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Make Trades Great Again

Eric Aune, Andy Mickelson

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Welcome to Make Trades Great Again! Join Eric and Andy, seasoned plumbing and heating contractors turned business owners, as they dive deep into the world of skilled trades careers. If you're passionate about building a successful service business or considering starting your own venture in the skilled trades industry, smash that subscribe button. With their wealth of experience and expertise, Eric and Andy share invaluable insights on everything from launching your own business, setting com ...
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Send us a Text Message. Longtime friend of MTGA, Jason Norman joins Eric & Andy to get deeper into the EV Fleet debate. Will we be forced to change our work schedules, driving habits? Will field techs no longer get to drive their work van home? This has been a very popular topic for the podcast, thank you all for the feedback and listens! Send us y…
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Send us a Text Message. Eric hits the road, or sky’s to join Andy in Missoula for a special project. We’ve talked connected appliances and controls many times on the podcast and do it again this time. A couple new Tekmar products will serve Andy’s clients well. Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalh…
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Send us a Text Message. There's no other way to say it, it sucks falling behind on keeping the shop and vehicles tidy. Extra money is spent on redundant materials and tools, time is lost looking for that one thing you just know you had... The guys talk shop and all things that go with it in this episode of the Make Trades Great Again podcast. Send …
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Send us a Text Message. Milwaukee Tool recently announced and shipped the long awaited M12 tubing cutter capable of cutting up to 2" copper pipe. Whoa, whoa that's not all! Andy makes a pretty bold statement, naming the BEST SCREWDRIVER IN THE WORLD. Hint: It's a Wiha. The guys talk new tools, favorite tools and get into some general BS about tools…
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Send us a Text Message. MTGA friend Denver Baker joins the guys to talk E.V.’s. Specifically, service vehicles for his or the many HVAC contracting companies. The crew talks tech, charging, current offerings from the usual suspects and so new auto makers offering rechargeable cargo vehicles. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject! Send us y…
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Send us a Text Message. The guys answer an email from a friend of the show. What do we want from our sales people? Mark says he's recently moved into an outside sales position for the supply company he works for, he's looking for our feedback on what we are looking for from our sales partners in the industry. Send us your feedback or topic ideas ov…
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Send us a Text Message. Ever just get to a point you cant stand your own playlist? We have and Andy wants to know what you're listening to. This week the guys relax and reminisce about the early days of XM Radio and talk about some of their favorite things to stream now. Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @m…
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Send us a Text Message. Some pretty big changes are in the works for how Minnesotans pay for, and use electricity which had the guys discussing everything from electrification, off-peak electrical and the home heating utility usages from one state to the next. To our faithful listeners: No actual investigative journalism was used for this groundbre…
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Send us a Text Message. In all seriousness, the guys do talk about a couple recent medical events as a reminder that none of are invincible and taking care of ourselves is paramount to having a long successful career in the trades. Pre-surgery talk started back in February in episode 279: https://maketrades.buzzsprout.com Send us your feedback or t…
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Send us a Text Message. Eric and Andy share insights and strategies for navigating economic slowdowns amidst shifting market conditions. Whether it's seasonal fluctuations or the impact of high interest rates and inflation on consumer behavior, they delve into practical approaches. This episode focuses on the effective practices that have sustained…
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Send us a Text Message. It’s time for a break from new episodes while the guys work on a new approach to delivering the MTGA content and topics. Please take a look at any one of the 280 previous episodes in our library if you haven’t heard them all. We will be back, thank you for your continued support! Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on …
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Send us a Text Message. Credit card payments are the norm but how much of a risk are they if payments can be easily disputed and taken from you? The guys talk about this as it all started from, where else but a stupid Facebook group… Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plum…
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Send us a Text Message. Eric has a minor surgery coming up, Andy just had one himself and both could've been done months or even years ago but it's too easy to put it off for another day. In this episode the guys say lit like it is, you gotta make yourself a priority, if you don't it's only going to get worse. Send us your feedback or topic ideas o…
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Send us a Text Message. Here's another one from AHR Expo 2024. Our friends Becky Brotherton and Michael Provenzano join us to talk about the iconic tool company's 100 years of manufacturing history and more. Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb Check out our website: m…
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Send us a Text Message. Heat Pumps are everywhere and Samsung HVAC has new technology on the market now and coming. Wade McCorkel of Samsung HVAC joins the guys at AHR Expo in Chicago to talk dual fuel and universal heat pump tech. Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb …
