Mobile Welding and quality of welding service

Show multiple versions of mobile welding by JW Portable Welding & Repairs

The mobile welding service of JW Portable Welding & Repairs’ business mission is to introduce high quality, specialized and reasonably priced mobile welding services in London and Southern Ontario. Our mission has been alive since 2013. Since beginning of our business existence, we’ve been aware that we would face technological challenges to transform welding technologies used in a welding shop to welding technologies used in on site welding.

The old and basic welding processes are known for decades. However, there are many knew welding processes that have developed in last 10 – 20 years that improve the quality of weld, make possible to weld completely different materials, and make previously impossible welds easy to do. All of this new technologies target welding shop operation along with most of old technologies and involve heavy welding machines that are not suitable for mobile welding. The question valid a decade ago is still valid today. How to transform or modify new technologies to mobile welding needs?

Mobile welding definition and its basic attributes

Lets define first mobile welding as it will help us better understand the attributes of this welding service. Mobile welding refers to welding service performed outside of a welding shop and implemented on client’s premises. The on-site welding on client’s premises provides a competitive edge to mobile welding in comparison to shop welding. And, mobile welding still generates beautiful, clean and strong welds as welding in the shop do.

The mobile welders come to you with their welding machines placed usually on pickup trucks or trailers. The mobile welding machines are mostly engine driven welding machines. These engine driven machines contain diesel engines or gasoline engines that propelled generators that create electrical current used in welding.

Sometimes some welders claim that they provide mobile welding service even if they must connect their welding machines to electrical outputs’ in client’s facilities. Since they are connecting their portable machines to clients’ power sources, they are providing portable welding service. As much as we can classify portable welding as mobile welding since we transport these portable welding machines to clients’ sites, the portable welding has different characteristics all together.

Difference between diesel and gasoline self propelled welding machines

As gasoline engines require refilling more often, the welder efficiency declines by the time to fill up the welding machine. Additionally, on some industrial premises filling up welding machines with gasoline is not allowed that is why diesel engine welders are more popular. But, they are much more expensive and much heavier and these two factors influence their popularity among welders.

Mechanical contractors that use welding as a supportive activity usually use gasoline engine propelled welding machines. And, on site welding contractors that specialize in welding generally prefer diesel engine propelled welding machines.

The quality of welds generated by these two types of welding machines is the same in 300 and 400 series. These numbers that indicate maximum power generated by a machine. However, in 500 and 600 series the quality of welds tend to prevail into diesel engine propelled welding machines.

Difference between portability and mobility in welding

The fact that we can connect portable welding machines to the power in client’s facilities affects significantly the variety of welding technology delivered. The portable welding has the ability to deliver sophisticated welding technologies used in shop welding whereas the mobile welding technologies still lack these technologies. However, the portable welding has also its disadvantages such as power vs. weight ratio for loading/unloading tasks, necessity of electrical reciprocator close by, fragile structure, and necessity of highly trained welder to operate these machines.

Therefore, I clearly differentiate projects suitable for mobile welding service from projects suitable for portable welding service. Although, we classify portable welding as mobile welding, however, mobile welding companies who plan to use portable welding machines should clearly communicate this fact to their clients prior coming to their sites. Simply put, these services are completely different although both welders, portable welder and mobile welder travel to clients to weld on site.

Most importantly, aside of of technological advantage of portable welding machines these machines can operate inside but can not operate outside. They are prone to failure if exposed to moisture (rain), freezing and excess of heat. On other side, mobile welding uses welding machines that can operate outside in whatever conditions, very ridged units, and they can relocate easily. Certainly, the mobile welding machines are noisy and generate exhaust fumes. Although, mobile welding machines operate outside, sometimes they can operate inside as well if you move exhaust fumes outside and use techniques to reduce their noisy operation.

