0
sycon78

Tandem Ownership Thoughts

Recommended Posts

First off thank you for taking the time to read this post.

After taking some time digging into the forums I found that the last thread about benefits of owning a tandem dated back to 2007.

I am writing to get input from a broader audience about the pros/cons of a tandem master owning their own gear in the United States. Specifically I am interested in hearing gear maintenance costs of ownership, and the economic benefits or minuses. Finally I would like to know if DZ owners are accepting of a dude showing up with his own tandem gear or if this is frowned upon.

I appreciate any advice that you all could provide. I really enjoy doing tandems and have enough resources to purchase and maintain on my own but would like to get some more viewpoints from the questions I posed before I make a purchase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How good are you at managing money? I would assume that some people may purchase the tandem rig and consider the extra money per jump as profit when in reality it needs to go towards the ammortization of the rig and the future maintenance.

I'm sorry but I don't really have an answer to the other questions. Just thought I'd offer food for thought :)
Blues
"Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way." -Alan Watts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sure the same responses in the old thread still apply, but I'll bite......again. The ability to use your own equpment at a dropzone varies WILDLY in the USA. I'll list some of my personal experiences:

-I've been asked to come and help out at a small DZ and was paid $35 for the tandem, $40 for the use of my gear, and $10 if I packed it myself. I made $800 in two days.

-I've worked as an organizer at a DZ which allowed me to do part-time tandem work for them and got paid the standard rate for the jump, plus $30 for "gear use" on my rig sometimes.

-I was allowed at that same dropzone to bring in and train whomever I wanted and charge whatever I wanted, so long as I payed full-price for the jump tickets and had those students sign the DZ waiver. I was not allowed to use my discounted load organizer tickets. This situation was ideal for someone wanting to make a little money on the side. That dropzone also rents tandem rigs to independant instructors wanting to do their own thing. PM me and I'll give you the name of this very-large FL dropzone.

-I worked at a dropzone which allowed "outside" tandems, but charged a $50 "facility usage" fee if you were operating as a business. Conversely, this dropzone goes out of it's way to hook it's part-time staff up with cheap gear rental for "buddy hook-up" tandems for friends and relatives.

-I've worked at a couple of dropzones that forbade outside instructors from showing up with their own private tandems and their own gear. They wanted to make sure they made all the money on their property.

-I've worked boogies where there was a sort of loose organization of individual instructors who would show up and share the wealth (like the World Freefall Convention) which worked great.

-I've worked "independant" boogies (like the Dublin Boogie) where one dropzone school's staff would show up with their gear and "outsiders" had to clear it with them if they wanted to work.


When I owned my tandem rig I had two of everything that would wear out or get lost (minus the main) on hand at all times. I had two drogues, two reserve freebags/ pilot chutes. Extra drogue releases, extra main deployment bag, etc. Ultimately, I didn't use my own rig enough to quantify holding on to the thing. I only ever really used it at boogies and a little bit when I was working at Skydive City.

Hope that helps,

Chuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I would assume that some people may purchase the tandem rig and consider the extra money per jump as profit when in reality it needs to go towards the ammortization of the rig and the future maintenance.



I write off the cost of all new equpment purchases and depreciate all of in anually. Equipment maintenance costs like relines and CYPRES services really add up. Never mind the cost of replacing a lost or worn-out tandem main.

Chuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This might give you a starting place for calculating the costs of routine parts replacement per jump. This combined with a parts price list and a SWAG of the rigger labor cost for each should give you a clue:

The expected service life of the Strong Enterprises Dual Hawk Tandem Parachute System components are as follows:
Component Expected Service Life

Harness/Container/Student Harness 2000 Jumps
SET-400-366 main canopy 1200 Jumps
Master and T520 main canopies 1200 Jumps
Drogue 1200 Jumps
Lines on main canopy 400 Jumps
Master Reserve 20 Deployments
Lines on reserve canopy 20 Deployments


above excerpted from page 17 of the Dual Hawk Tandem System Owners Manual
http://www.strongparachutes.com/docs/Tandem/DHT_2012.pdf
The choices we make have consequences, for us & for others!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nigel

So how many tandem owners abide by these numbers? Any? Some? None?



These are not numbers that anyone is expected to "abide by".

They are simply best guess numbers, that, combined with the way the systems are operated, and where they are operated, can give the owner a decent idea of how long the components will last.

There are a lot of variables, for example, landing in the grass versus the desert.

I think that using these numbers to help determine when to repair or replace tandem gear components is a very good idea, and that merely waiting for something to wear out is not a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JohnMitchell

***So how many tandem owners abide by these numbers? Any? Some? None?

I've seen an owner or two jumping museum pieces. . . :S

..................................................................................

I know of a few leased tandems - that the owner did not jump. They had waaaaay more than 400 jumps on the main suspension lines. After one malfunction (tension knots) and waaaaay to many "slider pull-downs, local TIs refused to jump them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0