Are you a "hands on", "do it yourself" kind of person?
For the most part, we are. But we also realize when a task is too big, too complicated or requires more skill than we possess.
Some things we excel in or do passably well. Other things, we leave to the experts. Let's give some examples.
When it comes to homemaking (being Mike's home support team), Vicki is good at putting together good meals and does most of the cooking.
(It should be noted that Mike is an excellent cook, too!)For many years, Vicki knew about using a pressure cooker (because her mom used one occasionally when she was growing up); but she had never used one to do canning.Learning to can food was an acquired skill.
Vicki is also good at keeping our home (or truck, as the case has required over the years) clean.
As skilled as we may be in some things, there are certain things that we couldn't begin to do on a truck. For those, we would need special training.
Sometimes people try attempt a "do it yourself" solution that results in a situation far worse than if an expert had done the job in the first place.
That can be costly -- in terms of both time and money.
We have never met a driver who has unlimited amounts of time and money to spend on a DIY solution when there are loads that need to be hauled and money to be earned.
If an expert can do it faster and less expensively (or a combination of the two), you might be wise to turn to him/her for help. A mechanic may also have the professional equipment required to do a job more easily than the average truck driver can.
But on this page, we want to address "do it yourself" tasks that truckers can do.
These are the types of tasks that can give a pro driver a feeling of satisfaction as well as help him or her save money.
We're asking for money saving tips from professional truck drivers on tasks they've learned to do on their trucks themselves so that others can benefit from their knowledge. Submit your tip here. We think this page will be especially valuable to owner-operators.
While this list is bound to grow, here are some do it yourself tasks to consider, just to get the ball rolling.
Some links below we gratefully acknowledge are on the website of OverdriveOnline.com.
The blanks indicate that those topics need some information.
There may be other do it yourself tasks that truck drivers can do. If you have a preventive maintenance tip for professional truck drivers to share, we'd enjoy reading and posting it.
|Task Needing to be Done||How to Do It|
|Cook food in your truck||link; link|
|Clean your truck inside||link|
|Wash your truck outside
(not get a commercial truck wash)
|Check your truck's oil level|
|Aim your truck's headlights||link|
|Change your truck's oil|
|Check your truck's tire tread depth and pressure||link|
|Replace your brakes (do a brake job)||link|
|Prevent brake failure||link|
|Replace a relay|
|Replace gladhand seals||link|
|Maintain landing gear||link|
|Repair landing gear crank handle||link|
|Prevent diesel spills at fuel pump||link|
|Repair a hose||link|
|Install trailer air fairings||link|
|Remove, repair, replace and rebalance your tires||link|
Here's where you can submit your do it yourself preventive maintenance tip for professional truck drivers:
Money saving tip: Learn to recognize when you can do a task yourself and when it is better to let a pro handle it.
Determine the ROI (return on investment) of doing certain tasks yourself.
Calculate how costly it can be if tasks that need to be done -- but don't seem very urgent -- go undone.
(Example: Letting your truck's oil go unchanged for an extra 20,000 miles beyond the recommended time frame.)
What are all of the "cons" of not doing preventive maintenance?
Sometimes, small things can make a big difference.
One of them goes by the abbreviation "CAYG": Clean As You Go.
It can seem like a chore to clean up after yourself in your truck every day.
But if you let it go two days, you may have twice as much to clean up.
As the old saying goes, "A stitch in time saves nine."
Perform regular pre-trip inspections to make sure everything is properly maintained.
This is a do it yourself task that every professional driver must learn to do efficiently and effectively.