136: Are Warranties Necessary?

This week on the Oakley Podcast, Jeremy chats with Mike Donnelly, an expert on warranties from Murphy-Hoffmann Company (MHC) Kenworth. During the episode, Mike discusses all things warranties including important information on what to look for in warranty information, the necessity of warranties and having an advocate on your side to interpret all the details of warranty coverage. All that and more on this week’s episode.

Highlights from this week’s conversation include:

  • Introduction to warranties (2:50)
  • New warranties vs aftermarket warranties (5:36)
  • Are warranties worth buying? (12:24)
  • Determining if a repair is under warranty or not (15:37)
  • Having someone on your side in warranty negotiations (25:01)
  • Tips and advice on what to look for in warranties (33:30)
  • Final takeaways (49:05)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com.


Mike Donnelly  00:12

You got two choices: you can educate yourself about it, meaning become a student of the warranty that you got, and be able to debate it with anyone. Or you have to partner up with a service provider that you trust that they know what to do so you got a lifeline.

Jeremy Kellett  00:29

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business, and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley Trucking, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner-operators and their families by giving them up-to-date information concerning Oakley Trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an inside to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family. Hi, this Jeremy Kellett director recruiting here at Oakley trucking now I’m your host for this podcast. This is the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. And this is episode 136. So on today’s episode, I got an expert with me today, Mike Donnelly, and we’re going to talk about warranties, truck warranties, factory warranties versus aftermarket warranties, how the process works, how to maybe make it easier on you know, even make the decision of do I need a warranty. Even maybe some stuff of what warranties cover what they don’t cover. And you know more than anything, a little bit of the details, we’re going to put it in layman’s terms because warranties can be so confusing to everybody. But Mike’s gonna break it down for us and help us understand warranties a whole lot better. So we’re looking forward to that. Gonna do that here in just a second. But first, let’s get a word from LubeZone on our Oakley update. You know you’ve been hearing me talk about LubeZone for a couple of years now. Well, now it’s time you hear from one of our owner operators. Listen to Mike Durbin talk about his experience with LubeZone.

Mike Durbin  02:09

The price is great. The service is great. From the time when I pulled the door till the time I pulled out with less than an hour the best I’ve ever had, as far as an owner operator had more chains, checks the wall but showed me all they had all the Horsham on the renter’s showed me my rear end wall on the paper and they did their job. You know, it was just very nice to go somewhere. Get what you wanted done and go be I was very pleased by it. And like I said, very satisfied. I will go out of my way from now on to go

Jeremy Kellett  02:44

check out lube zone.com For all their services and all their locations and tell them you heard it on the Oakley podcast. Okay, Mike, let’s talk about warranties. I know that this gets everybody excited. It does sometimes in a good way. Sometimes not. But you know, it’s something that even on my own pickup, I think about I don’t know what else COVID I don’t want to go through the torture of reading all that detail, right? Warranty, but I should have paid a lot of money for it. But you know, it’s, it’s confusing to me a lot of times and, you know, just a prime example. Yesterday, or the day before, I heard a little bit of whining in my truck. And I thought, what is that I turned everything off while listening to it? When I pressed on the accelerator, I could hear just a little bit of whining on it. Right? And my strokes only got 20,000 miles on it. So I made a leak called made appointment, dropped it off the shop. I wrote on the note, even I said it, you know, kind of sounds like a pulley bail something in that I’ve heard that before over the years. And I got it in there. And she called me and said do you want the good news or the bad news? I said, Well, my old self is good on both. So just give me you know, and I came here and I think she said that. The bad news is your ad is poor and the good news is it’s under warranty. I really didn’t when she told me it was a pulley in the belt. I didn’t expect it to be under warranty for that. But anyway, it was so it was a good experience I had with them getting into habits ready to you know, yesterday at the end of the day, so I picked it up for warranty work. Yeah, warranty work for me. So a lot of people don’t tell you know, that’s true, and they actually weren’t. But anyway, I wanted to have this conversation because working at Oakley, we work with dealerships all the time. And a lot of times our recruiting department gets involved in warranties or at least involve learning about them. And so we want to try to and we want to understand them better. Now, the truck drivers want to understand the warranties better. So I appreciate you sitting down with me and helping me explain some of this stuff you want to. I guess we first need to introduce you. Okay, I have known you for a long time. Mark, darling, but Allah, you’ve been dealing with Mortiz

Mike Donnelly  05:10

I’ve been in business 47 years, represented Kenworth 37 and been in management. Probably 30 years.

Jeremy Kellett  05:22

That’s impressive. It really is. And you’ve been dealing with warranty for a long time. Yep. Yep. Most of that time, though. Yeah. So hi, I guess you know, to start off the difference in what I try to understand is actual warranty that you buy. When you get a new vehicle, right, you get an automatic factory warranty correct. If you buy a used vehicle, then you buy an aftermarket warranty? Correct? What’s the difference between those two?

