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New Day


vanscottbuilders

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I realized today that I haven't posted in a while.

Not much to report.

Good progress on my B-67 frame. The rebuilt rear axle is

mounted and lined up, with the new springs and maxi cans.

The front axle is mounted and lined up, but still needs rebuilding,

to include king pins, bearings, tie rod ends and seals.

The clutch linkage is this week's job. New bushings thru the frame

are probably going to have to be made. Mack doesn't have any, and

the original shaft is pretty worn. So I thought I could true up the shaft,

then have bushings machined to fit exactly.

Not much money to spend on the cab right now, so work on the frame will continue,

and the cab will have to wait for the building business to get back in gear, or some other

source of funds becomes viable.

Interesting times.

I run a small 60 year old family owned building business with an outstanding reputation.

We have never been out of work - until now. My pride has kept us afloat at times like these

in the past, when a smart person would have filed for bankruptcy and just closed up.

This time, however, pride isn't going to cut it, and we are in deep trouble.

By mortgaging our homes, I think my brother and I can satisfy all of the debt,

but we will probably have to close the doors. And that just plain sucks.

And it means I'm in the job market for the first time in thirty years. Scary stuff.

I have never collected unemployment or assistance of any kind, and do not intend to start.

I am working on a bunch of ideas, and have a number of offers. Some better than others.

Funny how fast things change.

One of the ideas that has really just become an option is the buying and selling of used equipment

and old trucks from our shop. I would really hate to lose the shop, and am ready to do anything

necessary to make it pay for itself.

I am ready to sell all of my Mack stuff, trucks and parts, except my B-67. I've got some pretty rare parts including

diesel engines, transmissions, B model power steering unit, new engine brake kit for the 6 cylinder diesels, and a bunch

of miscellaneous pieces.

And we have a Caterpillar 3412 with a big generator that can go, along with a KW W900-A with a big Cummins

KTA-525 in excellent running condition. Also have a Walters Sno-Fighter with about 32,000 original miles

and a very rare supercharged Cummins Iron Lung diesel in it, and a big Michigan loader with a 318 Detroit,

and some old tractors including an Oliver HG-42 in beautiful original condition.

Lots of good stuff.

I'll put the inventory together and post it ASAP.

Kind of a sad time in a way - but looking ahead to something new and different.

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I really hate to hear that Paul, after 60 years your gonna have to close the doors. Were i work we have 18 stores out of the 18 we was in the top 5 when i started there, now where in the top 3. Funny how things can turn arund on ya, the only thing keepin our store open is 4 MAJOR builders that are runnin out of jobs at the end of this month. Well one will be done after the first of the year, another one has windows and doors ready for me to deliver whenever they say. The other 2 thinks they might have something else goin' and we have John Q public. When i started we was pullin in 250 customers a day, you couldn't think about settin down, now all we do is sit and possibly pull in 75 to 100. They layed one off outside already, now they are gonna lay one off inside. Well you get my point on this. Thing is I hate to see this, Tom's been settin at the house too, It's nice to have a break, but it's nice to have electricity too. I really hate to hear this Paul especially about a family business, hopefully everything will work out we are keepin positive at work and hoping this is just a really slow time. Paul we will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Good Luck buddy

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Damn the torpedo's boys, full speed ahead. Surrender is not an option, relocation is. There is construction going on somewhere. Even if the economy completely fails, people still need food and shelter. I have a 24/7 job taking care of my mom. I don't need a job. If my situation was different, I would find a place to put a produce market. In California, I've seen rolling restaurants. Half again as large as the typical roach coach you see here. You could buy a fresh hamburger, fajitas, or a burrito half as big as Texas. All made on a grill right before your eyes. Could you imagine one of Toms BBQ sammiches. Possibilities far outweigh disappointment. Build some rocking chairs for abused truck drivers, but don't give up.

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Thanks guys.

I'm not giving up James. Just making the changes I have to.

We are known for uncompromising quality and building integrity,

whether it's a large home or small. The way it is built is always the same.

(Mostly my father's reputation by the way, before any of you get to wisecracking)

And today very few people are willing to pay any extra for those things that last.

I haven't been able to bring myself to slam together houses like the tract builders,

so we have become a dinosaur in the building business.

The jury is still out on what is really going to happen. But what we do know for sure

is that something is going to have to change and soon.

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Thanks guys.

I'm not giving up James. Just making the changes I have to.

We are known for uncompromising quality and building integrity,

whether it's a large home or small. The way it is built is always the same.

(Mostly my father's reputation by the way, before any of you get to wisecracking)

And today very few people are willing to pay any extra for those things that last.

I haven't been able to bring myself to slam together houses like the tract builders,

so we have become a dinosaur in the building business.

The jury is still out on what is really going to happen. But what we do know for sure

is that something is going to have to change and soon.

I hoped you wouldn't have a worry in the world today, but I didn't match a single number in the mega million drawing last night. Oh well, maybe next time.

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Having the reputation of being a craftsman means something to me also. In my area, local builders, have flooded the housing market. In fact, a lot of building contractors continued to build for two years after the market began to dry up. The crazy thing is, that as long as the banks would provide construction financing, they would continue to churn them out. Along the way buying up new trucks, cars, boats, and toy's as fast as they could finish one and start another. Now, when someone say's that they are building a spec house I have trouble getting my mind wrapped around $350,000 to $400,000. When I think of a spec house, I still think of a whole lot less. Some of these builders had 5 or more of these sitting empty, with no hope of selling. Having taken all the money out of them, and blowing it, they have had no other option than to let the banks have them. With easy financing gone, and the value of real estate approaching it's actual value, new construction has been almost at a standstill. However, there is a limited amount going on. As you may very well guess, the contractors with the reputation of being craftsmen are the ones doing it. A strange thing is that not all areas of the country are in such a recession. If a person is willing to travel, there is work going on.

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its going on here in se Ohio to, the pre fab plant was turning out houses as fast as the glue would settell up, now they have closed the doors and took alot of small support companies with them, We was looking into having a log home build last yr and nobody wanted to really mess with a small job like that, they had a job about 10 miles from the house where they was building a huge cabin with 5 or 6 smaller lodges around it, Guess what, the guy left them all holding the bag, he took his clohts and was going leaving alot of people holding a empty bag, Its to bad to see your family busness go down, yours is not alone but that doesn,t help you, i know been there too :mack1:

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I appreciate everybody's support. It probably will be a little

challenging for a while.

But, I really believe that things happen for a reason.

Maybe you have to look for it, but something in the mess

is actually a good thing. You just have to find it.

That's where I am now.

James is right - there is construction work out there, if we

want to uproot our families and go chase it.

And there some related industry possibilities that have been offered to me

in the past two weeks.

Even with the current business, a couple of the right phone calls could end all of the concern.

It's a little bit far fetched, but I could get my latest R model Mack in roadworthy,

good looking and dependable condition with very little effort, and put it to work developing a

"light freight" business around this area. Lots of industry and machine shops that

must need materials, products and equipment moved locally. The single axle Mack,

with a single axle flat trailer, or a short step deck would be pretty versatile at making

deliveries of all types up to maybe 25,000 lbs. I've got the lowboy, and two 40' high flats,

and access to Jimmy's 53' step deck already. Plenty of capability to get started with.

Operating at a fraction of the cost of a full size 5 or 6 axle unit gives me a competitive advantage.

And - no truck payments! It sure would be fun, if it could actually work.

Maybe I could add a 32' van sometime down the road, if there is a market.

Selling and promoting the smaller truck service is probably the biggest challenge.

So - who knows. There are a lot of possibilities!

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