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Author Topic: Calling all newbies - long timers as well.  (Read 3868 times)
luvrbus
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2009, 07:12:12 AM »

Doug, if you have doubts about your brakes and need help take it to Kaisers in Eugene he is not that far from you and will give you a accurate assessment about your brakes on what you need without ripping you off.
Dick is the best in the business bar none I drive over a 1000 miles to have the guy check my alignment and brakes    


good luck
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 10:46:37 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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paul102a3
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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2009, 07:28:02 AM »

Luvrbus,

From a logical perspective, I agree with you. The only answer I have at this time is there is not a complete history on the maintenance of the bus so who knows what was done and when.

To your point of something else not working correctly thus causing the rear shoes to wear out sooner than the others, that may well be true. I can state that braking efficiency is dramatically improved, brake peddle movement is cut in half, there is no chatter when backing up which leads me to think/hope that rest of the system is relatively normal.

When faced with so many unknowns, sometimes it is best to set a baseline and monitor from there. I now have a baseline to work from so my new job is to monitor the brake lining thickness, slack adjusters, etc for any abnormal changes.


Paul
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luvrbus
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2009, 07:42:19 AM »

Paul, it's just me but I would keep a close eye on your brakes you know how to adjust the brakes now and if you find the larger brakes on the rear requiring more frequent adjustment than the tags or steers something is wrong they are design to wear the same.
If your guy installed bus brake lining you should come to a nice easy stop without sudden impact when applying your brakes.  




good luck and happy travels
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 07:59:19 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2009, 09:14:34 AM »

Very good and informative posts here guys!

I'm not going to get in on the shoulda, coulda, woulda stuff!

But on the subject of;
Quote from: paul102a3
Final tally was $717 for parts, $855 for the labor, and $70 for misc shop supplies. Don't you love that line item "shop supplies"? I always wonder if that includes the gatoraid, cigarettes, or whatever!

As a former commercial garage owner (we closed our shop to the general public, and do not work on cars or anything but buses anymore. Regardless of whether belonging to us, another company, or friends {all bus nuts are friends!} we only work on buses now, and mostly just our own with an occasional stray coming thru!), I can assure you that there are many "shop supplies" that the average customer has no idea about!
Such as
brake & parts cleaner (about $3 a can and probably 4-6 cans used on one 6 hub brake job!)
shop towels
penetrating oil (WD-40, PB Blaster etc.)
shop light bulbs
electricity
air (air compressor)
water
and on and on and on!

In you case $70 sounds very reasonable as i've noticed most places these days are charging around 10% of labor costs for "shop supplies"!

FWIW
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
buswarrior
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2009, 10:01:17 AM »

Yup, just pulling the wheels off, the number of rags/shop towels needed is considerable.

BK, do you have the cleaning service for your shop towels?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2009, 10:22:08 AM »

Driving other well maintained buses helps with knowing what good brakes should feel like. If you drive nothing but one bus all the time you will be less in tune with the slow degradation of the brakes. So regular inspections and adjustments are a good idea.
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2009, 10:28:55 AM »

Yup, just pulling the wheels off, the number of rags/shop towels needed is considerable.

BK, do you have the cleaning service for your shop towels?

happy coaching!
buswarrior

BW,
When the garage was uptown and we were open to the public (cars, P/Us, campers, etc.) we had a uniform service that did uniforms and towels.
But now we buy our own and make the occasional late night run to the laundry mat every so often.
But since I recently bought mom a new washer & dryer I am going to put the old ones in the shop where we can do a load a week or so and keep them from piling up so much in between trips to the laundry! Since that will be the only use of that washer/dryer we may just store them in it! (clean in the dryer and dirty in the washer!)
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
buswarrior
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« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2009, 10:44:14 AM »

I like the old washer idea!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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belfert
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« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2009, 01:57:30 PM »

In you case $70 sounds very reasonable as i've noticed most places these days are charging around 10% of labor costs for "shop supplies"!

What is the upwards of $100 (or more) an hour I pay the shop going for then?  If the hourly rate isn't enough then raise the rate and be honest about what you charge instead of tacking on up to 10% for shop supplies.

It isn't like Walmart and other retailers are tacking on a "shopping fee" to cover electricity and other overhead.  It is included in the prices on the shelves.

BK, I don't recall you adding on a shop supplies fee when you worked on my bus, but you did charge for the brake cleaner used, and that was very fair.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2009, 01:59:11 PM »

I had all of my brake pads and drums replaced after I bought the bus.  I nearly put myself through the windshield the first time I used the brakes after I left the garage!
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2009, 02:27:51 PM »

As long as the "shop supplies" are itemized and based on some real consumption....

Just tacking on a percentage is like a forced gratuity at the restaurant, and I agree is BS.

However, remember how most folks shop, the big number price. So the place that posts an all-in shop rate of $120 an hour is empty while the guy down the street has a $90 shop rate but pads up the bill to the same level with the details.

Unfortunately, running an honest business still means you have to swim in the same shark infested waters, trying to attract the same customers (that's you and me and your dumber than dirt neighbour that hands his wallet over to the worst of them and thinks he's smart)

Where would you go, the $90 shop or the $120 shop?  You know the one you will gravitate towards, all things appearing equal on the outside...