Mike Donnelly  06:00

Okay, your new vehicle warranty. Like, for instance, on class eight vehicles, typically, the first part portion I was 12 months or 100,000 miles. And then you can buy extended warranty, you can buy different particular warranties on engine or after treatment, or a year train air conditioning anything? Well, when you do that, regardless of how many times that fails during that period, you take it to the dealership, and provided it’s a failed part or workmanship issue from the factory, if it’s under that period is pretty much covered those items on there, okay, so then they take that data. And if they’re having failures, or they have spikes in certain components, aren’t they failing, then that’s their indicator to make a better product. We take that data and I go, Hey, we got a lot going on this particular component, we need to do something with it. So that’s what they take care of the vehicle, okay? Well, it’s new. And then they take that data and do that now the aftermarket warranty comes into play, you don’t have any new truck warranty. It’s sold to a second user, and there’s no warranty available for him to be transferred. If there’s warranty left on but says so there’s no warranty on it. But if you want an aftermarket warranty, you can purchase aftermarket warranties on the vehicle’s cover engine, transmission rear ends. Now those are more like an insurance policy than they are a warranty. Okay, they’re administered, like an insurance policy is warranted, there’s limits on where else the new truck warranty, if you have heaven forbid, component fails 47 times during that period, it’s covered. There’s dollar caps on the aftermarket warranty. And the other portion is I can look at a new truck warranty, and give you pretty much yes or no. Based on my knowledge of the warranty coverage on the truck, whether there’s going to be any hiccups or no aftermarket warranty, there’s probably half a dozen different aftermarket warranties out there. Those are exclusive to each company. So we do have to run some diagnostics on to see what the problem is and reach out to them. Tell them what the problem is, give them an estimate on what it would take to fix it. Then they come back to us and they say, have that estimate you gave us we will pay this portion. There’s usually a deductible associated with an aftermarket warranty where on a new truck warranty there’s not. So it’s more of an insurance policy, kind of like the commercials I’ve got out now on your insurance, car insurance where it says battling what you need. Yeah. And then the other guy’s saying, Hey, if you have cut right insurance, you’re gonna wind up paying for this. Yeah, so you either get a ton of insurance, or very little insurance. And you know human nature, you’re saying hey, I’m taking a chance by paying too much. If I got this insurance or I’m taking a chance by not having enough insurance and then have an out of pocket. So the new so on a new truck. The typical factory warranty is what 12. That would be the factory warranty on the chassis part of the truck 12 months or 100,000 Now you can purchase an extended warranty on that guy but if you buy if you go by truck and say I don’t want an extended warranty, you automatically get 12 months your 100,000 mile warranty. And that covers everything. I guess there’s some debate in there. There is a lesson learned or a teaching lesson I had to give someone. My wife just recently bought a very Small used car meaning it had less than 10,000 miles on it. And they were going to sell her an aftermarket warranty. So I went to sit down with her to sign the paperwork . They had not met me yet and didn’t know my background. So he said, This is how it says a bumper to bumper warranty. Aftermarket warranty. I said, Well, okay, well, let me stop you right there. There’s no such thing. As a forward asset. I explain warranties to people that have been told it’s about rubber hard yet. So they’ll say, oh, so tell me exactly what’s covered on it. So then, you know, he was able to produce the documents and we kind of went through it and it made sense to me, I did purchase it. Yeah. It did make sense to me, though. Also,

Jeremy Kellett  10:43

The factory warranty is if I don’t want to buy any other than that’s good for 12 months. And then I buy the extended warranty. So is buying the extended warranty through an aftermarket company? No,

Mike Donnelly  10:58

That’s true. On a new truck that would be through the OEM. So I’ll endorse the big Kenworth or Freightliner B Freightliner Peterbilt, Peterbilt. So you purchase that when you purchase the truck. And then you can get like I say, you can get extended warranty on the chassis part of the engine part of it. So you have to trim part of it, some guys just buy air conditioning and electrical. There’s quite a few different options there. So you can kind of cherry pick that. But you know, if you, a lot of guys will buy, especially a new truck buyer, that’s gonna keep trading, they might not want to put it on a trade cycle and say I want a warranty , I want a base warranty. I want to buy an extended base warranty where it covers almost everything for the life of the vehicle. So then I can say why don’t keep destroying for years. And they want to purchase that

Jeremy Kellett  11:51

that wanted to cover. Yeah, that makes sense. Well, that’s what I was wondering when you had to extend it. If he purchased an extended warranty on a new truck, that is the OEM warranty Correct. Which is better than an aftermarket warranty. Because of the deductible, like you said earlier, or we have to pay a deductible or something like that. Okay, that’s good. I mean, that helps dumb it down for me, and I need to be able to understand it. So I can explain it to people too. So and that’s what you got to do. We have several things we can cover here. I mean, I know. unrelated to this, but a warranties worth a bond.

