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Thread summary:

Maine: generator motors, starters, alternators, buy business, buy land.

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Old 12-31-2007, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,502 posts, read 14,300,543 times
Reputation: 8951

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Think long and hard about the price of copper wire, particularly laquer coated copper wire.

That said, there is a need for rebuilt starters and generators for older equipment and owners of older equipment want to know the parts they buy are as reliable as their old tractor or airplane has always been.
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:09 AM
 
Location: some where maine
2,059 posts, read 3,644,234 times
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forest,i've got a 2006 kenworth with a 500 detroit ,the starter went bad last fall ,it cost $400.00 to replace becouse i could not find any one to rebuild my old one.when my alt,went bad last week i found an old guy in benton to rebuild it.a new one cost's $365 to rebuild minewas $145 if i was you id buy it theres money to be made if you want to put in time.rebuilding electric moters and altinators is a dieing art . i only wish there were more ppl out there that done that typ of work.
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Casco, Me. and Gray, Me.
73 posts, read 131,812 times
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I am not so much concer ned about running the business, so much as if I want to.
I wonder what will you do if in five years you find your sons aren't interested and want to move on to another line of work and you have the business by yourself and you have decided not to continue with it. Will it be a business which you can sell? Would you make a profit or at least be able to break even and know you enjoyed the experience?
I know I am not really helping you here. Sorry.
Have a safe new year.
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Old 12-31-2007, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,730 posts, read 47,517,527 times
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Acadianlion – “that's pretty heavy competition”
I honestly do not get that feeling.

Most of his business is ‘fleets’ [Cyr and the local towns] and then auto repair shops, very few of his customers are the walk-ins.

I do see the need to go and hang-out with the mechanics, however a higher quality product at a lower price should count for something.



Northern Maine Land Man-
Copper wire is getting more expensive everyday.

However tradesmen getting their hands dirty rebuilding these things is also a rarity.



RANGER.101ST-
“rebuilding electric motors and alternators is a dieing art”
“I only wish there were more people out there that do that type of work”

You and me both.



Spaige-
“I am not so much concerned about running the business, so much as if I want to.”
Same here.

“I wonder what will you do if in five years you find your sons aren't interested and want to move on to another line of work and you have the business by yourself and you have decided not to continue with it. Will it be a business which you can sell? Would you make a profit or at least be able to break even and know you enjoyed the experience? I know I am not really helping you here”
Good points.

Sam has told me that in the last five years, a few of his customers [mechanics themselves] have approached Sam, asking for Sam to hire-on their sons, to apprentice them.

Sam views his time as valuable and has refused, unless he gets paid to teach those young men.

So I think that perhaps some local mechanics see the need and the value of having someone in the area who does this kind of work.

[What an ornery old cuss he is]

My wife and I have discussed hiring others to work in the shop. Myself working in it fulltime. Then bringing in each of our sons. [Our eldest is currently a OTR truck driver and has expressed a desire to move here and do deliveries for us. Our younger son to work doing the rebuilding.]

We have discussed the possibility of hiring Vo-Tech kids from the highschool to apprentice in the rebuilding. I mean no insult to dear sweet Sam, however to focus on rebuilding does take a certain mentality. Hiring others to work doing the re-building would likewise require that particular personality. 8 hours each day of assembly line factory work is just not the right fitting job for everyone.

KAF here knows our younger son, and she feels that it would be an excellent fit for him.
If after five years our youngest no longer desires to work there, he most certainly can go elsewhere.
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Old 12-31-2007, 02:49 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport Maine
1,324 posts, read 2,551,009 times
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Forest - sounds like a dream to me to be able to rebuild things that people need and can't afford to by new. Seems like you'd be doing the community a good service to continue that shop or in helping your son to continue the business.

Kudos to you for even thinking about doing it, whether you decide to or not. I think it's a wonderful thing to ponder!
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Old 01-01-2008, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Midwest
3,711 posts, read 6,722,140 times
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This sounds like something you have a hankering to do.

