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  • Shop/Mobile welding

    Hey all, Im new to the boards here. After a little searching, I've come to ask for some help/advice. I'm starting up a shop/mobile welding company and trying to figure out what machines to get. I have a Diversion 180 and a Mig 140 currently and trying to figure out what to add for the mobile side is driving me in circles.
    Bobcat 225? 250? And keep my current shop setup?
    Fusion 160 and transfer my Tig/Mig between truck and shop?
    Multimatic 220? ____ Generator?

    I'm just starting out with the business and hoping to grow it into my full time job, I want a setup that is sustainable for growing with, but not an unlimited budget. Any thoughts and tips on what direction to go with it?

    Thanks,
    Walker

  • #2
    I don't do mobile so can't help with that, but I am curious as to why you want to do mobile work? Do you see more opportunity then staying in a shop?
    Last edited by Ltbadd; 03-29-2019, 05:41 PM.
    Richard

    Comment


    • #3
      Who do you expect your typical customers to be, and what type of jobs do you expect?

      When I did it years ago, I went with the Miller Trailblazer series, at that time it was the Model 301G. I really liked that machine, and found it far superior in arc quality and its generator system is set up that you get full auxiliary power no matter what the weld settings are, something the Bobcat didn't have. It was also easier to use remotes and external feeders.

      In addition to money, are you on a weight budget?

      Comment


      • #4
        Keeping in mind that I do not weld for a living........although I do weld allot within my personal business needs which is centered around my Trucking Company that hauls construction materials.

        I think the 180 Diversion is a pretty good machine although when I hear you say mobile I doubt that you would be doing much TIG on the road.....The 140 MIG in my eyes is probably too small for most jobs on the road if it is 110v only......The BobCat 225 is a great choice to power any 110v or 220v accessory and still weld , grind and provide light...

        I have a new 280DX in the shop and also a fairly new 211 MIG..........On my service truck I have a 2500 hr. 225 Bobcat and full sized Honda gas powered compressor and if I'm going out I'll normally take the 211 so that I have wire feed welding capacity up to 5/16 -3/8" .....there is also a set of Ox/gas cylinders on the truck............the arc welding portion of the 225 BobCat can normally take care of just about anything on the road......from 1/16" through 3/4" with multiple passes, although there are times that a MIG is just the perfect ticket using flux wire ............I also have a Lincoln LN-25 Pro that runs off the 25v system on the Bobcat.......this is only used for large projects when your welding multiple passes in large areas.

        As I mentioned I do this just to support my company.........when a breakdown occurs and welding is the fix which is mostly 90% trailers that have been abused or hauled to much weight or have become structurally weak from the abrasion in the bodies from hauling aggregates.......... I go as I will not trust anyone anymore out there welding on my Iron..........I grab my personal truck ( bought new in 2005 and just turned 20k miles ) and a guy from the shop and we go fix it or patch it to get it back to the shop............all of the Items listed I have used for many years and are time tested.........I'm sure there is hundreds of other options out there in equipment , but these have served me well for decades.
        Last edited by tarry99; 03-29-2019, 04:33 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome,
          On my service truck I have a Trailblazer Air Pak and that will do everything I need to do.
          I weld broken ripper shanks 2'' thick (multi pass of course).
          I can do AC tig with a high freq. unit or my Dynasty 200.
          Mig with my 8RC (had a 12RC but with a 45 lb. roll of wire I could not carry it).
          Plus Stick covers everything (I need).

          If you can find a older Trailblazer with the AC mode, you have a good start to do everything.
          The new 325 trailblazer don't have the AC mode.
          Add the 8/12 RC or the 8/12 VS as needed.
          You can run the 180 off the generator part of the trailblazer.
          A Bobcat will work also for you, but you will lose the RC mig, no 14 pin.

          Good Luck,
          Bob

          Millermatic 252 w/30A
          Big Blue Air Pak
          Ellis 3000 Band Saw
          Trailblazer 302 Air Pak w/ Wireless Remote
          8-RC
          Dynasty 200 DX
          XMT 350 MPa w/S-74 MPa Plus
          Millermatic 211
          Passport Plus
          Spectrum 625 X-TREME
          Lincoln SA-200 Blue Tint Red Face '63
          2-Lincoln SA-200 Red Face '68
          SA-200 Black Face '59
          SA-200 Green Lite '84
          SA-200 Green Lite '80
          SA-200 Red Face '69
          SA-200 Red Face '66
          SA-200 Green Lite '81
          '70 Black Face Round Barrel

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
            Who do you expect your typical customers to be, and what type of jobs do you expect?

