Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

New Bumper Orders Temporarily Suspended Starting 12/1/12

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by bartonmd » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:32 pm

Something's got to give, plain and simple. Lead times from deposit on bumpers are like 8-9 months right now, if nothing else hits the fan, and I can't stand being under that kind of backlog all the time, any more. My real job has started to pay more, but the stress level has gone up, the company travel has gone WAY up, my stomach ulser has come back, and I really just need to work my way to the point of not being so behind.

So, the solution seems to be to stop taking bumper orders until the lead times get reasonable, then resume business as usual.

I'm still going to take and ship out skidplate orders, as I don't have a ton of time in them, and they're more important, anyway, from a vehicle safety standpoint.

There are a series of issues that lead to this. It's good that I have quality product for dirt cheap, as it's a hobby and FAR from my main source of income (in fact, I haven't had a money-making year, yet) but this causes a couple things to happen. First, popularity. This is a good thing, but coming to #2, since I take my time and make a nice product, and don't charge real fab shop prices for stuff, I also don't have enough money in the bumpers to farm any of it out and increase production capacity, even to welders who would do it at home after work. Because of this, 3 years later, my truck still doesn't have a bumper, my TB doesn't have a rear bumper, etc.

So, here's what I'm going to do with bumper orders. I'm going to stop taking bumper orders on 12/1, get a punched/bent parts and steel order in, so I have everything for the orders in house, and plug away at the in-house orders. When I'm down to 2-3 month lead time, I'll start taking orders again. Even though the lead time wouldn't be any different if you put your order in now, or when I start taking orders again, if you just WANT to reserve your place in line with a $100 deposit before 12/1, that's fine. I really just need a stationary target and an end to the tunnel, right now, regardless of the tunnel length.

Like I say, skid plates are still good to order and ship.

Thanks,
Mike
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by HARDTRAILZ » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:18 pm

Makes sense man.

If yall want to get a bumper in the pipeline. Get er dun.

I know personally how much time and effort he puts into these and the results speak for themselves.


Thanks for still doing skids and if i can help find the end of tunnel... ya got my number!
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by boog2006 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:21 pm

Definitely the right move. Thanks for your commitment to the community.

You might get some quotes on additional labor though. It could increase business even with price increases. Unless that would cause another ulcer. :)
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by Opeth » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:50 pm

If we reserve our place in line with $100, when would you want the rest of the payment to come? Were also looking at what July/ August? I was planning on submitting an order around tax return time, but if your so far behind I might just hold off and let you distress yourself. I don't want to put a burden on your own personal health, stress is no fun and if this is a hobby I don't want it to become "work" for you.
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by bartonmd » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:47 pm

HARDTRAILZ wrote:Makes sense man.

If yall want to get a bumper in the pipeline. Get er dun.

I know personally how much time and effort he puts into these and the results speak for themselves.


Thanks for still doing skids and if i can help find the end of tunnel... ya got my number!


Thanks, and I'll let you know!


boog2006 wrote:Definitely the right move. Thanks for your commitment to the community.

You might get some quotes on additional labor though. It could increase business even with price increases. Unless that would cause another ulcer. :)


Thanks! Yeah, I can't have any employees, though, or it would make my taxes M-U-C-H more complicated! Plus, they're not really "hold up and weld together without being on a vehicle" parts, so there's no getting around some of it.

Opeth wrote:If we reserve our place in line with $100, when would you want the rest of the payment to come? Were also looking at what July/ August? I was planning on submitting an order around tax return time, but if your so far behind I might just hold off and let you distress yourself. I don't want to put a burden on your own personal health, stress is no fun and if this is a hobby I don't want it to become "work" for you.


Just like normal, deposit is $100, then if it's not REALLY custom, I would just need the rest before it ships. If it's REALLY custom, I'd need X% more before I start it, then the rest + shipping before it ships.

That's really the problem. My hobby has literally taken over ALL of my free time, and become something that takes away from my other hobbies, and became a "job" in and of itself. That's fine, and I still like doing it, but I just need to get a little more on top of it.

Mike
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by The Roadie » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:02 pm

Totally understood. A hobby has to be something you love, not something you do that only history will appreciate you for. Do whatever it takes, even if you need to ask folks to remove themselves from the backlog if it's too custom. I'm in that category - just nuke me if you need to. I'll understand, and my brother (a semi-retired welder/fabricator/painter/auto flipper) is coming to visit for three months and he might do it for me if I can buy your CAD plans.
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by bartonmd » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:09 pm

The Roadie wrote:Totally understood. A hobby has to be something you love, not something you do that only history will appreciate you for. Do whatever it takes, even if you need to ask folks to remove themselves from the backlog if it's too custom. I'm in that category - just nuke me if you need to. I'll understand, and my brother (a semi-retired welder/fabricator/painter/auto flipper) is coming to visit for three months and he might do it for me if I can buy your CAD plans.


Nah, I'm not planning on nuking in-house orders. I still like doing it, but I just can't have lead times be always going up. It is sort of self limiting, in that people won't want to wait years for their stuff to be done, anyway, but I'd like to get back to reasonable lead times. I'm actually excited to do your rear bumper, to tell you the truth! No CAD plans to buy, really. Yours in particular will be pieced together and seam welded/ground.