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Send us a Text Message. Live from AHR Expo in Chicago, the guys sit down with Bryan Orr. Bryan Orr is the Co-Owner of Kalos Services Inc. an Orlando- area HVAC contracting business as well as an audio nerd and podcaster. Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb Check out o…
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Send us a Text Message. Warning: Lots of weather talk in this one lol. When the weather dips to the double digits below zero (F) the heat needs to stay on because setting-back the temperature may be a recipe for disaster. The guys talk ways to combat the extreme cold and how talking with your customers ahead of the storm might be useful. Send us yo…
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Send us a Text Message. Setting expectations ahead of starting a job is an obvious step in the process of service, repair, construction right? Eric tells of a recent job when it didn’t start out so great. Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb Check out our website: mech…
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Send us a Text Message. Will Aune Plumbing expand in 2024? Looking back on 2023 and forward in the new year. There's always time to make plans and set goals but the new year seems like the most appropriate. What are some of your goals for 2024? Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson…
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Send us a Text Message. If you're an apprentice this one's for you! If you're not an apprentice but know someone coming up in the trades, please share this with them asap! In this episode Eric & Andy go thru a list of five things/habits/behaviors today's apprentice needs to do or think about daily. Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our s…
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Send us a Text Message. It's that time of year to look forward into the new year. This is also worth reflecting on the past year to gauge successes. This isn't a New Year Resolution episode! Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb Check out our website: mechanical-hub.com…
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Send us a Text Message. Chad joins the guys to take a buzzfeed quiz to see what career we’re supposed to have. The results are as ridiculous as you probably expect. Thanks to our friend Chad Killinger for joining us. Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb Check out our w…
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Send us a Text Message. “If you break it down into bitesize pieces you can eat an elephant” -Andy In this episode the guys talk over how to approach estimating jobs large and small. Thanks to everyone writing in lately! Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb Check out ou…
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Send us a Text Message. Some old school tactics still work when looking for employment no matter how many job services are out there. The internet is awesome but following up on a job application can get you ahead of the competition. Also did you know there is a whole online service just for blue collar jobs? Check this out and more in this episode…
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Send us a Text Message. Luke, from Adelaide, Australia writes in to ask about our thoughts on inexperienced technicians driving a throw away society vs. finding the fault and repairing equipment. Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb Check out our website: mechanical-hu…
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Send us a Text Message. Longtime listener Dillon writes in with a followup to an episode from almost two years ago when he was looking for advice on buying the business he was working for. Dillon is at the point in owning the business where he needs to expand. He also had to fire the son of the former owner of the business. Is not hiring and expand…
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Send us a Text Message. Andy tells us about a problem job they’ve been dealing with for a few years. Ever have one of those jobs you wish you never took on? How about a piece of equipment or materials you regret installing? Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb Check ou…
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Send us a Text Message. How long is long enough for proper training in the skilled trades? It’s no secret we are not attracting more young adults than needed into the trades, could a shorter training period move the needle on interest? What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you! Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channe…
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Send us a Text Message. We recently talked about all these connected systems and appliances but what about an old school, simple system that’s not connected? Are we talking survival/prepping type of clientele or just simplification? Send us your feedback or topic ideas over on our social channels! Eric Aune @mechanicalhub Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb…
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Send us a Text Message. Ever wondered why we prefer our turkey fried rather than baked or roasted? Curious about the art of Spatchcocking that gives us the most succulent chicken? Well, sit back, relax, and let's talk about our unique Thanksgiving practices. Our holiday dinner tables may not look like your average ones, but our smoked turkey, ham, …
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Send us a Text Message. "Coffee talk" lol, no really, the Nespresso machine is worth it! The guys BS some more in this episode about multiple topics like coffee and "why the hell did my M12 Fuel band saw turn to garbage?" -Eric As always, thank you for listening. Thank you for the feedback and please take a minute to rate us in your podcast app. We…
