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About gravysuckinpig

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    Occasional Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Maple Ridge Automotive
  • Business Address
    15443 Maple Ridge Road, Milford Center, Ohio, 43045
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
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  1. wow....someone picked a good topic to talk about it seems...
  2. befor you do - go visit other shops in your area on saturdays and nose around at how busy they are - i know in columbus - on saturdays the only thing people are worried about is watching the buckeyes play football - you might see 2 or 3 cars if your lucky- and your guys wont hang you for wasting their saturday by making them stand around .
  3. would someone PLEASE order a nitrogen machine from this guy........ all kidding aside.... has anyone ever took off an air intake box and found one of those little metal tornado things? i have found lots and lots of them - or the little magnets on fuel lines...or maybe even an electronic rust inhibiting system (most likely on a rusting car)... there have been sooooo many gadgets and gizmos sold to the motoring public all backed by "scientific" proof and tons of research that they really work....please excuse us all....the ones who actually deal with this stuff EVERY DAY if we seem skeptical. you are after all....a nitrogen salesman... can you blame us - after reading that last post with all the numbers and formulas... i came up with my own ,, 56%(5489)*2d= J+ ^533 if you add those together it means i call "bullshit" on the whole thing. sorry joe kick me or ban me or whatever if you have to for that but but im not falling for it... no siiirreee even if my customers would return to me over and over for their "nitrogen fix" i cant recommend a product i dont believe in. especially if wal-mart is going to do it.
  4. i have heard of nitrogen inflation - but never really paid much attention to it to even know what the "theoretical " benefits are. seems like another gimmick to me. .... ok i just googled it... correct me if im wrong... but they are saying the nitrogen molecules are larger than the oxygen molecules therefor dont leak as fast?..thats all well and good but a hole is a hole and a leaky rim is a leaky rim and molecule size doesnt apply there... what does apply is the cost of the customer to refill their tires .... call me old fashioned but air is free and has been doing a wonderful job since tires were invented... and i still refuse to buy bottled water also.... all these new things people are comming up with for cars.... you would think by now someone would come up with a fuel thats cheaper than gasoline that can be manufactured in large quantities easily....i have a news paper aticle thogh - of a guy that lived in my city(columbus, ohio) who modified an engine to run on plain water - and no crap he had a lunch meeting with some arabs and hours later he died.... said it was heart failure - his engine disappeared but rumor has it one of his relatives took it and has it hidden somewhere. you can google it.no sh$t.
  5. exactly - most ANYONE can do the easy stuff - and if they cant- they know someone who can- and wont charge half as much as we would. these are the people who i dont want in my shop anyways - the ones who can do the easy stuff - because they know how much THEY would charge to do something in thier driveway - so they feel thats what WE should charge - ei:thats the value they place on "their" labor- well sonny im sorry but with 50k worth of hand tools in this pretty box with wheels and all the shop expenses it aint workin that way. if i had a little toolbox with a handle on it and some rusty mismatched wrenches and a claw hammer in it i might do it for that price. i have found that small country towns and certain areas of big cities have an abundance of do it yerselfers because a)their daddy taught em how to do it and it aint that hard and/or they just simply cant afford it. i market towards businesses for that reason- and if i didnt, i would market towards the upper class neighborhoods because those people 1: dont know a damn thing about cars and 2: they damn sure aint gonna get dirty tryin to learn. sorry- off topic anyways - if you have a local community college that has an auto shop program - try there also- they are for the most part "adults" who would love a chance to get their foot in the door and get their moneys worth out of that college tuition, and get some real world experience- talk to the professor- interview some of the students - book smart doesnt always equal "talent" which is essentially what you need. my wife says im too picky about hiring - i always end up telling her the same thing - im not a daycare and i need dependability and motivation. run an ad for a month and see what you end up with. as for the guy you have who bitches and moans...does he know your looking to hire? if so that may be the cause of his problem - you cant afford him a raise yet your looking for another tech....he doesnt see himself being fired as the reason for this... just explain to him you can only pay him so much out of what he can produce - 2 people would turn out more work which equals more money with which to give him a raise. or- if hes not worth the raise then hire another guy and starve him out. either way - i need to know the whole situation to give any real advice. just my 2 cents - i am seriously looking to open a small bbq restraunt or bbq catering business- and forget this auto repair thing - i loves me some low and slow bbq and my pit is sitting covered in snow calling to me -
  6. i have found a simple yard sign out front somewhat effective if your on a fairly traveled street - craigslist is so so but brings in a lot of people with "personal" problems,poor work ethic or little to no experience - once in a while you get a good one though. best source is from past employers- people you've worked with and know a little better than a complete stranger.even current employees who have worked in other shops might know another tech looking to make a move. some might not call this "ethical" - but if its worth fighting for, its worth fighting dirty for, is my motto
  7. heres what you do.... when you get the business started, be sure to stop back in there and hand out free oil change coupons..... when that guy shows up with his coupon....write him up and after he signs the work order throw it aside and tell him a story about how you spent all this time making a business plan and took it to the sba.........
