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Unread 12-20-2006, 07:41 AM
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Greetings from Hurricane Alley. I know what going 10 days without power and phones is all about. We operated with generators and were very lucky to have some Honda 3000s around so the noise was very limited but we didn't have any ac. I was using Nextel cell phones when Ivan hit Pensacola and my cell service was extremely limited. They give priority to first responders even though a lot of the first responders are dependent on us for equipment to respond with.

Five years ago my business was about 95% commercial mowing equipment sales and service. At that time I sold Toro, LB, Echo, Walker, Snapper Consumer, eXmark, Shindaiwa & Stihl.

During the past 5 years I have cancelled Toro, LB, Echo & Walker.

I have added Honda (full line), Yahama generators, Onan generators, Generac-Guardian-Guardian RV-Briggs generators and Power Tech generators to the mix.

I thought the only time we would have any generator business would be after a hurricane but now generators are becoming a major part of our business. There is more money to be made year around instead of just before and after a storm event.

Our shop labor is 64.00 but generator repair is 84.00 and for '07 we are projecting >400K labor from our 3 techs. About 85% of the RVs have Onan generators and require service just like any other type of power equipment. The RV owners will keep scheduled appointments and never ask to "just fix it so I can get through the week".

The generator business requires "garage insurance", an LP tank and fittings, natural gas, load bank and professional grade test equipment. The techs need training and must be sharp to repair gensets in RVs because no two of them are alike even if they were built in the same factory on the same day. We repair all the box store generators plus all the Chinese brands sold mail order and on the road side. They all pay 84.00 per hour plus parts and my techs can repair them all. We do not service home stand by units because there really isn't enough money to justify a vehicle, a few thousand dollars of parts and the other expenses associated with off site work.

Getting started in the generator business isn't for the faint of heart. I have been working on it since 1999 and really got serious this year.

I really haven't lost any ground with the commercial business but in '07 is will be about 50% of our total business.

If anyone has any questions feel free to call or email.

Keep some distance between you and your shadow

Last edited by Oldtimer : 12-20-2006 at 07:47 AM.
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