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  • Setup Welding Rig?

    Hi there...


    I am from BC Canada and I am going to be setting up a welding rig. I am looking at a few options and would TRULY APPRECIATE any help from the BEEN THERE DONE THAT people, and of course whoever has advice.

    I have been welding for 9 years now and have 4 Pressure Pipe tickets. I work with the UA 170 Pipefitters union most of the time. I have turned into an awesome tig welder (so i've been told). I enjoy stick also, but I enjoy no chipping of slag or wire wheeling.



    I am looking at getting the following machine and truck:

    Trailblazer 302 diesel or gas (not sure...help?)

    Ford 1 ton or Dodge 1 ton Diesel or Chevy 1 ton for that matter with around 50,000 km (30,000 miles)


    I have read a lot of threads and think the "Trailblazer 302" would be a good starter welder. I love the "Miller XMT 304" took my A, B, and C, ticket (in bc) with this welding machine. I have read that the arc etc are similar.

    I don't have a bias on trucks. I really like the look of all three, but I want a diesel with power, but ECONOMY also. I don't need tons of horse or torque. Enough to haul a welding rig and tools.

    Overall I am tired of making $3000 a week when I know there is a lot more to be made. I would also like to be my own boss. Although, I am except when it comes to paycheques.

  • #2
    I wish i could make $3000 a week is that us dollars?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by ssenger009 View Post
      Hi there...


      I am from BC Canada and I am going to be setting up a welding rig. I am looking at a few options and would TRULY APPRECIATE any help from the BEEN THERE DONE THAT people, and of course whoever has advice.

      I have been welding for 9 years now and have 4 Pressure Pipe tickets. I work with the UA 170 Pipefitters union most of the time. I have turned into an awesome tig welder (so i've been told). I enjoy stick also, but I enjoy no chipping of slag or wire wheeling.



      I am looking at getting the following machine and truck:

      Trailblazer 302 diesel or gas (not sure...help?)

      Ford 1 ton or Dodge 1 ton Diesel or Chevy 1 ton for that matter with around 50,000 km (30,000 miles)


      I have read a lot of threads and think the "Trailblazer 302" would be a good starter welder. I love the "Miller XMT 304" took my A, B, and C, ticket (in bc) with this welding machine. I have read that the arc etc are similar.

      I don't have a bias on trucks. I really like the look of all three, but I want a diesel with power, but ECONOMY also. I don't need tons of horse or torque. Enough to haul a welding rig and tools.

      Overall I am tired of making $3000 a week when I know there is a lot more to be made. I would also like to be my own boss. Although, I am except when it comes to paycheques.
      if your making 3000 g's a week with the hall you must be working 7-16 or somthing ridiculous!! the pipe pro is like an xmt 304 not the trailblazer.(i've owned both . i would get a diesel welder and truck. the trailblazer won't run for 10 hrs. on a tank of fuel. try to find a 02 dodge. i will try to send you some pics of my rig. Jef

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks....Can dollars

        Not US dollars. Canadian and that's before tax, when I'm out of town I usually clear (net) around $2000 can. Working usually 6-9 hour days. Our rate is $31.10 canadian. Journeyman welder or pipefitter plus benefits and $4hour goes to our pension. My main plan is to rig weld 5-6 months a year and hit shutdowns for 2 with the UA.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not commenting on the vehicles . . . that's a can of worms I have no wish to open. Only thing I have to say, if the Trailblazer meets your needs, go with the gas engine, with my experience (based on 20 years and four trailblazers), I guarantee, you will wear out the welder before you wear the engine out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Calling bull

