Benefits of Mobile Truck Service
In the modern age of tight deadlines and the necessary efficiency, it isn’t always easy to take time out of your schedule to keep up with the maintenance on your heavy equipment. Aside from being needed on the job site, they can also be inconvenient or simply too large to move. As a result, if they get pushed too hard for too long, they may stop working altogether and break down on the site, or become unsafe to operate on highways or city streets. It could be costly to tow, or to spend weeks waiting for repairs that cost valuable productivity. What can be done to prevent this?
Don’t worry! We’ve thought of the answer already. And it’s West Tech Mobile’s mobile truck service.
If your first thought is that the term only means “roadside assistance”, you’re only partway there. Our Calgary-based mobile truck service is so much more – in fact, it’s a way of bringing a shop directly to you, wherever you need it.
If your machinery, trucks, or other heavy equipment needs preventative maintenance, checkups, or repairs – or if it breaks down on site beyond your ability to fix – you no longer have to figure out the logistics of getting it to a shop and wasting time and staff in the process. Forget about the safety risks of navigating highways or narrow city roads, and simply give West Tech a call.
Not only will this save you time and money (and a lot of headaches), but when we come out to you, it means that we have a direct link to your employees and operators who know the equipment the best. We can communicate instantly about any problems and solutions, and have the right information on hand to get the job done properly as soon as possible. And the best part? Once the unit is fixed, it’s ready to go right away. There’s no waiting around for someone to drive it back to the site and get it back in place.
And, of course, we can also use these mobile units for roadside assistance, too. We can do the same kinds of repairs, on the spot, while you sit in our warm truck and wait.
You may be thinking that we have some small vans or trucks, and that we can’t make it to your remote worksite in the field. We wanted to make sure that we could, so we use a fleet of 4x4 vehicles that can cross even the most unforgiving terrain. They are all equipped with cranes, air compressors, welders, generators, and much more, to ensure that even just one of our techs can lift, reach, and repair heavy equipment all on their own. All of our field computers have portable internet sticks so we can use our software to give you the same quality of service you’d find in the shop. After all, that’s really what these trucks are – portable warehouses and mobile shops that make your life easier.
So the next time you’re in need of some tune-ups, preventative maintenance, on-site repairs, or other work on your units, trucks, or equipment, remember that West Tech Mobile brings a whole shop right to you. You won’t find a better mobile truck service in Calgary, or anywhere else in Alberta!
Avoiding Department Of Transportation Fines With Our Spring Special!
It looks like warm weather has finally returned, and as the old saying goes, that means it’s time for our second-longest Canadian season: construction! Trucks, rollers, pavers, cranes, and all kinds of other vehicles will be out in force in the coming months, working hard and doing what they do best.
But many of those vehicles have been sitting idle for several months, as the cold weather really blasted Calgary this year. That means all the hoses, pipes, and connections could have suffered damage over that time, and even the quality of the fluids inside the tanks and reservoirs could be reduced. And having a vehicle with multiple issues isn’t the kind of spring start you likely envisioned.
While you may think it’s not a big deal, and that you can get everything checked out down the road or as it flares up to give you trouble, here’s the thing. The Department of Transportation also knows all of this, and they’re ready to go on a spring roadside safety blitz, with checkstops popping up all over. And if there’s one piece of advice we can offer, it’s this: don’t start your season with hefty fines and lost time because you didn’t properly prep your heavy equipment, machinery, or trucks to be safe on the road!
Because of the nature of their work, safety standards can be very strict around this kind of equipment, and the DOT doesn’t take chances. Even small issues – like a functioning headlight that has a crack or hole in it – can be enough to shut you down due to the possibility of causing an accident later on, and some of these are so minor that you wouldn’t necessarily catch them on a simple walkaround.