            When I did it years ago, I went with the Miller Trailblazer series, at that time it was the Model 301G. I really liked that machine, and found it far superior in arc quality and its generator system is set up that you get full auxiliary power no matter what the weld settings are, something the Bobcat didn't have. It was also easier to use remotes and external feeders.

            In addition to money, are you on a weight budget?
            I live in a small community outside of town. The larger area has a variety of farming and ranching. I see mobile as a way to reach more people for repair work. Not on so much of a weight budget, my current truck ('97 ranger 4-cyclinder) is too small. Once I figure out what set-up to go with I'm going to need to find a truck for it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Been there done that. It can be profitable. Have you developed a business plan? Figured out as mentioned who the customer is that's buying the service?
              What services will you offer to roll you in the dough?
              Any side hustles to float the boat?
              Mac702's advice for power source consideration was top class. I found as I leaned into general welding related contracting, a compressed air supply was exceedingly handy.

              Few things to keep in mind. One man can only do so much. You'll plan to fail by failing to plan. Make friends with professionals. And while you shouldn't have to hound people to pay you, eventually you will. Trust me, it get's easier.
              Good luck with that.

              Comment


              • #8
                You can get by for now with a 3/4 ton PU, with utility body would be better.
                You will have a place to lock up your cables and other stuff. A guy needs lots of stuff.
                If your in a farming area (I'm a farmer) better carry some wrenches.
                My truck is set up better than my shop, because the way I figure it if I need it in the shop my truck is there to rob.
                But make sure you put it back.
                Millermatic 252 w/30A
                Big Blue Air Pak
                Ellis 3000 Band Saw
                Trailblazer 302 Air Pak w/ Wireless Remote
                8-RC
                Dynasty 200 DX
                XMT 350 MPa w/S-74 MPa Plus
                Millermatic 211
                Passport Plus
                Spectrum 625 X-TREME
                Lincoln SA-200 Blue Tint Red Face '63
                2-Lincoln SA-200 Red Face '68
                SA-200 Black Face '59
                SA-200 Green Lite '84
                SA-200 Green Lite '80
                SA-200 Red Face '69
                SA-200 Red Face '66
                SA-200 Green Lite '81
                '70 Black Face Round Barrel

                Comment


                • #9
                  Noel wrote " You'll plan to fail by failing to plan." -------- Some of the best advice you will ever hear.

                  I could write a long answer to you but most of it would be wrong for you .... maybe I don't mean this disrespectful but if you are coming here to ask what machines you need you are not ready to go into business for yourself. Kind of like asking I am going to open a restaurant, what should I buy to cook the food?

                  My advice to you is to work out of your shop with the equipment you have and make a few bucks. You will gain some experience, build a name, and find out who your customers are. Save that money, re-invest it into equipment that you have a need for and will make you money the day you buy it and keep making you money. Fancy tools that sit on a shelf don't make you any money.

                  General mobile repair you should look into a Trailblazer, a feeder, a good gas powered air compressor plus a complete torch set-up and hand tools, power tools and air tools. When you work for farmers, construction companies, etc. you are expected to do a complete job. Being sort of a mechanic is needed to do a lot of welding repairs.
                  Last edited by MMW; 03-29-2019, 05:57 PM.
                  MM250
                  Trailblazer 250g
                  22a feeder
                  Lincoln ac/dc 225
                  Victor O/A
                  MM200 black face
                  Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
                  Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
                  Arco roto-phase model M
                  Vectrax 7x12 band saw
                  Miller spectrum 875
                  30a spoolgun w/wc-24
                  Syncrowave 250
                  RCCS-14

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You need a good 250 amp engine drive. Your current equipment is hobby/ entry level equipment . Just get you a bobcat 250 efi . Its plenty of machine. Add stick leads,a suitcase feeder and a spoolgun. You wont be doing much if any tig in the field. Leave your current equipment at home.
                    Dynasty 400 wireless
                    Coolmate 3.5
                    Sw320 speedway
                    Ck flex lock 230
                    4 victor flow meters
                    2 Flametech Duel flowmeters
                    2 genuine miller torch buttons
                    A$$ loads of tungsten
                    XMT 350 CC/CV
                    S74DX feeder
                    Stick leads from here to China
                    A30 Spool gun
                    WC24
                    Langmuir crossfire hobby table
                    Everlast powerplasma 100 w hypertherm torch
                    Harris O/A
                    Pet raccoon
                    I'm just a peckerwood in the boonies with fancy welding equipment

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think that both of your machines are too small unless you're only going to be welding sheet metal. You open a shop and/or go mobile and someone calls you with a job that you can't do because you're limited by those machines and you might never get that call from those people again.

