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This will be an interesting thread moving forward......

sfrs4

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Joined
Jul 22, 2013
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706
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Great Britian
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parts admin
I absolutely believe this to be true in many cases. My son went to work for a large Cat dealership with multiple locations. When he hired on, my son was on fire to learn welding, and he had been doing a lot of aluminum welding at a company that repaired refrigerated trailers. The Cat dealership promised him that they would continue to teach him welding and help him to get certified. He would spout off welding terminology that would make my head spin. Fast forward a year or two and the dealership had him cross training to do mechanic work and less and less welding. Fast forward another couple of years and he was doing no welding and basically swapping parts out on machines at the dealership. The way I saw it, it was still a great opportunity, but for him, he really wasn't into turning wrenches like I am. Needless to say, the dealership never did anything to foster his love of welding, nor would they do anything to help him get certified. My son finally left the dealership for a better job. Now he doesn't weld or turn wrenches unfortunately..
You see this from school age now. learn what we want to teach you, not what we can see you are good at, at one time teachers watched and saw what were your strong points and gently nudged you in that direction, now it's just a case of learn this or you are just thick and can't be helped.
Companies now employ people in management positions who have no knowledge of the business they are in and are just competent at writing a bullsh!t resume, the people doing the interviewing will believe it as it's what they did to get their position.
Companies need to reinstate promoting up through the company, so the people at the top have " been there, done that" and understand what's going off.
 

TCat

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Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
172
Location
Banks, Alabama USA
You see this from school age now. learn what we want to teach you, not what we can see you are good at, at one time teachers watched and saw what were your strong points and gently nudged you in that direction, now it's just a case of learn this or you are just thick and can't be helped.
Companies now employ people in management positions who have no knowledge of the business they are in and are just competent at writing a bullsh!t resume, the people doing the interviewing will believe it as it's what they did to get their position.
Companies need to reinstate promoting up through the company, so the people at the top have " been there, done that" and understand what's going off.
Yes I agree. It's a shame. We are all different, learn differently, and have different interests. In my son's case he has never been interested in mechanical work. I tried many times when he was growing up to get him to work on things with me in my shop, be he just was not interested. It wasn't his thing, and that's ok. In my case, I've loved working on stuff since I was four years old and my grandfather saw that in me and fostered that.

That's why I was so happy when my son had the job where he was doing the aluminum welding and laying beads I couldn't dream of doing. Then when he got the job at the Cat dealer I thought man this is going to be great he's going to learn all kinds of welding now and they told him they will get him certified too. Nope. Not only did they shift him out of welding into parts changing, but they killing his passion for welding. I continue to urge him to get a welder or two for home, but he has lots of other interests that keep him busy too.
 

Old Doug

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
4,604
Location
Mo
Yes I agree. It's a shame. We are all different, learn differently, and have different interests. In my son's case he has never been interested in mechanical work. I tried many times when he was growing up to get him to work on things with me in my shop, be he just was not interested. It wasn't his thing, and that's ok. In my case, I've loved working on stuff since I was four years old and my grandfather saw that in me and fostered that.

That's why I was so happy when my son had the job where he was doing the aluminum welding and laying beads I couldn't dream of doing. Then when he got the job at the Cat dealer I thought man this is going to be great he's going to learn all kinds of welding now and they told him they will get him certified too. Nope. Not only did they shift him out of welding into parts changing, but they killing his passion for welding. I continue to urge him to get a welder or two for home, but he has lots of other interests that keep him busy too.
Your son should have told them he wanted to be a mechanic and hated welding . I would love to know what is going on inside the mines of people in charge ?
 

TCat

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Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
172
Location
Banks, Alabama USA
Your son should have told them he wanted to be a mechanic and hated welding . I would love to know what is going on inside the mines of people in charge ?
Hard to say. Very short sighted for sure. He told me that there is lots of turnover in the shop and that they are hiring 18 year old kids off the street and paying them several dollars more per hour than the guys that have been there for years due to the way wages have gone up in recent years. They don't want to raise the wages of the current employees though, so the veteran guys (some of them at least) are leaving.
 

Roadoil

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Joined
Sep 6, 2022
Messages
166
Location
Vegas
Here is the invoice. At least you can see the bs! What I believe they should have done is told me if they had a flat rate to do the cylinders. It would have given me the option to go another route.
View attachment 280266 View attachment 280267

They should have itemized labor charges. Cat here in Henderson is $190 an hour so I guess that's around 3.5 hrs each labor.

Honestly what do you expect from a stealer service department they look at you as another customer to gouge.

There are a few guys in town here that rebuild cylinders some will sandblast repaint them some leave them same shape as brought in beat up scratched but they all are expensive but they let you know in advance the cost it's not
prudent to give a dealer shop an open invoice charge whatever they feel even though they know you are a mechanic and know better.

Dealer shops are the worst IMO take the longest and it's always a fat bill $2000 on up.

I have invested heavily in expensive Milwaukee tools, diesel welders LN25 wire feeders, plasmas, compressors, heavy impacts, clone dealer level software and connection modules for the makes I have, gates hydraulic hose crimper to make hyd hoses on and on to avoid dealer service depts and their BS for my business to repair my own equipment I buy or maintain.

