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How To Avoid Shady, On-The-Road Repairs Shop

Imagine this: You're cruising down the road, hauling a load for a customer, and suddenly, your tire blows out. Your miles away from your home station but need a new tire to complete the job. Your only option is to find a repair shop on the road to replace it to get back on track.

While it may seem simple to locate a repair shop on the road for immediate assistance, the reality has become more complicated. In this blog, we share a real-life story about dealing with shady, on-the-road repair shops.


We recently collected a truck from a past customer from a small, independent repair shop. When the tow truck arrived, they noticed that a majority of the repairs the shop claimed to have completed were not done. When the truck was returned to us, we immediately sought a second opinion from a local dealership, and they came to the same conclusions – the work that we were charged for was not completed!

Unfortunately, independent repair shops tend to take advantage of carriers in urgent need of repair. They may charge more or claim to have completed additional repairs to get extra money from you. And if you can't pay the full amount when repairs are completed, you'll incur daily storage fees for your equipment. On top of that, if your equipment is stored at the shop for too long, the shop can seek a mechanics lien and ultimately take ownership of the truck!


Not all equipment repairs can be prevented before hitting the road. If you find yourself in need of urgent repairs on the road, make sure to utilize the following tips to steer clear of being taken advantage of by shady repair shops:

  1. Ask about the repairs, estimate of cost, labor rates, and equipment storage fees.

  2. Seek the opinions of other shops to ensure the initial shop is not taking advantage.

  3. Make sure the shop gets your approval to do each repair on your equipment.

  4. Be prepared with a destination when the tow truck arrives to avoid additional expenses. They will charge you every time they hook and unhook your truck.

  5. Research repair shops in the area or ask for recommendations at truck stops.


  1. Conduct preventive maintenance at your home shop and a thorough pre-trip inspection before a trip.
    For a guide on how to properly conduct a pre-trip inspection, check out our blog – A Carrier’s Guide To Properly Conducting A Pre-Trip Inspection.

  2. Familiarize yourself with your trucks and all their components.

  3. Use well-known dealerships over independent repair shops – they may be more expensive initially, but the cost of getting caught up with a shady shop will be more in the long run.