Shops and stealerships

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by starmac, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

    Apr 11, 2019
    Fairbanks Ak
    Do you guys have bad luck with shops, seems like mine is terrible, and I know they are good shops.

    I just had a dealer line my front end and REBUILD my air conditioner. I wanted it fixed, I got it, but didn't think I would need to take out a loan. lol
    Anyway, I picked it up yesterday and looked it over, added some protection to a couple of lines and thought I was good to go. Coming back from Prudhoe today I look down and my volt meter is almost bottomed out, now they had to have it loose to do the new comp, so I think I have likely lost the belts. No huge deal, I have belts, even a new alt complete with a new pulley, so I won't have to fight it on the road.
    It is probably 20 miles down the road to a pullout on top of finger that is steep enough I will be able to roll start with dead batteries and I make it.
    There is a company truck parked in it, but I had to cut him off to position myself to start off, told him on the radio, what I was doing, so as not to get him peod. Turns out he was a friend and came to see if we needed anything, which we did. lol

    My belts were still there and good, my alt was fine, but the bolt was gone from the adjuster rod, I didn't have a bolt that size, but and 200 miles from anywhere to get one, but Joe came up with one that would work.
    I generally do all my own work, but age, health and the fact I do not have a pump for ac work anymore caused me to go the shop route.
    I have owned this truck since 05 and this is the very first time it has been in a shop.
    A few years ago, I was working in Nv, and an oo friend in Idaho had his truck go down and needed to borrow one of mine for a month. I called my wife in NM and told her to take it over to the shop (very reputable) and have them run an overhead, change a wheel seal on the steer axle that I had noticed when I parked it, and do a full service, then bring it to me.
    When she gets there I smell the wheel seal, and sure enough it is leaking. I look at the bill and they changed the good one on the other side, how can you service anything and not notice this wheel seal has grease running out of it?
    A month or so later I had a drive seal go out on one truck, we could not shut it down so run it a few days till he could get off early, I had made arrangements with a local shop to change it and the brake shoes, and I would pick it up that night when I got off.
    I get there and he tells me that I had lucked out and the shoes were dry, NO WAY, the thing had run several days puking oil, I look and sure enough he had changed the wrong one.
    I had brakes put on a trailer once, that was even worse,
    Every time I have used an outside shop which this covers most of it, this is the kind of luck I have had, is this normal?
    FlaSwampRat and Rideandrepair Thank this.
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  3. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    I hear you ! Ive had similar issues, forcing Me to do more and more of my own work, over the years. Everyone makes mistakes, but every time I pay for a repair, I usually regret it, even after doing all I can to avoid a problem, and the examples I hear from others are outrageous. It’s worse than ever. No ones ever held responsible either, it seems.
    FlaSwampRat and mitrucker Thank this.
  4. stayinback

    stayinback Road Train Member

    Jan 24, 2014
    I do all my own work also- The Last Stride wasI had a shop in Tennessee do a steer seal- Easy 2 hour job-Which includes Cleaning the Drum-Cam and backing plate- 5 hours later and $400 im done- Hit the Road- Frickin thing started leaking in 2 days- Never again Is anyone touching my truck

    Get that? $400 dollars for a frickin seal AND they cant even install it right. This was 6 years ago- I used to do all minor stuff my whole career- Now I Do everything- People just don't care if its not theirs.

    So I invested In Tools and Space- Best 4-5 Grand Ive spent in a while. Only work I dont do is Major Engine Timing-Cam Work and overhauls- But I can do an overhead pretty accurately
  5. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

    Apr 11, 2019
    Fairbanks Ak
    I have always done my own work, unless something popped up while on the road, I didn't have the tools or equipment needed, but age and health is changing that, I can't do it anymore.
    I do have a hand that I can supervise, that has been a lifesaver in a way, he wants to learn and is doing pretty well. I for see having to farm more out though, and am not liking the prospect.
    I am not going to be too hard on this shop, but will mention it. I told them to work on it when ever in between or what ever as I was down and didn't need it back right away. I know how easy it is to miss tightening a bolt or something, when you have other things going on, but it could have been a bad deal, gone through the radiator or something.
    FlaSwampRat and Rideandrepair Thank this.
  6. Pedigreed Bulldog