Mike Donnelly  12:28

Yes, N word. And here’s where you get into the debate on that. years ago, warranties were the mechanical engines for the electronics on all the chassis and all that stuff. You know, the warranty mount rain, water pump housing, or block casting, for extended warranties, those things didn’t fail. Okay, so everybody kind of got in the mode of, I don’t need that. I don’t need that. Well. Now, you’ve got two extreme systems on the trucks, you’ve got electronic fuel controls, you’ve got electronics all over the truck, you’ve got computers on the truck, you’ve got multiplex wiring, where every component on it has to have electricity going to it. So if you had a hot wire and ground wire for each component of the wiring , the loom would be as big as a fire hose. So they run it through computers, and less wiring to where the computer says, Well, we’re going to turn this off and turn that on. So this can be turned on. Cause and effect, something happens. That’s expensive stuff to fix this, like the computer system here, or any electronics. And if you don’t have one you can spend money real quick on that stuff, though. And those are real failures that happened that the trucks are really complex now. They’re better trucks. fuel mileage is better than an oil that used to be a 500,000 mile overhaul. These are main mile engines, you know, the options you can get on accessories you can get on there’s cause and effect for all that stuff. But if I woke up tomorrow and said, Hey, I want to switch gears. I’ve been on this side of the trucking business all these years now. I want to own a truck.

Jeremy Kellett  14:18

I want to get all the warranty I hit and yeah. Yeah, it’s so complicated. Now you just cannot get more tea. I mean, I guess you could fix everything. Before they started putting those aftermarket after treatment on there and all the computers and all the sensors and you know a man could take it home and fix it. Yep, most of the time. And now that that’s gone by the wayside,

Mike Donnelly  14:44

It has its, you know, the trucking, business or industry as far as the vehicles have always been behind the automotive side. And that gap is narrowing in all the options. I mean, when I got in the business, there wasn’t a power window. was on FM radio and how many? I don’t know. But that’s the reality of it. I remember, you know, the basic vehicles, you know, were nice trucks, you know. And now, those are not nice trucks. People expect a lot more, you know, and there’s a lot more. It’s a better environment, if everything’s working. You know, wouldn’t you rather be driving up and down the road and something comfortable and fuel efficient and powerful? And all this? Definitely. They have. So yeah, there’s a price for it. How does the process work?

Jeremy Kellett  15:43

That’s something that is probably the most frustrating part. Yep. is understanding the process. So if I come to a dealership, with my truck that I bought it from? And I need some warranty work done? I gotta wait for somebody to make the call. You know, I’m like, it’s, it should be under warranty. What’s going on here, Mike? Or if it’s, I guess you could do the other scenario if it’s aftermarket warranty, but I get I mean, how does it work? How do you determine whether it’s under warranty or not? And how do you communicate that to the owner, okay.

Mike Donnelly  16:22

Depending on the warranty, if it’s a new truck warranty, it comes in, and a lot of stuff we can look at pretty quickly, based on the symptoms he’s having, and have some kind of competence whether or not there’s an issue that we need to discuss with the customer. Just because of the way the new truck warranty is administered, it’s not that I make that decision on whether I’m going to give somebody warranty or not, I’ve got to go by guidelines, factory guidelines and answer to them on whether or not they’re gonna pay me to reimburse me for doing the work. So but on a new truck warranty, it’s pretty cut and dried. As far as what the warranty is, we’re on the aftermarket warranty, we have to diagnose it, give that information to the aftermarket, warranty administrator contact him, and then they tell us what, what they’re going to pay. Now, sometimes, depending on the circumstance, we can make a phone call or something and see if something, get it, get a little bit of a ball rolling to see if something’s going to be covered. But as far as getting right down to it to where I can give that guy some information or say, hey, this portion is going to be on you and this portion is going to be on them. We have to do the diagnostics on it.

Jeremy Kellett  17:34

Now, you know, so I’m probably going to be responsible for that.

Mike Donnelly  17:38

Well, now that that’s the kicker, you get into where people get frustrated with it without knowing if it’s going to be covered or not. Yeah. But typically, if someone’s got some sort of an aftermarket warranty on it. If it turns out to be a warranty, then that’s part of the covered portion, or lump sum, and then I say, well, we’ll take care of this part, and a customer would have to take care of that part. But you know, some of them have some guidelines in here that will list some specific components that are covered. But then you get into it and say, Okay, well what happened on it? And why is it broken? You know, and if you’re trying to figure it out, you got to use a truck? Is it the second or third or fourth owner? Whatever? What’s the history of the truck? Was the truck maintained prior to what happened to it prior to that being a contributing factor? Or do we just have a component which broke as opposed to worn out.

