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Old 11-24-2018, 10:39 AM   #71
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Back in my youth I worked in full-service gas stations. I remember one mechanic charging a buck a belt to change fan belts on a Ford or Chevy and three bucks a belt on a Caddy, or Lincoln. His reasoning was the more expensive the car the more expensive the labor should be to repair it. On a $400k motorhome what's $155 an hour labor? How come you didn't get an estimate ahead of time? Most place I've been to the shop labor rate is posted. Or save the labor and do the work yourself.
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:08 PM   #72
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$1419.00 to service engine, trans and genset at a Northern California Catterpillar shop. Includes chassis lube, brake and suspension check. Did the generator myself and saved $300 bucks.
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:51 PM   #73
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With respect to shop supplies, I used to own a shop and my policy was that shop supplies was 10% of the labor fee up to a maximum of $25

The idea behind it was to recover the costs of tiny incremental items that get used but not billed. But here's the thing, my policy was designed to recover costs, not increase profits.

On any large job (engine/differential etc) that shop supply fee would not recover the cost but on some smaller jobs it would be a little more then actual cost. The idea was that it balances out across the spectrum of clients and no-one gets gouged.

When I explained it to my clients they never had a problem with it. They absolutely understood about the extra items I was paying for to fix their car. But as I said, it was about cost recovery for non-billable items. It was not a new way to make more money.

When you use something like shop supplies as a way to pad the bill you make it harder to see the main items like parts & labor. I always wanted those items to be clear so that the customer could readily see where the money went without smoke and mirror fees.
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:28 PM   #74
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When Coach selection time came for us we did not have a chassis option, well actually we did but the Coach we really liked was 1,000 miles away and featured the Spartan brand. Being newbies and hearing that the Spartan was then a Newmar option and upgrade for their "high end" Coaches we went with it. And, so far it has been doing us well. I will say that knowing many Dealers are not fully authorized for chassis warranty and or service issues we had our chassis serviced while our Coach was in for warranty repairs at the FL dealer. Their charges and fees were ridiculous but we just thought that was just the price of life when owning a $400K Motor Coach? We live in Charlotte, NC, home of nearby Freightliner so shame on us for not supporting them. So, naturally after we got home I stopped by the Freightliner and Cummins Service Centers to hear how much they would have charged. What I found was that with the latest Service rates, fees and surcharges it was all pretty close. For those who are considering a Spartan, I would first personally call the Spartan headquarters in Michigan and speak with their National Service Adviser. I found that they are really not "Coach friendly" and you will find that their authorized Service Centers are more interested in working on Fire Trucks, Dump, Cement and Logging chassis instead of Motor Coaches owned by cranky slit-eyed and wary owners. Plus their annual inspection and service fees are even higher. There is only one Spartan option for us here near Charlotte so I will be looking for alternatives during our national travels. The Loves Speedco option sounds better for preventative maintenance but what about the Spartan warranty and other potential chassis issues. Extensive inspections and hidden Zerks are not something that I really want to study up on. We also really don't want to plan our trips through Michigan. And by the way, I am pretty handy and could probably do most of this myself...but why? We are trying to enjoy this new lifestyle, are willing to pay fair $$$ for some of the heavy lifting. Like most I and am also busy fixing and servicing everything else on the Coach including servicing the 7K Generator for around $45.00! Anyone else also service all of their batteries? Talk about time consuming...
We just returned from Spartan in Charlotte and while it was not the cheapest, I feel good knowing that the company that built my chassis serviced my engine, drivetrain, inspected the entire underside, performed ALL required maintenance, found additional things that needed to be fixed (all under warranty), and it was all done professionally and they were completely upfront about everything they proposed. I even got a personalized walk-through underneath the coach where they showed me all kinds of things and had the ability to ask questions and learn a lot about my coach and the chassis in general.

To each their own, and yes, I could have the work done cheaper, but I'm going to leave it to the professionals who know my chassis inside and out. Already booked my annual service appointment for the fall of 2019.
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:21 PM   #75
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I've always been told that if you have to ask about the price, then you can't afford it when it comes to DP MH's.

Right now I'm extra happy with my Fiver and One Ton Diesel TV.

