Education Blog

Truck Maintenance Pro Tips from Juan Ibarra



Hey everyone, it’s Juan Ibarra from Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush: Mine Rescue with Freddy & Juan! I had a blast meeting everyone at the NTEA Work Truck Week in Indianapolis, Indiana, last March. I hope you enjoyed the limited-edition Ibarra Industries hats that PALFINGER and I gave away.  


I noticed during the show that many of you were curious about one question: How do I keep my trusty PALFINGER trucks clean and in good condition? Well, buckle up because I'm about to share my tried-and-true best practices! 

Regular Checkups and Maintenance 

I consider my PAL Pro 86, a.k.a. Mack Daddy, and my PAL Pro 72, a.k.a. Big Mack, to be my home on wheels. These trucks aren't just tools to me. They're my livelihood, my means of supporting my family. If they’re not running, they’re not working, and I can’t make a living for my family. That's why it’s important to always keep them in top shape. 


I always make sure to do regular oil checks and oil changes, ensuring that those dipsticks are swimming in oil like they’re supposed to. I also check that everything under that hood is running smoothly. Sticking to a maintenance schedule is important because these are your money-makers. Let’s face it, if these trucks aren’t running, neither am I. 


If you’re an owner-operator like I am, you want to make sure that your truck is always ready to go. So every time we hit the road, it’s like a routine. We’re constantly going through the trucks, making sure that they’re 100% the way they should be. If the truck’s down, I can’t help people. I can’t do the Mine Rescue show. 


Also, one of the reasons that the trucks stay nice is because of the 12-step epoxy electrocoat (E-coat) process that PALFINGER used on these boxes. They’re 100% e-coated, that way, they’re not going to rust on you. It’s not going to have any of those issues that you have with some of the other beds, where they start rotting in the corners and the paint peeling off the truck. 


In addition, we polish our trucks regularly so that they’re presentable. At the end of the day, they are our business cards. People see your trucks going down the highway. You have to represent your brand well. 

In Action

Juan Ibarra


Service Crane Maintenance 

Part of my truck maintenance is taking care of my service cranes. In my line of work, I use my cranes for everything! The Mack Daddy has a PALFINGER PSC 14029 Service Crane with a 14,000-pound lifting capacity, while the Big Mack has a PALFINGER PSC 12529 Service Crane with a 12,500-pound capacity. Both have 29-feet of reach.  


Let me share with you some of the advice that I got from the experts – my friends at PALFINGER – regarding crane maintenance.  


Daily inspections are the most important thing you can do with your crane. They will help you identify potential issues before they become larger problems, leading to a damaged unit, downtime while on the job, or possibly even injuries. 


Greasing the crane regularly is also important, at least every 50 hours of operation, or more frequently if operated in harsher environments. This not only helps the crane operate smoothly, but also extends its lifespan by protecting its components from wear and tear. 


Moreover, clean your crane regularly. Dirt and debris can build up over time, especially in areas with moving parts such as the winch, extension system, and rotation system. Regular cleaning helps prevent premature wear and ensures optimal performance when the crane is in use. 


By following these maintenance practices diligently, I ensure that my PALFINGER Service Cranes remain in top condition, ready to tackle any task that comes my way. 


Now, let me share a bit about why I chose PALFINGER. It wasn't a decision I made lightly. I did my homework, weighed my options, and ultimately, PALFINGER was the clear choice. Why? Because when you're investing your hard-earned money into something as crucial as your work truck, you want to be sure you're getting the best quality. You want to make sure that your investment is going to last a long time. That's exactly what I found with PALFINGER. 


So there you have it, folks. A glimpse into how I keep my PAL Pro trucks running smoothly. It's all about diligence, dedication, and maybe a touch of elbow grease. But hey, when you're passionate about what you do, it doesn't feel like work, does it? 


Until next time, stay safe on the road! 


Juan Ibarra is an experienced mechanic and owner of Ibarra Industries based in Reno, Nevada. He appears alongside Freddy Dodge on the popular TV series Gold Rush: Mine Rescue with Freddy & Juan on Discovery Channel.