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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    10

    Choosing contractor/one truck Co. vs multiple truck Co.

    Hello all and thanks again for all responses. I have previously posted and have been getting quotes for replacement of my central a/c heater in Phila. I have received quotes from York, Lennox, Ruud and American Standard so far. Some quotes have been from independent contractors (solo truck), some manufacturer web site connected with multiple trucks. Unless I am blown out of the water by one more quote from a carrier dealer today it comes down right now to an
    #1 American Standard Cutomer care dealer-6 trucks
    4a7a6036g1-condensor
    auh2b080a9ve-furnace
    4txcb004cc3-coil
    acont802 control
    X dollars with 10 year factory warranty
    #2-Ruud independent solo truck-did alot of what is expressed on this site a contractor should do for quote-son-in-law of friend his business not side work-in business several years
    rgfe09ezcms-furnace
    uarl036jec-condensor
    uhctst550-controller
    waiting on coil #
    2.2% less than #1-offering 5 years labor from him-I know he could go off map anytime

    Is there anywhere that an consumer could purchase an extended labor warranty that is good?

    Pro's and con's of either system and best choice for piece of mind?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,467
    As to brands, not a lot of difference. But one thing to consider about the Am. Std. labor/parts warranty (as I remember). If all the equipment, including accessories such as thermostat, humidifier and air cleaner are Am. Std. branded are installed then the labor/parts warranty ALSO EXTENDS TO THE OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT!!! If this is your case, then warranty coverage will be better!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,989
    Load calculation?
    Much more important than number of trucks.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,090
    Why does the # of trucks matter?

    The last shop drove Benz trucks and cars top of the line everything. If you ask me it's a decoy to take away from the hack work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,956
    I drove used vans; only one at a time as I did all the service work & installs myself.

    The guy driving an older vehicle just might be the best, never downgrade a contractor/Tech because they're not driving the latest flashy service vehicle.

    Learn all you can concerning excellent service work, ductwork airflow, & installs; then ask qualifying questions; pick the one that knows their stuff & is willing to do every aspect of the job right...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    518
    dont judge a book by its cover

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    518
    one truck likely means lic. owner operated and qualified tech.doing the work instead of getting some new guy that the major 50 truck guy just hired

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    1,753
    I started my company 16 years ago. I hired my son 6 months later. Now another son works with us as well. We hired two men as installers 18 months ago. We went from one truck to two to three to four. No matter how many trucks we had, we were still the best.

    Look at their references and the quality of the work rather than the brand of equipment.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,003
    I'm curious as to how you found out how many trucks each had. Did someone brag about how many they had and that prompted you to ask the others?

    As for the labor warranty.... A system that is sized and installed correctly, has it's air filters changed as needed and has yearly maintenance "should" never see a failure in the first five years that would require additional labor charges. This of course doesn't apply to "acts of God" which is why you should have homeowner's insurance.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central Fla.
    Posts
    311
    The only, and I mean only draw back I see with a 1 truck company is the response time when you need it. If he/she has installed a bunch in the course of a year and for some unforeseen reason there are multiple "emergency" calls at night or on the weekend, I see this as a potential issue(getting there in a reasonable time). Now with that said I am in no way saying you shouldn't support the smaller companies they (small buisnesses) need all they can to survive.Most do an excellent job at satisfying the customer, just make sure they are liscensed.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    10
    1. I did not and do not want to give the impression that I have anything against a one man truck vs multiple truck businesses as I am sure both have bad/mediocre/good/excellent installations and service. My concern which I did not state clearly was the labor portion of the warranty. One would be backed by the factory Americans Standard/Trane for 10 years. The other is 5 years labor by the contractor himself whom I am impressed with and I truly believe has a vested interest and offered the 5 years labor coverage when informed about the 10 year offer. I am concerned as I do not know if he will be here in years 1-5, let alone 6-10, I have no reason or gut feeling he would not be. If he is here the entire 5 years what happens if a significant issue occurs in years 6-10, what are the potential labor costs in the future to make the repair (we would all need a crystal ball) whereas I could call the 800 number for Trane to transfer the extended warranty if the installer CO. left the business in years 1-9 for any reason. Like all complex equipment with regular routine maintenance it could last without a problem for the 10 years or have a significant problem occur anytime during the 10 year factory parts warranty portion. Thanks again for all responses and once again no intent to give impression I was against a small business (solo truck) or was impressed by numerous trucks with fancy graphics

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,467
    In my humble opinion, you could be faced with one to two thousand for labor during years 6 thru 10 easily. Hopefully not, but you could be. But another thing to worry about is that most small businesses (@80%?) fail within their first five years. If he is established and past this period, then that's a feather in his cap for sure. If he has a health problem a week after the install....uh...it'll suddenly be your problem too. You are making good points and asking important questions!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,060
    Stick with the factory warranty, your reasoning is valid. As far as the smaller companies go, I would choose a small operation over large without knowing anything about either. I have done training at companies with excess of 200 and individual operations, you will find good and bad across the board.
    Research and find someone that you are comfortable with.

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