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The World. As seen by Ceri.


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58 minutes ago, busmansholiday said:

I wonder how many other "professional" people doing this with a 4x4 and a big trailer have even heard of a tacho, let alone have one fitted.

Top marks for true professionalism, may the gods wish you a prosperous future.

The transport game is full of cowboys in every sector of the market. I’ve never been under any illusion about that; it’s just what you’re up against. There’s guys running around overloaded, with no licence, no insurance and bald tyres - and some of those are 44t artics! But then again you can’t always have every bulb working perfectly and never be an ounce overweight... 

49 minutes ago, hairnet said:

so when is the title under yer name gonna change to advert slut or trailer queen :D

was your first job taking the scenic to the bridge (KIDDING ITS ONLY A PUPPET (c) CONLEY )

are the holes ok for the lashing? woulda thought loops welded to the bed would be better?

 

The fate of the Scenic will be revealed in a future episode!

48 minutes ago, hairnet said:

do you do european work?

 

Not at present as I can’t get the insurance to do it.

24 minutes ago, Stinkwheel said:

Asking for future reference. Where are you based? Obviously the distance you need to travel to where a motor is located will affect price, hence the question emoji106.png

I’m in Coventry, but go nationwide so can potentially do a job anywhere. Just requires a bit of luck - if the route doesn’t pass through the Midlands - for me to be in the area within a reasonable time frame.

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June 2018.

I set up a company profile on Facebook and invited all my internet friends to 'like', as you do.  Wished I was one of those people who adds everyone they’ve ever met on FB, as my social media network was a bit limited.  Still, I got some encouraging feedback.

A guy used to work with asked, almost immediately, if I could move a shed.  Well, I had no job and no other work lined up so obviously, yes.

He’d been gifted a large shed by a neighbour of his mother’s; The catch being, of course, that he had to take it down and remove it himself.  He’d managed to disassemble it and move a couple of the smaller sections, but the rest was waiting for us on his mother’s drive.

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It was only a couple of miles round to his house but the access to the rear was too narrow for the trailer or, indeed, the sections of shed lying lengthways as you would normally carry them.  In the end we stood them on end and rolled them round, on some offcuts of plumbing pipe.  Sometimes the old prehistoric tricks still come in handy.

I had no idea what to charge.  I gave a price, he doubled it and said it was still half what he’d been quoted on Shiply.

***

A chance comment by @Wingz123 on this forum led to my first proper job.  He’d mentioned that he had a Volvo XC90 to shift that was too heavy for his truck.  I offered to do it, and my quote was accepted by Wingz’s pal; a London firefighter who also has a garage in Birmingham.

The Volvo had some sort of gearbox malady and had been abandoned in Kings Langley.  Raz the firefighter dropped the keys at my house and I went to retrieve it the following day.

Access was straightforward enough but on a bit of a slope, so I was relieved to find the Volvo was capable of hauling itself onto the trailer – I didn’t fancy using the winch for the first time at this point.

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Full of trepidation at the prospect of venturing onto the M1 with a heavily laden trailer, I needn’t have worried.  The Kia took it in it’s stride and was ultra stable at speed.  I was soon cruising faster even than Irish registered HGVs, and interested to find that, at 96km/h (60mph) on my newly calibrated tachograph, the speedo was reading about 64mph.

The XC90 was duly delivered to Brum without incident and, if I remember right, was rendered usable once more by removing the front prop.  I believe Wingz became custodian at some point and had it up for sale on here.  Or that might have been a different car, I dunno.

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August last year I spotted you on the m66 at bury. Didn't know it was you but the as sticker in the window showed me it was one of us. Fair play lad, dream job working for yourself. Where you based by the way? Always jobs round here, would recommend you if it isn't too much a slog for you

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10 hours ago, Alan_Green said:

Cool.  But why no logo/website on the Kia/Trailer to advertise as you roll?   Preferably mentioning your home town.   

