free help at mower shop????

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  #1  
Old 05-07-03, 05:29 PM
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free help at mower shop????

Today me and my grampa went to a local lawn mower shop. It is just half a mile from both or our houses. We live out in the country so it's nice to have it right there. Well, it is owned and ran by an old guy, he must be in his late 60's to early 70's. Well, he is in that shop just by himself, nobody else. He does get buissness, but it isn't out of hand, so he always has 3 or 4 mowers to fix. Well, since as ya'll know I am going to trade school and though I want to fix diesel engines for a living, I always did enjoy working on lawn mowers. Well, I must have worked on 10 mowers for sure here and there so for, and I always hang out at this and other forums. I was thinking that maybe during the summer after school (from 3:00 to closing time) I could go and watch him fix things and learn about mowers. And if he would need any help or need something cleaned or any other task performed, I would do it for him. What do any of you mower repair shop owners think? Would I just be a pain or would I be something that he could use. This isn't a job to me, so I don't want to get paid, I just want to learn and help around. I know he could teach me a lot, but do you think an old guy feels like teaching me? He has owned that shop for 3 years and hase a nice supply of briggs and stratton parts and other heavy duty mower parts. I would enjoy it very much. Thanks for ya'lls input.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-07-03, 11:52 PM
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Shoot...I'd love to have a guy come in to help for the education! I would pay him something though if he was any help at all, cause it's only fair. Some people, however, don't like someone watching over their shoulder. If he's old and by himself, I'm quite sure he would enjoy the help and company. It's hard sometimes for even a young guy to replace transaxles and stuff like that by himself. Ask him and see. You might also get an idea what kind of living you can make with small engines, by watching him and the way he runs his business.

Good luck!
 
  #3  
Old 05-08-03, 06:47 AM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

Go for it. You can develop a friendship and network that will last a lifetime.

I started out with my neighbor in the same fashion...but he's about 30 years younger than this fellow .
 
  #4  
Old 05-08-03, 09:24 PM
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I plan on asking him Friday afternoon, but I am a little nerveous. I never asked to work somewhere before. How can I ask him and convince him at the same time? I know he is a friendly fellow because when my grampa needed to bring a couple of riding mowers there he let my grampa borrow his trailer and sence my grampa's truch doesn't have a ball on it, he even let him use his truck. I will try my luck, I remember he mentioned that in a couple of years his brother (who works at the local salt mine) will go help him cause he needs the money to put his son through college. What would you want to hear from a 17 year old that wants you to trust him with working on things that you are responsible for. I am confident in my work and I don't do half-way jobs. If need be, I can bring all of my tools, so that would be one less thing for him to worry about. I think I even have more tools then him.
 
  #5  
Old 05-08-03, 09:49 PM
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Just tell him you want to learn, and like the work, and would like to help him if he thinks he could use it. Tell him that if you don't increase production, he doesn't have to pay you anything if that's what you want. If you're happy to work for free at times for the education, then tell him he can pay you what he can afford to, and when things are tight, that's OK too, you won't put him under an obligation or in a financial burden. If he gets enough work to keep the both of you busy, then he should have no problem paying you for your time.

I think the thing that will make the most importance to him will be if you tell him that if you don't make him money, he doesn't have to give you any. He can't lose that way, and surely will take you up on the offer. Don't be nervous, there's nothing to be nervous about. You'll be doing the guy a favor (unless you just go in and tear up stuff), which I don't think you will do. If you run into something you aren't sure of, ask for help/guidance. Don't try to do something you know nothing about without some instruction. Ask enough questions to learn how things work, but no so many that you become a pest. Take initiative, and anticipate what the man is about to need, and have it ready for him before he asks. You'll be fine, and I hope you'll have fun too. After 15 years, I still love working on small engines (most of the time)lol.
 
  #6  
Old 05-09-03, 06:46 AM
Joe_F
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I agree. Go with your grandfather and have him put in the good word for you. When they see a guy their age "signing" off on the kid, it will bode better with the owner.

As Cheese said, you have nothing to lose. Explain to him that you come with your own tools, and just need a secure place to store them, and that you have this forum which has helped you learn and get information.

Tell the guy you enjoy working on small engines and would like to learn or become a helper, if he wouldn't mind. If you drive, then you can run errands for him, as well as pick up parts or deliver things to customers.

The bottom line is trust. If the guy trusts you or is willing to give you a chance, you can make an impression. You will probably tell him some things he doesn't know (where to get parts, who buys from who, etc).

You can do it, just be yourself and if the guy is willing you might make a friend for life.

Just ask Mike Merritt of this forum. He offered to help me with a part and now we chit chat all the time on the phone exchanging ideas and expertise of our respective industries we work in. I have learned a ton talking to Mike (and of course others here). We help each other all the time!

I've never shaken his hand in person (or any of the folks here for that matter), but the comraderie is what this is all about!

I think the others will agree. You have a unique opportunity, use it. I wouldn't mind it either !
 
  #7  
Old 05-09-03, 12:59 PM
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Bad news, I went over there and asked him and right away he said "no, if I hire you I need to get a million dollar policy incase you get hurt. If it wasn't for that, I would have hired someone a long time ago. That's why you don't see many people hiring." He is a very friendly guy. I had asked him a question about a lawnmower carburetor and he said to bring it and we can work on it together. O well. I even had my snap-on wrenches, craftsman sockets, pliers, proto nutdrivers, voltmeter and everything else ready. Are all mower shops like this? Do they all need to get a million dollar policy too?
 
  #8  
Old 05-10-03, 01:14 AM
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No, not really....he could hire you as an independent contractor since you have your own tools. That way, he would not have to worry about taxes, workers comp, soc security, etc...

If you were to get hurt on his property, there could be problems there potentially. (whether you are an independent contractor or not). That might be what is worrying him. You could try telling him you would have a vaiver of liability drawn up and sign it, if you are willing.
 
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