Side jobs - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 25 Old 11-23-2014, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Side jobs

It's funny how word gets around when you're able to repair snowblowers, along with other machines. This past weekend I received a couple calls from various people in regards to repairing their Ariens or just doing a regular tuneup. Over the past years, I receive calls from neighbors, friends, and friends of friends. As time progresses, I continue with my regular customers along with one or two extra.

I'll only do work on Ariens and Toro single stage.
The current job I have is replacing a friction disc on a 932xxx. First time doing it on this model, should be easy enough.

I don't really charge anything for these jobs except for the cost of parts and then maybe a few bucks to cover gas for picking up & bringing back the blower. Of course, the customers still give me some extra coin though. I'm just glad to be able to help others instead of having them get screwed over by some small engine mechanics in the area.

I know many of you folks do your own work, but do you go ahead and take on any side jobs, as well?

1972 Ariens 13/32 restored & repowered
1971 Ariens 7/24 (retired)
2011 Ariens Deluxe 24
1980 Ariens st7/24 (retired)
1985 Ariens st10/36
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-23-2014, 09:28 PM
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Job well done SlowRider. Still good people in the world willing to help out when needed. Hold your head high for doing this.

Nutting worse then seeing someone getting screwed over, knowing you could have help avoid that.

I helped a coworker do some routine maintenance on his Ryobi (MTD) this afternoon.

2014 Ariens Deluxe 30 #921032 w/Armor skids, LED's, Hand warmers.
2015 Ariens Path Pro SS-21 # 938033
2010 Toro 1800 Power curve (electric, for the deck)
2009 Toro Power Shovel (electric, for deck steps)
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post #3 of 25 Old 11-23-2014, 09:38 PM
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I wouldn't be afraid to expand the brands you do if you want the work. I work on about anything and their all basically the same to a large degree. And the net and you tube helps a ton in a pinch. Actually like getting a hold of diff machines. Learn more each time.
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post #4 of 25 Old 11-23-2014, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liftoff1967 View Post
Job well done SlowRider. Still good people in the world willing to help out when needed. Hold your head high for doing this.

Nutting worse then seeing someone getting screwed over, knowing you could have help avoid that.

I helped a coworker do some routine maintenance on his Ryobi (MTD) this afternoon.
Thanks, it's the little things in life like this that matter to me. I'll keep doing these repairs because my customers genuinely appreciate it.

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Originally Posted by cdestuck View Post
I wouldn't be afraid to expand the brands you do if you want the work. I work on about anything and their all basically the same to a large degree. And the net and you tube helps a ton in a pinch. Actually like getting a hold of diff machines. Learn more each time.
It's not that I'm afraid of expanding, I actually embrace it. It is, however, a matter of time and convenience...at least for working on other people's machines. I'm a full-time student and work 3 jobs, so being able to work on Ariens is quick and easy job for me to do, therefore I can get them done in a timely manner respective to my other priorities.

1972 Ariens 13/32 restored & repowered
1971 Ariens 7/24 (retired)
2011 Ariens Deluxe 24
1980 Ariens st7/24 (retired)
1985 Ariens st10/36

Last edited by SlowRider22; 11-23-2014 at 10:52 PM.
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-23-2014, 10:29 PM
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I find your work laudable but I also think it's dangerous to lump getting screwed by small engine mechanics as they earn a living by doing this kind of work of course there will always be some bad apples. Just my opinion.

Snow Removal Apparatus I own:
Ariens ST1530DLE, and good ole arm powered scrapper.
The 15 HP is a new Ducar engine sold
by Princess Auto in Canada.
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post #6 of 25 Old 11-23-2014, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not trying to be condescending towards mechanics as a few whole, as I only mentioned some of them, but there are a few select ones that provide very poor services. Hence the reasoning of me mentioning it in my original post.

1972 Ariens 13/32 restored & repowered
1971 Ariens 7/24 (retired)
2011 Ariens Deluxe 24
1980 Ariens st7/24 (retired)
1985 Ariens st10/36
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post #7 of 25 Old 11-23-2014, 11:59 PM
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I understand the reservations, but i'm also in a market that will soon lose the only OPE shop because he is retiring.