Thanks, though!
Mike
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by HARDTRAILZ » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:17 pm

The rear was a ton of work, but I agree...sometimes the first of something is cool to see come together. I just need to know when to help.

I think you do have a good plan to make 2013 go smoother and allow you to enjoy a bit more rather than run run run run run run runrurnurnurnrurururnrunrunr runr unr urn rurn run run run....like ya have been.


You see the middle where I made ya trip....
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by bartonmd » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:28 pm

Yep, and the tube for my front bumper, my rear bumper, the front bumper for my truck, and making a new rear bumper for it with the DMI spring hitch integrated are going in line right after I get these in-que bumpers done, and before I start taking orders again. Then, that way, at least I'm building stuff for other people after my shit is where I want it. I may have to look into what bumper prices really should be, then, as well. I'm not sure, just yet.

Really, what put me behind to begin with was the fact that I couldn't do much of anything outside for 2/3 of the summer, and started traveling more for work in July, then a whole lot the last couple months. The travel should die down as we get my new counterpart, and the new field service guy trained, but it's a process.

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by v7guy » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:47 pm

I'm in awe that you've been able to sell these things in any volume for the price you do. It's no fun when the hobby becomes a job, defeats the whole purpose of a hobby. Really lookin forward to you catching up and making some stuff for yourself, especially since the truck is all paid off now.
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by bartonmd » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:37 pm

I do actually make some money for my time, but it's just that I've been buying tools (welder, plasma, saws, grinders, compressor, tubing bender, etc.) so that took up any profit. This is expected, though, when starting a business. I'm looking forward to not having to explain why the lead time is 8 months every time somebody asks me about stuff.

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by Opeth » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:56 pm

Yea I've decided to hold off before placing a bumper order, but will snag some armor around tax season. I'd like to see you be able to get yourself back into a comfort zone before adding more burden.

But going off one thing roadie said, would you consider selling CAD drawings if you had them of the 2 or 3" body lift bumper? I respect the amount of R&D you have into these and if it is not something you would consider, I fully understand.
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by bartonmd » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:17 pm

Opeth wrote:Yea I've decided to hold off before placing a bumper order, but will snag some armor around tax season. I'd like to see you be able to get yourself back into a comfort zone before adding more burden.

But going off one thing roadie said, would you consider selling CAD drawings if you had them of the 2 or 3" body lift bumper? I respect the amount of R&D you have into these and if it is not something you would consider, I fully understand.


No problem by me. It wouldn't both me if you hadn't held off, but it doesn't bother me that you are, either!

There are no CAD drawings for a 2" body lift bumper, but really the only way I'd sell drawings for a bumper (or skids) is if it's somebody that I know, and they're on another continent, making shipping completely kill the deal. I would entertain the thought of selling "kits" with minimal fab work, and just a bunch of welding and grinding for the standard and 3" body lift bumpers, though. I can do this with bent tube, as well.

Thanks,
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by boog2006 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:24 pm

The kit is very interesting to me...what are you thinking for something like that
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by bartonmd » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:29 pm

boog2006 wrote:The kit is very interesting to me...what are you thinking for something like that


Probably $275 and $300 for the standard bumpers, wing parts included, but you'd have to cut the 1" strips for the trim around the wings, and maybe have to trim some on the wing pieces. Shipping would probably still have to be on a pallet, or (2) FEDEX boxes (or you could come to Indy to pick it up). Probably $100 for a full tube brush guard set of bent tubes, that you'd just cut/bevel/notch and weld together.

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by Opeth » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:23 am

This kit idea might be something id be interested in doing. Im gonna toss the idea around to a couple of people that weld and see if they would be willing to lend a hand. A kit for a bumper and sliders woUld be a Great idea IMHO.
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by HARDTRAILZ » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:57 am

Exo kit be available soon?
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by bartonmd » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:51 am

Opeth wrote:This kit idea might be something id be interested in doing. Im gonna toss the idea around to a couple of people that weld and see if they would be willing to lend a hand. A kit for a bumper and sliders woUld be a Great idea IMHO.


The bumper is fine, and I can take a few bucks off of the radiator and oil pan skids if you want to weld them up yourself, but the sliders are a little different. The only thing different about a set of sliders and a slider kit is 15 minutes of welding.


HARDTRAILZ wrote:Exo kit be available soon?


Yep, it's been available. It comes in 20' lengths of tube that you just cut, bend, notch, and weld. :finger:

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by HARDTRAILZ » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:22 am

bartonmd wrote:
HARDTRAILZ wrote:Exo kit be available soon?


Yep, it's been available. It comes in 20' lengths of tube that you just cut, bend, notch, and weld. :finger:

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I am using your tools to do so....
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by bartonmd » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:39 am

HARDTRAILZ wrote:
bartonmd wrote:
HARDTRAILZ wrote:Exo kit be available soon?


Yep, it's been available. It comes in 20' lengths of tube that you just cut, bend, notch, and weld. :finger:

Mike



I am using your tools to do so....


Actually, you've been talking about an exo for a couple years. Your exo is also between my vehicle's bumpers getting taken care of, and me starting to take orders again.

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