It may sound like we’re exaggerating or fearmongering, but we simply want our clients to be able to do their jobs and get home safe to their families at the end of every day. That’s why West Tech Mobile has set up a Spring Special deal (details listed below), just for people like you – an all-in-one package designed to go over your vehicle’s systems and parts and ensure that it’s all in good shape for the season ahead. Tire pressure, lights, leaks from hoses, electrical connections…we’ll make sure you’re road-ready and have nothing to fear from a sudden checkstop on the highway.
With this kind of preventative maintenance, it’s much easier to pay once and have peace of mind than to be stuck footing a tow bill and a day of lost productivity, or to have something go wrong when you’re far away from home, out in the oilfield of northern Alberta, or outside any of the major cities and towns. It’s always better to catch and fix little problems, before they become big headaches.
Call West Tech Mobile in the industrial area of southeast Calgary today to find out more about our Spring Special – it doesn't take much time and you’ll be very glad you did!
Spring Special Includes...
Cooling system performance test, checking all fins, checking coolant strength, a/c performance test (hookup manifold gauge kit, check static pressures, etc), check vent temperatures, check cycle times on your compressors, check condition of drive belts, a visual inspection of condenser and fins, checking fan hub operation, pressure washing dirt and bugs found in fins, check the blower fan for functioning, check for any winter damages.
When purchasing this bundle receive an incredible 25% OFF!
This is only on until the first day of summer so be sure to...
Fifth Wheel Safety and Maintenance
If you’re a truck driver or a heavy equipment operator – or even if you’re just someone who loves to camp! – then chances are good that you’re familiar with fifth-wheel configurations. These setups, in which a trailer is hooked into the tractor or semi by a “kingpin” held in place in the centre of a disc or other mechanism, are very common and can be seen all over the roads you travel.
There are many different kinds of fifth-wheel connectors. Aside from the common vertical pin type that you’ll likely see on semis and tractor-trailers, there are also pintle hitches, which use a hook and a ring to allow greater flexibility on rough terrain; gooseneck hitches, which are used in pickup truck beds to pull campers and horse trailers; ball hitches, which usually attach to the back end of a truck for a variety of towing needs, and low-mount car-haulers – kind of like miniature flatbeds. With so much variation in style and capability, it’s easy for some telltale signs of danger or incorrect weight distribution to go unnoticed. And that means bad news!
It’s fairly obvious what will happen if your fifth-wheel detaches while you’re driving, and it is improperly attached or maintained – the trailer will drop, with no way to stop or steer it! If it’s heavy and you’re going highway speeds, that can spell catastrophic danger for anyone around, and virtually guarantees a trailer that will soon be smashed into scrap metal. This is a headache that you absolutely want to avoid, for many more reasons than we could list here.
It pays to be familiar with the different styles of connectors, and what their benefits and disadvantages are in terms of weight distribution, capability on different terrains, etc. Make sure you are familiar with handling before you set out on a long trip, too. But by far, the most important step you can take is simply to keep up with your maintenance, and make sure there are no underlying problems that will cause a failure.
Always use your senses and do a visual inspection of the connection point, brake lines, safety chains, and other vital places around the truck and trailer, but remember – just because it looks good, doesn’t mean it is! Listen as you drive for anything that sounds out of place: do you hear binding or snapping sounds, especially around corners? That’s inertia and momentum, throwing weight out of place and putting too much stress in certain areas. Are you finding it difficult to disengage the pin when releasing the fifth wheel? You could be lacking grease, or have misaligned parts. Signs like heavy pitting on the top plate or a wrongly set adjustment rod (on some styles) can indicate big problems further in. And as we’re a fan of saying – use preventative maintenance now, to save time, money and stress later!
Oftentimes, fifth-wheel systems can be rebuilt or repaired for a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire thing. But it all depends on how early you catch any issues, and how well you’ve taken care of your equipment over the many miles along the road. You don’t want to be stranded on the roadside, at best, or – at worst – cause a major accident that could have lethal consequences for you or someone else.
