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

hosspuller

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
1,874
Location
North Carolina
VeTech ... I hope you've already thought of it... The pictures and captions you're posting here are a good start to communications with the CEO. With the complete list and a little of your guidance make up the priority list with him. Do a "Dave Ramsey" and start the "snowball" with quick & easy jobs to clear space.
 

nicky 68a

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2013
Messages
1,200
Location
england
This is hard to read.What makes it worse is that it’s not a shock to me or many others,it’s just a sad state of affairs in the industry.
We seem to have taken so many backward steps in achieving progression.
 

JLarson

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
657
Location
AZ
Occupation
Owner- civil and heavy repair/fab company
Seen a few messes like that, especially at places that are high on expectations from their mechanics and low on pay. Too many places see the mechanics and maintenance as evil non profiting money pits.
 

JD955SC

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
1,367
Location
The South
This is hard to read.What makes it worse is that it’s not a shock to me or many others,it’s just a sad state of affairs in the industry.
We seem to have taken so many backward steps in achieving progression.

Last year I had a recruiter contact me for a specialty construction company to work on geotechnical construction equipment such as concrete pumps and excavator mounted Augers. This company was looking for a mechanic to work both shop and field. They said that the equipment was majority German produced and they wanted a talented mechanic who could not only do the normal repairs and maintenance but also creatively come up with fixes to get something working until parts arrived from overseas. They asked me what pay range it would take me to come over. I told them that with German engineering and being able to rig something without tearing it up that was going to be a very high scale job and I asked for $35 an hour. Keep in mind Dealer called out rates are 120 and up And probably much higher for specialty stuff. I was only asking for A little higher then I make now and It would have save them a ton of money. Furthermore they were desperate for somebody to come and work for them. I figured surely we can come to an agreement on my desired hourly rate. Unfortunately for them they just wanted me to lateral over from a well equipped dealer shop where I had full access the service information and did not have to go out into the field. They refused to meet the hourly rate I asked for. So I told the recruiter good luck But because they do not value me as an employee enough to pay a rate worth the headache they were going to catch hell finding someone especially somebody with experience.
 

kshansen

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
11,273
Location
Central New York, USA
Occupation
Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
Seen a few messes like that, especially at places that are high on expectations from their mechanics and low on pay. Too many places see the mechanics and maintenance as evil non profiting money pits.
This is the exact thing that went on where I worked. We had a shop that had several mechanics and did work for quarries of the company all over the state. Then new upper management came along and decided they could get the repair work done cheaper by letting every guy with a set of Harbor Fright screwdrivers bid on projects. They let go all the people who had done the work for a few decades, well I was the only one who managed to survive and hang on to basically to the daily maintenance at the local quarry.
 

emmett518

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
816
Location
USA
View attachment 248713
This 350D excavator has been sitting here for 2 months. Notice the old batteries lying on the ground. I was told the engine starter will not engage.
View attachment 248714
New batteries and starter motor.......along with 2 new relays. It still doesn't engage the starter. They have thrown a lot of parts at it though:( Looks like yet another machine they just gave up on.
And how much are these pieces of equipment? Hundreds of thousands? Unreal.
 

emmett518

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
816
Location
USA
Last year I had a recruiter contact me for a specialty construction company to work on geotechnical construction equipment such as concrete pumps and excavator mounted Augers. This company was looking for a mechanic to work both shop and field. They said that the equipment was majority German produced and they wanted a talented mechanic who could not only do the normal repairs and maintenance but also creatively come up with fixes to get something working until parts arrived from overseas. They asked me what pay range it would take me to come over. I told them that with German engineering and being able to rig something without tearing it up that was going to be a very high scale job and I asked for $35 an hour. Keep in mind Dealer called out rates are 120 and up And probably much higher for specialty stuff. I was only asking for A little higher then I make now and It would have save them a ton of money. Furthermore they were desperate for somebody to come and work for them. I figured surely we can come to an agreement on my desired hourly rate. Unfortunately for them they just wanted me to lateral over from a well equipped dealer shop where I had full access the service information and did not have to go out into the field. They refused to meet the hourly rate I asked for. So I told the recruiter good luck But because they do not value me as an employee enough to pay a rate worth the headache they were going to catch hell finding someone especially somebody with experience.
They fussed about $35 an hour???

