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TOPIC: need topper in lex area

need topper in lex area 07 Jan 2005 02:16 #1

Hey Ya'll!

I'm new to the forum and I've never posted on bulletin boards, so here goes. I need a topper for an F350 LWB. I am still fairly new as a practicing farrier, though not new to the industry, and money is a factor. Anyone know of a good used topper reasonably priced? Any ideas on how to project a professional image, even if I don't have the "big rig" that others have? Any ideas to help are GREATLY appreciated!

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RE:need topper in lex area 07 Jan 2005 05:28 #2

  • Rick Burten
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Check the classified ads section of the site.

One projects a professional image by being professional. A neat appearance, promptness, communication, etc . You don't need all the bells and whistles some of us (ahem) old geezers have acquired over the years, but you do need the minimums. Good tools, a reasonable amount of supplies, reference books and articles on hand to help you answer questions, an ability to converse with others using more than one syllable words, a thirst for knowledge and skill improvement. Your work vehicle should be clean. Your tools and supplies, neatly organized, not thrown in a couple of buckets in the back of your rig Your invoices and business cards should look professionally done, which should be easy since you have a computer and should be able to make them up using one program or another, at a very reasonable cost.

No swearing, drinking either with or infront of clients, no bad mouthing other farriers, owners, vets, or horses. Preferably, no smoking, or at least not in someone's barn. As a woman, you will need to dress, dare I say, modestly.

And, always remember that the people who are your clients are not necessarily your friends, even though they may profess otherwise. You will have to work to keep the two seperate and distinct.

(now, if only I would follow all that advise all the time, myself :o )
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."

Je pense donc je suis
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RE:need topper in lex area 08 Jan 2005 00:27 #3

Thanks Rick!

What I'd really like to know is how to have a rig set up with all the minimum bench tools,not to mention anvil,forge and inventory needed. Until I get a topper, I'm kinda limited. Maybe some of you "Old Geezers" can remember how you first started out until enough money came in to buy the rig or topper you needed?! ;)

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RE:need topper in lex area 08 Jan 2005 03:04 #4

I am not a geezer, but sometimes I feel really old, so maybe I can help! :D
My first rig was a tool box, the kind that construction guys put in the bed of there truck that leaves most of the bed open. I stored shoes in small boxes in the box, had a little tupper ware containers for nails, drill tech etc. I had another tool box that held pads, and the assorted junk we need. I had a drill, and a hand grinder, a four outlet electric box and fifty feet of extension cord I wound up each time. I built a plaform from 2x4 and plywood, that had a flip top lid to cover my little two burner forge. I should have covered that with a thin sheet metal, as it eventually smoldered away! I would slide it forward when I needed it. My Dad built me a NICE anvil stand with a vice that i still use when I park my trailer rig. It was simple, and it worked. I, however, already had the box, from my time working construction on the intercoastal in Ft. Lauderdale( never take a job working for a troglodyte heiress horse woman---they tend to be a little difficult. I am pretty passive, but I had to leave or kill her! I digress...sorry) A used topper might cost less than a gangbox, though!
"Always listen to the experts. They tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it." Robert Heinlien
Jason Maki CJF, RJF
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RE:need topper in lex area 09 Jan 2005 00:55 #5

Thanks Jason!

My mind is working now, hence the smoke coming from my ears, and you've given me some great ideas! When I come up with a plan I may throw it out there to see if any of ya'll have an opinion about it. I am old enough to learn from everybody else's mistakes! but don't ask how old ;)
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RE:need topper in lex area 09 Jan 2005 01:45 #6

  • Mike Ferrara
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The first pickup I had was a little 85 S-10. I was going to buy a cap but a buddy who was a great carpenter had a bunch of wood laying around.

In about an hour and a half he threw together one slick cap. It was flat on the top, had a shallow angle down on either side and both sides were doors that flipped up. He sealed the wood up and even used bondo in a few spots and painted it.

Sometimes where money is short a little extra work will get you by.
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RE:need topper in lex area 09 Jan 2005 02:32 #7

  • calshoer
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Mt first was a restored 67 Ford fairlane topper.
I had two truck type tool boxes in the bed so I could keep all my (minimal ) supplies hidden and out of the weather. I had lined the bed with thick plywood ,so I built wooden block things into the bed floor to keep the forge (coal at that time), anvil and stand from sliding around, and I chained them in to some tie down rings so they couldn't go flying in the event of a fast stop or wreck. .
That worked pretty well until I got a cargo van and built racks and things inside that.
(PS the kicker is I traded in the little ranchero,(which was given to me by a very kind ex husband, and when he found outr he nealy broke down and cried. Turns out he had a LOT of money in the restoration ,a lot of special stuff in the engine and so on, and the thing was worth about ten times what I got in the trade in. Made me sick when I found out too. :eek:
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
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RE:need topper in lex area 09 Jan 2005 15:18 #8

  • John Barney
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I'm still building a business as well, money does get tight. What I use is a car top carrier that I got at a yard sale for five bucks. It works great to store anvil, forge, tool box, and some shoes. I have two roller stands in my shop so I can roll the whole thing out by my self if I need the truck for something else. It hinged on the side and I did take that off and hinged it in the back so it would lift back towards the cab. I also have a cross bed toolbox for equithane and other misc. I made the mistake of selling my S-10 (with 210,000 miles) and getting a Dakota. Seems like everything is about double in price due to the odd bed size. I just came through northern KY, hope you didn't flood out like they did in Ohio and IN.

