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  • Traffic vs Profit

    Interested in opinions ;

    Live / work / play in the northern virginia area , just outside of wash. d.c.

    Our lives revolve around traffic. SO MANY people here that going to 7-11 for a cup of coffee can mean standing in line with 20 folks . In the mournings , EVERY vein going into D.C. is just STOPPED with cars . Can take an hour to go 2-3miles . Going away from D.C is wide open roads .

    About 5 years ago I decided enough is enough . The closer you get to the city the more $ you can charge ,,,,,, but is it worth the aggravation !!?

    Now I just advertise and try to work in opposite directions of traffic. Money is still VERY GOOD , not as much as could be if I traveled closer to the city , but still good !

    My life is MUCH more relaxed . Who's got an opinion or similar tale ?

    CPlumb

  • #2
    Re: Traffic vs Profit

    Good post CP

    The building boom of the 80's in No. Va. created the problem you have. Developers lining the pockets of influential county executives and not creating an infrastructure to support the growth.

    When I worked in Annandale, Va. I might get 4 or 5 calls done in a 8-10 hour day. The worst ones were going to Manasses, Woodbridge or Ashburn at 2:30 You know what that's like. Even the shortcuts and back roads were full of traffic.

    Now 95% of my calls are inside D.C. I won't go any farther out than Arlington, Chevy Chase or maybe Hyattsville. No problem knocking out 6 or 7 calls in 8 hours on Crapital Hill. Parking can be a hassle with a big work truck though. Your right about the money. I can make and charge whatever I want here because no one wants to work on 80 year old galvanized and cast iron pipes.

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    • #3
      Re: Traffic vs Profit

      I live in the L.A. area and I can tell you this, there is no 8 hour days any more. To get my eight hours in (6:30-3:00) I leave my house at 5:15 and return at 4:30. That's eleven hours and fifteen minutes. I am ready to move.
      the dog

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      • #4
        Re: Traffic vs Profit

        If I have to work in South Orange County (90 miles) I can spend between 3-4 hours on the freeway each direction depending on the time of my commute.

        Mark
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Traffic vs Profit

          Because of the construction drop off.Most of my network is shut down till the economy comes back.So I've hooked up with another Plumber who has work in the city.This is the third econonomic slowdown that the U.S. has experienced that I have been through.Last one,I would drive a 100 miles and spend the week in a hotel for a company to do a project.So,like the Dog,most days are leave the house at 5:30,work till evening rush hour traffic dies down,leave the job at 7:30,get home at 8:00.I have a hard time wasting my life in traffic.

          I am very thankfull to have this opportunity to be so busy in these times.

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          • #6
            Re: Traffic vs Profit

            Boston is my poison.
            Adams right, I might be grabbing work in the city soon if more calls don't start coming in.
            Though strangely enough, I've been all out 12 hour day busy for the last month, but I know that most of the work was residual "pipeline" from existing customers & referrals.
            Whats usually a 1/2 hr ride can take 2 hrs at the wrong time going to the Boston area.
            Tack on parking tickets to my price, not to mention bad drivers...twice in two years I had people attempt to pass me from the right and literally drive into me, both sustained scrapes on their left side from my bumper..no damage to me.
            People hate being behind a truck, some drive like it's life or death to get from behind to front.
            The mrs knows when I been driving in the city, it's on my face when I get home.

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            • #7
              Re: Traffic vs Profit

              and i thought it was just los angeles with all the traffic

              there are days that driving from santa monica back to my house 6 miles that takes an hour

              most of my work is local enough to stay off the freeways

              at 6mpg. i don't get anywhere fast or far

              but i do remember when i started in new construction in 1981. (joey was in first grade) i would leave at 6:30 am for a 7:00 job start 17 miles away. now i would think it would have to be 6:00 am. but the drive home at 3:30 would be worse.

              this was one of the factors that pushed me into getting out of construction and into service. service is local and construction was a drive for months on end.

              rick.
              phoebe it is

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              • #8
                Re: Traffic vs Profit

