Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

Havent Been Around Much Lately (kinda Long Guys Sorry)


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 dodge trucker ONLINE  

dodge trucker
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 19314
  • 1,440 Thanks
  • 1,897 posts
  • Location: kankakee

Posted April 13, 2013 - 11:00 PM

spinning my wheels and not accomplishing anything (at home, anyway).

I did get that job that I was hoping I would, got out of turning wrenches in '05 and its like I never left...
Some may know but I now work for the State of Illinois as a fleet mechanic, as of 3/1.  cars and trucks/vans to 1 ton.  I was a auto mech for 18 years ending in 05 for a living, much of that 18 years was 2 jobs at a time....  I now drive farther for work than I ever have (45 miles ea way to work and back home)  but the "package" I got was hard to turn down. I never left wrenching for lack of desire or being "tired" of it, but at the time I left, it was because of wages going "flat line" while bills went up. Back then I was mainly a front end alignment/suspension/brake guy, for most of those years. but did varying amounts of "everything automotive",  at one time or another.

 

Since '05 I went into Industrial maint in a steel mill for a couple years, made such good money there (LOTS of over time was available, and I was as "OT hungry", as the company would allow me to be)  as to be "spoiled"; that was, til I had a chain saw kick back while taking a stump out in my own front yard, nearly cost me my right foot in Sept of 07. I wound up on SS Disability shortly later because of it, that was as far as I could get from where I wanted to be, then at 40 YO.

 

I wound up going back to school for AG Business, graduated May of '12,  "high honors" It was weird going to school with (among others) 3 kids that my son had just graduated HS, with 2 years ago.

 

I figured that with my industrial/mechanical experience, liking working outdoors as much as possible,  plus the fact that "we gotta eat" I would have no problem finding work in that field. but since I had no direct ag related job experience I found that nobody would hire me at any wage. Growing up in a
"farm town" and hanging out at your buddy's farm wasn't "enough" for any employers around me  and I live smack dab in the middle, of ALOT of farmland...

  so I was looking around on the computer one day and saw the State was looking for a couple of wrench turners; so I took the test to qualify and got a call for an interview ~6 weeks later,  2-1/2 months after that, I (finally) started working there.  With today's job market, you are "stuck" whether you like it or not// there is no career change happening in your 40s these days.  Good thing I still like wrenching,  so far these last 6 weeks have been like I never left. One thing I didn't miss then and still don't,  are the tool bills. Back then it was Snap on Mac and Matco trucks to pay every week,  now I am scouring Ebay and Amazon for deals on tools that went missing and others that I didn't seem to need back then. I was hoping I could go back in pretty well "set" in that department. I was sure wrong there.

Leaves $0 for tractors and such for now,...til I get a few more paychecks, anyhow.  I did manage to get the new battery for my Woods ZTR and get the oil changed and all the grase fittings greased, just gotta sharpen the blades and it should be ready to go for another year,  gotta fire up the Troy Horse and the push mower I use for the ditches in the next few days.  I have a neighbor across the road that I anticipate needing his garden tilled after spending the last month or so in a rehab after breaking a hip.

 

Aside from that, I did a side job on another neighbor's Jeep (replaced trans and clutch)  been working on my Apache camper,  got my 2 post lift ready to put up,  something I picked up on Craigslist for too good of a price to say "NO" to, last Fall. Then I can work on my own stuff without laying on my back  any more,  just like I do the cars at work.

 

  Just gotta finish cleaning my obstacle course of a garage so I can put it up.

 


  • MH81, hamman, tractorgarden and 5 others have said thanks

#2 chris m OFFLINE  

chris m

    Tractorholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8148
  • 3,277 Thanks
  • 4,033 posts
  • Location: Charlestown,Rhode Island

Posted April 13, 2013 - 11:14 PM

Congrats on the new job! Glad to here things are starting to look better!

 

It is funny how our lives seem so.. similar lol. I too was a front end Tech. Then got into Industrial. The job market is tough around here too, all the good places have moved to China. ( my last 2 employers even)

 

I wish you the best and hope things continue to improve for you! And I'm glad you stopped in to let us know how things are going.


