Author Topic: setting up a community enginre bank  (Read 394 times)

ajaffa1

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setting up a community enginre bank
« on: January 04, 2019, 10:26:30 AM »
Hi Guys, it`s coming on council clean up time again, this is the time of year when you can put out busted machinery for recycling. I am considering setting up a Community project where I fill a shed with second hand equipment that can be rented out for next to no money, while their own equipment is being repaired.

I already have a collection of pumps, pressure washers, whipper snipers, lawn mowers, chainsaws and ride on mowers all of which have been dragged out of the bush and fixed for little or no money. People today are hopeless, they have no experience in either using or maintaining equipment and consequently throw out perfectly good stuff which ends up in landfill. Today I was given a pressure washer that does n`t work, a quick inspection shows that it stopped because the low oil level mechanism turned off the magneto coil. Further inspection suggests that the engine has probably run for 5 to 10 hours max.

Would this business model work? How much should I charge for second hand equipment hire? I`m a good engineer but I`m a lousy businessman and my health is shakey at best.

Thoughts and advice please,

Bob

glort

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 12:10:35 PM »

If you can get the gear, repair it and put it in stock I'd say fine but I would never rent my own gear out.

People are freaking hopless and have ZERO mechanical aptitude.  Hopefully might be a bit different where you are but I'm sure there are still the townies that work in white collar and struggle with a lawn mower.... and take it to the shop every time it fouls a plug... like I must have picked up 10 off the road over the years with that and only that wrong with them.  like you the amount of stuff I have picked up that had minimal use was astounding.

As for renting for next to No money.... I would say bad Idea really.  The first thing is you will attract the deadbeats that don't care about anything and have problems. Secondly, I think you'll soon find there is more to keeping the things maintained than what you imagined.
Then, there will be more work and pain in the arse factor than you could dream.

I would DEFINATELY get another phone number, $2 sim, whatever to use because I gaurantee you sure as the sun will come up in the morhing you WILL get clowns ringing you day and night with NO regard to business hours. On this country people seem to be unreal.  My father gets morons ringing at 6 in the morning and at 9Pm on a sunday night. I have taken the calls  myself.  Up untill recently he used the Business phone for private calls so assumes people would be rining him for private purposes and with teh age of the relos whom also ring at some unlikely hours, he can get sucked in.
About 12 months ago I was there and a car turned up on a Sunday afternoon about 6pm with some idiots wanting to PRICE some parts and then got narky when I said we are closed, Come back tomorrow. they grumbled and I said I have a clock for that model you can have cheap when you come back. The guy said clock worked fine. I paused a second and said well WTF you here at 6PM on a sunday night??? Can't you tell time or know what day of the week it is? Morons.

You say this would be a community project but who else will be involved?  You know I have the best of intentions when I say it sounds like good Ol kindhearted Bob is taking on a whole lot more than he can Chew with his good intentions that will bite him firmly on the arse.
If you ant it make it community proper, that would be fine. You'll need somewhere to put the stuff, people to take turns manning the phone, the depot, doing the paperwork etc. I'd approach the council and see how you go. Maybe the local Mens shed could take it on or a local Charity would look at a new division.  In order to make it worth while it will need some promotion. More time and cost. I'd be happy to help you with that but the question is, How much time do you have/ want to put into this?

Other thing is you will need Insurance, probably a web site, and someone to draw you up hire agreements. You would be wise to get some sort of deposits and you will want to confirm and record ID including car rego. Trust me.  ill you have a trailer because I'll bet my backside the 2nd question people will ask is " can you deliver" Followed By I have no way of putting a pressure washer/ mower/ set of hand held clippers  in my car.

