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  • #16
    ARCDAWG and TIMW,

    Thanks for the informative posts! Good luck and keep up the good work.

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    • #17
      Hey Hawk
      Been there, seen that too. I was asked to compete with a little old dude from way south of here on a job. Small railing job about 10 yrs ago. Very simple job... could do it by the hour and come out great. Contractor agreed to the hrly thing and wanted to know my $$. I told him and he FREAKED. It seemed the OTHER guy gave him a better price... $10.00 an hour! That floored me. Then I saw him and his rig: an early 60's Chevy p/u with a Lincoln AC 225 bolted down in the bed. Yes, I said a 230 volt tombstone/ crackerbox or whatever else you want to call it. No torch, but he had a sawzall! Generator to run buzz box? Nope, but he had a 300' extension cord that someone else could plug into a dryer for him! Needless to say, I didn't even come close to competing with that. My rig had WAY too many tools and stuff to work with on it.And cert.papers and insurance and ... get the picture? Aparently all these things are unnecessary and NEEDLESSLY drive ones price up for no good reason!!! Never heard from that contractor again, thank goodness. Haven't seen that MOBILE WELDOR in about 9 yrs. This close to the border, things like that happen alot, unfortunately.

      One of my many stories on this topic. One of the most unbelievable, too. I still shake my head at that one! Fly by nights are a dime a dozen here. That said, one of the best weldors I've seen in a long time lives just across the border in Ciudad Acuna and works in Del Rio. Little guy has a book of certs. that looks like a phonebook!

      Don
      Don


      '06 Trailblazer 302
      '06 12RC feeder
      Super S-32P feeder

      HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
      Esab Multimaster 260
      Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC

      Comment


      • #18
        timw,

        What are your thoughts on the MultiQuip diesel welders? I rented a 300 amp machine about 3 years ago for an extra machine on a jobsite. I think it was called a "Whisper Weld". It welded great and had plenty of kick for arc gouging, but the silly machine whistled every time an arc was struck. It was a high pitched shrill sound. Everyone I have talked to has had the same experience. We got it from United Rentals.

        Comment


        • #19
          HAWK I just got my Multiquip dealer account approved last week and am still setting up internet ordering and waiting for Co info. I went to World of Concrete trade show in Orlando and met the area rep last month. I complained that it took me 5 weeks to order a part through a dealer in Jax so he offered to do a credit app and set me up. I concentrate on Mortar Mixers so I'm not familiar with their line of welders.
          As for the noise, I bought 9 worn out portable machines about 18 years ago for $300. They had 16hp Briggs engines belt driving truck alternators with a diode bank. They were rated 200 amp DC with a 110V DC plug. They did work very well but the vibration ate them up. They drove the alternator at 9000 RPM with engine running 3600rpm and when you struck an arc they had a high pitched whine. Possibly that welder had a simular belt drive set up.

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          • #20
            I get that high pitched whine from my PowCon inverter. I've been wondering what it was, too. But this is a plug-in machine, not an engine drive. And my Maxstar doesn't whine, so I don't think it's the inverter, either. I wonder if those noises are related?

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            • #21
              HAWK,

              I've been through the same thing in the construction business. I started in 1980 as a independent contractor and did well through the 80's and into the early 90's then the developer/builders thought they were paying too much to the contractors. So a new generation of contractors sprang forth with heavy notes on all of their equipment and started cutting the rates to get the work and kept lowering the rates. Last year my brother the accountant sat down and said to me "you're making less money today than when you started. It's time to do something else."

              With that I took a job in welding and fabrication shop. I learned to weld and fabricate as a youngster and have been doing fabrication and welding for a lot of years on construction equipment, both mine and friends equipment.

              Now I work for a fabricating shop and could probably make a good 9 to 10 bucks more an hour in a union shop. Belive me the rate cutting is hitting everywhere. Last Friday a guy from a local (Cleveland Ohio) greenhouse/nursery brought in a cart used to carry flats of flowers on and it needed repair work. The guy confessed he couldn't afford to pay $200.00 a piece for new ones and he has 4 that need repair.

              The owner of the shop asked the foreman and I what we thought he should charge to fix them, the foreman and I both said at the same time $60.00 a piece. The owner calls the guy with the carts and gives him the price and the guy cries and whines about how that's too much so the owner cut it to $30.00 a piece but also said we weren't going to do the quality of work we would do for $60.00. I wish he would have told the guy to find someone else because now we have 4 carts to fix that we're going to lose money on. Now we'll hear the owner cry and whine how he isn't making enough money to keep the doors open!

