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  1. #1
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    Default advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Good morning everybody. I might be getting R50k to go towards opening a business, sometime in the near future. I want to start a workshop, focusing on mostly tractors and trucks and the odd car and bakkie. There aren't any places in our area that offer this kind of service. I went to Addendorf to look for stuff and I have attached my "wish list". Am hoping that someone can advise on what tools and things I could or should put in the list. My idea is to also have the capability to go work where the vehicles are as well being able to work on them from home. That's why I put the petrol compressor, for example. To that end I have access to a Hyundai bakkie where I can load everything should the need arise.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    You are a mechanic I presume ?
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



    Ford Figo 2016

  4. #3
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    You are a mechanic I presume ?


    My Jeep is like the Ship of Theseus...

  5. #4
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    The only advice is to make sure the bakkie can't get stolen...........
    Jakes Louw
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
    Percivamus

  6. #5
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    You are a mechanic I presume ?
    Of arboreal persuasion...

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Job costing

    Nail that before you buy the tools. A lot of your success will depend on making profit.

    Then understand the job categories you will need to deal with. When I did my trade at Audi/VW, I would say at least 60% of the work was regular servicing, not requiring a lot in terms of tools.

    Specific Audi/VW models would present with specific problems, we did a lot of clutch replacements on the GTi for example whereas Beatles, Kombis and 411s were mainly oil leaks requiring an engine out. Audi 500s were pneumatic central locking issues. Different tool set required.

    Get to grips on where you want to focus specifically and tool up accordingly. Before buying that range of tools, perhaps spend some of the money on a business management course.

    Good luck
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

    Hummer H3 V8

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwaji View Post
    Of arboreal persuasion...

    Hahahahaha, a sense of humour is good
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

    Hummer H3 V8

    #itsnotaboutME

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Firstly.... where are you?
    Secondly.... donít over-capitalise on new tools. Hit the flea markets ( know new prices beforehand). Look on Gumtree or Marketplace.
    Thirdly.... donít give up your day job until you are damn sure you can generate work.

    Donít count on seeing anything for at least 3 months. Basically, if you can pay the rent youíre doing well.

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  14. #9
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Working on tractors - think about a trolley jack. power washer to get rid of years of oil and dirt - specially where you are as I guess it will be old trucks and tractors.
    Good luck - not easy but it can work in those remote areas.

  15. #10
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryFrank View Post
    Firstly.... where are you?
    He is Eastern Cape, rural
    Robert van den Berg

    '98 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Kitty'
    '02 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Bully'

  16. #11
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    You're socket set sorts out the bigger sizes for tractors.

    You're choice of deep sockets is wrong....you have an overlap on the same sizes in the two sets....and you're max is 24. You gonna need 27,30,32.....

    Not so sure about the bottle jack....I would opt for a long reach 8t or 11t trolley jack. Or maybe supplement that to bottle jack

    Then some heavy I-beam pieces and heavy duty trestles like the 3t ones Adendorff sells. That is for when you need to split the tractor

    M2CW
    Robert van den Berg

    '98 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Kitty'
    '02 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Bully'

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  18. #12
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    ....and the ubiquitous Torque Wrench
    Robert van den Berg

    '98 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Kitty'
    '02 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Bully'

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Depends on the tractors you wil be working on and what exactly you will be doing i recently made the transition from cars and bakies to heavy diesel and i needed to acquire sockets to the size of 42mm. I have mainly worked on Perkins the last 2 years.

    Good luck and hope all the best to you on your venture to be successful
    DIESEL POWER

  21. #14
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    I fully agree what is below.

    Trip to CT on Saturday can bring a lot of good tools.

    Some of these 2nd hand places are expensive. I have been to quite a few of them. I would buy only "brand" names. As 2nd hand it is possible to find them on a good price.

    How to get spares?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryFrank View Post
    Firstly.... where are you?
    Secondly.... donít over-capitalise on new tools. Hit the flea markets ( know new prices beforehand). Look on Gumtree or Marketplace.
    Thirdly.... donít give up your day job until you are damn sure you can generate work.

    Donít count on seeing anything for at least 3 months. Basically, if you can pay the rent youíre doing well.
    Jouko
    ----------
    2003 Grand Cherokee 4.7l
    2012 Smart
    Never drive a normal car 8)

  22. #15
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwaji View Post
    Good morning everybody. I might be getting R50k to go towards opening a business, sometime in the near future. I want to start a workshop, focusing on mostly tractors and trucks and the odd car and bakkie. There aren't any places in our area that offer this kind of service. I went to Addendorf to look for stuff and I have attached my "wish list". Am hoping that someone can advise on what tools and things I could or should put in the list. My idea is to also have the capability to go work where the vehicles are as well being able to work on them from home. That's why I put the petrol compressor, for example. To that end I have access to a Hyundai bakkie where I can load everything should the need arise.
    Fake it till you make it...worked for me back in the day...you will learn very quickly from your mistakes.
    Best of luck to you

  23. #16
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    I would take my youthful energy and get an 8 ton flat bed with some of the money.
    You will need assistance: through supplier services, parts, diagnotics, etc half the time you will be driving for in-situ repairs in any case - a riskier proposition.
    One day...after knowledge base, skills, relationships are built - aspire to open a dedicated shop.

  24. #17
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    Make sure you have a very powerful cordless impact wrench, a huge sanity and time saver

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  26. #18
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    the main reason most new businesses fail is cashflow, plenty of profitable businesses go bust simply because they cant pay suppliers and staff while waiting on customers to pay them.

    R50k aint going to cover much so make sure you have the funds to keep you going while waiting for cash to start coming in. Also if you dont get paid you just fixed things for free so dont release anything until the money is in the bank.
    Anton Muller

    "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." Christopher Hitchens.

    2020 X3 M40i
    Birkin SR20VET race car

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  28. #19
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    All of the advice on this thread is excellent.

    And it's nice to read something without a bunch of doomsayers.

    Good luck OP.

    My only advice would be to make sure you can always call on extra labour, you will be dealing with heavy machinery and can easily overstretch physically.

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  30. #20
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    Default Re: advice on starting mechanic workshop

    I started a workshop just about a year ago.

    I have many advantages that most other shops would not have, as most of the "infrastructure" was in place already (building, office, etc). I have two mechanics (father and son team) and they are also directors of the company. They brought a lot of their own tools, which also helped.

    I'm by no means a mechanic, but I'm mechanically minded, so I run everything that doesn't involve an actual spanner. One of the biggest headaches for me was getting the correct software for quotes, etc. Luckily someone pointed me to AutoManage. It is a stunning system, makes estimates, quotes, bookings, invoicing sooo easy and it's web based. It is bloody expensive, but worth every cent to me.

    We are now getting return customers, and we are slowly but surely growing. My idea was not to necessarily support all 3 of us in full from the start, but to rather help pay for the property that I already have and also houses my panelbeating shop.

    I wish you all of the best with your new endeavour, I have a strong suspicion it will be a roaring success.
    Current: 2012 Volvo V40 D3 Elite Geartronic

    SWAMBO: 2016 Volvo XC60 D4 Inscription Geartronic

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