External HD (Seagate 8TB) Intermittently Refuse to Load

So at the insistence of my spouse, we are running a less than optimal backup system.
I currently store our photos on an 8tb Seagate external HD. Every few weeks, I take it to my job site, where I store another 8tb HD, and clone it. We do the same at my wife’s office.
About once every 4-5 months, I plug them in and they refuse to load. I go through the process of running disk utility on them and it eventually works. I can’t think of a reason they require repair so regularly, as I essentially load photos on them and, once done, eject them, but… here I am, doing this again.
Is there a better and more efficient program than disk utility to “repair” external hard drives? This thing has been checking the catalog file for about 30 minutes now…
Yes, I realize I probably should get a better system. I was going to do a Drobo or Synology system, but the wife didn’t want to spend the money. And currently, our internet options prevent us from any meaningful use of online backup systems.
Thoughts or ideas on how to either prevent the problem we are having or to more readily fix it than Disk Utility?

I recall reading (somewhere) that macOS, since Catalina, will do an extensive check of drives that were improperly ejected. I have seen it take a few minutes for one of my 1GB T7 Samsungs to load. If this is correct it could take hours to check an 8TB spinning drive.

If anyone can confirm whether this is true or not, I’d like to know myself.