JW Portable Welding & Repairs delivers the high welding technology to you

We are technologically advanced, mobile welding company offering offering traditional and advanced welding technologies in London and in the whole Ontario. We also offer through our mother company general contracting services in projects involving supervision of welding contractors.

Most importantly, when you ask for mobile welding at JW Portable Welding & Repairs, we come to you with truck hauling a trailer. In fact, we have 3 units equipped and operating within mobile welding division. Each trailer carry the diesel engine propelled welding machines along with plentiful of supportive tools and great variety of welding rods or wires. Additionally, we have equipped each trailer with exhaust removal tubes and with noise reduction.

To know more about our mobile welder’s capabilities click here.

A mobile welding unit on the job in London, Ontario. Enclosed trailer containing a self-propelled welding machine and plenty of tools. The welding tent protects the public from welding hazards and isolates us from wind for shielded gas welding.
This is typical JW Portable Welding & Repair’s mobile welding set up consisting of enclosed trailer containing a self-propelled welding machines and plenty of tools as well as welding tent that protects the public from welding hazards.

And, when you ask for portable welding, we come to you with a very advanced portable welding offered by our fourth trailer that we have customized for this service. Within a portable welding service we connect our more precise and more advanced welding machines to your power outlets.

When do we recommend our portable welding?

I recommend our portable welding service in instances when we must stay longer on your premises and / or we need more control over welding process. Our mobile welding engine driven welding machines simply do not deliver this sophistication of control. You can find more about our portable welding service here. Our portable welding service’s geographical area of operation covers whole Ontario.

The geographical coverage of our portable welding is much bigger than a geographical area of our mobile welding. Many of specialized welding services provided by our portable welding unit are not offered by local mobile welders nor local welding shops.

Presently, also our line boring and bore welding are also served from the same trailer along with portable welding.

Our mobile welding and portable welding destinations

Our welding operation include:

  • Woodstock mobile welding
  • Sarnia mobile welding,
  • Chatham mobile welding
  • Tillsonburg mobile welding
  • St. Marys mobile welding
  • Strathroy mobile welding
  • Aylmer mobile welding
  • Ingersoll mobile welding
  • Simcoe mobile welding
  • Stratford mobile welding
  • Kitchener mobile welding – only technologically advanced on site welding & portable welding
  • Cambridge mobile welding – only technologically advanced on site welding & portable welding
  • Guelph mobile welding – only technologically advanced on site welding & portable welding
  • Milton mobile welding – only technologically advanced on site welding & portable welding
  • Hamilton mobile welding – only technologically advanced on site welding & portable welding
  • Oakville mobile welding – only technologically advanced on site welding & portable welding
  • Mississauga mobile welding – only technologically advanced on site welding & portable welding
  • Brampton mobile welding – only technologically advanced on site welding & portable welding

We are also often in Toronto with our portable welding unit. In fact, our Toronto mobile welding services are very popular due to our fire protection and sophisticated cast and alloy welding. The farthest serving location is Peterborough and we cover Markham, and Oshawa. Certainly, our specialized welding service covers small cities such as Grand Bend, Clinton, Owen Sound, and Collingwood. Due to our rather large geographical operation our specialized mobile welding services could be called mobile welding near you. However, due to our location in London, the traditional mobile welding services in London, Ontario take always priority.

Call us, text us or email us for traditional and advanced welding services. And leave us your feedback on our google profile.

Mobile welding attributes – suggestions to clients

The comfort of mobile welding service is significantly impacted by welding machine characteristic and its performance. The best welders fail if their machine is not responsive, malfunctions and / or does not perform well in specific parameters. Moreover, mobile welding machine responsiveness, its power, and welding technology delivered is also influenced by particular welding machine’s technological characteristic.

Clients should always ask the welder specific questions and then observe the mobile welder at work. If the welder is hesitant to answer some of the questions, does not know the answer, or lies than is a time to look for another welder. Most importantly, however, if you notice that your welder is confused, tries to patch up things, swears in anger, then is time to ask the welder to leave. Otherwise, your welder may cause reversable damages to your project.

