‘When it rains it pours’ – that’s how the saying goes and it’s never been more prudent in the case of my humble garage.
I’ve been running my 3-man mechanics team out of a workshop in Essex for the past two decades.
We have a good laugh, us and the boys, but always strive to keep our work ticking along at a good rate. The common stereotype of the ‘lazy’ mechanic is one that I am constantly striving to challenge; hiring good people to work under you is always the first step in the process.
However, you can have the most motivated mechanics in your team, but if your equipment starts failing on you – the work rate is always going to suffer.
I’ve not been able to get any word done on any vehicles this week, thanks to a power surge that hit our local grid. At some point during last night, an extra few hundred thousand volts of energy slammed into our little workshop, causing all our gear to blow their fuses.
I know what you’re thinking: ‘Surely an experienced mechanic of twenty years would have come across this problem before and have back up fuses in storage?’
Well, to answer your question, no. No, this hasn’t happened before and no, I didn’t have any spare fuses in storage.
The fuses have been ordered on one-day delivery, so we should be up and running in the next couple of days. In the meantime, my boys have been set to cleaning duties and I’ve been researching fool-proof plans to stop this happening in the future.
Electrical surges, the internet tells me, can be caused by a number of things.
Lightning strikes are the chief culprits, however they can also be caused by power returning from a cut as well as pesky electrical contractors cutting lines. There’s no way of knowing when any of these things are going to happen, so the best step forward for us is to buy some serious protection.
Although I’m inclined to push the blame on local electricians, the best way forward, I think, is simply to buy some industrial grade surge protectors for the entirety of the workshop. With some extra time on my hands, I conducted a rigorous walk through of the entire workshop.
I’m a frugal sort of guy, that’s how I’ve managed to maximise my profits over the year, but it also shows in the support equipment that I’ve purchased over the years. To best protect my investments, I’ve decided that I need to ditch the scrimping attitude and invest in some high-end industrial goods.
There are a few options that I’m considering, however after so many years dealing with British solutions, I’m now moving away from UK consumer suppliers and investing in a US based company for my tech needs.
We use a variety of American made pieces of equipment in our shop, these require specific forms of power converters to run in the UK. After some research on the forums, I’ve settled on using Wall Industries as our main supplier of AC/DC and DC/DC power converters. They’ve got a significant reputation for providing good quality tech, so they’ll hopefully be able to give us everything need to protect our gear from any further issues.
A word of advice to anyone reading this – always invest in good technology – you’ll thank me later.