Friday, September 25, 2015

Why Fabricate Vinyl Fence?

Why Fabricate Vinyl Fence?

In the age of packaged everything, we tend to crave the convenience of picking up just what we need to get the job done. Whether it's the burger deal at the drive through for lunch, or an Ikea entertainment center, it is just easier to let someone else “cook up” what we need. But is this the best way to maximize profit in your fence business?

There are fabricators and even extruders out there who market complete “kits” for fences. As an installer, you tell them how many line posts, end posts, top rails, bottom rails, pickets and channels you need, and at what dimensions, and they, in their own good time, whip up what you need, and either deliver it, (for a fee), or you pick it up, (on company time).

For those who seldom do PVC fence installation, this may be the most economical solution. Why invest in a truckload of extrusions and expensive routing machines for the 500 to 1000 feet of PVC fence you typically do in a season?

What if I told you that you don't have to buy vinyl by the truckload? What if I told you that you can get all the routing equipment you need to run a successful fabricating operation for a few thousand dollars, not tens of thousands?

Think of the advantages. No more waiting for the fabricator to get around to your job. No more paying someone else to do work you can do cheaper. No more waiting for a replacement post because the new guy backed over one in the yard. You can be master of your own fate, and set your own pricing on styles of fence that you create. You can offer something your competitor can't.

Call Modern Fence Technologies today and learn how you can maximize your profit by fabricating your own vinyl fence sections. We're here to help you every step of the way. Your success is the best measure of our success.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Winning Through Superior Air Power

If you are running tools on compressed air, you know you need a reliable compressor that meets the requirements of the tools you plan to use. For many that means a tow-behind compressor, like the 145's, 165's, and 185's that you often see on large construction sites. Fence installers will often choose one of these units because it puts out all the power they will ever need. The problem is that often these units are way bigger than they need to be to run the tools a fence installer uses.

This leads to increased purchase cost, increased fuel cost, increased maintenance cost, and the need for a tow vehicle specifically for the compressor.

The ConX 70 compressor offers a much lower priced solution, in a compact package that will fit on a pick up truck and can be loaded by two people, that packs the punch to do all but the very largest jobs requiring air tools to install fence. Able to provide 70 cubic feet of air at up to 125 pounds per square inch, this unit will power air post drivers up to 140 pounds as well as breaking hammers, impact tools, and whatever else you need to get the job done, at a fraction of the cost of a trailer unit.

Call your Modern Fence Technologies rep today to learn more about this money saving and convenient option.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Just Showing Up Doesn't Get the Job Done! --John Wayne

 In general, women like everything about weddings. Guys like it when the wedding is over. Having been to dozens of weddings in my life, I have come to the conclusion that there are few things more useless than a groom on his wedding day. He must be there, of course, or the wedding won't happen. But in most cases, his job is to show up, hold up the suit, speak when spoken to, kiss the bride when instructed, and generally, not mess things up for the bride. After all, it is her day.

It may be the only instance where "Just showing up doesn't get the job done!", isn't completely true. In all other areas of life, whether it is the marriage after that wedding, volunteering to help in the local school, or in our daily work, showing up just doesn't get the job done. Somehow in our culture we have started to believe that we are hired to “show up”. I have actually heard coworkers say, “I get paid to be here”, as if their mere presence added value to the world.

So what does get the job done? Work. Steady, constant, focused work. By the way, that is also what employees are paid for. We are paid for the value we add to whatever product or process we are a part of. What would we think of an employer who contracted to pay us a specific amount in exchange for a day's work, then decided that we would be paid less? We would consider that employer a thief, someone who had stolen from us. So what about when we are collecting an hourly salary, and not working, not putting forth steady, constant, focused work? Are we any less guilty of stealing?

People aren't always satisfied with their jobs. In our economy we have the luxury of finding one that better suits our ability and willingness to put forth steady, constant, focused work and compensates us in a manner we are comfortable with. What we must not do is find ways to rationalize doing less than our job requires while expecting to be paid as if showing up is enough.

Friday, July 17, 2015

How to avoid the grind...

If you build gates you know that there are many important factors that determine the strength and performance of a gate.  Making all joints where two pieces of material come together as strong and stable as possible is critical to the longevity and function of a gate.

In welded gates, this means getting the tightest fit possible before welding.  There are many ways to do this.  If using round pipe for a gate frame, notching an arc “saddle” into one piece of pipe is the best way to get a tight fit, with minimal gap to fill with weld.

For those who only do this occasionally, a saw or grinder may suffice, although there is a lot of time invested in using these tools, and they are by nature imprecise.  The preferred method is to use a pipe notcher that has hard tooling designed to take exactly the right amount of metal away at the point where another pipe will meet it at 90 degrees.

Pipe notchers can make the job much easier, and the gate can be made much stronger using a notcher.    A good notcher is not necessarily cheap.  A cheap notcher is  not necessarily good.  Make sure that the notcher you buy is well made, and has cutting edges that can be sharpened. Consider as well the amount of use you will get from the tool.  If you are welding three gates a year, a notcher may not make sense.  If you are welding three gates a month, it makes sense to have one.  If you are doing three a week, you really shouldn't hesitate to buy one.  If you buy a good one, you will have it for a lifetime.

Some fabricators take advantage of new hinge options that have recently become available that allow a gate made on a frame of square tubing to be hung on a standard round post.

Square steel or aluminum tubing allows the fabricator to use 45 degree miter cuts to make tight fitting joints that are easily welded for strength.  This method also allows ample area at the joints for reinforcement or “gussets”.
Among the advantages to a square tube frame is ease of assembly, strength, and the flat faces on which pickets can easily be mounted.

