One of the essential components to achieving success the owner-operator trucking company world is to make certain your semi truck is well-maintained and in good repair at all times. Nothing can set you back more than a breakdown when you're carrying a time-sensitive load.
It isn't necessary to be a mechanic yourself in order to keep your semi functioning well, but knowing the basics of how your truck works will help prevent the expenditure of unnecessary cash in the mechanic shop, and don't forget that practicing preventative maintenance can help keep your truck running smoothly. Following these five strategies will enable you to protect your investment and keep your big rig rolling on the road.
Get a Written Estimate
Even if you feel stretched for time, always get a written estimate before allowing a mechanic to start working on your truck. This will provide you with leverage in case you're presented with a repair bill far beyond what your budget allows. Also, make it clear all work must be authorized by you and any deviation from the anticipated repairs must be brought to your immediate attention.
Also, sticking around the shop while the work is being performed is advised -- you don't have to hang over the mechanic while he does his job, but an alert and aware countenance will show you mean business.
Keep Good Records
Never throw a repair or maintenance record away. You never know when a part will be recalled or when a specific shop will be found guilty of manipulating drivers into paying for repairs and services their rigs didn't need. Keeping good records will also help mechanics take better care of your rig because they'll have something to go on concerning prior repairs and adjustments.
Keep in mind it's likely you'll use the services of a variety of mechanics since your line of work involves significant travel, and having available records
Do Your Homework Concerning Your Routes
Chances are you'll be driving several different routes during any given month, so do a bit of investigative work concerning various available repair shops in the major towns and cities along your routes. Keep the information in a documents file on your laptop so it can be accessed even when an Internet connection isn't available. The last thing you need during an unexpected breakdown is to have to scramble for a mechanic -- and this is exactly the type of situation some unscrupulous mechanic shops are waiting to take advantage of.
Try to Go to National Chains or Truck Dealerships
Not all truck dealerships have repair shops, but the ones that do are likely to be able to fix any problem you have as well as be able to quickly get necessary parts. Small shops, on the other hand, will have to send for parts, and this could eat up valuable time.
National chains are also more likely to be staffed with knowledgeable, experienced mechanics who can deal with a variety of issues. National chains and dealerships are also likely to keep computerized records of your repair and maintenance history they can easily to transfer to their shops in different parts of the country.
Always Pay With a Credit Card
Paying for repair services will provide you with an excellent way to dispute the charges in the event you suspect you have been misled by a shop or otherwise haven't gotten your money's worth. Paying by cash or check is a sure guarantee you won't get your money back.
Besides, if a modern business doesn't take credit cards, that could be an indication of poor management or other interior difficulties -- and you've invested too much in your rig to trust it to a someone who can't run their business properly.Share
12 May 2015
I come from a small town. It's so small that there is no public bus service—you can walk everywhere within city limits. People drove their cars if they wanted to leave town. At home, I rarely saw a taxi, and subways were something I only saw in movies. Moving to New York City was a shock in many ways, but learning how to get around using public transportation was one of the biggest hurdles that I faced. I didn't know how much to tip a taxi driver or how to find my way around on the bus. However, I did eventually learn. I know that there must be many people who are facing the same learning curve that I was facing a few years ago. I started this blog to help other small town natives like me learn how to get around in the big city.