by Tim Brady, Business editor

The purpose of “Spotlight on an American Trucker” is to bring our readership to life, by putting names and faces alongside their successes. If you know of a small or micro business that utilizes trucks in the course of doing business that you’d like us to feature in “Spotlight on an American Trucker,” please send their contact information to tbrady@writeuptheroad.com.


servalOwner: Jerry N. Lewis
Branch manager: Martin Cobb
In business: Since 1983
Location: Martin, TN
Website: www.servallmartin.com

Servall LLC was founded in 1963 . The Ken-Tenn area/Martin, TN, location opened in 1983. Its primary business focus is termite, pest control and home repair. The company provides services to customers with its fleet of 1/2 ton pickups, each carrying from 50- to 200-gal. tanks containing termiticides, pesticides, tools and equipment.

Do you have regularly scheduled routes or on-demand delivery?
We have 17 trucks that usually run regularly scheduled routes. We also have eight trucks that usually go on demand.

How is maintenance handled? Your own shop or jobbed out?
Most maintenance is jobbed out. Service technicians schedule their own oil changes, tire rotations, etc., with a local service shop where we have an account.

What about major repairs? Your own shop or jobbed out?
All major repairs are jobbed out. A supervisor evaluates and schedules any major repairs.

What three challenges do you face with your maintenance program? How do you resolve each of these?
1. To keep maintenance services on schedule. We resolved this challenge with a computer program. The program flags each driver when it is time to schedule a routine maintenance service.
2. To keep the trucks presentable as far as cleanliness and organization. We have routine truck inspections. We also have an in-house wash bay and vacuum center.
3. Cost of routine maintenance for a small business. We are working with a service facility that is offering us a fleet discount on routine maintenance services & repairs.

How do you handle the maintenance on your trucks and/or trailers to minimize downtime? What are your mileage/time intervals on preventive maintenance?
We use a facility that has a designated mechanic for our trucks so we have a much quicker turnaround time. They also will pick up and deliver our trucks if needed. We require oil changes every 5,000 mi. Transmission services are performed at 50,000 mi. Tires are rotated every 10,000 mi.

How do you ensure good mileage from tires?
We buy tires with a good tread wear rating and keep them rotated so they wear evenly. We also check tire pressure often.

Do you stock any parts for your trucks or purchase as needed? If you stock parts, which ones?
We stock a minimal amount of parts such as fuses, bulbs, etc. Most of our parts are bought as needed.

How do you determine when it’s time to replace a truck?
We track the ongoing expense of each truck. When maintenance expenses become greater than the average maintenance cost, the truck is replaced. In some cases, trucks are replaced due to age and appearance.

What are your specifications for your trucks? Are you able to find these on the used market? Do you purchase used and customize them to your specs? Or order new trucks built to your specs?
All trucks are to be blue, our company color. We normally purchase them new and customize them once purchased.

What programs do you have in place to ensure CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) compliance for your trucks and or trailers?
We have routine safety meetings and truck inspections, maintain a drug-free workplace, and enforce the “no cell phone use while driving” law.