Jeremy Kellett  18:43

So that’s what makes me make them aftermarket warranties is they don’t care about knowing that up front, when they’re when you’re buying the warranty, right. But when I want to, when it’s the decision of covered certain things on there, now, they want to know all about the truck and the prior and if it’s a warning, and I get it, I may not do good if I’m sitting in their shoes, well, you know, part of it, but you know, you just

Mike Donnelly  19:09

do an inspection on him. Okay, but as far as that’s pretty 10,000 foot view, really as far as the history on that truck. Now what I’m talking about there as far as needing to know history and stuff, it might be a deal where a truck comes in and it has an engine failure. Okay, so a massive engine failure. We typically ask for ACM download, okay, then they check the history from there as far as fault code of overheating, low pressure, or any of that stuff and they’re trying to put some stuff together as far as okay, what happened on this engine? Now, frankly, on a new truck engine, they would do the same thing. Let’s see if I kept driving it right and went right, you know, yeah, it was telling me not to drive right. And I think The concern is most people assume that it’s going to end badly. Right? So

Jeremy Kellett  20:08

I did yesterday, right? My pika thought isn’t gonna be good,

Mike Donnelly  20:12

right? And so there’s angst there. And there’s, you know, there’s not a comfort zone, you mentioned earlier, you only had one choice on this thing, and that’s to memorize or familiarize yourself. And, frankly, getting really lost in the weeds on trying to figure out exactly what’s covered under warranty to feel good about it. As far as they don’t make it simple. Is this one? I don’t want to look, look at this air.

Jeremy Kellett  20:43

And I’m thinking, Yeah, you know, am I gonna read this and make sense out of this? I mean, it? I don’t know. It’s complicated. But, you know, I’m Mike. How about she, this has covered this site? But I mean, yeah, I know, it’s not that said, Well, I understand that. And I really do, because I do think, I mean, warranties have a bad rap, they got a bad reputation, right, until you need them, they work. And you don’t hear many praises saying about warranties working, you know. And that’s just the way it is, but a lot of work. They do.

Mike Donnelly  21:20

And the other thing is, nowadays, frankly, you have to either you got two choices you can educate yourself about it, made him become a student of the warranty that you got, and be able to debate it with anyone, or we have to partner up with a service provider, that you trust that they know what, and you’ve got a lifeline, you can call them up and say, Hey, what do you think on this? You know, because the owner can’t call the aftermarket warranty? For Well can I guess, but you’re not. Right? What? And here’s the reality of that. Typically, if the owner calls aftermarket warranty to discuss it, they don’t have a box that they checked, and say, well, this falls under Mad Money. Okay, someone’s upset. They’re calling. And they’re trying to defuse the situation with him and trying to say, well, we’re going to check this out, and we’re going to look at this, we’re gonna look, that’s reality they’re gonna do, they’re gonna, they’re gonna check everything out. But as far as you actually need a service provider, whoever that is, I’m not saying me. I’m saying Whoever you’re using that service provider needs to be an advocate. As far as giving them all the technical data, they need to make a good decision. Not to say, Okay, you come to me and you’ve got a truck. And we’re friends. And, man, I don’t want to give you a big that’s not my choice. There’s no way I can spin that. There’s no way I can say, well, this is Mike Donnelly. And I’ve been in the business all these years, like, Oh, that’s my gnarly, yeah, whatever he says we’re good with it. They are actually paying for repair to me, okay. And if I make a repair, that is not legitimate, meaning I misdiagnosed it, or I sent them, you know, they’ll call for parts to vet the claim to make sure that it’s accurate. So you have to send them parts, right? Not every part that were on the trust me program. Until they asked for a part. So we have to keep up with the parts for X amount of days, we have to keep all our records. And then they will call for parks and say we need to examine these far, sometimes it’s a deal, like on the new truck warranty, they call for a lot of bars, because they want to know what’s going wrong with the parks. You know, we’re having a lot of failures on these, we need to analyze these and make sure that there’s not something going on, I entered pretty quick. Exactly. So if you can’t produce that part, they bill you back. They pay us for that claim. If we can’t produce a part, the night goes back to the whole part. I mean, the whole claim. So what the service provider needs to do, like an aftermarket warranty, you know, we need to make sure that we’re giving them all the data that they need. That means we need to communicate with the customer and get as much data from them as we can. Okay. Just because you’ve got a broken part. There might be more to it than that, especially with the components that you’ve got now. You’ve got all the electronics, you have the extreme systems, all these centers in line, a lot of times a component will say, well this is not covered. Okay, he pays for it within that same time then he has a heart failure later down the road. Wait a minute, when we connect the dots on these two, these are actually associated. Okay? They need to give that information to the aftermarket. To warranty and say, Look, there’s a consistent pattern here, there’s something going on here.

Jeremy Kellett  25:06

Selecting a key service provider is a key component in making that. I mean, that is, if I’m bringing you my truck, I mean, you’re my best possibility to get this covered under warranty, because you’re the middleman trying to explain everything to the right and warranty department. And also asking me all these questions about the truck and learning, you know, to make the best decision. I mean, because the end goal, I’m assuming the service provider would want the customer taken care of exactly back on the road as quick as possible, right, when you thank Yes.