If you want to be sure that your trailer is working at its best, bring it to West Tech Mobile for an inspection – or let us come to you with one of our fully equipped service trucks. We may not find anything major, and in fact, we hope we don’t, but when it comes to safety, there’s no substitute for doing it right!
CVIP versus Preventative Maintenance
It’s not always easy to maintain a single vehicle that gets used every day, let alone an entire fleet of them. Between dust and debris, bad driving conditions, extreme temperatures, and just plain old wear and tear, it won’t take long to run into trouble somewhere if you’re not keeping up with inspections! Today we’re going to talk about two similar maintenance and inspection routines – different, but each necessary in their own way.
The first one is the CVIP, or Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program. These mandatory inspections have high standards, set by the government, and are intended to ensure that any vehicle on the road is actually worthy of being there! They check out your brakes, steering, structural integrity, emissions systems, and the other parts of your vehicle that keep it running smoothly.
The second is preventative maintenance, or PM. While not strictly mandatory, this routine means you are getting regular check-ups on the overall function of your vehicle – everything from the tires being a little low on air, to the A/C needing a recharge soon, or even the door handle sticking now and then. The whole point of this program is to catch issues when they are small, fix them before they become large, and save you plenty of time and money along the way.
So why are they both needed? Couldn’t either one catch everything at a time?
While they are both done for the performance of your vehicle, CVIP is generally only concerned with the things that would make your driving unsafe, while preventative maintenance will catch any issue, even if it is only cosmetic or simply inconvenient. Beyond that, CVIPs are only done at specific intervals – in some cases, once a year – and let’s just say that there’s plenty that can happen to your vehicle in a year! While the inspection itself may have a fixed cost, if you run into surprises that you weren’t aware of, that cost can balloon substantially when you find them.
By using a consistent PM schedule, you have much more control over your time and money when it comes to what you’re spending on your heavy-duty equipment. Small issues are fixed before they become crippling. Large repairs can sometimes be dealt with in stages, helping to alleviate immediate expenses, and you’ll be aware of anything that might be problematic in the near future, allowing you to budget accordingly. And of course, you get the peace of mind knowing you won’t have any trouble while trying to get your work done, or when you’re heading home after a long day.
Many people wait until their truck is in the shop for a CVIP inspection, and are then blindsided with costs for repairs to joints, chassis parts, or other engine components that they didn’t expect. By using PM to your advantage, you can not only avoid this, but increase the longevity of your vehicle, too! Think of something simple, like engine oil: it’s critical to the function of your engine, but it’s not even one of the criteria in a CVIP inspection. If you’re waiting for them to catch an issue with it, you’ll be waiting a long time – so it’s better to be proactive.
Need even more benefits? Chances are, if you’re concerned about a CVIP, you use your truck or heavy equipment to make a living, and if that vehicle is out of commission for even a few days, you can lose hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars. You’re losing out twice, because you’re not only spending money on repairs, but you’re not making any while the repairs are being done! So if you want to make sure everything is running smooth, get started on preventative maintenance as soon as possible. For example, if you notice some leaky shocks and you get them fixed before they run dry, you just potentially saved thousands of dollars and a whole lot of stress; but if they technically pass the CVIP, and you forget about them for six months until you get pulled over? That’s going to be one big headache.
Just don’t risk it – get going on your preventative maintenance program today, to help make your CVIP routine painless and easy! With West Tech Mobile, we have our top technicians ready to serve you, and we can make sure that your job doesn’t get any harder than it already is. We’re always trying to keep our clients on the road, and giving them helpful tips on how to get the most out of their engines.
Give us a call at 403-265-5699 today to find out more about CVIPs, preventative maintenance/PM, and why we’re one of Calgary’s favourite heavy-duty maintenance shops!
Synthetic vs. Mineral Lubes for Gears
Every engine, from those in the smallest toy trucks to the ones in expensive high-end vehicles, uses gears of some kind. These gears transfer movement from the engine components to the axles – which means that they need to be in proper working order for the vehicle to perform at its highest standard. And with constant friction, hard metal parts, and often-dirty work environments, keeping gears lubricated is a must if you want your powertrain to do its best.
