Are You Leaving Easy Money on the Table?
As soon as you make the giant leap of starting your own business there’s always the thought of growing it. Hiring more mechanics, doing more of the same type of repair or performance work, or possibly even starting up a second location. But, there are other avenues to profit that may actually require less work.
In this article we are going to take a look at types of repairs that are tangential to the traditional engine and transmission repair that are most common among diesel pickups. All of the big three, Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge have different types of drivetrain problems, and usually enough to keep shops busy. When a trusted customer brings in a truck however there’s always room to go the extra mile and start inspecting the rest of the drivetrain. In addition to preventing failures through replacing u-joints and cv joints, goodies like lockers, gears, or diff covers can also be installed.
There’s perhaps no more relevant vehicle to this conversation then the 4th generation Dodge Ram which has horrible drivetrain issues. The U-joints or the center cardan joint can fail wreaking havoc on the entire truck. Recently we witnessed a worst-case scenario where the inner joint broke sending the front drive shaft through the floorboard of the truck, breaking the transmission case, and even ripping out the wiring harness that runs through the inside of the cab. Cost for repairs? Over $11,000.
While this is an extreme example, the knowledge that these type of failures happen can also lead to new avenues of business. If you’re a shop that already does engine and transmission work, how about starting with axles and drive shafts? Explain to the customer why the repairs (sometimes preventative) need to be done and that failure that can happen if they are not done. Even simple items like brakes and tires can be a big Cash Cow as they are still charged at shop rate. Many of these items (especially brakes) aren’t like the horror items of the past, and are designed to be removed and serviced. Since diesel shops all already have a wide selection of tools (and big hammers) drivelines, axles and brakes are a perfect avenue to pursue.
Now more than ever, consumers have the perception that every place they go to should be like Amazon.com. with this comes an advantage however, as many people look to Simply drop off their truck at one shop and have that business perform all of the maintenance. Well working on rear ends brakes and driveshafts can be tedious and unquestionably dirty work, it pays just like anything else. Is there a reason you’re not doing it?