Mike Donnelly  25:46

It’s not that I can’t see where the service provider is, you would not want this to be covered under warranty, and you’re gonna try to make it and get it done. Right. There’s no advantage to warranty or not wanting actually, it’s an advantage to me for it to be warranty. Because I don’t have confrontations. Yeah, I don’t have a warranty provider. upset with me for a broken truck. Okay, I have a customer upset. Not with me personally, but with the situation. And quite frankly, I’m the cushion between that upset customer and warranty provider. So I’m gonna catch it. And so I’m perfectly fine with being warranty. I’d rather be warranty. The deal is, so it has to be a legitimate repair. And it’s not something that, you know, it’s, Hey, this is a nice guy. He’s a good guy, man. He’s having some really bad luck running his truck and he’s got a lot of expenses. There’s no line items for that, as far as the warranty is concerned, you know,

Jeremy Kellett  26:57

What are some of the basic misconceptions of warranties that you get day in and day out and people, you know, think it’s covered, but it’s not.

Mike Donnelly  27:06

Well, a lot of times they’re bumper to bumper. You know, even on a new truck warranty, like Kenworth tires aren’t warrantied through Kenworth, they’re warranted so the tire company, this wheels, their warranty to the fifth wheel manufacturer, not to say we can’t facilitate that warranty. But where items, you know, you got wiper blades or bulbs. You know,

Jeremy Kellett  27:31

I think we’ll actually come back and think that’s covered under warranty, wiper blades and mold a lot more.

Mike Donnelly  27:37

It’s happened. Well, you know, and here’s reality, say if you bought a truck, and you spent a couple $100,000 That’s a lot of money. A lot of money. And it all. I mean, it might not be that they might not hear their head that they think this is actually a warranty. But they’re gonna think I just spent a couple 100,000. And really, I got to pay for that. Well, really, you know,

Jeremy Kellett  28:05

I can understand. It was the first week here today, you know, yeah, I get that. But you know, yeah.

Mike Donnelly  28:11

And so yeah, that’s a common misconception. The other common misconception is that we make the warranty decision as a Procare service provider, meaning that if Mike Donnelly chooses to say its warranty, it will be warranty, or if I choose to say it’s not it won’t be. It’s, that’s not that’s not how it takes place. I’m administered and all I can read the warranty, I’ve read the warranty. I deal with it every day. So I know what company will reimburse me for doing. So that’s a in essence, that’s what the warranty is when you go to a service provider, you’re asking them to take to fix the truck and Bill, the warranty department of the OEM, if it’s the factory, or the aftermarket warranty, if it’s aftermarket, and then they reimburse us and unless it meets that criteria, meaning this is broke, and it’s failing part material or workmanship, they will not reimburse will release truck and file a claim they’ll deny the claim and they won’t buy it you get any example of that. Yeah, we’ve had, we actually have a line item on our financial statement for it called the rejected warrant and the criteria on that lease and we’d file a claim. It’s not unusual for us to do troubleshooting on a component that determines how to replace the component. The trucks fix to get the driver to go down the road happy. We file a claim on their call for the part they test Artifactory and no defect found. Confirm the defect. Come on. Why No you couldn’t today but When it was in here wasn’t working before replace that. And when we do replace that, that works, sometimes we win that battle. And sometimes we don’t. But those happen if they call for a part, and we put it in the warranty storage area, and we can’t find that part shipped back. They reject the warranty we’ve had, a lot of times our deal is the rejection is labor hours, meaning you got a ton of troubleshooting on electronic components trying to figure it out, and you figure it out. And standard repair time doesn’t cover what it takes, like Tiger took too long to build on too many hours. Right? To figure it out. 

Jeremy Kellett  30:44

Right. So, you know, we have a line item on the financial statement for a rejected warranty. Yeah, that can be frustrating. That’s a cotton that I mean, cuz it’s over, he fixed it , that guy’s gone. Everything’s going well. And then all sudden, you don’t get paid from the warranty people thinking,

Mike Donnelly  31:01

Exactly. And that’s where probably the perception to the customer is that, hey, they’re dragging their feet on this. Trying to make sure that they’re telling me the correct information, why can’t they just tell me it’s warranty, while there’s a lot of stuff to do on Irion to make sure that just if that customer, the owner of the truck was paying the bill, he would want to communicate him get approval from him to do certain items want to use the same way some we know up front, it’ll take care of it. Sometimes we have to reach out to him to find out. The other thing is that service providers have discretionary funds, their facility to take care of things on the spot. We don’t we yeah, that’s, you know, if I like me, if I choose to take care of some charges on something, we absorb that as a company, not a warranty. That’s not a warranty, we can turn around and file. Okay. Now, sometimes a situation will come up, where I will reach out to the factory and get some help on something for a customer. So I’m sure the perception is there. But again, it gets right back down to the most common perception is that it’s a choice of almost like, do we like you’re not giving me warranty?