Breakages and damage WILL occour. I broke the Excavator I hired a month back. Reaching over trying to get out a stump I knocked one of the hydro couplings off the main arm.  Didn't even realised I did it till some time after I lifted the boom and saw the hose flop down.  Luckily it was the retun line for the attachments and I had the oil turned off anyway but.... I was being as careful as I could and accidents happen.
I went in and rang the guy I hired it off and he said not to worry, turn the oil off and it will be fine. I said I did that already but I just wanted to let you know so you can get the hose and coupling because I know you said you had it hired out the day after me and I don't want you to loose money.
When the guy came to pick it up I apologized profusely as I felt bad and he laughed. must have given him a look because he said in 2 years of doing this, you are the first person to ever ring me and let me know you damaged something.  I said well I wanted to give you a head start on teh part so your machine was right again.  I said besides, Couldn't hide it if I wanted to . He laughed again.

Said you have no idea what people do and then say it was like that when they got it. One guy slipped a track right off and then said that was how I left it and when I tried to point out all the work done around the place siad he had to get in another machine and wasn't going to pay for the hire".
I couldn't believe it but he had many similar stories.  No wonder he thanked me repeatedly when I gave him the money for the hose and coupling!

Yeah, I know what you are thinking, I only want this to be a small local thing, not looking to turn it into a kennards hire, just want to help people out.
That my good mate is your first Kind hearted mistake. 

If it's business, it's business.  You WOULD need insurance of some type because if some clown does trim their toes off with a mower they will come after you saying the gear was faulty, not maintained properly, not up to current safety standards etc.  The last thing people do these days is take responsibility for anything and you can bet there will be some ambulance chaser encouraging them to blame you.  You don't want to put a thing you own at risk with this.

Yes, I know I sound like a wet blanket, comes from having a business of my own of one type or another since before school starting with lawn mowing runs and being involved with and consulting to other businesses for a long time as well running my own enterprises either full or part time all my life.   

THE THING YOU HAVE TO DO if you want to persue this is write a business plan.

 Yeah I know, small thing, don't need one.... Second that thought crosses your mind is proof you DO.  I'm not talking about crap like 5 year projections and  financing, A business plan will make you think of SOOO many things you haven't even thought of yet.  What are your hours of business, is everything going to be run from your home or.... what is the procedure if someone breaks something? Is fuel included with the hire, How can you trust what they will put in including oil in the 2 strokes... what about Consumables like trimmer line?  Are you going to refill a bump head for every hire? what if they run out half way through?  What happens if they hire something, live 20 KM away then get it home and can't start it. What happens if they are idiots and it's fine, what happens if something stuffs up half way through? what will your refund policy be on such things?... how are you going to reach your target market and let people know you are out there? What will this cost? how big do you want it to go? Will you have 1 Lawnmower or 10 if the demand is there and you can source them....and so it goes.

A business plan is something you walk through from the idea to the the end and document every single problem and aspect you can think of.... and a lot that you hadn't thought of till you start writing the business plan.
And as I have told everyone I have worked with, If you don't have the time or interest to write the business plan, you sure as ship don't have the time and motivation to be running the business.

The other great thing with business plans is they can cause you to come up with ideas you hadn't previously thought of. You may see a flaw in your initial idea but then get a whole load better one and be able to modify the idea for a completely better outcome all around.

The thing you might want to think about Bob is the machinery will be easy to deal with and take up 5% of your time. Dealing with people can be another complete ball game and a very trying one at that.
If you want to see first hand, come down and sit your bum on a chair in my Dads yard for 2-3 hours. That's all it will take for you to walk out with a whole new perspective on people and business.




dieselspanner

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 06:12:54 PM »
+1 for wot Glort said

If you want to make a few bob put them on Ebay, Gumtree or whatever works for you, sold as seen.

A mate of mine, always say's 'Don't buy work', gotta bear thinking about.........#

Cheers
Stef
Tighten 'til it strips, weld nut to chassis, peen stud, adjust with angle grinder.

ajaffa1

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 07:14:36 AM »
Thanks guys for the advice, I was planning to only provide the service to the local community of about 200 people that I know. Any equipment that gets damaged will get cannibalized for spares for other council clean up finds. So the overheads should be close to zero. Yes it`s a lot of work but seeing that I am unemployable at present and have a lot of time on my hands, it might give me something useful to do and help out those in need. I`m not planning on building an empire, just trying to save the locals a few bucks.