                      MMW speaks frank, solid advise too.

                      Here's something I do that may help you out...I contract through a local heavy truck repair shop for mobile work. I'm not his employee. When he needs some mobile work, he calls me to take HIS welding truck and go do some work. When I need to do some mobile work, I can route it through him. I don't make as much money that way, but it keeps my customers satisfied and we all make a little cash. Now, moving forward, once my mobile rig is built, I'll have even more work, both my current customers and still contracting to the truck repair outfit. Win-win.

                      You have lots of other things to consider that maybe you have figured out since you only asked about machines. Seek the experience of others. Learning from the mistakes of them is much less painful than by learning from your own. It's faster too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Find out where the farmers have coffee in the morning and be there when they open, and pass out business cards.
                        Be there first thing every morning on time, pass out business cards all day. Go around to the ranches pass out more b/cards.
                        Get to know people by name. If you see something broke in the field offer to help.
                        Don't get in over head. Make sure you can get the job done in a timely manner. If not ease off the billable hours until you are worth every penny.
                        Good Luck,
                        Bob
                        Millermatic 252 w/30A
                        Big Blue Air Pak
                        Ellis 3000 Band Saw
                        Trailblazer 302 Air Pak w/ Wireless Remote
                        8-RC
                        Dynasty 200 DX
                        XMT 350 MPa w/S-74 MPa Plus
                        Millermatic 211
                        Passport Plus
                        Spectrum 625 X-TREME
                        Lincoln SA-200 Blue Tint Red Face '63
                        2-Lincoln SA-200 Red Face '68
                        SA-200 Black Face '59
                        SA-200 Green Lite '84
                        SA-200 Green Lite '80
                        SA-200 Red Face '69
                        SA-200 Red Face '66
                        SA-200 Green Lite '81
                        '70 Black Face Round Barrel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MMW View Post
                          Noel wrote " You'll plan to fail by failing to plan." -------- Some of the best advice you will ever hear.

                          I could write a long answer to you but most of it would be wrong for you .... maybe I don't mean this disrespectful but if you are coming here to ask what machines you need you are not ready to go into business for yourself. Kind of like asking I am going to open a restaurant, what should I buy to cook the food?

                          My advice to you is to work out of your shop with the equipment you have and make a few bucks. You will gain some experience, build a name, and find out who your customers are. Save that money, re-invest it into equipment that you have a need for and will make you money the day you buy it and keep making you money. Fancy tools that sit on a shelf don't make you any money.

                          General mobile repair you should look into a Trailblazer, a feeder, a good gas powered air compressor plus a complete torch set-up and hand tools, power tools and air tools. When you work for farmers, construction companies, etc. you are expected to do a complete job. Being sort of a mechanic is needed to do a lot of welding repairs.
                          Best advice so far.
                          In my opinion the bobcat line up is not a serious enough machine for professional use. Great for someone like Tarry who needs to go out and fix his own trailers from time to time or a farmer fixing his equipment up once in a while. You need to be looking at at least a Lincoln ranger or miller trailblazer for professional use. Again for the shop you need something bigger then those machines you list. You should be looking for something like a millermatic 250 at the minimum. Like MMW said not to be disrespectful but how long have you been welding for? I suggest strongly considering his advice and do a bit of work out of your shop and build up your name and equipment. I just started my shop a few months ago, and while I already had quit a few tools and all the mobile welding stuff there is a ton of stuff I have bought in the last few month. I've probably spent 15 grand in tools and it doesn't feel like I'm even close to being set up yet. I can't imagine throwing a welding rig into the mix. I've even thought of selling off all my mobile stuff to re-invest into shop tools but I'm waiting to see which direction the company goes. Lots of $$ to spend while making very little at the start.
                          www.silvercreekwelding.com

                          Miller Trailblazer 325 efi
                          Miller extreme 12vs
                          Thermal arc 186 ac/dc
                          Lincoln power wave 455m/stt with 10m dual feeder

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If your targeting farm repair for
                            mobile work, you will need carbon arc air gouging abilities along with welding. You can run 1/4” carbons with a 250 amp portable welder. But you need compressed air also.
                            A diversion 180 is a light duty hobby welder. It’s nothing I would want to rely on for business repair welding.
                            What type of electrical power do you have available in your shop you will be working in?
                            Lincoln Idealarc 250
                            Miller Bobcat 250
                            Thermal Arc Hefty 2 feeder
                            Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                            Torchmate CNC table

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You got a truck... you got a welder... just no plan?

                              https://www.bakersgas.com/weldmyworl...ding-business/

                              "Remember, what doesn’t get measured, won’t improve."



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