Jeremy Kellett  32:25

That’s not the case?

Mike Donnelly  32:26

It’s not? It’s not?

Jeremy Kellett  32:27

I guess it takes some time to know, what’s the turnaround? I mean, because I’m sitting here waiting for you to find out if it’s covered, or you’re dealing with a warranty people. And I’m sitting here waiting to see, you know, nobody’s working on muttrah. And I’m waiting to see if it’s covered under warranty or not. Yeah, what’s the turnaround time is it pretty much I mean, that same day,

Mike Donnelly  32:50

typically, unless it’s a complex problem, if you’ve run into a situation where you’ve got, say, an oil consumption issue, or it’s a lot more involved, and get data together for him to make a decision on something like that, or if you have a catastrophic engine failure, sometimes you have to completely disassemble it to get a root cause then you have to get repair records, service records, all that type of stuff. But the typical thing as far as trying to figure out if it’s a warranty, or not, usually happens. Okay, cool. So, what are some

Jeremy Kellett  33:32

typical or what some tips maybe advice to give these guys out there that are buying trucks? have their own trucks maybe be a first time owner? Operator? What advice would you give them about warranties? On new unused?

Mike Donnelly  33:48

Okay, new, I would try to look at it and figure out how long I want to keep this truck and then try to put a business plan together in your head as far as what it is going to cost me if I factor that into it? Can I afford that? Versus took a chance on not having any extended warranty on you know, date myself again, but in the old days you did rods and mains a 250 overhaul at 500,000 You could haven’t put a starter on this thing, a water pump, a few things, your tires, fuel, all that stuff. That was stuff that you had historical data from running trucks that you could put to pencil and say, get pretty close to. I think this is what’s good. It’s gonna cost me those days are gone. Okay, now you’ve got electronics failing. And you’ve got electronics, cars and other electronics to fail. After treatment systems, all that stuff, that their historical data doesn’t mean anything for the most part because the first Are, we see you’re so complex. So without having that extended warranty, you’re really, it’s not a matter of if it’s gonna happen, it’s when it’s gonna happen. So, first off, that would be my suggestion on that. After the treatment warranty, definitely, you know, that stuff is just that that eats everybody alive, especially on our product if you can get that on there because you don’t know the repair history on a vehicle. As far as aftermarket warranties, yes. Are you better off with them? Yes. You know, it might be 8000 if it pays 4000? That’s 4000. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t know why he wants to face a $4,000 bill. But you certainly don’t want to pay say face or 8000 or bill if you can face a force out. So, yes, the warranties are worth it just because of the complexity of the equipment that you’re dealing with now, and the susceptibility to failures, you know, I mean, now, heck, a lightning strike, can close enough to a vehicle can wipe out electronics on, you know, so then you take that and you say, okay, man, the voltage warranty, I’m driving down the road, my check engine light comes on, I go to a dealership, okay. You know, if you haven’t partnered up with anybody, if you don’t have a service provider you trust, then my recommendation is to go in there, give them all the information you can as far as the symptoms that you’ve had on it, explain to them, you know, that you’re an owner operator, okay? I’m a businessman. That’s a way they need to present themselves.

Jeremy Kellett  36:54

This is a tool, this is my mind tool, I gotta have to make it this business run,

Mike Donnelly  36:58

right, and that, I’m coming in here and I want to give you any information, you need to get my truck back on the road as fast as you can. And I want you to take care of every bit of warranty that you can for, okay, now you’ve got warranties out there, there might be some warranties where the component might be just a hypothetical might have 100,000 mile warranty on where it comes in. You apply the warranty on it. Say it’s got 150,000 on it, there’s some components on here that might be a fan hub, it might be a seat, where if you contact the vendor that makes that particular component directly, us man service provider, they might provide parts, they might not participate in labor, but they might provide parts. So you need to express those concerns to the service provider and say, Look, I will give you whatever data you need. Ask me whatever questions you want. I want to make sure before I leave, that we haven’t left any stone unturned as far as trying to get me any warranty, I got any legitimate warranty, I got coming. Okay. That’s what the service provider needs in order to help you because if you’ve, if you come in and you’ve got a central failure, I don’t know the history of the truck hadn’t been in our system. You may have had other system central failures up the road. Okay. And you know, instead of just saying hey, this thing won’t stay running and I’m sick of it. Okay, let me tell you what’s going on. Okay, I was in Albuquerque and this happened. And then you know, a few months later I was into comparing to Mexico and this happened both times I replaced the centers do you think we got something going on here try to partner up with him as far as information sharing that translates into dollars by you’re giving them more information to present so the aftermarket warning to people and say look, here’s what we got going on.

