It is estimated that more than 5,000 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2019, with another 118,000 trucks being involved in crashes that resulted in injuries. When a truck is not in perfect condition, driving long distances can increase the anxiety and stress level of the driver, leading to health concerns and also increasing the chances of an accident occurring. A good truck repair service near you can provide you with a certain level of safety when transporting goods from one location to another, and confirming from an experienced truck repair technician that your truck is in good condition allows you to drive without worry. Utilizing the services of a good truck repair service near you also saves you money by ensuring that your truck is fixed properly the first time, as opposed to having to fix the same issues repeatedly when you employ an unprofessional mechanic or attempt to do the repairs by yourself.
When considering the services of a truck repair technician, you should ensure the technician can thoroughly and expertly inspect, diagnose, and repair the various components of the truck. Therefore, before deciding on securing the services of a truck repair technician near you, ask these questions:
Are You Licensed, Registered, or Certified?
Truck repair technicians and mechanics are typically not required to have a state-issued occupational license. However, Michigan requires all mechanics that wish to operate in the state to undergo mandatory state-level certification, and these mechanics must display their certificates in the place of business where they carry out repairs. Likewise, truck repair technicians and mechanics in all other states can also obtain voluntary professional certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, and it is always a good idea to hire a truck repair technician or mechanic that is ASE-certified. An Automotive Service Excellence(ASE) certificate is considered the standard credential for professionals in the truck repair and automotive service industry, and having one usually demonstrates that the technician is competent and experienced. It is estimated that there are currently over 30,000 ASE-certified medium/heavy truck technicians and mechanics in the United States. These technicians and mechanics are required to go through a recertification process every five years so as to remain abreast of relevant industry changes and technical updates.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Truck Repair Technician or Mechanic?
It costs between $15 and $40 an hour to secure the services of a truck mechanic. This hourly charge is dependent on certain factors, including location, the complexity of repair, and the technician or mechanic's area of specialization and level of experience.
When contemplating a truck repair near you, there are steps that you can take to save cost. Some of these steps include:
- Compare prices: do not always go with the first repair valuation you get. Find out what needs fixing and compare prices with other truck repair technicians and mechanics near you. Getting written estimates from different shops gives you a clear picture of the cost and would help in proper budgeting.
- Find out if there would be a diagnostic charge: some shops offer free truck diagnostics if you decide to carry out the necessary repairs in that shop. This can help you save costs, as diagnostic checks can sometimes be as expensive as the actual repair.
- Find out about parts: repair costs can vary significantly depending on the type of parts the technician or mechanic uses. Also, while some parts are more expensive than others, this does not necessarily mean that they are more effective. Always enquire about efficiency in relation to cost and leverage the experience of your technician or mechanic to seek out the more cost-effective options.
- Plan maintenance in advance: taking preventive measures and being a step ahead on repairs often allows you to prevent costly damages. Because most parts and systems of a truck are interrelated, a malfunctioning part can lead to other parts becoming defective. Keeping a regular schedule for maintenance helps you spot defects quicker which in the long run saves you money.
- Opt for extended warranty: when purchasing a truck, there is usually an offer for an extended warranty. While this may increase the initial purchasing cost of the truck, it makes up for this by offering you access to certain repair services at no extra cost. Also, check that a truck repair shop near you can service your truck using your warranty.
- Negotiate: the hourly rate of a technician or mechanic is usually not fixed, so find out if there is room for bargaining and beat down your cost as much as possible.
What Are The Common Truck Repairing Expenses?
Aside from the hourly rate that technicians and mechanics charge for truck repairs, there are other associated costs truck drivers and owners are likely to encounter. Some of these expenses include:
- Cost of parts: Often, when a truck goes in for repair, some defective parts need to be replaced, and these replacement costs have to be covered by the client. These parts usually include fuel filters, oil filters, brake discs, tires, plugs, shocks, and mud flaps, all of which the owner or driver will pay to replace if damaged. In some cases, the defective part may be salvageable, but the client would still have to cover the salvage cost.
- Diagnostic cost: Before work commences on a truck repair, the technicians often run a diagnostic check to determine the exact fault and the cost of doing this is typically independent of the repair job. Note that in cases where the defect is obvious, a diagnostic check may not be required.
- Cleaning costs: In some cases, the truck might require special cleaning after repair. Some technicians and mechanics calculate the cost of doing this as part of their bill while others may charge separately for it.
- Shop supplies and eco fees: During a truck repair, technicians and mechanics use several items like cleaning oils, wipes, and declogging fluids, and they may charge customers for this. Similarly, truck repair and maintenance jobs typically generate a considerable amount of wastes that are not biodegradable like used oils, batteries, lubricants, and filters. Eco fees cover the cost of safely disposing or recycling these waste items.
you should always find out from the truck repair technician or mechanic near you what extra expenses to expect before commencing any repairs on your truck.
Who Will Do The Work?
