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Today's episode of Crazy Customers

We do maintenance and repair for a local fleet that has everything from Ford Focuses to F550 utility trucks. We schedule maintenance as much as we can but sometimes a driver just shows up with an emergency problem.

Today a driver comes in with his Chevy Silverado work truck. He states that the temp gauge is pegged high, he can hear the radiator fan running on max all the time, and on the display panel it says “Engine Hot, A/C Turned Off.”

And then he says “I left it running so you can see what it’s doing.”





Everyone in Star Trek thinks you’re stupid.


back to reality:

Not his truck. BFD.

He’d never do that if he owned it.

one of my fleet trucks was two hours away form me, but about 3 miles from a shop that I have used in the past.

Driver called me up and his complaint was that the a/c wasn’t blowing hard. Being 2 hours away, I start diagnosing over the phone. I verify that the blower is on high, ask if other accessories are working, and then I ask him to check the voltage gauge.

“It is below 8.”

“Ok, where there is your probl…” I start to say- knowing that the alternator has gone kaput, and his batteries are now discharged, as well.

“Here,” he interrupts," I’l shut the truck off and restart it and see if if that fixes the gauge."

“NO! Don’t do that!!!”

“It won’t restart”


@eddo, check spelling the the third to last sentence of your post. I suspect you may want to make a correction. :grin:


What makes you say that?

In the trucking business drivers and mechanics often have (true) stories to tell about each other. These two are about a comany I drove for for `7 tears.

A road driver left our Buffalo area terminal , stopped a mile away and called in and said his trailer was leaning over so badly thet he thought it was going to tip over. This was in the days before cell phones and he had to get out of the tractor and walk to a phone. When the mechanic got there he could see nothing wrong, he went under the trailer and stii l saw nothing wrong. Her said to the driver, this trailer is not leaning,. The driver replied. Oh yeah, just get up in the cab and look in the mirror!

I wrote up my tractor that had air wipers that ran off the same tanks as the air brakes because the drivers side wiper had stopped working. The next day when I got in my tractor, it would not start, when I turned the key-nothing. The write up on the wipers had been signed off by the shop meaning it had been repaired. The night shift mechanics were still there when I went in the shop. When I told them it wouldn’t start, they said, it wouldn’t start last night so we charged the tanks so we could fix the wiper.
When I asked why they didn’t fix the starting problem, they said I didn’t write up the starting problem!

One of my favorite stories involved a friend of mine. We had both worked at a company the had gone out of business. He had gone to work at Consolidated Freightways, the largest trucking in the country at the time. I stopped in PA and had coffee with some CF drivers and inquired about him. One of them said, Oh, he got fired. When I asked why he said. Bob called in from out west that he couldn’t go any further,all the lights were out on the right side of his trailers. Because he was a long way from a terminal, they asked if he was near a truck stop.Bob said he was calling from a truck stop but they couldn’t fix his trailer lights. When the dispatcher asked why the couldnt fix his trailer lights,Bob said, well, the trailers are laying on them.


There just aren’t enough Star Trek facepalms for this one. :wink:

“Objects in mirror may be closer and straighter than they appear”…

He was working with other people’s money. If that had been his own truck, he may have been more concerned about damaging the truck by continuing to run it. Maybe he didn’t get the connection between running and damage, but I never met the guy.

I doubt it. I think you seriously overestimate the general motoring public.


Ignoring scheduled maintenance and warning lights should be the 8th deadly sin.

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I agree that there are a lot of people in general that don’t understand how a running engine might cause damage, but this guy brought a work truck in. It seems to me that truck care should be part of his job, and he should have a better understanding than the general public.

That depends on if the company he works for has spare trucks or not.

If the truck breaks, just grab a spare truck.

The company I work for, if your truck is broke, you don’t work, no work, no money. Post trip inspections are almost more important than pre-trip inspections. I write my truck up for everything little thing I can find, I want it fixed, I drive at night, the mechanics work days, they’re always doing something to my truck.

I think the operative word here is “should.”

You would think that a crew that works for the local phone/cable/internet outfit would have a basic understanding of how electricity works. And yet I get a truck towed in with a complaint of “Truck stalled and no electrical items work. Battery warning light has been coming on and off for a week.”

One of my first jobs had a pool of a few cars we could use, since no one was responsible for any one car they were in horrible shape. Except for gas, and even sometimes that was ignored, the cars were not looked after. I was getting close to my office when the engine started clacking and the oil light came on, fortunately I was less than a block from a gas station. The car needed 4 quarts of oil. These cars all started burning oil before 50,000 miles, if they made it to 100,000 miles they were junk. After a bit the owner assigned us cars, what a big change. We all took responsibility to our assigned car. The cars started lasting longer and had fewer problems. Then they changed it to giving us a car allowance and we could use our own cars. That was an even bigger change. Our own cars were very well kept and were in good shape.

I work in IT. People will take security risks with their work computers that they wouldn’t take with their home computers.

I think the same applies to cars and trucks.