If you're an owner operator (OO) of your own rig, you likely enjoy many of the freedoms that come with being your own boss -- including the ability to choose your routes and schedule vacations whenever you'd like. However, with these freedoms often comes the full financial responsibility of caring for an aging semi truck. While today's large diesel engines and other powertrain components are designed to last for hundreds of thousands of miles without requiring much in the way of maintenance, even the sturdiest trucks will eventually require repairs that may rival the value of the truck itself. If your rig has begun to show signs of transmission problems, how can you determine whether repair, replacement, or the scrapyard is the best option? Read on to learn more about weighing your potential choices when dealing with transmission issues.
How can you determine whether it's worthwhile to have your truck's transmission repaired or replaced?
As with passenger vehicles, much of the cost involved in any type of transmission work is labor-related. These transmissions are huge and heavy and require a number of man-hours and some specialized equipment to remove and replace or tear down. As a result, you'll likely be paying a fair amount in labor costs regardless of whether you choose to have your transmission repaired, rebuilt, or replaced entirely. You'll want to get separate quotes from at least one shop on both repair and replacement to determine whether one option financially outweighs the other. If replacement and repair are similar in cost, replacement is usually the better long-term option.
Replacement requires the least amount of labor when it comes to working on the transmission itself, but will require you to purchase a new or used transmission. Rebuilding a transmission is rarely a cost-effective option, although more minor repairs that can keep your truck in working condition for a few more cross-country trips may be a good idea if replacement isn't in the cards yet or if you were already planning on the purchase of a new truck.
When does the cost of transmission repair not make sense?
In some cases, your truck is old enough that the cost to repair or replace the transmission is close to the entire value of your truck. As a result, it may not make financial sense if your truck has other issues that will require expensive repairs in the near future or if you had plans to sell your truck soon.
To determine whether it's financially feasible to trade in your older truck for a new one, you may want to review the amount you've been paying (and expect to pay) in repairs each month on your current truck and compare this with the auto payment and insurance increase on a newer truck. If you find yourself paying the equivalent of a truck payment in repairs on a low value vehicle, trading in may be your best option.
For more information and assistance, talk with a truck transmission repair shop directly, or visit websites like http://www.colorcountrydiesel.com.