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  • Operator maintenence

    I'm falling apart. I've been going too hard for too long. I've got a bunch of stuff I should be doing to maintain my equipment, and feeling guilty for being here instead. I've decided that I need to accept that I need maintenence in the form of downtime as much as the jetter engine needs it's oil changed, etc.

    Other owner/operators; do you make any rules for yourself about taking time for yourself? I've always just done what needed to be done as it came up, but it's not working for me anymore. With the growth of work, lately I'm having trouble doing it all, finding myself up very late and dead in the mornings, wasting time and letting things go undone and just getting by with trashed out equipment, and in general on a short fuse with a bad attitude.
    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

  • #2
    Re: Operator maintenence

    hire a mechanic that can come 1 day a week. maybe on a saturday.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Operator maintenence

      Are you a "Procrastinating Perfectionist?"

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Operator maintenence

        probably...

        I've actually considered Rick's suggestion in the past, but know that I will end up either hovering over the guy and making sure he does it how I want it and driving him crazy and not saving any time, or else cursing him later when I go to use something and it's not right.
        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Operator maintenence

          I think I have the same affliction on some accounts.

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Operator maintenence

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            hire a mechanic that can come 1 day a week. maybe on a saturday.

            rick.

            EXACTLY !

            You can't do everything yourself, I have learned that the hard way in the past.
            Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
            New: Pump Repair MagazineNew: Pool & Spa Pump Repair Forums

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            • #7
              Re: Operator maintenence

              i went to the shop this morning and completley dissassembled my spartan 1065 auto feed, yesterday i was on a 160ft. sewer and one of the drive bearings broke and i pulled it all out by hand. washed all parts off in deisel fuel , greased everything and installed all new drive bearings,pins, races and lower bearings and re assembled. i was just cleaning up my mess when a sewer call came in. sunday 70 ft. sewer, roots, easy sewer job- cha-ching in and out in 45 mins.!!!!! by the way the auto feed works great!!!!! i do all my own maintenence because i know it will be done right!

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              • #8
                Re: Operator maintenence

                I started working 6 days a week but had to stop working on Saturday otherwise the weeks started blending together.

                Sunday afternoon is maintenance (and Battery charging day).

                Vehicle Maintenance is my weakness I'm always behind on oil changes ect.... I guess that is why my radiator blew out Friday (2003 Dodge).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Operator maintenence

                  Here's how I TRY to work my week: Monday to Friday, I work seven to seven. If there are no early or late calls, that's paperwork and tool/truck maintenance time; also, if there are dead spots in the day, I fill in that time with paperwork and/or repairs, cleaning, marketing, all the things that continue to make the business tick.

                  Saturday, Sunday, holiday: off-limits. After seven at night, family. I think of it as a math problem: one third of the twenty-four hours should be sound asleep. That is non-negotiable. Another third will be family, friends, outside activities, community, school functions, charity, gym, hiking, music. The REMAINING time is for work. Long ago, as a young buck I worked every time there was work. I missed out on a lot of things. A LOT of things. Now, I demand balance in my life and take that balance very seriously. It is exactly why I am self-employed. You won't find a headstone that reads, "I wish I had spent more time at work." (I know: the seven-to-seven is HALF the day, but that balances out with the "no work between seven Friday night and seven Monday morning.)

                  Here's another question for you pros: How do you feel about "emergency" work, and would you ever consider not offering emergency service?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    36 hr day wr ?

                    7 to 7 = 12 hrs. 1/3 sleep, 1/3 family and 1/3 work. 12 + 12 + 12 = 36. not sayin nuten now, just askin, just askin. breid..................

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                    • #11
                      Re: Operator maintenence

                      Here's another question for you pros: How do you feel about "emergency" work, and would you ever consider not offering emergency service?[/QUOTE]
                      Sorry this is gonna be long.
                      I work alone. Had 17yrs exp. with family business. Did emergency calls, even when I wasn't on call, due to the morons we had, that couldn't get the job done, for some reason or another. We had average of 10 guys, & as many as 40. I just worked & slept, is what it seemed like.
                      When I went on my own, I said, no more emergency work. Some people get PO'd but the majority, & especially my good customers, understand. If they don't, then nothin I can do about it. Where is it written that plumbers have to provide emergency service. And all these Rooter guys travelin around after hours, I guarantee, are not the sharpest tools in the shed.So if you can't wait till next day for me (the actual owner of bus.) to come out, then let the Rooter 24hr guy come on out. I can't do everything, & have a happy life too!
                      Christmas day we had rain here, & I had a customer that called with backed up basement sewer. They just said I know you don't do emergencies, but can you recommend someone. I never got call till that night around 11pm when I got home. I called them back, & they said two 24hr guys stood them up. He kept majority of water down with puddle pump, & I cleared out his sewer 1st thing the next morning. 24hr guys never did even call back.
                      I have a message on my voice mail, that clearly states, I will call you back after 6pm, during the week, & my office is closed on weekends. And I "always" have backlog of work.
                      I have only 1 daughter, who plays travel softball. So I take off every weekend in June, July, & august for all the tournaments, & I have a blast & wouldn't miss it, for anything. She's 14 now, so I only have about 4 more years to do this with my family. I'm not gonna screw that up for a clogged sewer, thats been gurgling for 2 weeks, & now customer calls on weekend, when it stops up completely. Besides I live very comfortably, working weekdays.
                      I still go on emergency calls, but only if I'm avail. I did a water heater superbowl sunday, & a sewer call, following sunday.

