If you are an owner operator then the economy has hit you harder than company drivers. In times of ever rising fuel prices and driving rates that go down by the day, it’s important to save some cash anyway you can. There are some really simple tractor trailer repairs and maintenance that you can do yourself and effectively cut your costs.
1. Changing Oil
Changing oil is about the easiest maintenance that you can do yourself and it can save you a bunch of money in the long haul. This will add more years to the life of your engine and will save you the money it cost to have a professional do it. This procedure is actually easier than changing car oil and the used oil (when saved) can be sold making you a few bucks.
2. Changing Tail Lights
Keeping a flat head screw driver and an extra tail light in your cab will save you money in multiple ways. This is a very simple job to do as you just pop one out, plug the new one in and place it back into the slot. This will save you from having to call a roadside service, being shut down by DOT and a ticket all at the same time.
3. Installing a CB Radio
Installing a CB is easy now with quick connectors, so why pay someone fifty bucks to install your new one? Simply put don’t, you can do this in less than thirty minutes and the only reason why you would ever have to hire a professional is to run new line.
4. Replacing a headlight
This is just as simple as replacing a tail light and in some case even easier. Keep a few in your cab or tool box and this will save you the hassle of spending both the time and money to get someone else to fix it.
5. Fixing a fuse
Blown fuses are a major cause for break downs and tickets. Always keep a box of each type of fuse that your truck takes in your cab or tool box. Don’t just carry one kind, if you think one fuse is blown then go ahead and replace them all. It will only cost a few dollars and will save you a lot more.
These are really simple repairs that any owner operator can do. They don’t just save you from break down time but they also save you from paying for expensive and often unnecessary road calls. A set of fuses for your truck will cost about 20 bucks and a road call to replace the same fuse will cost about 20 bucks an hour minimum. Stay safe and remember these tips, because they will save you.
Mark is a contributing writer for TruckertoTrucker.com, a site dedicated to all aspects of the trucking industry from the love of the road, to the practical aspects of trucking like maintenance, sales, repair.