Truck Repair The sad state of mechanics these days.

Hammer166

Instigateur №166™
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Thread starter #1
As I put it to the boss the other day: I could show up at shift change with a six-shooter, kill all the mechanics, and still have a loaded gun.

Let's start with the simplest of the problems: The truck would only charge in the morning, then quit. We buy a lot of trucks from this dealer, so we have a dedicated email to use. So among the list of other problems, I had fairly well documented what was happening with the alternator.

The response from the mechanic (term used loosely,) was "unable to replicate problem." And then, "Remote sense wire found loose, tightened, should resolve problem."

After multiple edits to remove references to my desire to choke the living crap out the idiot, I asked if anyone had read the literature on this alternator and noticed that it should charge with or without a remote sense line hooked up. I had removed the line at one point in desperately trying to get the thing to start charging, and apparently didn't secure it tight enough. No response.

The next day, the Uptime Coordinator test drives the truck and notes that the voltage was a battery base level, indicating no charging occurring, and also notes another problem the mechanics "could not replicate." Sweet, other repairs are moving along, hopefully they'll have an alternator found by the time everything else is finished.

Yesterday, get an email in the morning, "truck is ready." Then shortly after noon, paraphrasing "Not so fast!" The Uptime guy drove the truck again, and still no charging. WTF? It is here I should mention that this alternator is not available in the Freightliner parts system, at any level. Which means an emergency ticket has to be issued. Which should have been done Tuesday morning, not Friday late afternoon! (Correction, we notified them Friday before Memorial Day that we were going to need an alternator.) Initial estimate is 14 days. Which mean we're looking at a truck down for 3 weeks for a ****ing alternator?!?

I had almost just purchased a generic pad mount alternator to mount up to get me home, but the dealer in Grand Junction didn't want to sell me one as it would "Void the warranty." So instead, I paid Love's for a few hours of time on the battery charger overnight to allow to get back home for the holiday weekend. I wish I'd just done that anyways!

This motor also has a minor issue, most likely an injector, where at very low throttle settings it runs very rough a certain low rpms. Like running on 5 cylinders rough. As in, it runs so rough during a regen it will wake you from a dead sleep. The specifics of when and how well spelled out in the email. That, of course, is also an unable to replicate. SMDH.

Luckily I've been able to use another truck this week, so I'm at least making revenue. But this whole concept of these dealers acting like the driver of the truck doesn't have a clue is getting real old. I realize this isn't a new problem, and I realize they mainly deal with steering wheel holders who don't have a clue, but some of us have been around a long time and have a very good grasp of what makes the big truck run. I would venture a better grasp than many of the parts-changers that are called mechanics these days. If I was stuck with this as my only truck, and only way to make revenue, I'm not sure I wouldn't have gone postal already, just because of the sheer incompetence.

This I do know: this truck will never see this dealership again once the warranty is up.
 

Sinister

Order of The Gilded Flip Flop
Staff member
Supporter
#2
Are we *****ing about trucks or mechanics?

Either way @r3gulator3 youre up.
 

Skateboard puller

Well-Known Member
#3
I hate intermittent problems. It sounds like your alternator issue is pretty constant though. It's hard to find a good shop and I hate it when the new apprentice is working on it.
 

Hammer166

Instigateur №166™
Supporter
Thread starter #4
I hate intermittent problems. It sounds like your alternator issue is pretty constant though. It's hard to find a good shop and I hate it when the new apprentice is working on it.
The problem is, it's not just the apprentices. I'm not sure there's what would qualify as a mechanic left in any of the dealer shops. The good mechanics all have better jobs elsewhere.
 

Skateboard puller

Well-Known Member
#6
Just sick of the sheer incompetence that is considered an acceptable skill level today.
I watched two guys monkey ****ing a truckstop parking lot tire repair with a sledgehammer and tire spoons for close to two hours once. Actually trying to hammer a bent rim straight, no new valve stems and no bead sealer. The best part was no pressure gauge on the cheetah, and vise grips for a handle. Two hours for two 22.5" tires on a trailer :confused-96:

I think Loves has a dismount policy on tires. An outside tire on the trailer got a hole in it. Can't just jack it up and change it on the trailer. Yet on a 17.5" tire it's wwwwaaaayyyy easier to change on the trailer :coocoo:

Tire guys aren't mechanics usually but it's not rocket science to change tires either.
 

oldhippietommy

Well-Known Member
#7
another thing that gets me is I get charged full amount for a almost inexperienced rookie to waste time on my problem and I have had to return my truck later because of it

they ought to pay us for allowing the rookies to get on the job training on our trucks
 

Skateboard puller

Well-Known Member
#8
Now it's a guessing game when you get stuff fixed. Was the new part you put on either the right part or good quality. Was the tech on his game. Did they actually diagnose it properly. I've started doing more and more of my own work or supervising the work getting done.
 

