• Buggy Depot to convert to a Cooperative? LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS

  • New updates to our store, forum, and products are posted here -T@BD
New updates to our store, forum, and products are posted here -T@BD
 #13730  by bwheelz05
 Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:29 pm
Signed up for membership!

Little about myself:

Name is Bryan 'Wheelz' Wheeler. I'm an aircraft mechanic having been in the industry for about 15 years now. I specialize in systems and power plant troubleshooting and functional testing. I am a Boeing GENFAM instructor on the Boeing 737. (Classics/Next Gen) In addition I specialize in the Boeing 757 and 767. I've worked on the B777 during my time with Boeing in Everett, WA.

Also have time on Airbus products, A320/A321 and Embraer 135,145,175 and 190's and CRJ 200/900 aircraft. Several other mixed in there as well- bottom line is heavy aircraft. BOOM- That's my career background.

I also enjoy airsoft (Mil sim airsoft ... boy there are some applications for buggy's in airsoft that I'll get into later) Enjoy R/C planes and the FPV hobby too.

I'm located outside of Colorado Springs, CO. There's a BUNCH of kart/buggy enthusiasts out this way. We have the usual mix of mountains, prairie and sand-dunes (southern Colorado).

The mix of terrain though generally dictates the type of vehicle needed to romp around. Your not going to find many small karts out this way.

Problem many folks face is whether to spend 6-8 (or more) grand on a ATV or an UTV. For myself I got into the large buggies/ karts awhile ago; buying used junkers off let go, Craigslist and rebuilding/fixing then flipping them.

*generally Yerf dog, Manco, ASW products.*

Each manufacturer it seems have highs an lows in the build. Yerf dogs are endlessly customizable and many of the 'do-it-your-selfers' can fabricate most things that break. They have good welds and haven't found myself rebuilding/replacing swing arms all that much. But suffer from being generally small in size for average adults (I am 5'11 and 200 lbs) The predator series of engines were always the preferred choice of replacement for me. Either 212 or 420 cc engines.

The 3203 series suffered from for band brakes and bent spindles. The spider box made up for that but I've seen the front ends fail a couple times.

Manco (Before ASW) were larger carts with more off road ability but I've seen the 710E models suffer from weak or incomplete welds. I've fabricated/ re-welded more weak swing arms than I can count. The older Subaru Robin engines were stout BUT suffered from reasonably priced OEM parts--- if you can find them.

Then theirs American Sport works- Currently I have the Carbide 150 CC / 7150 model. (Usual GY6) It is much nicer than the Yerfs' or Mancos' (Old Mancos') I've owned. They fit two adults reasonably well and are much more comfortable. Though the GY6 stock suffered from uphill 'UMPH'. So I am upgrading it with the Stage 1 kit sold here, new carburetor (Will re jet it) etc...

Like most folks here; how nice would it be to wake up to do a job that you actually enjoyed? That you looked forward too? Why cant a hobby be a job? Sweet dreams right?

I've wanted to be a part of a entrepreneurship, or some sort of start-up... involved with something that could benefit one of my many hobbies. Something thats challenging and at the end of the day feel proud about.

But that chance doesn't come around very often.

What does all this mean. Well like I said above I ordered a Stage 1 kit from buggy depot. I've followed the company and its products for quite while. I ran into an issue with the ordered of the stage 1 kit and was kinda of an ass-hole about it.

I spoke to Barry today initially about the order. Not having understood what was actually happening in the 'background'. Barry explained it all in detail to me and I was first thinking; " I'm a prick... Shouldn't have been". Then we started talking business. Those trials and trivializations that Buggy Depot faces as a business.

Ebay, Amazon etc... those bargain bin entities. How does a business compete with them. Hell you can get many similar items off either ones of these guys for pennies it seems (Not literately ) BUT how many times have you bought from lets say... Amazon and the stupid thing (what ever it was) did not work or did not fit. -OR- was simply a cheap piece of garbage.

