Bulding a trailer?-Metalworking Content-Warning

wrote:


Repeat after me: diesel engine. Big truck gets 10 to 15 MPG and medium truck 15 to 25 MPG lightly loaded. Big freaking difference.
--<< Bruce >>--
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On Sun, 06 Aug 2006 14:07:27 GMT, Bruce L. Bergman

True enough. Got a spare vehicle you can swap me? Ill give you my stacks o stuff for one.
Going to the bank for the money for one..aint gonna happen. When a persons credit score is in the double digits..no one wants to talk to you.
This is the reason I drive a truck with 421,000 miles on it.
Last year..I invoiced $18,000. With about another $6k in cash sales, commissions etc. Figure $24k gross before expenses and taxes and so forth.
You know what sorts of expenses I have...think there is gonna be anything left over for a truck payment, even on a used vehicle?
Shrug
Gunner
"I think this is because of your belief in biological Marxism. As a genetic communist you feel that noticing behavioural patterns relating to race would cause a conflict with your belief in biological Marxism." Big Pete, famous Usenet Racist
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Gunner wrote:

You need someone else to do your billing, and spend less time on the internet.
John
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John..Im only on the net when Im not working for a client, or rebuilding machines.
This time period is also split between keeping the homestead going, taking care things a disabled wife cannot do, dog and cat rescue and so forth.
Im curious..what does "having someone else doing the billing" entail? Totaling the service report, then faxing it to the clients Accounts Receivables Department. What am I missing?
Gunner
"I think this is because of your belief in biological Marxism. As a genetic communist you feel that noticing behavioural patterns relating to race would cause a conflict with your belief in biological Marxism." Big Pete, famous Usenet Racist
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On Sun, 06 Aug 2006 17:51:40 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Gunner

There ya go.

_Double_ digits? When did yours increase? <g>

I figure that you should be (but currently are NOT) invoicing for your travel and parts picking time, too, dude. What's your hourly rate?
Call Terry Runyon if you need more hours. I'm sure he could use your help. You could park your RV at his house in San Marcos, too. (free of charge, prolly.)
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On Sun, 06 Aug 2006 20:17:41 -0700, Larry Jaques