Providing secure, meaningful and reliable employment for your son is an honorable mission.

It sounds like a great business. Computerized and online, these parts could sell anywhere.
American parts, American labor, profits stay in and support America...I know there are plenty of people who would be glad to buy such parts. Me for starters.
I'd be glad to spread the word at the auto enthusiast sites I haunt.

As you say, managing and bookkeeping are not your major concerns. Expansion into allied areas such as apprenticing, which could lead to affiliation or cooperation with local high schools, and if there are any vocational schools or colleges nearby, then those too are possibilities.
You mention some mechanics have approached Sam regarding apprenticing their sons. Or daughters, I guess. As you know and have mentioned, this type of work will appeal to a certain personality that can/will attend to detail, appreciates routine, would prefer working with things than with people, and is a stickler for perfection. Despite ever-slackening societal standards of behavior and work ethic, I'm sure there are still plenty of those folks around.

Windmill generators, pedal-powered generators, where this could go is limited only by imagination and time.

Acadianlion, RANGER.101st, spaige, and others have made excellent comments and asked excellent questions.

As a point of reference, it might be interesting and useful to visit his son's shop...even if you have to cross over the border to The Dark Side.
Or as my father called it, the (Mass-NH border) real Mason-Dixon Line.

If you jump on this, just watch out that you don't turn into an ornery old cuss.

Last edited by Dwatted Wabbit; 01-01-2008 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Kronenwetter, Wis
444 posts, read 973,267 times
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Maybe you could include in your customer base old car enthusiasts. Sometimes its hard to find NOS (new old stock) starters and generators for, say, a '36 Ford, '57 Hudson, Edsels, etc. You could put ads in a few old cars publications, and let yourself be known to the online clubs. A vendor that would provide good, reliable, fast return time service and establish a good rep among the car guys, would flourish, imho. There's a few out there now of course, but always room for one more I would think. Last summer the gen in my 59 Ply died but luckily my parts car gen turned out to be good. Now looking to have my original rebuilt before summer, so to have a spare on hand.
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Midwest
3,711 posts, read 6,722,140 times
Reputation: 5639
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportFury59 View Post
Maybe you could include in your customer base old car enthusiasts. Sometimes its hard to find NOS (new old stock) starters and generators for, say, a '36 Ford, '57 Hudson, Edsels, etc. You could put ads in a few old cars publications, and let yourself be known to the online clubs. A vendor that would provide good, reliable, fast return time service and establish a good rep among the car guys, would flourish, imho. There's a few out there now of course, but always room for one more I would think. Last summer the gen in my 59 Ply died but luckily my parts car gen turned out to be good. Now looking to have my original rebuilt before summer, so to have a spare on hand.
Great idea. I suspect there are several niches like this where there's room for a quality, reliable, USA product.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,730 posts, read 47,517,527 times
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Thank you everyone, good suggestions all.

Our eldest son is not a people person and would be a terrible salesman. He wants to drive trucks. He is currently hauling squashed cars from junkyards to steel yards. He wants to come here to continue doing that while salvaging starter motors and alternators. I do not think that him doing such would truly be a big source of units though.

I would plan on putting the shop's entire stock inventory onto a PC database and running a server, so local folks as well as those from away could all access my inventory. Local folks could order units for immediate delivery and folks from away would get their units shipped.

I think that a print-out sheet listing all of the components that where inspected and replaced during the unit's over-haul, and values hand-written in from dynamic testing to prove exactly how much each unit generates; would add to the 'quality' of each unit.

Each customer could see, when we ran dynamic tests exactly how that unit performed.

For now though, we must wait. I plan to speak with Sam, visit and drink coffee every other week and see if he comes around over the next few months.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:09 AM
 
874 posts, read 1,635,194 times
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I seriously doubt you would get bored with it. Since you are already looking for ways to expand and liven it up I'm sure you will find ways to keep your interest over the long run. Plus as long as you insure the reputation of the product remains high you would have a nice little gem to sell if you did decide it isn't for you in a few years.
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