I guess if I was a business man I`d take Stef`s advice and just fix them up and sell them. Won`t ever get rich going at my snail pace.  :laugh:

Bob

mikenash

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2019, 07:39:49 AM »
Community stuff is good.  Will be interesting to see if folks appreciate it or abuse it.  You might start something great - one of those community things where people trade scones with whipped cream-and-jam for lawn-mowings . . .

Johndoh

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2019, 08:27:54 AM »
When I was selling lawn mowers I used to take trade in's. I'd buy a non runner usually it had a gummed up carb or some other simple problem and fix it. I sold locally and cheap enough compared to other sellers. Half the time the trade in's had the same issues are were easy repairs.
It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness

ajaffa1

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2019, 08:43:04 AM »
Hi Guys think doing trade in`s has merit but being as useless a businessman as I am I doubt it would workout profitable. Did someone mention scones with cream and jam? Just found my motivation again!  :laugh:

Bob

dieselspanner

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2019, 08:47:57 AM »
Now I'm liking it, Mikes idea of people paying in credits in the form of strawberry jam is a winner IMHO.

Keep it local and as long as people understand they are 'borrowing' the said lawnmower from a neighbour rather than renting it from a commercial enterprise and you are happy that there may well be problems based on 'the mechanical ineptitude of the masses' I think you'd be in with a chance

Around here we have a Yahoo user group called 'Bagners Billboard, where there are posts like 'Need a lift to the airport, Monday 27th' or 'Just slaughtered our latest hand reared bull' (honest!) etc. If you can hook into or develop something like that, then get some of the local community behind the project and put any profit into the village green flower beds (or billabong refurbishment scheme) then I can see it taking off.

Start swapping work credits with other tradesmen and you'll never paint a fence again!

Cheers
Stef

Tighten 'til it strips, weld nut to chassis, peen stud, adjust with angle grinder.

ajaffa1

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2019, 09:01:57 AM »
Hi Stef, did a bit with work credits years ago in the UK. It worked remarkably well as it was a form of labor barter so the government missed out their tax dollars. Problem with it was that some people reneged on their end of the deal, I guess with social media and etc they would n`t get away with it now.

Not sure I have the skills, time or inclination to set up an online local enterprise but I know a man that might, could be a model for others to follow. I`ll make inquiries.

Bob

glort

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2019, 10:56:59 AM »

How is the Canoe place going Bob?   Are you still going to be involved with that?

Even with a small thing, I'd still only be letting out the " Community" gear.  Perhaps you could advertise for old Mowers, edgers etc and again approach the local council if they have a special section  at the local tip for unwanted items like that.  Some have trash and treasure  recycling things like that down here.

Country people ARE very good with the appreciation/ trade things I have found. 
Was up at Dads a couple of years ago now and the guy that owned the local Pie shop turns Up with some Nice fresh meat Pies, some scones and a couple of apple pies.  Just dropped them in as a thank you for Dad helping him out with parts for his ute.  Dad charged him for some but others he didn't get much call for he just gave the bloke to make space for other things he did sell.
Man all those pies were deliicious.  Maybe was just a smart marketing ploy. We always go there for pies now particularly in winter.

Another old guy  just after dropped off a slab of beer.  Dad doesn't drink much beer so kept a few bottles and gave the rest to the mechanic. I'm sure they didn't last long.
Same day a lady came in  with a whole slab of lamingtons  and a lemon tart she had made.   
Geez we ate good that week!

Quite often Dad gets things like that.  Other week before Christmas an older couple bought him in a load of Tomatoes and Strawberry from their farm.
I don't know how many Strawberry and Tomatoes they thought one person could get through but they sure didn't Under estimate.  Brought home a pile and Dad still had 2 Months supply.

Very good of you to want to donate your Time to the Community Bob.  Maybe you could look at repairing old generators and make a few bucks that way?
Probably find more than enough to keep you busy.

