..are never parted. You’d probably understand the relationship a tradie has with his tools if you’ve seen one of those T-Shirts, we’re pretty certain ‘sponsored’ by one of the major tool manufacturers, that says “the one who dies with the most tools is the winner”.
On those occasions you hear in the news about a tradie’s ute being stolen, the value of the tools is invariably “$10,000”. We don’t know if this is for insurance purposes or whether your average tradie really does drive around with $10,000 of tools in the back of his (or her) truck, at least not at the sort of prices you can pay for tools at Bunnings and Masters these days.
As a matter of fact tool theft from tradies is such a big concern that you can now get insurance specifically to cover you for the theft of your tools. Like anything you collect over time, you don’t necessarily keep tabs on how much everything is worth until the day comes when you have to replace them – so perhaps it’s a good idea to keep an inventory somewhere away from the tools themselves, so you can fill in the insurance claim knowing what you had and how much they will all cost to replace (there are even a couple of iPhone apps that will do the job).
Many tradies swear by the ‘good’ brands and would not be seen dead buying an unnamed brand tool, however, with the price of equipment coming out of China just getting lower and lower there has to be a point where you buy a tool almost knowing it may well pack up within 12 months, but it’s still less expensive to just buy another one at that point than buy the ‘quality’ brand. Which is unfortunate, as it really doesn’t feel right buying ‘throwaway’ tools.
So if $10,000 really is the figure and you’re starting out from scratch, it’s quite a big outlay, but there again if you haven’t got the tools you can’t do the work (and remember you can always take out an equipment loan from Aussie Equipment loans!).
Maybe in the future some tools will be replaced by smartphone equivalents – iTools if you like. There’s already a few out there, including a Stanley spirit level, and one called iHandy Carpenter, that incorporates a spirit level, a plumb bob and a protractor and a ruler that you swipe to measure things larger than the phone. At $1.99 a considerable saving (of around $98) on what you’d spend on the real tools, and quite a space saver too.
Or maybe in the future all tradies will come equipped with a tool ‘robot’ – a bit like a Swiss Army knife, but human sized and programmable to do all the jobs that the tradie would need to do. Then you’d just have to size up the job, quote for the work, program the robot and sit back and have a cup of tea while the robot gets on with it. Or maybe a beer.
Image credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tool