Here is a short list of specific questions to ask the welder:

  1. Are you certified?
  2. How long have you been welding?
  3. How long you have worked in mobile industry?
  4. What technology is the most appropriate for my project?
  5. Have you welded similar projects recently?
  6. Are you comfortable welding this project in these positions?
  7. Can your welding machine perform well in this project?

Hire experienced welder – welding machine responsiveness

The machine responsiveness translates to time between striking an arc by the welder and the welding machine’s reaction. This time impacts the way how the welder welds and sometimes the lengths of welding beads. The mobile welding machines are especially slow in their responsiveness. It simply takes time for diesel or gasoline engine to accelerate and generate a higher electric current.

If the welding machine has a relatively long responsiveness time the unexperienced mobile welder will generate a partial cold weld. The length of cold weld generated by slow responding engine driven welding machine should be eliminated by a proper welding technique. However, many unexperienced welders leave these cold welds on the weldments. As a direct result of cold weld at the edge of the joint the cold weld tends to brake. The crack usually begins at that point, and then it continues its progress through the good weld. Cold welds are dangerous in any settings and in any industrial, commercial or residential settings must be corrected. You will find more about dangerous cold welds later on.

The “sticks” are “sticky” when used by unexperienced welder. It means that welder has difficulty to start welding because welding rods seams to be glued to the steel. When you notice such events, than is time to let the welder go.

Hire welder proficient in proper welding technology

The mobile welding technology mainly delivers SMAW technology, commonly known as “stick” welding. The mobile welder uses welding rods to weld and welding rods look like sticks that is why we have coined it stick welding. However, these sticks are in different sizes and made from different alloys. It is useful to remember that more powerful mobile welding machines make welding of thick elements more efficient. Welders using thick and high deposit welding rods weld thick materials faster.

Mobile welding technologies beyond stick welding

Many new mobile welding machines do offer GTAW or GMAW technologies too. The sophistication of these technologies in engine driven welding machines is rather limited to basic operations. The GTAW refers to commonly known Tig welding and is available in mobile machines only in scratch technique. Which is not preferable in more sophisticated Tig projects.

GMAW known as Mig in mobile welding requires attachments to the self propelled welding machine. These attachments are expensive and usually used for welding thin metals. Due to shielded gas requirement the GMAW mobile welding in windy weather produces poor results.

The FCAW technology poses an attractive choice in windy weather. The FCAW refers to Flux Core Arc Welding and is very similar to Mig welding but it generates flux on top of the weld. Therefore weld’s purity and its strength is not as high as Mig welding.

There are many attachments to engine driven welding machine to implement GTAW, GMAW or FCAW in mobile welding service. However, they are very expensive, with cost of the attachment reaching the value of good quality portable welding machine. Therefore these attachments are not as popular among mobile welders.

Hire welder with powerful mobile welding machine

Power of mobile welding machine plays tremendous role in on site welding. As mentioned earlier, there are two groups of of mobile welding machines: gasoline engine and diesel propelled. Many small gasoline engine propelled welding machines do not produce enough power to generate good looking and strong weld. Also, these small gasoline engine propelled welding machines do not perform well in all position welding.

Moreover, weather conditions also affect welds generated by these small machines, especially when welding in cold and windy environment. Even the pre-heat does not last too and moisture starts setting on the material since the machine does not provide enough heat.

For projects that involve steel thicker than 1/2″ powerful mobile welding machine is a must. Any machine below 300 or 400 series should not be used, especially if thicker rods than 1/8 are going to be used.

Mobile welding vs. client’s vetting process

Mobile welding services are not as popular as you think since most welding companies operate from a welding shop and they do not offer this service. Additionally, the quality of welding varies greatly pending the welding technology used, welder’s skill, and welding machine used. For more information regarding client’s vetting process click here.

