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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    204

    when work slows down what do you do?

    Not sure if im in the right place to post but it seemed this was the best place that I could find. I got to thinking this AM about this question as im going to be starting a new job soon and getting that feeling of the unknown. Were I work now I am not used to my full potential and bascily have to look to find something to do to make the day go by! It is horrable. My first job was as an oil tech and we noticed a few slow times due to having 20 or so oil techs and not enough service work. So they started taking on a bit more area for us to service, doing our own installs and teaming the guys up with other techs. That wasnt so bad IMHO. Then at my last job it was a smaller shop and the boss would have us do work on his house. To me thats not my thing. Anyway those are the ways ive seen some people do to get by in a slow time and I was wondering what you guys do when it slows down?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,618
    This time of the year when work slows I start working on my own stuff, do some PM around the house, work on the vehicles etc that have been neglected. I also am fortunate that my biggest time consuming hobbies require the fall season Hunting and Fishing. I keep my schedule open from Spring to Fall, allowing me to work when needed and however long is needed. But Fall and Winter are my time. Now I am not saying I don't do anything in the Summer, I take the family boating and small trips when I can, and the Wife and I saddle up the Road King and have been known to hide in a mountain for a weekend.
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,588
    Just wait for the first cold snap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Atlanta GA area
    Posts
    20,893
    Interesting question...

    Before HVAC I did remodeling... and still have a LONG database of folks who know me. When there is nothing else to do, and my personal stuff is more or less caught up, I will do some odds and ends home repair stuff. Most if it is small stuff; a DWH (water heater), faucets, disposers, etc. Generally it is billed as service call work.

    Last week I went to replace a DWH... in a house with the plbg in the slab. Long story short, had to chip away some concrete to fix a pinhole leak in the hot water line... took all day to change the DWH. I was paid well for the day... however it was a LOT of work.

    I have a customer that wants me to do some minor remodeling, the project is to rebuild the utility room (washer, dryer, cabinets, change to tankless, move a window and door, sheetrock, painting). Not sure if I want to take the whole thing on... may do it with a helper if the fall is really s l o w... $$$ is good.

    Still have lots of fall heat checks to do.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NW AR
    Posts
    2,478
    I kick back and enjoy some much needed R&R but understand some dont have that luxury. When my business was younger and I struggled more I would do just about anything. Helper for a plumber, roofer, remodeler. Jobs that I normally wouldnt take on like appliances, ceiling fans, etc. Like GA, I have alot of connections to other trades. That helped alot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Relax!! Chase ducks!! Go to my daughter's archery tournaments!! I am fortunate in that I have reached that time in my life that I don't need 40+ hrs a week to survive. Top of the pay scale and everything is paid off, for the most part. So now I don't freak out when work slows down. Didn't get there over nite though. When I was younger with a new wife and family and new to the trade I would do whatever I could find to supplement income when the slow down came. Roofing, carpet, scrapping, deliver pizza, cut fire wood, what ever I could find. Never liked doing side work in the trade myself but kids gotta eat and bills gotta be paid so I would do some change outs or duct repair or sealing for friends.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,594
    When the service calls slow down in ac, then I start to PM our walk in refrigeration equipment. I take care of approximately 35-40 walk in units. I try to work out any issues that I know about from the summer and catch anything else that needs attention. In the mix of all of that, I jump in and wash condensers of ac's as the weather cooperates.

    My last job I just chilled and played video games, but that was before having a wife and a son. Now I think I'd be with the other guys and find something to make any extra I could.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    204
    Well it seems about right with side work and all but I was refering to the 8 hr day or what not. For one boss working at his house powerwashing the house was a way to pay me for the day and keep me working, My opion I would have rather gone home and lost the money then do his chores. I have seen when I was doing nothing but oil service that when we became slow we got out a bit early and do pms. The company was big enough to keep us all busy with one thing or another but the smaller shops ive worked at seem to try to make work or help there employees make there 40 hrs.

    The money has never really been a big motivator for me. My wife gets when its slow and would rather me be home with her then screwing off at work trying to get through a day with no work. It seems some of you guys work for yourselves and make your own schedules,which is great something I look forward to be able to do one day. So the money part aside, Do you guys just take it easy do what little jobs you have and call it an early day or do your shops make work for you or give you some extra work that isnt really part of your job description?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,799
    If power washing the bosses house paid the same as fixing HVAC equipment, I wouldn't have a problem doing it. However, I would also like the option of washing the bosses house or taking a day without pay. It seemed we always had inventory to do. Whether on the vans, the service department, the equipment "garage" or the sheet metal shop. We were guaranteed 40 hrs. a week if we wanted it.
    A Veteran is a person, who at some point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for payment up to and including their life.
    Gene Castagnetti-Director of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii

  10. #10
    I try to set up jobs in the summer time, when a customer needs work done but know they can do without the repair (at least for a while, like repair chilled water line insulation) offer to make the repairs in the winter time, they kn

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Take the early days when I can get them. I'm with you on the not pressure washing the boss's house thing. I'm in a good size union shop and they used to try and help guys out that needed to work. Send them down to the yard to scrap out the change out pile and such. Not so much anymore. Owner retired and the boy running the show now so it's all about his money now. No calls? Go home!! Which works for me. Hate it for the younger guys that need hrs though.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Hebderson Ky
    Posts
    55
    I'm one of the younger guys that tommy knocker is talking about. I split wood at the bosses house before and was fine with it. He even bought us lunch. But no I don't even get a two hour show up due to them calling me off the day before. However 20 hrs a week and I'm good. Can't wait for duck season tommy knocker.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In a boiler room
    Posts
    7,049
    Slow time??? We are just starting the busy season here, no heat calls coming in and around 1,000 PMs to do.

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