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I want to be my own boss!!!!

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  • I want to be my own boss!!!!

    Ill be graduating from welding school this coming fall. Now some might say I'm jumpin on this too quick but if I dont do it now I never will. I wanna start just a normal portable business. There arent many portable welders in this area so I think it will work. Ive already got paperwork in for grants to cover start up costs. Now what I need help with is findin a decent truck and trailer. I think Ive got a pretty good idea of the machinery I need but the vehicle is a different story. The way I figure you other entrepenures(spelling) probably went through this too. Any advice on manufacturers or retailers would be so greatly appreciated. Good day!

  • #2
    Grants for starting up a business?

    Anyway, I just listed my 96 Dodge 1-ton diesel on eBay. I've been using it for a welding truck for two years. E-mail me with any questions about it. I also still happen to have the trailer I built for it, but wound up putting all the equipment on the truck after using the trailer for a year.


    • #3
      Can you find enough work right off to support yourself? Most guys usually get a job as a welder and do it on the side too. Then when they get enough work they move over for themselves.

      Good luck and congratulations on the welding school


      • #4
        As much as I hate to say it, get jobs and make contacts. You can never have enough. I can't imagine ever hiring anyone.

        Mike MD Welding & Fabricating


        • #5
          MD Welder

          Clarify if you could for me as I'm not sure I understand you correctly. When you said you cant imagine hiring anyone, how come? The reason I wanna do this immediately is because I believe I'm gonna have the startup costs completely covered. Since my dad passed I live at home with my mother takin care of the heavy labor around the house so Im not gonna need much to support myself and I feel that this sort of business should only have minimal overhead costs. Keep the advice comin fellas!!


          • #6
            Business eh

            Well like HMW said for now get a welding job and start your own business that's how I started and well still do "however be warned" lets say that you find a job in the commerical truck business dont be doing that kinda of work at home because that just became a conflict of interest your fired try and convince your boss that you are not stealing business away from them.and how do they find out you ask well when you open your mouth about what you are doing on the side to a friend at work or invite a friend from work over to your place and they say hey whats this you should'nt be doing this kind of work man if the boss ever found out as soon as your friend say's that you just gotta know your F#@ked ! Just keep it to your self at work whatever you decide to do.O ya and congratulations on the welding school
            As for business there is quit afew people on the motorsports side that could give you alittle more input talk to coalsmoke ,weldingrod,fusionking , KB fabrications,Pipeline Dan, aametalmaster just to name a few.


            • #7
              this is my idea: don't bother getting a welding truck just make or buy a trailer.. any vehicle can tow a trailer.


              • #8
                as i understand it insurance can be a big over head expense. but that aside, look at what equipment you will be starting off with and get a used truck in decent shape to acomodate what you wil be working with. if buisness takes off and you need to add to your tools or cary capasity later you will have the $ to do it from the buisnes.
                a shop job to cover bills wile you star getting the word about your mobile busness could realy help. if you get hired on in a shop without a mobile rig you could well end up picking up some side work from the day job.
                i would not expect to put an add in the papper and have a full week right out of the gate so to speek. its likely to take you some time to get known in the area and become the go to guy, till then a real job might help. maybee real job was the wrong way to put that but i hope you get the idea.
                best of luck and i hope all works out for ya.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bmxin^Bjorn View Post
                  this is my idea: don't bother getting a welding truck just make or buy a trailer.. any vehicle can tow a trailer.
                  im going to build little trailer for tb 301 and hook it to my motorcycle


                  • #10
                    Hey before I start let me say I think this is one of the nicest online forum I think Ive found. Thanks for not flamin and callin me a noob lol. Sooooo trailer or truck? Whats a reasonable rate to offer folks, especially contractors?


                    • #11
                      Hey woogawelder,

                      I did just what you are planning to do and I don't reccommend it. It's not just a matter of finding work but also you're fresh out of school and don't have the experience. It's one thing to do stringer beads all day in a flat position on a nice welding table in a nice shop, but that's never what needs to be welded on! Not to say you're not good or anything (i haven't seen your work so I don't know) but there's so much more to welding than laying down stringer beads all day. You really should get some experience in a shop first before you go out on your own. You need to learn the way things are really done and all the tricks that can save you out in the field. A big part of mobile welding is repair and repair takes a lot of weld preperation (grinding, sanding, air arc gouging, etc.). Also, you will find so many costs and things you need to buy that you never anticipated (consumables, gases, tools, welding blankets, etc, etc, etc...).
                      I would reccommend you start out slow and get the word out. Don't expect advertising to work instantly; word of mouth is much better. Make up some nice business cards and hand them out to people. I sent out a "flyer" to about 10 different vineyards in the area with my business card mounted on a magnet in the envelope. A couple months later, one of those vineyards called me because they kept the card on the fridge. After I did the job for them, they reccommended me to another vineyard who has continually kept coming back to me with work. Bottom line, If you do good work, people will come back to you and the word will get around.
                      As far as truck vs. trailer, get at least a 3/4 ton truck and mount the welder in the back. Then use this truck for your daily driving, people will see you welder (especially the Miller blue ) and ask you about welding. I've got jobs before from just driving around town!
                      Anyways, I could probably go on forever so, good luck! I hope you are very successful...Oh and one more thing, never get discouraged !


                      • #12
                        I understand. But I would like to clarify breifly what I've been doing in class. First as I progressed through stick my instructor started putting me in a some very awckward positions. Layin on my back, standin on a ladder doin overhead, layin sidways on a table and runnin verticle etc.... I infact did the same all through mig. I agree with your point but I have to believe that Im gettin an above average instruction and experience. Now having said that I dont mean to sound like I know it all cuz I sure as shootin dont. I simply believe that I'll be better prepared to handle unexpected situations than the next guy down the road. God I hope I dont sound ****y because I really dont mean to. Im gonna stop while Im ahead!


                        • #13
                          Go back to that grant thing for start up costs. How does that work?


                          • #14
                            Lots of folks were tellin me that they knew people who got grants rangin from 500 to thousands of dollars to start small business. I did some research and it looks like its true. Im in the preliminary stages of applying.


                            • #15
                              Not meaning to be dicouraging

                              I'm going with Dabeldesign on this one.
                              In no way am I trying to diminish what your instructors are trying to teach you but that is still in a classroom. It's not going to prepare you very well for rebuilding the c-frame of a D8 cat out in the bush at 20 below when the phone rings at 2 in the morning. An extreme example yes, but you get the point. You have been given valuable advice - get a steady job, and built up your experience, reputation, and clientelle as you go. Upgrade your equipment as you can afford. Then when you're ready, you'll hit the ground running instead of falling flat on your face.
                              I've been where you are. I went out on my own with a single unit trucking company. I never received a complaint for the work I performed. I never had a customer that didn't call back, I had top notch equipment - but without the proper connections, the work is not steady enough, and I couldn't survive. Now it's three years later, I still have my contracting on the side, but it's pretty much dormant. I discontinued the WCB coverage etc. because I haven't generated revenue with it for a while. I've taken on a shop job with steady income to dig myself out of the hole I dug with the trucking company. Everything is still in place though so I can re-activate my company with a couple of phone calls.
                              Listen to the advice you have been given. I appreciate your desire to go out on your own..... I am just trying to save you from making my mistakes.



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