Monday, November 16, 2009


We had this truck in the shop for over a year, picking away at it. Custom tri stage paint, stretched frame to 310 inches and doubled up. Custom hood scoops. Looking sweet at the Fergus Truck Show. Pumping 1000 horsepower too. We built a custom headache rack, but customer has decided to leave it off for now.

The interior panels such as door panels, roof panels, are all custom made with fibreglass and then prepped and painted a dark red metallic, looks real cool.

I busted my Wingaurd antenna that is mounted on top of the fiver last summer. The damn thing would not come down via the lever inside the trailer. So I got the kid to climp up the rear ladder and force it into the travelling position. I could hear a loud snap sound as he did this so I knew it was busted.

So anytime we wanted to watch tv, we had to go and manually lift it up into position and as well it would not rotate to fine tune a station. You can see it on the roof at the front of the trailer and if you look hard you can see the round dish antenna at the back of the trailer which is the one that I installed this past weekend.

I picked it up at the old Radio Shack, The Source and it was on sale for 50 bucks off. So I got to reading about it, and apparrently it will pickup the digital stations. I had to buy the converter box for 90 bucks to convert the digital signal to anoloq to work with the tv's that I have in the trailer. Problem now is that I will need another converter so that each tv can watch whatever program they choose. I am getting about 16 channels, and it is working very well. Crystal clear cable like tv. I am getting real good signal strengths too. The antenna also has a wireless remote so that I can fine tune the station for best signal.

I am using the converter box on the bedroom tv and and the living room tv on regular anoloqe signal. The antenna is better than the Wingaurd that came with the trailer, and having a remote to fine tune the channel signal is sweet.

I mounted the antenna on a 10 foot pipe and wire tied it to my ladder on the back of the fiver. This is a temporary mount till I figure out something better. As it stands now, the antenna is about 6 feet higher than the trailer. I need to see what happens if I lower to about a foot higher than the roof, whether I can get a good signal.

I watched Nascar yesterday and 60 minutes last night, all US programming. Sweet. All I need to do now is buy another converter for the living room tv.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Work Day

Theres my office desk/mess. I work off one of my toolboxes as it is easier than having a separate office. All the customers and I make all the deals over this toolbox, everything stops and starts at this toolbox.

When I ran shops for other people, I did it the same way. Nothing fancy as this is a nuts and bolts industry. Keeps me on the shop floor and in tune with whats going on, on the floor.

The dogs have been in the shop overnight since we re opened about two months ago. I put a blanket out for them and this serves a couple of purposes. If we need to move equipment around the shop, all I have to do is tell them to go their blankee and away they go, out of the way.

They get pretty dirty here, they go in this Friday to get shampooed and will come back different colors than they are now, I will post a pic. They have freedom here at the shop and the yard, they are always on the go. They get to see alot of people during the day and this is good for them as they are well socialized.

This week we are doing a 2001 Pete for a local brick hauling company. We have done a few of their trucks over the last few years. Not too many guys these days are doing a complete body and paint, this due to lower revenue/recession.

Basically, tear the truck apart as much as possible, prep and repair all body damage and corrosion. Sandblast the frame, and paint. Truck is going custom colors, orange frame and some copper color maybe two tone on the cab and sleeper.

Rebuild the hood, new chrome grille assembly and fenders too. We have the truck for two weeks and will be painting sometime next week, I will post pics.

The shop has been busy, but has slowed down the last week. Alot of shops are laying off and some are closing. Were a small two man shop now, so we don't need alot of work to keep things going.

Here is the truck in the shop tore apart. Were almost done the prep and body repair and today I need to remove the fuel tanks and battery boxes to get it ready for sandblasting tomorrow. Luckily my neighbor does the blasting, we work back and forth and have been doing so for years. Pics are dark as my flash was not working properly. We have some small jobs outside for welding repairs, aluminum headache racks, but waiting on parts. We do alot of welding too, all sorts of dump trucks and garbage wagons etc. Frame stretches and shortening, busted truck frames, crossmembers and the like. It is usually a interesting day as each job is something different.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Full Campground

We have three fifth wheels here, and my other buddy has been off work the last week, so he has been staying in his fifth wheel too. We pulled his trailer into the shop and I repaired the underside where he damaged it hooking up somehow.

