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pilotbraden
pilotbraden UltraDork
12/27/18 3:45 p.m.

4 years ago I set up McCredie Welding Service LLC so that I could teach at the local college as a contractor. I have always done a little side work but it never was very much. I have had to turn down many jobs that did not electrical power suitable for my welder. This past November I met with several people that often need welding where their machinery breaks, farmers, snowplow operators, landscapers, etc. I mentioned this to the owner of a local welding supply shop and he said that he gets 10 to 15 phone calls per week looking for someone to weld in the field and rarely can find anyone to help them. So I have gone mobile. I picked up a Lincoln Ranger 250 GXT yesterday. Today I submitted a rebate claim for an Activ8 wire welder unit that is powered by the 250. I am building a trailer to haul the welder, oxy acetylene cutting rig and gas bottles for the wire welder. The 250 is a powerful machine. 23 hp Kohler 2 cylinder engine, 10,000 watt generator and run 250 amps/28 volts at 100% duty cycle. I am looking forward to my new venture. If any of you need welding in Michigan I would love to help. Also I would like any advice or tips that any of you have.

pilotbraden
pilotbraden UltraDork
12/27/18 3:49 p.m.

This is a ranger 250

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/27/18 4:02 p.m.

My guess is you will be busy!  

My best advice is, "don't be the cheapest in the business."  Be the guy who is "worth it."  

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
12/27/18 5:11 p.m.

Congrats man. I wish you the mostest success 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
12/27/18 5:16 p.m.

I admire the man with his own name on the side of the truck.  I have no doubt you will be the best in your field.  GET SOME!

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
12/27/18 6:29 p.m.

Keep that bitch secured!

grover
grover HalfDork
12/27/18 7:49 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

that's solid business advice period.  

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
12/27/18 8:04 p.m.

Do you have a coal roller 1 ton, with big mud tires, 6" stacks, a giant bumper, a dozen LED light bars, and an off color attempt at humor decal in your window?    Ya know, "Flash me I'm a welder," or "I do it in all positions."

And don't forget to have a Yeti cooler strapped down, but visible for all to see.

Based on what I see around here, all of that comes with your mobile welder/pipeliner starter kit.

 

In all seriousness, congrats!  I've spent quite a bit of time building pipe fence with an old Miller Blue Star.  Dad actually struck an arc on my thumb with that thing, since I was the vise/pipe fixture, I'll never forget that. surprise

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
12/27/18 8:09 p.m.

In reply to bigdaddylee82 :

One of my customers has this sticker on his work truck.  I wouldn’t have it on mine.  

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
12/27/18 8:39 p.m.
pilotbraden said:

This is a ranger 250

i could be mistaken but I think that’s an S10 not a Ranger. 

 

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UberDork
12/28/18 1:00 a.m.

Sold the utility bed off my old S10 to a guy who was installing his welding gear in it to make a mobile rig. Seems like a good inexpensive way to go,  so there's the idea for you too.

pilotbraden
pilotbraden UltraDork
12/28/18 7:19 a.m.

Thanks for the ideas and support. I am going to start with building a trailer to haul the welder , cutting rig and gas bottles. I am thinking of the bottles (5) on the front of the trailer, the welder over the axle and open storage behind the welder. I have also thought about a. "doghouse" over the welder for additional protection.  I will be towing with a 2000 4x4 s10 blazer or 1978 2x4 F-150.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/28/18 8:30 a.m.

In reply to pilotbraden :

Am I understanding that you want to keep the welder outside?  Not in a covered trailer?

If outside, the welder will be subjected to all that damn road salt grime that gets onto/into everything.  Seems tricky for what is essentially an electric device.  

Jumper K Balls (Trent)
Jumper K Balls (Trent) PowerDork
12/28/18 8:38 a.m.

I think I have easily run at least 100lbs of 6011 through an Onan powered Lincoln ranger.  In the 15 years I worked with it it needed only a battery replacement.  That was a solid piece of equipment. 

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
12/28/18 9:15 a.m.

Congrats!

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
12/28/18 9:33 a.m.

I will second the be at the top of the market, not the bottom comments above. 

Fighting for nickles at the bottom of the heap isn't much fun. You work a lot harder to make the same money. If demand is high, so should the price.

