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Fuel for Thought

The Gold Standard

By Greg Huggins
Posted Sep 14th 2017 9:46AM

Running a small business has many challenges. Owning and operating a small trucking trucking business presents it’s own set of unique challenges. While many owner operators either start out or become mechanically inclined and are able to perform necessary maintenance on their equipment, there is always the need for a good, trustworthy mechanic, or technician as they are referred to these days. I still prefer the term mechanic rather than technician. It is necessary for a mechanic to understand the intricate electronic systems on today’s trucks, but there are still plenty of mechanical issues which can need attention that a computer scan cannot diagnose.

A great truck mechanic is worth their weight in gold. That doesn’t mean they charge an arm and a leg for their work, that means they are knowledgeable, efficient, trustworthy and are genuinely concerned about your equipment, while charging a fair price.

Years ago I had a great mechanic to turn to when needed. He was running a small (one man) truck repair shop and he knew trucks inside and out. For years he performed all the work on my trucks that I was not able to do myself. Finding a great mechanic is not always easy, luckily I knew him before he opened his own shop and knew the caliber of work he had done in the past.

Often on the road drivers will have to do minor repairs, replace a bulb or a screw, maybe fix a wire, or even use a couple of zip ties to make a temporary repair. Many times over the years when I would take my truck in for some sort of service, he would perform the work and inform me of when the truck would be “roadworthy” again. It was not uncommon to pick up my truck and get a full explanation of the work he did, why he did it and how he did it as well as something unexpected. Even if I had just brought the truck in for a PM service, he would look over the entire truck to see if there was anything that needed to brought to my attention, often he would even point out a “road repair” that he found and point out that he “properly” repaired it, usually at no extra cost or just cost of parts. I will say it again, finding a great mechanic that cares about his work and your truck is worth their weight in gold. Sadly he is no longer a mechanic and I have had to find other shops to perform work on my truck.

If you are looking for a great shop to use for your truck repair needs, check out some of the smaller shops, the dealer shops are not the only options. Ask other owner operators for references, most drivers who have a great mechanic will proudly recommend them. Higher dealer shop rates and fees along with impersonal service should be enough to help you consider using the small truck shops who are just like you, owner operators.


See you down the road,


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