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Hardy
11-11-2019, 05:25 PM
I'm searching for a replacement shear screw for a TruTrak servo. I bought a Vizion 385 second hand and the "basic" (roll) servo has a broken shear screw.

With the changeover to BK I'm not getting anywhere with tech support. Phone call (Absolutely, someone will contact you soon), emails unanswered (two over the last fortnight), the BK Facebook insists TT will contact me (they don't).

Does anyone know the specs on the screw or an alternative? It's a safety of flight item so I'd really like to get the official TT one but I'm pulling my hair out!

The Model is DSB-B.

https://photos.smugmug.com/VAF/i-VftvtpW/0/553d0206/L/Adjustments-L.jpg (https://hardybm.smugmug.com/VAF/i-VftvtpW/A)

BillL
11-11-2019, 07:02 PM
I'm searching for a replacement shear screw for a TruTrak servo. I bought a Vizion 385 second hand and the "basic" (roll) servo has a broken shear screw.

With the changeover to BK I'm not getting anywhere with tech support. Phone call (Absolutely, someone will contact you soon), emails unanswered (two over the last fortnight), the BK Facebook insists TT will contact me (they don't).

Does anyone know the specs on the screw or an alternative? It's a safety of flight item so I'd really like to get the official TT one but I'm pulling my hair out!

The Model is DSB-B.

I failed one as my servo froze up. In looking at it, it is brass, threaded with a reduced diameter under the head. You can take a good look at your failed one. The key, it seems, is to ensure the screw head is very snug in the arm eliminating any dead zone. That means precision. I was about to machine one for mine, but the servo had more serious issues and the shear screw was not any part of the problem. TT with Andrew Barker's support generously replaced the servo with a new one.

EDIT: It should be known, that TT will do an overhaul of the older units and replace/upgrade all pieces with new ones. I forget the price, but it is about 1/4 of a new one. It takes about a week after getting the unit. This is a really good option for a unit of unknown history/condition.

Hardy
11-11-2019, 07:58 PM
Thank you very much for your reply Bill. I will continue to investigate. And find an aircraft engineer with a lathe.

I hope TruTrak/BK can resume normal activities soon.

philb
11-11-2019, 10:11 PM
Unfortunately found the same thing with TT.

If I ever got to talk to a tech, I might get somewhere, but every time I called, nobody was available, but they would ?get right back when they were free?. 17 calls over 3 weeks until I finally got to talk to an available tech. Inexcusable. And this was in the months before the transition. It?s this kind of service that will drive one to jump ship at the next viable competitor...

Mods can delete this for vendor bashing - I think we get spoiled with our more responsive vendors that when we get fair to middlin? service it deserves notice.

Phil B
RV 10
Bountiful, UT

Walt
11-12-2019, 06:26 AM
I think I may have a couple at the shop, send me an email and I'll check.

Hardy
11-12-2019, 03:07 PM
Good news.

I changed tack and called sales instead of service. Immediately connected to a helpful person who said she'd post three out to me straight away.


Life lesson here I guess. Always approach organizations via their sales channel, not their support channel.

BillL
11-12-2019, 03:40 PM
Good news.

I changed tack and called sales instead of service. Immediately connected to a helpful person who said she'd post three out to me straight away.


Life lesson here I guess. Always approach organizations via their sales channel, not their support channel.

Good to hear you have success. I guess they want to get fresh money rather than work for free!! Good tip . . .

Hardy
11-12-2019, 04:13 PM
Good to hear you have success. I guess they want to get fresh money rather than work for free!! Good tip . . .

Only charging for postage so that's good!

TruTrakAndrew
11-12-2019, 05:04 PM
I?m sorry guys...too much travel going on for me right now.

I apologize that things aren?t super smooth right now. The transition is actually getting pretty close to being done. There will be several repair partners that will be able to help get things done to help you all with support. The TruTrak folks are now mostly at BK and are trying to do multiple jobs at once.

Please email me at andrew(dot)barker(at)honeywell(dot)com.

I will put you in touch with a dealer in Australia that stocks some parts.

bobnoffs
11-12-2019, 05:23 PM
you are right andrew. 17 unreturned calls over 3 weeks isn't super smooth.

TruTrakAndrew
11-12-2019, 08:18 PM
You are right. That?s not acceptable.

Please give the BendixKing people a chance to get up to speed. I know that?s not an excuse for poor service, but know that many people are working hard to learn how to help support the existing TruTrak customer base.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you need anything.