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RE:need topper in lex area 09 Jan 2005 17:09 #9

We haven't flooded out here in Lex, thank goodness! I don't think it will ever quit raining,though!!!! I'm getting good ideas from everybody and it's great to have a forum like this to communicate on. Ya'll have been wonderful! Keep the ideas coming, though! You can never get enough input on things like this!

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RE:need topper in lex area 09 Jan 2005 17:51 #10

Don't know if this idea will help any, but my son has a box off a telephone truck. It has several different doors some with bins that hold nails, others have slide out drawers and racks. The back opens up the middle with room for forge and other stuff. He is mounting it on a frame to use as a trailer. He got it used, cost $300 I think.
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RE:need topper in lex area 10 Jan 2005 01:43 #11

  • J.H. shoeing
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I would suggest going to a RV sales center, because most of them can get toppers. They have a cheaper line of tops that have doors on all sides. You can probably get one new for a few hundred dollars. The ARE toppers are good and better quality. You may be able to find on of those used as they make several for commercial building contractors and most of the contractors use one ton trucks. Be careful about buying one with out the side doors as you will have to build or buy a pullout for your truck. It will get very old very quickly crawling in and out of the back to get to stuff in the front of the bed. I bought one of the cheap ones and used it three years and sold it to someone else and they used it three more before I lost track of it. If you have to pay a little for a top, just remember how much easier it will be to work out of, how much more professional you look, how much longer your tools will last keeping them out of the weather and not having to store them in and out of a big tool box between every stop. I worked out of a one ton with a GIANT tool box that I had made. I could put all of my tools in the box along with a bunch of nails and shoes. I just remember getting thru at the end of the day and knowing I would be shoeing the next morning and having to spend that 30 minutes putting everything up and the 30 minutes the next morning unloading. When I could have left it in the bed (in the weather, mostly rainy) and set up in a couple of minutes. EFFICIENCY and fire is your friend. It is a pain in the backside to have to load and unload a hot forge to keep it out of the weather. Cause if it starts raining in the middle of a horse you have to stop and store the hot forge or let it get full of water. It takes about 30 minutes to burn all that fresh rain out of it after it gets good and soaked. Not exactly the best way to take care of your nice $400+ forge. There are a lot of little tricks to keep your hand tools out of the weather without having to load and unload out of the big box but storing the hot forge is hard. I looked all over for a topper before I broke down and bought the cheap first one I had and afterwards figured that all the supplies and tools that the weather ruined would have paid for two of them. It will be much easier to find a top without the side doors but it will be hard to use without a slide out because it is so hard to get to the front of the truck where everything you need will magicly end up at the most inopportune time. My advice is to figure out how much money you have to spend and shop around and spend it wisely. It is easier to by good equipment than to buy something that you won't or can't use.

Jeff Holder

Some people are like Slinky’s, pretty much useless but make you smile when you push them down the stairs.
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RE:need topper in lex area 11 Jan 2005 05:12 #12

Hey Jeff,
I have looked at ARE and some of the construction toppers. My question is has anyone priced these compared to the Stonewell toppers? I haven't gotten far enough to get a price quote from a dealer. Curious to see if anyone else has. And I agree wholeheartedly about getting quality the first time or paying double for it in other ways. That's why I saved until I could buy the quality hand tools I needed the first time. That's essentially what I'm doing now...researching and asking questions before I invest in a new topper. I figured I could get into a used one cheaper or make something else to work for now. All the advice and input has been sooooo helpful! Ya'll are great to take the time to share your wealth of knowledge to the rest of us!! Thanks!!

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RE:need topper in lex area 11 Jan 2005 15:51 #13

An ARE topper that goes on top of the bed of your pick up truck with two side half doors and a full back door painted to match the truck will cost around $1500. The last time I looked into Stonewell, Monetta, Goergia Farrier Supply, Omni, or any other full farrier bed maker they started around $6000. By the time you put in shoe racks, pad racks, tool racks, slide out's for your belt sander and bench grinder a slide out for your drill press a swing out for your forge, a swing out for your anvil, a TV/VCR/DVD player and a radio, you're looking at anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000. I'm sure it's well worth the money, I just don't have enough. For a couple of years now I've been dying to get a stonewell body but I just don't have that kind of money laying around. I do know someone that went down to Monetta and found a really good used body for about $4000. It was almost new and that included the racks and swing outs. Call around
Dave Purves CF
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers
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RE:need topper in lex area 11 Jan 2005 19:12 #14

  • Dave Whitaker
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If you have a farrier supply company near enough to you to drive to, they are usually great sources of info on used stuff of all sorts for sale. Just leave a list of what you are looking for with them and you might be amazed at the response. I found a used ARE top like that at about half the money. I did find that a quality top makes a difference 'cause you are in and out of it so much...they hold up better.

I hope the floods don't hinder the Cincy conference on the 26th!

Good luck! Dave

"Everything is for sale......some are just harder to buy than others......"
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RE:need topper in lex area 14 Jan 2005 19:07 #15


I'm hoping that by letting enough people know what I'm wanting, someone will remember me when they come across a good used topper. I've priced the Stonewells vs Monetta and Stonewell really isn't more expensive than Monetta. I lived close to Monetta for 3 yrs and have looked at their products. I haven't been that impressed with them for the price. So I'm making do with what I can get by with till I can afford "The Rig"! I've got so many good ideas and things to consider with the advice of those who have "been there, done that". That's why I love this forum. Someone else mentioned old telephone truck toppers that go at auctions the company has periodically. If anyone has a buddy that works for one of the phone companies and can find out when they retire their truck toppers, please let me know! It may be worth the drive. See ya'll in Cincy!

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