Heartland Touts New PDI Initiatives

TravelTiger

Founding Texas-West Chapter Leaders-Retired
Heartland Touts New PDI Initiatives

SEPTEMBER 17, 2019


by: RV PRO Staff
Heartland RV announced plans to introduce new programs and initiatives at its state-of-the-art PDI facility situated on its Elkhart, Ind., campus.

“We’ve taken a very proactive approach to PDI, minimizing the impact on dealers by shipping units that have been thoroughly tested after coming off the production line,” said Ryan Juday, president of Heartland. “We’re running 100 percent of our production line through this facility, which is virtually unprecedented. Our entire team is committed to taking the audit process to the next level.”

Heartland recently implemented several additional processes along with ramping up its seal tech and rain bay efforts. The required system checks include inspections on critical areas for potential failure, including roof inspections, HVAC systems, holding tanks, plumbing and electrical systems.

“Our PDI begins with a seal tech to ensure we do not have leaks and ends with a final clean and inspection to deliver the best possible product to our customers,” said Heartland VP of service and quality Jim Fenner. “The team we have in place in our audit facility has an unequaled drive to catch every concern before it leaves our facility. They are an amazingly talented group that cares about the quality of our products.”

“We run trailers through four independent rain bays to check for leaks throughout the entire interior,” said Juday. “It takes time to cycle trailers through, so the bays are full all day long. It’s one of the most thorough safeguard operations in the industry.”

As an additional precaution, Heartland also performs road tests, “applying a first-hand inspection for durability and function, the goal is to better our production systems while improving products for each consumer,” Juday said.

Heartland has also formed product specialty service teams to “work with our production team to prevent warranty claims,” according to Fenner.

“Each service liaison is tracking overall performance,” he said. “They are running reports based on warranty claims and working with production team to resolve and prevent any return service trips for the consumer. It brings the process full circle by enlisting the entire company to ensure higher quality and overall attention to detail.”


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RickL

Well-known member
It all sounds great on paper, but the proof is as they say, is in the pudding. I would like to check one of the units after they give it the seal of approval. The first place I would check is the belly or behind the drawers. If you were to find the “normal” debris then I would call bull ship on the initiative. Yes, this is out of sight, but it’s the small items in my opinion that matter. Take care of those and the rest will and should fall into place. It’ll be interesting to see and here how this progresses.

I’m hopeful that it all falls into place for Heartland.
 

carl.swoyer

Well-known member
When I was in Elkhart Indiana with my 2012 Landmark Rushmore fifth wheel having warranty work done I spoke with Jim Fenner about doing exactly this.
I also informed him how Lazy Days in Sefner FL was abusive in regards to warranty claims. Costing Heartland thousand just at one location. I'm excited to see this in motion.
The overall customer experience in the purchase of a Heartland product should be amazing.
Can't wait to see and hear about the results.
Jim Fenner is on his way to delivering
"A FLAGSHIP "PRODUCT!!.

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Mark-Roberta 051995

Well-known member
Being in the automotive industry this is a nice first step. When we visited the factory during the Goshen rally we saw the rain bays and they talked about the relationship of auditors and the factory having somewhat real time defect repairs.

I would really like to know what the real cost is for warranty claims. Our camper alone had 2 sets of furniture (sofa / love seat) sent to us for replacement due to items not working on them before the 3rd one arrived correctly. Did they want the other ones back - NOPE. They stated it was to expensive to ship back. Our dealer took 1 of them and we took one and donated it to a couple who was rebuilding a camper.

Keep our fingers crossed for the future of Heartland and this new way of thinking.

Mark
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
The first place I would check is the belly or behind the drawers. If you were to find the “normal” debris then I would call bull ship on the initiative. Yes, this is out of sight, but it’s the small items in my opinion that matter.

We toured the PDI facility in June, and have also discussed with Jim Fenner. And I've read this release and earlier ones.

I don't remember anyone saying that the PDI facility was looking for debris to clean up. Might be nice if they didn't leave debris in the first place, but I don't think that's what the PDI facility is focused on.

- - - Updated - - -

I would really like to know what the real cost is for warranty claims.

A lot of the warranty claims get fulfilled by the appliance or subsystem manufacturer. For example, if your dealer replaces the water pump, the claim goes directly to Shurflo or whoever made the pump. Same for a lot of things in the trailer. If there's a brake or axle problem, Dexter gets the warranty claim. But if there's a loose water fitting causing a water leak, Heartland pays for the warranty claim.

