Oil is Expensive,

 

 

But Losing it is Much More!

 

by John Strong III


We have a serious oil leak for two weeks since we were in North Dakota. It seems that it's gotten worse and worse in one of our international trucks. When we were at a ten day spot in Bismarck, ND, I put it in a reputable shop with a good reputation. It was called Inland Truck Parts and Service. They have 24branches around the United States. When I went and talked to the service manager at ITPS, he said he was backlogged three weeks with the oil trucks because there was such a big oil boom in that area. When I pulled up to ITPS, I never seen such a facility. It was as big as half a football field with lifts that could lift up semi trucks. It was immaculate. No grease or oil to be found on floor or anywhere. I knew it was not going to be cheap to fix this oil leak because I was loosing gallons every fifty miles, but I was confident in my choice of getting a reputable company to fix the problem. Since the front half of the box truck is our living quarters and the back of the truck when not in use is a bunk house for our main foreman, leaving the truck for a few days to get repaired was a necessary inconvenience. My wife and I went to Motel-6 and it was still 80 a night plus tax because we were in an oil boom town. They diagnosed the truck as a bad rear seal, which required them to tear the engine from the transmission, a big job in this big truck.

We're happy to get the truck back Saturday afternoon because we had to slough and leave for our next event in Rapid City, SD, a 300 mile jump.

When I picked up the truck, I noticed a big puddle of oil while fueling. I thought it was excess accumulated oil or oil just dripping off of other parts where we had such a massive leak. To my utter amazement, we started losing oil at the same 3 gallons every 50 miles. I called Inland Truck and explained this to the service manager and he passed it off as oil that accumulated on the motor. I was heartsick because I knew it wasn't. The same problem was still there. When I got to Rapid City, we went through 15 gallons/$200 of oil. We were on a time schedule at Rapid City so I had to setup and make opening. I wasn't able to get to the Inland truck service center until Thursday. As they were a sister company, they were very apologetic in Rapid City. The only problem is in Rapid City is that they had only parts, no service except for transmission work. The manager was willing to put it in a competitor's diesel truck shop, but we were there only a few days and heading to Sioux Falls. He said they had their biggest truck service center in Sioux Falls On our jump to Rapid City to a little town outside Sioux Falls, we stopped at an auto parts store to buy three more gallons of oil to make it to our destination. The mechanic on duty looked at our motor while it was running and said we had a bad turbo. He was willing to fix it right on the spot, but the turbo is an $1100 part and I had $1700 invested with Inland. I opted to take it to Inland because they were responsible and my warranty was with them.

When I first arrived to the Sioux Falls truck center, I met the actual owner of all 24 branches across the US, a gentleman named Greg. Greg came to our festival the next day with a Shiner's hat and a big Mason's ring and was so thrilled to see me that he took a big photo of me and himself. I gave him a dozen free tickets for him and his drunken Shrine's throwing balls at our bozo neighbor. I really liked Greg when he shown up. He said he sent for the part because he said it was the turbo that was bad. I liked how I had a friend in the shop, but soon I would find out that was a big facade. It turns out Greg sent for the truck part by snail mail when they should have over-nighted the part, but they didn't want to pay a $300 shipping charge. Greg on late Friday said they sent the wrong part number and they had to reorder the right turbo from Missouri, which is sometimes pronounced the same as “misery” by the natives. At this point, I was getting fed up with the whole inland truck service incompetence, but I was going to get even more fed up when Greg said we're not charging you for the labor, only $1100 for the new turbo part. This is when I lost my temper.

I explained to Greg that it was his sister company that misdiagnosed my truck that I had to pay $1700 for a nonexistent problem. I took it to a reputable shop, not a shade tree mechanic. Now you either make it good or I'm going to hire a lawyer, sue you and end up with a new truck over this situation. Not to mention the $1700 I have invested, 80 a night for five nights, 30 gallons/$400 of oil, not to mention the inconvenience, you bastards sending things snail mail and costing me one fair, and now ordering the right part and wanting to send it by snail mail again which would cost me another fair, this is an epic failure on the part of Inland Truck that has cost me thousands.

I hung up on Greg. Ten minutes later he called the parts company and said they would have it shipped by 12 and have my truck out two hours later. He would have the bill situation worked out any way I wanted to because it was a misjudgment on their part. The bottom line is I took my truck to a good place to have it fixed right, then when they fixed it I paid up honorably the exorbitant amount they wanted. However they tried to turn it around and make it my mistake. If you're meek or mild or people think you're just a simple soul or stupid or a carnie or a fly by night, they will try to take advantage of you every time. Sometimes you
just have  to say stick up your @$$ and  it's going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

Nice guys don't always finish first. People wonder why I'm the way I am.

 


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