View Full Version : Opinions needed on the following equipment
In the next few months I may be forced into retirement/disability from my full-time job as a people harasser/cop. If this happens I have decided that I am going to start a mobile welding and fab business. I know it will be slow going at first, and have some other job offers lined up that include benefits so I can keep the wolves away from the back door until I develop a solid customer base. I need your opinions on the following equipment that I plan on purchasing if I decide to go ahead with this.
1) Miller Trailblazer 301 G engine driven welder/generator
2) Uni-Hydro 56-14 or Edwards Jaws 55 ton ironworker
3) Hypertherm Powermax 1000 or Miller 2050 plasma cutter
I know from a previous post I made asking about the power needed from the generator to run the above plasma cutters, that I will be just short of the power needed to run either of them at full potential, and at that time thought I would get the Hypertherm Powermax 600 or the Miller Spectrum 625 because the cutting torch would handle the thicker metal. I have since decided that because the plasma cutter is capable of a much cleaner cut, to get the larger plasma unit, and use it at the shop if needed for thicker material that can be transported there. So, any likes or dislikes about the above posted equipment would be greatly appreciated.........thanks
04-03-2004, 10:59 PM
It seems like an odd mix of equipment. Usually people invest in a plasma cutting outfit because they intend to do work with stainless. If you intend to use plasma cutting in the field then you are going to be working in an unusual environment. Most breweries and dairies have enough power on hand to power a plasma.
If you are purchasing an ironworker I assume you have a substantial saw to do tubing.
If you are starting out it might be wise to work for a few outfits in your area to get a feeling for the lay of the land before striking out on your own. Just a thought.
04-03-2004, 11:07 PM
The TB301G & 2050 work well together according to Hawk on the Miller board. I don't think he even uses a torch anymore.
04-04-2004, 02:39 PM
Pat, I think we need some more details relative to leaving the wonderful world of people harassing, and taking up welding.
Having the equipment is wonderful, but do you have any sort of customer base to extract coin from. You can't just stuff paper under the wiper arm in this business and get paid, and you can't cruise the hiway looking for victims, er I mean violators, either.
You need to know the market in your area, and how it's currently being served, or not served.
Equipment is one hell of a lot easier to come by than customers, who pay their bills, are.
There is only 1 mobile welding business in my area, and this guy also has a shop that he dosn't like to leave. The guy took over when his father died, and just sits around his shop drinking with his buddys. I know of businesses that were serviced on a regular basis by his father, and have been told they have to beg to get this guy to agree to show up, then most of the time he dosn't. It is real sad he is running his inheritance into the ground. I guess this guy does very good work when he does any. Like I stated, I will be going into this part-time, and am not foolish enough to think it will be an over night success. I have several places that have told me to let them know when I get going, and they will give me what work they can. I will also be stopping at various businesses and leaving business cards. I know it will take time to build up a customer base, and I should be financially prepared for the lull. Personally I would prefer to start out slow so I don't feel pressured to slap something together that turns out crappy just so I can hurry to the next customer. I am hoping to get some word of mouth advertising, and that will last only as long as the quality of work does. Nope, I don't have any illusions that people will be beating my door down offering me lucrative projects. I will take it one day at a time and do the best I can and learn along the way.
I am self employed in the communication field and weld as a hobby and word of mouth business is the best type. Referrals are the customers that pay on time or pay a deposit up front for materials. It is hard to build a good customer relationship and keep it if you produce lack luster products and are not punctual. Keeping to your word goes along way with my customers. It will be rough at first and you will start out slow but if you have the heart and dediation it will pay off. Sounds like the market is there since the only other guy is not very responsible. This may help you grow your business. Repeat business is the best business. My new customers usually have us do a small job or a move for them and then they come back to us with the larger projects. I think it is best that way. You build the relationship and trust and get to know each others expectations. Good luck with your new venture, once you work for yourself you'll never want to work for someone else again. Why work for the man when you can be the man?
04-05-2004, 01:04 PM
I give my whole-hearted thumbs up to your choice of engine-driven welder. If you plan to really do some mobile welding, there is nothing better in that class. DO NOT settle for a Bobcat because of some special deal or lack of a TB locally available. You will be disappointed if you do not get the Trailblazer.
04-05-2004, 11:24 PM
Good luck as you go forward with starting out your business. If I can help let me know.
Thanks for the info. You must have been getting some strong vibes about the generator, and heres why. Yesterday I went to my local welding supply to pick up a cylinder and inquired about a Trailblazer. The sales guy asked me what I was going to use it for. After explaining that I may be starting up my own business and working with many different ranges of steel thickness, he told me that a Trailblazer might be overkill. He then tried pawning off a used Bobcat 225 (NT?) that he said had only 719 hours on it, and it had the Onan engine in it. I told him no thanks and asked how they aquired the Bobcat. He told me it was traded in by a local customer who needed to upsize for his roofing business. Last night I checked the price of that Bobcat at Cyberweld and discovered that a new one would have cost only about $640.00 more with tax..........what a deal. Thanks again.
Thanks for the encouragement. Last week I sent you private messages from this and the Hobart site inquiring about your decision on an ironworker. Then I saw where you posted about ordering the Edwards 50 ton. If you don't mind could you e-mail me about your decision to go with this model, the cost, where purchased, and what the extras cost. About a week ago I received some literature from Edwards and it dosn't list the 55 ton jaws model. I am really having a hard time deciding between the Edwards and Uni-Hydro mainly because the literature put out by both is somewhat confusing when you look at their package deals then discover even though the machine may be capable of greater capacities, the larger machine dosn't have all the wanted standard equipment as the smaller one. Then you are forced to pay extra for that particular accessory.............thanks again.
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