Tractor Mike - Skills lost

Jchonline

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L6060, KX040-4, M7060, RTV X1100C, M62 (sold)
Oct 28, 2018
1,006
340
83
Red Feather Lakes, CO
Growing up I was always right in the middle of everything my Father or Grandfather was doing. I ran around the house with screwdrivers and crescent wrenches (much to myMmother‘s chagrin). To me there was 10,000 things I needed to learn to be a good man. I was climbing trees with chainsaws when I was 12. I started driving when I was 13. I poured my first concrete slab with Dad at 11. Growing up around a farm you just have so many opportunities to learn all of these things. My Father was 1st gen college, but he grew up on a farm. My Grandfather died of a botched hernia operation when my Dad was 17….so he was forced to re-evaluate everything. They sold the family farm so my Dad could afford college.

Fast forward to my kids (first just out of college, others in college). Growing up I did all kinds of “projects” and handiwork around the house…but they were never interested. I always asked, they were never motivated to spend the time. Too busy with friends or on these damn phones/computers. I felt like a failure for a long time…but realized just about every other kid their age was doing the same things. To find one that really wanted to learn to turn a wrench was a true gem. Heck my Cat was more interested in the repair work I do than my boys were. The youngest (High School Senior) has just started to realize he will be on his own soon and doesnt know how to do anything…so he has asked to be a part of anything I do. That was a happy day for me. We put in a new cooktop, changed oil, re-grouted the tile in the shower, repaired the sprinkler system, and lots of other projects. He is finally coming around.

The eldest is out of college in his own apartment and just now starting to realize he really should have paid attention all those years. However I am still here to help him I just wish he would have learned 15 years ago.

However, NO ONE has learned enough yet to get on my precious machines! Ok except my wife because if she breaks it I have approval to get a new one.
 
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bronc71

Member

Equipment
BX25D
Feb 25, 2021
48
32
18
North Idaho
100% agree !
most '2thumbers' don't have a clue HOW to use their other digits.
my great local car mechanic cannot get a 'class A' mechanic(he'd like 2 really).He could keep a kid busy doing the basics..oil changes, seasonal tire swaps, etc.
what gets me are the huge number of people thatt'll wait months for a item instaed of rolling up their sleeves, and getting their hands dirty..helluva lot of wasted time and stalled projects.
on the other hand, lady emailed me about a snowblower problem(had 14" dumped here). I explained I can't do it, told her the fix and tools she needed. 2hrs later, several THANK YOUs in my 'inbox'. Seems some appreciate my 'words of wisdom'.
2 thumbers. That’s exactly right.
 

lugbolt

Well-known member

Equipment
ZG127S-54
Oct 15, 2015
3,666
796
113
Mid, South, USA
Dunno if I said it or not, but even though I had so many challenges in the kubota dealer business, hundreds, or even thousands of times people were either ungrateful, mad that they had to spend money, that we inconvenienced them, or whatever, it was all worthwhile when the smile on ONE customer's face told the whole story. It was not common, but you don't forget it.
 
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Fordtech86

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3200
Aug 7, 2018
2,871
1,654
113
Pineville,LA
Dunno if I said it or not, but even though I had so many challenges in the kubota dealer business, hundreds, or even thousands of times people were either ungrateful, mad that they had to spend money, that we inconvenienced them, or whatever, it was all worthwhile when the smile on ONE customer's face told the whole story. It was not common, but you don't forget it.
try out the auto business 🤣
 

Daren Todd

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Z121S Zero turn mower
May 18, 2014
7,082
1,085
113
Conway, Arkansas
try out the auto business 🤣
I try to treat the techs and service writers at the dealership with utmost respect. I deal with customers all day long and know whats it's like to be on the receiving end of a butt chewing.

There have been many times where I've had to stop the customer mid rant and explain that I'm there to fix the issue and yelling and cussing me won't help.

I've had customers realize at that point they are being a butt and work with me to get the issue solved.

I've also had the other end where they keep yelling and cussing. At that point I calmly load my tools back into the truck and start to leave. That will usually diffuse them and get them asking why I'm fixing to leave.

