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This will be an interesting thread moving forward......

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by Vetech63, Nov 15, 2021.

  1. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    4,748
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    One of my biggest construction company customers has been in a nightmare the last 2 years with trying to find heavy equipment techs to take care of their equipment. There is 2 divisions in the company. 1 side is the paving (which I have continued to do their repair and maintenance work for years) and then there is the dirt construction side which I haven't done anything the last 2 years.

    They have hired 2 in the last 2 years that I know of, one of them was fired last week after being on the job since August of this year. The other has no clue how to repair anything ( he has been with the company for 1.5 yrs ) but what he DOES know how to do is call the dealer for most all repairs.

    This last February the owner turned the business over to his 2 sons (one of which worked for the company already, the other has never been in this business at all.....he is a pilot) and his SIL which is now the CEO and has never been in the construction business. The original owner (dad) still has final say in most anything that costs ALOT......but lets the kids to the daily operations.

    I had to go by this last Friday to pick up a check and for the first time got to meet the new CEO. In 5 minutes of conversation (which consisted of him telling me that repair costs and equipment rental was eating them up) I ..kinda/sorta clued him in on what I had been seeing for 2 years. I said "Well, here is the problem point blank. You have one guy that your company hired almost 2 years ago that has no idea how to fix anything. You just got rid of a 24 year old tech that barely knew anything, and from what I have heard from many of your construction superintendents, screwed up more than he repaired. So to make a long story short....your equipment is never getting fixed unless the guy you have left calls the dealer.....which I know is costing a fortune by itself. In the meantime equipment is sitting for months half ass torn down or not even started on while you pay for renting equipment to take its place." He gave me this look like I had been snooping in their financials.;)

    I then offered to help them get caught up to some degree and that I would work with his general superintendent and the "other mechanic"...haha;). He jumped all over it.

    So..........as I move along, Im going to post a pic of each broken down piece of equipment, why it is supposedly broken down, how long it has been sitting, if anything at all has been done to it, and what it took to get it going. By the looks of things around there, its 6 months worth of work at a minimum. I'll start posting tonight so be ready to be entertained!!!
     
  2. AllDodge

    AllDodge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
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    2,064
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Should be interesting
     
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  3. BigWrench55

    BigWrench55 Senior Member

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    Oct 11, 2018
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    1,178
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Be careful...
    You're going to mess around and have a job offered to you. :D
     
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  4. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    10,269
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    I just hope you are getting paid on a regular basis.
     
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  5. Aarons81

    Aarons81 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2021
    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    It's stories like this that make me feel like my company isn't as half assed as I feel it is. How does a company like this not have the resources to hire competent people. I know it's a tight labor market, but I feel they could over pay a good mechanic and still be ahead.
     
  6. kenworth

    kenworth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Occupation:
    Machine Tool Repair Mechanic
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    I am Really looking forward to this story.
     
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  7. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Well, I got to briefly look at a few things stacked up this morning. Here is what I have found so far.
    ECshop2.jpg
    This is 2 of the pieces in their shop. That Bomag trench roller has a hydraulic oil leak on the front left drum. They removed the outer cap and couldnt figure out how to pull the rest of it apart......so here it sits. Its been in the shop here for 1.5 months.
    The Sullair compressor in the back doesn't rum. The older mechanic that is still with them called me to look at this back in early September. When I got their he told me the new guy had put on a new wiring harness and SSAM. I checked the fuel pressure and there was less than 2 lbs and it wouldn't hold pressure at all. I removed the supply pump which was junk and the fuel check valve in the head (JD 4024 engine). I told him we needed to put in a new supply pump and check valve and go from there. He replied that they could do that themselves and thanked me for troubleshooting the issue. It is STILL sitting right where I left it with nothing done since I was there.
     
  8. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
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    4,748
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    ECBomag1.jpg
    This Bomag BW211 has the fan, water pump, and other items removed. The new water pump is sitting on the operators floor, I didn't find the gasket. Some of the removed parts are on the operators floor, some are laying different places all over the engine compartment. The new guy started on this 3 weeks ago and never finished. He now has been fired by the company (happened last Wednesday.) Looks like I get to go behind him which I hate doing.
     
  9. skata

    skata Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
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    1,391
    Location:
    midwest
    I can see why some companies decide to just rent most equipment.
     
