Though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) only requires one formal inspection of a commercial 18-wheeler per year, basic maintenance is recommended every 15,000 miles.
As such, owners and operators of 18-wheelers are no strangers to regular maintenance.
When performing regular maintenance for an 18-wheeler, it is crucial to find a shop you can rely on and trust for your truck maintenance needs. Finding the right shop is no small task either, as there are many factors to consider when choosing which shop to visit.
In this article, we strive to provide you with clear guidelines for picking the right 18-wheeler truck repair shop for your vehicles. From how to research a shop’s reputation to what types of specialized services to look for, this article helps ensure all your bases are covered.
Let’s begin with how to find a reputable shop your can trust.
1. Always Read Reviews & Research Reputation
Before you even think about visiting a truck repair shop with your 18-wheeler, your first crucial step is to research the shop beforehand. During your research, look for key information such as:
- Reviews: Customer reviews are always a jackpot for finding out more about a specific truck repair shop. Most shops these days have Google My Business profiles that include customer reviews that pop up when you search for their business name. While you should look at both positive and negative reviews, try to look especially closely at the reviews within the last 12 months. Bonus points for shops whose owners respond to customer reviews.
- Awards: A great way to know whether a truck repair shop is worth its weight in gold is whether or not the shop has received any awards for its expertise, customer experience, or other important factors. Many local communities host local award ceremonies to recognize local businesses, so checking out your nearest Chamber of Commerce can be a good way to find out what types of awards for repair shops have been given out in your area.
- Transparency: The third major indicator of a truck repair shop’s reputation is how transparent the shop is with its services and pricing. A shop that does not offer clear guidelines for how it prices services and what can you expect as the customer can be hard to trust. Opt instead for a shop that values transparency and is always authentic with customers.
2. Check Out & Compare Pricing
Remember how we said transparency is important when picking a truck repair shop?
Well, here’s one of the biggest reasons why — the ability to compare pricing.
As you work to choose the right truck repair shop for your 18-wheeler, it can be to your tremendous benefit to look at several different shops in your area and compare their pricing. Not only can this help you find the best deal but it can also give you a stronger working knowledge of what an average fair price should look like in your area.
3. Look for Specialized Services
Consider this: would you rather take your 18-wheeler to a general mechanic or to a specialized shop that is certified in working on heavy-duty vehicles?
Naturally, you would pick the specialty shop.
A shop that offers specialized care for 18-wheelers and other heavy-duty trucks will have mechanics and staff members who are trained specifically on how to provide proper maintenance to these types of trucks.
In turn, you can feel more confident in the shop’s ability to properly care for your 18-wheeler.
4. Examine a Shop’s Parts Inventory & Brands
For many heavy-duty truck owners and operators, having access to a particular brand or type of vehicle part is vital. If this is true for you, then you should consider what parts a truck repair shop keeps in its inventory and what brands that shop can order from.
Choosing a repair shop that carries the specific brands you like is great — finding a shop that keeps these parts in stock is even better.
By opting for a shop without the brands or parts you want in stock, you can end up waiting weeks or even months for a repair job to be finished. Comparatively, choosing a shop that has the parts and brands you want readily available can result in faster repair and maintenance sessions.
5. Find a Shop that Offers Preventative Maintenance
When looking for the ideal shop to bring your 18-wheeler to, you want to find a shop that acknowledges the value of preventative maintenance.
Sometimes, an 18-wheeler or other heavy-duty truck may not have any issues in need of immediate maintenance or repair. However, early intervention for maintenance issues in the early stages before they have the chance to worsen is essential for saving money on repairs later down the line.
This is where preventative maintenance comes in. Preventative maintenance is regularly performed on a set schedule, regardless of whether an 18-wheeler is displaying any signs of functional problems.
Choosing a repair shop that offers preventative maintenance is key, as you can rest easier knowing your 18-wheeler’s maintenance meets are regularly met.
Final Takeaways: How to Choose an 18-Wheeler Repair Shop in Your Area
When you are ready to choose a truck repair shop for your 18-wheeler, it is crucial to know how to find a top-quality shop that meets your standards.
Remember these three key takeaways when choosing an 18-wheeler truck repair shop:
- Pay attention to a shop’s reputation: If the majority of past customers have something negative to say, it may be best to choose a different shop.
- Prioritize preventative maintenance and transparency: Finding a shop that offers preventative maintenance and transparent service costs is vital for building a lasting professional relationship.
- Look at a shop’s services, parts, and brands: Always look at what services and products a repair shop offers to discover whether or not the shop has the right services and products for you.
For heavy-duty truck drivers in the Chicago area, Bus & Truck of Chicago offers a wide range of services including suspension and spring services, collision repairs, bodywork, and wheel alignments. Contact Bus & Truck of Chicago today to learn more and request a service.
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