Unlike most garages, our specialist staff are welding and fabricating motor vehicles for almost every hour of their working day... and have been doing so for many years.
Over this time, they will have each worked on a huge variety of cars, campervans, commercial vehicles, limousines, buses, etc. both modern and old. In fact, for us not to have worked on a car before, it would now have to be either a very new model, or something very rare and exotic.
In-short, we have a level of experience and expertise that cannot be matched, and this is the reason why so many reputable garages, body shops, and Classic Car restoration specialists, come to us to undertake their fabrication and welding work.
Anything from relatively quick and simple jobs, such as minor MOT Test issues e.g. corroded Sills and Chassis, to extremely rusty and unrecognisable "Historic Treasures," that may arrive in several crates (and with no identification labels on the parts).
Repair crash damaged structural components or bodywork.
Rejuvenate any Car, Commercial Van, Pickup Truck, Campervan, Motorhome, 4x4 Off-Road Vehicle, etc. (modern or vintage), that our clients want to keep roadworthy… this could be because it makes financial sense; because extending the life of a vehicle is more environmentally friendly than buying new; or simply because of a love and emotional attachment to a cherished vehicle.
Restore (full or part), any Classic Car or Motor Vehicle - more often than not, these will have very extensive structural and/or cosmetic, corrosion damage.
Bespoke Fittings usually but not limited to - Commercial Vans, Pickup Trucks, 4x4 Off-Road Vehicles, Horse Transporters, and Racing Cars (Classic and Modern).
In fact, Fabrication and Welding businesses have always been the place to go for bespoke modifications to motor vehicles, and some of the things that people ask for are both unique and ingenious. The advantage that we have at Trickett Autoworks, is that not only do we have the fabrication and welding staff, we also have staff who are very capable of undertaking the stripping out; removing or modifying the mechanical components and/or electrics; prepare and respray any effected bodywork; and then put the modified vehicle back together... obviously, this can be a lot less faff than co-ordinating a myriad of different trades.
Exhaust System repairs and bespoke modifications.
At the very heart of Trickett Autoworks, are our specialist motor vehicle welding and fabrication services. These provide the solid structure essential for your safety, and create a high quality foundation for so many of our other services.
At the very heart of Trickett Autoworks, are our specialist motor vehicle fabrication and welding services. Historically this was our roots, and because the foundation of all good motor vehicle restoration and rejuvenation work is a solid Chassis, Underbody and Shell, providing these specialist services will remain at the very core of our business.
Technology and materials used in the production of motor vehicles have undoubtedly improved, and this has brought us to an era where changing your family car or work van, is more likely to be a choice made because of the vehicles deteriorating aesthetics, rather than any practical necessity.
Consequently, the need for our fabrication and welding services should be greatly diminishing, and our destiny wholly reliant on Classic Car restoration work.
But is this the reality… absolutely not, and for three main reasons: -
1) By now, metal was predicted to be replaced by plastics, fibre glass, and other exotic high-tech materials. Plastics and Fibre Glass have turned out to be of limited use, and whilst Carbon Fibre is a truly fantastic material, it is not suited to mass production. So, unless you can transport your family and/or tools in a hideously expensive Sports Car, metal is still the only viable material.
2) Environmental concerns! Finally, we are all realising that discarding, rather than properly maintaining, fundamentally good motor vehicles, is no longer sustainable. We see a great future in “rejuvenating” modern motor vehicles, increasing the current average lifecycle from 13.5 years, to at least 30 years.
3) We also foresee the need for replacing the enjoyment associated with “buying a new vehicle,” with the enjoyment of “personalising an existing vehicle”. Let’s face it, when you buy a new mass produced car or van, it’s nice but that’s it. It’s not just better for the environment to rejuvenate, modify and upgrade an existing vehicle, it can be far more exciting and financially, a far better option too.
So, after more than 45 years of offering fabricating and welding services to the Public and Motor Trade, do we see an end… no, at Trickett Autoworks we can see an increasing demand.
Welding on motor vehicles is both difficult and dangerous. So, before you have a go yourself, or entrust a non-specialist welder, let's understand the true meaning of "difficult" and "dangerous".
Welding any thin sheet metal is inherently difficult. The majority of motor vehicles are constructed using a lot of thin sheet metal body parts and whilst the metal is thin, it has design elements that enable more substantive structural components to be attached to it e.g. the engine, wheels, shock absorbers, etc. Therefore, when replacing crash damaged or corroded sheet metal body parts, the quality of the fabrication and welding is critical to retain the structural integrity of the whole vehicle.
Welding overhead or in awkward spaces, makes welding a considerably more difficult. Unfortunately, welding overhead or in awkward spaces, pretty much defines being a motor vehicle welding specialist.
Choosing the correct welding equipment and consumables to suit each specific welding task, and dialling-in the correct equipment settings, requires considerable experience.
Keeping the welder, other people, and anything else within the surrounding area completely safe, can often be problematic.
Firstly, motor vehicles are laden with highly combustible materials and fluids. All welding is done at temperatures way in excess of the ignition point of these materials and if they were to ignite, it's not just your motor vehicle at risk!
Understanding and identifying the structural components of a vehicle's design is essential, as poor welding and or fabrication work can significantly undermine the vehicle's structural integrity. This could result in a catastrophic failure either immediately, or at any time in the future.
During the various processes of fabrication and welding work, there are a number of serious health hazards e.g. UV rays, chemicals, dust particles and fumes. These can often be highly toxic and/or, carcinogen.
It is an all too frequent occurrence for us, to come across poor quality and dangerous welding.
A typical example of the issues we encounter, is when a client's car has just failed an MOT Test and they have booked us to fix the problem. From a visual inspection, both the customer and our staff would expect the work to be a "relatively quick and inexpensive job"… and it should be!
Unfortunately, it is not until you start stripping off the filler, fibre glass, underseal etc, that the hidden nightmare of previous sub-standard and dangerous repair work, is fully exposed.
Whether the vehicle had been purchased in this condition; or the client had paid someone to do this work; or even if they had done the work themselves; it is highly unlikely that any person will be happy with the unexpected repair costs associated with fixing bodges!
In summary, we are car enthusiasts and do not wish to stifle other enthusiasts from attempting to undertake fabrication and welding work on their own motor vehicles. However, if you do, please ensure that you really know the health risks, and be very, very careful.
Also, if working in, or close to, property (which is highly likely), you should check that any Buildings and Contents Insurance will cover any potential accident.
Please be aware that the majority of professional garages cannot afford the cost of Insurance Cover for welding, as it is classed as a “High Risk” activity. And, even more garages have given up welding since the new Welding Fume Health & Safety regulations were introduced in 2019, as they cannot justify the cost of meeting the new Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) requirements.
Lastly, if you have had a good attempt at welding your car but in reality, the job was way beyond your capabilities, please don’t just cover up unsafe repairs with underseal or such-like and hope for the best… as this endangers both yourself and others.
Instead, do the right thing and take your motor vehicle to a specialist, where they will remedy the issue for you. In truth, your attempt at welding may create a bit of a giggle in the workshop, but you will gain the respect of any professional welder, for doing the right thing and asking for their help.