                      When I first started on my own in 1995, about 3 months into it, I was installing new hot water baseboard heat in an addition, on a house approx. 1& 1/2 hrs drive time away. This was a 1 long day job for me, & very good money maker. I get a call from a friend, of friend, who I had done small side work for in the past. I actually had a pager back then, & this guy puts in his phone# with 911 after it. I'm not familiar with the number, so I thought something happened to my family or something, cuz not many people had my pager # yet. I call, & this guys sump pump is out, & wants me to come out now. I tell him I'm atleast 1-1/2 to 2hrs away & I can't come now. He proceeds to call me every word in the book, & berate me too. He has never talked to me since, & I see him at these friends get togethers about 4 or 5 times a year.
                      I felt horrible that day that I could not help him out, but it would have been a huge loss for me. He wasn't & never would be a great customer, & I can't leave this job, & drive 2hrs to put in a sump pump, & then have to go back to baseboard job next day.
                      Thats when I decided, I wasn't doing emergency service, & I haven't done it since, & never regretted it. In fact alot of my customers praise me for it.
                      In fact I would like to rename my co. name to Don,s "Scheduled" Plumbing Inc. LOL
                      Last edited by Don the plumber; 03-21-2010, 09:30 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Operator maintenence

                        Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                        I'm falling apart. I've been going too hard for too long. I've got a bunch of stuff I should be doing to maintain my equipment, and feeling guilty for being here instead. I've decided that I need to accept that I need maintenence in the form of downtime as much as the jetter engine needs it's oil changed, etc.

                        Other owner/operators; do you make any rules for yourself about taking time for yourself? I've always just done what needed to be done as it came up, but it's not working for me anymore. With the growth of work, lately I'm having trouble doing it all, finding myself up very late and dead in the mornings, wasting time and letting things go undone and just getting by with trashed out equipment, and in general on a short fuse with a bad attitude.

                        Maybe a part time drain tech to help out your work load. Possibly a retired guy looking for something to do on occasion or one day a week. Then you could do your own maintenance, the way you want it done. I know how much of a PITA mechanics can be.

                        It's a delicate balance. Some times you just have to bite the bullet and hire someone. I decided it was time for me after spending an hour laying in the driveway one morning after collapsing from exhaustion. Don't let it get that bad.
                        www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Operator maintenence

                          [QUOTE=Here's another question for you pros: How do you feel about "emergency" work, and would you ever consider not offering emergency service?[/QUOTE]

                          I only do emergency work for very good established customers. One's I feel secure in giving my cell phone number. One's that pay their bill on time without question or complaint. One's that haven't let the maintenance slide for ever and then consider thier problem my problem.

                          We used to pump septic tanks 24/7 but discovered, like many of you, that Joe Dumbass had been ignoring the signs for days, weeks or even months. Then they bitched about my regular rates being too high, not to mention if I even thought about charging them more for after hours.

                          It's not worth it to me to suffer the sleep loss or subject my employees to such nonsense. I give my drivers the option of working on saturdays or sundays if the customer asks about weekend appts. For the most part we are Monday through Friday only.
                          www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Operator maintenence

                            Sorry! 168 hours in a week. Five twelve-hour days is 60 hours, a bit more than one-third of all the available hours each week. BUT... two weeks vacation (at LEAST!) is 336 hours NOT at work. 15 holiday days off, or sick days, or FISHING days... that's another 360 hours off. (I'm not telling you about all the other times, like this afternoon when I took my wife to lunch!)

                            So: Total hours in a year is 8760
                            Deduct: Total hours sleeping: (2920) = 5840
                            Deduct: Vacation & holiday: ( 696) = 5144
                            Deduct: 225 work days (250-25) @ 10 hours = 2250 or 26% of the year!

                            26% work, 33% sleep, 41% everything else that makes life worth living!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Operator maintenance

                              due to an eye issue i can't really drive at night so that isn't an issue for me. i explain that i'll get there as soon as i can but it will not be tonight. if you must call someone else i understand.

                              as far as maintenance on the gear, well that's a when it happens it happens. i try to lube the machines, oil the cables, wash the van, straighten things up, reorder parts i need, and just do the normal stuff. sometimes i have to set a job back an hour to do the basics. only being in the business 3 years i've realized that i can not be everywhere or be everything at once or to everyone.

                              sewage in the house is an emergency, i try to get to you as soon as i can. a slow or stopped up kitchen sink is an inconvenience not an emergency. i'll get to you as soon as i can

                              steve
                              In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

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