It’s that time of year where the weather changes and more people will be moving indoors to do their walking and running. It’s also that time of year when treadmills will need maintenance for their longer and more often use. Get on the ball and schedule your general maintenance tune-up. My days fill up fast during the fall and winter months. Happy walking and running! 😉
I first heard this story for the first time from Tony Robbins. I’m not sure if it actually was FedEx because I’ve heard other familiar stories since, but that’s the company he named.
The story goes like this:
FedEx operations shut down one day, a mechanical failure in one of the shipping operations. All the machines for packages had halted. They didn’t know how to fix the problem so the manager of the plant called in their service guy. He showed up, looked around for a few minutes, then took out his screw driver and turned one screw on a column 1/4 of a turn. The machines fired back up and everything was running smoothly again.
The manager of the plant was very grateful and asked, “How much do I owe you?”
Manager: “$10,000?!? You were here for 3 minutes and turned one screw!”
Technician: “Would you like an itemized bill? I can write one up for you right now.”
Manager: “Yes, please! I have to see this.”
So the technician writes up a bill and hands it to him.
He looks at it, agrees to the bill pricing, and tells his assistant to pay the tech.
Here’s how the bill was itemized:
Labor ….. $1.00
Knowing which screw to turn …… $9,999.00
It had nothing to do with his time. He was being paid for his knowledge and expertise.
The Greeks rout the Persians at the Battle of Marathon and, according to tradition, send a trained runner named Pheiddipides back to Athens with the good news. His 26 mile jaunt, which exhausted and KILLED him, inspired the modern marathon.
Serious injury can result from speeds that are too high and from sheer stupidity. Be advised. Also, if your treadmill is backed up to a wall, you can be thrown into the wall and get serious belt burn if you get stuck while down. This is why there are safety keys with lanyards to attach to your clothing. If you want to prevent your children from using the treadmill and committing acts like those seen in this video, hide the safety key!
Yes, it’s true, your dog (or cat) can kill your treadmill. Treadmills are notorious for collecting dirt, dust, and pet hair into the motor compartment (among other things). The picture shown here is one of my client’s treadmills that I recently serviced. I’m surprised it did not short out, or worse, start a fire. It’s happened before. What happened with this one was the power switch shorting out. This is one reason why you should have your treadmill serviced regularly. Also, if it does get serviced by someone other than myself, make sure they take the motor cover off. I was told today by another client she had previous techs come out and not one of them took off the motor cover and told her she needed new parts. I was floored. She knows they didn’t take it off because she watched them, like she did me, diagnose her treadmill. Anyway to get back to the pet hair, it’s a major problem if you have pets, or have had pets while owning your treadmill. As mentioned, it can short out the motor controller, cause a fire, cause interference with the speed sensor, and cause issues with the rollers. Pet hair isn’t the only thing I’ve found in the motor compartment that causes problems. That may be a topic for another post down the road. 😉
If your treadmill belt keeps sliding to the left (or right) you may have a bigger problem than the rear roller being off of alignment. Look on the inside of the endcap (especially Nordic Track and ProForm) and look for cracks or a broken end cap all together. That’s the main problem.
There is a fix that can save you $40 or more (some end caps are one piece connecting both sides and can run @ $90). The manufacturer thinks plastic can hold the pressure of the belt tension over time. This is just not feasible. If you want to try to fix this yourself, here’s what you can do.
Go to your hardware store and buy an oversized washer large enough to cover the hole in the endcap that the bolt fits through. A 1″ or 1.5″ washer with a 1/4″ hole should work. If you’re not sure on the size of the hole, bring the roller bolt with you. You may need to buy a longer bolt to make it easier to reach the roller when you get home to put the bolt back in. Most of the bolts for Nordic Track and ProForm are 1/4″ #20 in size. An extra 1/2″ to inch should be plenty. Since the head of the bolt will be outside of the endcap, it doesn’t need to be an allen or socket head bolt, just don’t get a bolt that would require a screwdriver. Hex head would be best and make adjustment easier with a wrench.
So, you put the bolt through washer and then place it back into the endcap. The washer will then be on the outside of endcap (this is why you may want a longer bolt since it is now displaced farther from the roller). I haven’t had any problems with this not holding up after doing this fix.
Saves you money and gets your treadmill back to work. You just need to adjust the tension and alignment.
Want to know the best way to find out if you have a mouse in your house? Have your treadmill serviced! Yup, most of the time when I get inside the motor compartment I find mouse remnants. I also find dog biscuits, dog food, cat food, half eaten shells of acorns, empty nests, chicken wings, credit cards, etc. You may not know it, but I’ll let you know. They love treadmills. If you don’t turn the treadmill off, the lower control board gives off heat. Mice love electrical currents for some reason. I won’t do the extermination for you, but you’ll at least be aware that you may have a problem! Call 860-384-3269
I was talking with a woman on the phone today who was inquiring about my services and charges. She needs a treadmill moved from one room to another on the same floor, about 15 feet away, and a general maintenance/tune-up as well. I told her I can take care of both and then she started telling me about the company where she had bought her treadmill (which shall remain nameless).
She had called them first and they wanted $395 to move, and then an additional $595 for the general maintenance! Holy crap! I’m totally floored by these numbers. Roughly $1000 to move a treadmill down a small hallway and general maintenance, and 2 crews to do it. I still can’t believe it, and she’s ecstatic that I’m saving her over $700 and that I can do it without 4 people.
I wish I had taken a picture of this, but I didn’t get one. My client today had called last week regarding his Life Fitness 4000 treadmill not working anymore. It powered up, lights were working, and I could hear a slight motor hum when I hit the Start button, however, the belt didn’t move. I tried to push the belt with my feet and it was jammed. Well, I proceeded to take the motor cover off and jammed inside was a little basketball from one of those arcade type games where you shoot as many basketballs as you can in a minute. The kids were in the room a while back for a Halloween party and they must have put the treadmill an incline at a very high speed, and it got sucked into the motor compartment, bursting the ball. We laughed and he said he was wondering what had happened to the 3rd basketball. Sometimes it’s not always an issue with the treadmill itself.