Buggy Manufacturers

Technical Discussion Forum

Moderator: Sitewide Forum Moderators

Post Reply
DesertDogs
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:42 am
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: USA

Buggy Manufacturers

Post by DesertDogs »

As most of you know from talking with me, or reading posts on the other boards; I've been planning on building a buggy for the last year.

It's a tough job, going to the various shops, making phone calls, trying to get a feeling for a car when you can't drive it, babying someone else's car when you can.

I've asked tons of questions, and heard great input from everyone out there. Alas, doesn't make it any easier.

I'd like to share a few thoughts out there with everyone, and maybe some of the manufacturers will pay heed and do better business in the future.

Things you shouldn't do:

1) The guy walks in your shop in flip-flops and shorts, sunglasses and a cap. You treat him like he's just a looky-loo. Though the guy asks questions and talks about his deires and requirements, you fail to show him do respect. End result: He leaves, still with the $15,000 he had for a down payment. Nor will he drop $40G plus on one of your cars. Collateral damage: Think he's gonna refer anyone?

2) Talk smack about other shops. No way to do business. End Result: Not what someone wants to hear, sounds like you're bashing them to cover your product flaws. Collateral Damage: Word gets around.

3) Promise test drive, but fail to deliver. Guy wonders why product is so good, when he can't see any others out there. End Result: See #1. Collateral Damage: See #1.

4) Tell someone to talk to folks in your shop, cuz you're busy on the phone. 5 minutes later, yell at your employees to get back to work; and tell person that they can only talk to you. End Result: Is this the way your customer service is going to work? Collateral Damage: Does someone really want to buy a car from soneone with a control problem?

5) Leave to play golf, do testing, whatever; but no one in shop can answer questions. Guy wonders why owner is playing "I've got a secret". End Result: Does anyone know how this car really works? Collateral Damage: If something breaks, how is this person gonna get help if you're out playing golf?

6) Show up at public event, making sure everyone notices you. Oh yeah, it's a clean-up, and you're just one of several prominent vendors there. You decide that you're too good to help. Evryone DOES notice, especially when all the other vendors are picking up trash. End Result: You want our money, but won't help to do the little things to preserve the sport; which would preserve your business? No way are you going to get someone's money. Collateral Damage: We noticed, and we talk.

7) Your camp posesses drunken fools, who wander into potential customer's camp and start **** without provocation. Sherrifs are called in, and you shrug your shoulders when asked about your friends and family's actions. End Result: No money spent on your product. Collateral Damage: Oh, you bet the word is going to get out!

8) Guy walks in shop. Everyone takes the time to answer questions, shows how everything goes together, and even talks about future developments. No smack talk about other folks, even make references to other manufacturer being a great product. Call 'potential' customer up to offer a test ride, as hard as they want, and not as a passenger. End Result: You make the "A List"! Collateral Damage: You get their business, no one else does, and they make plenty of referrals.


What is surprising is this is what actually transpired over the last year. I started with 8 of the prominent manufacturers, and 4 of the not so well known. I worked my way around the dunes, the Sand Show and the country; these folks acted in some fashion or another as stated above.

The list was narrowed down to 3, but after an recent event (repeated) in one of the shops, the list is now two. Why did I go back to that shop? Because everyone talks about how great their cars are, including the other manufacturers! But when you treat your employees and potential customers the way I saw.....you and your product aren't woth the $40G + you want. Too bad everyone else doesn't see this.

I intend to post this on the other boards...so the word will get out. Folks, when you consider plunking your hard earned cash down, think about what you've heard and how folks are treated. This is an indicator of how you're going to be treated.

Enjoy.....
Duners are the only real Dune-biologists.

'If I had a dollar for every square acre of sensitive land that is now under houses and malls, I'd be richer than Bill Gates, and the President of the Seirra Club'

D.U.N.E.R. Member

User avatar
Poiks
7th Gear "No Brakes" Member
7th Gear "No Brakes" Member
Posts: 2850
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:52 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post by Poiks »

****...Too bad there's no way to put names in there anonymously. Might save a few people the hassle of following in your footsteps.

I think I know who #7 is! :twisted:

Good luck with your decision. Any idea when you'll finalize it?

sandking
1st Gear Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2003 11:00 am

Post by sandking »

I think names should not remain a mystery. Let everyone know who is good at customer service. The builder that is not good might change their ways. Also a customer will waste less time on the not so good companies. Just my $.02

OBSESSED
7th Gear "No Brakes" Member
7th Gear "No Brakes" Member
Posts: 5566
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2000 8:17 am
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Sand City, USA
Contact:

Post by OBSESSED »

As one who has been threatened with "LIBEL" about a joke of an internet post, I would say if you want the names to go with the numbers e-mail DesertDogs.
Much safer that way, or is it?