  8. umm - we started small - this cant be stressed enough - with what i know now - i would start with 4 or 5 bays- 3 for general repairs and 1 or 2 for the detailing- let your general techs handle any performance work in the beginning untill you really see a need for more expertise in that area - the reason for this is simple - most gearheads are gearheads because they like to do their own work- thats where they get their enjoyment - not to mention, by the time they buy all those shiny chrome parts they have no $$ left to pay you to put them on. not trying to crush your dream but just speaking from experience - as for the sales part - find yourself someone with a sales license and see what you need to do to be able to sell cars- xrac was right there are alot of stipulations to running a sales lot- some of them are dumb - in ohio you need a 750sq ft lot an office and a file cabinet- a freind of mine who is a dealer told me he got fined for having some small 2 inch weeds growing through the cracks in his asphalt- this is a very competitive business - which is a good reason to start as small as possible- i would buy all the land i needed for the whole operation and do 1 building at a time as needed.
  9. lift the truck up - try to spin front tires - if all is ok pump brakes a few times and respin tires - do this with engine off and also running - if they dont feel like they're dragging at all under either condition i would start working my way farther up the system - i know for a fact these trucks have problems with the braking system - but mostly the complaints are warped rotors and worn pads - you may have a severe case of whatever this problem is - possibly may not even be a brake problem - maybe check front axles and hub bearings- oversize wheels and tires? and - did your parts supplier in fact give you the right parts? if all checks out good let me know. it may sound strange - but pull the master cyl off the brake booster - measure the rod depth - then measure it again with the vehicle running - 170k maybe weak diaphragm? check front suspension also - are the shocks blown? may not be dragging but simply being over worked. let me know how it turns out
  10. do you have a driver that rests their foot on the brake pedal while driving? are rear brakes working? did this problem exist before changing all those parts?
  11. normally they would be treated the same as any other customer - if they pay for services at pickup - if they pay on a net 10-15-20-30 day cycle that is up to you how you want to work it - normally i use a 3 month pay at pickup untill i get to know the customer and feel comfortable that i will get my money - then i let them go to a net pay schedule if they bring in alot of work- its not really worth it unless they are spending good money repeatedly. it takes time to add the bills,gather work orders, po#'s and send them 5-7 days ahead of the due date, WAIT for the person writing the checks to get it done and send your check/cc# - deal with billing discrepancies etc. also - if they will pay on a net schedule - you will want to have them fill out a credit reference sheet - usually 3-5 references is good. and check the company out on the internet - the address for the company you mentioned is http://www.professionaltransportationinc.com/index.html also - i give a max limit to outstanding $$ owed- and i do NOT exceed that limit- if they need more work done it is no big deal for them to make a payment on their acct. even though its not time yet. any good company will do this no problem - its the ones that give you a hard time about it you have to watch. if they cant cut you a 1200$ payment today they certainly wont be able to make 2300$ in a few days. as for promise to pay - keep a log of the drivers name- unit number, date, mileage, vin# all on the RO and make sure the driver signs it when dropping off.. make a normal estimate/repair bill and have the driver sign those when picking up also - on the bill at the bottom put the name of the person who authorized the work - and at what time - which brings up another point - MAKE SURE THE PERSON AUTHORIZING THE WORK IS AUTHORIZED TO AUTHORIZE IT. get a list of people in the company who can authorize the repair - and only repair the vehicle with permission from those people. any other questions let me know
  12. common sense would say install them on the drive wheels for traction......another thought would be always in the front for steering control, especially in the winter months.
  13. the part i cant believe, is the other shop had to send a car to you for a tensioner bearing noise...uh....??? i dont know what to say honestly...
  14. i used one briefly for a few months- it was nice in that you could save the vehicle and make notes that would be helpful if it came back - try using it on a chrysler and see if you can go directly into the pcm or if you need to load the global obd2 to read it - for some reason the one i had only read chrysler through global- other than that it was good - wireless internet etc. didnt think it was worth the 10k they were asking for it .
  15. hey fixit - welcome and good luck - having gone through this not too long ago - i can say - your probably very exited - DONT let your excitement get in the way of making smart business decisions- it is too easy to jump on something out of fear of waiting too long so you dont loose it - but at the same time - just when you jump on a good deal or a good property something better comes along - i was so excited about every property i looked at i wanted it- thinking back on the ones i passed by - im GREATFULL my partner had the restraint to say "no" to them. now we have a great building at a great rate- once you get the building - start telling everyone you know your opening a shop and to keep your name out there to everyone they know - talk about it to everyone you have a chance to. word of mouth is one of the best and cheapest forms of advertising you can get. equipment - i would start out making the least expensive investment you can on equipment- not the lifts though- the reason i went that route was to keep my initial investment as low as possible just in case things didnt work out - and dont be naive enough to think your gonna be a success- i bought my trans jack from harbor freight for 199$ - it paid for itself in 2 jobs - i have yet to need a new one but when i do i can now justify making the 800$ investment for a "good" one. if you get my point. dont buy junk , but be reasonable on your startup costs. ive seen alot of people buy the best of everything right away and be closed in 6 months- does anyone else think rachel ray is hot? and like joe said - start looking at things from a MANAGMENT perspective - i found out being a tech and moving into the ownership role was a real eye opener. its easy when your an employee to say the company should do this or that - but when it becomes your money your working with and trying to budget, and STILL have enough left to pay yourself - things take on a different perspective - because you know if you dont keep a close eye on it - it will be YOUR 10-15k investment thats lost. i cant stress enough how important that part is. in other words - if you go into this and are not truly worried about things, (income, initial investment , expenses etc.) ....then your not ready. because those worries are what drives a business owner to make good decisions, to step back and think about things, and manage with your brain and calculator instead of your heart. and trust me - your excitment will turn into worry... are you scared yet? GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!

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