Jeremy Kellett  39:09

But you think most service providers actually listened to the driver? Maybe I would think they would because in my mind I’m thinking because man, I can hear everything in my truck. My vehicles I can hear I don’t know I’ve always done that my wife thinks I’m nuts and up and over obsessed about it, but I can hear when something’s not right almost feel something and I know these owner operators that drive these trucks every day, especially many miles that they put on they can tell whether it’s feel in the wheel, whether it’s a sound that don’t sound his ride or something that you know, when they’re pressing the accelerator or shifting gears. I know something is wrong. So I would think they would they might not know what the problem is, like you said if they’ll try to explain them They often if the service provider accepts their receives their information, you know, legitimately, you know, and not somebody says, Don’t worry about what take care of we’ll find it, you know, mean, you gotta see what you’re saying, but dealing with the customer, he’s, the guy owns a truck, he’s gonna have pretty good knowledge. I mean,

Mike Donnelly  40:20

he is and gets down to people. You know, it’s kind of like going to a doctor with either a good bedside manner or bad. You know, you’ve gone to the doctor. And he really doesn’t want to hear what you’re saying. He’s already predetermined. What’s going on within, you’re not comfortable with that? Already, we’ve got some that are very involved in asking a lot of questions. And it’s the same way, it’s the exact same way there, you know, where I work, we do upwards of 12,000 repairs a year. Wow. So that’s a lot of interaction with people, to various degrees. Some guys don’t want to wait, you know, as a service provider, it’s not all owner operators. As a service provider, sometimes it’s dealing with a driver that Drash for another company that has a very sophisticated breakdown department and maintenance department that is already asked all those questions, given all those answers already has a predetermined route they want us to take you know, so unless that mean, I don’t refer comes in and kind of identifies himself as I’m not that guy. Okay. I know when issues are in my truck, and I want to take care of my truck, I want to be a part of this process that you’re about to do. Okay, I want to work with that’s a great way to put it out there. You know, because some guys come in, and I get it, I get it, man. They’re frustrated. You know, that truck broke down again, and I am frustrated. And they’re upset and they come in and people get off on the wrong foot. Oh, yeah. And that doesn’t help a situation when you’re trying to have someone interact with you. If there’s angered ball, so, you know, we try to teach our people to try to defuse those situations, because it’d be just like me, you know, if I drive home this evening, and pull on the driveway, and somebody meets me at my truck and says, I need your keys, we got to work on the house, and you can’t go in and oh, by the way, give me the keys to your truck, too. And I think there’s McDonald’s a few miles away, if you want to go spend some time there. That’s what we’re doing with these people. So they don’t go to Well, no, don’t do not they don’t want to be there to begin with. And I certainly don’t want to be there in that context if it has been money for it. So it’s, you know, there, if the service provider is not in tune to that, then you have to ask yourself, just like mate don’t want to be at this place that that ends that? And do I want to take the high road for a minute here and get this guy to listen to him? You know, because I’ve had that conversation with some owner operators before, where I’ve had him come in, and they kind of want to go wait a minute, my, I’m gonna tell you about himself. I’ve been doing this a long time. I know what truck and I do know their business. That takes them to a whole different level with me. Yeah, you know, I’m dealing with a professional there. And they, if they identify themselves with that, man, that makes it so much easier to ask the questions, because a lot of times if you ask technical questions for people that are not familiar with the problem, they’re not familiar with the truck. There. They’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed with it, then it comes across as condescending. Yeah, you know. So there’s really just about a three minute opportunity to get on the same page with each other, when they first come in, you know, in their critical time. It is. And so whose burden is that? Is that the owner operator’s burden to create that situation? Is it the service providers? Burden? It’s there both? It’s both human beings sitting down? Yeah. But

Jeremy Kellett  44:15

It’s the owner operator. It’s an opportunity for him to initiate it because as a service provider, you’re dealing with it every day, right? It’s your job, I’m coming in every day as owner operator, they’re not dealing with warranty per day. So that’s a good tip. I think that’s good advice is to come into this with a helping attitude, you know, so I’ll give you all the good information, I have to try to help this you know, this big cover under warranty instead of just waiting for the bad news. You know, don’t go when I’m all mad if they don’t, you know, try to be on I see what you’re saying with that because that’s a good idea of coming into it like that.

Mike Donnelly  44:58

Well, thank you. You know, you’re gonna have to do two things there, you’re gonna have to understand it from a technical perspective, and you’re going to have to accept the financial portion of it. And a lot of times, people try to get the cart before the horse there. Okay? I don’t know what’s wrong with it. But I need to know right now, is this gonna cost me any money? And that’s not a realistic expectation, you know, if we can take money out of the equation for just a minute with, you know, and say, look, let’s do this. I’m not gonna let me have an hour or two on this truck, to get you some information where you can make an informed decision. Let’s not get caught up about the finances yet. I know that’s critical. I know that’s critical. But we can’t give you a legitimate answer right now on that. But what we can do, here’s what we can do, we can figure out what’s going on and get closer to fixing it.

