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Just another day in paradise

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Mike L, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. Monkeywithawrench

    Monkeywithawrench Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Time is money................my biggest bane is looking up and sourcing parts. The Mack with the fan belt that destroyed the clutch. I was sitting in the office at the desk (this is a shop that is 'unmanned' during the day, everyone is out working.........the adminastrative office is at the owners fathers house in the basement........admin assistant there 4 days a week). So the owner stopped by real quick to grab something and he walked in........."Taking a break?? Milking the job??" (He said this jokingly...........he and I have always joked with each other that "We need a parts looker upper....." as we both sit working our phones or laptop trying to source parts). I was waiting on the email from the dealer for the parts bracket.........because I guess they got my email wrong the first time.

    In January..........truck need cups and injectors...........extended crank when it was hot. Owner decided he wanted to send the truck to the dealer to have it done. Said I had bigger fish to fry on the heavier equipment. Dealer said it would take a day to do. I scheduled the appointment. When I scheduled the appointment I asked specifcally if they had the kits in stock and price. They had 4 kits on the shelf. They were booking 4 weeks out for work. The day of the service appointment was the first day of Febuary vacation for the schools. I was going skiing with the family. I finished up some stuff for him on Saturday. Sent text reminding him of appointment on Monday...........went skiing. Monday morning after coming home I get a text.......'How was skiing?? You still up in Maine??"...........I replied "Skiing was great!! Wish I was still there"..........the phone rang 2 seconds later. The dealer took the truck apart, pulled the cups, but didn't have a cup and injector kit in stock...........and there were none to be had. They found the cups but then couldn't source the injectors. I picked up the injectors, brought them to injector shop an hour away (their swamped with work too) to be tested.......then went home and spent 2 days working the phone and internet sourcing the injectors FOR THE DEALER.
    We just need to remember..........our time is valuable............if we spent 4 hours on the phone and internet sourcing parts..........thats time away from our family's and our other endeavors. I charge for that time. Whether its sitting at home at the desk or sitting in the cab of the truck with the laptop looking up parts........same same. Its billable hours. Most of my customers don't want me running for parts..............I get that. Most of the times I can get away with having someone else go. Instructions are..........Call me when you get there...........Take a picture of the parts and send it to me............Do not leave until we verify the parts are correct. A few times that has proved priceless..........."Nope, not the right parts........those are wrong".
    And sometimes I insist on getting the parts myself. When I explain that I need to look at something, or there are a few options.......only one is right, is cheaper for you to pay me to sit and wait if the parts are wrong while your guy (or girl) goes back to get the right parts??
    Doesn't seem right, but it is right........you need to charge for your time.......there can be alot of time spent looking for parts. The difference between you and the dealer is you care (at least I do......and I'm sure we all care).
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2022
    DMiller, oarwhat, BigWrench55 and 3 others like this.
  2. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    11,544
    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    I look at time as risk. If I'm on the road on your behalf, I'm at risk of something happening to me while I'm trying to help you. I have to pay extra for insurance to cover my risk of being on the road so I'm billing you for that risk. Let's say you hire a lawyer to solve a problem for you and they have to dig through lots of law books for background to try to help you. It's the same issue when looking for parts or studying a service manual and I'm going to bill you for that time.
     
    DMiller, mg2361, OzDozer and 5 others like this.
  3. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Messages:
    9,954
    Occupation:
    star gazer
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    I don't spend a lot of time looking for parts, I have a good dealer parts man that does that. It's his job
    not mine. It's same as the boss wanting me to change out a refrigerator in a truck sleeper.
    {No hell no-I'm a mechanic not a maytag repairmen, But I will install it for the same price the dealer
    will charge-because I have to work in a filthy sleeper.
     
    DMiller and Buddy like this.
  4. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    Messages:
    3,052
    Location:
    Mo
    Your very lucky i could have saved a bunch of time and got more work done.I did get parts form one place that had one very good parts guy and 2 others that were pretty good but they were way over worked and had more than they could handle. The older guy retired and they didnt replace him realy over loading every one else.
     
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  5. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
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    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    Real nice to only work on one type and brand of machine that allows that.
     
  6. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
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    Occupation:
    star gazer
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    Actually, I work on several different brands. We own Peterbilt's, Kenworth's and Freightliners, trailers Utility,
    Vanguard, Great Dane. Carrier and Thermo King. And not a damn one is the same.
    Running a shop-requires more time spent on the floor and less on the phone. The other is find the correct
    parts vendors and stay with them, the bigger the account the parts counter has a tendency of taking
    care of those accounts.
     
