TORONTO, Ont. – “There’s no such thing as a truck that doesn’t need repair work,” says Ray Haight, CEO of ATBS Canada in Part 8 of Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator: Maintaining Your Truck.
In the video, sponsored by Michelin, Haight outlines ways owner/operators can take the sting out of repair costs, by employing proper preventive maintenance strategies coupled with a maintenance escrow account that can be used to fund major repairs.
“Just as the sun is going to come up tomorrow, a truck is going to cost money,” Haight says. “A maintenance escrow account is not something that should be avoided. Every owner/operator should have one. Put it in a high-interest account and get money back on it.”
When repairs are necessary, Haight said O/Os should check with their carrier to determine if there are savings available by using their shop.
“Carriers’ door rates are typically up to 40% cheaper than a commercial shop,” he advises. But before committing to the carrier’s shop, he suggests checking with O/Os to find out how they’re treated there.
“You don’t want to get into a situation where they’re looking after company equipment first and you get bumped because a company truck came in,” he points out.
Tracking maintenance and repair costs is also crucial, Haight points out.
“It’s critically important from a tax perspective, because you want to use all those receipts and time spent to reduce your taxable income at the end of the year,” he says. “It’s also important to compare those numbers back to the industry norm for your truck.”
Haight says information is available that will let you benchmark your own repair and maintenance costs and compare them to industry averages for that particular truck and model year.
Haight also provides some tips on maintaining tires.
“Running a tractor-trailer at the right tire pressure typically helps you maximize your mpg, but it’s also going to lengthen the life-cycle of those tires,” he says. “Rub your hands around the tires, see if they’re cupping. See if there’s anything you want to get on right away before it costs you a $400 tire.”
You can watch Part 8 of Becoming a Successful Owner/Operator by clicking here. You can view the previous seven parts in the Videos section of Trucknews.com.
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