What make of truck and trailer do you own?
I own a 2001 Freightliner Classic XL. Trailer is 2005 48x102 Fontaine.
What type of freight do you haul?
I primarily haul lumber and steel.
How are maintenance and minor repairs handled?
I have a maintenance fund, and I typically get routine and preventive repairs done at a local diesel repair shop.
How do you handle major repairs?
I typically use the same shop if I’m able to get the truck there because of the excessive cost of shops over the road.
What are your mileage/time intervals on preventive maintenance?
Routinely, I get the truck and trailer serviced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.
What do you do in regard to maintenance and repairs to minimize downtime?
If the mechanic sees anything that concerns him about the truck or trailer, I’ll repair [it] immediately. I get the truck serviced on the weekends, which I rarely ever work.
How do you ensure good mileage from tires? Which brand of tires do you prefer?
[I use] low profile 24.5 Bridgestone on steers and drives and Uniroyal trailer tires for the spread axle. I don’t use retreads.
Do you stock any parts for your truck or purchase as needed?
I purchase most parts as needed. Occasionally, I will purchase a couple of trailer tires prematurely.
How do you determine when it’s time to replace a truck or trailer?
[It’s time to replace] when most of your money is going back into the truck or trailer, and you’ve made almost no profit because your repair bills are keeping you in the red.
If you could change or add one regulation to trucking, what would it be and why?
[It would be] hours of service. The laws around this issue allow too much downtime and cause everyone to be in such a rush that it actually poses safety concerns, which jeopardize other motorists.
What is the biggest business challenge you face with your trucking operation?
[The biggest challenge] is keeping up with the ever-changing rules and regulations while trying to drive and stay focused from day to day.
What do you enjoy most about trucking and hauling the type of freight you do?
I enjoy driving that big rig. It’s a satisfying feeling—knowing that what you do is helping the world in so many ways. Knowing how important the steel is to construction workers building children’s hospitals and schools and the lumber I haul will be used to help build a home for a family is awesome.