Curlytrucker

Well-Known Member
#9
"You are not authorized to fix anything other than what I brought it in for"(all freightliner shops) " I don't want it diagnosed just change the part (all freightliner shops) "No I will not pay you to upsale me (when asked to sign the express assessment form and get charged 200 to "look" at the truck(Fontana freightliner, medford freightliner, redding, slc,etc )) and the last shop " if my truck is just sitting in your yard how do things that were fine are now breaking all over my truck (Brooks freightliner, medford freightliner). There's only a few shops I trust and a few shops I haven't tried left on the west coast soon I'm going to be stuck with ta and loves fixing everything which isn't good either but at least most of the time they'll say they don't know and that answer I can't get pissed to
 

r3gulator3

Friendly Neighborhood Former Technician
Staff member
Supporter
#10
Before I can dive into this I need year make model of truck and what engine trans you have.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
#11
I'm just wishing I could have a concrete pad and shelter to work on my truck out of the weather.

I changed my window regulator last night in the parking lot at TA Dayton
 

Hammer166

Instigateur №166™
Supporter
Thread starter #12
Before I can dive into this I need year make model of truck and what engine trans you have.
I don't really need you to dive into it. It's a Delco 40SI and Dd13 in a 2017 WS that is only intermittently charging. All the connections are tight and clean. (This truck is less than a year old, and I checked) Most likely a regulator, but it's possible it's a bad windinwinding in the alternator itself.
 

r3gulator3

Friendly Neighborhood Former Technician
Staff member
Supporter
#13
I don't really need you to dive into it. It's a Delco 40SI and Dd13 in a 2017 WS that is only intermittently charging. All the connections are tight and clean. (This truck is less than a year old, and I checked) Most likely a regulator, but it's possible it's a bad windinwinding in the alternator itself.
They have had problems with the PNDB on Freightliner (yes western star got ruined by Daimler) products causing similar issues, the 40SI though is probably the problem once it gets hot. I have had success in the past finding slightly higher amp alternators at auto parts stores with the same pad mount in a pinch.

Your regen that’s just the way the 13 does it. They call it thermal management. Let’s cut a cylinder or two and throw the jakes on high, choke the VGT and call it a regen.
 

Sinister

Order of The Gilded Flip Flop
Staff member
Supporter
#16
Just sick of the sheer incompetence that is considered an acceptable skill level today.
I’m pretty tired of that in society all around. I’ve dubbed it “the acceptance of stupidity”.
 

Rigjockey

In Gord we trust!
Supporter
#18
But this whole concept of these dealers acting like the driver of the truck doesn't have a clue is getting real old. I realize this isn't a new problem, and I realize they mainly deal with steering wheel holders who don't have a clue, but some of us have been around a long time and have a very good grasp of what makes the big truck run. .
I hear ya! I brought a Penske lease to Penske to get a turn signal bulb changed. Buddy says, well, I'll have to take a look at it to see if it is a clear bulb or an amber bulb.
I said, It is an amber bulb.
Well, I will have to look.
One would think, One would think given it was a 50/50 shot of being clear or amber that he would bring out one of each.
NOPE! oh you need an amber bulb. I'll go get one.
:foreheadslap:No ****? Didn't I just say it was an amber bulb? :bonk:
 

Duck

Quack
Supporter
#19
I hear ya! I brought a Penske lease to Penske to get a turn signal bulb changed. Buddy says, well, I'll have to take a look at it to see if it is a clear bulb or an amber bulb.
I said, It is an amber bulb.
Well, I will have to look.
One would think, One would think given it was a 50/50 shot of being clear or amber that he would bring out one of each.
NOPE! oh you need an amber bulb. I'll go get one.
:foreheadslap:No ****? Didn't I just say it was an amber bulb? :bonk:
I don't say "amber", I say "orange".

My crayon box only has 8 colors. :thumbsup:
 
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