Hire mobile welding company suitable for your project

Hiring a mobile welding company that is suitable for your project often creates dilemmas and compromises. Especially commercial or industrial clients must make difficult choices based on multiple factors when managing their projects. And, let’s evaluate their choices here.

Hire locally in town or outside?

For simple project it is better to hire mobile welding company locally. In every town there are at list 2 – 3 welding companies that offer mobile welding services. Hiring locally seams also be your best choice from a price point of view. Since mobile welders charge their clients for travel and accommodation, your local mobile welder will cost you much less. Additionally, local mobile welders really care for their reputation since their reputation guaranties them future projects. Therefore, they will try their best to satisfy your demands.

Advanced projects usually may require participation of more technologically advanced mobile welding company that is not available locally. These projects usually involve stainless steel mobile welding, and aluminum mobile welding. But also involve portable welding projects when you want your hired welders to stay on the project for 2 or 4 weeks. Certainly, mobile welding projects that require welding thick materials with large welds often also require more technologically advanced mobile welding company.

The prices charged by technologically advanced mobile welding company are much higher than prices charged by your local mobile welder. Unfortunately, clients do not have much choice in selection of these companies since there is scarcity of advanced welding companies in Ontario. The technological advancement, metallurgical knowledge, advanced welding trade practices, and technological transformation do not come cheap these days. Also the advanced welding company coming from another town will charge you for travel and possibly for accommodation.

Hire large or small mobile welding company?

Large welding companies with large welding shops have usually have a few welding rigs. If you have a project that fits to the service of these large welding companies than it is better to hire a large mobile welding company. I realize that hire a large welding company requires a huge budget and probably a few visits to the bank, but what you are getting in return is the long utilization of the project without headaches caused by obstacles, poorly planed procedures, and insufficient engineering. Large welding companies are on the market to serve you with advanced on site welding divisions

Your trouble starts when a large welding company refuses to take your project because, your project is too small, your project does not fit to their services, something is wrong with your project and they know it. Or simply, you can not afford their prices. In such case, you have to turn attention to medium size on site welding companies that still offer necessary welding advancements. In such situations, I recommend to hire an advanced mobile welding company with a small shop. The support of welding shop to on site welding operation reduces the cost of your projects. Many parts or components can be fabricated in the welding shop at lower prices and then just installed/welded in with minor fitting by mobile welders.

Hire ethical mobile welding company even if it cost more

The ethics in welding play tremendous role and clients should also choose ethical mobile welders. Many clients just trust their mobile welders to do their job the best they can. However, many clients find out that their mobile welder was not performing according to the best welding practices. Simply put, visiting the project prior welding and then visiting the project after welding allows the welder to cut corners. Cutting corners increases the risk of project failure and/or shortens the project utilization time. Cutting corners also increases necessities for multiple repairs that add to the project cost. As expected, smaller mobile welding companies are generally more ethical than larger welding companies.

Having access to working mobile welder and cutting the bureaucracy increases the ethics implemented on the mobile welding project. Also, having a welding general foreman assures higher ethical procedures.

Here is a short list of unethical procedures’ breaking in mobile welding:

  1. Too high, too low or lack of pre – heating
  2. Inappropriate sizes of welds, usually too small welds or unintentional asymmetrical welds
  3. Cold welds on thick material in V joints or U joints.
  4. Improper sizes of V joints or U joints in comparison to thickness of material welded. Poor joint preparation or complete lack of it
  5. Missing welds in weldments where customer can not see. Missing welds when welding structural steel on heights due to lack of inspection
  6. Lack of amperage corrections when changing positions and associated poor looking and weak welds
  7. Excessive warpage due to poor or negligent planning
  8. Inappropriate bids locations leaving empty spots in large size welds
  9. Poor weld cleaning practices for finished welds
  10. Use of welding rods not specified in the engineered drawings
  11. Use of cold rods, lack of portable oven
  12. Large size rod for root penetration in V joint.

