2014 Results Just In!

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Amskeptic
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2014 Results Just In!

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:28 am

. . . . . . . '05 . . . '06 . . . '07 . . . '08 . . . '09 . . . '10 . . . '11 . . . '12 . . . '13 . . . 2014
Visits .... 52 ...... 32 ..... 35 ...... 46 ...... 37 ...... 57 ...... 54 ..... 48 ..... 48 ......... 57
Gross .. 15.9 ...11.5 ... 11.9 ...15.7 ... 13.1 ... 23.9 ... 20.0 ... 19.4 ... 22.0 .... 26,090
Fuel ...... 3.9 .... 2.4 ..... 3.0 .... 4.0 ..... 2.6 ..... 4.0 ..... 5.3 ..... 3.5 ..... 4.0 ...... 4,909
Ldgng ... 4.0 .... 2.3 ..... 2.7 .... 3.4 ..... 2.9 ..... 4.8 ..... 4.6 ..... 3.4 ..... 3.8 ...... 4,701
Net/Call 152 ... 207..... 174 ... 179 .... 213 .... 265 .... 194 .... 262 .... 293 ....... 289

Total Miles ........................................... 22,755 (+360)
Actual Work Weeks .................................... 21 ( - 1 )
Average miles to each call ...................... 399 ( - 68 )
Average fuel expense per call .................. 86.00 ( -.50 )
Average fuel economy was ....................... 16.9 mpg @ 3.75/gallon (-2.6mpg)(+.14 cents)
Average lodging expense per call ............ 82.00 (+2.84)
Average net income per week .................784.00 (+145) @ 2.7 (+.7) calls / week
Average weekly income 50 week year .... 329.00 / week


Interesting. Tighter scheduling and operations showed an increase in efficiency, but base expenses went up, fuel/lodging almost $1,000.00 each which took down my net per call by 4.00 even though I raised prices by $30.00 over 2013.
If current national fuel prices remain low, I will not have to raise prices in 2015 . . . :king:

I really did enjoy this itinerary, through deeper discomforts, battles with moisture and chill (I really am getting older, folks!), and a tough year on a personal growth level.

The beautifulness of each day on Earth is becoming more poignant, the familiarity with so many places in this country is startling, the love for the open road is increasing,
yes,
but I also experienced an acute sense of the cost of this itinerant life upon my poor chariots.
The 36 year-old BobD took a terrible beating, and 44 year-old Chloe is currently saddled with water leaks that will cause unacceptable rust. These cars may look pretty, but do not doubt that they are working hard and putting up with a lot of dumb daily driver wear.

I am newly anxious about the viability of my livelihood here as I have witnessed the hundreds of thousands of excited new members who came over in 2006 get whittled down to six or seven remaining people. Thank YOU for your continued loyalty and patronage. I am open to new ways to breathe life into this experience.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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whc03grady
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by whc03grady » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:43 am

Amskeptic wrote:I am newly anxious about the viability of my livelihood here as I have witnessed the hundreds of thousands of excited new members who came over in 2006 get whittled down to six or seven remaining people.
Is message board activity really the proper measure of the continued viability of your livelihood? Visits this year were tied for the most over ten years, and net$/call was the second-highest, even after adjusting for inflation.
Ludwig--1974 Westfalia, 2.0L (GD035193), Solex 34PDSIT-2/3 carburetors.
Gertie--1971 Squareback, 1600cc with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection from a '72 (E brain).
Read about their adventures:
http://www.ludwigandgertie.blogspot.com

Jivermo
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by Jivermo » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:27 am

Fuel surcharge, added to call charge. You make +-5,000 more per year. That is a large part of your expense. I have no problem supporting your travel costs.

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Amskeptic
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:46 am

Jivermo wrote:Fuel surcharge, added to call charge. You make +-5,000 more per year. That is a large part of your expense. I have no problem supporting your travel costs.
Look at that . . . two of the remaining six forum members chiming in within 24 hours . . .