We all scrapped and scrounged for our hard earned money right? Lets say the UNI filter you need is $12.00 on amazon and $15.00 somewhere else. Nine times out of ten your going to Amazon. But lets say that filter comes to you torn or isn't even the color you HAD to have. Disappointing right? Yes you can return it but even then I personally have either run into issues with the return or couldn't understand the person on the other end... like it got bad .. I got mad at the guy ... he got mad at me ... ... and said HE couldn't understand how I was talking. That's right, how I was talking...

That's just an example. But here you have a company that stands by the products, the service. . When a guy like me has a complaint- They SPEAK TO YOU- I got the down and dirty for Buggy Depot BUT also got the scoop on whats upcoming and what needs to be done to succeed.

I've dealt with the business-end of aviation for a long time. I've been knee deep in what it takes to procure inventory, tooling, PEOPLE, keep customers HAPPY, deal with their issues- And the competition.

Competition is something fierce and it takes out other companies all the time. But Buggy Depot has much going for it though: Innovation! A plan! The PRODUCT!

Innovating new technology isn't cheap- But it most always is based on the NEED of the customer base. Look at the products Buggy Depot offers. They aren't one piece by piece bits. They are complete performance packages. Reasonably priced ones too!

Not too many places offer a bolt on exhaust kit for a GY6 - GY6s' are everywhere- beyond buggies. I know I've done fair share of cutting, hollowing and re welding exhausts. Take a look at what they offer verse the competition. Seriously.

A plan- So times are rough- Again competition is a real pain. Barry has been open and straight forward about the affairs. I believe opening it up to customer owned benefits everyone here. Why wouldn't it? I would love to have a sensible discussion on why it wouldn't work.

In order for us the customer to benefit from decent prices and innovative design and tech- We need to support that move. Its easier for me to purchase almost everything I need at once than to spend more time sourcing the bits from two or three different places.

The product- Again you got to look at what you need to upgrade on your machines. The folks here have done the R/D; have designed the products, most likely broken them and then went back, re-designed and finally put it to market.

The big picture for me was I just didn't want to spend thousands on a ATV or and UTV. The buggies were what I need for what I do. Trail riding, hill ascent/decent, street riding etc.. I can get everything I need to either fix or upgrade right here and it doesn't cost me that much of my hard earned money.

Barry and I spoke about some of the ideas the fellas and Buggy Depot are discussing. All centered around providing a better customer experience at a low cost. Its tough though when competition does it for cheaper... why is that... some of that is garbage. When you call those over seas 'customer service' or 'tech' folks- how long are you spending that time with them just trying to get them to understand you and vica versa. Tech support like what Buggy Depot has, is invaluable when I needed a quick "Hey how do you, do this? "

We have really good folks here in the industry/hobby. If we banned together in a cooperative then we benefit from the 'out of the box' ideas and strategies.

Lets talk Karts/buggies for a sec: Take the worst out of what you've seen in different brands, and then take the best and collaboratively design a kart/buggy for the average Joe- One thats backed by the company you bought it from. I have been broken down on a trail 3 miles from home and it sucks. What if my Kart was so well designed and put together that it came with an on the spot troubleshooting guide, a tool box and a spares box-- just enough to get you back to the trailhead or to home. Juuuusst enough to get out of trouble.

That's something Barry and I spoke about as well. Something in the works- If Buggy Depot designed their own brand of karts/buggies. Thoughts? I would rather buy an American built product than something from over seas. Thats just me.

I'm very intrigued about this.

I think this deserves a lot of actual discussion- Good bad and the ugly. Lets put our collective minds together and discuss!
 #13854  by TravisXBD
 Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:42 am
We've been in business since 2005, without a single negative review until 2016. Please check Buggy Depot's BBB, Google Reviews profiles to confirm. July 2016 was our very first. That's 11 years with a perfect record.

Before that, we worked with customers right here on the forum when issues arose in the feedback section. That's all still here too. I'm proud of our history, otherwise it would be easy enough to delete those sections.

The history going back is solid - it's the most recent years that have been problematic. We're talking about things in a lot more detail on the Cooperative Group. Before raising the cancel flag, it may be more reasonable to join and read through to better understand what's going on with BD and what is motivating the move to cooperative:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2328903174037198/