  • larryd and dodge trucker have said thanks

#3 KennyP ONLINE  

KennyP

    FORDoholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2253
  • 28,503 Thanks
  • 39,730 posts
  • Location: Collinsville, Oklahoma

Posted April 14, 2013 - 04:54 AM

Glad to hear you are back into steady work. Good to see a post again. Best of luck finding the tools you need!


  • dodge trucker said thank you

#4 boyscout862 ONLINE  

boyscout862
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 8923
  • 9,803 Thanks
  • 7,543 posts
  • Location: N.E. Connecticut

Posted April 14, 2013 - 06:36 AM

Congratulations on the job. A state job should give you long term benefits that you will appreciate in twenty years. I'm 61 and have been looking for work for almost 2 years. In Sept I figure I'll just start SS.

When looking for tools check out weekend swap meets. I've come across everything at one time or another. Good Luck, Rick
  • dodge trucker said thank you

#5 pigsitter OFFLINE  

pigsitter

    enjoyin the livin part of life!

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10704
  • 1,227 Thanks
  • 1,083 posts
  • Location: southern Illinois

Posted April 14, 2013 - 06:49 AM

Glad to see you found work,as someone in your age range I know how difficult it can be,good luck in finding tools in addition to what others have said I'd also be checking out auctions,rummage and estate sales,I've seen lots of good tools go for cheap,luck plays a big part.


  • dodge trucker said thank you

#6 MH81 ONLINE  

MH81

    Proud to be Deplorable

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 802
  • 27,319 Thanks
  • 28,636 posts
  • Location: N. W. PA

Posted April 14, 2013 - 07:01 AM

Congrats on the new job and thanks for taking 5 to let us know you are still kicking.

Best of luck on finding tools, by chance have you put an ad in the local paper? May be someone 3 minutes away with something you need.
  • dodge trucker said thank you

#7 ol' stonebreaker ONLINE  

ol' stonebreaker
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 12515
  • 1,318 Thanks
  • 984 posts
  • Location: idaho

Posted April 14, 2013 - 08:04 AM

  Good to hear from ya, DD!! In today's economy you're fortunate to find a decent job. As for the tool needs, are you talking special tools?

                                               Mike


  • dodge trucker said thank you

#8 dodge trucker ONLINE  

dodge trucker
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 19314
  • 1,440 Thanks
  • 1,897 posts
  • Location: kankakee

Posted April 14, 2013 - 09:03 AM

  Good to hear from ya, DD!! In today's economy you're fortunate to find a decent job. As for the tool needs, are you talking special tools?

                                               Mike

yeah, a lot of it is specialty.  like my ball joint press, I have an old beat up "basic" one, but I have been needing different adapters that I never used to seem to need, OTC has several "kits" and none seem available separately, nor do the kits appear to have a "bill of materials" showing what exactly comes with each;  because what I DON'T want is to buy their kits and wind up with 4 of one piece I'll never use (like Hon-duh crap) and none of something I do need....Id like to see what all comes with each before I buy any more/ I'm gonna have to see what is with tehse 2 sets I bought before I get any more from them, plus let my Discover card "recover"  as I have been "busy" with it.

But I know that having gone straight to the Mac or Snap on trucks it would have been about triple what I have spent so far this year.

I would up buying their master truck one and a ford/Mazda car one (never work on anything Mazda but it was "part of it")  man was there a huge spread in prices via Ebay and Amazon....

Besides that I cant believe how many end wrenches, sockets and such that have gone missing since I got out of wrenching... all that time my big Matco box was right here at home.  so I have been buying pieces here and there to fill them in again,  but if I have a Mac "set" I dont like filling in the holes with some other brand,   so I have been buying mostly from Ebay from guys that separate their sets out  a socket here, a combo wrench there, to complete my sets,  if not part of a "set" I have been buying more brands like Williams and Proto.

Its funny growing up in an "everything Sears" house I was brought up thinking "truck brands" were just too expensive" and  Challenger, Proto, Blackhawk, Williams etc were "junk"   if Craftsman had it that was the brand we had to have...

Well since getting into wrenching for a living I have spent way more than I care to remember on the trucks, and that a lot of MAC really is Proto "re stamped" so to speak and Williams really is Snap on at a better price. I never consider HF crap unless it is just to get me out of a bind. I hate China made anything.


Edited by dodge trucker, April 14, 2013 - 09:04 AM.