I then explain again that I'm here to fix the issue. But there isn't anything in my employment contract that says I need to deal with abuse. If you keep it up, I'm going to my next call and will stop back by later on today to see about fixing the issue 😉😉😉😉
 
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ACDII

Well-known member

Equipment
B2410, L352 Loader, Woods BH70-X backhoe
Oct 21, 2021
494
277
63
Illinois
Growing up I was always right in the middle of everything my Father or Grandfather was doing. I ran around the house with screwdrivers and crescent wrenches (much to myMmother‘s chagrin). To me there was 10,000 things I needed to learn to be a good man. I was climbing trees with chainsaws when I was 12. I started driving when I was 13. I poured my first concrete slab with Dad at 11. Growing up around a farm you just have so many opportunities to learn all of these things. My Father was 1st gen college, but he grew up on a farm. My Grandfather died of a botched hernia operation when my Dad was 17….so he was forced to re-evaluate everything. They sold the family farm so my Dad could afford college.

Fast forward to my kids (first just out of college, others in college). Growing up I did all kinds of “projects” and handiwork around the house…but they were never interested. I always asked, they were never motivated to spend the time. Too busy with friends or on these damn phones/computers. I felt like a failure for a long time…but realized just about every other kid their age was doing the same things. To find one that really wanted to learn to turn a wrench was a true gem. Heck my Cat was more interested in the repair work I do than my boys were. The youngest (High School Senior) has just started to realize he will be on his own soon and doesnt know how to do anything…so he has asked to be a part of anything I do. That was a happy day for me. We put in a new cooktop, changed oil, re-grouted the tile in the shower, repaired the sprinkler system, and lots of other projects. He is finally coming around.

The eldest is out of college in his own apartment and just now starting to realize he really should have paid attention all those years. However I am still here to help him I just wish he would have learned 15 years ago.

However, NO ONE has learned enough yet to get on my precious machines! Ok except my wife because if she breaks it I have approval to get a new one.
Sounds like my house. What busts my nuts is they show up asking if they can help AFTER the work is already done. Great timing kids!

As far as dealer service, I want my vehicle repaired correctly and can pretty much do it myself, but if under warranty, let them do it. I try to figure out what the actual lissue is, not to show off or be a smartass or anything, but to help THEM out to get it diagnosed and fixed quickly. It took a while of getting to know the SM, but once we got to know each other, it was easier to have them actually look into the issue directly. I had a troublesome 2016 F150 that had vibration issues that took several attempts to resolve. It finally came down to pinion angles, and once I pointed that out to them, they were finally able to resolve the vibrations, but they were not allowed to fix the steering issues, would have required replacing the entire steering gear called an EPAS. Ford denied the claim. I sued, I won, I got a new truck. My replacement truck has been in one time for service since I bought it, special ordered, in 2018. I just replaced the battery in it last Thursday after nursing it for a year and a half with a charger. Got to where it wouldn't hold a charge in one cell for more than 2 days. One cell dropped off, and the battery is not cheap either since it is AGM. Took me all of 10 minutes to replace it, in the parking lot of the auto parts store, with temps being 2*F.
 

BruceP

Active member

Equipment
G5200H
Aug 7, 2016
671
202
43
Richmond, Vermont, USA
I deal with customers all day long
At that point I calmly load my tools back into the truck and start to leave. That will usually diffuse them and get them asking why I'm fixing to leave.
My Cousin owns HVAC repair company (he owns 2 service-vans)

I went on a service-call with him once.... He looked over the job and gave the customer an estimate.
The customer immediately said he has friends who can do the job for 1/2 the price... my Cousin calmly replied "I guess you are going to have your friends fix fix your AC then..." and started walking away.

The customer stopped him saying that his estimate is OK and asked him how long it will take to fix.

it seems owning a service-company teaches how to deal with customers and defuse situations.
 
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GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
4,338
1,283
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
re: The customer immediately said he has friends who can do the job for 1/2 the price... my Cousin calmly replied "I guess you are going to have your friends fix fix your AC then..." and started walking away.

The customer stopped him saying that his estimate is OK and asked him how long it will take to fix.

I'd said 'ask your friends how long, have a nice day' and kept walking.

I KNOW I got a great deal from my HVAC guy and even though he is super busy, ALWAYS makes time for me 'somehow'. W with all the floods and parts shortages, I assume most,if not ALL, HVAC guys are busy.
 

BruceP

Active member

Equipment
G5200H
Aug 7, 2016
671
202
43
Richmond, Vermont, USA
I KNOW I got a great deal from my HVAC guy and even though he is super busy, ALWAYS makes time for me 'somehow'. W with all the floods and parts shortages, I assume most,if not ALL, HVAC guys are busy.
This is specifically WHY my Cousin went into the HVAC business.

Many summers ago, he called to have his AC fixed..... and waited over a month before his job could be scheduled.

He decided then and there to take a 3 month class at local college to learn the HVAC business. He became certified and also learned marketing and business skills.

Ever since then, he has more than enough work and even hired someone to run a second van.