Technicians and mechanics generally work in or are affiliates of an auto repair shop. When you go to a shop near you for a repair job, the shop allocates a specific technician, mechanic, or a group of workers to handle your truck. Depending on the task, this assigned individual or individuals may either be ASE-certified professionals, trainees and apprentices at the shop, or a blend of both apprentices and seasoned experts. Therefore, it is necessary to find out exactly who will be working on your truck. Knowing your technician or mechanic would help in tracking the progress of the job and also make communication easier if there are follow-up repairs. You should also ascertain the qualifications of the technicians or mechanics handling your repair job and confirm if either these individuals or the direct supervisor overseeing the work is ASE-certified. Having ASE-certified professionals work on your truck gives you a certain level of assurance that your truck is in qualified hands.
What Qualifications Should A Truck Repair Technician or Mechanic Have?
Truck repair technicians and mechanics are typically required to have a high school certificate and they learn their trade on the job through apprenticeships. However, many truck repair shops that employ these technicians and mechanics prefer them to also have vocational training after obtaining a high school certificate. This vocational training usually lasts between one and two years, and it involves a mixture of classroom lectures and practicals where the technicians and mechanics learn the basics about engines, tools, and repair techniques using hands-on exercises. They also learn about the industry terminology, technical manuals, and how to interpret diagnostic information.
It is estimated that there are over 250,000 truck technicians and diesel engine specialists in the United States as of May 2020. Many of these technicians and mechanics also obtain professional certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence after gaining at least two years of experience and passing relevant ASE exams.
Will You Provide References?
It is good to get referrals from friends, family, and other truck drivers and owners when searching for a reputable truck repair technician or mechanic near you. Recommendations from people you know provide a certain level of guarantee, especially if they have worked with the technician or mechanic before. When asking for referrals, you should always mention the make and model of your truck. This is because the model of your truck may have specific and unique challenges associated with its repair, and it is always good a good idea to get a technician or mechanic who specializes in your model. Some of the other ways you can solicit reference for a truck repair include:
- Check with fleet companies: Companies with a fleet of trucks engage the services of repair technicians repeatedly. Ask about their technicians, and if the fleet company has in-house technicians, you can ask for onward direction to credible technicians.
- Through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence: The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence provides an online search portal that you can use to locate Blue Seal ASE-verified truck repair shops near you. Note that this portal does not make any provision for individual technician or mechanic searches. However, Blue Seal ASE-verified truck repair shops are workshops where a large percentage of the technicians and mechanics that are employed there are ASE certified.
- Online through review websites: Carrying out online research through review websites can go a long way in helping you decide which truck repair technician or mechanic near you to hire. Different online platforms such as Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and Google Review provide a way for customers to share their experiences and views on truck repair shops and these platforms can be good tools to use when searching for truck repair technicians and mechanics.
Note that you should always ask any truck repair technician or mechanic to provide you information about previous jobs that they have executed and details of past clients that you can contact to get their personal reviews of these technicians or mechanics. Doing this gives you a better understanding of the capabilities and work ethic of these technicians and mechanics.
Quick Facts about Truck Repair Technicians and Mechanics
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Expert Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Repair Technicians and Mechanics
Can You Sue a Truck Repair Technician or Mechanic for Poor or Incomplete Work?
Yes, you can sue a truck repair technician or mechanic in a local court for substandard or incomplete work, especially if the work done by this technician or mechanic directly results in a form of loss or damages to you.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Truck Repair Technician or Mechanic?
It typically takes between three to four years of post-secondary education and training to become a truck repair technician or mechanic.
How Often Should You Service Your Truck with a Repair Technician or Mechanic?
The frequency of truck servicing is usually dependent on the size of the truck. Small pickup trucks typically require servicing every 5,000 miles, while medium-duty trucks require servicing every 7,500 miles. On the other hand, heavy-duty trucks can usually go for much longer before they need servicing. However, it is a good idea to service them every 15,000 miles.
What Methods of Payment Do Truck Technicians and Mechanics Accept?
The method of payment that truck repair shops accept is entirely dependent on the specific shop. Generally, truck repair shops accept checks, cash, and major credit cards.
Do Truck Technicians and Mechanics Offer Pre-purchase Inspection Services?
Yes, truck repair technicians and mechanics often offer pre-purchase inspection services to help clients make the best decision when buying a truck.
Do Truck Repair Technicians and Mechanics Have Brand Specialization?
Yes, some truck repair technicians and mechanics have brand specialization. Repair shops often have affiliations with certain brands, and the technicians and mechanics in these shops get regular periodic training and technical updates from these specific brands. Nevertheless, certified technicians and mechanics generally have a broad understanding of various engine types, irrespective of the brand.
It is important to note that truck technicians and mechanics can also specialize in specific parts of a truck such as its air and exhaust system, engine and sound system, brake system, electrical system, frame, and chassis.