A well-stocked service truck is a must for any technician who wants to be proficient on the job.

Most service trucks are stocked with the right replacement parts and necessary tools for a service call. But how many technicians also carry the needed technical information for the equipment being serviced?

Keeping technical information on a service truck is an important part of the inventory. The right information will enable a technician to troubleshoot a system more quickly and efficiently.

With so many types of equipment and systems in our industry, it is almost impossible to remember all the technical data needed for each system serviced. A good technician may know the basics. But there will be occasions when knowing just the basics will not be enough. A technician may need more precise information to correctly troubleshoot a system. This may be especially true when troubleshooting a system that has incorporated some type of electronic controls in its design.


There are many important pieces of technical information a service technician can keep in the truck. Some of these include:

  • Wiring diagrams for the equipment normally serviced;
  • Reference material on the different types of refrigerants and oils normally used;
  • Replacement parts lists;
  • Troubleshooting guides;
  • Operating characteristics such as normal operating suction and discharge pressures for the equipment normally serviced;
  • Electrical sequence of operation for commonly serviced systems;
  • General rules for refrigerant piping and installation; and
  • Compressor reference manuals.
  • Most, if not all, of this information can be obtained directly from the manufacturers of the equipment in the form of service and installation manuals. Contracting the manufacturer directly will usually ensure getting the most current and correct information.

    Other useful sources may be local parts and equipment wholesalers as well as local chapters of trade associations.


    It is a good idea to keep this information in an easily accessible place and in an organized manner. Being organized will save time later on when the information is needed quickly.

    It is also important that the information be located in an area of the truck where it will not become damaged. I’ve found that storing such material in a metal or durable plastic container works best.

    While initially it may be tough or time-consuming to obtain this information, the results will be worth the effort. Concise and complete servicing information is truly as important as any other tool on the service truck.

    Marchese is owner of Arctic-Air Refrigeration, Pittsburgh, PA.

    Publication date: 04/02/2001