles with pink lights. I vividly remember the conversation with the Schmitz salesman. It only lasted two minutes. Günter, please take apart the lights for us and spray them pink. That wasn't a problem of course!"

Advantages

"Initially, any new customers we get come via Schmitz Cargobull's sales representatives. But if they then order a new vehicle, or something breaks down, they can also contact us directly."

"Working as an extension has another advantage for the customer. If, for example, they want an SBS lock, they can have it fitted directly into the new vehicle at TCV and then pick up a vehicle which is ready to go. As a rule the customer orders a vehicle, picks it up from the supplier, drives it to his workshop and that’s where it stays for a few days, because all sorts of things still need to be fitted. If he runs it past us, he can pick up the finished vehicle here and head straight off. It may cost 50 euros more, but then he does have a vehicle that’s ready to go, and that’s a huge advantage.”

"Something else we are noticing is that transport companies with their own workshops are finding it difficult to schedule time to get locks fitted properly, especially when they’ve ordered 20 vehicles at once. In such situations there's no time to fit all the things they need and they end up heading off without a lock."

Partnership with Imbema

"We’ve been fitting trailer locks for Schmitz Cargobull AG for a long time now and particularly Wabco locks. The trouble was that demand for trailer locks was growing, so to improve our position in the market we started looking for an alternative. It was when we saw trailers that had been fitted with the familiar SBS locks that we decided to get in touch with you because we realised that those SBS trailer locks would be a good addition to our range. Our partnership developed slowly but surely after that."

“The contact between us has intensified in recent years, not only terms of mechanical locks but also electronic SBS locks. We’re extremely pleased with our partnership with Imbema and your contact person, Frits Hofma, is always more than happy for me to call him directly. The lines of communication are short and personal. Other suppliers are much larger and that makes contact more difficult and more anonymous. With you, everything is clear and that personal Imbema touch is a major advantage."

quotes

We’re extremely pleased with our partnership with Imbema. The lines of communication are short and personal. Other suppliers are much larger and that makes contact more difficult. That personal Imbema touch is a major advantage."

Günter Mulder | Director TCV

SBS trailer locks

"One major advantage of the mechanical SBS Turtle lock and the SBS BDL lock is their quality and simplicity. They represent a simple lock solution that does what it says on the tin and that is to prevent burglaries.”

“Your SBS electronic locks are still not that well known in Germany. We’ve been selling high security solutions since 2004 and have noticed an ever-increasing demand for a BAT or TAPA TSR 1 solution. You also offer those locks, but many customers are unaware of that. Today's trailer suppliers also offer electronic locks, but mixed-fleet customers do not want separate telematics for each trailer. The T Comm trailer telematics, where all telematics can run via a single platform, is then an excellent solution, especially now that it allows the monitoring of SBS locks."

Promowagen SBS sloten Truck Center Vreden

Personal contact

"We sell whatever our customers need. If they need an SBS trailer lock, we make sure they get one and the same applies if they need a different system. We are Schmitz Cargobull’s neutral partner and always make sure customers get what they want."

"Sometimes customers tell us what they want to pay for a lock and we then tell them which solutions fit within their budget. They can then use our demo trailer to see all the trailer locks we have available. We also use the trailer to educate the Schmitz sales staff about the different solutions. This demo trailer travels between our 2 branches in Vreden and to Schmitz Cargobull AG."

"Talking to customers is a very important aspect of our work. The initial contact is made via Schmitz Cargobull's sales reps, but after that it’s all about building up a personal relationship, particularly face-to-face. In that respect I don't care whether they have one or 150 vehicles. You can only get the right message across if you can look into their eyes. You really have to collaborate with customers, especially when it comes to electronic locks. An electronic trailer lock has so many functions, you have to really teach customers how to use it."

Promotiebord SBS sloten TCV

The customer is always right

"The flexibility of my 22 employees is the key to success. One day they might be fixing a clutch, the next they might be replacing a brake disc, then fitting a lock and after that it will be something else. They're not supposed to ask themselves what they are doing, but simply do the job properly. It has to get done because the customer is waiting. One might have a problem with a broken lamp, while the other needs a special set of rails. The customer is always right! Our customers come to us because they know they can always rely on us to do a great job."

Always ahead of the game

"At TVC we’re always looking to the future, and we always respond quickly to events. This means staying on top of things at all times, not being afraid and being open to anything that comes our way. It means investing and always going the extra mile. That's something I think is very important."

"Take, for example, electric vehicles. We've been saying for ages we don't want them because we cannot charge them. But sooner or later you have to accept them. So now we are also allowed to work on electric (and to a certain extent hydrogen) commercial vehicles thanks to special training for our employees and having the corresponding equipment. And as there is still nowhere to recharge in Vreden, I also bought a charger for 28,000 euros and that means I'm ahead of the game again."

More information about SBS locks