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are times really hard #155637
01/23/05 11:43 AM
01/23/05 11:43 AM
slumlordworker  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 84
south bend indiana
After reading a post in the general section I got to wondering are times realy this hard for all trades. I also read a semiliar post on a hvac site about people going out of biz

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
Re: are times really hard #155638
01/23/05 12:56 PM
01/23/05 12:56 PM
CTwireman  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
I can't speak for other trades but most ECs in my area have more work than they can handle. It really isn't that bad out there, at least in my area.

Re: are times really hard #155639
01/23/05 01:04 PM
01/23/05 01:04 PM
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
I think it more position in the market rather than the market itself. And financial position, as far as how to weather the changes.

Trends come and go, you just have to be ready for them.

Where I'm at a few years back you didn't have time to answer the phone. Resi and Commercial were hopping, and paying premium.

I went out on my own, and the DotCom crash happened, market went dry for about a year or so, and compitition was all these out-of-work guys doing side jobs for pennies. Had to go back to work for someone else. It was over before it began!

DotCom died, but before it did pushed everything else out, and left a huge void in Commercial Real Estate. Downtown SF, CA was a ghost town! But Residential was still going, and you had time for them now, but rates are really low now too. And now Commercial is coming back, and all at once. Something you know will eventually level out, but key is knowing when it will, and be ready for it. If I had the capitol to take on a sizeable Commercial job right now, I could be making some serious money. But, I don't have capitol.....

The company I now work for is swampped in Commercial TI's right now. Can barely man them 6 days a week with some labor pool too.

Anyway, I don't think we are in "Hard Times", more like changing times. And key is being prepared for those changes.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: are times really hard #155640
01/23/05 01:16 PM
01/23/05 01:16 PM
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
I can report that the EC's down South are very busy. I just wish I could find more employees.

Re: are times really hard #155641
01/23/05 02:50 PM
01/23/05 02:50 PM
andyp95  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 46
All the EC's I know(including myself) in VT/NH are very busy.The middle and bigger guys are really short on licensed people.(We have ratio's,license/apprentices that have to be maintaned.)

Re: are times really hard #155642
01/23/05 03:35 PM
01/23/05 03:35 PM
sparky66wv  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
The concept of starving yourself and depriving yourself when you have money so that you won't have to when (if) you run out just seems ludicrous to me.

What part of the $12,000 I made last year was I suppose to keep for now?

I guess it's not all that slow here either, I'm going to throw in some phone jacks for an EC tomorrow in exchange for him covering my cell-phone bill. It's in his name anyway... He had lots of questions concerning an upcoming inspection, but I gave away that info... (*slaps self on forehead).

Everyone else seems to have work. I can't get any for begging for it... Which sets you up for losing money anyway, when people know you're desperate.

I've got 5 days and I need about $10,000 to get me out of this mess. Borrowing money from a bank is laughable at best.

What's really hard to do is make yourself get up and go to work while the whole time in the back of your mind you know that it is futile.

Tomorrow, I'll be going to install those phone jacks with money already spent, and then I'll have to figure out how to get back home. I don't have enough gas in the truck to get there.

All I need is my 10-in-1 and Strippers, so carrying tools ain't a big deal. Guess I could walk/hitch to town.

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 01-23-2005).]

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
Re: are times really hard #155643
01/24/05 01:23 AM
01/24/05 01:23 AM
rlc3854  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 15
Amite, LA
Sparky, if there is anyway you can travel south there appears to be lots of work. I just finished a trip to Georgia and Flordia passiang through Mississippi and Alabama. all of these state had signs along the interstates and highways stating looking for electricans and helpers, this was for commerical, residential and industrial. I just retired to Lousiana from California and after this trip considered getting on the road to make some extra money.

Re: are times really hard #155644
01/24/05 07:05 PM
01/24/05 07:05 PM
luckyshadow  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 315
Maryland USA
I work for a larger commercial contractor in the Baltimore/Dc area and we have more work then men ! Right now we have about 100 men in the field and could use more. Most of our work is for the Government. Which means lots of scale rates. I have been in the same area working for the last 3 years.
1 job was 2 yrs and this job is 1 mile away and have been there for 1 year and not due to be complete till summer. the only downfall is I live 55 miles from the job. 110 mile round trip everyday. but I have been putting 30,000 miles a year on my trucks for the last 10 years - have to go where the money is
Sparky how far into west virginia are you ?

Re: are times really hard #155645
01/24/05 07:55 PM
01/24/05 07:55 PM
ga.sparky56  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 558
young harris georgia usa
Last year was a bad one for us,up until Dec. at least. The last 2 months have been real good, and got a couple good jobs coming up.

I live sorta back in the sticks,but I like it that way.

Our little 2 or 3 man shop operates on a shoestring...and it breaks about once a month LOL. One way we survive is diversity. We do Electrical,Plumbing,septic repair/installs,heck I'll even dig footings,gutter drains and such.Even do some welding/cutting and repair.

If you live in the country/rural area, it's hard to survive doing one thing,no matter how good you are. You just have to decide what kind of price you want to pay to live there.


Re: are times really hard #155646
01/26/05 12:05 AM
01/26/05 12:05 AM
trollog  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 276
San Diego California USA
Same story here in San Diego County, CA. We turn work away at my shop because there are just not enough competent hands to do it all. Only electrician out of work at my shop is one who doesn't get his butt to the job to do the work.

ga.sparky56: words if truth.. you do have to decide what price you are willing to pay, and to be honest, none of us has a job for life anymore the way our dads and grandfathers did- if you want to survive anywhwere these days, you gotta be scrappy and be willing to learn to do new and different things to earn your daily bread. There is a large clique in my shop who turn their nose up at resi work and only want to do commercial-or-nothing and I just shake my head and think "the money I earn doing resi or commercial is just as green and spends just the same.." Attitude is often the difference between employed and unemployed.

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