I too, help co-workers, friends, family, and of course their associations. And like you slow, I charge nothing but parts. The main reason, is also the reason that I explain to them, I'm not a professional. I have no factory training, or formal OPE training, other than a high school class I took.

If they press me on the issue, I usually say a roll of paper towels. It's something that I think we can all agree, we use while we work. Or if it's somebody I know that appreciates an adult beverage, I might suggest a 6-pack. But money is, except for parts which I always discuss before ordering, is a part of the discussion.

Garage:
MTD....2 stage(modern 8.5 HP) not my favorite
Honda HS622 TA-B - acquired at an auction- nice machine for it's size.
Toro S-140- Picked it up on trash day... it runs, sort of.
Yamaha YS 240 TB "Ricky" latest Craigslist find- on the bench now.
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post #8 of 25 Old 11-23-2014, 11:59 PM
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You need to be very selective, I know they need to make a living or they will do something else. However, Most of the small engine shops around me are focused on the high end and Commercial equipment. They really don't service the homeowner with an MTD or older machine very well.

My neighbor has a 6 yr old Honda snow blower and he told me the Honda dealer wants $300 for a tune up. I am not sure what they do but it sounds outrageous to me. I would like to assume that includes pick up and delivery but he did not say.

Current machines
Ariens 926LE

Yard Machine 22" upgraded with 6.5 HP Predator
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post #9 of 25 Old 11-24-2014, 05:03 AM
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I keep 5 Honda snowblowers looked after. Same as you guys, parts and maybe a beverage and a cigar. One of the machines went to the dealership before I got to it for a $450 tuneup, and I had to fix slipping belts when it came back!

HS 928 TCD. It's Canadian eh! (Sure I'm done modifying it, for now, until next time.......)
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post #10 of 25 Old 11-24-2014, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowRider22 View Post
It's funny how word gets around when you're able to repair snowblowers, along with other machines. This past weekend I received a couple calls from various people in regards to repairing their Ariens or just doing a regular tuneup. Over the past years, I receive calls from neighbors, friends, and friends of friends. As time progresses, I continue with my regular customers along with one or two extra.?

there is demand for mechanical work amongst friends, family, acquaintances. back when I was in my early 20's and into old cars heavy, word got around and I had a car in the driveway every weekend at my parent's house, carb rebuilds, brakes, setting timing/dwell on old points ignitions, etc.

when I got my own garage a number of friends brought their cars in for total engine rebuilds. F150 302, Buick 455, Chevy 350's, Olds 350, Mopar 440, Mopar 318, Pontiac 400, 428, 455, Buick V6, Chevy V6, quite a few more....head gaskets changes, etc. on some smaller stuff. Looking back and remembering, just about all the work was friends, but word of mouth, and from guys that you would never think would spring for a $2000-$2500 motor rebuild (going price at the time). but once they know the work is reliable, the person honest, they bring it in.

the biggest detractor from people getting older machines fixed, is the many ripoff repair shops out there, and the ones that simply charge too much- they believe they have to, to cover their overhead. that's why a small home-based shop would have an advantage.

I'm convinced this market still exists. How big it is, don't know. may not be enough to live big on, but it would eek a living out. If one had a home with a garage and a few acres of land to store machines, you could take them all in, line them up, repair one at a time, and put them out front for sale. they'd sell and a profit would be made. not a huge profit mind you, but a profit just the same. considering what they go for now new in the store, it would be easy to undercut the price of a new machine and still make some.

I have an acquaintance who does this with vacuum cleaners, he's had a successful repair shop now for years. most of his sales are used repairs.

the only diff is, vacuums get used year round, snowblowers only in the winter months. so it would be lean in the summer.




just say NO to Chinese made ANYTHING !
1967 S-242 Snowbird 4/24
AMF Dynamark Luminaire 5362 8/26 3-stage
Craftsman Drift Breaker 10/32 3-stage
Gilson 55012 8/26 gear drive
Ariens 910010 8/32
Cub Cadet 268 8/26
Yard-Man Snowbird 7040-0 5/22
Ariens 10M-L35 3.5/24
New Holland/Gilson Unitrol 8/26
(2) AMF Polar Bear 7/26 3-stage project/parts machines

Last edited by greatwhitebuffalo; 11-24-2014 at 07:46 AM.
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