As far as internal mechanics go, there is not much of a difference between a small passenger car and an eighteen-wheeler truck. Then why is it that repair workshops that work on regular passenger vehicles do not usually extend their service and target truckers? After all, trucks and cars need similar maintenance work. For example, both trucks and cars need their oil changed, tyres replaced, batteries recharged, brakes resurfaced, air conditioners serviced, and so on.
The reason for that can be summed up using a single word, size. The bigger size of trucks demands specialized tools and more powerful equipment. For example, all heavy-duty vehicles repair shop need bus lifts to lift RVs and full-size buses. Regular vehicle lifts for passenger cars simply do not have the lifting capacity to work on heavier vehicles.
If you are a business owner of a car repair shop looking to get into truck repairs, this post is for you. The following are the 4 things you need to do to expand your business and start repairing trucks and buses.
Change Marketing Tactics
Car repair shops can really benefit from social media marketing and local TV ads. However, most truck repair shops rely on good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing, flyers, and giant highway-adjacent signages. Promoting businesses in local truck stops is also a great way to get regular customers.
Prepare for a Much Bigger Investment
As you gear up to repair bigger vehicles you need to be prepared to make a much bigger investment.
What is the Cost of Opening a Car Repair Shop?
According to conservative estimates, you can open a small car repair shop by investing as little as $50,000. Here’s the breakup.
Tools and equipment $20,000
Renting a Space (Per Year) $20,000
Business Owner’s Insurance (Per Year) $4,000
2-Post Vehicle Lift (10,000 lbs capacity) $3,500
Installation Costs and Other Expenses $2,500
To give you an idea of how this compare to the investment of starting a truck repair shop, a truck or bus lift with 35,000 lbs lift capacity can cost around $30,000. You would also need to rent a much bigger space, which would quadruple the amount of rent you usually pay for a space meant for car repairs. You would also need heavy-duty tools such as more powerful engine hoists and power tools, which are generally more expensive.
Car repair garages usually do well in suburbs and quiet neighborhoods. Mainly because there is always a steady flow of car owners looking to get their vehicles repaired or serviced. Truck repair shops mainly do well if they are located near the highways. They use billboards and signages to inform truckers looking to get some repair work done. This means if your car repair shop is located within the city or in a family neighborhood, you would seriously need to consider relocating.
Get a Bigger Space
As mentioned in an earlier section, you need a bigger space to repair trucks. You would need space for multiple heavy-duty lifts and enough parking space outside the garage. Thankfully, the cost of renting space near highways are usually much cheaper per square meter than renting spaces in the city or in the suburbs.