  7. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
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    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    Most of us don't have that luxury. A huge percentage of the jobs in my lifetime are the first and last times I've had to do them. You also have the luxury of an employer who allows you to set up and use your own suppliers. I do jobs where the customer keeps whining about price then wants me to call around. I say sure, it's your money until you pay me for my time.
     
    DMiller, Camshawn, oarwhat and 2 others like this.
  8. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Messages:
    9,954
    Occupation:
    star gazer
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    I only have five outlets for parts and two for tires. There not my parts suppliers, the companies.
    I constantly keep an eye on expenses, it's not my money his money it's part of the job. As far as whining
    goes this boss whines like all others and even better than most.
    Last year he took a week long trip to Florida to the National Business Owners Whining Convention.
    He came back with a whole new bag of things to whine about, and received the award for
    Top National Whiner:confused:.
     
    DMiller, muddog1975, Old Doug and 4 others like this.
  9. Monkeywithawrench

    Monkeywithawrench Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    ...............but when I do, I only look up the finest parts in world!!" The Most Interesting Parts Man in the World
    Sorry..........couldn't resist
     
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  10. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    Dec 7, 2015
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    Occupation:
    star gazer
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    Good one, but I'm not a parts man nor was I hired to be one.
     
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  11. Monkeywithawrench

    Monkeywithawrench Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    NO........not implying that. Its just what popped into my head when I read that first line. The synapses were firing...........
    Pictured the Most Interesting Man in the World with dinner jacket and ascot smoking a cigar..........I don't often look parts up, but when I do...........LOL

    [​IMG]
     
    DMiller, Camshawn, muddog1975 and 4 others like this.
  12. 1466IH

    1466IH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    prairie du rocher, il
    I am stealing this. Just need to figure out how to photoshop a different face onto it
     
  13. Mike L

    Mike L Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,423
    Occupation:
    Self employed field mechanic
    Location:
    maine
    Todays project. Cat 924h. Transmission leak that can’t be seen with a mirror or a boroscope. All that is seen is a drip and a puddle overnight. Step#1. Remove cab. Step#2 replace a boss o-ring on a loose fitting that couldn’t be reached with the cab intact. Step#3 put it back together. Good times I tell ya! D611BDE7-5A55-43FF-B0F5-386270E81307.jpeg
     
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  14. 1466IH

    1466IH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    prairie du rocher, il
    Not sure about the little guys but the bigger loaders were notorious for losing an o ring between trans and torque housings. Recommend to pull eng trans together then split on ground but if you are creative enough you can get trans out by itself. Have probably done a dozen of them so far. Same deal though. 40 hrs labor for $6 parts
     
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  15. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    star gazer
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    And people think trucks are bad to work on.
     
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  16. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
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    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    Trucks are just repetitive. Big iron is always interesting.
     
    Mike L, DMiller, kshansen and 2 others like this.
  17. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    star gazer
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    Not this day and age, you can't find two trucks built back to back built the same!:)
     
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  18. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    Location:
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    It's all in the option list.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  19. OzDozer

    OzDozer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Messages:
    522
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired ..
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia.
    I can't believe Cat would build something that bad, where you need to take the cab off to work on hoses, pipes and fittings! As bad as a JCB wheel loader, where you have to take the cab off to replace hyd pumps!!

    I owned a Bedford forward control truck once, and the cab was fixed (non-tilting), and it was the worst ever truck to work on - particularly replacing something like a radiator.
    Then one day, I was talking to an old mechanic, and he told me he did his apprenticeship on Bedford trucks. When I complained about the lack of accessibility to the engine and radiator, he said....

    "You know there's only 4 bolts holding the cab on, don't you? - and all the wiring has block connector plugs for cab removal? - and the steering column is easily unbolted?
    You simply undo the 4 cab bolts, unclip all the wiring plugs, unbolt the steering column fabric coupler, unhook the heater hoses, disconnect the accelerator, unscrew the gearknob and take off the gearshift boot - wind the door windows down - place a long length of timber through the door window openings (with a telephone book each end for door frame protection) - hook 2 slings, one each end over the length of timber, and lift the cab right off! It takes all of 20 mins to do that, and you have unfettered access to everything under the cab!!"

    I said to him, "Thanks Joe, it sure would have been nice to know all that, 3 years ago!!" :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2022
  20. aongheas.macask

    aongheas.macask Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    85
    Occupation:
    ex service manager
    Location:
    Scotland
    didn't know that either OZ, I worked on TK and KM Bedford many years ago,used to remove passenger seat,cut an access hole and replace the water pump. Don't know where I would find telephone books nowadays lol
     
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