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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

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    LOL You know I didn't! From the amount of gravel that was stuck in both holes I'd say they have been off for quite some time. I ordered replacements.
     
    mg2361, 59 North, 56wrench and 2 others like this.
  2. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    Don't feel bad. This machine was on concrete, I had an air operated jack and a forklift. I've done enough of these that just having those things makes this job a lot quicker than normal. I did a replacement of tracks in the field a few years ago on a skid steer that was working a muddy ditch line. The right track broke in the ditch line and they just left it there for me. That one took me all day long.
     
    John Shipp, mg2361, 59 North and 5 others like this.
  3. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    Like fighting a greased pig, only the pig is having fun though:D
     
    mg2361, 56wrench, DB2 and 3 others like this.
  4. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    If you didn't, did you at least order them.?

    Sorry, missed the post above... :oops::oops:
     
    mg2361, Vetech63 and DMiller like this.
  5. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    This morning I will give you a bit of my history with this company.

    I have known the owner for over 30 years. When I first started working for them doing repairs the company was just a small asphalt contractor. They got into the dirt side of their business about 10 years ago. I only did technical and difficult work for them off and on as they have always had someone to do the rest.....it was perfect for me since I have around 40 different contractors I do work for. It was one of the situations where I may not do anything for them for months, or I'd be there for a few days or weeks at a time.

    About 2 years ago all of that stopped abruptly. The general Super told me I was too expensive.....fine, no problem. But here is what really happened. A week before he told me that, I had a relatively heated discussion with him on equipment repairs over the phone. Management had been bitching about the bills from the equipment dealers, and had evidently made comments about my own bills to them. In the discussion I had made several comments that he was one of the big problems because he would call up the dealers for repair work if I couldn't get right on something. One example was a leaking duo cone seal on a Bomag mixer/recycler drum. I told him I could do the work at a fraction of the cost the dealer could (I had just done the exact same job for a county here) and because he couldn't wait 3 days for me to get to it he sent it out. The machine was there for 2 months and the cost was over $30K. I had even showed HNC how to do the job before this and he didn't want to tackle it. So......I made the comment to him that "He had NO business making ANY calls on equipment repairs at all." He had zero experience with any of it. He fires back at me "I am responsible for all of it!"......in which I replied....."and there in lies the problem!" After that......the work dried up. He was fired back in August and the new Super is a former job super that I have always got along with. He is also a operator so he has some clue of what a lot of things take to get done.

    So fast forward to 10 days ago. Even though some things have definitely changed I'm not sure how long this will last. I can help get them caught up on the major stuff over the next 2-3 weeks, but after that I have no idea. Their goal is still to get the most for the least. On the Bomag, HNC was getting ready to send it to the dealer for a head gasket job it didn't need (missed diagnosis from the dealer tech) I spent $1500.00 and its fixed and running on a job. I figure I saved them $4000.00 on un needed repair work at a minimum. I don't know what they had spent on it before I started.

    The 700K I figure they had already spent $3K+ before I even looked at it. They were getting ready to send it to the dealer for another head gasket job it didn't need, probably saved them $5K there. Due to the fact that I'm having to go behind 2 different techs to figure out what all this machine needs I already have a $4500.00 labor bill that will climb a bit more once due to troubleshooting the fan system and having to replace a fan pump. For the amount of troubleshooting and repair work already done , and the savings of not wasting money on un need repairs......its a dam bargain to me. It will be in better shape and dependable once I am finished.

    So will management go back to "I'm too expensive" again? Who knows? I will be pushing HNC a bit harder to let me help with the more technical and difficult repairs, but he could feel threatened by this and start giving me the ole "We can take care of that ourselves" routine. It's difficult for me to sit on the sidelines and watch this crap. My instinct is to jump in and flood myself, get stuff done, and move on to the next one. One big hurdle for me is this......If it goes back to the way it was and I am out of the picture again, should I just let it happen and say nothing? Or should I tell them how stupid this whole thing is, and by doing so, throwing HNC and possibly TNH under the bus? I've known the owner for so long that part of me feels like I should clue him in. On the other hand the other part of me says LET IT BE because you "Reep what you Sow."

    This isn't going to be easy.
     
    John Shipp, mg2361, 59 North and 8 others like this.
  6. Tags

    Tags Senior Member

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    This is now become my favorite thing to read every day. You’re doing an amazing job by the way.

    It’s always hard to tell in theses situations what the right thing to do is. If you think the owner is reasonable enough, it maybe time to sit down with him and let them know exactly what’s going on with his “Service Department”and maybe try to set up some kind of agreement that you show up when there are difficult diagnostic/repairs to do, so you can avoid them sending everything to the dealer for a “head gasket” :rolleyes: Maybe You try to convince them to use the “mechanics” that they hired for simple things like service and minor repairs? If he doesn’t want to hear your honesty and gets upset about it, you basically have done the same thing as not saying anything and them eventually getting angry at you for your “expensive repairs”. Happy Thanksgiving, get some rest, seems like you’re gonna need it!!:D
     
  7. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    This is not a new situation, I dealt with the same issues in the 1980s with my customers here, they would whine I was too slow and ship machines to dealers or other shops to watch in horror as bills escalated then blame ME for being so slow. Sorry but a One Man show can only be in so many places at once and so many hands to get the work done. Had at one point in time 2 old 110 Detroits on the ground in various states of overhaul awaiting parts, transmissions and Euc brake jobs I failed to count ALSO awaiting pieces where I would finish as could gain parts for these. Final day I was finishing up on a antique 110 injector swap(Using their old parts) when the 'NEW HNC Foreskin' of the quarry shop walked in stated flatly once I was 'Done' collect the last paycheck as they no longer needed me, dropped the pieces in my hands at the time, In the Dirt Floor, said Thanks, needed a break and walked out, collected final check included hours on that machine and drove off.
     
