Fred Wood of Plattsburg, MO, has two tractors, two 10-wheelers, two straight trucks, two living-floor trailers and 15 dry vans - and it's no big surprise that Fred does his own maintenance.
"Truckdrivers provide a service," Fred says. "If your truck doesn't run, you can't provide a service. Maintenance is the thing that keeps it running."
Fred does his oil changes and other maintenance in his four-bay shop. Building the shop has more than paid for itself, he says. "With an indoor shop, I can do my own work. And my trucks are protected from the elements," says Fred, "and I get a sure start in the morning. It's all money. You either keep it or give it to a shop."
Fred does a total preventive maintenance service, including an oil change, every 10,000 miles and a chassis lube every 5,000 miles. Fred uses Shell Rotella T in his trucks, his personal vehicles and even his lawnmower. He buys it by the barrel, but likes the fact you can get it anywhere. He has his oil analyzed at a shop in St. Joseph, MO. He says his conservative drain intervals result in a zero loss as far as downtime.
One of the reasons Fred sticks to an aggressive PM program is that his equipment is not new. Fred usually buys his trucks used because he likes the prices. When he buys a used truck, Fred says he's more concerned with the truck's maintenance records than the name brand or a fancy paint job.
"I'm not into pretty. These are work trucks," Fred says. In his business, Shelwood Farm Shavings, Fred uses his trucks to haul wood shavings to livestock barns and arenas.
"I never had a paint job that made me a damn dime."