How do you find reliable service in your area? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 21 Old 12-15-2018, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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How do you find reliable service in your area?

Hi, folks.

I've owned my JD826 for about 10 years. I would guess it's a late-80s model. I typically do all of my own work and service, but time is tight now and I need to find a qualified professional to go through my machine: tune up, grease, general inspection. It's having a hard time staying on and I've checked all the usual culprits.

When I say "professional," I just mean someone who knows what they're doing -- even if it's one guy working out of his garage. I've checked local ads and craigslist, but there's little to go off of when it comes to reputation. How would you recommend I find someone? I'm in the Detroit, MI, area.

I know I'll need to fork over a few hundred dollars for comprehensive work, but it is worth keeping this machine going.

Thanks for the guidance!

Zayd
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post #2 of 21 Old 12-15-2018, 12:15 PM
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to SBF Zayd


Location, location, location. You should add your's to your profile so if someone in your area has a suggestion or is the local guru they can chime in with a recommendation.
Next would be word of mouth. Ask your co-workers, neighbors, ...
Then there is online like this forum. Do you have "Nextdoor" ?? - - > https://nextdoor.com/login/?ucl=1 I find that pretty handy in getting local recommendations for all kinds of stuff. Or a google or Yelp search looking for 4 star + reviews ??

(Edit Yup, saw the Detroit MI too late, silly me. )

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post #3 of 21 Old 12-15-2018, 12:57 PM
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You would just as you would find a good MD, DDS, DVM, LD or other professional. Recommendation from a trusted source/friend/ acquaintance. Hopefully someone from SW MI can provide a name/shop who does a good job at a fair price. I am always leary of online "reviews" as many of these are FAKE.


Too bad you aren't up in NW MI, as we have an outstanding outdoor equipment dealer up here! Should be able to readily find one in your area. Good Luck.


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post #4 of 21 Old 12-15-2018, 04:01 PM
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i would stop and ask a lawn care team as to who they would go to if in need, if they can't fix it they have to trust someone
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post #5 of 21 Old 12-15-2018, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Good info -- thanks! I put my location in the post, but didn't add it to my profile. I'll do that.

As for Nextdoor, I did that and cannot get a consistent response. The same number of people who endorse a repair service will slam it as well. There wasn't anyone who seemed to please the majority of folks.

Woodie -- the lawn service idea is a great idea. If I can find someone still running around and getting the last of the leaves, I'll stop and ask.

Zayd
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post #6 of 21 Old 12-15-2018, 05:32 PM
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Sometimes, necessity forces your hand in whom to place trust in. I generally fix EVERYTHING I break nowadays, so I don't need repair shops very often. But when I do, I make sure I help them as absolutely much as possible to fix what I want fixed.

Research places in the metro close by. Chances are the internet will tell you who to trust and who not to. As mentioned, ask friends. But my best piece of advice is to exhaust all avenues you can to fixing the issue yourself first. I know time is precious...but I have a sort of method to engaging repair shops that I believe helps significantly when I do need to find them and hire them.

I trained people at my last job for years. When training them, I told them that we old timers, we're busy also when you'll inevitably come to us for help. We won't mind the interruption and will bust our butts to help you if you follow one simple rule.

"Make it as easy as possible for us to help you." By this I meant, show us your work. "Show me you can describe exactly what the issue is, show me it actually doing what is not working, show me the research you've performed, show me the fixes you tried."

I do this when looking for a repair shop. I can quote the year, make and model of the machine, the correct terms for the parts and features that aren't working if applicable, what I have tried to remedy the issue myself - and most of all exactly what I want the repair shop to do for me.

I find I get less surprises that way, the issue gets fixed correct the first time, and I'm betting I get it done as cheaply as possible outside of me doing the work myself - every time.


This site is a great resource...chances are, someone here has fixed what you got before, and there is a thread detailing exactly how to do it. Every single thing I've fixed on my 3 snowblowers the last year, I did not know how to fix before I visited this site - and every solution in one way or the other, I found it here (or in concert with a Youtube video). In short, if you can...keep digging.

1974 Ariens 922008/922003 "Frankenstein", my dad's 1st new snowblower
1971 Ariens 922002/922003 "The Badger", recent addition, ready for snow
1971 Ariens 922002/922003 "Juneau", finally ready for snow
1971 Ariens 910962/910995 "Bill", SOLD 3/7/2019
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post #7 of 21 Old 12-15-2018, 05:51 PM
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find the guy who doesn't advertise.

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post #8 of 21 Old 12-15-2018, 06:27 PM
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I really don't think that person\place exists anymore. The labor rate is so high it exceeds the value of the machine in many cases. Older snowblowers are a hobby now. At some point if a person can't do the work themselves, you are better off to sell it and buy something new.

Wake me up when the snow's done...
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post #9 of 21 Old 12-15-2018, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbs296 View Post
I really don't think that person\place exists anymore. The labor rate is so high it exceeds the value of the machine in many cases. Older snowblowers are a hobby now. At some point if a person can't do the work themselves, you are better off to sell it and buy something new.
so true. you'd have to find an old fart like me that does it for pizza and beer......

"It Feels Like Beer O'Clock "
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post #10 of 21 Old 12-16-2018, 07:47 AM
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When my wife needs a good handyman, she just yells, "Hey Rit". LOL
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