You guys should be getting at least $50 or more. My house cleaner demands $30 an hour to vacuum floors.
 

Vetech63

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
6,543
Location
Oklahoma
Sorry I don't have time to respond to each of you, but reading all the responses ALL of you are correct. I believe the lead mechanic is paid around $28 an hour. He is not a mechanic, he is at best a parts changer and he isn't any good at that. Troubleshooting.....forget it, you have to know how any system is supposed to work to troubleshoot it and this guy has no clue. These people are like most others, they want the highest quality work for the cheapest price. I told them 2 years ago what they needed was someone with a minimum of 15 years experience and willing to responsible for all of the equipment pm and repair. Then they wanted to hire me as an employee..........we never discussed money because when the conversation got to where I made more than the CEO was drawing as a paycheck the conversation was over immediately.

What most management people understand is money.........but they rarely see the bigger picture. Equipment repair and maintenance is mostly viewed as a liability, just another cost that comes out of their profit margins.
When you have that mindset you will NEVER understand why you need to pay the right people the right price. They just cant understand how a liability can be turned into a great asset.

For example.....They continue to let the so called mechanic job out almost everything to the dealers. I would bet my next months pay that's costing over $100K a month. I could not only hire myself, but 2 others and cut that expense in half, and do 3 to 4 times the work at a better pace and quality from what I have seen. Not only that, but if you keep the equipment up, you keep the rentals down! That's another $50K or so a month! The right person could manage the equipment that would be trades for better money, and make better deals for new replacements. I'de bet that if I had 6 months I could turn this around for the better and save them over $100K a month. I figure it would take $20K a month to hire me fulltime and that's a lateral move for me, not sure Ide even do that. What they cant see is the savings would more than pay that rate and they would turn this nightmare into an asset that actually can make money.

In the meantime, I will repair this stuff at my normal rate and they will pay ALOT more and not blink an eye. Its insanity in its finest form.

Believe it or not, I know of a another big construction company here local that is in even WORSE shape with the same issues.

Any of you willing to travel..........come on down!!!
 

skyking1

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
7,976
Location
washington
For the knowledge that you guys have put together, the skills and the dedication, those wages are an insult.
There's nothing more to see, just idiots in charge of something far above their abilities.
I've had a few owners that never pulled a lever and were pretty decent. The vast majority of good ones though have been in the seat at one time or another.
 

56wrench

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
2,214
Location
alberta
What that business needs is one good experienced guy and 2 that want to be trained and learn. Therein lies the problem. A lot of people don't want to learn and expect the same wage as an experienced guy without paying their dues and working their way up like us old guys did
 

John C.

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
12,871
Location
Northwest
Occupation
Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
What we are all experiencing is college business major graduates who have been taught by other graduates who have never been in business before. I worked for an engineer at a coal mine who advocated all new equipment and full dealer support who put the maintenance plan together from the Cat performance handbook. When I asked a few basic questions such as where used oil was going to be stored, what kind of capabilities should I have and what type of tooling would be provided to support this fleet of equipment, all I got was a blank stare. When I asked what we were going to have for lifting equipment, I was told it wouldn't be needed because of the new equipment. What an eye opener when it was finally realized that up time on new stuff is little better than used stuff. I have been through this same scenario now several times in my career.

I'm very interested in the post and enjoy seeing the broken and parked stuff. About the only observation I would give is don't do them any favors. They put themselves in this position through their own stupidity. Don't buy them out of it cheap with your knowledge and labor. Education is expensive, make sure their's is a very steep learning curve.
 

BigWrench55

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
1,176
Location
Somewhere
The problem I see is that a decent mechanic is making more money than your average college graduate. It is my belief that these so called educated types look down from their noses at those who chose to make a living with their hands. And it burns their ass that a grease monkey is making as much or more without going into debt for a student loan. Those are the gatekeepers that block decent wages from truly skilled workers. We as a nation have progressed really far without college degrees. And now we are regressing as a nation with short sited views of how the world works. Because I wasn’t taught common sense values while I was in college. And what do you really know you turn wrenches and I have a degree.
That is the problem in the work place that I see. And as long as we push our kids to get a degree rather then learning a skilled trade. It will never get better. We will just keep creating a better class of idiot to rule over us.
 
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