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Author Topic: Interstate Repair Costs, are they excessive to you??  (Read 3408 times)
niles500
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2007, 12:57:44 PM »

If I recall, that year drive train could be towed up to 25 miles atlow speed w/o pulling the axles, according to Ford - so you should be OK - HTH
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« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2007, 01:59:14 PM »

Gary, don't feel like you got the shaft. It appears to be a reasonable price for the service you received.
I definitely agree with BK.Labor rates are very high these days - everywhere. Your butt hurts a bit because you are quite capable of making this type of repair under normal circumstances. Be happy that you and the family were not injured on the side of the road, or had to wait a ridiculous amount of time for assistance.
Hope this might soothe the pain.
Sammy  Cool
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2007, 02:09:35 PM »

Back when I was running a repair shop, we never charged for shop supplies. That was overhead and covered by the shop flat rate. I guess the shops have been taking lessons from the medical boys.
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belfert
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2007, 02:58:32 PM »

Earlier this year, I had a service bill for my bus that had a $160 shop supplies charge!  I complained and they dropped it by half.  There is hardly a shop that doesn't tack this fee on these days.  I don't know why the $106 an hour this particular shop charges can't cover shop supplies.  The hourly wages, benefits, and so on for a mechanic probably aren't more than $50 an hour which leaves over $50 an hour for other costs.  Do diesel mechanics even make $30 an hour in a major metro area like Minneapolis?
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Christyhicks
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2007, 06:54:53 PM »

Well, Gary, sweetie. . .do you feel pretty hammered already?  Kiss  ha ha  I agree with the consensus, the repair wasn't way out of line. . .maybe higher than you would have paid at your favorite shop, but it probably took you a while to find them, didn't it?  That's why you should give their name out to everyone in the area, to help keep them in business! 

Let me tell you a little story:  One day Larry was replacing a motor for a resturant owner, and she asked him, "Did you pay THAT much for that motor???"  Without missing a lick, he responded, "No, I SURE didn't!  Do you charge your customers what you paid for those eggs?"  Needless to say, that was the last time she questioned him about his price on parts, ha ha. 

The truth is, we usually get a discount on parts we buy, but sometimes, not very much.  I take my lead from Larry's experience, and I don't hesitate to exclaim to customers. . ."Of course we mark up our parts and equipment!  We have to warranty it, and if it fails in the next year, I'll be out there for free to replace it, and even though I may get to return the part for credit, NO ONE is paying my guys to do the work but me!"  or "Sure, you can provide your own faucets, but if there are parts missing from the box, YOU'LL need to be available to run and get a replacement one while we're there working, and if the faucet is defective and leaks, you'll be paying our labor rate to remove it and install the replacement one."

 Obviously, as a business owner, we know a lot of information that the average homeowner doesn't, including the outrageous costs of running most small businesses these days.  We're a small company, but our permit/licenses fees were over $50,000 last year. . .yep, that's money paid to the state and various cities for "permission" to do work.  Add in liability insurance, auto insurance, workman's comp, and you've got a huge chunk of money before we even start talking about things like wages, fuel, and all those little things like screws, tape, etc.  Shoot, one specific copper fitting is over $5.00. . .just for a stupid copper 90! 

And, am I wrong but do you guys notice that nothing has gone up faster than car parts?  My goodness!  Every time we have to buy a starter or alternator, we are just aghast at the price we have to pay now.  Shocked Fuel pumps?  Tongue Outrageous!  Angry And they don't last NEAR as long as they used to!  It used to be that if you replaced a starter, you did it once the whole time you owned the vehicle.  These days, if you keep the truck very long, you'll have replaced it at least twice, and if you have to do the fuel pump, well, HECK, drop the gas tank!  Cry Who's idea is it anyway to put the fuel pump in the tank??  For goodness sake, if they're going to put it in the tank, make it last forever!  Angry  Ignition switches?  Door handles?  What in the world! Shocked  Since when should you have to replace a door handle?  crazy! Angry

 Whoops, sorry, off my rant now!  Cheesy   Yep, I know, starting to lose it!  Oh well, lucky for me, we're FINALLY ready to take TempBus out again and are rally bound this weekend!  Grin Yipppeee!  Christy Hicks
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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2007, 07:07:27 PM »

I know how you feel Gary, but had you done it yourself, half way into the job you would have been willing to pay twice that much for someone else to do it.  