When it comes to lubricants, there are two kinds to know about: synthetic and mineral. Synthetic is more expensive, but more stable; mineral is cheaper, but not as versatile in extreme temperatures. How can you know which one to use on your powertrain gears?
Let’s talk about each one, first. Synthetic lubricants are more stable in extreme weather, and one of their major selling points is that they flow well in the cold, and do not break down as easily in heat. This makes them ideal for driving through the icy months of deep winter, or for long drives through hot, stuffy plains and prairies in the summer. However, this increased fluidity can also possibly mean more leaks – as they more readily get past seals and gaskets – and it also means synthetic lubricants are more expensive (usually around 2.5x more).
Mineral lubricants, on the other hand, are cheaper, and better suited to going through different weather types – provided they are not extreme at one end or the other. With southern Alberta’s generally mild winters, mineral lubricants are often enough to keep you going without too much trouble. However, they can get thick and sticky when it’s very cold, or oxidize and break down in intense heat, and if that happens then you will have to take care of it quickly, or risk damaging the gears and other moving parts of your engine.
Because much of Alberta is part of the prairies, and there is so much heavy industry, there’s plenty of dust in the air in this province – and much of this can end up in your engine’s intake, and eventually inside the lubricants and other fluids that work inside it. This particulate can nullify the benefits of synthetic lubricants altogether if it is not regularly tested – the contaminated gear lubes will reduce durability and life of driveline components and engines. Rather than simply saying that one type of lube is better for such conditions, we’ll say that the best thing to do is simply to change the lubricant more often! If you are not constantly heading into Arctic blizzards or southern heat waves, the high quality of modern mineral lubes and engine oils should be more than enough for your vehicle. Get a fluid analysis done at least once a year to check for particles, debris, or other contaminants that can create issues in the lifespan of your valuable components.
The best recommendation we can make? Ask a professional! If you don't need synthetic oils and lubes... don't use them! If you are choosing a product yourself then be sure to choose an extremely high quality one that is API approved like we always use for our customers! Here at West Tech Mobile, our technicians have years of experience in this area and in many, many others. We’re ready to assist you with any questions you may have, and to help you get the best driving experience and durability out of your vehicle when you’re out on the job. You can visit our shop at 22-5555 51 Ave SE in Calgary, or we can even come to you, wherever you are – we have a fleet of fully-equipped mobile service trucks that can bring our expertise directly to your site. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that! Drop us a line today to find out how we can help you make the right decisions for your vehicle. We look forward to talking to you!
It Might Be More Than Just Worn Out Semi Truck Tires...
Vehicles, and even more so specialized work vehicles, have a lot of complicated moving parts – there are plenty of circuits, hoses, valves, pipes, hydraulic lines, and belts that can wear out over time. But there’s one part that consistently gets overlooked when it comes time to maintain your truck – a part that might get the most wear and tear of all. We’re talking, of course, about your tires.
Tires are incredibly tough, and they have to be. They put up with the punishing cold air and blistering heat from the asphalt, and they experience friction along the rough road surface literally every time your truck is used. And despite all this, they can last a very long time…but it also means that if something is wrong with your tires, it’s going to affect the rest of your unit’s performance.
If your first stop is to a tire shop, rather than a dedicated mechanic, you’ll likely find that you need new tires – because their job is to sell you tires! They’ll point out that your tires are worn, but they won’t tell you why it’s happening. And at many hundreds of dollars per tire, that decision to only put a “band-aid” on the issue can cost you big, down the line. It’s better to identify the underlying issue in your vehicle that’s causing unnecessary stress and wear on your tires, and repair that as well. And that’s where West Tech Mobile comes in!
Our mechanics don’t just replace your tires – they show you how to prevent your new set from wearing down in the same way. Whether it’s from an alignment issue, over- or under-inflation, component wear, tough driving conditions, or just bad driving (from your coworker, of course), we can pinpoint the cause and guide you on future prevention.
