What's up with Birdhaven?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: What's up with Birdhaven?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Barrett in Auburn Ca. on Friday, August 21, 2015 - 05:08 pm:

Have a stack of cash ready and have been trying to buy a couple sets of sure stop brakes since Texas T parts sold out. Phone calls and e mails not returned. Vendors are in the dark also. Anyone have any news? Sure would like to do some business with them. I don't want commentary on modern brakes, that has already been done ad nauseum. Just would like to know if they will be available.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donald Manlove on Friday, August 21, 2015 - 08:21 pm:

I ordered a set about 8 weeks ago got them about 4 weeks ago just spent the day installing them, will bleed them tomorrow and see how they work but it was an easy install with everything included even brake fluid and hand wipes. I think they are still getting everything transferred to Bird Haven


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Barrett in Auburn Ca. on Friday, August 21, 2015 - 10:40 pm:

Donald, thanks for the update. I think it may be just a problem with their suppliers. Will continue to be patient.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, August 21, 2015 - 11:05 pm:

I stopped there this afternoon to pick up a new gas tank. I didn't see Bill, but while I was there Mrs. Devine took a phone order, so try the phone again. I got her on the phone a couple of days ago with no trouble.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William Devine on Sunday, August 23, 2015 - 08:30 pm:

Erik,

I have sent you a P.M.

Donald,

I hope you enjoy the brake kit, please let me know if you have any questions.

Steve,

Thank you for your patronage!

As you know we are just a small operation in the middle of a WET bean field.(this year)
You did not see me as I was at work.

Our family does this because we love old ford car and truck people and the cars and trucks. Some day I will be able to retire and join Shawna at the store, until then I need to help pay the bills.

We do have two toll free phone numbers, if they are busy the phone goes to voice mail and we do return calls if the person leaves their number.

Thanks
Bill Devine


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Putnam, Bluffton, Ohio on Sunday, August 23, 2015 - 09:09 pm:

Bill will you please post your toll free phone numbers. Thank you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 07:40 am:

First – it has a happy ending. From the thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/565828.html?1440672297

Erik Barrett posted: “Got a message from Birdhaven today that my two sets of brakes are on the way. We got in communication and things are happening.”
And
Just wanted to let everyone know in case my last thread left any doubt. I really appreciate the people who make parts available for us.”

Second for Jack -- the toll free number is: 800-337-6977 and they answer as Texas T Parts as that is the name of their T business. Leave a message and they will get back with you.

Third for others looking for them:
Birdhaven Vintage Auto Supply purchased Texas T Parts and moved it to Colfax, IA. The website is very similar to what it was before as the new owners kept the Texas T Parts name and have added “Birdhaven Vintage Auto Supply” under the Texas T Parts logo. The web site works and you can place your order there see: http://www.texastparts.com/mm5/merchant.mvc or you can call them toll free at 1-800-337-6977 and they answer as Texas T Parts as that is the name of their T business. Leave a message and they will get back with you. Or drop them an e-mail at: birdhaven2010atgmail.com [replace the “at” with @].

Fourth: For Bill & Shawna Devine of Texas T Parts/Birdhaven Vintage Auto Supply thank you so much for your support to our club and hobby. You have some great parts and great service. Thank you!

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 09:52 am:

I'm glad that the acquisition of Texas T Parts included a website, but it shows only the Texas T products, not the full Birdhaven catalogue. Examples: Under Steering the website shows three items. The catalogue lists twenty. Under Engine the website shows twenty items, while the catalogue has several pages showing well over 100 items. For a full listing of all their Model T parts, you definitely want the printed catalogue.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 10:51 am:

I get a kick out of the people who think all these antique car parts and service businesses run out of some new multi million dollar building on the main drag of the newest industrial park in the US and that it is staffed by a dozen expert order takers who wait with bated breath for their phone to light up or an Internet order to pop up on their screen.

I think these people are the same people who shop on Amazon because they get free shipping and save fifty cents on a fifty dollar order but expect the local hardware store to buy an ad in every local charity newspaper and donate to every local cause as well as sponsor the local baseball/basketball/football/band/science club/4 H club/church activity/rodeo activity/fair/memorial/demo derby and have a nice float in the local parade.

Small business is SMALL business for a lot of people. Most of these businesses are part time, many of them run out of the garage, the barn, the back bedroom, the basement or the same truck that goes to the auction and hauls the used parts home to be saved for somebody who needs them and is willing to pay something for them. The business needs to be fitted in around night shifts, farming, family -- whatever.

I recently had a (now former) customer who called me twice on Sunday afternoon while I was at the Folk Festival in Butte with my young friend and her mother, enjoying a rare day together listening to music and eating all the festival food we could find. I misread the number on the caller ID and thought it was my oldest brother so I answered the phone. I went ahead and talked carburetors for a couple minutes with him, told him I would be back in the shop on Monday and to give me a call then. He called me three more times, I finally answered and told him again that it was Sunday afternoon, that I was at a festival with Sandi and the girls and that I would be back in the shop Monday. He was, and is, pissed at me for taking a few hours off. That's pretty typical in this business. People expect that you are available 24/7, 365.

