DAMAGES: THEY COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES, AND ESPECIALLY WHEN IT CONCERNS DAMAGE TO THE CHASSIS, THE DAMAGE AMOUNT CAN BE QUITE SUBSTANTIAL. IN CLOSE COOPERATION WITH INDEPENDENT DAMAGE EXPERTS, NOOTEBOOM HELPS THEIR CUSTOMERS TO QUICKLY AND PROFESSIONALLY DEAL WITH DAMAGES, AS THEY DO IN GERMANY.
Damage quickly and professionally repaired
‘OUR AIM: TO QUICKLY HELP CUSTOMERS ON THEIR WAY’
That we will find damage expert Erik Thijssen at the Nooteboom head office in Wijchen is not a given. He spends most of his working week in Germany where he regularly helps customers whose vehicle has been damaged.
‘In case of damage the customer naturally wants to be up and running as soon as possible’, says Thijssen. ‘A collision, a bent axle due to overloading, damage to the paintwork by being exposed to salt seawater: damage to a trailer comes in many forms. It’s a nuisance, because every day that the trailer is out of service due to damage will cost the transport operator money. Companies used to have a few trailers on stand-by for emergencies, but for reasons of efficiency this is hardly ever the case these days. Also, over the years our vehicles have become more complex: if a trailer is out of service it’s often not possible to just replace it with another vehicle. Also, the more special the vehicle, the more specific the exemptions will be that you have for the vehicle; when you are checked the chassis number must correspond with the number on the application. So it is important that the damaged vehicle is repaired and put back into service as quickly as possible. And what’s more, as a company you will want to be compensated as soon as possible if the damage is caused by third parties.’
In Germany – an important sales market for Nooteboom and therefore the everyday working area of Thijssen – damages are settled a bit differently than in the Netherlands. ‘If it concerns damage that you have caused yourself, you will be assigned an independent damage expert’, explains Thijssen. ‘This so-called Gutachter assesses the size of the damage and estimates how much it will cost to repair it. He then passes on this information to the insurer. In this case it is always sensible for us as manufacturer to be present, so that we can help the damage expert to correctly assess the damage.’
‘However, it may be that the damage was caused by third parties’, Thijssen continues. ‘In that case, being the injured party, you can choose your own damage expert. In Germany Nooteboom works together with two experts in this field: Berger and Fahrkom. If customers report damage to us we assign one of our permanent damage experts to them. The three of us – the customer, the damage expert and I – inspect the damage and then the independent damage expert and I decide together what the advice is for the insurer. Nooteboom can then, based on this comprehensive advice, quickly start to expertly repair the trailer. The inspection is nearly always done on the spot,’ says Thijssen. ‘However many photographs you see, you will always get a better picture if the damage is right there in front of you. Particularly if you take into account that, as mentioned before, our vehicles have become more complex over the last few years. Not all damage will be visible from the outside: underneath the surface many clever bits and pieces and certain electronics are incorporated. Because of course we, as the manufacturers, know our vehicles best we can accurately determine the size of the damage and how much it will cost to repair it.’
High quality standards
Thijssen points out that this way of working has advantages for all parties concerned. He continues: ‘The damage expert can go to the insurers with a substantiated damage report. We at Nooteboom can get on with the repairs of the damaged vehicle in accordance with our high quality standards. And most important of all: The customer can be on the road again as soon as possible with his perfectly repaired trailer, knowing that the costs will be covered by the insurance. Just to be clear: customers who have suffered damage are of course not obliged to involve us when dealing with the claims. They are free to join forces with an independent damage expert of their choice. But since vehicles like ours are getting more complex all the time it is definitely a good idea to let us, as the manufacturers, have a look and give an opinion. In this way you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises and more down-time than necessary.’
OUR TRAILER WAS QUICKLY AND EXPERTLY REPAIRED
‘One of our Nooteboom trailers had been submerged during a flood and was damaged by the salt water. Soon it became clear to us that it was sensible to involve an expert of Nooteboom to have a look and inspect the vehicle to assess what damage had been done to the vehicle and what sort of problems this could cause in the future. One day later Erik Thijssen was already on site in Hamburg to assess the damage. Ultimately he was able to convince the independent damage expert that it was necessary to carry out certain repairs and that it was best to have these repairs done in the Nooteboom service workshop in Wijchen. All the visible and invisible damages were, professionally, meticulously and quickly, repaired by Nooteboom. We have been using the trailer for a while now and we are extremely satisfied with the result: 100% reliable and no malfunctions at all. We can therefore recommend Nooteboom to everyone. A professional service carrying out repairs of any kind and as little down-time of the trailer as possible: these are very important to us. At Nooteboom they deliver both and more.’
THE EXPERTISE OF NOOTEBOOM HELPS US
‘When dealing with damage claims it is handy that we can rely on the expertise of Nooteboom. As the manufacturer Nooteboom has the all the knowledge needed to assess, together with us, the size of the damage. Furthermore, the Nooteboom engineers can like no others calculate or discuss where the forces have gone and how exactly the damage was caused. Having this information makes your position as claimant much stronger if there are any queries. And the expertise of Nooteboom also helps us to assess correctly what the value of the vehicle was one second before the damage occurred; information that in German law is important to determine the amount of compensation.’