Initially I didn’t bother in order to keep costs down. Then as time has gone on I figure that the car is actually rarely  within sight of someone who might be interested in my services; A plumber or a driving instructor, say, spends a lot of time around their home ‘patch’, and their car/van is a perfect advertisement. But I spend most of my time on the motorway and/or miles from home. There’s not a great deal of point in me advertising in Carlisle or Kent... It would look good in the photos but anyone looking at a picture would already be on my website or FB, or this thread.

Having said that, if working for myself has taught me anything it’s that I know flip all about marketing.

And, I also don’t want to attract the wrong sort of attention.  Whilst I am operating legally, I don’t particularly wish to be pulled over by DVSA.  A liveried vehicle would put me on their radar by making it clear I’m operating commercially.

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Maybe magnetic signs is the best of both? Possibly take them off when on longer journeys and them put them back on at a rest stop before you get to your destination. It'll be the impromptu times when photos are taken when it's worth it.

E.g. spotted photos by others of you transporting interesting stuff on the roads, videos made by minor TV celebrities, etc. All cheap/free advertising and increases your exposure.

If you start getting unnecessary attention from the plod, then they're easily removed.

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June 2018.

With few contacts in the motor trade and no real budget for advertising, I began by bidding on Shiply.

Two things stand out about the Shiply experience from the point of view of a transporter.  You have to put in a hell of a lot of quotes before anyone bites, and you will absolutely always be outbid sooner or later.

Anyway, I picked up a job after a couple of days… A Daihatsu Fourtrak to be collected from a dealer just up the road in Tamworth and delivered to Plymouth.  I turned up as soon as the dealer opened and got loaded up. 

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The trip down the M5 was familiar as I’d been doing a run down to the West Country in the job I’d just quit…  The new owners’ address was easily found just off the A38; They’d just had to scrap their identical Fourtrak with terminal rust, but the new one looked in good nick and they were pretty chuffed with it having bought it unseen.

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My next job was another trip down the M5, although this time only as far as Somerset, and I wouldn’t be making a profit.

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I’d roffled my Omega to raise some funds for the Sorento and trailer, but my Saab 900 was harder to move on as it had no mot and needed work.  I finally sold it to @chatsharris for a low, low price and agreed to deliver for the cost of diesel. Again, I made an early start, my destination Radstock.  Papped on arrival:

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The access to the rear of Chats’s house was too narrow for the trailer unfortunately, so we unloaded in the street and pushed the Saab round the back.  The 900 is surprisingly heavy for an ‘80s car – I think they’re about 1500kg – and we were sweating by the time we had it in place.

Chats had a thread about his efforts to get the Saab back on the road but he sold it before doing so.  I recall him saying the next owners were intending to restore it, but it no longer appears on the DVLA database so presumably it’s now been scrapped.

 

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June 2018.
With few contacts in the motor trade and no real budget for advertising, I began by bidding on Shiply.
Two things stand out about the Shiply experience from the point of view of a transporter.  You have to put in a hell of a lot of quotes before anyone bites, and you will absolutely always be outbid sooner or later.
Anyway, I picked up a job after a couple of days… A Daihatsu Fourtrak to be collected from a dealer just up the road in Tamworth and delivered to Plymouth.  I turned up as soon as the dealer opened and got loaded up. 
1152621774_IMG_0753(2).thumb.JPG.bbf5754dbf5f13dda707abb2108546a3.JPG
The trip down the M5 was familiar as I’d been doing a run down to the West Country in the job I’d just quit…  The new owners’ address was easily found just off the A38; They’d just had to scrap their identical Fourtrak with terminal rust, but the new one looked in good nick and they were pretty chuffed with it having bought it unseen.
IMG_0754.thumb.JPG.6947ba28b2a525fda1699d19849dff56.JPG
My next job was another trip down the M5, although this time only as far as Somerset, and I wouldn’t be making a profit.
1822730587_IMG_0759(2).thumb.JPG.00503e3b7acc47fbfeca321e3e9ec5ef.JPG
I’d roffled my Omega to raise some funds for the Sorento and trailer, but my Saab 900 was harder to move on as it had no mot and needed work.  I finally sold it to [mention=20001]chatsharris[/mention] for a low, low price and agreed to deliver for the cost of diesel. Again, I made an early start, my destination Radstock.  Papped on arrival:
post-20001-0-86507300-1529311028.thumb.jpg.f65737262670175ebc69e398eb1541d1.jpg
The access to the rear of Chats’s house was too narrow for the trailer unfortunately, so we unloaded in the street and pushed the Saab round the back.  The 900 is surprisingly heavy for an ‘80s car – I think they’re about 1500kg – and we were sweating by the time we had it in place.
Chats had a thread about his efforts to get the Saab back on the road but he sold it before doing so.  I recall him saying the next owners were intending to restore it, but it no longer appears on the DVLA database so presumably it’s now been scrapped.
 