#9 916 hydro OFFLINE  

916 hydro
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10159
  • 114 Thanks
  • 139 posts
  • Location: dillsboro IN

Posted April 14, 2013 - 09:21 AM

non name brand tools can be pretty good if you know whats what. im not a profesional mechanic but i still like to have decent tools i have a lot of older armstrong stuff thats pretty good i like williams and i have a bunch of it cause my stepdad used to get it on "industrial discount".  i have a large carry around tool box i keep stocked up with harbor freight stuff because when tools leave the shop that seems to be when they come up missing


  • dodge trucker said thank you

#10 HDWildBill ONLINE  

HDWildBill

    Freedom is not Free. Thank those in uniform for your freedom.

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 6354
  • 8,712 Thanks
  • 8,564 posts
  • Location: Ga

Posted April 14, 2013 - 09:21 AM

I don't think you have been spinning your wheels DD.  It sounds more like forward progress with a few set backs to me but all in all I think you have done well.  

 

I know HF tools aren't considered quality tools, but a few years ago when I decided to go into small engine repair, I found my self in a similar position with my tools.  For me HF has been a big help and I have found that a lot of their tools work quite well.  Plus when you look at Craftsman and some other higher end tools they are made in China as well.  Just an option that may help get you by until you can afford a better tool.  


  • dodge trucker said thank you

#11 John@Reliable OFFLINE  

John@Reliable

    Procrastinators unite tomorrow

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 36
  • 1,295 Thanks
  • 1,416 posts
  • Location: Boston- Cape Cod MA

Posted April 14, 2013 - 12:47 PM

Thanks for the update, I remember when you posted about getting the job :thumbs:

P.S. on the special tools you need, I've been know the "rent" tools from Auto-zone and forget to return them, not the best but usually not the cheapest line either, ( not like it sounds, you have to buy them, but get your $$ back if returned.)

Also check on Amazon.com and eBay.  


  • dodge trucker said thank you

#12 oldtimer OFFLINE  

oldtimer
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 10588
  • 374 Thanks
  • 339 posts
  • Location: south of Boston

Posted April 14, 2013 - 01:30 PM

Sounds like you're doing alright now, Dodge trucker.  Glad you found a job. As others have said, you may not need top of the line stuff right now, so get what you can when you can.  Good luck! :thumbs:


  • dodge trucker said thank you

#13 dodge trucker ONLINE  

dodge trucker
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 19314
  • 1,440 Thanks
  • 1,897 posts
  • Location: kankakee

Posted April 14, 2013 - 05:41 PM

I did this kind of work for 18 years before, I have ALOT of tools now, just trying to mostly fill in "holes" --a socket here an extension there etc that have gone missing. what I DON'T get?  Working with others in a professional repair shop setting, and then in an industrial maintenance setting,   I didn't see near as much of my stuff disappear  as I have in the last 7 years or so that I have had everything at home.  I used to have enough tools for my fulltime job, most of enough for my 2nd job, and enough "basics" for home..... IDK where it all "went" to.  Working with others and borrowing back n forth  and having people "forget" who they borrowed stuff from,  I never lost so much, as I have since I have had all my tools right here.

 

and if I have a set of say MAC  combo wrenches, I want to fill in the holes with MAC.  or Snap on or Armstrong or who ever.  I hate having a set of "mostly" Matco, with holes filled in with Craftsman for example. I have tools of many brands not totally "loyal" to any one brand  I'm just talking within the various sets I have. so that's what I have been after; like the 1/2" drive 6 point MAC shallow impacts.  I am missing the 1-1/8" out of it and right now I have a 12 point Craftsman chrome filling the hole in the rack. that drives me nuts.  I'm watching Ebay for a Mac just like the rest of that set is. new off the truck is $26, the only one on Ebay so far wants $23 for that one.  I have found a lot of my "missing" truck brand stuff among Ebay for 25%-40% of "list, a piece.  Still life time warrantee, so I don't care if it is used when I get it.

 

I went thru my MAC, my MATCO, my Armstrong and my Williams stuff filling in holes with like brands that match that particular set, still gotta go thru the Snap on and do the same. 

I do find though that I'm needing a b'gger tool chest for home even after I went thru everything and figured out what to take and what to leave behind... once I get a few more checks I will be scouting C-List for a double bay Mac, Matco, Snap on, maybe a  Lista or a Waterloo or Kennedy  roll a round, for home now that my double bay Matco top n bottom is back at my work.  i'd rather have "used" US or Canadian made than a new Chinamade and that goes for anything.