  8. DB2

    DB2 Senior Member

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    My take on part of it is you enjoy trouble shooting and doing repairs properly while HNC just passes the buck so he doesn’t have to get dirty. As to the outcome someone has to realize they have the wrong guy in his place.
     
  9. farmerlund

    farmerlund Senior Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to document this job, Vetech. Its pretty interesting to follow.

    When it comes to having a talk with the owner about what is happening to the equipment. If he is a friend I would definitally sit down and explain the facts to him. You have all the documents and knowledge to help him, if he is the type that has an open mind, If not than its his loss.

    Whats next? i have the popcorn ready. :p
     
  10. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    Man I never thought of skid steer tracks like that. I have not operated one much. With an excavator you can at least paw your way out of the mud puddle to a high spot before commencing. I have pawed a rental right onto the Hertz driver's trailer before, reaching back and dragging the track with me.
     
    Vetech63, funwithfuel and DMiller like this.
  11. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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    I agree with talking to dude about it. It's a shame when you have to bring the others into the equation but he'll likely be amazed at all the equipment he can send out when it's working again. The crappy part is having to document what work the "mechanics" were sending out unnecessarily, but I think that's the right move.
     
  12. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    I would wonder why the owner hasn't approached you about what is going on? I generally just keep quiet and hope the money keeps flowing my way.

    I've had plenty of clients over the years where I provided the technical expertise and on the job training for their crew members. My initial conversations with the owner was that I can do two things for them. Figure out the problem and train members of their crew in problem solving. I always used the line that if successful, they wouldn't need me anymore.

    I can see your contempt for the employees in your post so I don't think that will work in this situation. I can perceive that they see you as a threat and are avoiding you because of your access to management. There is no mutual respect, so at this point there is no solution other than someone has to modify behavior or face a career event. That won't be you because you have plenty of other options. Those employees likely don't have those options. Put something together in your head, that isn't negative about the situation, and be ready if the management decides to ask you about it. If they don't ask, then they are poor managers. I would never volunteer for what is basically a consultant's position. Poor managers will resent unsolicited input that may reflect poorly on their management skills.

    Stay calm, monitor and adjust.
     
  13. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    When your bills start crossing the managements desk--employees don't realize in most cases said employees
    fired themselves. They did it all by themselves without anyone moving a finger to help them. This is a case
    where playing the outfield is way better than pitching.
     
    Nige, InsleyGuy, 56wrench and 4 others like this.
  14. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    The writing as it seems is in the bills!!
     
  15. Zewnten

    Zewnten Well-Known Member

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    I vote stay quiet unless asked directly and even then hedge that they'll be mad about. Clearly management at some level isn't admitting what's really going on and who knows how far up it goes. Seen it most of my career as well unfortunately. Even if the company had a good mechanic management wouldn't be happy but for some reason the outside contractor daves the day, which is a good place to be and what I'm working towards.
     
    westerner, Jonas302, Vetech63 and 2 others like this.
  16. treemuncher

    treemuncher Senior Member

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    As I like to tell my customers, "I will spend your money as if it was my own: logically, carefully and get the biggest bang for your buck and your needs. I won't waste it on unnecessary work." Sounds to me like Vetech63 is doing just that. You are doing the right thing whether the customer realizes it or not.

    Many times I've pulled other business owners aside to let them know what is going on that they may not be aware of, be it positive or negative feedback regarding their business practices or personnel. As a business owner myself, it's the best help that I can provide for them, and it's free. There was a time when I had employees and the customers that I respected the most were the ones that gave me feedback when things were not quite right. Employees that are not performing well are a detriment to any business. Personal reviews are the greatest feedback a business owner can get, if they are smart and know how to use that information. Sometimes it takes a distant body to hear which wheel is squeaking or see where the sparks are flying. The engineer can't always see every bit of the train.
     
  17. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    There's few sides to every story or what a person sees-That's good old boy stuff, not a good place to go.
     
  18. 63 caveman

    63 caveman Well-Known Member

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    Let your work do the talking!
     
  19. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    You do you, Boo-boo. Just keep banking those fat checks. Get them caught up and move to the next contractor. That way you'll always have a steady flow. It's not your circus, not your monkeys, therefore not your problem. There will always be a bunch of hacks with a harbor freight tool set willing to make more work for you while you're away.
    On the other hand, you've got a history with the guy, so you kinda gotta follow yer gut.
     
    63 caveman, Nige, 59 North and 8 others like this.
  20. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    LOL........shots fired!!!!!!;)