I am not bashing dealer service departments working on heavy equipment is very labor intensive time consuming small projects turn into huge ones shops overhead tooling and labor is expensive.

For example the local Elgin dealer here wanted $7000 $600 in parts the rest labor to change out 13 squeegee flights on a sweeper I have it's a nasty job I did it in 2 days $150 in parts.
 
Last edited:

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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12,833
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Canada
What I find a little off is why a Cat dealership would offer to help someone learn more about aluminum welding. It sounds more like it was just something to entice someone to come work for them, kind of a false promise. For general welding and heavy equipment welding on steel I can see working for a Cat dealer and learning quite bit while going through an apprenticeship. Aluminum is generally a different ball game and heavy equipment doesn't typically involve much aluminum or welding of it. Aircraft work, boat building, truck box manufacturing and specialty welding would be where aluminum would be more prevalent. The Cat dealer should have stated that they don't do much with aluminum and what type of welding they typically do.
It is really sad that a lot of trades schools have closed down. They claim that there aren't enough students interested in the trades. I think it's because the trades aren't promoted anymore and that trades people are looked down upon like people went into the trades because they couldn't get a job otherwise. I went to a trades schools that was often referred to as a dummy school. A lot of people don't think you need to know much to be in the trades but they are sorely wrong. It's really sad because in the past people in the trades were well respected and appreciated.
 

TCat

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Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
172
Location
Banks, Alabama USA
What I find a little off is why a Cat dealership would offer to help someone learn more about aluminum welding. It sounds more like it was just something to entice someone to come work for them, kind of a false promise. For general welding and heavy equipment welding on steel I can see working for a Cat dealer and learning quite bit while going through an apprenticeship. Aluminum is generally a different ball game and heavy equipment doesn't typically involve much aluminum or welding of it. Aircraft work, boat building, truck box manufacturing and specialty welding would be where aluminum would be more prevalent. The Cat dealer should have stated that they don't do much with aluminum and what type of welding they typically do.
It is really sad that a lot of trades schools have closed down. They claim that there aren't enough students interested in the trades. I think it's because the trades aren't promoted anymore and that trades people are looked down upon like people went into the trades because they couldn't get a job otherwise. I went to a trades schools that was often referred to as a dummy school. A lot of people don't think you need to know much to be in the trades but they are sorely wrong. It's really sad because in the past people in the trades were well respected and appreciated.
That's my fault I should have clarified that better. He wasn't hoping to go there to learn more about welding aluminum, he was hoping to go there and learn more more about welding in general, and steel specifically since that's probably 99% of what a Cat dealer would weld. He really didn't have a lot of experience welding steel when he went there, and he was hoping to get that and hoping to get the experience and knowledge to get certified.

I suspect that the talk of helping him to get certified as a welder was a probably a bunch of what Judge Judy would call "puffing" to sell him on taking the job. I doubt that many Cat dealerships have a need to get their welders certified as long as they can actually do a good job welding. But I could be wrong.
 

Roadoil

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Sep 6, 2022
Messages
166
Location
Vegas
I doubt there is much opportunity in welding at a Cat dealer unless it's line bore repair or maybe occasional hard facing which most Companies that own the yellow equipment have their own welders and rigs.


My advice to anyone hiring at a service shop get everything in writing all promises.

When I fried my 3126 ECM I went to the local Cat Dealer in Henderson before they got bought out and a popular YouTube channel Cat Tech came out I recognized him Adept Ape tested my ECM ran a printout for free. Surprised they let him run his channel and work for Cat.

Don't get me started on the slobbering 350 hp JD engine I have on a ready jet hydro blast 20k mixer cleaner I brought the ECM to JD Dealer asked if they could check it they looked puzzled said no way they can test off the unit need the harness plug so I would have to lug that 17,000 lb machine to Vegas 60 miles for them to test and charge me $300 to do it.
 

Welder Dave

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There can be a lot of welding work at a Cat or any other brand's dealership. As far as requiring a certificate it depends more on the location than what the dealer says. In Alberta you have to be in an apprenticeship or have a journeyman ticket to be employed as a welder. Of course there are some places that don't follow this rule but most people wanting to become a welder want to get licensed. There are way more opportunities for them, especially if they want to change employers or lose their job. It's also a lot easier for a shop to stand behind their work having licensed welders and/or apprentices. Same thing with mechanics and most other trades. Would you rather have some guy that says he can weld slap the broken stick on your excavator back together or someone that has the schooling, knowledge and experience to know the proper procedures for a successful repair?
 

Roadoil

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Sep 6, 2022
Messages
166
Location
Vegas
There can be a lot of welding work at a Cat or any other brand's dealership. As far as requiring a certificate it depends more on the location than what the dealer says. In Alberta you have to be in an apprenticeship or have a journeyman ticket to be employed as a welder. Of course there are some places that don't follow this rule but most people wanting to become a welder want to get licensed. There are way more opportunities for them, especially if they want to change employers or lose their job. It's also a lot easier for a shop to stand behind their work having licensed welders and/or apprentices. Same thing with mechanics and most other trades. Would you rather have some guy that says he can weld slap the broken stick on your excavator back together or someone that has the schooling, knowledge and experience to know the proper procedures for a successful repair?

