Sarah from Mississippi called in and was in a panic. She didn’t want to have to hire someone to put a new belt on her treadmill but she admitted on the phone that she had never done a more serious home repair than changing a light bulb. Now, she had come face to face with the treadmill belt she had ordered and realized that there was much more to installing a walking belt than unscrewing the old one and screwing in the new one.
Over the past 30 years, many of the guys that work here have personally replaced thousands of belts and learned all of the tricks you need to properly shorten the installation time without compromising the quality of the job or the longevity of the result. I remember in the early days of treadmill repair, one of my favorite things was to talk to a guy who had already been in the business for awhile because he was a wealth of knowledge that could be mined in order to shorten the learning curve.
When I was a child, I was taught that if you could learn from someone else’s experience and knowledge, you didn’t have to learn things the hard way so I’ve always hunted out people both in business and life who have already done it the wrong way in order to learn the right way or at least a better way of doing things. I figured you only get one shot at life so why spend your entire life screwing it up? My philosophy has always been to let someone else screw it up and learn from their experience. Does that mean I don’t make mistakes? Far from it, but when I do make mistakes, it is because I assumed I knew the right way to do it instead of trying to learn from someone else.
That brings us back to Sarah. After she calmed down on the phone, we spent about 30 minutes on the phone and carefully but systematically, Sarah followed instructions step by step to first unplug the machine, then remove the motor cover, then loosen the walking belt at the rear, marking the end cap where the belt was originally tensioned, and so on and so on.
At the end of the process, Sarah said, “I can’t believe it was so easy….I can’t believe that I can repair a treadmill!” We did some testing and then Sarah was on her way to her first workout on her new running belt which she had proudly installed herself. This is not to say that all repairs go that easily but most do. Of course, we learned through experience that if we provided detailed instructions on how to change out the belt, we didn’t have to take 30 minutes out of our day to walk people through it on the phone.
We still supply the support though to make you a Treadmill Hero just like Sarah and most of the time, it is not as hard as you might think.