Wishful thinking on my part. Shrug

I charge $65 per hour on site, $25 per hour travel, portal to portal from Ontario California, and .50 a mile, portal to portal.
Average service call is 1-2 hours, average driving time is 1.5 hours, with 66 miles as average mileage in my service range in So. Cal.
Figure $65+ 37.5+ 33. = $135.50 average service call. Not bad money huh? Now try living on 3 of those a week. 3 a Day would be sweet.
I spend on average..30 hours a week on the road. physically behind the wheel, with about 4-8 of those being billable. $20 in the gas tank per day, Mondays and Fridays...$30-40 each day, as I come south or go north.
Much of the rest of the unbilled mileage etc is generated in cold calls, welfare checks, etc. Looking for work etc. Somethings cant be done over the phone. If a customer has a small problem..and I call him..he may defer it to another time or fix it himself. If I walk in on a cold call..he often will be willing to pay the 1 hour minimum, no travel/mileage (since I went to see him..he didnt call me)
I average 65,000 miles a year. And there is NO way I can move to So. Cal. My gas, RV space rent, maint costs and mortage are still less than a 1 bedroom walkup apartment nearly anywhere in So. Cal. Plus..frankly..if I moved down there, no one could take care of the ex..as she would lose most of her county medical assistance..and she WILL die if that happens. I cant afford to keep her alive by myself.
Going home on the weekends and coming aback south is about 300 miles a week total, on average. with 8-10 hours of wheel time.
I also do NOT charge for learning time. If I get called on a machine Im not familiar with..I dont charge him for the time I spend learning the ins and outs of the machine etc. I only charge him for the time it actually took to FIX/diagnose the problem, once Ive determined how and why things are supposed to happen. If I cant find the problem..no charge of any kind. And I will find someone who can, with the provision I can look over his shoulder as he diagnoses/fixes the machine. This gives me education on the machine and a big leg up on the next machine of this type I encounter.
Fanuc for example charges $8000-15,000 for their schools. Something I cannot afford to attend, not to mention the sheer numbers of guys in So. Cal who are Fanuc specialists Id have to compete with. But now I can at least diagnose some Fanuc issues and even fix some.
Keep in mind, that until 2001, when OmniTurn laid off all their support staff (me included) Id only had experience with OmniTurn CNC equipment. Period. I had never laid hands on any other machine tool of any kind other than the simply drill press, etc etc. So Ive had to cram OJT and books into the last 5 yrs, on my own. And with a slow but strengthening economy..I didnt have many chances to learn much until recently. Until I went to work for OmniTurn, my idea of machining, was to chuck it in a drill motor, hold it between my knees, and hit it with a file. My previous careers gave me some skills that transfered to the machine tool REPAIR biz..but only some. So I lived, breathed and shit books on machining, repair etc. My bathroom has a huge bookcase filled with machining books.
Now..frankly..Im pretty good with a lot of different machines, mostly manual of course (one needs a huge network behind one or company experience) to fix other brands of CNC equipement. So I dont do much with CNC other than OmniTurns.
And Ive broadened my services. I do electrical, air, compressors, infrastructure, networking etc..so Im doing far more than Ive ever done in this business. And getting referals.
My network..composed of other poorboy/bottom feeders like myself is getting pretty good sized..and folks are calling me weekly to have me find them a machine, or sell one for them. And I get 10-15% off the top of each sale.
I recently brokered, after everybody told me it was unsellable..a 1949, King-Cincinatti, 6' vtl (vertical turret lathe)..all 65,000 lbs of it.
The BUYER sent me a nice little check for finding what he thought was unfindable in So. Cal. The seller gave me a Bridgeport (needs some minor work) A win win for everybody. You havent seen all my machines. Ive got stuff stored all over So.Cal. Lots of junk..some sellable stuff..lots of fixeruppers waiting for me to be able to afford the repair parts.
During the worst of the recession..when shops were closing right and left..machinery was dirt cheap and in many cases..unsellable..I took some machinery in trade for labor. Thats how I got my Hardinge HLV-H, Hardinge TFB, Clausing 8540, Covel OD grinder and so forth. They had no money to pay me, but could trade stuff out. Doing the work didnt cost me much..so I took the machines. Either than..or sit on my ass and hope the phone would ring. And I gave lots of credit. I kept some shops going through the Recession that would have gone tits up. And the vast majority of them remember this. So I get work that would normally go to someone else. I get Christmas cards from little mom and pop shops who I bailed out of tough situations. One Cambodian shop, I ran parts for them for 2 days, after fixing their machine and getting the (desperately needed) order out for their client. It was enough to keep their doors open, and get established with that new client of theirs. They had no money to pay me, at least not until their client payed them in 90 days..so I gave em the 2+ days labor as a Christmas present. I didnt have a Christmas that year myself. But Im the only one they call now, for any machine or infrastructure work. And they pay me COD..by THEIR choice. And they are doing pretty good these days. Ive already found and brokered 2 machines for them this year. Now they are thinking about buying a brand new OmniTurn CnC lathe through me.
"Cast your bread upon the waters, and it shall be returned a hundred fold"
Not bad words to live by, when you are an independant, good at what you do, and dont go too deeply out of pocket.
Only a couple times has it bit me in the ass. I had a customer..medical issues of both him and his wife forceing him to retire. He had an OmniTurn he needed to sell..was going to sell it for what he owned on it..$8500. I brokered it for $18,000. Got him more than double what he was asking. When I asked for my 10%..he plead poverty. Ive not talked to him since. And as a result of his pulling that..I had no power in my home in August or September of that year. Which is why I busted ass to find a willing buyer..I needed the commission desperately. That was the first year I was out on my own after the big layoff. That year..I grossed $14,000 total. Ate a lot of beans and rice that year. Dogs and cats got skinny too. Next year was a bit better, as was the year after that.
A customer I kept alive for the past couple years..MultiScrew in La Habra, pretty big company..174 employees during their shining times, they were hit hard because of the Clinton Recession and some class action suits (they were sued along with a dozen other companies IRRC)... folded up a month or so ago. I did a lot of free stuff..lots of labor "Pay me when you can"..and they usually did. Until the day they had to close their doors, leaving me with unpaid invoices of around $3k I got the bankruptcy notice middle part of last month. They are being auctioned off on the 23d of this month. Ill be lucky to see $20 if that much. owner and I are still friends, really wasnt his fault. A thread about the situation ongoing on AMC..others know the situation..also say the owner was a victim.
But I did my part, kept em going..and Ive gotten some referals from the old boy..and he is now working for a big company..and Ill be getting some work from them on his recommendation.

The RV in my back yard needs a tranny. The travel trailer in Ontario that I keep to sleep/shit/shower in..is 2.5 hours at best of times from San Marcos..and most of my customers are 1.5 hours from San Marcos at the best of times..(after 9pm at night)
Worst of times..can be up to 4 hours away.
Who is Terry Runyon? Name rings a bell, but cant place it.
"That which does not kill you..makes you stronger." Fucks up your health though...shrug
Gunner
"I think this is because of your belief in biological Marxism. As a genetic communist you feel that noticing behavioural patterns relating to race would cause a conflict with your belief in biological Marxism." Big Pete, famous Usenet Racist
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