            Originally posted by Coalsmoke View Post
            Well that there is bullsh!t Mine will do a 14 hour day no problem. I carry two 20L jerry cans on the back of my rig and between that and the 12gallon fuel tank in the trailblazer I can go two very full days without worries about refuelling, or 3 average 10 hour days. Caveat emptor, I am not a pipeliner, so I can't comment on its application in that area of work, but I have heard of it being used in the patch and can attest that the 302 does well on anything uphill and is good with 5p+ too. If you are doing downhill, I'd try a 302 out for yourself first or maybe look at the pipepro 304, if you like the xmt304 then the 304 should keep you happy. You are welcome to try my 302 if you are ever in the fraser valley. Of course there are other options, grey options, as well, but it depends on start up price and whether you want the comfort of getting a new machine with a warranty. About the warranty, Miller is top notch in taking care of their people. I know that if something were to happen to my 302 and I needed the part, they would lfy it to me ASAP and provide me with over the phone instructions on any special procedure in replacing that part if I can't get to a n authorized service center. A 300A 100% duty cycle trailblazer 302 for $4000 is hard to beat if you don't have a lot of free cash to toss at a machine at the moment.

            As for trucks, get a Dodge 3500 Cummins 2003-2004, two of the best model years as they went to common rail. It might not have as many bells and whistles as the competitor trucks, but they are generally much more dependable, and when you're 100 miles out side of cell phone service that really becomes a big selling feature. Mine has 390,000kms and is still going strong, with oil analysis reports coming back clean.

            Ssenger, if you're making $3000/week 40 something weeks a year, you might want to take a close look at economics and what you will be sacrificing to try and gain another 20% more income, potential income that is, as the oil industry seems to be getting more unstable than it was a couple years back.

            Anyways, welcome, stick around for a while and enjoy the good company
            sorry if i pissed you off coalsmoke! my trailblazer would get maybe 7-8 hrs. to a tank fabing 3,4,6,8 on the pipeline running 3/16 7018 it was good for running beads and hot pass but would break arc capping with7010 p1. my trailblazer was a 2004 with a robin onan engine in it . Inow have a pipe pro 304 which is a diesel and I can stretch 4 days out of it doing the same work. so maybe they've changed somthing on the trailblazer Idon't know . all I'm saying is everyone has an opinion so no need to call bull**** before you hear a guy out! anyways you said you get two days out of 12gls. and 2 20l jerry cans in alberta we are trying to lighten up our rigs not weigh them down by carrying extra fuel!

            Comment


            • #7
              union

              Originally posted by ssenger009 View Post
              Not US dollars. Canadian and that's before tax, when I'm out of town I usually clear (net) around $2000 can. Working usually 6-9 hour days. Our rate is $31.10 canadian. Journeyman welder or pipefitter plus benefits and $4hour goes to our pension. My main plan is to rig weld 5-6 months a year and hit shutdowns for 2 with the UA.
              we pay 5.35 an hour to our pension to pay for some golf courses the 488 bought a few years back . so at 6-9 's that's 54 hours at 31.10 that's 1679.40 do they pay you 10% holiday pay on top of that? are you planning to work your rig through the hall? If you are I don't know about Bc but in alberta my hall make's me pay 589.00 a week for the privilige of working for the hall is it the same in Bc? Jef

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Coalsmoke View Post
                Nope, not pissed off, and to me its not too personal, hope it didn't come across on your end as such. IMO there is something wrong with that engine, although the older models were only a 9 or 10 gallon tank which would make them a 8 hour machine like you said a wide open 100% duty cycle. I can do a complete 12 hour rebuild job on one tank of fuel, where I run through about 40 1/4" carbons at 300A and about 20lbs of 3/16" 7018 among other things. Maybe the older engines got a lot worse fuel economythan the new ones? mine is a 2005 model year. Either way, a low rpm diesel like the Pro300 or Lincoln Classic is the best bet for engines, the mid rpm diesel like the PipePro 304 is the second best, the fuel efficient gassers like the trailblazer come in a distant third, but still way above the gasser SA200s and similar in terms of fuel economy. If you are talking weight and weight matters that much that it comes down to the difference of a couple hundred pounds, then a 302 gasser and two 20L jerry cans (50lbs each) will still be lighter than a diesel drive.
                You make an exellent point coalsmoke. No I didn't take it personal. Do you have a deck truck or a skid? If you have a deck who built it? Ipriced one out from milron in edmonton and they said there turn around was 22 weeks and it would cost 26,000 bucks. Do you know anyone who builds decks in BC? Happy new year! Jef