This reflects back to the title of this discussion...
There is nothing wrong with learning a trade. A skilled tradesman (carpenter, plumber, HVAC, electrician, mechanic...etc) can earn a VERY good living without 4 years of college-loan debt.
 
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ACDII

Well-known member

Equipment
B2410, L352 Loader, Woods BH70-X backhoe
Oct 21, 2021
494
277
63
Illinois
Yes they can, and are really needed today! Up north of me there is a guy who has been in HVAC for 40+ years and has been trying to find someone to take over so he could retire. He finally just quit and sold off his stuff so he could retire.

Speaking of HVAC, my 10 YO American Standard has been a PITA this winter. So far had to remove the burners twice to clean them, and then the induction blower motor had the inner bearing go bad. What a racket they make. $355 for the blower, replaced it myself. As long as I can get parts, I can repair things. Getting parts though is the hardest part. I have a condensate pump on my smaller furnace that needs a new switch. Think I could find a switch? Nope. Shame that it has to be replaced over a $3 part. Takes all of 10 minutes to swap it out too.

The furnace it is on I installed back in 2002, bought it from Home Depot. It is a Winchester, and in the 20 years in service I replaced a $30 capacitor for the main blower. The newer, "better", 10 YO furnace has been down far more times for repair than the cheap HD DIY furnace and AC.
 

GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
3,392
1,243
113
Texas
I have a couple rental properties and one of them had a failure to cool this last summer.
I called the local HVAC company (All Star in Marble Falls, Tx) who told me (after two visits that failed-again right after they’d left) they would call me back later….they were afraid it was not a ”simple” fix.
That evening their girl called to say the condenser unit would need replacment …at $7K…. but they could replace the entire system for $9800…and the whole-replacement would have a ten-year warranty while the condenser only would have a 1-yr warranty.

The house was only 10 years old and that condenser unit had been replaced under original warranty only 3 years ago when I was buying the house for an investment.

I live about 15 miles away in an older ranch-house that has a 18 year old unit and I had a small local outfits’ two “boys” replace my evaporator-coil last year for only $1500…. so I called them.

They went over to the rent-house about 2 hours later….. and called me within an hour telling me that the only problem is a bad refrigerant-sensor that thinks it’s low on refrigerant…that they’d jumpered across the sensor and it was running just fine.
BUT…. they said they were not an “authorized” service-company for that brand and could not simply buy that part and replace it…. but it should be replaced just in-case there ever was a leak so the compressor wouldn’t burn-up. They recommended another company who represented that brand of HVAC.
I called that outfit and $150 service-call and a $40 part ….and it’s DONE.… and done properly.

The “All Star” outfit called me to determine what my choice was…. either the $7K or the $9800 complete replacement they’d recommended. They said I needed to either make a choice…or pay their $350 service call to troubleshoot the problem.
I told them what had transpired in the meantime and asked them if they still wanted me to pay that $350 invoice and reveal to the local papers the entire story of how they had intended to defraud me….. or if they’d prefer to just forget the whole thing…?

You can guess what “All STar HVAC” in Marble Falls, Tx decided. Anyone who wishes to do business with them can locate them: https://www.facebook.com/allstarhvactexas/
 

HVACRoger

Active member

Equipment
2021 L2501 Loader, Backhoe, LandPride Grapple, Tiller, Forks, Quick Connect
Dec 20, 2021
174
95
28
Wilson, NC
Yes they can, and are really needed today! Up north of me there is a guy who has been in HVAC for 40+ years and has been trying to find someone to take over so he could retire. He finally just quit and sold off his stuff so he could retire.

Speaking of HVAC, my 10 YO American Standard has been a PITA this winter. So far had to remove the burners twice to clean them, and then the induction blower motor had the inner bearing go bad. What a racket they make. $355 for the blower, replaced it myself. As long as I can get parts, I can repair things. Getting parts though is the hardest part. I have a condensate pump on my smaller furnace that needs a new switch. Think I could find a switch? Nope. Shame that it has to be replaced over a $3 part. Takes all of 10 minutes to swap it out too.

The furnace it is on I installed back in 2002, bought it from Home Depot. It is a Winchester, and in the 20 years in service I replaced a $30 capacitor for the main blower. The newer, "better", 10 YO furnace has been down far more times for repair than the cheap HD DIY furnace and AC.
Had a call out to a Payne gas pack today with bad inducer assembly (induction blower) my cost for inducer assembly $600 + tax + $30 shipping. On back order might have one in 15-20 days, MIGHT!!
 

