Semi-Trailer Repairs: Auto Repair Shop Versus Dealership

If you run a trucking company, one of the main decisions you have to make is where your semi-trailers will get repaired. As a fleet manager, you have two options for where you can get your semi-trailer repairs; utilizing an independent auto repair shop or utilizing a dealership.

Before deciding on which option to go with, it is essential to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of each. Additionally, it is prudent to consider the implications of each option for the long-term, not just a one-time semi-trailer repair service.

Thus, here are three points you need to compare between both options before making your decision.

Mechanical Expertise

Though both a dealership and a local auto repair shop can provide semi-trailer repair services, a dealership is considered a better option. 

The reason for appraising a dealership over an auto repair shop is that a dealership technician has received specialized manufacturer training on the various type of semi-trailer models the dealership provides. Thus, when you take your semi-trailer repairs to a dealership for repairs, you can rest assured that the technician providing the semi-trailer repairs is highly trained in every aspect of your semi-trailer.

Nonetheless, the technicians at an auto repair shop can still receive training from elsewhere and achieve the same proficiency as a dealership technician. However, they will not have a manufacturer's certification to prove that they are qualified to conduct the semi-trailer repairs on your trailer model.

Hence, as far as expertise is concerned, a dealership is your best bet for semi-trailer repairs.

Semi-Trailer Auto Parts

OEM parts and aftermarket parts work the same irrespective of the manufacturer in most cases. However, OEM and aftermarket semi-trailer parts can differ in price, compatibility, specification, and durability.

Now, when you take your semi-trailer for repairs at a dealership, you are guaranteed that only OEM parts get used as replacements. Thus, you are sure that the parts used will have the right specifications and compatibility with your semi-trailer model. However, you will have to incur a higher cost for the OEM parts because they are more expensive than aftermarket parts.

On the other hand, when you get your semi-trailer repairs from an independent auto repair shop, you can expect all sorts of parts, including new and used OEM and aftermarket parts. Thus, an auto repair shop provides more options for semi-trailer parts. Hence, if you are in a tight financial situation, you can have second-hand or aftermarket parts installed to save money.

Hence, as far as semi-trailer parts are concerned, an auto repair shop is the best option because you get to decide which parts get used based on what you can afford.

Labor Costs

On average, a semi-trailer repair mechanic at an auto repair shop will be more affordable. However, a mechanic will usually charge a bit higher at a dealership. Therefore, an auto body shop may be the best option considering the labor cost is cheaper than a dealership's.

However, suppose you have a valid dealership/manufacturer warranty that includes free labor on semi-trailer repairs. In that case, a dealership will be the best option because you will not get charged a cent for the labor.