For example, if your steering tires are worn, your rear axle could be out of alignment. If there’s diagonal cupping, your steering components could be wearing through. If you see a feather pattern going across the tread, your rear suspension is likely pushing the loads you’re hauling, and your steering tires are compensating. Flat spots from improper brakes, loose wheel nut torque, powertrain wear…there are so many combinations and factors – it’s definitely worth it to get a professional mechanic to look at the whole picture!
We won’t just compare your tires to a wear chart and convince you to get a new set on the spot – we’re all about education. From the correct procedure after having your wheels reinstalled (be sure to retorque the wheel nuts within 100 km) to the importance of having the same size and tread depth, we’re happy to show you how to get the most out of your tire investment.
At West Tech Mobile, we listen to what our customers’ tires are telling us, and that lets us limit your later expenses on suspension, springs, steering components, and more. And of course, it might save you more than money – identifying problem areas with your steering, brakes, or suspension could even save your life on the highway one day.
We can’t stress enough the importance of having good tires on your rig. Visit West Tech Mobile before your next tire swap for a wear analysis on your components, and for an in-depth summary of how to get the most out of your next tire purchase. Give us a call at 403-265-5699 today!
Calgary Stampede Heavy Truck Trailer Repair
Summer has finally arrived in Calgary, and the long days here in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains can only mean one thing: it’s almost time for Stampede! Hitting the city for ten days every July, this internationally-renowned event draws hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world.
Of course, with all these people come all the logistics, and getting Stampede Park ready for more than a million visitors is no easy feat. Dozens of trucks, tractor-trailers, forklifts, and other heavy equipment roll through the streets, and plenty more campers, motorhomes, pickups and horse trailers, and buses follow behind them. Even though everyone hopes for the best, the fact is that sometimes there are unfortunate circumstances and unforeseen problems.
Many visitors to the Stampede haul fifth-wheels, livestock trailers, and wagons all the way to Calgary from ranches and farms all across the continent. If you are from the USA, you likely want to be sure that all of your vehicles and equipment are in good working order before you set off on the long road home – and what better way to do that than to have a professional technician come to you and inspect everything? At West Tech Mobile, our portable service trucks are designed specifically for this kind of call – we can visit you on-site and we’re fully equipped to perform necessary repairs, tune-ups, and more. This is especially helpful if the worst happens, and you break down completely while you’re in or near the city. Just give us a call, and we’ll be out to help you as soon as we can!
Even more in need would be the trucks hauling the parts of the Stampede midway itself: hydraulic systems, ride components, and all the other pieces that make it the go-to party of the city every year. Obviously, these units are subject to some stringent safety standards, and no driver wants to be pulled over and fined for a problem that is easily preventable. If you get pulled into one of these stations, need a repair, and have no idea what to do, then you can call us and we'll help you out! Whether you get stopped on the way into Calgary, or you want to ensure you’ll have a smooth ride on the way out, West Tech Mobile can get you up to inspection standards. (And do you know what those standards are in Alberta? Click here to find out more information.)
Are you heading up to Klondike Days, or “K-Days”, in Edmonton, just after the Stampede ends? Between Calgary and Edmonton alone there are two commercial vehicle inspection stations, and any number of deficiencies can keep you parked, or even impounded, until they are repaired. Luckily, that’s how we are different! Give us a call and we will even come to where you are and get you back on the road. We can work on motorhomes, semi trucks, tractor-trailers, cattle trailers, diesel one-tonne trucks, and many other heavy-duty vehicles.
Whether it’s a mechanical issue, an electronic malfunction, a worn-down part, or something else buried deep in your engine, our qualified technicians are able to find and repair the issue with our sophisticated computer diagnostics and technical knowledge. If you want the peace of mind, knowing you’re avoiding a bigger problem down the line, then West Tech Mobile should be the call to make! We have roadside assistance trucks on call and available 24/7, so that you’ll never be left waiting days for a shop to open.
