Does an OTR Owner/Operator really have time to work on their own truck

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by esj7319, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. esj7319

    esj7319 Bobtail Member

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    So here's my question...as an OTR Owner/Operator, do you really have time to do repairs on your truck? I'm a retired Veteran using the rest of my GI Bill to get my CDL. Then I plan on working as a company driver for a few years to get the experience I need to become an Owner/Operator. I will have enough time left to also go to diesel mechanic school, but I'm wondering if this will truly benefit me in the long run?? Will I even have time to do repairs if I'm out on the road all the time. Any and all clarity is appreciated!
     
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  3. chimbotano

    chimbotano Medium Load Member

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    lots of factors can go in. I had 3 trucks , 10 yers old average, and drivers . Work Monday -Friday . But , as a owner I had to spend my weekends fixing things , it was all the time . So, I had to put in a scale my way of doing business or my family.
    I sold my trucks, I bought a fairly new truck and a new reefer . I drive otr enough to support my family and I try to prevent break downs . Since 2015 the only thing I did in my truck is change the shocks. I paid some else to do my regular maintenance. I haven’t had big problems so far .
    If you buy an old truck most likely you will have to stop working to repair. If you buy newer truck , most likely you will not stop working to repair , however you never know . Everything is a risk and as long as you understand that , you will be fine .
     
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  4. mover man

    mover man Road Train Member

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    Some will tell you that you will be busy running to work on truck.
    Others will say they do all the work on thier truck them self.
    My opinion is when the truck need a repairs or maint. The truck will be down and so will you. The truck won't care if you do the work, or a shop does it. So the answer to your question is yes you will have time. But after weeks on the road, when you finally get home. Do you WANT to be working in the truck. Or rather put in shop and spend time with family and friends?
    I do a combo of both.
     
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  5. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    My time is more valuable, so pay someone to do the work.
     
  6. Atlaw4u

    Atlaw4u Heavy Load Member

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    I do a mix. I fix/repair the things I can and use the shop for any major stuff. However, I just run part-time.
     
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  7. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    I did a lot of shop time on sunday morning. We are leaving out to load Baltimore southwest for Hunts Point 2 am arrival and Baltimore will take most of the afternoon so we have about 6 hours shop time availible to us. What's broken. Let's fix it.

    A few hours later nothing is broken, time to go get loaded. Most people go to church, Im under the cab working on a water temp gauge or something light. But something that needs replacing or fixing. No certs anywhere back then. Just a box of tools and new parts to install. easy enough. No computers either in those days, take the-bolts off, bolt new part on tighten down, check function and go.

    Fast forward decades. Broken truck? Turn it into the dealership, go to hotel and take a load off. Dispatch will call the room when it's fixed and ready to be picked up. So it's either movie cable time or sleep time. Or a combination of both.

    Moral of the story as I experienced it.....

    In the beginning there was trucking, you had to understand what you were fixing and so on to do it correctly. It's relatively idiot proof. This was back in the 80's Fast forward into the computer age. You don't need to know nothing other than company name and unit number plus the key for it you are turning in to dealer ship. When they ask what the wrong with truck, you tell them it's broken, please fix.

    They are more than happy to sweat the details and so on with their big computers and people. We drivers don't worry about nothing until it's time to go collect the truck and confirm that yes it's indeed repaired according to the DVIR Paper slip to be signed by mechanic or manager that certifies that the truck is fixed.
     
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  8. bzinger

    bzinger Road Train Member

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    My home shop charges me 72 bucks an hour so other than the real small stuff , and apu oil changes the shop does it all...if the weather is poopy the shop does the above mentioned too .
    Years ago I used to do more of my own work but I didn't have a significant other and a home to maintain ...I also got burned out driving it and fixing it .
     
  9. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    The last time I did anything to a big truck at all with my hands was tearing out both sides of the Mack drive tires and wheels and axles to get at the bad wheel bearings themselves, throw away the old ones (4 in total) pack the new ones in greases red from a small barrel inside the races inner and outer and between the rollers etc then install them. Put the tires, wheels, axles and hubs etc all back on. Took the two of us about 4 hours under the shade tree.

    I was pretty fit, but I saw stars for about a week after maneuvering a complete dual tires, wheels and axle rod physically into the truck's axle then over the brake shoes and so on. That was probably the heaviest single unit by weight I had to work with, other than one particular cast iron stove at the horse farm long ago.
     
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  10. RustyBolt

    RustyBolt Road Train Member

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    Like others here, I do small repairs and an occasional larger job (replaced landing gear). But, in general, I drop it at the shop and head to the house. They have ALL the proper tools and a nice dry and warm shop to work in. I don't.
     
  11. esj7319

    esj7319 Bobtail Member

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    Thanks for all the good and timely advice. I needed to hear the reality from some seasoned Truckers! I appreciate it!!
     
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