    Pedigreed Bulldog Road Train Member

    May 7, 2011
    They were doctors in a previous life, run out of that profession for operating on the wrong body parts...
    FlaSwampRat and Rideandrepair Thank this.
  7. MartinFromBC

    MartinFromBC Road Train Member

    Oct 19, 2018
    Have you ever tried to find a little shop in a small town to do your work?
    They generally have to do great work because in a small town everything is word of mouth, and a bad rep spreads like wildfire.
    just_sayin, FlaSwampRat and stayinback Thank this.
  8. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

    Apr 11, 2019
    Fairbanks Ak
    I have, when I ran several trucks, only because I was on the road myself and was not there when a driver came in and needed something, but even then I or my drivers did 99% of the work.
    I have never for my own, and have a shop and more tools and equipment than 99% of shops, so always did my own, but life is changing, and that is changing.
    I am lucky in a way and have a son in law here, that is a first class in anybodys book mechanic, that will do any major engine work for me, anything else too, but he stays pretty hooked up at his job, so it has to be planned out.
    FlaSwampRat and MartinFromBC Thank this.
  9. m16ty

    m16ty Road Train Member

    Jan 22, 2016
    I try to do most of the work myself also. I'm not immune from screwing it up also, but if I do there is nobody to blame but myself, and I'm not paying somebody to screw it up.

    Used to be a day and time that you could trust your mechanic. Those mechanics are hard to find these days, and the ones that are left stay so busy it's hard to get them to work for you.
  10. roadtech

    roadtech Medium Load Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    You’ll find that most good shops that aren’t crooks are always booked out . Many shops can’t find real mechanics and let back yard mechanics fumble through your repair while charging you for a real diesel mechanic. I had a shop do a wheel seal on a trailer a couple of years ago and it caught on fire the next day on the ny thruway. The shop came out and fixed it no charge . I had a “mechanic” at the TA in Binghamton years ago change a front hub oil cap and snap two bolts which is common , instead of getting the snapped bolts out using an ez out he just drilled out the bolts and stuck two bolts in there with silicone. this was in the middle of the night and I didn’t notice until about a half hour down the road. I called the manager and he ended up paying for a new front hub. I won’t use any TA anymore on the road. They take anybody off the street and give
    Them a little training and set the loose on commission . So now you have a green unqualified guy rushing through your job to get to his next job. Anybody there that’s any good usually leaves for greener pastures.
  11. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    I was thinking that T/A was bad but it isn't always the case.

    I had a truck at a shop in Texas for some stupid electrical repair, the shop came recommended by a couple other owners so I thought "it has to get fixed so why not".

    The mechanic called my manager, went through the error codes and gave an estimate, something that would not take long to fix, they could squeeze it in that night. The repairs were done, the parts "replaced" and the truck was back in the hands of the driver. The driver looked at the work they did, collected the old parts (as I require them to do) and didn't see the problems that later came up.

    So the truck back on the road, it was running well until it hit Wyoming a couple weeks later ... it just crapped out in the middle of no where, the driver had to use his sat phone to call in. My manager had it towed to make the delivery up past near Riverton - $2500 and then towed to the nearest dealer ... $6500. I could not repower the load, no one was close enough so I ok'd paying the driver his share and took the loss. When the truck was finally looked at, the dealer called my manager then the manger called me.

    These guys in Texas hacked the wiring harness up, they made splices for some reason in both the injector harness and in the ECM harness, they took the harness apart, cut it then just twisted the wires together, taping them up. No one could say why it was done there, the mechanic no longer worked there, he went to open his own shop. So I had to pay for the replacement of three harnesses and two injectors (not related problem) and it took a week of downtime to get it done because the dealer was soooooo busy.
    FlaSwampRat and MartinFromBC Thank this.
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