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Truck/Equipment mechanic not sure what to do?

Discussion in 'Personnel' started by RLU_tech, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. typ4

    typ4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    197
    Occupation:
    Equipment mechanic for a small company.
    Location:
    oregon
    Big businesses. lol. Did 13 ish years at Evergreen Aviation as the only diesel MECHANIC. not tech, on the payroll. Travelled all over the system, everwhere except Hawaii, Pretty much loved it.
    Not great pay but after one layoff they put me on call as the west coast roving mechanic. Pretty much on call, drove up and down the west coast, flew to other bases as needed. Was looking forward to retiring from there and then in 09 got "economically reduced" .LOL, what a bullshit description. then in 13 they went down for good.
    Bottom line is ,being a diesel mechanic, i have never looked for work, it has always found me. If I had the opportunity to be at a municipality I would stick with just about anything for the benefits.
    I now work for a small excavating company and its a fight to get any time off in the summer for sand duning, my only hobby.
    One must pick ones battles.
     
  2. Raildudes dad

    Raildudes dad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Grand Rapids MI
    Here's what I told my daughter, you have to like what you do and look forward to going to work every morning. I'm 68 and could have easily retired 5 years ago. But I love what I do. I watched road and bridge construction at 10-12 years old. I've been a civil engineer for the local county highway dept for 46 years. I tell folks 50 years later I get paid to do what I did for fun as a kid:).
    Could I have made more $$$ elsewhere, absolutely but the variety of what I get to do is great. (I'm assigned to the County Emergency Manager during disaster declarations - a whole different aspect.) Today I spent the day at the County 911 dispatch center working with the dispatchers (12-15) to handle trees down on the roads due to an ice storm.
    There was a 10 year period where I supervised 125 drivers and operators at the road department. The last couple years I would feel like it was getting the flu on Sunday afternoons. It finally dawned on me I was dreading work on Monday morning. I decided it was time to move on as in interviewing with another municipality and a major grocery chain as a facility engineer.
    I was very fortunate my manager knew I was not happy (didn't know I was interviewing) and gave me the opportunity to return to my previous engineering job.
    Bottom line, life is too short, you need to enjoy going to work and what you do.
     
    Numbfingers, DB2, Camshawn and 3 others like this.
  3. rondig

    rondig Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    306
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    fort macleod alberta
    Well coming from the other side things....i always owned my own business...i worked for my dads farm equipment dealership....he had a big farm, two dealerships, and a small excavation business. So i got to learn a lot of stuff from him. As i worked at the dealership i got to take quite a few tech courses that JD offered..in my youth there were not many tractors with piston pumps back then. I took the 3000 level course on hydraulics and i was hooked...i started my own hydraulic shop and fab shop....i sold out about 10 years ago...and started my excavation business for my semi-retirement. It is an awesome adventure owning your own business....but the first 5 years of any business is brutal. No holidays, crazy hours, and always wondering where the next meal is coming from. Then things get better...once you get everything inline...learn about cashflow...credit management...personnel....life gets pretty good...now i only work summers....vacation all winter (which is kinda boring). But life is good now. Your young and depending on your debt load...could be a great option..line up all your ducks...and if your hands and nerves are not shaking too bad.....take the shot.
     
    DMiller likes this.
  4. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    4,313
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hermann, Missouri
    Have to note I got pretty well beat down early in my mechanic life, some bad choices on my part but still some nasty events that beat me up and down pretty well permanent damage. Gave up on the life of wrenching for the power station as I came to 40 years old, stayed there long enough to find a disregard for the rolling schedule even as was great money great benefits and came old enough to grab that brass ring to retire.
    Initially bored to tears still do not regret not dealing with the alarm clock trying to sleep during daylight or the incessant training regimen had come to be the larger part of life. Still wrench on my own junk, do some local work but try to NOT step on the toes of those around here that earn their living in these parts. Enjoying life best I can for what ails me and working to get the wife to 62 so she can join me.
     
    Wytruckwrench likes this.
  5. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    972
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Self employed here...…..and not any regrets. I just don't ever see myself working for someone else.
     
    DB2, rondig, mg2361 and 2 others like this.
  6. terex herder

    terex herder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2017
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Kansas
    If you go out on your own your most important job becomes "business owner", not "mechanic". A good business owner who is a mediocre mechanic will last. A good mechanic who is a mediocre businessman won't.
     
  7. petepilot

    petepilot Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    central shenandoah valley va,
    sounds good when you first read it but in this day & time you need to excell at both
     
    mg2361, Vetech63, DB2 and 1 other person like this.
  8. Raildudes dad

    Raildudes dad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Grand Rapids MI
    I was talking with an electrical engineer friend of mine yesterday at lunch about electricians going on their own. He worked for a big supply house and a couple electrical contractors. He said the electricians that strike out on their own that have business savvy will succeed. Those that don't usually fail. His comment was it's 2/3rds doing the electrical work and 1/3 paperwork, non work stuff.
     
    Vetech63 likes this.
  9. Georgia Iron

    Georgia Iron Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    518
    Occupation:
    Concrete building slab and grading contractor
    Location:
    Marietta, Georgia
    Working for yourself doing something you find interesting and what you love is the way to go. Doing the same thing all day long everyday even if you love it will get boring. Money is second. But if you can figure out how to do multiple things that you like to do to make an income that is the best way. When something slows down you can do something else. Or when weather stops work you can move to inside work.

    For me I work on old houses, i do grading and excavating, i do concrete work, i build smaller sized buildings. i do anything that needs to be done. Learn multiple things and you will have different jobs coming in to make extra money. Buying low and selling houses at a higher price is the best and most money I have ever made. Investing in real estate is something to study.. machines eat your money. working on them eats your body...

    Guys that work for themselves have different mindset than a constant paycheck worker. You must be able to go long periods of time with no pay when working for yourself. I loose money in dec, jan, and feb. I try to do large repairs and non paying work in these slower months.

    I would recommend keeping money coming in and slowly moving towards your next plan that way the move is easier and you slowly work into your goal. long term thinking helps better your choices..