Hardy
11-12-2019, 08:28 PM
Thanks Andrew. It was the perfect storm moment and sadly there doesn't seem to have been much ability to provide support during the changeover. I'm glad sales could help me in the end.

I'm looking forward to a long happy TruTrak/BK user experience

Plummit
11-13-2019, 02:00 AM
You are right. That?s not acceptable.

Please give the BendixKing people a chance to get up to speed. I know that?s not an excuse for poor service, but know that many people are working hard to learn how to help support the existing TruTrak customer base.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you need anything.

Well Andrew, I did reach out to you and got no where. BK had a booth at the Spruce customer appreciation day in Corona in Sept, and I left a message with the rep for you to contact me. I sent you a note that I would be willing to meet with you when you came out to Spruce the following week. Nothing, nada. Tru trak service is a myth, vapor-ware.

-Marc

TruTrakAndrew
11-13-2019, 03:24 AM
Marc,

Not sure why I don?t have an email from you. I guess all I can say is that I dropped the ball.

I know you all count on me for service and support and while traditionally I have been able to do that...right now I am not always able to provide the level I should. While it hasn?t been great for the last few months. I do feel that in general I have personally given pretty good support over the last 20 years. I hope that you can understand where we are in this moment and know that I look forward to 20 more years of working with you all!

Again, my apologies for not personally handling more of these issues.

Canadian_JOY
11-13-2019, 07:42 AM
Marc,

Not sure why I don?t have an email from you. I guess all I can say is that I dropped the ball.

I know you all count on me for service and support and while traditionally I have been able to do that...right now I am not always able to provide the level I should. While it hasn?t been great for the last few months. I do feel that in general I have personally given pretty good support over the last 20 years. I hope that you can understand where we are in this moment and know that I look forward to 20 more years of working with you all!

Again, my apologies for not personally handling more of these issues.

Andrew - this isn't a pile-on, just a comment from a guy who made his living in avionics customer service for a lot of years.

You knew from comments here and elsewhere that being absorbed by BK was seen by your customers as the kiss of death. Many of us told you so in terms that left no room for misinterpretation.

Failure to ensure the transition included a plan to ensure the phones were always answered and that a capable support engineer was always available is exactly the kind of business model that we dedicated customers feared would result from BK's involvement. If for no other reason than because many of us have experienced that lack of support as being the norm for BK.

Nobody should expect Andrew Barker to be the one man band who does everything. But we are well within our rights as customers to expect that Andrew Barker knows the level of customer support that has been the hallmark of TruTrak, that his customers have come to know and expect. In fact it is also not unrealistic for us to expect that Andrew Barker knows it's this terrific support that has kept his customers loyal when they could have moved over to Brand G or others. We are just as well within our rights to have expected that part of the negotiations in the BK deal would have been to ensure that level of service was baked into the contract to ensure customers don't give up on the brand.

The comments in the thread above clearly indicate the loyal customer base you have worked so hard to build is losing faith. This is a critical juncture. Customers are ready not to walk but to RUN away from TruTrak. You can't afford any slips in customer communications.

It's time to go back to BK and insist on a person dedicated to answering the phone and emails during this transition period. Even if it means slowing down the rate at which BK staff get trained.

Being swallowed up by BK is widely perceived as the last nail in the coffin for any avionics manufacturer. And for good reason. BK's reputation is about as bad as it gets in the GA world. I actively recommend people to avoid having anything to do with BK and have done so for a couple of decades. TruTrak came into the deal with a great track record of excellent products, and a wonderful reputation for customer service. Heck, that's why I kept the TruTrak autopilot that came with my instrument panel and paid you to upgrade it to a Vizion 385 rather than turfing it. My decision was based solely on reputation. I'm far from unique in this regard.

You can't risk pi$$ing off this customer base. The comments in this thread indicate that's what's happening. The downhill slide has started. You have to stop that slide immediately before it becomes a mudslide with a very messy finish at the bottom of the hill.

TruTrakAndrew
11-13-2019, 08:46 AM
What you say is true.

Does it matter that I spent months working a transition plan and my wife and I both work 80 plus hour weeks to make sure that every-single-thing is handled? Does it matter that BK has put double the manpower into sales, support, and service that I had at TT? No, because some customers will slip through the cracks and that will always bother me. Unfortunately there have been some personnel issues that makes this even more difficult.