              I wish there was an easy answer to this problem but there isn't. It would be nice if all of the independents would organize and establish some prevaling rates that they would charge for the work and stick to it. The people or companies needing the work would either have to pay the price or do without. If it's a necessity they'll pay if it's a luxury they'll wait. But the problem there is it would take 100% participation to make it work and there's no way that will happen.

              We tried it in construction and it didn't work because the "new kid in town" would always come in and say if so and so will do it for that price I'll do it for this price (considerably cheaper). He hasn't the experience to do the jobs to the quality that the experienced people can do. They come in and luck out and get the first few jobs close to right then the realize they didn't make a dime so they hurry faster through the next jobs and there goes the little bit of quality they did have. But with homes once the home is sold and is 1 year old then it becomes the homeowner's problem so the builder gets his home sold and he's made his money and goes on.

              I realize that with welding and fabrication it's a little different but the same basic business tactics. I guess we just have to hope that we can weather out the lean times and maintain our quality and when the time comes we'll be called again after the cheap work fails.

              Well I guess I had better get down off my soapbox now.

              Blondie
              Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

              Colt the original point & click interface!

              Millermatic 35 with spot panel
              Miller 340A/BP
              Victor O/A torches
              Lincoln SP125
              Too many other tools to list

              03 Ram 1500
              78 GS1000
              82 GL1100 Interstate

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by MAC702
                I get that high pitched whine from my PowCon inverter. I've been wondering what it was, too. But this is a plug-in machine, not an engine drive. And my Maxstar doesn't whine, so I don't think it's the inverter, either. I wonder if those noises are related?
                Mac, my PowCon whines on stick.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Blondie,

                  I have been toying with the idea of combining industrial sales and mobile welding with the welding being the sideline. I cranked out my idea into action and have been doing it for about 7 months. However, it seems the industrial sales income is strongly outweighing the welding income. Therefore, I have decided to modify the game plan. I will continue the full time industrial sales as it is a good income. However, I am getting out of the mobile welding business. I have a prospective buyer for my mobile rig and accessories. I hope to finalize the deal in a couple of weeks.

                  I will continue to do precision in house TIG work and occasional in plant repairs for those good customers who have helped keep my head above the frost line when it really got cold. These guys are in large industrial plants where I can take my Dynasty or other portable inverters and hook directly into 3 phase boxes.

                  This will allow me to make a good living and continue with my true welding love: Precision TIG of aluminum, stainless, and a few exotic metals such as beta-titanium alloys. It is the best of both worlds for me. Even if the MRO business were booming I would still have second thoughts about continuing with it. Some of the jobs are really tough on a body. I have past the age where I can hang upside down and run a 1/8" 7018 rod uphill left handed even though I am right handed.

                  I'll let you know how it all turns out. I have high expectations for my sales career as well as my specialty welding business. I feel confident my decisions are the right ones made for the right reasons. The good Lord has never guided me down the wrong path!

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    HAWK & All
                    the new guys coming in and undercutting.. are everywhere... and running it as a business is the only answer... as has been said by many.. the low buck guys are gonna price themselves below the cost of alpo and starve..... but unfortunately not before hurting some of the rest of us... hot tip is to maintain your prices at a level where you can make money and maintain your quality.... price cutting is suicidal....if you can weather it out ... the Quality will speak for itself in the long term... but with the world in as much flux as it is now... is wise to cultivate any and all honest skills that one has to earn a living...
                    take care
                    Heiti
                    .

                    *******************************************
                    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                    My Blue Stuff:
                    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                    Dynasty 200DX
                    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                    Millermatic 200

                    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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                    • #25
                      All of those old Powcons whined, it almost drove me nuts!

                      JTMcC.
                      Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        HAWK,

                        I hear you on the age issue, I'm probably right behind you. Top the age off with a few injuries and you have an achy breaky body! I wish there were an easier way to make a living but... for now there isn't.

                        Hang in there we'll all make it somehow, someway.

                        Blondie
                        Blondie (Owner C & S Automotive)

                        Colt the original point & click interface!

                        Millermatic 35 with spot panel
                        Miller 340A/BP
                        Victor O/A torches
                        Lincoln SP125
                        Too many other tools to list

                        03 Ram 1500
                        78 GS1000
                        82 GL1100 Interstate

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Hawk have you thought of doing a target marketing mail program? Where I work we do this for small startup businesses, complete package design,print,mail. These programs are not just bulk junk mail anymore. We target a precise market witha set of close tolerance perameters and one of our customers averages about 2-3% call back. It doesn't take much time for 2% callback to pay for itself in repeat business. Just a thought.

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                          • #28
                            PJ,

                            I'll get in touch with you on that one.

                            Thanks.

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