However you choose to build your gate, we can help.  We offer the finest American made pipe notching tools available, through Vogel Tools, as well as our own line of hinges that allow the use of any combination of round to square, square to round, square to square, or round to round applications.

Call Modern Fence Technologies today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2015 Golf Outing

W2501 County Road D
Elkhorn, WI 53121
Sponsor a hole for $100. Donations or Door Prizes of any kind are welcomed and appreciated.

  • Join us first at MFT/K&R for facility tours starting at 10:00 am and followed by a cookout lunch at 12:00pm.
12:45 PM
  • Tee-time will begin at 1:00pm
  • ShotGun Start and 18 holes
GOLF PRIZES: Closest to Pin, Longest Drive, Longest Putt

6:00 PM
Dinner Menu: All you can eat fish fry buffet (baked or fried), mostaccioli w/meat sauce, potato
pancakes, vegetable, salad bar, potato salad and rolls.
<<<<< Followed by Door Prizes>>>>

Cost: Golfing and Dinner: $60/person

R.S.V.P. by SEPTEMBER 4th (check or credit card accepted)
PHONE: 262-642-9123

Coming from out of town? Stay at the Alpine Valley Resort and be sure to mention the MFT Golf Outing to receive your special rate for $65.00 per night. Call 262-642-7374 for reservations.

Modern Fence Technologies 2631 Corporate Circle, East Troy, WI 53121 888-456-6786

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome, or When the Digging Gets Tough, Drive Away...

  It doesn't take a Marine to install a fence, even if they usually know how to dig a hole.  The United States Marine Corps has a tradition of success based on a motto, “improvise, adapt, overcome”,  and when a fence installer is in the field, that mindset helps make a successful installation.

(We'd like to thank these Marines and all
who serve to keep us safe!)
  Many fence installers advertise that they set every post in concrete.  This requires that they first dig a hole.  Digging conditions will dictate how effective this strategy is.  There are many machines used in the fence industry to make holes.  Some of them are very efficient, even in mixed rocky soil, or bedrock.  Some of these machines are very pricey, and many smaller fence companies opt for augers that run off a skid loader or tractor.  Others rely on post hole diggers and elbow grease.
  All of these methods have a place, and in some areas of the country, setting in concrete works.  Where there is a lot of moisture, and in areas that experience frost in the ground, concrete may cause more problems than it solves.  Moisture transfer between wood and concrete can cause premature failure of the post due to wood rot.  Frost causes more complex problems.
  Frost penetration into the ground causes the dirt to close in around the concrete plug, and frost around the plug actually forces the plug and post up out of the ground, as it expands.  Some contractors try to combat this by making the bottom of the hole larger than the top of the hole, making a cone or bell shaped hole, or making a deeper hole with the goal of having a bigger foundation to hold it all down.  It doesn't work as intended in most cases, because the larger surface area at the bottom and sides of the hole offers the frost expansion a larger area  to press on, and the post moves up.  It also takes more concrete, (read: money), to fill the larger hole.
  In areas where frost or wet conditions are a challenge to traditional post setting, driving posts into the ground has been gaining in popularity.  By disturbing less ground, the installer lessens the need to haul off excess dirt, and minimizes the turf repair needed around each post.  Because the post has a smaller surface area for frost to “grip”, it is less likely to move, and more likely to go back to its original position once the frost heave subsides.
  Soft, wet soil is always a challenge, whether digging or driving.  There simply isn't enough resistance along the sides of the post under ground to prevent it from laying over.  For situations like this, and in stable soil where additional strength is called for to hang a gate or secure an end post, drive anchors can significantly strengthen the system.  Modern Fence Technologies, (and others), sells a bracket that assists in connecting these driven anchors to the post.  Some use angle iron “blades”, while the Modern Fence version uses 1 5/8” top rail cut offs for most smaller common post sizes as a “root”.
  Driving may not be the answer to every post setting challenge, but it ought to be in every installers arsenal.  Modern Fence Technologies can help you gear up for handling nearly every driving challenge.  Give us a call at (888) 456-6786.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Making Sure That Your Competitor Makes More Money Than You

Are you trying to price your product or service by asking your potential customer what your competitor's prices are? If you consistently charge less than your competitors, you will always make less than your competitors. You can't possibly do all the business in your area, so by pricing yourself in this way, you guarantee that you will have less profitability than your competitor, who will do all those jobs you are too busy losing money to do. And because you are so busy losing money, your competitor can charge more than he might have if there were real competition.

Competition isn't a game of “How Low Can You Go?”. It is a system of checks and balances that works only when the players understand their true cost of doing business and charge accordingly. A business ought to be able to sell a quality product, at a price that satisfies the customer that all is being done to safeguard his or her investment, while allowing the business to pay for materials, labor, overhead, and, in good times, a little profit.

Promising your customer that you can beat the competition on price is just like saying “I'll willingly forsake any hope of making money.” It won't kill you right away, but every day you go to work and get a little closer to the failed business graveyard.

If you want to beat the competition, beat them by offering a better product, or better service. Otherwise you are promising the customer the lowest quality job you can get away with for the money.

When you need wiring done in your house do you look around for the cheapest guy who has a pair of pliers, or do you hire a professional electrician to keep your family safe? If you want quality, competent work, you hire a professional. You get someone who understands what they are doing instead of someone who is copying what they have seen someone else do.

Fortunately, in the fence industry, it doesn't cost twice as much to get American made quality hardware covered by liability insurance, instead of poor quality, imported knock-offs. It often costs the same or less for the products, and you never pay to replace them if they should fail for any reason.  (Or shouldn't, if you get them from a reputable source.)   And American consumers are overwhelmingly willing to pay more for American made products.

A lowest price guarantee means that your competitor will make more money than you.