Yeah, sorry - it was the right car but the wrong time. Breaking up with my fiancée and moving out of the house didn't help at all, plus the driveway was quite unsuitable for jacking up/learning to weld.

I did get it running (fairly soon after you'd left which was annoying!) and fixed a fair bit though, then sold it for a profit to that guy. Not sure it'll ever see the road again unfortunately. I did manage to drive it the furthest I ever did though, about 200 yards onto a low loader and never saw it again.

I had also kept the wheel trims separate and sold them for some extra free profit.

Was a pleasure to do business with you though, 10/10 would do again.

Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk

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No need to be sorry, man.  I feel bad myself for having bought it in working order from @jonathan_dyane, but selling it as a non-runner.  There was a lot of bodge in the bodywork though (structural newspaper evident in the door when I replaced a mirror) which probably made it unviable as a resto before any of us got our hands on it.

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June 2018.

A couple more Shiply jobs came up later that week.

The first turned out to by a stock transfer for some sort of low-end finance company.

I picked this Mazda 6 up from their unit somewhere in Birminghamshire and took it down to another branch in Bedfordshire.

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The bloke I delivered it to was in a bit of a grump.  I don’t know why they’ve sent you down here with this.  What am going to do with it?  I haven’t got any bloody room!  And so on.  He made an unnecessary song and dance about ringing his head office and relaying my bank details so that they could pay me.

The next one was a longer trip and a heavier load.  The Shiply listing said Nissan Cabstar – some models of which would be too big and heavy for me – but there was a picture revealing it was one of the lightest models.  I picked it up from a chap in Stafford and headed all the way down to St Austell.

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As I turned into the road that I had as the delivery address, I found that it narrowed to about 7ft wide with high stone walls on either side.  There was no way I was going to risk going down there, but the only alternative was a tricky uphill reverse into a (thankfully empty) car park.  Of course, the road was much wider at the other end of the street.  People blame satnav for cars, vans and lorries getting stuck down unsuitable roads, but in all probability I would have tried the same route if I’d have been following a map.

Once again, I returned back up the M5 empty.  I stopped at Sedgemoor services and, as I was about to leave, spotted a burly bloke loitering by the exit slip road.  He didn’t have his thumb out, but looked like he needed a lift so, impulsively, I stopped.  Turned out he drove a van for – what sounded like – a right cowboy light haulage/courier company.  His transit had conked out but the AA had refused to recover the vehicle as his boss had tried to blag it on his own personal membership.  He'd been told to leave the van at the services and make his own way back to Stoke on Trent.  On a Friday afternoon.  I took him as far as junction 9 where he had the option of trying to hitch another lift, or get a train from the nearby station.

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I need an XJ12 bringing down to near Attleborough, Norfolk from Berwick. (Or possibly to a Jag fettling place in Norwich, about the same distance tbh). What are the chances of that being a return(ish) journey? Pm me with a regular price (I am thinking July/August) if interested. Ta.

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Get sticky vinyl for the windows if you're going to. Magnetic signs do a real number on your painted, believe me. Had them for my last truck and they left marks where the dirt gets under and chatters with the wind as you drive.

Vinyl comes off with a heat gun and as razor blade and the rest of the glue comes off with paint thinners- invisible when it comes time to sell.

$0.02

 

Phil

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