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Rough for Some, Not Others

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  • Rough for Some, Not Others

    Plumbing supply houses in my area are shut down on saturdays,

    starting later, shorter work days

    The new construction plumbers have been pulverized with lack of work.


    A few plumbing companies in Ohio have closed their doors but none in Kentucky, yet.

    A few plumbing companies have laid off all of their help except for the family related employees.

    There are no problems with workers of plumbing supply houses thinking their job is not secure, it isn't. I see familiar faces showing up in different places, still staying in the field but different address.

    A supply house that deals just with the big stuff, WinWater told me that it's been ugly and the turndown is coming. A statement was made "how far do you want to dip into your reserves" to keep it going.


    Always remember, when it's good, it's good. When it's bad, it's bad.

    It's no different when you look at a yard with grass and weeds, one holds out a lot better when times are tough, water is limited.

    Planning is key, working in industry that affords protection from hardships is crucial. A high paying job is useless if the job can't bend and turn directions when outside factors heavily change the equation.

    Service plumbers like myself aren't even seeing much of a change in the game other than a few more price shoppers than others.

    Plumbing always breaks, goes wrong, clogs. As good as what a nurse has it; people always sick and dying, needing repair.



    I think I took a pot shot at Ferguson's on this site or another, I should retract. I bought a ST-12 expansion tank and 2 Delta Remodel plates for under $80 a couple weeks ago.

    I was impressed. That still doesn't mean they are not going to have to close up shop, minimize.



    Use this thread posting to remark about the status of your hometown plumbing supply house.


    What you might see in the near future if someone finds the capital to do so, is to see a HAAAAAUGE company created to buy up all of these smaller, no-name supply houses with getting

    offered substantial money to sell, have the same idea of Lowe's or Home Depot.

    Big company comes in, little companies go out. You're buying 1000 3" SCH40 90's a week, Big company is buying a million a week, getting product so much cheaper and can sell cheaper than you, make a profit.


    Is it right? No, but it's a reality that's becoming the norm. Some losses in businesses take years to recover from, some never recover.

    Regrouping or restructuring can sometimes be a great beginning for a company to build a new business plan, cut costs and refine the end product.

    None of us wish hard times on supply houses and their owners, but you side step that statement if you only knew how they lived when times were good, how many vacations they took along with cigar boats, second homes and lavish living. I think people know what I'm getting at.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

  • #2
    Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

    The new construction plumbers have been pulverized with lack of work.
    My grandfather worked as a tile and stone contractor for over 50 years. He told me he's seen so many booms and recessions that it no longer phases him. During the building booms, everyone and their brother tries to get into the contracting business and the market ends up filled with low-life hacks and shoddy building going on.
    During the recessions, the building drops off, and only the strongest contractors survive. My grandfather used to say the recessions played an important role in weeding out some of the riff-raff that gets into the trade for the wrong reasons during building booms. I think he's right and I am starting to see it happen around here.
    I welcome the recession, let it come and let it go. Sometimes its sunny and sometimes it rains. The true contractors who love their job will survive the rainy days.
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    • #3
      Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

      Noticed a slight downturn around here but nothing too serious. 2 years ago we had 50+ employees, now down to 30 or so. Got rid of some dead wood hanging around. Going lean and mean for awhile. Guys are running around like chickens with their heads chopped off. I'm not buying into the panic. We are pretty well insulated from the economy ups and downs here inside the Capital beltway. I'm comforted knowing that after this falls election we will be feasting again. Every new administration brings money with them.

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      • #4
        Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

        It's rough at the shop I'm at. We used to have 2 guys in the office full time, and 4 trucks on the road with a total of 5 guys in the field(a small shop).

        At the start of the slow down, one of not focused, not knowledge guys left, I parked my first small truck, and started operating out of his larger nicer truck. (the sprinter).

        Recently the company just let another guy go. He was a young helper that thought he knew it all, and didn't like listening to others. He was also on the phone more than a tele-marketer.

        Currently we have 3 trucks, with 4 guys on the road. The boss gave me a heads up, as I'll probably have to join up with another guy, so there will only be 2 trucks, and 4 guys on the road. I'll still keep my truck, but will park it every day it's not needed. The fuel's getting too costly. He said we spend around $670 a week in fuel.

        Btw, I'm only about 45 minutes away from Bill (PlumbersCrack). Funny how such a short distance welds such a different market.
        Proud To Be Union!!

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        • #5
          Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

          Remember that thread where I asked if I should stay Navy? This ressecion(can't spell tonight) has decided that for me. Great thread Dunbar.
          Buy cheap, buy twice.

