Tripods just might be the most abused gear we photographers own. We take them out in bad weather, stick them in mud and salt water, use them in wind-blown sand and driving rain. We bang them around in our car, sling them over our shoulder while hiking and strap them to the outside of our packs, where they sometimes crash into tree limbs and rocks.
We take our tripods for granted. Good ones are pretty durable and rarely have problems. But, when a problem occurs, can you troubleshoot and fix the issue or will your photoshoot come to a crashing halt?