Well from a dealer standpoint you spend all this money on schooling to get someone certified in welding then they can go do pipe line line work in the field with their own Lincoln rig and make 3 times as much.

So I can see the reluctance unless a signed contact or the employee has to pay the dealership back for the schooling and certification.
 

Welder Dave

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Well from a dealer standpoint you spend all this money on schooling to get someone certified in welding then they can go do pipe line line work in the field with their own Lincoln rig and make 3 times as much.

So I can see the reluctance unless a signed contact or the employee has to pay the dealership back for the schooling and certification.
You don't quite understand how it works. It's no different than mechanics at a dealership. Employers are invested in their employee's. The dealer may have special courses through Cat (or any manufacturer) they pay to send employee's to (factory training) but the employer doesn't pay extra to have employee's go through an apprenticeship. It's very common dealers/repair shops will advertise factory trained technicians as well as licensed tradesmen. It's also becoming more popular (here anyway) that shops will have a sticker on the door promoting the apprenticeship program.
You can make really good money working at a dealership and also have a good work/life balance. Home every night, weekends optional, not having to work outside in adverse conditions, steady year round employment, etc. Not every welder wants to go pipelining and not every welder can do it. A lot of welders like doing a variety of different things and fabricating things from scratch as it utilizes all their skills. Looking at a blueprint or drawing and then laying out, cutting, fitting and welding to a finished assembly is very rewarding. The same with doing a more complex repair. Smart employers often prefer to get new apprentices because they can train them from the start so they don't develop bad habits. I've seen it on several occasions where people have greatly exagerrated their experience and enhanced their resumes to make them seem like they are gods gift to welding. Put them on the shop floor and unsurprisingly they don't come close to matching their ego's. I've found in most cases the trades people with the most experience and knowledge are usually the most humble. They don't brag about how good they are. You see how good they are after witnessing it in person or when you ask them for advice.
 

JD955SC

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Mar 13, 2011
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The South
Well from a dealer standpoint you spend all this money on schooling to get someone certified in welding then they can go do pipe line line work in the field with their own Lincoln rig and make 3 times as much.

So I can see the reluctance unless a signed contact or the employee has to pay the dealership back for the schooling and certification.

Because it’s so much better to not train and develop someone and have them be a screwup or never progressing in skills and have them stay.
 

Roadoil

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Vegas
Because it’s so much better to not train and develop someone and have them be a screwup or never progressing in skills and have them stay.
The constant complaint I hear by employers in construction and other industries is they spend a great deal of time, effort and training on someone to only have them quit for something better once they get the skills.

Many competitors will poach the best most trained talent especially when the current employer doesn't pay more when they have the extra skills just think they will be satisfied with no raises.

It's a 2 way street the employer pays the money gives the employee the time he could be working to learn and the employee puts in the effort and time to learn.

IMO you as an employer are looking for a certain set of skills hire it experienced already.

There is definitely a lack of skilled techs just parts changers I have bought lots of equipment that's been given up on by owners taking it to multiple shops to get fixed big money spent and have got them working repaired eventually myself.
 

AzIron

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Jun 14, 2016
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Az
It's not just money in my experience a pleasant work place keeps guy around weather they get offered more or not it's a quality of life factor with companies that pay good and dont have stupid corporate bs retention is much better
 

Welder Dave

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It's not always about money. I'd much rather make a little less and have good working conditions than work at a place where you never know what expect. It's so much nicer if everyone gets along and you're motivated to go to work every morning. I worked for one place that went through 9 guys a week on average and had an ad running all year looking for welders. The shop had a poor reputation even though they paid OK. The boss would start yelling and screaming over the simplest things, ie/ over grating that he felt should have more welds to hold it on. Pretty simple to put more welds on it, not like it was going to go anywhere and certainly no reason to go off the deep end. You show up in the morning and the 1st thought is if the boss is going to be on a rampage today.
 

mowingman

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SE Ohio
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It's not always about money. I'd much rather make a little less and have good working conditions than work at a place where you never know what expect. It's so much nicer if everyone gets along and you're motivated to go to work every morning. I worked for one place that went through 9 guys a week on average and had an ad running all year looking for welders. The shop had a poor reputation even though they paid OK. The boss would start yelling and screaming over the simplest things, ie/ over grating that he felt should have more welds to hold it on. Pretty simple to put more welds on it, not like it was going to go anywhere and certainly no reason to go off the deep end. You show up in the morning and the 1st thought is if the boss is going to be on a rampage today.
I worked at a place like that once. If the boss showed up wearing a black shirt in the morning, then you had better try to hide all day. The guy had no people skills and no personality. A few years later I heard he had passed away. I asked if anyone attended the funeral. The guy telling me about it said the place was packed, "Everyone wanted to make sure he was really dead".
 
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