0
HPC

Riggers - Would You Allow Your Client to Watch You Repack Their Reserve?

Recommended Posts

This poll is directed to former and current riggers, all levels. This question came to me after a brief exchange with a rigger while discussing the reserve malfunction thread. The reserve pilot chute wouldn't launch during a repack due to apparent misinterpretation of the manual. I would recommend reading his and my comments regarding clients watching their riggers repack their reserves, before answering the poll if possible.

Also, feel free to post a reply in the event I missed a possible response, or if you wish to elaborate. The poll allows for more than one reply.

Thanks.
What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a full loft setup at home and the entire basement (1600 sq ft) setup for rigging. I always invite my customer over to be a part of the repack and I think it help allieviate 'gear fear' and help make more competent skydivers.

I prefer to have them over for relines because with the right direction, 4 hands go faster than 2!


The only time I don't invite them for is when we do a patch or complex repair which requires opening up any seams or disassembly of parts of the canopy or container. I find rig owners get nervous and jumpy when they see their beloved rigs go under the knife. I would rather show them the completed project.
=========Shaun ==========


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
agree 100%. have my own loft and multiple machines at home... Pretty much refuse repacks except for a select few people.... honestly not worth the time or effort and i hate it... When i was busy doing repacks, id always invite them and get maybe 1 in 10 that actually have the interest... but repairs and custom fabrication and whatnot, hell yeah. I do more custom manufacturing/ mods and repairs now....
I was that kid jumping out if his tree house with a bed sheet. My dad wouldn't let me use the ladder to try the roof...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your input. You're just the type of rigger I would want packing my reserve or to perform any rigging work. And you're right about gear surgery - I would feel edgy watching my gear under the knife, and would rather just see the finished work.
What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I will let some customers watch, sometimes.

In other words, it depends.

If it's busy season, and the person is a talker, I will be honest and just say I can't afford to lose the time, and my company can't afford for me to lose the time. But if it's a slow time of year, and/or the customer is a long time customer of mine or my employer, I'm much more accommodating. And some customers are just fun to have around, so sure. :)
The reality is, in my experience, they don't just want to "watch," they want you to explain what you're doing and why, which means it's now a packing demonstration, which takes longer. There IS a time and place for that. It has real value and can be a rewarding experience (and is awesome for customer relations). But if I did it for every packjob, or even made it available for every pack job, I'd have to raise my prices by 50%.

Regarding the thread you mentioned... I definitely understand the point you are trying to make. However, if riggers can't follow written instructions (and we know many riggers have real trouble with that - they only look at the photos, or they don't look at the photos closely enough, or they ignore the manual altogether and just do what the last guy did), what makes you think having a non rigger there, who understands the instructions even less, would improve that situation? I just don't see that it would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

, what makes you think having a non rigger there, who understands the instructions even less, would improve that situation? I just don't see that it would.


From a procedural standpoint, I don't. But common sense can be applied even if the person making the observation isn't trained, especially if the person making the observation is mechanically or technically inclined or has a natural aptitude for the type of work he's observing. I'm not a rigger but if I saw my rigger tucking PC fabric underneath anything then common sense would have me questioning it, perhaps with an opening comment that would alleviate any signs of offending the rigger. Besides, you don't have to be a rigger to notice a tear he may have missed, or some loose threads, or anything that looks amiss. There's a lot of fabric, seams, lines, etc. in a reserve so a rigger could miss something. See reply eight in the poll.
What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote


The reality is, in my experience, they don't just want to "watch," they want you to explain what you're doing and why, which means it's now a packing demonstration, which takes longer. There IS a time and place for that. It has real value and can be a rewarding experience (and is awesome for customer relations). But if I did it for every packjob, or even made it available for every pack job, I'd have to raise my prices by 50%.


The poll allows for this - see answer five.
What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Betzilla's situation as a full time rigger in a busy loft is entirely different from my part time home basement business. I look after 6 tandem and about 12 student rigs for the one Cessna DZ I am a partner in. Along with about 30 sport jumpers. It's enough to keep me fairly busy during the every second week that I am home rigging. But it allows me time to indulge customers that will slow me down. Actually, the time I waste on DZ.com and FB slows me down more than if someone was here "helping"!
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My vote is yes but the poll does not give the option for "of course, enjoy the company and glad to see them take the interest in their gear and how it all works".
Plus then they are carrying it in and out! :D
"You don't get many warnings in this sport before you get damaged"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, response six and to a degree seven do. Besides, if they want to watch you, and if they ask questions along the way, then they are by demonstration taking an interest in their gear.
The response I forgot (or ran out of allowable number of responses) was "Yes, as long as they have a good sense of humor and come loaded with a bunch of dirty jokes".
Most importantly, they can be there to pay you as soon as you're done! ;)
What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Like most I'm not a full time Rigger and limit myself to about 5 a week with occasional minor repairs also so the time factor is really not a concern to me. If I'm not happy with the way a pack goes it's easy for me to just stop and start again. Most of the packs I do are for local jumpers who are my friends and all repacks have to be done the best I can.
Watching chops makes me tense until I see a good reserve over their heads.
"You don't get many warnings in this sport before you get damaged"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am a part time rigger that typically does repacks after I put kids to bed and stuff like that. My clients know that they can drop their rig off on a Monday and I'll get to it some time during the week so they can jump on the weekend but it might be Monday night, over a long lunch from work mid week or Thursday at 10 pm when I get to it. I have a few that will come by and sit while I do the repack but if they are a "I want to drop it off and wait for it" thats usually a rush fee since its meaning I need to clear my schedule just for the repack.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For principle I votered the last choice. But in reality thereare a some folks I'd for whom I'd make it so inconvenient they couldn't. One guy watched and spent most of the time with his head between mine and the rig.😠