Actual, the only one who really pays for warranty claims is the purchaser of the trailer. Estimated warranty cost is a component of total product cost. That cost is marked up by Heartland to include profit. The result is the wholesale price to the dealer. Then the dealer marks it up again to get to retail price.

You pay.
 

RickL

Well-known member
We toured the PDI facility in June, and have also discussed with Jim Fenner. And I've read this release and earlier ones.

I don't remember anyone saying that the PDI facility was looking for debris to clean up. Might be nice if they didn't leave debris in the first place, but I don't think that's what the PDI facility is focused on.

I think if you were to read my entire piece I was very clear on my reasoning for the debris aspect of what I said. You may not agree with my reasoning, but I stand by my statement.
 

RoadJunkie

Well-known member
I’ll believe it when I see it. 100% compliance, when you factor in discovery repairs, would quickly overwhelm the PDI QC team and probably succumb to production pressure. I can only give them any benefit of doubt and hope they can stick to this program.
 

pegmikef

Well-known member
Actual, the only one who really pays for warranty claims is the purchaser of the trailer. Estimated warranty cost is a component of total product cost. That cost is marked up by Heartland to include profit. The result is the wholesale price to the dealer. Then the dealer marks it up again to get to retail price.

You pay.

Dan Mayer you are absolutely correct. When I was a contractor working on a computer-based training/simulation equipment system, we manufactured most of the simulation components while the computer related components (including the IEEE488 bus cards) were OTS (Off the Shelf). The OTS components were covered by the manufacturer's warranties, while we (my company) warranted the manufactured components. The warranty was negotiated separately from the hardware costs and our standard charge per year of warranty was 10 percent (I think the government got a break if the warrantee period exceeded two years, but don't know for sure).
 

SNOKING

Well-known member
A lot of the warranty claims get fulfilled by the appliance or subsystem manufacturer. For example, if your dealer replaces the water pump, the claim goes directly to Shurflo or whoever made the pump. Same for a lot of things in the trailer. If there's a brake or axle problem, Dexter gets the warranty claim. But if there's a loose water fitting causing a water leak, Heartland pays for the warranty claim.

When our theater seats were replaced in Dec 2016/Jan2017 them came from Lippert, who took the hit when the heat went out in both of them within the first year. They are now in our Arizona room in our Park Model. And the heat within a year went out in the replacements. Go figure! If I wanted heat in them again I would buy replacement pads and install them myself.

Chris
 

Gary521

Well-known member
This all sounds great but if you "build in quality" in the first place you don't have to "inspect in quality".
 

SNOKING

Well-known member
This all sounds great but if you "build in quality" in the first place you don't have to "inspect in quality".

You might what to check with Boeing on that. They use to have a having strong quality control culture, where quality control people could stop a production line. In recent years this has been neutered pretty much and you see the results on the evening news.
 

SNOKING

Well-known member
Exactly! It’s a point most overlook or purposely ignore.

Building quality in the first place requires quality control steps from start to finish. It does not magically occur! Take the debris left everywhere in RV construction. No one is writing off steps before the next one hicks off. I do not think these companies own ONE vacuum cleaner in their factories.
 

BarbandFrank

Well-known member
“Quality” in any business must start at the top of the organization and must be present in every step of the process. It is not an afterthought - or something that you fix after the product is finished.

When we toured the Heartland facility this June as part of the national rally group, we were both disheartened by what we saw and heard. Now we understand why so many things on our rig needed fixing in the two years after our purchase. At the Heartland plant we saw shoddy workmanship, filthy working conditions, and we heard incorrect information from the Heartland staff who were on hand. We were not impressed.

If we had the knowledge back in 2016 that we have today about Heartland, we would probably have purchased a different brand.

With that said though, we love our floor plan and we love the Heartland community.
 

SNOKING

Well-known member
If we had the knowledge back in 2016 that we have today about Heartland, we would probably have purchased a different brand.

With that said though, we love our floor plan and we love the Heartland community.

Unless you move up to something like a New Horizons or Starcraft, I think you will find the same issues and most run of the mill RV's.
 

RickL

Well-known member
Unless you move up to something like a New Horizons or Starcraft, I think you will find the same issues and most run of the mill RV's.

