Just like going in for your yearly physical or routine dental checkup, bringing your tank truck into a dealer or independent auto repair shop isn’t always convenient, but it is necessary. That’s because repair and maintenance services keep your trucks on the road. That leads to the question: where should you go for tank truck services? Continue reading to find out the pros and cons of independent and dealer commercial truck repair shops.
When it comes to tank truck services, fleet managers and drivers have two options: dealer or independent auto repair shops. If you ask 100 trucking professionals whether you should take your truck into an independent shop or a dealership service department for maintenance and repair services, there’s a good chance you’ll get a 50/50 split on the answers.
Many people base their decision solely on cost, customer service, or experience. Some trucking professionals want the lowest possible prices before anything else, whereas others prefer to trust their most valuable asset with someone they have a personal relationship with. Let’s weigh the options to see if you should go with a dealer or independent auto repair shop.
Independent shops are the best decision when it comes to how much you’ll pay for tank truck services. Most dealership service departments are larger and “fancier” than local repair shops. Dealer shops also have to pay for fees to use automakers’ names and ongoing mechanic training to promote themselves as official or certified partners. All of that overhead has to be recouped somehow, and they do it by charging you more.
Parts and labor are also significantly higher at dealership service shops. While some original equipment can only be replaced with proprietary parts, a third-party provider can usually offer equipment and components of equal or better quality at a much lower price. Local mechanics are exceptional at locating reliable parts like valves and hose fittings at the best price.
Just about the only time the dealer or independent auto repair shop debate favors the big guys is for warranty or recall work. If your truck is still under warranty or has a part recalled for safety reasons, you’re likely to have the costs covered by the automaker. We recommend checking what parts and labor are covered instead of assuming that the warranty provides cost-free tank truck services.
Remember when we said big commercial truck repair shops have to pay to partner with automakers? That plays a significant role in the customer service you can expect with your commercial truck repair. Carmakers hold dealer shops to specific standards of customer satisfaction and service times. While this may seem like a positive—and it usually is—it can make partnered shops more concerned with keeping the automaker happy rather than you. As a result, getting you in and out as quickly as possible may come at the expense of the shop working closely with you.
Independent mechanics working on your truck have no one to report to other than you, the customer. Service managers and technicians know that establishing a personal relationship with you builds trust as well as their customer base. How many times have you recommended or warned fellow drivers about a service experience? Independent auto repair facilities rely on word of mouth and customer satisfaction to stay in business. So, when it comes to a dealer or independent auto repair facility, which is better? Each offers several advantages, but it’s hard to beat the level of personalized service local mechanics provide.
There’s no denying dealership service departments are staffed with experienced mechanics, service advisors, and service managers. One of the big shops’ most significant advantages is their ongoing training and certification by the automaker they represent. Whether you need dry bulk tank truck services or a tank body installation, they’ve done it all.
However, just because independent commercial truck repair shops aren’t affiliated with a single truckmaker doesn’t mean they’re less experienced. In fact, independent mechanics are often vastly more experienced with a wide range of tank trucks. If you’re considering a local mechanic, ask if they provide ASME-certified R-stamp welding or other certified commercial truck services.
Whether you’re a self-employed driver or a corporate fleet manager, keeping your trucks compliant is essential. You can choose between a dealer or independent auto repair shop for a variety of tank truck services to ensure your truck meets industry standards. One benefit independent shops typically have over dealerships is location. Local shops are usually conveniently located for drivers who need service, whereas dealerships are conveniently located for those looking to purchase a tank truck. To minimize travel and downtime, consider getting your tank truck services at a local shop.
An effective independent mechanic should offer numerous testing and maintenance services, such as:
Since 1985, White Tank & Truck repair has set the standard for commercial truck repair, maintenance, and testing. Dealer or independent auto repair isn’t what matters—quality, value, and customer satisfaction do. We’ve built our reputation as the most reliable commercial truck repair shop serving Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas by always doing what’s best for you. Contact us today for all your tank truck service needs.