Choosing the right truck repair shop for your needs is no easy feat. There are thousands of repair shops scattered across the country, with a decent chance that you have a couple in your area. Some offer specialized services like bodywork for commercial truck fleets, while others cater to general repair services for passenger pickup trucks.
Like most truck owners, you depend on your truck to get the job done. Whether it's hauling freight thousands of miles away or moving construction equipment from one site to the next, keeping your truck in sound working order should be your top priority. And, if you want to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck, finding a repair shop that offers the services you need is just as important.
But how can you tell which repair shop is best for you? What should you look for when picking a local shop for your repairs? To help you narrow down these answers, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the top five things to consider when choosing the right truck repair shop for you.
1. Understand your needs and pick a service provider accordingly
Before you scour the front page of Google for a local truck repair shop, identifying your needs should be the first step in your process. What kind of repairs are necessary? How often do you need them? What is your budget? These are all the questions you should be asking yourself to help you reduce the alternatives and narrow down your search.
For instance, a general diesel truck repair business can be the most suitable option if you need minor repairs or common services like oil changes and coolant flushes. However, if your truck is sporting a modified engine or you need to replace your transmission, you may want to choose a shop that focuses on your particular model.
You also want to pick a repair shop that can solve all your problems and not just one—check their service and repairs list to see if they can handle anything you throw at them. A more tailored service will increase your chances of establishing a long-term relationship with the technicians and shop owners, resulting in quicker service in the future.
Make sure your selected repair business is also up to speed with the latest and greatest in the world of repair technology. A repair shop equipped with cutting-edge diagnostic and repair equipment will be able to pinpoint issues in your truck with more precision, all the while fixing the problem with higher efficiency.
2. Take a look at the accreditations and experience
The ability to work on any make or model of truck is a must for ASE-certified technicians. To ensure your truck is in excellent hands, look for a facility that employs ASE-certified mechanics with experience under their belts. Particularly, you want to find a repair shop that has experience working on your specific truck and engine model to unlock faster and better results.
As for the business itself, check to see if it has Better Business Bureau (BBB) recognition. The nonprofit organization accredits businesses depending on how closely they follow moral business principles. If the BBB recognizes a business, you can be sure that they will get the job done and be held responsible if they don’t.
If you know you’ll be switching out parts over the course of your truck’s life, ask if the repair facility uses OEM (original equipment manufacturer) components rather than their aftermarket counterparts. Although this may not matter to you much, aftermarket components are lower quality than OEM ones, and they may only be a temporary fix to your truck’s problems.
3. Make sure parts are available
You may be out of business for a while if your local repair shop lacks the inventory to complete your repair. That's why it's important to verify the shop's inventory of parts, its connections with suppliers, and its ability to restock low inventory quickly.
Finding a business with a solid rapport with local suppliers is recommended since using components from outsourced vendors will prolong the repair time, causing you more downtime.
4. Ask questions
Cheaper isn't always better, especially in the world of truck repairs. Still, you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on ongoing repairs. When looking for a reliable and affordable repair shop, get a quote for the repairs you need from several shops in your area. This will help you get a price range and compare pricing across several shops, so you know exactly how much you’ll spend.
Just remember: high-quality shops may charge more if they employ master-certified technicians with years of experience in the field, use OEM parts for replacements, and integrate high-tech equipment and technology for all their repairs. If you want your truck to be fixed properly the first and only time around, spending a bit more won’t do you any harm.
Asking around your network and taking a peek at Google reviews is another practical method of gauging the quality and affordability of each repair shop in your area. If your friends in the industry and strangers on the Internet had a positive experience with a certain repair shop, you’ll be sure to find out.
When you bring your truck to a repair facility, don't be afraid to ask questions. You want to ensure you are aware of the work they do, the amount of time your truck will be in the shop, and the associated costs of the repair. Making sure you and the store owner are on the same page can only be achieved by addressing your concerns.
5. Check the level of customer support offered
Most truck repair shops boast about their appetite for customer service and their progress toward customer satisfaction, but not all are true to their word. When choosing between repair shops, take into account the following questions:
- How are customers treated by the technicians and staff at the shop?
- What is the level of communication between technicians? Are they cordial and informative?
- Do they offer discounts if repairs or services take longer than expected?
The finest truck repair shops are the ones that will go out of their way to ensure a positive experience for you. Whether it's prioritizing your needs, keeping you in the loop, or being transparent, having a reliable go-to shop for all your repairs is better than going to an assortment of repair shops.
Your truck is your livelihood—you don’t want to take risks when it comes to repairs and maintenance. With a trusted repair shop in your area, you can be sure that your truck will get back on the road as soon as possible. That’s why it's crucial to do your homework and ask the right questions before you pick and choose a repair shop for you.