Jeremy Kellett  45:55

I just thought of this while we’re talking. This is not in our notes or anything. Can they get out of a warranty? Like if I don’t buy a warranty? And I realize, maybe I don’t walk? You know, oh, I look at the reviews or something. Now, I don’t want this warranty anymore. I don’t need it anymore. I sold the truck, or I know and I still had warranty, can I get reimbursed for any of that?

Mike Donnelly  46:30

I don’t know, it depends.. So there’s about a half a dozen different aftermarket warranties out there. So I don’t know, it depends on what their fine print is on the side.

Jeremy Kellett  46:40

And does that aftermarket? Is it a transfer? Again,

Mike Donnelly  46:45

on the deal. So my recommendation on all the stuff that goes into guy’s heads. And I know nobody’s got a crystal ball, but it’s time to learn about it. Or find a service provider that you trust, not necessarily that you’re going to take your stuff to that day. But some lifeline you call is not when a truck breaks down. Hey, there’s not one truck that breaks down. If you’re after driving around, and you’re thinking about warranty, and you don’t understand warranty. Whoever your service provider is called, if you don’t have one, find one. But shop around a little bit, find somebody that that you sit across from me feel comfortable with. And they can give you the information. At that time. Explain the stuff to you where it’s not costing you a penny at that time. That way, you don’t have that hanging over your head, clouding your mind trying to listen, trying to ask questions, trying to say, well, if this scenario happens, what am I looking at? Or if this scenario happens, what should I do, as opposed to the analyst chirping in your ear about this money, and you’re not even able to absorb it?

Jeremy Kellett  47:58

Yeah. And when you’re buying a truck, you’re so excited, and they buy these warranties, and it’s hard to concentrate and, and know what that is, you’re just excited to get the truck, I’m ready to get the truck and get going. I mean, you really need to take the time to understand warranties.

Mike Donnelly  48:15

You do. And, you know, again, date myself, it used to not be that way. You know, the only time you open the owner’s manual on the truck was to figure out how to change the time on the radio twice a year, you know, man. But now, if you don’t familiarize yourself with that, it can cost you some real money. And it’s not that the manufacturers of the components or that whole truck, for that matter, are trying to get out of paying anything by saying well, on page 43, paragraph B if you’d done this wouldn’t happen. So we can’t participate. That’s their avenue for getting that information to the customers, put in an owner’s manual and, or to have a dealer network out there. That’s available for them to call and discuss things.

Jeremy Kellett  49:09

Man warranties? Who knew? Yeah, it’s good stuff, though. Do you have anything else to add? Well,

Mike Donnelly  49:16

just again, the thing you know, you either get a service provider that you trust, and partner up with it or learn it all yourself. Yeah, that’s it. And that’s the tough part. It is.

Jeremy Kellett  49:30

Well I appreciate you coming over here trying to make warranties a little bit simpler, a little bit easier to digest and understand because it is a lot of money. I know you know this episode about warrantied people might just roll their eyes at it but you’re talking about a lot of money. Serious insurance that you called it earlier that people need on trucks, especially these days, and I think you’ve helped you sure help. We understand the process and stress of having a good service provider to help you with, you know, getting a warranty to work to your advantage. And appreciating it when it does, I’m sure warranty companies don’t get a lot of thank you letters, do they?

Mike Donnelly  50:17

Typically not? Probably not.

Jeremy Kellett  50:21

But it’s helped me. I mean, and I hope it’s helped our listeners understand a little bit more about warranties and kind of simplified a little bit and understand that they do need it, I got that out of it. Get a service provider for sure. And understand a little bit about matters of fact, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get out here and I’m gonna get a little bit more knowledgeable about mine on my pickup, I highly recommend it. Alright, Mike, thanks for joining me, man. I appreciate you doing it. I hope this helps our listeners out there to understand warranties that you may have. And I’ll tell you if you’ve got questions. You know, call me. I’ll be glad to hook you up with Mark. Mark. I’m sure I’d be glad. Absolutely. Any questions that you have about warranties. I mean, he’d been doing it a long time. But he only looks 39. I don’t get it. But anyway. That’s good.

Mike Donnelly  51:15

Oh, my wear and tear is on the inside.

Jeremy Kellett  51:19

Good stuff. Thank you all for listening to the Oakley podcast every week. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate you. If you want to do something for me. Hey, be sure and comment, subscribe. Lock on all those platforms that you listen to this. It makes a big difference in how we’re able to reach people through YouTube. You can watch it through YouTube or you can just listen to it through different avenues or on your phone. So appreciate y’all doing it though, and we’ll talk to you again next week. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Oakley podcast: trucking, business, and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show on the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience, so if you’ve got a question, comment, or just want to say hello, head over to our website, theoakleypodcast.com, and click the “leave a comment” button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.