 

When I was working on cars previously I dealt with mostly tool truck brands. When I went to Industrial maintenance I had more  brands like Williams, Proto, and Armstrong  available (Williams is a division of Snap on) 


Edited by dodge trucker, April 14, 2013 - 05:45 PM.


#14 dodge trucker ONLINE  

dodge trucker
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 19314
  • 1,440 Thanks
  • 1,897 posts
  • Location: kankakee

Posted April 14, 2013 - 05:55 PM

It took me a whole month longer to start this job than I was originally told. I went thru the drug and back ground tests just fine and a week before I was "supposed to" start the HR department called me with a surprise,  a surprise that wouldn't have come up at any other State garage in Illinois;  This one happens to be on the grounds of a Max security Prison  so with a week to go before I was supposed to start, Illinois Dept of corrections said "Whoa; your new guys (3 of us) aren't starting nothing on this property til WE check them out" so I had an 8 page questionnaire from Corrections that I had to fill out, on which the questions they asked didn't make sense for the job I have, plus I had to go to my last 3-4 jobs myself,  with a job reference form that my former employers had to fill out, going back to all my jobs I've had from like 1995 ish til now... I have never had to go get my own, HR at what ever job I was after has always done that...  and another drug test, they really dragged their feet getting that scheduled.  Add in the fact that they absolutely refuse to start a new hire between pay periods *(pay is "twice a month"--not quite the same as "every 2 weeks")  I do like the hours,  7:30-4 Mon-Fri; no weekends no nights and no stinking swing shift like my last job.



#15 dodge trucker ONLINE  

dodge trucker
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 19314
  • 1,440 Thanks
  • 1,897 posts
  • Location: kankakee

Posted April 14, 2013 - 06:16 PM

one of my 1st jobs while I still lived with Mom and Dad was at an auction house, I did everything but "call" the sale while there.  this was LONG before Ebay, most don't know what a real auction is these days.  I still go to more than my share, that's where a lot of my small engines and tractors that I get thru here come from. I play with em a while, sell em  and find more.  (I have been buying a lot less of that sort of things these last couple years though, have too many I am trying to just "catch up" on  like the 12 HP Kohler Magnum I have as an identical spare to what's on my zero turn (that mower will probably never leave LOL) all remachined  I have new OEM Kohler  piston rod, gaskets etc for it already,  and its sitting under the bench, the freshly bored cylinder and fresly- 0'010-under crank journal catching rust. got my camper half done, whittling on that,  I did get my new to me, 9000 lb capacity car lift all refurbished, just gotta clean the mess so I can put it up.  spent today working on my Wrangler and Cherokee  (fixing sticky door latches on the Wrangler and a trans fluid cooler line leak on the Cherokee) and actually got that Woods ZTR out and mowed the 1st time of the season today....

 

On that car lift that's another story.  Something I have wanted since my 1st 18 year stint in professional auto repair;  I found it on CL last Oct. for a price I could not pass up,  I whittled the seller down a bit more, had to take my own "crew" up ~60 miles away to take it down myself (got to run it and see it work 1st that way!)  It sat on my trailer  a few months and I had to unload it so I could take my toolbox into the new job; so my son asked if he could set it off at his work for a few days.... they got forklifts... no 2 guys are lifting these columns by hand! I asked him to take the trailer back and reload it, bring it home and he said "no it's in the booth"  He did sandblasting and powdercoating at that job, which he quit a couple weeks ago... but while there my son completely sandblasted everything except the motor and the hydraulic cylinders  and powdercoated the whole works for me.... it looks new now!! I am very anxious to get it put up and working again; I have less money in it than a good 4 ton, long chassis US made floor jack costs these days....

 

   then I gotta dig the trench so I can run gas from the house to the garage for my hanging Modine heater, cut the hole in the roof for the stack befre next winter,  finish insulating and sheating (I have the materials for that even)    it never ends....

Glad to see you found work,as someone in your age range I know how difficult it can be,good luck in finding tools in addition to what others have said I'd also be checking out auctions,rummage and estate sales,I've seen lots of good tools go for cheap,luck plays a big part.






Top