Mike cleaned out the trailer and organized his stuff. He usually is driving his truck and lives in the truck full time as he criss crosses the country hauling frieght. But typical in this economic climate, he is out of work right now and trying to get the truck back on with a carrier that is busy. Which is tough right now.

We moved the Honda's to the back of the where the trailers are parked. This last week they have been running pretty much full time. Rob has been working very little hours too, so have a couple of guys sitting around doing nothing, and cause they are here bored, they watch tv and need to have the gennys running. Still cheap though, 3 splitting the fuel works out to about 25 cents per hour each.

I go thier fivers going with batteries, although they only each have one battery, it gets them through the night although as it is getting colder, and the furnace is cycling more often, I am noticing that by morning they are out of power.

Rob's trailer will cycle the furnace once and then Mike's will cycle 6 times, that gives you a idea of how well one trailer can be insulated over another.

I am the only one here with running water, as I did all the prepwork to ensure water all months of the year. Rob showers in my trailer and Mike is usually never here anyhow, but the fifth wheel truck stop is about a half mile away, Mike showers there.

Today though I am going to run water into both trailers, Rob needs to flush out his tanks and I told Mike that I would run water for him so he could shower in his trailer.

It will be water day today for sure, as the wife is doing laundry and will need about 65 gallons for three loads of water, plus more fuel for the genny's.

Cold weather is coming our way this week, overnight temps close to freezing. It has been very windy here too, having the trailers parked close together really helps. I like the cold weather as all the water in the yard has dried up and the mud is now hard, easier to keep clean all the way around.

We have been busy in the shop, have another Pete to do for a complete body and paint and frame paint, customer might want to stretch the truck to a 304 wheelbase, see what happens. Derek my right hand man, has two herniated discs and is in alot of pain, I am sure he is going to have to shut it down and get that looked after, which means I will be running the shop myself and I can do it, but it will take everything out of me, like there is much left anyways lol.

Another buddy of mine, wants me to buy his 2000 Ford F350 Powerstroke pickup, only has 165 k on it and been babied it's whole life. It's a standard cab so not really ideal for me with the dogs, but the wife can bomb around in it. Plus nice to have another dually around with a fifth wheel hitch in the bed for moving my trailer around.

I would like to be able to leave my custom dually hooked to the trailer full time. Leave the gennys on the truck, move the water tank to inside the sleeper where it is warmer for the winter months. Keep all the rv stuff together as one unit, I don't know see what happens.

I have four onboard Crown 6 volt batteries and I phoned last week about how much to add two more. 140 bucks each, they also have the Iota 65 amp converter chargers, at 265 a piece. I have two onboard converters now that I just replaced, but I cheaped out and bought two different makes. I should have them the same plus I can use the odd ball ones in the truck camper and Rob's trailer. I have never really had a problem with not having enough 12 volt power, and that is with my family that has no clue as to energy conservation. But a overage of available power can never be a problem especially when I rely on the system throughout the winter months.

It's been good here at the yard though. No real complaints, it is quiet at night and if it is somewhat warm outside we will sit outside and have a beer. BBq off the back of the truck. We are right in town and Timmy's is across the street, beer store about a ten minute drive lol.

My next project is getting together a macerator, a tank for the back of the truck so that I can empty my poop tank and truck it to the bathroom at the shop and pump it out. I will need a tank about the same as what I have on there now, 65 gallon and then use the macerator pump to drain it to the bathroom toilet. It's a shitty job for sure, but during the winter it will save me from having to drag the trailer around the corner to the local campground that is open all year. I guess it is six of one and a half dozen of another.

I rented out a truck parking space, he just showed up and parked his truck and trailer. 150 a month and i told him not to pay till the end of Dec, as that is when my property taxes are due which works out to 900 a month, yup thats expensive. I need to rent another spot out and that will keep my overhead on the shop to where it is affordable.