Onsite welding, or mobile welding, is when welders bring their talents to the client instead of having the customer come to a workshop to get welding services. The concept is simple enough; it’s like a welding shop on wheels, but is mobile welding a better financial investment than a home-based fabrication shop?
Picture credit: Dave Barger via Flickr
Should I Consider On-site Welding?
Like with any business, there are many factors to consider before becoming a mobile welder. Questions that you must answer include:
- What are the demands for a mobile welder in your area?
- How far are you willing to travel to perform weld work?
- Are you you going to take on all types of welding projects, or are you going to specialize in a particular area of welding?
- Will you work strictly from a truck, van, etc. or have a home-base instead?
The above questions only scratch the surface of some issues to consider when it comes to mobile welding. With that in mind, weigh the possible pros and cons of becoming an onsite welder.
Pros of Being an On-site Welder
Bigger customer base - Depending on how far you’re willing to travel, the ability to reach out to more customers is greater than if you worked out of a specific location
May cost less than owning a shop – You won’t have to worry about paying for a shop location, electricity, etc.
You can charge more for your services – Especially if you are the only mobile welder in town or the only one willing to travel farther distances than competitors to get the job done
Cons of Being an On-site Welder
Various work environments – You have to take extra caution to be prepared for the unexpected. What if it starts raining? Can the temporary workstation you’ve set up handle different weather conditions?
Costs of vehicle upkeep – If you travel far and often, the costs of vehicle upkeep along with rising gas prices can cause a huge dent in your finances.
Maintenance costs of welding equipment, accessories, etc. – Because of all the moving, you want a welder that is durable and yet portable. It can get pricey finding the right welder and maintaining it down the line.
This economy works in the favor of mobile welders that are willing to travel to reach customers, so overall the benefits of being a mobile welder seem to outweigh the cons. But remember, as with any business, in order to be successful you should have a business model that caters to the customers wants, needs, and concerns.
For any mobile welders out there, what has your experience been like? What advice would you give to welders looking to offer on-site service?