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey wicked one, please tell me how you work through the 488. I set up a rig last July and have only done a few small jobs on the side. I have my b pressure ticket including a couple of recent small bore tickets. Right now I'm instructing at NAIT, but I sure would like to get some gravey on the side. Teaching doesn't pay near as well as being the field.
                  Always Have Fun.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    welding rig

                    I started with a 301g, the new ones are called 302TB it was a great little welder it payed for its self in the first 2 weeks but with time I needed something a little bigger. I now have a pipepro and have never looked back.
                    Here are some things to look at when your looking for a welder and truck, When you have a diesel truck and gas pot for a welder its a big pain in the ace cause you fill one up then you have to drive around to fill up the other one, and it never fails cause there are other guys at the other pump and you have to wait in line so you add an extra 1/2 hr to your fuel up time
                    I hear guys say that diesels dont start in the winter time and I call bull
                    cause my 304 has always started and I've worked in -40 and its always ready to work when its time. I dont know of any one with a TB diesel so I cant say
                    if its any good but i would think if your going to spend big $$$ for a diesel
                    why not get a welder to go with it With trucks its all across the
                    board as to which one is the best but I'll give ya my take on it, take it for what its worth. Chev is a diesel made to pull a load down the highway, Its
                    one of the best rides going down the road but the frame and front end are far
                    to light to be a heavy duty work truck and they come way to low so you have to spend extra money to get it off the ground so you dont bottom out
                    on job sites. Ford does real well in the patch and think it has a real good inside with that I mean that its like an office inside lots of power outlets
                    for things like redar detectors, DVD players, satellite radios, laptops, phone plug ins etc etc. but it likes the fuel alot it also goes threw injectors like
                    crazy and I think there 1200 a piece (I was told that???) but I see alot of
                    them in the patch so they must do well. Then we get to the Dodge I have a
                    2003 and its a great heavy duty work truck it also has more power then
                    I 'll ever need. Doge use to have problems with there breaks but have since
                    fixed them with bigger disks I have over 120,000 and I'll need to replace them In another 15-20,000. They also like to seize up on there drive shafts
                    and u-joints but mine where all paid for from Dodge so not a big deal. If your going to buy a diesel If you can go with something new that way its covered by Dodge or Ford cause it good cost you in the end. Here is a picture of my
                    rig so you can see how mine is set up, yes its a short box and I have lots of room for all my tools you just have to get nifty has how you set it up, plus you only have to buy 4 tires instead of 6 I bought the wife a Durango in
                    the spring so she said Its my turn so I'll go with a mega cab in the spring
                    DODGE 1 TON 6.7
                    PIPEPRO 304
                    TO MANY TOOLS
                    JUST WELDING IN CIRCLES
                    rig welders are like wheelbarrows hard to push around
                    and easily upset
                    go flames go

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      if i was making 3000 grand a week i would probly not rig up, yeah i know its cool to say i have a rig, but the expences add up fast , my 2 million liblity is and truck insurance is close to 900 a month, then the truck payment 700 , then everything else (there was a thread about expences a while ago) so imo you are doing really well, the problem in rig is that you have to know alot of people to stay working. and now days seems to me that most companys are trying to get away from rigs ( up in fort mac ) so these are things to consider,
                      asfar as working non union and then switching back to union,
                      there is a risk of getting fined or kicked out of the hall ( if that matters to you ) but thats the game some play
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Holiday Pay...