                I live about 15 mins from center city Phila. 80% of my work is in the city. I take 95 for the straight drive to Philly when i go there. I use to work in Jersey and had to pretty much take the same route on 95 and exit right before Philly. Its gauranteed that you will hit headache causing traffic that will delay you an extra 45min to an hour to take a 15 min trip from my house to Philly. When i get calls for Philly, i make sure i give myself an extra hour when i tell them an arrive time... This traffic has been going on for the last 13yrs that ive been traveling 95 everyday. The Pennsylvania Turnpike is the same way...Once you hit a certain exit, your guarnanteed and extra 45 min delay. Ive gotten used to this custom...I dont charge any extra for travel time or anything like that...Just gives me more time to listen to Satellite Radio or my IPOD .
                The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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                • #9
                  Re: Traffic vs Profit

                  Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                  and i thought it was just los angeles with all the traffic

                  there are days that driving from santa monica back to my house 6 miles that takes an hour
                  Look up "Artery project in Boston", or "Third harbor tunnel"...complete disaster that was the largest engineering project in the world at the time just a few years back.
                  It's now known as a farce, a complete engineering nightmare that wasted billions in tax money and is falling apart around us.
                  I'm sure Mark's aware of the lawsuits.
                  Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                  this was one of the factors that pushed me into getting out of construction and into service. service is local and construction was a drive for months on end.

                  rick.
                  You just detailed one of my reasons as well, commercial was the worst..the jobs would pop up anywhere within a 100 mile radius...we used to do 6-2 to avoid traffic.
                  Up at 4 am, in bed at 9.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Traffic vs Profit

                    I knew a plumber from Boston once. He called it The Big Dig, is this the same project? He relocated here to avoid the commute around the construction. The joke was on him. Just after coming here we started the Springfield Bypass on 95

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                    • #11
                      Re: Traffic vs Profit

                      Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                      I knew a plumber from Boston once. He called it The Big Dig, is this the same project? He relocated here to avoid the commute around the construction. The joke was on him. Just after coming here we started the Springfield Bypass on 95
                      Yup, thats it.
                      From what I've heard, the DC area is hell on Earth, a cakewalk by comparison...his bad lol.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Traffic vs Profit

                        Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                        Look up "Artery project in Boston", or "Third harbor tunnel"...complete disaster that was the largest engineering project in the world at the time just a few years back.
                        It's now known as a farce, a complete engineering nightmare that wasted billions in tax money and is falling apart around us.
                        I'm sure Mark's aware of the lawsuits.
                        Is that the same tunnel as the $500,000,000 Ted Williams tunnel where the ceiling fell down and killed that woman? Interesting concept for building a tunnel but they needed to figure out how to secure the concrete a little better

                        Mark
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Traffic vs Profit

                          Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                          Look up "Artery project in Boston", or "Third harbor tunnel"...complete disaster that was the largest engineering project in the world at the time just a few years back.
                          It's now known as a farce, a complete engineering nightmare that wasted billions in tax money and is falling apart around us.
                          I'm sure Mark's aware of the lawsuits.

                          You just detailed one of my reasons as well, commercial was the worst..the jobs would pop up anywhere within a 100 mile radius...we used to do 6-2 to avoid traffic.
                          Up at 4 am, in bed at 9.
                          My life to a tee

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Traffic vs Profit

                            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                            Is that the same tunnel as the $500,000,000 Ted Williams tunnel where the ceiling fell down and killed that woman? Interesting concept for building a tunnel but they needed to figure out how to secure the concrete a little better

                            Mark
                            Thats only the tip of the iceberg...it's also leaking from the harbor above.
                            The real kick in the shins, it barely helped traffic.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Traffic vs Profit

                              As many things as I have in common with most of you, this is not one of them. I am very fortunate to live in a small mountain community, population almost 2000. Most of my jobs aren't more than 10 minutes away. One day I just finished a job, hopped in my truck, put it in reverse and backed across the road to the next job. Not many years ago, I had to commute off the mountain everyday, not unusual to do a 200 mile day, freeways, traffic and all that it entails. My wife owns the local bakery in the middle of town, so, waiting for coffee and donuts is no problem, I just help myself. I think I've found my niche.....love what I do, and love where I do it.....The Other Rick
                              The Other Rick

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