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Send us a Text Message. Ever wondered how the pros prepare for the harsh winter months in the HVAC industry? Well, you're in for a treat as we share our seasoned insights on dealing with the hustle and bustle of heating season, the significance of meticulous preparation, and the art of staying ahead in this game. Oh, and let's not forget the occasi…
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Send us a Text Message. Ever had a customer reach into a gun safe overflowing with cash to pay for a service call? We've got a cracker of a chat lined up where we share our bemusing and sometimes perplexing experiences with customers doling out large amounts of cash for our services. From navigating the logistics of hefty bank deposits to the disco…
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Send us a Text Message. Connected HVAC appliances aren't necessarily, they've been around for a while now but everyday there seems to be a new app, a new way to commission or some sort of incentive to internet monitoring. But do our customers want another app? Ar ethe incentives worth it? Remember when a furnace or water heater wasn't so fussy? We …
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Send us a Text Message. Ever had a colossal blunder on your hands that resulted in a rooftop unit curb adapter not fitting the new unit? Well, that was us. Join us as we dissect this recent debacle, from our oversight of not getting the spec sheet for the curb adapter, to dealing with a reversed supply and return situation. We'll share some hard-le…
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Send us a Text Message. Are you walking the tightrope of remote troubleshooting? From dealing with difficult customer calls when systems fail to the tricky decision of when to inspect in-person or troubleshoot over the phone, we bring you a candid conversation about the realities of our industry. Let's take, for instance, the case of a customer wit…
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Send us a Text Message. Do you ever wonder what makes 'some' contractors stand out from the crowd? What if we told you it's as simple as 'going the extra mile' for customers? This episode is a deep dive into the contractor-customer relationship. We discuss the importance of referring other contractors, and how crucial it is to have an open and hone…
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Send us a Text Message. As winter's icy grip fastens, are you prepared for the hike in heating costs? With nearly half of U.S households warming their homes with natural gas, many are in for a shock as heating costs skyrocket by 28% compared to last winter. But wait, there's hope! This episode provides tips on how to make savvy long-term investment…
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Send us a Text Message. Ever wondered about the complex process of hiring plumbers and the hurdles that businesses face along the way? Today, we take an insightful journey into the plumbing industry, discussing the key challenges that come with hiring plumbers, from pre-employment checks for licenses and insurance to assessing the potential of cand…
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Send us a Text Message. Ever dreamed of running your own business? Buckle up as we reveal the top three blunders new entrepreneurs often fall prey to, and how a solid business plan can prove to be an invaluable tool in sidestepping these common pitfalls. Guided by the enduring wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, we underscore the role of meticulous planni…
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Send us a Text Message. Ever been left in the lurch because you didn't have the right part at hand? Don’t let missing parts throw a wrench in your day. We explore the importance of a well-stocked parts kit, and how it can save both time and money when it comes to equipment installation and repairs. Drawing from my own experiences, we delve not only…
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Send us a Text Message. Buckle up for an episode full of laughter, intrigue, and insight as we delve into the evolving roles of journeymen and apprentices, share some hilarious tales of our old mate Justin, and discuss the increasing importance of technology in our industry. We've all had a Justin in our lives - the guy who keeps things interesting…
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Send us a Text Message. Ever rolled up your sleeves and ventured into the intricate world of bathroom remodeling? If yes, then you'll share in my excitement as I personally navigate this demanding yet rewarding task. From ripping out my old toilet and vanity to mastering the art of plumbing, join me on a behind-the-scenes journey of my very own bat…
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Send us a Text Message. Ever wondered how it feels to switch careers and dive headfirst into a completely unfamiliar field? Meet Brent McCauley, a project manager at Aarow Building, who transitioned from university fundraising to the construction industry. His unique journey, filled with challenges and learning experiences, is a testament to the be…
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Send us a Text Message. Are you truly prepared for the subtle and not-so-subtle changes the shifting seasons bring on your business? We're sharing our experiences and practical tips on how to adapt and thrive during these seasonal transitions. From the simple tasks like removing non-freeze safe items from your van to the more complex ones like reca…
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Send us a Text Message. Looking to skyrocket your sales? We promise you that our latest episode of Make Trades Great Again will arm you with the strategies to do so! From the initial phone call to closing the deal, we're going all-in on what it takes to master sales in today's fast-paced business world. We spill the tea on how to attract customers,…
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Send us a Text Message. Ready to unravel the fascinating world of heat pump water heaters and the influence of ducting on these devices? We promise, this episode will equip you with insights that can potentially save you a great deal of trouble. We kick off by exploring the common practice of ducting water heaters to the outside and why it might no…
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