Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit JoeySlaughter.net for more insightful blogging.
Being stranded on the road due to a breakdown is no fun and can be very dangerous. Very seldom do we breakdown in a familiar place where we know just who to call for help. I’m not that old, but I did enter the trucking industry before the internet. I remember driving coast to coast with no cell phone, no computer, no GPS and now as I look back, it seems pretty scary. I also remember breaking down and having to walk a good distance to a business and asking to use their phone to call for help. Now in the age of technology, our jobs have gotten easier. I have a cell phone so I don’t have to walk to find a landline, but I don’t have a phone book for each locality that I drive through either. I found that I needed more “tools in my toolbox” as an owner-operator.
A mechanic friend of mine told me about a few websites that are available for finding truck, trailer and tire repair on the open road anywhere in the U.S. I’ve used these services on a few occasions and it really reduces down time as you can quickly access the right people in the right areas that do the kind of work you need. There are more, but I’m familiar with these and have used them before. Truckdown.com, findtruckservice.com and nttsbreakdown.com are all wonderful resources. I recommend that you pick your hometown and search on all three websites to see how extensive their directory is on your home turf. That may give you an indication as to the quantity of service providers in their nationwide directory.
Another resource is the TruckSmart app by TA/Petro. Once you open the app, you can search nearby locations for services they offer. There’s even a Road Squad option where you simply push a button and it calls the main switchboard at TA/Petro Road Squad. The app is tracking your location so they can see right where you are based on the GPS function within the software.
Road side breakdowns are a misery to deal with; they’re costly and time consuming which are major threats to a successful trucking operation. You will need these websites from time to time so go ahead and bookmark them on your mobile devices so you’ll be ready the next time you blow a tire, etc. Again, I call this “adding a tool to your toolbox.” And this is one tool that you WILL need.