By KERRY SMITH
The largest commercial truck sales and service operation this side of the Mississippi River opened June 1 in Granite City.
Weber Commercial Truck Center, the newest addition to the Weber Ford and Weber Chevrolet family, is keeping fleets of commercial trucks running smoothly across the St. Louis metro area. The dealership’s General Manager Jeff Kohler is also currently serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce Southwestern Madison County.
General Sales Manager Andy Eldridge says the new commercial dealership assists companies with sales and service of trucks ranging from the new 2019 Ford Ranger Pickup to the Ford F750 Trucks with any type of upfit and everything in between. Furthermore, Weber Commercial Truck Center will feature the full line of Chevrolet commercial vehicles including the Chevrolet Colorado Pickup, the Cab Over trucks and the new Medium Duty C4500-C6500.
“As an authorized Ford Commercial Vehicle Center and soon-to-be Chevrolet Business Elite dealer, we have a professional sales staff that knows the right questions to ask to make absolutely sure we’re fitting a commercial driver with the correct vehicle,” said Eldridge. “If someone comes to see us and says they need a 1-ton truck, we’re going to ask them what they intend to haul with it and provide whatever education is necessary to make sure they drive off our lot with the proper vehicle.”
Valuing the customer’s time – throughout the commercial truck sales process but especially in servicing commercial fleets – is paramount, according to Eldridge. A facility dedicated solely to servicing commercial vehicles as opposed to one that works on consumer cars and trucks, ensures companies that their time is appreciated as the precious commodity that it is.
“When an individual brings a commercial vehicle to a regular automotive dealership to have it serviced, he or she may get stuck waiting behind a $20 oil change appointment,” Eldridge said. “We value your time – in fact, that’s in our company mission statement. We realize that your truck is worth $1,200 to $2,000 a day in business for your operation. We take that seriously by having a goal of getting you in and getting you a detailed evaluation of the issue within 24 hours,” he added.
Located along Illinois Route 3 at the intersection of Pontoon Road and Missouri Avenue, Weber Commercial Truck Center is four miles north of the McKinley Bridge into St. Louis. Eldridge says the service department is equipped with two, 15,000-pound, heavy-duty truck lifts, an 18,000-pound lift, a 30,000-pound lift and three flat bays. The center’s drive-through service bays measure 50 feet deep. “We’ve got the ability to put just about any straight commercial truck in there and work on it,” he said.
A crew of experienced commercial truck service technicians – including several diesel-certified mechanics – comprises the Weber Commercial Truck service staff.
On the sales side, a separate team of professionals well versed in vast product lines of commercial fleets stands ready to guide customers through a deep inventory of more than 100 new and more than 35 pre-owned trucks. Most are upfit and ready to go to work, Eldridge said. Companies looking to shop the inventory online can easily navigate the center’s website, www.webertrucks.com. Weber Commercial also offers leasing as well as full coverage maintenance and repair programs.
“A huge advantage for us and for our commercial customers are the latest commercial truck vehicle wraps,” said Eldridge. “Rather than ordering trucks from the manufacturer in signature colors, which costs more and detracts from resale value later on, we offer the option of fitting white trucks with a 3M wrap product that personalizes the company’s brand but that does not scratch, fade or leave ghosting when it’s removed at the time of resale or rebranding. It retains much more of the vehicle’s value at trade-in and looks just as great,” he added.
Within the next 12-18 months, Weber Commercial Truck Center plans to expand its present site in Granite City. “We know that the demand for commercial truck servicing is very strong across the St. Louis metro area,” Eldridge said. “Except for a few independently operated, service-only businesses, there is no other commercial service operation between St. Louis, Missouri and Springfield, Ill. We’re energized and excited about what we’re doing here, and others in our industry are also excited and want to come work for us. Our whole approach to this business is service-centric. Rather than focusing on how many vehicles we’re selling, our eyes are intently focused on how many commercial customers we’re able to serve and serve well. We know we’re just scratching the surface on what we can do and who we’re able to serve.”
A grand opening is planned for Oct. 25-26.