The breakdown/recovery division of Fred Henderson Ltd, one of Durham’s best known auto sales and service centres, is using AGM Telematics vehicle tracking system to keep on top of service intervals for its specialist car and motorcycle recovery fleet.
Christened ‘The Breakdown Doctor’ in 1998, Fred Henderson’s vehicle recovery service operates from a purpose-built 24-hour control centre in the heart of Durham, adjacent to the company’s car show rooms and garage facilities.
“With up to 16 recovery vehicles in the fleet and many of those in service at any given time,” says Operations Controller Julie Allan, “we rely on the routeMASTER tracking service to manage logistics and to keep customers informed regarding arrival at the roadside. It’s an invaluable tool which enables us to coordinate things from the centre, using pinpoint control.”
In addition to vehicle tracking, Julie uses the cloud-based system to record each vehicle’s mileage in order that service intervals can be met at the allotted time.
“We can see exactly how many miles each vehicle has travelled, where they have been and even when they start up and switch off each day. Apart from anything else, the ongoing mileage monitor helps to alert when each vehicle needs to come into the workshop for routine service requirements. Also,” says Julie, “we can, remotely, keep an eye on excessive idling and intercept if there are any major deviations from a given route.”
A minimum of three ‘Breakdown Doctors’ and one recovery driver are constantly on call, with round-the-clock access to the complete vehicle fleet. During the day this is increased to five ‘Breakdown Doctors’ and three recovery drivers.
With over 35 years’ experience in the automotive industry, founder Fred Henderson, pictured, is always keen to embrace new technology in order to improve the service provided by The Breakdown Doctor.
“Our operation is similar to that of the RAC or AA. We provide a dedicated service to the police, Customs & Excise, local authorities and private vehicle users – many of whom benefit in turn from our on-board telematics systems. That said,” adds Fred, “We also use a plug-in ‘travel tracker’ supplied by AGM, which can be used in any vehicle when required. We have affectionately named it George after one of the directors of AGM routeMASTER. It is so versatile that it even works to track the flight of our helicopter – a true, upwardly mobile device!”
The Breakdown Doctor operates in the Durham area but will also recover vehicles from any location throughout the UK and in 80% of cases, vehicles are remobilised at the roadside.
“AGM provide a faultless product and a good level of service” concludes Fred Henderson. “If ever we need assistance – which is rare – we are made to feel like we are their only customer!”