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. RustyBolt

    RustyBolt Road Train Member

    Feb 21, 2015
    Bement, IL
    Besides, you're gonna need some deductions come time to pay the man.
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  3. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    You can hit a happy medium, too. Shop rates are high so anything you can do yourself keeps your money in your pocket. Light, brakes, oil changes, driveline work, and greasing are all things you can do yourself.
    You'll find your own comfort level and as you go along the work you do yourself will take less time and effort.
    Half a day's work on a weekend can save you enough bucks to take Mom and the kids out for the evening.
  4. Tug Toy

    Tug Toy Road Train Member

    Jul 4, 2015
    Corn field
    I try and do all my own repairs. I have a 18 year old truck and a 12 year old trailer so there is plenty. If you have a truck newer than about 2013 your going to most likely send it to the shop for most things?

    If you think your going to work on your truck n trailer in the street out in front of your house forget it.

    We got a fully equipped heated shop we can fit the truck and trailer into. If I got something more than a light or a flat tire I usually just take he whole week off to repair it? Closest shop is an hour each way. If we got to leave it here then it’s 2 people for 4 hours minimum to take it in. There shop rate is up to $140 hr. We can get parts delivered to us next day for no additional cost.

    I took 9 full weeks at home last year plus probably 12 weeks of only 4 days work so I could fix a little something on a Monday or Friday. After the par came in.

    Part of the reason I am an OO is so I can work on my truck. I enjoy it.
  5. bzinger

    bzinger Road Train Member

    Dec 10, 2014
    omaha , ne
    I'll also qualify my last statement with I'm 55 with worn out knees and shoulders so crawling around under a truck just doesn't appeal much anymore ...I will if I have to tho .
  6. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    I'm not that young but my body aches and has for 20 plus years, I pay to have others do things because of this but I justify it by saying my time is worth more than a $100 per hour, I can make more money to pay for things but I can't make more time and my time doing things I want to so is more important than wrenching on one of the trucks.
  7. tommymonza

    tommymonza Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    S.W. Florida
    There is not That much to fix on these trucks if you you have the major drive train in like new shape to begin.

    Ie. motor-tranny-rears

    Just don’t fix it when it’s broke.

    Do preemptive preventative .

    Spend the money and do it right the first time and always buy the best quality parts you can buy.

    Stay off the Hook.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
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  8. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    It's a sliding scale. If the rates are sky high, run like your tail is on fire, and pay the man. Rates down? Lessen the pain by doing some of your own repair. I used to have a great mechanic literally walking distance from my farm. Reasonable rates, would work evenings and weekends to keep me rolling. He moved, and several other guys have closed up shop, and today my best shop is the dealer .... yeah, we're doing more ourselves.

    As far as doing a diesel mechanic class? That seems way more investment in education than you'll get out of it being a single truck O/O. If you goal is to build a multiple truck carrier with it's own shop and you LIKE wrenching, I could see it giving a decent return on that investment.
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  9. Snakeschasingcars

    Snakeschasingcars Heavy Load Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    If your broken down. You will have all the time in the world to work on it.
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  10. Derailed

    Derailed Road Train Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Small to medium sized stuff I do myself but I am a local guy. Best thing I find is to try to do things all at once on your schedule to minimize downtime out on the road. Example. When 1 brake can goes the others probably aren't far behind so bang them all out at once. Same with stuff like broken wires, I like to replace large sections at once. Doesn't always work out that way but helps.
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  11. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    What ever keeps down time to a minimum. Warranty stuff, the dealer has it, except small items I'll do to save the down time.
    I have a heated shop, last weekend I had to do a leaking brake pot. Month before a heater core.
    This weekend will be the Webasto engine heater, has sprung an internal coolant leak.
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