I tried doing some work on my little China Diesel today.  Uggh!
Parts BIL took a year to do for me don't fit.  Unfortunately he gave me exactly what I asked for, not what I needed.  :-[  Oversight on my part so back to the drawing board.  Now I know what I need, I'll see if I can find a local engineering shop to knock it up for me. 

OTOH..... You are handy with a lathe aren't You Bob?    :laugh:

ajaffa1

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 12:32:10 PM »
Hi Glort, happy to do the lathe work for you provided the outside diameters are n`t bigger than 300 mm.

Still involved with the canoe center, despite the inevitable xmas internet outage (four days) making it impossible to access the online booking system or take credit/debit card payments. Cost the center around $20,000 in lost income. Guess what, the telco`s aren`t liable for any of that loss due to our pathetic government  capitulating to big business instead of the voter/small business person!

I think we will be having another election in March, nothing will change except the names of the ars*holes
in charge. Same lack of leadership/vision for the future and the same snout in trough attitude.

I`m presently eating for free cos we have been looking after a friend`s garden while they were away. Fresh fruit  and veggies coming out of our ears. Narelle has also taken to turning some of our eggs into ice cream, probably not what the cardiologist would recommend but hell it tastes good.  :laugh

Bob

glort

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2019, 02:31:33 AM »

That's bad with the canoe centre. Could not have happened at a worst time but the duck shoving is to be expected.
Had you stuffed a booking the fair trading mob would have been all over you for refunds and compensation. The big Biz Buddies of gubberment stuff up and it's too bad, little guy has to wear it.

yes, another election. I'd have to think about who was PM this week and as for the leaders of the parties, I'd just be guessing.
I take a distinct disinterest in politics. I don't consider myself a smart or clever man by any means but I do consider politics a complete and utter insult to anyone with a brain.  I tell my Dad, you rubbish all these TV shows because they are crap and unrealistic but you follow politics, the greatest load of fantasy out there and worst scam played on the public of all.


ajaffa1

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2019, 10:45:19 AM »
Have to agree with you on both counts, most of what is on the TV is a mixture of manipulation, advertising and  gender/non gender BS. Most of what happens in parliament is also a mixture of manipulation, advertising and gender/non gender BS. I hardly ever watch TV now as it is all very lame, they couldn`t even run to a decent movie on Christmas day.

It amuses me enormously that some Australians want to ditch HM Queen and replace her with a democratically elected president. Once again I ask the simple question, where are we going to find the presidential candidates? Just look at what has been going on in the USA. Do you think that the right to elect a Trump would be good for Australia? In fairness I should point out that I don`t think Hillary Clinton would have been any better.

Bob

glort

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Re: setting up a community enginre bank
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2019, 11:58:33 AM »
Once again I ask the simple question, where are we going to find the presidential candidates?

The question I ask of this is " What the hell good would it do us to become a banana Republic?"

Think of the billions it would cost and for what? it's hardly like we are oppressed or don't make our own rules any way.
Break away from the empire and then what? Cater to every whining, bleeding heart minority group and open the gates to the worlds trash that would come flooding in destroying any culture we have left??
No thanks!

I don't think many Australians want to do away with Lizzie and Co at all. I think a lot of blow ins and Trendy and whingers and those with other vested interests and ulterior motives do but not real Australians.

I like Royalty. Not like we have any other culture or history to fall back on and any we did is being done away with fast enough. I think doing away with the monarchy is just favored by those that want to wave their "me too" flag and stuff things up with more complication and PC Bullshit. I also think it's been used as a big Distraction and will again. Just wait till there is some real stuff up or disharmony with both sides and they'll Pull out this old chestnut again to let things blow over for a few weeks to distract the sheeple from the fact all pollies are the biggest crooks of all and then back to Business.

When someone can point out real, tangible, everyday benefits that would make us as a country better off, I'll certainly listen. Until such time we are a lot better off sticking with our paternal family that let us do what we want anyway.