Truck and tractor shop keeps big rigs running
By Chris Willis, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 28, 2015
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE -- When a car has issues most will take it in to a local mechanic, but when a military semitruck has problems, there is one shop at Malmstrom Air Force Base ready to fix it.
The 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron truck and tractor maintenance shop maintains all semitrucks and trailers on base. The shop upholds a 96.8 percent of maintenance vans, or M-vans, available to do the base mission.
"We work on many vehicles important to the mission," said Senior Airman Jason Brown, 341st LRS truck and tractor shop vehicle mechanic. "Corrosion control has M-vans they bring to the missile field, and we keep those large vehicles running, so they can get their job done."
Brown has been stationed at Malmstrom for almost a year and believes the vehicle mission at Malmstrom is very unique.
"These vehicles we work on are crucial to the mission," said Brown. "I have to do my job right to keep vehicles ready to deliver assets to the missile field."
Brown enjoys working with his fellow mechanics, and believes that plays a big part in the crew being able to maintain two vehicles each day.
'It's a small shop, but we have a huge mission," said Brown.
Bob Anderson, 341st LRS truck and tractor shop vehicle mechanic, arrived earlier this year, and will be the continuity for the shop as Airmen come and go due to deployments or permanent changes of station.
"It is very important we have set standards when a vehicle comes in; we check the simple things first, like the battery or fluids," said Anderson. "We have set procedures to verify if the vehicle has problems."
Standards are important to the truck and tractor shop, making sure each vehicle leaves better then when it came in.
"We do our best to try and repair the vehicles correctly the first time," said Staff Sgt. Rock Conley, 341st LRS truck and tractor shop vehicle mechanic.
The truck and tractor shop alternates from busy weeks to an occasional slow week in vehicle repair.
"It depends, sometimes it could be only a few vehicles a week, to other times when we get slammed for a couple of weeks straight," said Conley. "There is no predicting when the vehicles are going to break."
Sometimes the shop will take on vehicles from the other LRS vehicle maintenance shop. Vehicles like pick-up trucks and Humvees are not usually maintained at the truck and tractor shop.
"Even though we are two different shops, we are all still vehicle maintenance," said Conley. "We like to help out whenever we can. 'One team, one fight.'''