I had a customer in California for a couple years who would send me three emails in an hour and then call me to see why the hell I wasn't answering my emails!!!!!! About half of them were about his cute new puppy and how he took them for a walk on the beach and what Fluffy did this morning. This is also the guy who would buy a carburetor, harp constantly on when I was going to get it to him, tell me how he paid for it seventeen days ago and still hadn't got it and then three years later want his money back - full price - because he had never got around to putting it on.

Fortunately, most customers are not like that. Most are great and many are thankful their car runs right for the first time in years or months or days, whatever.

My take on this is that most of us who are working to serve the hobby are doing every thing we can to make this all work, get the work done, the orders shipped, make a couple bucks and provide hours and hours and hours and hours of free tech information, whether by phone or email or answering letters, etc. I would guess that Bill and Shawna or a long ways from having made back the money they paid for that business and that they are working every hour they can to make it pencil out, keep happy customers and provide the best level of service they are capable of.

As you may recall, I taught school and was an administrator for 17 years before I went into business full time for myself. The phrase I heard most often from other teachers who made the same decision I did was "I loved the kids and working with them but I had just had all of the demanding parents and the administration I could take." That's the same deal with most of us who are providing service to the Model T and other specialty hobbies.

I like the carburetor business. I've had Model T's for almost 60 years and have always loved almost everything about them. I like taking a piece of junk or something that nobody else could make run and turning it into a functional jewel. I'm thankful for the money it brings in and that I have found something I can do in my approaching dotage to occupy my time and keep me connected to my friends in the hobby. But I'm also getting old, can't stand in front of the bench 12 or 14 hours a day like I used to be able to and get tired of working 7 days a week. I am also still in the auction business, have a couple little two bit ranches with old worn out equipment to keep running, I'm still on the road playing music at festivals, still teaching some at auction school, still fooling with a couple jeeps and still buying and selling small farm machinery, still hosting radio shows for Montana public radio, still doing some fiddle workshops teaching fiddle and Western Swing guitar, playing on some local recordings and trying to help raise a couple teenagers - going to their sports events because their mother works all the time and can't get off work to go see our 15 year old play Volleyball at 4 at a school 150 miles away like I do once in awhile. Makes for a lot of long days. A lot of us are like that. My new Subaru Outback is 18 months old and has 49,850 miles on it as of last night when I got home at midnight. I also have half a dozen other rigs that have a lot of miles on them in the last couple years. This is Montana. A close town is 50 miles away, the sports teams travel at times over 200 miles one way to play ball or go to a track meet or academic competition. We spend a lot of time on the road. In my opinion at this age and her age it is more important for me to be there for her when she is playing her first ever basketball game on the varsity team than it is to crank out an NH for somebody that afternoon. That's the way it is. Mac's is open. I'm not for a few hours that day.

My advice to anybody who doesn't like how a small business operates is to start one just like it and see how they do.

Business had been good to me. I like being self unemployed, I like having customers all over the world. I like being the guy in charge and I like having a little money. I'm thankful for customers and glad I am still able to work most days at my age. But the sign my brother had up in his business is California makes good sense some days. Rule Number 1. The customer is NOT always right. Rule Number 2. We have not lost a customer, we have a eliminated a problem for this business. Rule Number 3. Any questions? See rules number 1 & 2.

The sign up in my office that has been there for probably 35 years is: They shot Abraham Lincoln and crucified Jesus, what chance have I got?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 01:09 pm:

Along with all the things Stan mentioned about running your own small business, there's an additional headache if you have to hire "help". I won't waste a lot of electrons telling all the horror stories. I'll just say I came to dread putting a Help Wanted ad in the paper.

For me it was a great relief to sell the business so I could cut back from 60 or 70 hours a week to only 42, and get paid more.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 01:43 pm:

Yup, Steve. Lots of difference between "employees" and "help" some days. I've been lucky, I have people that have worked for me for over 30 years and are still great "help" and dedicated to our success. I've had a few duds over the years but mostly good people who have done everything they could to make it all work. On the other hand, I've walked around the table a hundred times after a good auction and laid a new Ben Franklin down beside the T-Bone plate everybody on the crew just ate on my dime. In addition to the pay checks, the yearly party, etc. People like to know they are appreciated.

Some people don't get the whole deal of having a job and being expected to do something and some people don't get the idea that the reason they were hired wasn't to steal any thing and every thing they could get away with.

I've been pretty lucky overall with employees, I hear a lot of horror stories from friends about hiring people tho.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David L Corman on Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 02:19 pm:

Stan and Steve Been there done that and you hit the nail right on the head. I had one guy who turned me in because I did not pay him for one month. So happened he was working for someone else at the time. Flat out lied to the government Labor Department, I got copy of his check from his former boss, where he had been paid. Claim was denied only because I showed up and challenged it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donald Manlove on Friday, August 28, 2015 - 03:50 pm:

Finished bleeding mine today and they are great. Thanks Bill for keeping them in production


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