Hey it's not libel if it's the truth!

Steve

Jim Frantz
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 2:35 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Yuma
Contact:

Post by Jim Frantz »

Guy walks in shop. Everyone takes the time to answer questions, shows how everything goes together, and even talks about future developments. No smack talk about other folks, even make references to other manufacturer being a great product. Call 'potential' customer up to offer a test ride, as hard as they want, and not as a passenger. End Result: You make the "A List"! Collateral Damage: You get their business, no one else does, and they make plenty of referrals.
I used to do this but now it's only rides, I let a potiential customer drive a LT car and out of site he thought he was Robbie Gordon. A friend of mine was out taking some video of his car "I built by the way" and saw my car flying through the air and taped it as the guy nosed dived the car into the sand and almost end over end he thought is was me and he said he thought I was crazy for driving like that and almost hitting some kids on their quads.

I have even been in the car with people that almost did the same thing with no regard as to the end result. I will give rides to customers anytime but not to risk their life doing it, or mine. I have no problem showing how my cars handle and what they are capable of. So what recourse do I have if a potential customer crashes one of my cars killing someone "I would not want to live with that" in the process and even if no one is hurt but the car how do you get the money from them to fix it.

I am with you on everything else you said but after the things from above would you let someone drive like that in your 40k + car.
Jim Frantz
RaceCraft Suspension Seats
SandCars.net

If your movin, your having fun :)

GRANT@FUNCO
ASA President
ASA President
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2001 6:50 pm

Post by GRANT@FUNCO »

I'm a gamer . What # am I. Can't be the smiley guy cause I have'nt seen the money.LOL

Could be the golfer I've been known to hack a round or two.

Lay it on me I can handle it.

Lets see the list.
GRANT @ FUNCO

OBSESSED
7th Gear "No Brakes" Member
7th Gear "No Brakes" Member
Posts: 5566
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2000 8:17 am
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Sand City, USA
Contact:

Post by OBSESSED »

Lets see the list.
Better yet just put up the names of the Muffactor's in no order.
That way we can play connect the dots!

SB

GRANT@FUNCO
ASA President
ASA President
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2001 6:50 pm

Post by GRANT@FUNCO »

Call 'potential' customer up to offer a test ride, as hard as they want, and not as a passenger. End Result: You make the "A List"! Collateral Damage: You get their business, no one else does, and they make plenty of referrals.

Sorry Kurt if thats what it takes to win a customer we will just close the doors. i agree with jim the liability is just to great.

One more question when the guy was out golfing or testing did you call to make an appointment?
GRANT @ FUNCO

Jim Frantz
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 2:35 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Yuma
Contact:

Post by Jim Frantz »

Oh heck I am just the little company that could, Nobody pays attention to me but if I am on the list I can handle it too, it can only make me better.
Jim Frantz
RaceCraft Suspension Seats
SandCars.net

If your movin, your having fun :)

User avatar
SandCarFan
5th Gear "Pinned" Member
5th Gear "Pinned" Member
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 1:42 pm
antispam: NO
Please enter the middle number: 7
Location: Western States

Post by SandCarFan »

My builder was of the 8) type. He took the time to show me he was interested, met me out at the desert to test ride spending over five hours at the desert either driving/riding or answering questions, spent another several hours at his shop showing me options and "new" stuff he was adding to future cars.

Heck, he even said "take the sand car for a drive". I knew better than to drive it like I stole it ... shoot, I don't even drive the car he built for me that agressively :lol:

Would I have him build another sand car for me? Absolutely!! Well, actually I plan to have him build a sand car for my wife next year.

Jim Frantz
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 2:35 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Yuma
Contact:

Post by Jim Frantz »

That's great SandCarFan, he got a good feel for you and you for him that's what it's all about. What's really great is he had that kind of time to spend with you, not many builders that actually do the fabbing have that kinda time.

To me that's the fun part, getting to know fellow off-roaders and building these things. Maybe we can meet up in the dunes for a run some day.
Jim Frantz
RaceCraft Suspension Seats
SandCars.net

If your movin, your having fun :)

User avatar
SandCarFan
5th Gear "Pinned" Member
5th Gear "Pinned" Member
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 1:42 pm
antispam: NO
Please enter the middle number: 7
Location: Western States

Post by SandCarFan »

:lol: :lol: I should add that he and his wife met my wife and I out on Gecko Rd. on a Saturday in June ... it was pretty much just us, them, and 105 degree heat ... so I had a captive audience ... :wink:

Oh, and I confirmed his car was designed to not overheat :lol:

DesertDogs
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:42 am
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: USA

Post by DesertDogs »

Just for everyone's interest, the FUNCO Family was one of these :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

and Grant, the reason you didn't see the money (or anyone else) last year was because the divorce attorney got it! :(

Ahh..but I got the truck, the house, the trailer, and now....the Buggy!
Duners are the only real Dune-biologists.