Yes they had you by the cahonis but they milked them gently and didn't clack them together.

It was done, right then, and your time is worth something to you and there would have been much pain and cussing either way.
Hmm, Let'see;
Lie awake cussin mad about bill ,   or ,  lie on back on side of road cussing ford engineers for not making quick disconnect waterpumps held on by velcro and easily accessable back in 80's.  
- plus once you got started you would've had to dissasemble and reassemble the entire RV and document the whole thing on your web site before moving off the road in your brand new RV Tongue Cheesy Wink

 So now you have  bought extra time and energy to work on the "Pit".  Use some of that anger and you might drive it to the non rally,  Yeah , fix your bus! That'll showem' Angry!!!  
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 08:36:13 PM by NewbeeMC9 » Logged

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Don4107
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« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2007, 07:11:48 PM »

Normal business formulas say you need to charge 3-4 times what you are paying your repair techs.  You have to cover all your overhead too. Things like utilities, nonproductive hours, non billable hours for other employees like accounting, management, secretarial services, service writers, go-fers ect.  Then insurance, bennies you offer employees, buildings, taxes, licenses, vehicles, and a hundred other things.  Hopefully some profit in there too.  Some service businesses are operated at a loss to support new sales.

Hard to get by on less than 40% markup on parts too.

So, do you want to pay $40 bucks an hour and have a $10/hr person work on your rig?  Not taking sides, that is just the way it is.  That is also why I will go a long way to do things myself.  Not just because I'm stubborn but because I'm cheep too!   Grin
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Don 4107 Eastern Washington
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captain ron
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« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2007, 07:14:56 PM »


Distributor cap      $38.41
Rotor Button            8.45
Water Pump           72.80  Note this is refurbished pump.  they wanted to sell me a new
                                     one for $150.00
Coolant 2.5gals       37.50
By pass hose           3.00
(4) longer bolts        4.68
Trans. fluid 2 qts.     9.00
SHOP SUPPLIES       10.77  What is this?? Nothing was used except their water for my
                                      fresh water tank on board.
Towing of trailer not
covered by ins.       50.00
Diagnoss for a not
run conditon vehicle 90.00
labor to replace
water pump on gas
v-8, 7.5 eng / w air 225.00
hazardous mtl.          10.77
                           ________
            sub total   $560.11
                  tax        51.81
                          _________
            TOTAL      $611.92

Getting a picture of Captain Ron riding bitch on a Honda  "Priceless"
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NJT5047
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« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2007, 07:52:35 PM »

Yep Gary, I would tend to agree with the position that you weren't gouged. 
We have a 93 Ford 1 ton Econoline with a 351 and I suppose we've replaced everything under the hood....with exception of the long block, and I'd have easily paid what you did to have it done...if I had to do it.  I just get some of my aspiring "car" mechanics to do it.  Vans are a major mojo PITA to work on.   And you had several issues going at once.  At least they found and repaired the problems. 
You probably have a C-6 trans and while it isn't designed to be towed, it can be for short distances.   When that sucker is on the hook, the whole rear of the trans is floating in oil.  That'll check for trans rear main seal problems. 
Looking forward to a visit in Oct....!
What was that you were saying about a "donut"...or something...$20 dollars?  Plastic???  We're gonna give Kyle a $20 donut?  Can't find my glasses!  Cheesy
See ya, JR
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2007, 09:01:59 PM »

jjrbus, what was the name of the place that charged you 3 hours while it sat waiting on a belt.  Now that's one we all need to steer clear of!
Jack
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2007, 09:28:54 PM »

Wow, I have comments from every important Busnut on the board and hello Christy, where in the dickens you been??  I do feel like a runt now with my eyes wider at my dilema and agree after all your post that I did not do bad after all in my repairs.  I knew that those of you in business could set me straight and it was worth it to put this question to you all, But I am glad I did post this so maybe still you will order that book of good repair shops to use if you need to and cannot do the repairs yourself to save a few hundred bucks.  I'll still be a cheap SOB though but thanks for taking the time to make me realize all you did. 