Happy and safe travels my MH brothers and sisters....
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:42 PM   #76
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X2 on Speedco! Itís like Walmart for truckers.
I would consider SpeedCo, but they will not do ala carte servicing. They are like vehicle OEM's.... you take the package or you don't take anything. So I just do my oil change and lube jobs myself on my semi truck. I know it is done properly and I save a grip of money. So, like I tend to avoid Wally World, I avoid SpeedCo.
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Old 11-25-2018, 02:50 AM   #77
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I had some warranty work done at Cummins Coach Care in Houston, and while I had the coach there, I thought it would be a good idea to get some annual maintenance done. I had them change the oil and filters on the generator and engine, and lube the chassis. Bad idea - they charged $1276 parts and labor, with 10% club discount. Checked with the manager to be sure it was right and he said that was normal. 4 hours labor at $155/hour plus parts. Sheesh!
They charged me 1400+ to properly install a used genny I bought off of Craigslist and didn't check over everything or one of their parts failed and then they charged over 500 to repair that AND they let mine and another unit get ROBBED while in their lot.
They need to be put out of business.
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:02 AM   #78
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I know this isn't what everyone wants to hear but-- I retired 15 years ago after 40 years with Cummins CT. The years I spent as a service manager were the worst. It is very difficult to hire techs who are qualified and willing to work its even worse today they also have to be electronics qualified. Even harder is to find techs that can troubleshoot and work without supervision. Most will not even consider signing on below $25 per hour and benefits health insurance retirement. Training is time that is not billable yet is required if you want quality techs. Equipment required to troubleshoot and repair todays engines is very expensive. I could go on and on but I hope you get the idea it's not all profit. Motor homes are difficult to service at best and do take longer than other equipment. I had techs that said if I have to work on campers I quit.. Just the view from the other side. I won't part with my old 2003 Pace Arrow I do everything myself.
How "cummin" is it for a worker to be able to take two fairly small items and stash them aside until later in the day upon which time they can walk out the door with them???
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Old 11-25-2018, 05:29 AM   #79
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Really don't understand the variance in Cummins pricing. We just had annual service at Cummins in Grand Rapids. This was coach oil, all filters (except Air), their version of the 25 point inspection and the prices was around 329 dollars. While there they also did the gen set oil / filter / fuel filter and they charged 179 dollars.

For sure now, if I go to this or any other Cummins to get any other work I will be sure to get a quote.
I had service done at Cummins GR in mid September. They charged me $686 for oil change, oil and fuel filters, chassis lube, p steering filter and new hydraulic oil, and air dryer service. Seems like a lot but goes with the territory. They did their 25 point inspection, which includes airing all my tires to 125 psi. [Mod Edit] told them not to touch tires, as I had them set by weight. Problem is they lost one of my TPMS sensors, which was brand new. Their service writer (Mike I believe) promised he would send me a new one, three times. Called twice and he promised each time. Pleasant enough guy, but a liar. I won’t use them again.
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:12 AM   #80
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I had service done at Cummins GR in mid September. They charged me $686 for oil change, oil and fuel filters, chassis lube, p steering filter and new hydraulic oil, and air dryer service. Seems like a lot but goes with the territory. They did their 25 point inspection, which includes airing all my tires to 125 psi. I told them not to touch tires, as I had them set by weight. Problem is they lost one of my TPMS sensors, which was brand new. Their service writer (Mike I believe) promised he would send me a new one, three times. Called twice and he promised each time. Pleasant enough guy, but a liar. I won’t use them again.
Probably tells you something about the quality of the service you received too. If it were me, I'd be under the rig checking zirks and grease forced out of critical areas like universal joints... But then again, I do my own service so I don't have to go under it again since I do my own service. I know it was done right.
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:23 AM   #81
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Is that gas motorhome sounding better can do it all for 89 plus you do it yourself for cheaper
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Old 11-25-2018, 12:01 PM   #82
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Expensive oil change

Hi differ with Don Houtz A little bit I recently sold my repair facility of 37 years my rates were at $99 itís not the mechanics that are making so much money generally they are paid $20-$25 per hour it is the owners of these facilities that are either making A lot of honey weíre just building wealth by building bigger facilities.
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Old 11-25-2018, 02:38 PM   #83
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Probably tells you something about the quality of the service you received too. If it were me, I'd be under the rig checking zirks and grease forced out of critical areas like universal joints... But then again, I do my own service so I don't have to go under it again since I do my own service. I know it was done right.
Yeah I thought of that too. Is it possible to know if a zirk fitting or u-joint has been greased, by looking at it?

I want to do the work myself much like you, so that I know itís been done right. I am concerned about getting under the coach. What do you use to prevent getting crushed?
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:14 PM   #84
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I built ramps that raises coach about 4 1/2 inches. Also bought a set of 12 ton jack stands as well.
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