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own maintenance/repairs vs mechanic doing them

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by yardguy28, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    how many guys tackle there own maintenance/repairs to there truck vs having a mechanic do them?

    I can definitly see some pros to do it yourself if you have the knowledge.
  2. CashinH&P

    CashinH&P Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    I do some of my own. Oil changes, breaks, rotating tires, simple and routine stuff I will tackle if I have the time. Other wise I send the trucks to a mechanic.
  3. allseasons87

    allseasons87 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    2nd that. Some things I don't trust myself doing lol
  4. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    Depends on what it is, but I usually do all my own maintenance.
  5. CleanCutL&S

    CleanCutL&S Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    I do all my own work, Everything from Head gaskets to Transmissions. But I am a certified mechanic. I could not imagine paying for repairs.
  6. CHCSnowman

    CHCSnowman Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 138

    The company I sub for has full time mechanics, 24/7 during snows and 40 hours a week full time. I guess the guy is constantly busy. When not working on plow/truck/salters he goes ahead and starts work on equipment for summer. They pretty much strip and rebuild the fleet every winter, replacing bearings, belts, blades and such. They have a big fleet though.
  7. lawnboy2121

    lawnboy2121 Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    I do most of my own repairs unless I let lazy or don't have time
  8. JohnDeere2320

    JohnDeere2320 Member
    Messages: 51

    I do all of my own unless it is under warranty or I won't have the time before I need it again. It saves a considerable amount of money doing what you are able to do yourself.
  9. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 771

    Like a lot of people have said, I do most of my own stuff too, unless its sub-zero outside (no shop to work in)
  10. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    I second that one.

    Depends on how hard the repair is and how much time I have. lately iv been paying a guy that does 50% on trade for services. I can do most anything i need to, but i loathe doing it. so if i don't have time, im glad to be working. During the summer i bare most of it myself.

    As far as business wise goes, the goal is to be doing so much work that you don't have time, and taking the time would take time away from working, and thus be less profitable, making paying a mechanic the most profitable.
  11. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    definitely NOT a goal I can personally agree with or share.

    my goal is to have enough work to make enough money to put food on the table with 2 days off like most people have. so basically I shoot for 40 hours a week.
  12. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    That's when you hire employees. Perhaps one capable of mechanical work
  13. xgiovannix12

    xgiovannix12 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,417

    I do all my mechanic work on my rigs and machines.. even tho I dont have a shop yet.
  14. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    maybe for you that's when you hire employees. but I'm looking to stay a one man show.

    I'm already at my goal. been there a couple of years now. I always have enough work for myself for 5 days a week when not behind and turn away work once I'm at that point.

    I don't need a mechanic. I have one. but I was curious after seeing pics in another thread of someone doing there own ball joints how many do things themselves and how many take it to a mechanic.

    I don't have the knowledge to do things myself. other than the regular maintenance of changing oil, rotate tires.
  15. OldSchoolPSD

    OldSchoolPSD Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I was just talking to my mechanic earlier when I dropped my truck off for ball joints. I told him I had been thinking about doing them myself, and he told me something that made a lot of sense. He said "You go weld something, let me handle the ball joints... we both make more money that way."

    And he had a point. A day spent in my shop working makes me double the amount I would have saved by spending my Saturday cussing a set of ball joints.
  16. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    If thats where you are happy. there is nothing wrong with it. if you want to learn, doing the mechanical work is not hard. but if you are happy and making financial progress, i would say its worth paying someone. mechanics can be a real pain.
  17. ihscoutlover

    ihscoutlover Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    While funny, this mechanic does have a point. If you don't have the tools or the time, you would be wise to have a mechanic do the work. I am not ASE or certified, but I do do my own repairs, I don't cut corners, and I try and use the best stuff when possible. But when it comes to down time, and making $$ or losing it, and I either need the machine or business, I'll let the guys that do that kind of work, stick to it. I have done just about every repair I can think of so far, aside from setting up gears in an axle, but give me time and I could probably do that too(again once I get the needed tools to do said work). Could it save you money, sure, but are the headaches worth it?? Maybe not. I just prefer doing most of my own work, since I have been hosed by mechanics in the past. But its a case by case basis for how you choose to handle it.

  18. MattR

    MattR Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    I am fortunate enough to have a very nice Uncle that allows me full access to his shop 24/7. I think the size is a 50 or 60 feet wide and 120 feet long and handy things like a lift, torch, welder, and plasma cutter. Only thing he asks is the driveway is cleared if he comes up for the weekend. Actually just got back a short time ago from the shop and heading there tomorrow to finish a brake job on a friend's truck.
  19. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    ok so let's shift the discussion a bit since it seems a lot do use mechanics.

    how many have a mechanic or a relationship with a mechanic that allows you to get your truck fixed asap when it goes down during the winter months?
  20. OldSchoolPSD

    OldSchoolPSD Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I own a couple 6.0 Powerstrokes so my mechanic and I are very friendly lol. Pretty sure I'm putting his kid through college!

    But that relationship has benefits. Ive actually had him offer to pack up the back seat of his truck with tools and come swap a transfer case on the side of the road (with 6" of snow on the ground)