This is not an indication of the service to be expected from BK, quite the opposite. The BK support staff are working VERY hard to ensure that every customer is take care of. There have been some issues, as there always are when there are transitions of this magnitude.

There is dedicated staff that are available to answer support and service calls. I work with a great group of FSEs nearly daily to teach them everything needed to support a TT customer.

The holes we are hitting today are 100% related to getting repair partners up to speed. TT was a one man show. We designed, tested, manufactured, sold, serviced, overhauled 100% of our products. This gave us a huge advantage in the support side of the world. But now we are working very hard to bring the repair partners along so that the TT service and support can be even better. Mid Continent was the first to go through the training and will begin servicing units before the end of the month. Separating all of these functions is a monumental undertaking and for sure, we are making some mistakes along the way.

What I can assure you of, is that I remain very dedicated to supporting the existing and future customers.

One last thing...I try to get out to the forums regularly, but I forget to check in. If I?m not seeing a thread on here where someone needs support, there are great folks out there like Card Machine Works and Open Flight Solutions that give me a shout and let me know to come check in. Please get to know these wonderful people and consider giving them your business. I have been so blessed to make so many friends in this business. It?s wonderful to have friends that look after you. People like Scott, Tanya, and Steve are top notch and I want to thank them for helping me out!

Plummit
11-13-2019, 08:56 AM
Marc,

Not sure why I don?t have an email from you. I guess all I can say is that I dropped the ball.
Again, my apologies for not personally handling more of these issues.

You know it's funny, but I couldn't find an email address for you so I used the email function of VAF. Care to share the best way to get service on my Sorcerer? I don't mind jumping through the hoops as long as I get somewhere.
Since Lucas left, I have been unable to get anywhere.

And for the record, I figure my AP is out of warranty unless the last update that
TT did was supposed to give me the features that I'm having trouble with.

To the OP, sorry for the thread drift.

-Marc

TruTrakAndrew
11-13-2019, 11:24 AM
Shoot me an email:
Andrew(dot)Barker(@)honeywell(dot)com

Canadian_JOY
11-14-2019, 10:32 AM
Thank you again, Andrew, for your well-considered reply. Few here would doubt that you are working your buns off to make this transition happen. Many here, myself included, appreciate that work and wish for only the very best outcome.

If you can spare a moment, would you kindly share the specifics around the planned support model for those of us with "Experimental" autopilots purchased from TruTrak, prior to the BK acquisition?

I'll use my Vizion 385 as an example. Mine is a very early version, so early that its faceplate still reads "Digitflight II" rather than "Vizion". I'm located in Ottawa, Canada.

What is the process for me to obtain repairs on this device?
What is the process for me to obtain technical support on this device?

I brief "how to" explanation would really help the confidence of your existing customers and help promote brand loyalty.

Thanks!

TruTrakAndrew
11-15-2019, 01:06 PM
Thank you again, Andrew, for your well-considered reply. Few here would doubt that you are working your buns off to make this transition happen. Many here, myself included, appreciate that work and wish for only the very best outcome.

If you can spare a moment, would you kindly share the specifics around the planned support model for those of us with "Experimental" autopilots purchased from TruTrak, prior to the BK acquisition?

I'll use my Vizion 385 as an example. Mine is a very early version, so early that its faceplate still reads "Digitflight II" rather than "Vizion". I'm located in Ottawa, Canada.

What is the process for me to obtain repairs on this device?
What is the process for me to obtain technical support on this device?

I brief "how to" explanation would really help the confidence of your existing customers and help promote brand loyalty.

Thanks!

All of the existing customer base will get product support through BendixKing and support / repairs / upgrades through the dealer network and repair partners. Mid Continent is the first company that will be up and running for repairs / overhauls (there are others that have been to training and are coming up to speed as well)

Support can surely come from BendixKing. The TruTrak staff that provided support are now part of the BK team. I am also helping the BK support team as needed. Contact support @ 505-9 zero 3-6148 OR techsupport(@)BendixKing.com

For the time being I would say Mid Continent is best for repairs. They are also able to provide support. 316-6 three 0-0101 OR trutraksupport(@)mcico.com

There will be some other avenues coming soon that will be great for upgrades and things of that nature...but I am still trying to get all of those deals worked out.

Thank you for your kind words and your willingness to stick with us and work through the tough times of transition.

mdaniell
11-15-2019, 03:18 PM
I too have a Sorcerer which chose this time to "loose the plot". I've spent the past few weeks jumping through hoops TT>BK>TT>BK>TT>MidCoast. No response from MidCoast yet. The Sorcerer's a great autopilot. Those I've spoken to have been courteous and empathetic. Spent the time improving my hand flying skills.

