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In the trucking world there are good mechanics and bad mechanics. When searching for a new mechanic, take the approach that they are less than honest. By taking this approach, you ensure that you won’t get taken for a ride. Some mechanics may push the limits of repair but are less likely to do so if you have the right approach. The few bad mechanics can spoil it for the many honest ones. But don’t get caught off guard.

If you are driving a used truck, things are going to need repair and you will be visiting mechanics regularly. The more miles your truck has, the more visits to a maintenance facility you are going to make. My best advice would be to build a relationship with your local dealer. If they think there is a chance you will come back, they are less likely to take you to the cleaners every time you show up. If they consider you an out of town guest you can really get taken advantage of.

Whenever I consider taking my truck to a shop I ask them to first get me an estimate with every charge accounted for. Then I negotiate from there. My next step is to call my local dealer and ask them what they would charge me for the same repair. If you have a guide listing estimated times for each repair this would be the best negotiating tool, but your local expert should be able to give you a good idea. More than ninety percent of the time they will work with you on the price and the amount of labor they are charging you for.

After you’ve finished your negotiating, make it perfectly clear that you do not expect any changes to the estimate. Get a firm commitment on the price of the job and let your mechanic know that the price must stand. It’s worth repeating that you are only paying the price quoted and not a penny more. Through repetition, the mechanic will know that additional costs are unacceptable. Let him know that you are only willing to pay the original price quoted.

As a company that sells a good deal of Volvo 670s, we know what problems occur on a frequent basis. Many truck owners believe that if something goes wrong, you need to take the truck to a Volvo dealer. This used to be true many years ago but has changed over the last few years as technology has improved and mechanics have broadened their expertise. Today you have many more options than ever before in terms of where to bring your truck for repairs. You can still use the techniques described in this article to minimize the potential damage, and get back on the road for the lowest possible price.

Joe Hoovestol is the owner of Lone Mountain Truck Leasing which offers commercial truck leasing and semi truck financing on today’s most popular trucks. Discover more about being an owner operator with the help of trucking professionals.

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