Mobile Welding – Warnings to Clients

Many new client’s call JW Portable Welding & Repairs when their first welding approach has failed. Such occurrences usually have happened in restaurant/commercial kitchen sector, heavy equipment repairs sector, and OWSJ reinforcement sector. They also happen in aluminum handrail sector and in hydraulic or pneumatic system sector.

I use to say, that JW Portable Welding & Repairs comes to new clients, after the second welder has failed. Please keep in mind that the second welder still was not able to fix the problem that the first welder has caused. So now, we are coming. Unfortunately, this is true in at least 2 and sometimes 3 instances monthly. Now, I would like to focus on underlying reason to such situation.

Going cheap is very expensive

In welding business and especially in mobile welding business going cheap is very expensive. The major cost of our estimate is labor cost, then cost of material and cost of welding consumables such as welding rods or wires. The labor cost relates directly to skills of the welder, his or her knowledge, and welder’s ability to deliver welding technology to clients. The cost of welding technology used in your project also involves welding consumables.

Choose your welding professional carefully

The mobile welder coming to weld your project could be a high school graduate with years of experience doing the same type of welding over and over again. Sometimes it could be a college graduate with a strong technical background and some exposure to welding technologies in selected industries. Very, very rarely, the mobile welder could have engineering background with very strong trade or craftsmanship background and exposure to variety of industries. Therefore, you will get what you pay for.

Each welder will approach your project differently and these differences will affect the degree of project success and its utilization time. Some welders hold few patents in metallurgy and specialized tooling and others hold half burned rod and do not know where to strike an arc.

Comparison to gardening

Welding could be compared to gardening for better understanding the complexity. Some gardeners have 2 tomato plants in the kitchen that look good freshly bought from the store. Other gardeners run gardens in the backyards of their houses with dozens of plants in rows. Still many gardeners run successfully nursery businesses with hundreds of plants or even thousands of plants. And, lastly the selected group of gardeners grows special plants in space for NASA. Do you think that all of these gardeners will approach your garden project in the same way? Will they achieve the same results? Do you think that same project will cost the same run by all of these gardeners?

In welding as in live, it is better to lose with smart people than to gain with stupid people. With smart people you will always recover and prosper. With stupid people your temporary gain will lead to the loss and there won’t be any recovery. Therefore choose your mobile welder wisely.

Simple projects cost vs. more complicated projects cost

Simple projects cost less per hour than more complicated projects. Why? Well, because complicated projects require vision, technology and the ability to deliver it. Therefore if you plan to run welding project with complex mobile welding operation and you still expect to pay the average rate per hour for mobile welder than you will cut yourself short of vision or short of technology or short of ability to deliver it.

Simple projects demand lower cost of effective SMAW technology, stick welding, with basic welding certification for welder in construction industry. More precisely, any welding on mild steel in average thicknesses from 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch requires cost effective approach. However, any mild steel welding in thicknesses of smaller than 1/8″ and thicker than 1/2″ will increase the cost per hour. These statements do not involve welding of mild steel pipes.

Complicated projects in mobile welding

Any stainless steel project is by itself a separate ball game and the thickness of material, stainless steel alloy specification, famous stainless steel warpage, and pre – heat require some vision, some more advanced technology and more advanced ability to deliver it. Again, any aluminum project is another curve ball since things can get very complicated and unexpectedly very quickly. In mobile welding of aluminum, the technology plays the tremendous role, vision relates more to metallurgy and the ability to deliver and it is heavily restricted by number of factors.

Multiple alloy projects

Projects involving multiple alloys or projects that involve some forces acting on elements increase the labor cost per hour. Therefore projects involving custom alloy welding, established penetration on thick materials or projects demanding special joint preparations are more expensive per hour.

Such projects as welding stainless steel pipes that will accommodate high pressure will cost more per hour. Mechanical structures built from alloys that sustain vibration and also contain other mechanical components will cost more per hour.