TruTrakAndrew
11-15-2019, 06:05 PM
Shoot me an email with your issues and I will see what I can do. Sorcerers are a little more of an issue than some of the other products, due to some obsolescence issues. Give me a shout and I?ll walk through some trouble shooting stuff with you. If we can?t work it out via email, I?ll figure out a way to get you take care of.

Thanks!

Canadian_JOY
11-16-2019, 09:13 AM
Thank you for sharing this information, Andrew.

One last question, if I may... In speaking with several avionics shop owners it has become painfully clear that BK is going through a major overhaul of their dealer network, and is essentially driving many of their long-standing dealers to give up the BK dealership.

This information is also confirmed on several other aviation discussion forums where dealers indicate BK sets sales thresholds at impossibly-high levels, thus dealers can't meet minimum sales requirements (especially given the paucity of viable BK products and their "come from behind" market position after having abandoned their loyal customer base many years ago).

Your note makes mention of getting support through the BK dealer network. What's the plan to expand rather than contract that network?

Will amateur-built aircraft owners be able to buy direct rather than through a BK dealer?

Will amateur-built aircraft owners be able to obtain service directly from BK R&O centers rather than having to go through a local dealer? The steadfast insistence by BK that builders go through a dealer effectively made BK's KSN770 GPS navigator a stillborn product in the experimental market. I've spoken to BK reps at length about this disincentive at Oshkosh - I'm wondering if anything I said actually sunk in?

As you can tell, I'm far less than luke-warm about BK, having formerly been a BK dealer and service centre. I'm really, really hoping there's a change for the better coming our way, otherwise BK will continue to be shunned by the market. Unfortunately that now means TruTrak products could likewise be shunned - that would be a tragedy.

TruTrakAndrew
11-18-2019, 01:51 PM
Thank you for sharing this information, Andrew.

One last question, if I may... In speaking with several avionics shop owners it has become painfully clear that BK is going through a major overhaul of their dealer network, and is essentially driving many of their long-standing dealers to give up the BK dealership.

This information is also confirmed on several other aviation discussion forums where dealers indicate BK sets sales thresholds at impossibly-high levels, thus dealers can't meet minimum sales requirements (especially given the paucity of viable BK products and their "come from behind" market position after having abandoned their loyal customer base many years ago).

Your note makes mention of getting support through the BK dealer network. What's the plan to expand rather than contract that network?

Will amateur-built aircraft owners be able to buy direct rather than through a BK dealer?

Will amateur-built aircraft owners be able to obtain service directly from BK R&O centers rather than having to go through a local dealer? The steadfast insistence by BK that builders go through a dealer effectively made BK's KSN770 GPS navigator a stillborn product in the experimental market. I've spoken to BK reps at length about this disincentive at Oshkosh - I'm wondering if anything I said actually sunk in?

As you can tell, I'm far less than luke-warm about BK, having formerly been a BK dealer and service centre. I'm really, really hoping there's a change for the better coming our way, otherwise BK will continue to be shunned by the market. Unfortunately that now means TruTrak products could likewise be shunned - that would be a tragedy.

Yes, there are LOTS of changes going on with the BK network. I am personally very involved in a lot of these changes (beginning a couple of months ago, of course). There were some missteps in the past, but we are working really hard to correct those.

The purchasing requirements have been adjusted to reflect the products and prices available today. As an example, all of the TT dealers that came over were grandfathered in for the remainder of the year and if they happen to be both TT and BK dealers (many were) their sales numbers for the entire year were combined. The BK network was made much larger when all of the TT dealers were added into the fold, and we are looking forward to getting all of the new dealers up to speed on the new product offerings.

I am not claiming that we have corrected all of the errors made, but we are working hard to do so. There are new sales bulletins coming soon regarding over the counter sales, as well as we are working to ensure that all experimental folks have affordable access to TT / BK products. Yes, we are working to transition the direct sales model that TT had as well. Yes, experimental folks can go directly to the R&O network...in fact that transition has already begun.

There are a lot of great people working on our team that are VERY interested in helping to grow BK and offer our customers / future customers great products at great value. This includes service and support after the sale.

I am very confident in our direction and the changes we are trying to implement that will help customers and dealers have confidence in us going forward. I will personally be fighting for that every day. It is why I am here.

Thanks for your great questions!