So you love welding and want to make a career out of it. Sounds great! But there are so many things to consider before taking the plunge. For example, is there enough demand for welding services from mobile welders? How much capital is required? What kind of certifications or licenses do I need? The list goes on… Working as an itinerant welder can be exhausting and challenging at times. You need to be ready to hit the road in your own personal truck, trailer, camper, or motor home and travel to different job sites where you’ll set up your equipment and begin working. If that sounds like something you can handle, read on for more details about what it takes to start a mobile welding business of your own.
How To Start A Mobile Welding Business?
1. Research The Market
The first step in starting a mobile welding business is to research the market. This is where you’ll determine what type of equipment you need, how much you’ll need it for, and what types of jobs are available for mobile welders. You can do this by talking to other welders who are already in the business, or by looking at industry trade magazines and websites. In addition, you can also talk to local dealerships and distributors who sell welding equipment. Keep in mind that they may not have all the equipment that you will need; they may only have a few pieces. However, they will be able to give you a good idea of what kind of equipment is available in your area so that next time when they come back into town you can visit them to pick up some additional gear.
2. Figure Out Your Plan
Once you have an idea of what type of equipment you need and where it will go in your truck or trailer, you’re ready to start making plans. The first step is to make a list of all the equipment you will need. For example, if you are putting a small portable welder in the back of your pickup, you will need a battery and charger for it as well as a few welding rods and some welding gloves.
3. Make Arrangements With Haulers
After having an idea of what kind of tools you will need, it’s time to figure out how they will be transported from your home to the job site. Your first option is to hire a trailer, but you will have to make sure that the trailer you hire can handle the weight of your equipment. If you don’t know if it can, then rent a truck and test it out before making any long-term arrangements.
4. Buy Your Equipment
Once you have made arrangements for hauling your equipment from home to the job site, it’s time to buy all of the gear you need for your mobile welding business. You may want to purchase used or surplus equipment from other welders who already have some of the gear they need and are looking for someone else with a truck or trailer to haul their stuff around in exchange for some welding work done on their equipment. Or, if you’re handy with tools yourself, you may want to do it yourself and build an entire mobile welder from scratch using parts obtained from auction sites such as eBay or Craigslist (or even craigslist.org).
5. Get Ready For The Haul
Now that you have all of your equipment, it’s time to get it all loaded into your truck or trailer and organized so that you can make the most of your haul from home to job site. Keep in mind that if you are going to do this yourself, you will need a lot of space to work with and some tools to help you assemble and disassemble the equipment. If someone else is going to be hauling the equipment for you, then they will need a truck or trailer as well as a way to transport it around. On top of all these things, they will also need a way to load the equipment onto their truck or trailer so that they don’t have problems when they get there at the end of each day because their trailer is full.
6. Get To Work!
Now that you have everything you need in place, it’s time to hit the road and get your mobile welding business started. You will have to make sure that you have enough gas in the tank for the trip and that you have enough water in your vehicle for any road trips you may take. Also, make sure that there is a good place to stop along the way so that you can take care of any personal needs or emergencies while on your way to a job site.
Decide On A Budget
1. Decide On A Budget.
This is the first step in starting a mobile welding business. It’s crucial to anticipate your expenses and prepare for them. You don’t want to find yourself two weeks into your new business with a big hole in your pocket, because you didn’t budget properly.
2. Estimate How Much More You Need To Earn Each Year To Cover All Of Your Expenses.
The goal is to generate enough money each year so that you can make a profit, but not so much that you can’t afford to live like a normal person with your growing business. So figure out how much you need each month to cover all of your expenses and then add some extra for good measure. Be sure that this amount will be sustainable over the long term; if you have an emergency or unexpected expense, it may not be possible for you to cover it with this amount of income.
3. Decide On A Price Point.
You want to figure out what your customers are willing to pay for your services. This will also help you decide on how much of an overhead you need to cover and how much money you need to bring in each month or year to cover expenses.
4. Find A Location For Your Business.
If you have the capital, it might be possible for you to lease the space that you’ll use as your shop or home base. If not, look for a spot where you can park your equipment and maybe even set up some temporary storage so that no one else has access to it when it’s not being used. You also want some kind of small office space so that you can store some supplies, do paperwork, and meet with customers when necessary without having to worry about where anything is going when it’s time for work. You don’t have any business if there are no customers!
5. Decide On The Type Of Business You Want To Start.
What kind of work are you going to do? Will you be a full-time mobile welder or will you only do occasional jobs? If you’re only doing occasional work, then it may be possible for you to use your truck, trailer, or camper as a mobile shop and just let it sit there for days at a time. Obviously, this is not ideal, but if it’s what works best for your lifestyle, then go ahead and try it! You may also want to consider renting out your space so that someone else can use it while you are working somewhere else.
Know The Market
- The first thing you have to do is determine if there is a market for your services. The best way to figure out if there’s a demand for mobile welding services is by talking to people at your local welding supply suppliers and asking them if they have any needs that can be fulfilled by a mobile welder. They may not know what they’re looking for, but they will know what they need and can help you determine the best way to go about meeting those needs.
- If you do not want to drive around gathering information from suppliers, check out the websites of local welding supply companies such as Miller Welding Supply, Diversified Welding Supply, Miller Industrial Supply, Miller-Smythe Welding Supply, and many others. Read their websites and look for anything that pertains to mobile welders or itinerant welders in general. Also, check out the Yellow Pages under “Welding Supplies” or “Welding Equipment” and see if you can find any mobile welder companies in your area.
- If you want to check the job market for mobile welding jobs, look at the websites of local construction companies, home remodeling companies, and other construction-related businesses. They may offer itinerant welders as contract labor or even full-time employees with benefits. Many of them also offer training programs that are designed to teach their workers how to use their equipment and how to perform specific welding jobs.
- If you have a friend who is already working as a welder, ask him or her if they know anyone else who is also working as an itinerant welder and what the typical work schedule or pay is like for such work. You may not be able to get a job through your friend, but at least you’ll know what it’s like to be a welder in this line of work!
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when starting a mobile welding business. Before you sign the dotted line and take on all the hard work that comes with being an itinerant welder, make sure you’re ready to handle the challenges that come with the job. Once you’re up and running, though, you’ll get to spend your days doing what you love, getting to travel and meet new people, and setting your own hours. It’s a challenging but rewarding career, so if you’re ready for the job, go ahead and get the ball rolling.