self repair vs shop repair

#1 plowtech

Senior Member
United States
i read thru the posts multiple times per day,looking at different feedback and problem solvers, my question is how many people send there plow in for service vs self repair? if you do self repair, to what extent do you repair?(minor problem vs major problem) thanks fo all the great posts, happy holidays, pt.

jason2 Veteran
I do all of my own repairs. Sucks having no shop. Laying on a tarp on the snow. Pulling engines on an uneven dirt driveway isn't much fun either. You learn lot's of little tricks to compensate for no shop. For engine swaps, you can lay sheets of plywood down for a false floor to give the cherry picker something to roll on. Tarping up over the front of your plow to work on the pump keeps moisture out. etc...

Hopefully I'll have a new home plus shop by next fall. Really gets old working outside.

75 Addict
I like "wrenching", as well as welding/fabricating, so I do just about everything myself with the exception of: engine/transmission rebuilds, rear end work (gears) and windshield removal/installation! (I can REMOVE a windshield, but it won't be usable afterwards.......................)

I rent a shop,which has a downside - $$$ - and an upside - whether it's cold, wet, dark etc doesn't matter 'cause I'm inside!


Western CT
Having a shop makes working a lot easier. Being able to pull a fullsize truck loaded with a plow and sander inside to work is nice. Plus a lift and an overhead electric chain hoist makes moving equipment easier.

I started out without all this stuff. Working outside. I used to use the old blue tarp to build a tent over my truck. Those are days I do not miss.

I also beleive that having the right tools is important. When I have a job that I need a tool for I just go buy it. Much easier then trying to make things work. Lots of testing tools for plows and for small engines are available from Snap-on or from the plow makers.

jason2 Veteran
Fireman, I hear you! I used to have a shop. Then I moved to WA. What a change. Going from working inside with a nice setup to outside isn't easy, but a guy makes do with what he has.

Starting over isn't fun, but it makes a person hungry to have the things they used to have. I know I'll make it to where I want to be and have a shop again, plus other things.
We do everything in house as well.I own an Auto\Truck repair shop,so that helps.We make most of our stuff like racks,mounts,bumpers,etc.We have a welding\fab area,so repairs are a snap.Whatever we can't make,I keep in house for spares on hand,so downtime is always at a minimum.Most of our drivers are licensed mechanics,who also help build\prep the trucks,so they know them inside out.We build all of our trucks for plowing only,they don't get used in the summer.Fuel efficiency and reliability are the main goal.

Most of the trucks carry spare parts,and a full set of tools,so they can be repaired on site for small stuff.Usually carry spare plow stuff,as well as hoses,belts,spare ign parts etc.Again,these repairs are usually done by the drivers,as they are mchanics too.If they are,we train them to know how to diagnose and repair these type of things on site.Towing a truck back to the shop,and having someone else look at it takes way too long.


2000 Club Member
I do all the repairs on the plows/sanders and most on the trucks although todays engines have gotten beyond my abilities. I will send engine work out if needed. New truck is an automatic, so that will go out too if there's a major problem in the tranny.


Senior Member
I agree with CT18fireman, if a particular tool will make things easier, I go out and buy. I once bought a puller for hydraulic lifters. Even though 99% of the time they just slide out, I had some that were varnished up so bad I needed a puller. I only used it once and haven't touched it in 10 years, but if I ever need it, I got one. :)

To answer #1plowtech wes's question. I do all my own repairs, whether it's a plow or whatever.

cutntrim - Veteran
I guess I'm the only guy that doesn't do in-house repairs. The trucks go to an auto mechanic (I've known him for 16 years). The plows go to the shops where I bought 'em. I do PM on the mowing equipment but for repairs it goes to a repair shop owned by a guy I subcontract snowplowing to.

When I'm not working with the guys in the field, I'm in the office working on the business side of things. Aside from not having the technical knowhow, I don't have the time to service my own stuff.

Mick Veteran
All of my repairs are done by others' whether the dealer where I bought my trucks and plows or my local mechanic. I have a 30'x40' garage, just figure there are people out there wanting my business just like I want their plowing business. I used to do all my own mechanical work for many years. I've spent many nights laying on a cold floor or creeper under a car to get it fixed to use the next day.


Senior Member
winterset iowa
as i work in a dealership body shop i am able to do most of my own repairs on truck and plow. i have 24 hr. access to the shop and have lots of toys(tools). if its something i can't or dont want to handle i get a great employee rate.


Moline, IL
I do most of my repairs myself and if i can't do it(which isn't very often) I take it to a little shop that a friend owns....plow repairs and such I do myself though..


Senior Member
I do all the pm in my shop, simple truck and equiptment stuff I do myself everything else is either under warrenty or I have the dealer or take it to a friends shop. I figure I should stick to what I do best (I can make more $ in the time it would take me to fix big stuff than he charges me) after all it is all about efficiency.

nsmilligan Veteran
Nova Scotia
I do all my own plow and spreader repairs, and most of the truck repairs ( except of course warranty). I have a pretty well equiped shop with welder( almost a must have) compresser etc.
I don't how you would manage using a shop ( unless it was availiable 24hrs a day, and the guy will drop anything else to work on your gear)


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