Call our shop at 1-403-265-5699 to book your inspection or repair in Calgary. If you’re stuck on the roadside within a few hours of Calgary in southern Alberta, simply call 1-403-899-8805 to get through to our mobile assistance line. You’re never far from help with West Tech Mobile!
When You Should Change Your Truck Gear Lubes
Modern trucks have come a long way since their start over a hundred years ago – from the simple engines and mechanical parts of the first trucks, we now have trucks that are specialized for all kinds of heavy-duty tasks. As their capabilities and environmental pollution standards increased, the amount of necessary equipment under the hood did, too, and today, we have finely-tuned machines that will perform their duties incredibly well…provided that they are maintained properly.
Some of the most important components in a truck transmission are the gears, which allow the generated movement to be transferred to the axles and the wheels. An improper gear alignment can wreak havoc on the vehicle’s ability to perform well, and the sound of grinding gears is one that no owner wants to hear while they’re on the road. To prevent this, and to keep your truck at its top abilities, it’s a good idea to make sure that your gears are not only set properly, but also lubricated correctly.
Gear lubricants, when clean and of the right viscosity and type, prevent early gear failure and ensure that your truck will stay reliable and on the road. In dry, dusty climates like Alberta, extra dirt (which grinds down your vehicle's components into microscopic particles of iron, brass, or other contaminants) can find its way into your gear lube lines, which is the first step in a process that leads to degradation, breakdown, and the potential to find yourself looking at thousands of dollars in repair costs. It’s like having sandpaper in your components, instead of lubrication!
At West Tech Mobile, we’re committed to preventative maintenance that fixes problems before they become major ones. For gear lubricants, we actually take samples and analyze them in a lab to determine how much contamination is present, in parts per million – and look to identify potential problems early on, so we can flush it out and easily extend the life of your valuable asset.
Beyond that, we’ve devised a better filtration system for your powertrain breathers, which allow air to circulate into and out of the system to avoid seal failures elsewhere. This means less grit in your lubricants, and a better, longer overall life of your truck.
Photo 1: The axle breather that the manufacturer puts on the rear axle. It’s about 9” long with no filter in it – this is not enough, and will allow contamination to enter your gear lubes, causing them to eventually break down and create a failure with a large associated cost to fix.
Photo 2: The axle breather from West Tech Mobile, which is much better for preventative maintenance. Notice the inline filtration system in the middle. Ours is much longer with an inline filter, which provides superior filtration and, if you drive your unit while it has any water, road splash, or dust along the axles, then our filter will help prevent costly breakdowns. This filter can also be used on transmissions, transfer cases, and other components in order to extend the life of your components.
Manufacturers usually suggest guidelines regarding how often you should change your gear lubes, but these are general and do not account for specific environments. In the area around Calgary in Alberta, where we have salty roads, high winds, a dry climate, and plenty of dust, the gear lubes can be contaminated quickly resulting in major problems. If this happens, a rear-end failure can have a repair bill of thousands of dollars’ worth of parts and labour. Comparatively, a West Tech Mobile flush, breather update, and lubricant swap is only a few hundred dollars – and will extend the life of those parts while saving you a lot of money. Simply come in for a lube analysis to see how your gear lubes are holding up!
We are living in a cost-conscious world now where companies try to make a minimal solution in order to cut costs, and such measures typically result in failed components shortly after the warranty is up. At West Tech Mobile, we strive to create long-term solutions that will keep you going, and making sure you get to where you need to be.
Call West Tech Mobile for your appointment today, at 403-265-5699, or visit our shop at #22, 5555 51 Ave SE in Calgary, Alberta. We’re happy to offer roadside assistance as well, for all of Alberta, including nearby towns and areas like Airdrie, Okotoks, Strathmore, Cochrane, Bragg Creek and more. Let us know how we can help you get the most out of your heavy-duty trucks!