'If I had a dollar for every square acre of sensitive land that is now under houses and malls, I'd be richer than Bill Gates, and the President of the Seirra Club'

D.U.N.E.R. Member

User avatar
SANDUNERS
7th Gear "No Brakes" Member
7th Gear "No Brakes" Member
Posts: 3560
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2000 4:32 am
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: USA
Contact:

Post by SANDUNERS »

Remember to also check our ASA BUSINESS SPONSORS.:P

Now with our easy KEYWORD search abilities you can type in Frame, Rail, Turnkey, etc...
( I haven't listed all the keywords yet, I could use a little help if you know what I mean... :wink: there are only 344 sponsors now listed ):D

http://www.americansandassociation.org/ ... rters.html

And if you can,,, help support those,,, that help support YOU. 8)

And Curt, its been more like 2 years... :lol: :lol: :lol:
Nothing is achieved without effort --- the fundamental force that brings success...:)

ARE YOU AWAKE YET???
Proud 2005 JRS Award recipient :P

DesertDogs
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:42 am
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: USA

Post by DesertDogs »

Ahhh Jim, and others, you are right..the "Instant I'm Robby Gordon" types are a ***** to put up with. I would hope that usually, the customer and the manufacturer have established some sort of basis or ground rules prior to letting them drive a car that they don't own yet.

But then again, chameleons come in many colors and forms.

Too bad they also change their spots to get folks money.....:-(
Duners are the only real Dune-biologists.

'If I had a dollar for every square acre of sensitive land that is now under houses and malls, I'd be richer than Bill Gates, and the President of the Seirra Club'

D.U.N.E.R. Member

mjmtrsprt
2nd Gear Member
2nd Gear Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:49 pm

Post by mjmtrsprt »

Good points I agree with what you say except for #1 in a certain circumstance Iwork at a offroad fab shop, we are a small shop everyone who works there works in the back and if one of us was to stop and spend would could be up to 2-3hrs with each walk-in customer it would really hurt our production. We try to keep our prices low so hiring a person to just help customers all day is out of the question. We treat all customers/potetntial customers the same but we do try to keep it short so we can get back to work and deliver or customers stuff when we promised. I am not sure who you were talking about( not us dont build buggies only pre-runners) but if it was a small shop like us that could be one reason you felt the service was pour. That is why I think the shows are great because we could spend the whole day talking about our products.

Stereo Guy
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2001 9:16 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: USA

Post by Stereo Guy »

lets see the list. would love to know who I should spend my time and money with.
jmpinoc@aol.com
Banshee that has all the bells and whistles..or atleast most of them

Dunes the hikers paradise

Owner of Sound Advice of Mission Viejo

User avatar
madweazl
5th Gear "Pinned" Member
5th Gear "Pinned" Member
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2002 12:57 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: USA
Contact:

Post by madweazl »

Jim gets a big smiley face from me :) Great people to work with, he spent time with my poor butt (still is), treated us real well.
Frantco Motorsports V3SS (sort of, you'll see...)
'06 Yamaha Raptor
'91 Kawasaki Mojave

User avatar
San Pedro Sandman
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 289
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 7:10 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: USA

Post by San Pedro Sandman »

I second that on sandcars.net He has been more than helpful & I'm getting mine in 3 WEEKS :P :P :P
#3 Legends Never Die !
Dale Earnhardt ended his career with 676 Starts, 76 Victories,281 top5 Finishes,22 Poles,
7 Championships

Jim Frantz
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 2:35 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Yuma
Contact:

Post by Jim Frantz »

Maybe sooner Bob :D
Jim Frantz
RaceCraft Suspension Seats
SandCars.net

If your movin, your having fun :)

User avatar
San Pedro Sandman
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 289
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 7:10 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: USA

Post by San Pedro Sandman »

Jim,
"You Da Man" :P :P

Just say when, I'll hook up the hauler & come and get it !
#3 Legends Never Die !
Dale Earnhardt ended his career with 676 Starts, 76 Victories,281 top5 Finishes,22 Poles,
7 Championships

Buggydave
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 8:15 pm

Post by Buggydave »

Are the shops in question in Arizona?
If so, I would like to know! I am considering building a new car and would like to see your list! :D

Jim Frantz
4th Gear Member
4th Gear Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 2:35 pm
Please enter the middle number: 5
Location: Yuma
Contact:

Post by Jim Frantz »

I don't know about all the shops in Arizona, but I do know of one that is not in question :wink:
Jim Frantz
RaceCraft Suspension Seats
SandCars.net

If your movin, your having fun :)

Post Reply

Return to “SandRail • Jeep • OffRoad Vehicle”