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self repair vs shop repair

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by #1 plowtech, Dec 22, 2001.

  1. #1 plowtech

    #1 plowtech Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    i read thru the posts multiple times per day,looking at different feedback and problem solvers, my question is how many people send there plow in for service vs self repair? if you do self repair, to what extent do you repair?(minor problem vs major problem) thanks fo all the great posts, happy holidays, pt.
  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    We do all our repairs ourselves. Repairs include, PM, Overhaul, and Emergency repairs. However they our done by our Mechanics, not our drivers.

  3. jason2

    jason2 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 117

    I do all of my own repairs. Sucks having no shop. Laying on a tarp on the snow. Pulling engines on an uneven dirt driveway isn't much fun either. You learn lot's of little tricks to compensate for no shop. For engine swaps, you can lay sheets of plywood down for a false floor to give the cherry picker something to roll on. Tarping up over the front of your plow to work on the pump keeps moisture out. etc...

    Hopefully I'll have a new home plus shop by next fall. Really gets old working outside.
  4. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I like "wrenching", as well as welding/fabricating, so I do just about everything myself with the exception of: engine/transmission rebuilds, rear end work (gears) and windshield removal/installation! (I can REMOVE a windshield, but it won't be usable afterwards.......................)

    I rent a shop,which has a downside - $$$ - and an upside - whether it's cold, wet, dark etc doesn't matter 'cause I'm inside!
  5. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Having a shop makes working a lot easier. Being able to pull a fullsize truck loaded with a plow and sander inside to work is nice. Plus a lift and an overhead electric chain hoist makes moving equipment easier.

    I started out without all this stuff. Working outside. I used to use the old blue tarp to build a tent over my truck. Those are days I do not miss.

    I also beleive that having the right tools is important. When I have a job that I need a tool for I just go buy it. Much easier then trying to make things work. Lots of testing tools for plows and for small engines are available from Snap-on or from the plow makers.
  6. jason2

    jason2 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 117

    Fireman, I hear you! I used to have a shop. Then I moved to WA. What a change. Going from working inside with a nice setup to outside isn't easy, but a guy makes do with what he has.

    Starting over isn't fun, but it makes a person hungry to have the things they used to have. I know I'll make it to where I want to be and have a shop again, plus other things.
  7. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    We do everything in house as well.I own an Auto\Truck repair shop,so that helps.We make most of our stuff like racks,mounts,bumpers,etc.We have a welding\fab area,so repairs are a snap.Whatever we can't make,I keep in house for spares on hand,so downtime is always at a minimum.Most of our drivers are licensed mechanics,who also help build\prep the trucks,so they know them inside out.We build all of our trucks for plowing only,they don't get used in the summer.Fuel efficiency and reliability are the main goal.

    Most of the trucks carry spare parts,and a full set of tools,so they can be repaired on site for small stuff.Usually carry spare plow stuff,as well as hoses,belts,spare ign parts etc.Again,these repairs are usually done by the drivers,as they are mchanics too.If they are,we train them to know how to diagnose and repair these type of things on site.Towing a truck back to the shop,and having someone else look at it takes way too long.
  8. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I do everything myself,I buy the plow in a box,new,and it never sees the dealer again,unless there is a warranty problem.
  9. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I do all the repairs on the plows/sanders and most on the trucks although todays engines have gotten beyond my abilities. I will send engine work out if needed. New truck is an automatic, so that will go out too if there's a major problem in the tranny.
  10. DaveK

    DaveK Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    I agree with CT18fireman, if a particular tool will make things easier, I go out and buy. I once bought a puller for hydraulic lifters. Even though 99% of the time they just slide out, I had some that were varnished up so bad I needed a puller. I only used it once and haven't touched it in 10 years, but if I ever need it, I got one. :)

    To answer #1plowtech wes's question. I do all my own repairs, whether it's a plow or whatever.
  11. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    I guess I'm the only guy that doesn't do in-house repairs. The trucks go to an auto mechanic (I've known him for 16 years). The plows go to the shops where I bought 'em. I do PM on the mowing equipment but for repairs it goes to a repair shop owned by a guy I subcontract snowplowing to.

    When I'm not working with the guys in the field, I'm in the office working on the business side of things. Aside from not having the technical knowhow, I don't have the time to service my own stuff.
  12. DaveK

    DaveK Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Nothin' wrong with that.

    Nobody has enough time to do everything, so you do what you can and pay sombody else to do the other.

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    i do all pm on trucks and plows my self ,many things i send out ....trannies, exhaust, and some other misc.
  14. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    We also do most of our own repairs in house.Our shop is just under 40,000 sq.ft.So space is no problem.It is nice to keep all of our trucks and salt inside.
  15. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    We also do most of our own repairs in house.Our shop is just under 40,000 sq.ft.So space is no problem.It is nice to keep all of our trucks and salt inside.:cool:
  16. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    All of my repairs are done by others' whether the dealer where I bought my trucks and plows or my local mechanic. I have a 30'x40' garage, just figure there are people out there wanting my business just like I want their plowing business. I used to do all my own mechanical work for many years. I've spent many nights laying on a cold floor or creeper under a car to get it fixed to use the next day.
  17. speedracer241

    speedracer241 Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    as i work in a dealership body shop i am able to do most of my own repairs on truck and plow. i have 24 hr. access to the shop and have lots of toys(tools). if its something i can't or dont want to handle i get a great employee rate.
  18. mtnbkn9

    mtnbkn9 Member
    Messages: 61

    I do most of my repairs myself and if i can't do it(which isn't very often) I take it to a little shop that a friend owns....plow repairs and such I do myself though..
  19. carlriv2

    carlriv2 Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 126

    I do all the pm in my shop, simple truck and equiptment stuff I do myself everything else is either under warrenty or I have the dealer or take it to a friends shop. I figure I should stick to what I do best (I can make more $ in the time it would take me to fix big stuff than he charges me) after all it is all about efficiency.
  20. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I do all my own plow and spreader repairs, and most of the truck repairs ( except of course warranty). I have a pretty well equiped shop with welder( almost a must have) compresser etc.
    I don't how you would manage using a shop ( unless it was availiable 24hrs a day, and the guy will drop anything else to work on your gear)