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 !
Results 11 to 20 of 37
Thread: I want to be my own boss!!!!
05-19-2007, 09:55 AM #11
05-19-2007, 10:50 AM #12Junior Member
- Join Date
- May 2007
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!
05-19-2007, 11:35 AM #13Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2002
- Clark County, NV
Go back to that grant thing for start up costs. How does that work?
05-19-2007, 11:43 AM #14Junior Member
- Join Date
- May 2007
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.
05-19-2007, 01:55 PM #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.
05-19-2007, 02:11 PM #16Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
the big thing is probaly advertising since your just starting,, i'd go with the trailer tho .. and yah you could tow it behind a motorcycle just not a good idea.. don't doubt yourself tho if you want to start a company you probaly can it's just alot of hours to get it going and keep it running as apposed to working for somone else.Jorgensen MFG.
Custom trailers:from utility to semi trailers i make em all.
05-19-2007, 02:45 PM #17Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2002
- Clark County, NV
Are you hinging this whole business thing on getting this grant?
05-19-2007, 03:26 PM #18
Bankrupt by 20 years old
I can't say enough of these guys looking out for your back !!! Lot of 'em tried to do their own business. VERY long hours, work all day, then doing all the paperwork at night = that IS your life; extra costs that you never expected, list goes on. So many of us did that (I tried other little side businesses, not welding), that now we err on the side of caution. when I talk to other small businesses, they threw their arm,leg, and the baby also! Used all the credit cards to the max, etc. Very few made it well, 95% failed miserably. You may have grants coming, but no contacts or jobs lined up!!! At least not for full time work! You may want to get experience first, then use those grants for when you really ARE ready! Buiild up your portfolio, then do it, otherwise, if you fail, you won't be able to get grants/loans again!
Who the heck wants to work for "the man?" Not us!!! If you are willing to do the work and bust your butt, it's up to you. things to consider:
1) Can you do small things in your garage before renting commercial space?
a) commercial space=electric,insurance,water,etc. Although building
(noise) in your garage might p off the neighbors!
b)start with small projects: truck racks, small gates, etc.
2) Vinyl magnetic sign on your truck doors vs. carrying around your welder.
a) Although it's cool to have your welding machine and oxy/acet tanks on
your truck, think about theft and sucking more gas with the extra weight.
b) Welding machine on your trailer, use it only when you need it.
3) Advertising in newspaper: usually wasting your money then passing out
business cards,handing out flyers, talking to people at home improvement
shops,design centers,contractors,welding stores.
4) Start your portfolio: Have pictures of what you built to show potential
clients (and us )
5) Business classes: I went to a really good entrepeneurship class ($400)
that basically we went through a cd tutorial and listed all of our business
expenses (instructors helped a LOT with ideas)
6) grants: if you are part of a minority group (ie: Indian,Native Hawaiian, etc.)
there are a lot of grants out there for start up companies). Unfortunately,
here in Hawaii, if you went to jail for drug use, there are HUGE grants for
starting up your own business (ha! think THAT'S fair?!!!)
We HOPE you do good, but we don't want you to have to sell your 1st born!
This forum is excellent, with excellent people as was mentioned before, I wish I had my own house that I could invite everyone over for a BBQ
1st REAL advice I have: Plan, right out expenses (labor,material and other expenses,layout, and build a welding trailer: see how close you are at getting the money you want with the time it takes you. that will be a good start!
*I had a friend that designed and built trailers all his life. When I met him, he
was averaging over $120,000/yr. before he retired. BUT, he went to
engineering school for 2 years and worked for a welding company for 6
years before he went out on his own and started building trailers on the
The Island of Hawaii (Big Island) has 7 mobile welding trailers on the Kona side. They said they haver work for 7 more. So much construction! No one charges less than $70/hour. they do mostly repair work on 'dozers and other heavy equipment. Lot of weldors aren't that good, repairs break less than 2 days, and no one will ever call you again! Word gets around too fast! But what I see from this forum, most guys would charge 1/2 that, depending on your area.
Sorry for being long winded, just watching out for your back
bertI'm not late...
I'm just on Hawaiian Time
05-19-2007, 06:24 PM #19
Hey woogawelder just dig a little deeper into your research please.
still have your business but also have a regular job to for awhile anyway.
And most of all dont get discouraged.
05-20-2007, 12:26 AM #20
not to change the subject...
Hey Bert! My brother lives in Kona and he almost had me convinced to ship my welding rig over and move out there. I've been there a couple times to visit him and there's SO much construction and not enough weldors....