Hey, for the guys who call me when you see I’m posting…. don’t call… I left my cell phone at the house! There are people there sleeping….
Be right back…
We had a coach come in yesterday I wanted to show you and talk about. It’s a coach that was home built BUT the twist is he used the GMC dealer network to learn options and supported those that supported him and picked up key components for his coach and with as much help as he could absorb, he built his machine to fit their style. I call this a win/win. He took advantage of the internet….. understood as much as he could his options THEN went about his work. Many times folks go into these coaches with their own ideas and that’s good but making decisions on what to do before seeing what’s been done and pulling from all the information out there about things…. you will be learning lessons others have already paid for. I nice home spun restoration. Let me get my pics later and post this story later…… come back and read it later…..
In the mean time, let me blab a little….. if you’re not into it it’s fine…. but then again…. what else is going on right now? Hey, give it a little read….
Yeah, did my morning look around…. no camera…. Sorry, I liked to take pics of each morning. Helps me try and get a grasp on the work we have. Listen, since I don’t have morning pics…… let me take a little time and talk a little on some of the things on my mind. I mean there is always….. that…. I promise to not get to lost but there are a few things that are important on what’s going on around here…
One look at the place and you can see things are going on… I mean after working 18 years in an open air bullpin arrangement to now a 16,000sf main building, 2 out buildings AND we kept the old shop sub-leasing out part and keeping parts . That’s all great but it’s just the space, it’s what we do with that opportunity is what’s important. Along with the space we need the “team”. We need the workers all working together, we need the tools and we need our processes. If you don’t have any one of these it just won’t work.
You can see this situation in every town…. there will be a guy who knows more about something and does a good job a that thing. Lets say it’s Corvettes like a dear friend up in Georgia. Gene was one of those guys in high school who had a “nice car”. His was a Corvette and over the years and decades folks knew that Gene could do an awesome job on Corvette restoration. He helped write the Corvette rule book on restoration correctness. If you had Gene do your restoration you would automatically win something at any legitimate show you showed it at. A true and loving Corvette enthusiast. He had a 1 man shop having his son and local friends help him….. he was a awesome guy and man did he know Corvettes! He put out many cars but always it was the time it took to do his work. Truly… if you ask how much or when would it be done you can’t have work done. It wasn’t Gene being anything … it was the truth and when you have basically one guy with helpers do work… that’s cottage industry… one off…. craftwork which is the slowest and most expensive way to do something.
Hey, in many ways that’s not bad because the possible quality could be fantastic….. BUT there is much you have to put up with to have someone do that work…. AND there is no guarantee the outcome will be what you expected…. if you can get “the guy” to do all the work it’s OK…. you feel but he can’t do everything and what you end up with many times is an approach to the quality of “the guy”…. maybe…… this is how it is in most custom and specialty shops. Hey, that’s just ho it is and if you DO hind a larger high quality place that says they can do the work those folks are usually not as experienced in one specific vehicle and what you end up with is their redition on what a GMC or vintage RV restoration would be…. but they do not have the expertice thus they are doing your project “for the first time”. Quality professionals that’s true BUT do they fully know this machine, have that specific knowledge and is this the first one they’ve done… no, how many others?
That’s my point….. most shops like us… focused one one specific vehicle……. one off craftwork is slow and expensive…… what would happen if you could gather enough work in one specific vehicle that the shop COULD get to a quality, cost effective, team effort, production style restoration WITH the specific knowledge needed to do thebest job possible? There ya go, that’s what we’re up to…….
The Co-op has been focused on vintage RV’s, specifically the GMC Motorhome for over 19 years now…… We have built this business up centered on the knowledge, expertise and bringing that knowledge forward and now we have the facility, we have the parts, understanding, tools and manpower to actually DO that quality “production” restoration.
Next you might say…”But I WANT that level of attention! Hey, if this is done right, the quality will still be there! The quality will be done in an experienced team effort…… the attention to detail is there but also is the efficiency of time use…… quality parts, installation, adjustment and maintenance. Really guys… no fooln, we can do that… no bragging eather look, even a dummy can pick up something doing it for over 20 years! This is a place every restoration guy will say is the goal but usually just a dream. Guys, we’re going for it! I feel we can do it… we have the talent, we have the expertise, the facility, tools and people…….. If you wanna do it right, this is the way!
NOW… if it were easy everyone would be doing it! It is difficult to put together a program such as this. There has to be a big picture fist… and a core group. Then everyone need to see the goal and start pulling together……. that’s not easy and everyone cannot fit into this sort of thing. It’s hard to do, you have to help eachother and through this support quality pops out the other end. It has to be that way and getting to that point take some work. We are putting in that sweat equity into the new Co-op right now. We are expanding like you can believe in all direction. Bear with us as we grow and I will guaranty the quality of out outcome. Time will come, it’s hard to get the ball rolling and that too is where we are.
PAINT We are there…. Our first roof came out quality all the way The process works… now we have 5 coaches in our new process… each one along it’s timeline.
Mechanical Still not expanding we do have out tools sorted and able to get special mechanical issues addressed .
, etc. We still have the new shop to set up but the lift is operational Not great but good.
INTERIOR Our challenge is coming together. My partner is bringing in woodworking specialists he knows through the commercial building industry. Interior is the first thing the Co-op original focus was on and we have my team of workers from before. We have the shop set up The archery target is mine…. and the main building is filling up We have new people mixing in with my other guys and it’s cranking up.
So this is where we are now… the projects we had in house when the move was made are not going to suffer but it may take a little more time. What can I say, at least it’s not because we have piles of work frantic to keep pushing… we have our big picture and we’re moving forward with a clear mission.
Hey, this is exciting! Thanks for the visit… putting up with us and reading this mess. This IS what we are, where we are and what we’re doing…… See ya tomorrow…..
Oh, and I’ll talk tomorrow about this awesome home spun restoration….