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          • #6
            Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

            The Plumbi ng I ndustry is not unlike other Industrues as there will always be good times and bad times. When work is good we over-work ourselves so when things are bad we have a little saved to help us through it. That being said to be successful in business it is important to search out the little niches no one else can do so you guarantee yourself extra areas to work.

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

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

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            • #7
              Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

              times like this also helps to purge out the bottom feeders that bleed everyone by whoreing out ther services doing jobs way to cheap and hacks that steal from legitimate companies who stand behind there work and no what its worth. the good ones always no how to ride out the storm,the rest of em go where they belong away.

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              • #8
                Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

                Originally posted by aero1 View Post
                times like this also helps to purge out the bottom feeders that bleed everyone by whoreing out ther services doing jobs way to cheap and hacks that steal from legitimate companies who stand behind there work and no what its worth. the good ones always no how to ride out the storm,the rest of em go where they belong away.

                Very true. weed out the hacks!!

                In our local supply house I have seen 3 new ad's go up, new construction plumbers looking for work....hope they don't try to be service repair
                plumbers
                sigpic

                Robert

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                • #9
                  Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

                  i know this will probably piss some people of but an old timer once told me you cant teach a constuction plumber service but you can take a service plumber and teach him anything. the man was a mechanical genius, and thru the years ive heard others say the same thing and personally i believe it. though iam sure there are exceptions. just a little cya here.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

                    Originally posted by aero1 View Post
                    i know this will probably piss some people of but an old timer once told me you cant teach a constuction plumber service but you can take a service plumber and teach him anything. the man was a mechanical genius, and thru the years ive heard others say the same thing and personally i believe it. though iam sure there are exceptions. just a little cya here.

                    New construction plumbers can read blue prints and hopefully know the code, sizing,it takes skills of a service guy to diagnose problems.

                    On the other hand, I know service plumbers that cannot read prints or size systems, or lay them out.

                    I heard the same thing. I believe it too. I have done mostly repair in my career, but when I did do new construction, in new mexico, I was bored.

                    I stick to service and remodels
                    sigpic

                    Robert

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                    • #11
                      Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

                      very true were are the guys that have to come back and see thru the walls and into the abyss and figure out in some cases whats been done 100 years ago or even last year what went wrong offer a solution and in a lot of cases do a surgical repair and still leave the house standing. unsung heroes.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

                        The truth here is that the more things you know how to do, the more valuable you are. This brings me back to my "are you qualified thread" If you can do service, rough plumbing, residential, commercial, HVAC , drain cleaning. Know how to do some framing, masonary, sheetmetal, and finish carpentry, you greatly increase your potential to make money whatever the economy is doing. Never stand still in this trade, It will pass you by.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

                          Originally posted by aero1 View Post
                          i know this will probably piss some people of but an old timer once told me you cant teach a constuction plumber service but you can take a service plumber and teach him anything. the man was a mechanical genius, and thru the years ive heard others say the same thing and personally i believe it. though iam sure there are exceptions. just a little cya here.
                          * Steps up on the soap box *

                          If a man is focused, and is willing to put the hours, and ball busting work, I believe he can learn both new work, and service.

                          I can do res. service, res. remodels, res. new work, com. service, com. new work, to water services, to sewer lines, to septic systems, to drywells, perc tests, and I'm sure I've left something out.

                          This is because I worked at 3 different shops. Each shop 'had their own thing'. That's one positive thing from changing shops time to time. I'm not a job hopper, but it was definitely a smart move now that I look back. I learn a few new things, that the shop before couldn't.

                          Now, it will takes years to prefect each 'field' or 'niche'. Then again, every day is a new day, and if you apply yourself, you can learn something new.

                          This is our livelihood guys. Guys come and go, cause they can't do it all, and when service gets slow, they're gotta hit the road. Same with new work guys, you need to be able to do it all. It's like taking your car to get an oil change, and the mechanic telling you, he only changes tires. Learn everything you can, and remember it's never to late to try and learn something new.

                          * Steps off soap box. *
                          Proud To Be Union!!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

                            very good points, the last three posters

                            your a funny dude Aaron, pretty clever with the "Soap Box" lmao
                            sigpic

                            Robert

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                            • #15
                              Re: Rough for Some, Not Others

                              it defiantly wakes you up to the reality that the more you think you know is really just a place in the road. capability defined, able to do something, but on the backside we all are limited but beyond our own capabilities. so i choose to learn and when im done im dead. so in reguards to my comments they stand as boundaries you either achieve or view life from the cheap seats. but i still say a service tech rules

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