These complex projects will cost more since they require sophisticated testing prior welding and after welding. They require vision in multiple steps into the future and they require very advanced welding technology that does not come cheap.

Low integrity welder can irreversibly damage your project

Mobile welding should resolve your problem but sometimes it will make your problem even worse. Mobile welder who does not understand the consequences of inappropriate application of welding technology could irreversibly damage your project. It is very important to realize that mobile welding business is tough and very competitive. The turnover of mobile welders is high and this fact affects severely many mobile welders performance. You can find out more about mobile welding business on my blog.

Even though the mobile welder sometimes understands that a different welding technology or welding consumable should be used in your project, he still continues with SMAW and with old welding consumables. The false hopes and greed takes over integrity and he/she damages the project.

Sometimes, it is a mater of communicating to customer the need of proper welding technology for best project results. However, most clients simply do not understand welding processes and they do not want to spend more for their project. Therefore the integrity of the mobile welder who comes to your place for just a few hours or few days should be a priority for any client.

Low integrity welder shortens the project’s utilization time and impacts safety of your employees

The damages left by low integrity mobile welder could become apparent right away as in the case of welding stainless steel sink with 1/8 inch stainless welding rods. And, yes I have seen it a few times already. Or sometimes could become apparent after mobile welder leaves the project as in case of welding vertical stainless steel plates with 1/8 inch 7018 rod. Well, every welder knows that vertical welds in stainless require a very precise amperage setup and if you do not have remote amperage regulator you should not weld stainless vertically. Cheating with 7018 rods on stainless and then covering with clear lacquer will be discovered sooner or later.

Cold welds are dangerous

Many of these failures affect the utilization time of your project. More importantly affect safety of your employees and sometimes safety of project’s owner. Cold short welds ( at the length of tacks) on thick steel can significantly contribute to your employee injuries. These cold short welds on lifting devices and hydraulically lifted ramps in areas of cylinder stabilization are deadly.

Cold bids generated in larger V or U joints are covered by good bids. Unfortunately, the strength of such weld is significantly reduced for bending forces going from the bottom of V or U.

Deadly are also welds in aluminum structures. Especially welds on elevated working platforms or window cleaning platforms require more experienced welders. Lack of penetration and associated with it weld’s strength affects rigidity of aluminum structure. For instance, aluminum handrail with poor welding practices will not protect your employees but still they will visually look good.

Mobile welding response to urgent situations

The value of mobile welding ability to quickly respond to client’s need should be balanced with the mobile welding impact on client’s project. Obviously, the urgent and emergency responses should be classified differently since their main objective is to eliminate the urgency and/or emergency as quickly as possible.

JW Portable Welding & Repairs has improved our readiness to response to urgent situations. In last few years, we have received rather urgent calls regarding equipment damages that could impact other damages, relatively non threatening human entrapments, and severe leaking of tanks. In light of these challenges, we have increased variety of welding rods on all our mobile welding units, increased possible length of torch operation and equipped all units with demolition torches. We have also increased the variety of tools on each mobile welding unit.

Mobile welding eliminates urgency

The mobile welding response to non-live threatening situation should be focused on quick elimination of urgency. This quick elimination of urgency imposes high effectiveness but unfortunately sometimes impacts negatively asset utilization time. For instance, urgent response with epoxy glue to a leaking tank eliminates the leak semi-permanently but does not provide permanent solution. The urgent response to cut heavy steel on construction site eliminates work stoppage and cuts unproductive costs. But these cuts are not beautiful and welders must smooth them out.

It is important to realize that urgent situations eliminate my initial visit on your projects. Lack of my initial visit impacts the estimated cost and our ability to deliver more appropriate technology. Therefore, even though we want to respond as quickly as it is possible, we still require texting some pictures to me with description of situation. In such event, I do not mind to receive a large variety of pictures from different distance to the urgent situation.