                        Yes I do receive 12% holiday pay. I also receive $90 day LOA (tax free) Some towns you make money on that, some you don't it all evens out. I wasn't planning on working my "Rig" through the hall, but I also wasn't planning on doing pipe "non-union" mostly structural if possible. I have learned that #170 pipefitters union is very "clicky". I paid non working dues for 2.5 years before I got a job with them. They just give the jobs to the guys they know. In saying that the dispatcher they have now is a lot more fair, and tries to play by the book (UA constitution).

                        I don't believe I have to pay to have my rig through the hall, although, I think I will just take my name off the board and say I'm not available for work. I am pro-union because my Dad was and well I had a great childhood because of unions, but I also have to take care of me and my family. Wife doesn't work so I bring home all the bread and with 3 kids well you know where I'm coming from. If I can be home 1 more month a year (hopefully more) by rigging up then I have a mission accomplished.


                        Originally posted by Wicked one View Post
                        we pay 5.35 an hour to our pension to pay for some golf courses the 488 bought a few years back . so at 6-9 's that's 54 hours at 31.10 that's 1679.40 do they pay you 10% holiday pay on top of that? are you planning to work your rig through the hall? If you are I don't know about Bc but in alberta my hall make's me pay 589.00 a week for the privilige of working for the hall is it the same in Bc? Jef

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pipeline Dan View Post
                          I started with a 301g, the new ones are called 302TB it was a great little welder it payed for its self in the first 2 weeks but with time I needed something a little bigger. I now have a pipepro and have never looked back.
                          Here are some things to look at when your looking for a welder and truck, When you have a diesel truck and gas pot for a welder its a big pain in the ace cause you fill one up then you have to drive around to fill up the other one, and it never fails cause there are other guys at the other pump and you have to wait in line so you add an extra 1/2 hr to your fuel up time
                          I hear guys say that diesels dont start in the winter time and I call bull
                          cause my 304 has always started and I've worked in -40 and its always ready to work when its time. I dont know of any one with a TB diesel so I cant say
                          if its any good but i would think if your going to spend big $$$ for a diesel
                          why not get a welder to go with it With trucks its all across the
                          board as to which one is the best but I'll give ya my take on it, take it for what its worth. Chev is a diesel made to pull a load down the highway, Its
                          one of the best rides going down the road but the frame and front end are far
                          to light to be a heavy duty work truck and they come way to low so you have to spend extra money to get it off the ground so you dont bottom out
                          on job sites. Ford does real well in the patch and think it has a real good inside with that I mean that its like an office inside lots of power outlets
                          for things like redar detectors, DVD players, satellite radios, laptops, phone plug ins etc etc. but it likes the fuel alot it also goes threw injectors like
                          crazy and I think there 1200 a piece (I was told that???) but I see alot of
                          them in the patch so they must do well. Then we get to the Dodge I have a
                          2003 and its a great heavy duty work truck it also has more power then
                          I 'll ever need. Doge use to have problems with there breaks but have since
                          fixed them with bigger disks I have over 120,000 and I'll need to replace them In another 15-20,000. They also like to seize up on there drive shafts
                          and u-joints but mine where all paid for from Dodge so not a big deal. If your going to buy a diesel If you can go with something new that way its covered by Dodge or Ford cause it good cost you in the end. Here is a picture of my
                          rig so you can see how mine is set up, yes its a short box and I have lots of room for all my tools you just have to get nifty has how you set it up, plus you only have to buy 4 tires instead of 6 I bought the wife a Durango in
                          the spring so she said Its my turn so I'll go with a mega cab in the spring
                          Dan , I know this is off topic but do you have any pics how your reels are mounted that you can post? and how you have your skid layed out ? Thanks Jef

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We are currently building s rig for 798 work. It should be done this weekend. I will post pictures.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              welding rig

                              Originally posted by Finney View Post
                              We are currently building s rig for 798 work. It should be done this weekend. I will post pictures.
                              Thanks Finney I appreciate it Jef

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