After hours and emergency work should be stupid expensive. Not to rip off the customer, but to encourage them to call during business hours. If you don't, you will be working 7 days a week and hating your job. Make it hurt bad enough and it can usually wait until Monday. 

 

pilotbraden
pilotbraden UltraDork
12/28/18 10:31 a.m.

I am targeting customers that have to have it welded as soon as possible and will charge accordingly.  I am starting out charging $125 for the first 40 minutes. Thereafter $100 per hour in 1/2 hour increments. If I have to go more than 25 miles there will be an additional fee. Does this seem a fair rate scale?

stafford1500
stafford1500 HalfDork
12/28/18 10:36 a.m.

Jodi from weldingtipsandtricks starts at $1/inch and that is at his shop. mobile might see a similar model with travel related expenses and odd hour expenses. prep time is going to be the tough part to charge for.

your rate schedule seems about right from my point of view.

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
12/28/18 12:01 p.m.
pilotbraden said:

I am targeting customers that have to have it welded as soon as possible and will charge accordingly.  I am starting out charging $125 for the first 40 minutes. Thereafter $100 per hour in 1/2 hour increments. If I have to go more than 25 miles there will be an additional fee. Does this seem a fair rate scale?

Might want to consider doing a call fee instead of rolling it into the first 40 minutes. So instead say $75 to show up (more if outside of 25 miles, and more if outside of business hours), and $50 per 1/2 hour. 

You still want to charge for driving your rig 50 miles even if you get there and see something that can in no way shape or form be fixed with just a welder. 

Finally - don't haggle with people. It seems innocuous, but customers will bring more customers just like themselves. So if you let one guy haggle, all future customers that come from recommendations from that guy will have the expectation of being able to get a discount on your time. It sucks when getting started when you might feel like you need the work, but saying 'no' is the most powerful thing you can do, especially at first. 

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
12/28/18 12:57 p.m.

In reply to pilotbraden :

I charge $105/hr. 1.5 hr minimum, Monday -Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. After hours is $157.50 and a 4 hour minimum. If you are going to drag me away from my family and or hobbies, I want to be happy about it. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/28/18 1:14 p.m.

Just a reminder about pay for travel miles.  

As an example, lets say that someone wants you to come up to Houghton Lake and weld together their failing dock.  Its roughly 125 miles away.  In this example, if you charge $1 per mile then you are really getting 50 cents to go up there and 50 cents to get back.  At 60 miles per hour, 50 cents per is only $30 per hour.  If you charge $2 per mile then it is actually $60 per hour to get there and $60 back.   This driving becomes less than your $100 per hour of welding time yet you are hard on the expensive equipment (truck and trailer) while driving.   $3 per mile is $1.50 each way and for 60 miles per hour that is $90 per hour.  

Just be mindful that your travel rate has to be enough to pay for you to get back home too.  

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
12/28/18 1:45 p.m.

This sounds like a rad gig. I've been wanting to build some welding and heavy equipment repair skills to do something similar. Love the idea of something different, someplace different every day. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
12/28/18 2:51 p.m.
John Welsh said:

Just a reminder about pay for travel miles.  

As an example, lets say that someone wants you to come up to Houghton Lake and weld together their failing dock.  Its roughly 125 miles away.  In this example, if you charge $1 per mile then you are really getting 50 cents to go up there and 50 cents to get back.  At 60 miles per hour, 50 cents per is only $30 per hour.  If you charge $2 per mile then it is actually $60 per hour to get there and $60 back.   This driving becomes less than your $100 per hour of welding time yet you are hard on the expensive equipment (truck and trailer) while driving.   $3 per mile is $1.50 each way and for 60 miles per hour that is $90 per hour.  

Just be mindful that your travel rate has to be enough to pay for you to get back home too.  

One thing to make this potentially even more beneficial, make sure that when you are accounting, you're charging for travel time, not expense. Then you can still claim your mileage at the end of the year on your tax return. 

 

Note: Not a tax professional, but I believe there is a way to make that happen. 

conesare2seconds
conesare2seconds Dork
12/28/18 8:14 p.m.

Best wishes for great success. 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
12/29/18 2:22 a.m.

Either secure the trailer very, very well, or insure it very, very well.  It WILL get stolen.  Also, your copper welding cables will be stolen every time you leave the trailer outside overnight.

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