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Know Your Limitations

People who are technically gifted amaze me. I have trouble changing a light bulb, so I guess I'm easily impressed. Most owner/operators, at least to some degree, maintain their own vehicles. In today'...




People who are technically gifted amaze me. I have trouble changing a light bulb, so I guess I’m easily impressed. Most owner/operators, at least to some degree, maintain their own vehicles. In today’s business conditions it just makes sense. Maintenance and repairs add up over the course of the year so why pay someone else to do the work you can do yourself?

Around the Wilkins household, I tend to bank my jobs. I do admit, my ‘job jar’ has been known to occasionally overflow.

The way I see it, why do something now that you can put off until later? It’s been my motto for years. At my first house I had ‘Handyman Sam’ as a neighbour. He’d be happy to lend a helping hand on any project I was forced into. Those days are but a fond memory.

Last weekend was ‘D-Day’ for the job jar. The first on the list was fixing a broken lamp switch. My sister-in-law had told me it was a no-brainer and, as it turned out, she was right. I had the replacement installed in no time. Nothing to it, maybe I was more talented than I thought.

Up next, was the leaky toilet. I had noticed it was running-on months ago but it wasn’t until my wife blasted me for the hefty water bill that I took action. The guy at Home Depot gave me a repair kit and told me if I followed the directions, I’d have no problem.

Two more trips to Home Depot and four-and-a-half hours later, I repeatedly flushed my re-built toilet checking for leaks but found none. I emerged from the bathroom with blood-caked knuckles and a sense of pride. I’m sure it was one of those jobs that should have taken the average Canadian 45 minutes to complete but what the heck, it worked and I had fixed it.

Third on my list was the snow blower. It would only run with the choke fully extended. Thankfully, I noticed a ‘Steve’s Small Engine Repair’ sticker on the owner’s manual from a previous tune-up. Spending the balance of the weekend with pieces of snow blower on my garage floor wasn’t my idea of fun, so I made the phone call. Steve said he’d be by in an hour to take a look at it. Wanting nothing more than to do my part in stimulating the economy, I agreed.

It’s great to save money by doing your own repairs but know your limitations. Don’t take on something unless you are confident you know you can fix it.

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-510-5123.


Truck News

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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