Running a shop is quite a job. There is a labour rate for a job, well documented for automotive purposes by a number of books or computer programs, a little more tricky when it comes to coach work, not as many resources for standard times for jobs, the parts purchased, and then the overhead of what it takes to run an honest shop. Depending on the jurisdiction, insurance of many kinds, liability, the truck, worker safety program deductions, mortgage, re-certifications of equipment -hoists and torque wrenches, accountant fees, electricity, heating/cooling. And of some sort of profit for the owner taking the risk.

Some jobs consume more of those common things like rags, solvents, the parts cleaner, the bead blaster, the grease gun, a handful of fresh nuts and bolts out of the bin, cotter pins, those little things which are hard to list as "parts"

What matters most in the relationship with a customer is some sort of sence of trust. The shops who fail at that do not see a lot of repeat business, nor do they get referrals. The owners of those shops just don't get it.

Reward the good ones who are open and up front with your repeat business and referrals.
Reward the bad ones with your bad press.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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belfert
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« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2009, 03:57:00 PM »

As long as the "shop supplies" are itemized and based on some real consumption....

Just tacking on a percentage is like a forced gratuity at the restaurant, and I agree is BS.

I've never been to any garage be it truck, auto, or bus (exception of BK's)n that itemized the shop supplies.  The local Detroit Diesel place charged a flat 10% shop supplies fee.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
JohnEd
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« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2009, 04:42:12 PM »

Cliff is straight up correct about Kaisers Brake and Alignment here in Eugene, Orygun.  Very well known locally and folks drive far to have this guy do their work.

Doug, Texas Border Dude, drove up here after leaving Cliff's place down in Az.  Kaiser had problems finding some parts that proved bad but he let Doyle camp at the shop for a couple days.   Not the absolute best part of town but hospitality none the less.  Doyle had the biggest brake drums on the front wheels of his coach that any had seen.  Turns out he had a bus that hauled freight and was ruggedized when it was built.  It was stock, as I understand it.  Probably should let Doyle tell "his" story but he stays out of range for weeks at a time.  Are your ears up Dude?  Oh yeah, and he thinks Luvrbus is one of the best people he has ever met.

John
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2009, 05:56:00 PM »

Quote from: belfert

What is the upwards of $100 (or more) an hour I pay the shop going for then?  If the hourly rate isn't enough then raise the rate and be honest about what you charge instead of tacking on up to 10% for shop supplies.

It isn't like Walmart and other retailers are tacking on a "shopping fee" to cover electricity and other overhead.  It is included in the prices on the shelves.

BK, I don't recall you adding on a shop supplies fee when you worked on my bus, but you did charge for the brake cleaner used, and that was very fair.


Brian,
The hourly shop rate usually covers the wages of mechanics/owners/helpers/parts chasers, tools, ins. (a lot of it too!), rent/mortage, accountants, taxes (income not sales taxes<those are separate), specialized equipment, phones, advertising & etc!

Walmart and other retailers rely solely on retail sales for their profit! Small or large garages and service companies rely on SERVICE more than retailing for their income!

Again just because I said most shops are doing it, and that the rate was reasonable does not mean I agree with nor participate in the practice! As you mentioned I do charge for items I actually do use all of and not just generalize a charge regardless of what or how much is used. If I use just a dab of this or that I don't charge for it, but if I use a half a case of cleaner I'm gonna charge for it.

Again we don't run our shop to make a living out of anymore! Our shop is a necessity for the charter company to maintain our coaches in a safe and efficient manor. And if we can occasionally help a friend or competitor out then that's all good too! We do not however condone the practice of gouging someone ANYONE, just because they are in a pickle and we could! We may never get rich, but we sleep well knowing we do what is right regardless out how it effects our wallets!


FWIW
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
DaveG
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« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2009, 09:03:41 PM »

Wow...brakes to running a shop...this could be a long one.

My shop specializes in medium and heavy duty, and we have a shop supplies charge of 4% of the labor dollars, capped at $25., so our misc shop supplies don't cost any job more than that or we are going to itemize them. Works for us and our customers...there is a trust factor there too.

BRAKES...okay, since this is one of the core aspects of my business, let me toss a couple of key pieces of information out there for all to know.

BRAKE ADJUSTMENT...what is this? It is the amount of stroke measured in inches that the brake chamber (pod) travels upon brake application of the foot valve, generally measured when the brake pedal is fully depressed/full application. The amount of travel in inches that is allowed is determined by the brake chamber type/size (type 24-24 sq inches of diaphram, type 30-30 sq inches of diaphram, etc). This amount of stroke is adjusted/maintained by the slack adjuster, manual or auto slack.

BRAKE LINING LIFE...so how much is 50%? Well, if the lining that is attached/riveted to the brake
shoe is one piece, then it can be worn down to 3/16", if the lining is two pieces, then it can not be less then 1/4"

So when getting an inspection, just ask the shop to record the lining thickness on the various shoes, and the brake stroke on each chamber.

This is posted in the spirit of educating all the bus nuts out there. If anyone has specific brake questions, ask me and I'll try to help.
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