I new girl friend who I was starting to pack for asked if she could watch. I said sure but you'll get a better pack job if you don't (meaning if I'm not distracted.) She immediatly said "I'll just watch you pack someone elses."😮☺

I'm also likely to start it at midnight.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Deyan,

Quote

as long as you don't try to teach me how to do it.



Yea, that is one of those: "Here is your rig back."

About 25 yrs ago, I was at a boogie and early Saturday morning this out of the area jumper comes up to me & wants his out of date reserve packed. So, I agreed ( Mistake #1 ). Then he proceeds to tell me how to do it ( His Mistake #1 ). I came within the proverbial's gnat's a$$ of telling him: "Here is your rig back."

It was that very packjob when I decided that I will no longer pack anybodies rig at a boogie.

You overdue, you have the problem.

Jerry Baumchen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry, but I never thought that a non-rigger would have gonads big enough to tell a rigger how to repack. Otherwise, I would have included that option.

When I put the poll together I couldn't come up with every scenario, especially those involving idiots.:S
Guess I should have known better.
What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JerryBaumchen

Hi Deyan,

Quote

as long as you don't try to teach me how to do it.



Yea, that is one of those: "Here is your rig back."

About 25 yrs ago, I was at a boogie and early Saturday morning this out of the area jumper comes up to me & wants his out of date reserve packed. So, I agreed ( Mistake #1 ). Then he proceeds to tell me how to do it ( His Mistake #1 ). I came within the proverbial's gnat's a$$ of telling him: "Here is your rig back."

It was that very packjob when I decided that I will no longer pack anybodies rig at a boogie.

You overdue, you have the problem.

Jerry Baumchen



Classic telling granny how to suck eggs.....[:/]
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

new girl friend who I was starting to pack for asked if she could watch. I said sure but you'll get a better pack job if you don't (meaning if I'm not distracted.) She immediatly said "I'll just watch you pack someone elses



HA! I remember her telling me about this. Quickest wit around, that girl! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I guess if that rigger were going to pack my reserve I would have to tell him to pack it without someone watching - especially quick-witted girls!
What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I offered a discount if the would... no one took me up on it...

For many years I packed pilot rigs in an unheated/no-cooling/leaky airport room. A propane heater running full would eventually warm the top half of the room, but your feet... never.

I offered that if they would commit to a full year of repacks on my schedule (3/year at the time), I'd charge a dollar per degree f.

Winter repacks would have been cheep ($20-$35), and I would have enjoyed the company.

-------------------

Seriously, as long as they can be patient (I'm slow) and quiet when I need to focus, I prefer to a customer to learn all they wish. And when I was the customer, it taught me a lot about my gear and the guy working on it.

Finally - (more about pilots than jumpers) for new customers I requested that they plan to take 30m-2hrs the first time they dropped off their gear. I went over pre-flight, donning, bail-out situations and procedures, deployment (practiced and live) and then pulled their canopy out so they could actually see the stuff we talked about. >95% had NEVER pulled or seen their canopy (steering toggles, etc) and most said they had never been talked through this stuff we jumpers take for granted... Didn't charge a dime for that time, but 90+% of my pilot customers kept coming back.

JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dang - I have a pretty cool relationship with some pilots that I think is applicable to this thread.

I rig for 2 Wings of the Commemorative Air Force , a total of about 14 pilot rigs between the two. The Heart of America has a large hanger and is very open in the community. They host Open houses, community fundraisers, 1940's style banquets and dances, etc. About twice a year, I will setup tables in the hangar during an open house and repack a pilot rig. I don't charge for this and then I make a jump into the open house or an informal "Drop me off by my house" type jump. Did it twice last year.

*Edited to remove the specifics Wings I rig for. Not applicable for this thread.
=========Shaun ==========


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0