In­tro­duc­ing the Diesel Doc­tor

Each week the Diesel Doc­tor will an­swer your ques­tions for un­der the hood

Big Rigs - - NEWS - Cheers, Diesel Doc­tor ■ If you need some ad­vice email us at editorial@bi­


Hey Big Rigs, I have had an older model Ken­worth for some time now, I bought it sec­ond hand and love it to bits.

I’m an in­ter­state driver and ser­vice it reg­u­larly but lately is seems like I am just build­ing a new truck one piece at a time.

How do I know when I just need to bite the bul­let and get my­self a new en­gine?


Great ques­tion and yes some­times with an older ve­hi­cle it is like try­ing to see the for­est for the trees.

Some of the fac­tors you need to con­sider when you feel like you are build­ing a new truck one piece at a time are the costs of con­tin­u­ous repairs and down­time, putting in a new or ex­change en­gine or buy­ing a new truck.

As you know the con­stant cost of repairs add up quickly, you could con­tinue re­pair­ing the cur­rent truck but you also need to fac­tor in the down­time and loss of in­come.

Con­tin­u­ous repairs and down­time is one of the big­gest profit killers for owner driv­ers.

Buy­ing a new en­gine is some­times in­evitable as a ve­hi­cle gets older.

New en­gine prices tend to get up there in price so look at ex­change en­gines as well and re­mem­ber to ask about war­ranties.

Another thing I would rec­om­mend is to get pric­ing on a new truck.

You might find that the cost of con­stant repairs ver­sus the weekly/monthly re­pay­ments on a truck are com­pa­ra­ble.

You should also con­sider op­tions when buy­ing a new ve­hi­cle as some of the larger truck OEM’s (orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers) have ser­vice and main­te­nance agree­ments, so that you have a fixed weekly/monthly re­pay­ment which in­cludes all your ser­vic­ing and repairs, some even in­clud­ing parts.

I know this is some­times a big help with own­ers know­ing the fixed price and as you know, trucks can have un­ex­pected repairs, it’s al­ways good to know that repairs won’t catch your bank ac­count by sur­prise.

Re­sale on a newer, well main­tained truck will be much bet­ter as well as an older ve­hi­cle even though it has been well main­tained you will not get your money back upon sale.

Newer en­gines or trucks will have less down­time so that you can be on the road mak­ing a dol­lar in­stead of spend­ing one in the work­shop.

❝down­time Con­tin­u­ous repairs and is one of the big­gest profit killers for owner driv­ers

— Diesel Doc­tor

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