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  10. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    EC750J1.jpg
    This 750J has been sitting since August I'm told. It has an engine overheating problem. They have replaced the thermostat, the coolant, and something else I don't remember at the moment. Whatever they have done hasn't repaired the problem. I was there 2 weeks ago repairing a Cat profiler when the new guy was changing the thermostat. I asked him if he checked the radiator core and the fan speed. He said he knew it wasnt the fan because it was turning :rolleyes:.His next move was to pull the cylinder head:eek:. I tried to explain how the fan works and that other things needed to be checked before you condemn the head........it was an effort in futility.
    I opened the side enclosures to check for filter hours and dates and found......
    EC750J2.jpg
    ....the turbocharger wide ass open. The upper hood is gone........I looked for it and the bolts, nowhere to be found. I have no idea how long this has been left open.:confused:
     
  11. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
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    4,748
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    EC350D1.jpg
    This 350D excavator has been sitting here for 2 months. Notice the old batteries lying on the ground. I was told the engine starter will not engage.
    EC350D2.jpg
    New batteries and starter motor.......along with 2 new relays. It still doesn't engage the starter. They have thrown a lot of parts at it though:( Looks like yet another machine they just gave up on.
     
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  12. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    Oklahoma
    EC300D.jpg
    EC544J.jpg
    I haven't found anyone that can tell me why both of these are in the yard............all I've got so far is "They are broke." I will have to start fresh from scratch on both of these until I find what they WONT do.
     
  13. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
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    4,748
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I'm still getting a list of things broken together. There is more in the field and the superintendent is supposed to let me know where those are. He did tell me about the Bomag 1300 miller that is 60 miles south of me. The new guy had pulled the entire front left track assembly ......and I mean the whole dam thing (track frame with the motor, rails and all the hoses that connect it to the machine). He said not a one of the hoses was marked and that the hose ends are wide open. Its been sitting there for a month. I asked what was wrong with that track frame...............he said the new guy couldn't figure out how to removed the rail (it had missing pads and some broken pad bolts) so he pulled the entire thing. I don't know what he did with it yet because I cant find it anywhere at their shop or the equipment yard.

    Dam guys, I'm not sure where to start yet! Gotta get more on the list then I can prioritize. More to come.................
     
  14. Mike L

    Mike L Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,465
    Occupation:
    Self employed field mechanic
    Location:
    maine
    So where did you find an extra 80 hours a week to work on all this stuff? Looks like you struck gold!
     
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  15. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
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    10,269
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    Dang am I glad you are in Oklahoma or I'd be afraid you would try to take me hostage and force me to work on some of those projects despite me not having any experience on 90% of them. Then again I doubt I could screw them up any more than the brain dead who have already dismantled them!

    All I can say is good luck and keep us informed as you work through this mess.
     
  16. BigWrench55

    BigWrench55 Senior Member

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    Somewhere
    I'm sitting here waiting for you to tap me in.:D
     
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  17. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    star gazer
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    Sounds and looks to me like too many chiefs and not enough indians.
     
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  18. BigWrench55

    BigWrench55 Senior Member

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    And that's why I will not work for a construction company again.
    The mechanics that are working there I wouldn't let them change a flat.
    So the good mechanics get every job that isn't a flat tire or blown hose.
    Whichever superintendent throws the best tantrum gets the good mechanic that day.
    That's how you end up having machines torn down all over the state. Because the equipment manager doesn't have the balls to tell the superintendent to rent a machine while other repairs are getting finished.
    And in the meantime the equipment manager is all over the good mechanics ass because nothing is getting fixed. But won't admit that things would be fixed if he would actually let the mechanic do his job and quit hopscotching all over the state to appease the whining superintendent of the day.
    And lastly the politics of working in construction. While the good mechanic is busy making the bad mechanics look good. The bad mechanics are busy stabbing the good mechanic in the back. Nevermind that he just completely rebuilt the machine that has been at the other mechanics job site for months on end without complaining. But let one machine leave your job site with so much as a light burned out. And he will cry like you don't do anything and every machine that you have on your job is neglected.
    If you can't tell but I am a little jaded when it comes to construction companies.
    It's the reason I quit doing this for 3 years.
     
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  19. Thirty5D

    Thirty5D Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
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    Location:
    Green Mountains
    The scene of chaos in that shop is overload of the day.
     
  20. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    star gazer
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    You told it like it is Paul. Been down that road a few times myself. My problem is over weight/biscuits and gravy
    mechanics. Always grunting and groaning like there really putting the meat to what ever their working on.
    Can't fit under a truck without a post lift, can't reach their fat hands and arms into tight places. The skinny guy
    ends up with those jobs while they adjust the mirrors, But one thing is obvious their good at chasing beans
    and weenies around a plate using the bill on their greasy hat as a backstop for the red hot fork. lol
     
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