Daren Todd

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Z121S Zero turn mower
May 18, 2014
7,082
1,085
113
Conway, Arkansas
what kind of cars, so i can be sure and not buy one
I keep a 2 ton floor jack, deep well socket and 2ft breaker bar in both vehicles. So I'm not concerned if it comes with a jack.

Wife had a close call with the jack that came with her Mazda. And didn't have enough booty to break the lug nuts loose when she had a flat while I was out of town.

Luckily a coworker of hers was able to help her out.

As soon as I got home, the jack she is comfortable with and breaker bar with socket went into her car.
 

HVACRoger

Active member

Equipment
2021 L2501 Loader, Backhoe, LandPride Grapple, Tiller, Forks, Quick Connect
Dec 20, 2021
174
95
28
Wilson, NC
Yes they can, and are really needed today! Up north of me there is a guy who has been in HVAC for 40+ years and has been trying to find someone to take over so he could retire. He finally just quit and sold off his stuff so he could retire.

Speaking of HVAC, my 10 YO American Standard has been a PITA this winter. So far had to remove the burners twice to clean them, and then the induction blower motor had the inner bearing go bad. What a racket they make. $355 for the blower, replaced it myself. As long as I can get parts, I can repair things. Getting parts though is the hardest part. I have a condensate pump on my smaller furnace that needs a new switch. Think I could find a switch? Nope. Shame that it has to be replaced over a $3 part. Takes all of 10 minutes to swap it out too.

The furnace it is on I installed back in 2002, bought it from Home Depot. It is a Winchester, and in the 20 years in service I replaced a $30 capacitor for the main blower. The newer, "better", 10 YO furnace has been down far more times for repair than the cheap HD DIY furnace and AC.
By-the-way, I didn’t leave them without heat. I had an old Goodman gas pack we replaced a couple weeks ago. Inducer motor was not a perfect match to the Payne but with some self tapping screws, fire caulk I attached it to collector box. Cut plug from bad motor, attached it with stacons to transplant motor. Installed longer vacuum hose, since barbs didn’t line up, from transplant to vacuum switch. Hand built small sheet metal extension for proper discharge of CO2 gas outside control cabinet. Restored power, unit fired properly, customer has safe temporary repair, but most importantly has heat during our 20 degree nights. Safer than the dang electric heaters with drop cords!!
 

ACDII

Well-known member

Equipment
B2410, L352 Loader, Woods BH70-X backhoe
Oct 21, 2021
494
277
63
Illinois
Had a call out to a Payne gas pack today with bad inducer assembly (induction blower) my cost for inducer assembly $600 + tax + $30 shipping. On back order might have one in 15-20 days, MIGHT!!
I dug through to find the actual replacement part number then googled for the best price which happened to be Amazon. A lot of places showed it on backorder as well for mine.
 

HVACRoger

Active member

Equipment
2021 L2501 Loader, Backhoe, LandPride Grapple, Tiller, Forks, Quick Connect
Dec 20, 2021
174
95
28
Wilson, NC
I dug through to find the actual replacement part number then googled for the best price which happened to be Amazon. A lot of places showed it on backorder as well for mine.
I’m a Carrier dealer and I try to put OEM parts on when it is cost affective. Being this unit is 18 yrs old sometimes its a toss up between OEM (if available)and third party. Carrier and all its brands notified us that they are now charging a 1 1/2% temporary inflation surcharge to manage current business cost. On top of that they are increasing all Carrier brand residential equipment 10%, commercial equipment 12%, all parts & supplies 4%, ductless products 6%. Since 2019 and with this recent increase I have seen a 38% increase in equipment. Amazon may have to be an avenue in the future
 

ACDII

Well-known member

Equipment
B2410, L352 Loader, Woods BH70-X backhoe
Oct 21, 2021
494
277
63
Illinois
Surprisingly enough, the blower IS an OEM part! It doesn't have American Standard/Trane stamped on the part, but then again, neither did the one I pulled out of the furnace, but both have the same codes on them, only the new one is the updated part, from the same manufacturer as the original.
 

HVACRoger

Active member

Equipment
2021 L2501 Loader, Backhoe, LandPride Grapple, Tiller, Forks, Quick Connect
Dec 20, 2021
174
95
28
Wilson, NC
Surprisingly enough, the blower IS an OEM part! It doesn't have American Standard/Trane stamped on the part, but then again, neither did the one I pulled out of the furnace, but both have the same codes on them, only the new one is the updated part, from the same manufacturer as the original.
Cool! They can be crossed over to other manufactures. Most I see here are Fastco.