JOE'S WELDING (aka jp2code)
I am at heart an arc welder, but I spend most of my time these days building software - so I guess you could say that I weld code.
Since the website is already in place, that's what I'll stick with for now.
For about 5 years, I ran a mobile welding operation that I used to moonlight on the side with. Let me give you some of what I learned as a part time welder.
- First, the people who hire you are going to be the ones who don't want to hire a professional welder
Professional welders are going to charge more and want their money in a timely fashion. Those
who come to you either don't have the money or haven't been paying their welder in a timely fashion. They
will not offer to pay you any more for working in 113 degree temperature out in the middle of a parking lot
or even offer to bring you any water. Hell, they'll leave and you'll be out in the middle of the sun by
yourself all day working on a bed that is suspended above your head by nothing more than an old fence post.
- Next, the people who hire you will come to you with jobs they can't get done somewhere else.
I've welded on lots of truck frames, hydraulic cylinders, fuel tanks, etc. They don't give a
hoot if you blow yourself to bits out there or if your weld job breaks and kills someone else. They just
want the job done. If it isn't safe or if you can't find a safe way to do it, you will need to know how
to tell and when to tell them, "No." You could easily kill yourself or have a patch job of yours kill someone
else, and they will point the finger at you.
- Finally, the people who hire you will come to you because you are cheaper than a professional welder.
I know this sounds a lot like the first point, but there is a subtle difference here: If they
don't have the money to hire a professional welder, you will likely find them never paying their bill. Most
of the time, I never heard from customers I did work for until it was time for the next job. At that time,
I'd point out that they never paid for the last job, and that's when they'd show up with the money for the
job 2 weeks or 6 months ago. If I forgot or didn't have good records, I was S.O.L. I got to where I knew I
would never get paid for a job until the next job came up.
Since having my son 7 years ago, I've told the group of truckers I used to work for that I sold my rig, and I haven't been beating the path for more work. Occasionally, I'll get a call from a local farmer that needs some help, and I may or may not take it depending on how he makes it sound over the phone.
I love to weld and I love what I produce when I weld, but I'm not going to kill myself and my boy's daddy for a bunch of low life people that don't care about what happens to me.
That was my experience in the industry. Yours could be different.