Reply To: Dr. Vinyls Working Together

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Techs and Owners,

Recently I have spoken with several techs who have told me some tricks they use that have been of great help to me. I believe these techs intended for me to pass this information onto to others for their benefit. All of these techs have the same unique and desirable qualities. Those qualities are their intent to help others and pass along knowledge which they have come across in their travels in this life we call Dr. Vinyl. The funny thing is all three of them called me with their “tricks” during the same week. I didn’t think much of it then, but I have always been a slow study. This epiphany eventually came to me. These techs were intentionally giving me pearls of wisdom with the hope that I would pass it on. The only problem is how to pass this information on to ALL the other techs. If I had been quicker and wiser, I would have told them of a great way to get their tricks out to all Dr. Vinyl’s. The information highway I am speaking of is the Dr. Vinyl Forums on our very own private website. Since I failed to tell them this when we were on the phone, I will take it upon myself to share their information with you now.

One of our techs, Coleman Hawkins, made me aware of a much-needed service his customers have been allowing him to do. It is a very simple but profitable one. It is refinishing rusty trailer hitch receivers. At the first dealership he did 10 hitches at $48 each in 45 minutes! At the next one he did 14 hitches. That is about $1,150 in under 3 hours time. I started to notice the rust on hitches at my dealerships and thought “I sure wish Coleman was here”. Then I realized I could do the same thing. It was as easy as refinishing rusty wiper arms. I already had everything I needed to do this repair. Then I started seeing them on every lot I worked. While you might think that hitches are only on trucks, I am here to tell you they are on SUV’s as well as cars. A little cleanup and refinishing and they look brand new. Coleman calls this “Gettin’ Rich on the Hitch!!!” Coleman is never one to shirk away from work or making money. We can all learn something from this Young Gun!

Another one of our Techs, Bruce Dockery, told me of some difficulty he had starting a perforated leather repair because the tear went to a seam in the seat. He used some carpet tape on the underside of the perforated leather to hold it long enough that he could get leather filler to cure and hold in the damaged area and then proceed to finish the repair by our normal procedures. Sometimes all you need is a little ingenuity to get past a difficulty. I call Bruce “The Innovator” because when faced with a situation where some would say “It can’t be done”, Bruce finds a way. That is Innovation!

The third tech is from another Franchise, and I have to admit that he is really more than just a tech. He is Bill Hubbard. For those of you who know Bill you know what I mean. He is more of a legend. We were talking one day when he hit me with this idea that has made things so much easier when dealing with scratches in plastic. Many of you are probably familiar with heating up plastic to minimize the scratches that are so prevalent in cargo areas, center consoles, door panels, near ignition switches, etc. In black or really dark gray plastics with deeper scratches or heavily discolored areas I would have to take some extra time to mix up a color to redye. While this would redye the area it would not camouflage the extra damage as well as I would like. Bill let me know something that he has been doing that not only redyes these areas but also helps to disguise the more damaged plastic. It is Satin Black Chip Guard (item #39813) in an aerosol can. You can shoot it straight on the affected area if you need heavy texture or heat up the can to make the texture finer. I am here to tell you it works so well! I have been able to hide more damage and make things look much better than prior to this info. I would highly recommend this to any interior tech. Thank you, Bill! I am forever in your debt..

If you have any tips or tricks you use during your Dr. Vinyl work week, please share these on the Forums so all of us may learn from you. It has been so long since we’ve been able to get together at a Convention. There is no need to wait to share your knowledge. The Forums give us a way to share things NOW! If you’ve never been on the Dr. Vinyl Website or looked at the Forums, please call Buster Coppage at the Corporate Office (816) 525-6060 Ext. 130. Buster has been able to get even the least tech savvy guy, myself, on them. If I can navigate the site, then rest assured you can as well.

We in the field eagerly await your Posts of Wisdom on the Forums.

Mitch Reid
The Wandering Upholsterer
All Who Wander Are Not Lost