So good did come out of all this, I didn't know where all you guys were and when I do make a stupid post you let me know so it was worth it to say hello to you all and the (Priceless Photo of Captain Ron) was just that, glad you have a great sense of humor, you have to to be a commedian.

Well I guess we can put this post to bed and lets get back to bussin but it was worth it and HELLO  & thanks again to you all.

Gary
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Gary
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« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2007, 03:03:48 AM »

Sorry to "abandon" everyone lately, I've missed all you guys!   Kiss

Unfortunately, we've been short-handed at work, and after the motley assortment of applicants that showed up for the last "office employee hiring" attempt, well, both Margie and I thought that we might just try to squeeze through without adding another office girl.  This means that Larry even has to spend some time in the office in the afternoons to help field calls!  To be honest, I really enjoy having him in there with me in the afternoons, even though I know it does cut into his shop time. Wink  The downside of all this is that even on weekends, my computer time is mostly spend on paperwork instead of visiting with old friends.  I feel like I've slipped off the face of the earth! Cry

Hopefully, after the upcoming rally, I can fill you guys in on the upgrade to TempBus we just finished. . .talk about work now!   Wink  And some of it done in a space suit in 90 degree weather too yet! Tongue  Cheesy  Christy Hicks
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larryh
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« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2007, 07:30:58 AM »

Gary your always saying your a do yourself guy yet you paid to have somebody else do it then cry because you had to pay em . Look at the price of parts and see how much you could saved to put toward getting that engine in your bus.

Remember DIY

LarryH
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2007, 09:06:57 AM »

LarryH,
with all due respect I was not crying about what this cost me but inquiring if it was within reason by others that may have had roadside experience similar to mine and may in the future. Two things come out of this, I learned that it is more costly than I anticipated to have others work on my vehicle and I admit that but also to inspire others to be better prepared in case they have to also and have information where to go if they do from documentation from other busnuts. 

Please don't go flaming me for something good coming out of this for me and others too.  I do not have any shame to admit when wrong or passing on information from experiences I have good or bad and the list goes on especially if someone benefits from any of it.

I could of fixed this I am sure, I was on the interstate, 3 ft. from the white line, trucks doing 80 miles per hour past me and rocking my S&S, RV completely dead and the safest thing to accept is being towed off for my families safety also.  I had no toad to go get parts, or I probably would of just gotten towed off to a safe place, the price of towing would of been the same.  I am not making excuses for not doing this repair myself on the water pump, I just did not have the tools, area to work in or way to get parts at the time to do. 

Maybe I mis-interpeted your response and if I did then I apologize as anything I do I do not indicated it absolutely correct, the best way, the only way to do or you have to even read it.  I do not post to intimidate anyone, If I do you can depend upon my departure for good.  If I have helped in ways I hope to some that appreciate it then I feel I have put our BB'd to good use and passed it on.  There is always some good that HAS to come of of some bad, my bus, my break downs, my instructions even on how to use a computer.  I don't have any intention to quit helping out unless the concesus of everyone is  I offer a lot of garbage.  Then rethinking my goal must be done by me.

A third good thing happened out of this post, I was contacted on this bb'd & in public by other friends I have met and not been in contact with in a long time and they confirmed my question about interstate repair of overcharging were without warrant and I have accepted that.

I am hoping this post can now be put to rest in the archieve's or where ever so it does not go in a mis-directed direction.
Thanks for the post and the opportunity to re-address. 
Gary
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larryh
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« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2007, 04:17:06 PM »

Gary

Sorry you took it that way I was poking fun at you but I guess I'm not in the curcle so u won't see another post

LarryH
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Savvy ponderable:
A cowboy's only afraid of two things:
havin' ta walk,
and the love of a good woman.
"This posting was generated using an environmentally friendly, self contained flatulence generator, therefore no fossils or neutrons were harmed in the creation of this posting.


Quartzsite,
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