I have to respectfully disagree. My sister and brothers-in-law have purchased 2 5th wheels from Grand Design and after seeing both of them they didn’t have near the issues I had, nor the debris remaining after the build. Not that they are perfect, but they seem to pay a little better attention to detail. Maybe it was pure coincidence but that’s my observation. Unfortunately they don’t offer our floor plan which we absolutely found works well for us.

All that being said, and as I have stated in other posts, now that we have worked past issues our rig seems to as good as you can hope for a home bouncing down the road.
 

SNOKING

Well-known member
I have to respectfully disagree. My sister and brothers-in-law have purchased 2 5th wheels from Grand Design and after seeing both of them they didn’t have near the issues I had, nor the debris remaining after the build. Not that they are perfect, but they seem to pay a little better attention to detail. Maybe it was pure coincidence but that’s my observation. Unfortunately they don’t offer our floor plan which we absolutely found works well for us.

All that being said, and as I have stated in other posts, now that we have worked past issues our rig seems to as good as you can hope for a home bouncing down the road.

So Winnebago purchased Grand Design in 2016/2017. Has quality stayed up? We have friends with a 4 or 5 old old Reflection that has had it's share of issues, along with crummy dealer support.
 

RickL

Well-known member
So Winnebago purchased Grand Design in 2016/2017. Has quality stayed up? We have friends with a 4 or 5 old old Reflection that has had it's share of issues, along with crummy dealer support.

Their Reflection was a 2015 and they bought a new Solitude in April of this year. We were parked next to them from April to the end of June so I have a pretty good idea of their issues. They had only one Grand Design issue and that was a step going up stairs broke. The other two items were vendor issues. A thermostat and Furrion stove.

I will I’ll agree that our Landmark does seem to be more upscale then their solitude in terms of cabinetry.
 

ksucats

Well-known member
My wife and I are currently looking at a new 2020 Cyclone 4007; comparing it to a Grand Design. So far we are not impressed with the quality of construction in the Cyclone - cabinets hung crooked/ don't close because the opposing cabinet door is set too close. MCD shades in the Living Room don't retract - one side is flush with the window dressing, the other is out of it and catches. Pleated shade in the hallway broken (could have been done at the dealer but we were told it arrived that way. On the Grand Design we don't find these type of things albeit I'm sure that there are things there to that we just didn't see on an initial walk through -- and that is what is scary, we found these on an initial walk through, not during any type of PDI.

That said, the Cyclone has the features we are looking for (residential fridge (we don't boon dock that much), roomy bedroom (the slide in a slide makes for a massive Master Bedroom), and seating in the living room.) The anticipation of warranty problems, not to mention the potential quantity of little things that I might be able to handle, is very concerning to me. Thanks for listening / reading this.
 

BLR

Well-known member
My wife and I are currently looking at a new 2020 Cyclone 4007; comparing it to a Grand Design. So far we are not impressed with the quality of construction in the Cyclone - cabinets hung crooked/ don't close because the opposing cabinet door is set too close. MCD shades in the Living Room don't retract - one side is flush with the window dressing, the other is out of it and catches. Pleated shade in the hallway broken (could have been done at the dealer but we were told it arrived that way. On the Grand Design we don't find these type of things albeit I'm sure that there are things there to that we just didn't see on an initial walk through -- and that is what is scary, we found these on an initial walk through, not during any type of PDI.

That said, the Cyclone has the features we are looking for (residential fridge (we don't boon dock that much), roomy bedroom (the slide in a slide makes for a massive Master Bedroom), and seating in the living room.) The anticipation of warranty problems, not to mention the potential quantity of little things that I might be able to handle, is very concerning to me. Thanks for listening / reading this.
FWIW
They are all rolling earthquakes..
We have 17' 4018 that we have had very little issues with and we live in it fulltime moving about every 2 to 3 weeks.

Do yourself a favor, if you do have a problem call Heartland and get the OK for a mobile tech. to fix the problem.quicker and easier.

We have 6 friends that have/had Momentums.
1 traded theirs in on Fusion..issues that even the GD couldn't fix.
1 that had black stuff ozing out of bedroom wall, had to ship it back to GD to have it fixed
The other 4 have had slide issues, level up issues which were all fixed..

So all I'm saying is they all have issues

Pick what works the best for you and learn how to fix stuff yourself.

Barbara

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