I don't do "surcharge", like those airlines. I have always thought it incumbent upon the proprietor or corporation to figure out their expenses and price accordingly, no funny stuff. I heard the airlines mewl about increasing ticket costs "jet fuel expenses have increased" then, when fuel costs plummeted (like an airplane that ran out fuel, ha!), they raised their prices again, wtlf??

I live by the "just enough" model of existence. It has hair-raising moments to be sure, like when capital improvements are suddenly required, but I want to be incremental in the same way Volkswagen was with their improvements.

Mitch, the performance of the itinerary comes *after* the traffic to this site. I was grateful to have enough work this past summer, but looking at the forum traffic that precludes next year's demand . . . . :pale:

Am I boring?
Colin :flower:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

Jivermo
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by Jivermo » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:46 pm

Colin:
price accordingly, no funny stuff
No humorous content, when you're above board, unlike the airline example. I guess it's all semantics, anyhow. You can raise your daily fee to 590.00 and be done with any explanation. Or, you can keep your daily rate at 500.00, and add a fuel surcharge of 90.00. Or, a lodging surcharge of 45.00, and 45.00 for the gas. Or, cheeseburger surcharge of 60.00, and carb cleaner consumable goods surcharge of 30.00. Like our government, you can go to great lengths to justify most anything. When gas went through the roof several years back, we were taking it on the chin with our free delivery. We figured out our costs, and figured that we could charge a 7.00 surcharge for local deliveries, which we instituted. We had no complaints, and we told our clients why we had to do it. As gas has come down in price, we have eliminated it for our regular customers. I liked the idea of adding it as a surcharge rather than raising our prices a certain percentage across the board. But, we are in a competitive situation with the products we sell, unlike yourself. You are a unique business model, as exemplified by everything from your work uniform (the Dukes!) to your service fleet.

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energyturtle
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by energyturtle » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:57 pm

No. You are not boring. As far as forum traffic, speaking for myself. When i was just starting this venture, this site was way over my head in terms of mechanical ability. I still feel it is not a site for beginners. It is also somewhat hard to find, damn near impossible without a referral or stumbling upon on it on that other site. Now that I am a part of it, I prefer it be that way (cuts down on shit sifting). I will continue to get as many visits as logistics and funds allow. This year was great. We spent 28 hrs. together, 1250.00 spent, and I am confident that I can do just about anything a late bay needs done on my own. Next year when things need done I will gladly pay you to supervise, drink coffee, and tell me stories. At this point I am paying for knowledge......not only mechanical, but everything else a visit entails. Merry Christmas from your friends/clients down south.

Scottie

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dingo
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by dingo » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:15 pm

What about 'The Book' ?
'71 Kombi, 1600 dp

';78 Tranzporter 2L

" Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches."

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airkooledchris
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by airkooledchris » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:03 am

I always visit this summary posts with a lump in my throat, worried that there will be a 'and this was the last....' statement somewhere near the end.

Im happy to see that still isn't the case. It's one of the bright spots in my seasonal schedule. Also eager for updates on book progress. =)
1979 California Transporter

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THall
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by THall » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:53 am

airkooledchris wrote:I always visit this summary posts with a lump in my throat, worried that there will be a 'and this was the last....' statement somewhere near the end.

Im happy to see that still isn't the case. It's one of the bright spots in my seasonal schedule. Also eager for updates on book progress. =)
I echo these thoughts and look forward to the 2015 Itinerary....:salute:
'78 Westy 2.0 FI

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Amskeptic
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:44 am

energyturtle wrote: I still feel it is not a site for beginners.

It is also somewhat hard to find, damn near impossible without a referral or stumbling upon on it on that other site.

Scottie
Important points . . .

I thought it was welcoming to beginners, since I have done several appointments with people who truly could not answer what a spark plug actually does, we don't do "use the search function", and I have expressed the idea that we are a ladder here, those just a couple of rungs above the questioner were encouraged to answer because there really is additional learning in composing a cogent answer. Any ideas on how to make it easier on beginners?

What can we do to make the site more accessible? I'd be happy to redo the search tags, what can be done on theSamba?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Amskeptic
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:50 am

Jivermo wrote:Colin:
price accordingly, no funny stuff
No humorous content, when you're above board, unlike the airline example. I guess it's all semantics, anyhow.

