Deep Thoughts with Roy Garber: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself – 3 Keys to Effective Maintenance

Deep Thoughts with RoyRepairing things has always been a skill of mine. I’m a certified welder and built houses for 20 years in areas with huge snowfall. In other words, I had to work harder at making them stronger. Fixing things is an unavoidable task–at home and on the job.The same goes maintenance when I’m working on the road.

I frequently check tires, fluids, battery posts and schedule maintenance to keep my pickup and trailers running smoothly.  But not everyone can repair their own equipment, so here’s how I suggest you go about your maintenance:

1. Find someone you trust to do your repairs.

As you travel across state lines countless numbers of times, you meet people. As you meet other truckers over the road, you’ll come into contact with repairmen and shops that you can trust to fix what you need. As you develop relationships in the industry, trustworthy people turn up.

2. Learn how to do it yourself.

There will be times when you are out of familiar territory and you need something fixed. If there isn’t anyone around, you’ll have to fix it yourself. There are millions of Do-It-Yourself websites that will help you learn what you need to fix. If you’ve got spare time between loads or are only hauling day-loads and short distances, take a mechanic class. It’ll save you money in the long run and give you the skills needed to blow by costly repair shops.

3. Be prepared.

If you haul cars, make special preparations to have all the right tie downs in case you’re in the middle of nowhere with a vehicle that needs to be better secured. Depending on your vehicle, you may need heavy straps, chains, or both.  If you ship delicate items or household goods, be prepared to get out a saw and wood so you can create partitions. Since I have welding experience, I also take a medium-sized welding machine with me on the road for when I need to fix something or help someone with something.

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