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Dealer or best guess

Discussion in 'Motor Graders' started by cuttin edge, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,163
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    A common theme on all of the forums on here are repair questions. A lot of times there is a lot of guess work involved, and posted questions can have many answers.....but which one to follow.... The company I work for has decided that it can be cheaper to get the dealer to do most repairs on our equipment. Our own mechanics have to do a lot of guess work sometimes, and it can come down to trying things, and hoping it works. Now I know that it depends on what kind of mechanic the dealer sends out. Selco sent a guy out last year to do some work on a 485 Kobelco, and after it ran for a couple of hours, the injector pump came off, did a lot of damage, and shut down a water and sewer job, but for the most part, we are pretty lucky here. Both the Cat guy, and the Volvo guy really know their stuff, and there is not a lot of guessing. Most times the problem is figured out over the phone, and the part is in hand when they come. The rate can be high, but they spend less time on the repair, and the machine is on the job faster. Our guys still do service, and minor repairs. Sometimes if the Cat man is busy, he will tell them what to fix over the phone. Does anyone else think this way.
     
  2. Mobiltech

    Mobiltech Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,164
    Occupation:
    Self employed Heavy duty mechanic
    Location:
    Sask.
    If you're lucky and have a good dealer with a good field man yes. Quite often with the dealer you are just paying more for the guessing.
     
  3. tylermckee

    tylermckee Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Messages:
    763
    Location:
    washington
    That's been more or less my experience as well. One Example; had a machine that was having a hard time starting. Dealer says replace the batteries, they are junk and we were lucky that they lasted as long as they did. 7 years later that machine still has the stock batteries. Fuel shutoff solenoid was sticking and needed to be cleaned/lubed.
     
  4. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,163
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    My father pulled wrenches for 48 years before he died. Not machinery, he was a truck and trailer man. He hated dealing with new mechanics because all they wanted to do was replace parts or plug in the computer. No such thing as trying to help a guy out as cheap as possible. He retired when he was 67, drove wrecker for a friend of his, and did cash work at home. He went to his former place of work to tow a western star to the dealer about an hour and a half away. It had been heating, and the young fellas on the evening, and night shift had frigged with it for about 12 hours, and gave up. My dad's old boss asked him to take a quick peek before he hooked onto it. He opened the hood, and the belt for the water pump was off. No such thing as looking at the obvious. My father took pride in his work, and he was well known by every trucker in the area. I always hear from these guys how they miss him when they take their trucks for repairs. I'm not saying there are none out there, but a good mechanic is a valuable man these days.
     
  5. Rowdy16

    Rowdy16 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    Messages:
    33
    Occupation:
    operator
    Location:
    Wyoming
    We just had a fairly new Mower Tractor into the dealer for 5 months because it wouldn't start. They charged $6,000 for diagnosis and $4,000 for repair. Our Mechanic could have threw a lot of parts at it for ten grand. This Tier 4 stuff is a big disappointment all around.
     
  6. Fatgraderman

    Fatgraderman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Messages:
    244
    Occupation:
    Crash test dummy
    Location:
    Innisfail
    The local dealer has had a bit of turnover the last 7 or 8 years. A lot of the top mechanics either felt their bodies just couldn't take it anymore, or one really needed something closer to home (he was excellent), and the last took a gig he just couldn't pass up (ready made job working for himself- He was excellent too). The replacements have been mixed, there was turnover until they arrived at the group they have now and they are pretty good. One thing I'd like to note is that although there is a few "old timers" left that I have the utmost respect for, none of them, new or old, have had much fun trying to diagnose the teir 4 grader I run. Anytime something pops up, diagnosis almost seems like a process of elimination. The codes the machine gives you, like change dryer sheets now, tilt-tilt-tilt-tilt, or this broadcast is not available in your area, seem to do nothing but further confuse what the real problem is. More often then not, it seems like AFTER you've found the problem, you can kind of see in a round-about way why that code popped up. I learned one thing though, when you've got it so it won't go, and no codes come up, you've succeeded at really breaking it! And one thing about using other shops, that's the best on an old mechanical machine, or even something older on the electronics. None of them have the tools to work on this one (it's insane!) and there's a special way of doing things on these new ones that is a little alien to the Jack of all Trades.
     
  7. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    8,117
    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    I was given a back hand compliment a few years back. A customer had a machine I just hated to work on. it was a dinosaur that chewed me up every time I had the misfortune of answering their phone call. I kept trying to turn it over to someone else time and again or fix it on the phone so I wouldn't have to do another nasty job. I finally told them that I was racked up for at least three weeks before I had time to get to it. The customer flattened me by saying "that's OK, it will be there when you get to it". After that it didn't matter how rotten the project was for their machines. I got to them as quick as possible.
     
  8. overworked

    overworked Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    northeast Pa.
    I tend to see it far easier for the dealer guys to make a trip out, go back get part come back and install, the repeat process for a couple days, usually two or more different techs, and their like on totally different wave length. Many independent tech will spend a little more time to find and verify the problem and part before changing pieces. Its their lively hood and not just a job.