But, we are in a competitive situation with the products we sell,
You are a unique business model
Prices aren't funny. They never are. I have never been amused by a price. (actually, I *did* laugh when the Lexus dealer quoted me $1,200.00 to adjust the valves . . . )

Products and services, however, they are hilarious.

What would it be like if I was competing with another traveling VW consultant?
Perish the thought.
Colin :blackeye:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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poptop tom
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by poptop tom » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:52 am

I'm betting I'll be back on in '15. I wish my referrals were more fruitful for you.
Mr. Blotto wrote, "Boy - thanks for the offer, but a month in poptop tom's world means 5 years"

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energyturtle
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by energyturtle » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:41 pm

I thought it was welcoming to beginners, since I have done several appointments with people who truly could not answer what a spark plug actually does, we don't do "use the search function", and I have expressed the idea that we are a ladder here, those just a couple of rungs above the questioner were encouraged to answer because there really is additional learning in composing a cogent answer. Any ideas on how to make it easier on beginners?

What can we do to make the site more accessible? I'd be happy to redo the search tags, what can be done on theSamba?
Colin
As far as more inviting to the novice, I don't know the answer. It is mostly up to the individual to learn and seek out answers, with enough knowledge to understand what they are reading.

I did not even know what "Itinerant" meant before this site, let alone how to spell it :study: I think to drive the point of purchase, you are missing a huge opportunity on the Full Moon Bus Club. It has a regular website, as well as, a facebook page. It is only for the eastern U.S. and has 1000's of active members. There are questions being posted everyday pertaining to the need for a mechanic. There are also 3 annual camp outs that draw huge numbers. Your site has been passed around extensively for people to find the answers they need. I think I am the only one that knows you personally out of the members, and there is were the opportunity awaits.

Scottie

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lilpig88
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by lilpig88 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:16 pm

I tend to follow most of the bus-related information on this forum (and free speech is always a pleasure), and it says something about the information already here that I've rarely had to post (if ever) a question through a rebuild project and beyond...

maybe I should comment more often from the peanut gallery so you know I'm here.

The information is accessible and the written voice is enjoyable!

still here,
Andrew

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wcfvw69
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Re: 2014 Results Just In!

Post by wcfvw69 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:23 pm

Being a "newb" to this site, I will also echo what the others have said. Most of the new posts I've read in the past couple of months on here are of the "advanced" knowledge type of mechanical questions. There doesn't seem to be much or any volume of the"entry" level type of VW questions that are so prevalent on The Samba. I've worked on and been around these old VW's for 40 plus years so the advanced knowledge is helpful to me while it might intimidate other newbies to the air cooled VW world.

Other random observations or suggestions to improve traffic and participation on this site-

** When someone new joins and posts a question here, one of the mods or Colin could/should make them feel welcome and comfortable with a "glad to have you as part of this forum" reply. I'm personally very extroverted in nature. I find that most people (especially mechanics) are not. People want to feel apart of something.

** This site can and does feel a bit like a "clique". It appears that most of the active members know each other or know Colin or have used Colin. This can feel/be intimidating to the less thick skinned or confident people.

** I'm surprise by the amount of "political commentary" on this site compared to The Samba. It appears to be very liberal as well. This can also turn people off and I know I can tire of reading about someone blathering on about this view point or that view point or other rhetoric.. Personally, I think it needs to be turned down a few notches. I'm on this site to learn, discuss or share all things VW, not read about someones view points on all the negative crap going on in the world or in politics. There's plenty of other sites if I want to get pissed, depressed or angry about the shortfalls in our society. I have no doubt that this has turned other "past" participants off from this site.

** One thing I've noticed being on The Samba for 10 years is the mods have done a much better job in toning down their sarcasm or smart ass replies to members in the forums. They've also policed the perpetual jerks much better to including banning some of them. This had made their site more friendly in nature and less intimidating to new members there.

Well, there ya go.. Some feedback from a newbie. :)
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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