"It's for an off-road vehicle."

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BoKu

Pundit
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I've had very few problems with vendors refusing to sell products or services to me because it's aviation-related, and therefore a liability risk. However, whenever I'm uncertain whether such a policy might be in effect, I just tell them "It's for an off-road vehicle." Which adheres to both the spirit and the letter of the truth. A machine for which the primary purpose is to carry persons or cargo is a vehicle. And if it's specifically designed to be operated away from public roads and highways, that makes it an off-road vehicle.

--Bob K.
 

cluttonfred

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Whenever I have thought a vendor might balk at aircraft use, I have just said that I was working on a "custom project," which is certainly true as well. ;-)
 

Wanttaja

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+!, I use "off-road vehicle" all the time.
Ditto. Usually it's after the guy cocks a suspicious eye at me and says, "This looks like an airplane part." I then very carefully enunciate, "It's for an OFF ROAD vehicle."

Did that once at a local speedometer/tachometer repair shop. The guy just shrugged and said, "It's like the airplane tach cables we repair all the time...."

Ron Wanttaja
 

addicted2climbing

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Glendale, CA
Yep I hear you. I needed some welding done on a 4130 weldment to weld on a simple .063" bracket that I replaced that was bent and when the shop heard airplane they said Oh no... I called another and said the weldment comes from a Gocart and they said bring it over... The Zigolo is a form of aerial Gocart I surmise so its only partially a lie... :)

I'm not the type to sue over my mistakes so i'm willing to take the liability and not expect the shop to be responsible. I will stress that it is a key part to the gocart suspension so dont half ass it. Even if it failed on me its only one of 3 brackets for the gear leg.
 

Dana

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I have yet to have a problem. The local hardware store owner jokes about how I'm shopping in his "aviation section", and the guys at the auto parts store think it's cool that I'm shopping for aircraft supplies, too. Online, one rarely talks to a human. The only weird one is Zerkel, who sells Cuyuna engine parts... he has to know they're all used on ultralights, but the website says that "nothing sold here is designed or intended for aircraft use."

Dana
 

Victor Bravo

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This kind of stuff is getting harder and harder nowdays, because when you go into a car parts store the only thing that Dr. Einstein wants to hear is "what kind of car is it?" I have found myself concocting fake names of imaginary cars that were built in Moldovia, simply to break the death-grip that the store computer screen has on the helpful associate. Most of the time, as soon as they realize their computer doesn't have any listing for the Bamboozler Utopia Targa GT, their next move is to usher me the **** out of their store. "You'll definitely find parts for that car online..."

You know, just like everything else in life, BS has changed for the worse.
 

Hephaestus

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Jun 25, 2014
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YMM
Is your
Bamboozler Utopia Targa GT
A 4.0 i6 or a 5.0 V8? Automatic or standard? I can't sell you a headlight bulb until I know.

A/C?

... My favorite car parts store accepts that I walk past the counter and help myself to the racks, returning with the parts I need and pictures of the inventory tags. We've both come to the conclusion this works for both of us. The parts guys don't know what I want and I know where to find it on their rack.
 

Chris In Marshfield

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I had that problem at the lumber yard. I asked for D-Fir, and he asked what it was for. Made the mistake of telling him it was for an airplane. He refused to help me or sell anything to me after that.

I should have told him it was for an off road vehicle.
 

don january

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I had that problem at the lumber yard. I asked for D-Fir, and he asked what it was for. Made the mistake of telling him it was for an airplane. He refused to help me or sell anything to me after that.

I should have told him it was for an off road vehicle.
I went into a lumber yard at Devils Lake N.D. and asked the fella who loads trucks and does the cuts were the good pretty lumber was hidden and he directed me up stairs in the back. I dug around and found some nice wood perfect for my needs and when he asked me what it was for I caught myself just in time and said I'am building some side racks for my Ford truck flatbed and want the wood nice with no knots. I made the mistake once in Grand Forks and asked for spruce and I got that deer in the headlight look.:rolleyes:
 

TFF

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If I wear a company helicopter logo shirt to one of the local bearing stores in town, they will not sell me anything.
 

cluttonfred

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I have built a few boats, so if asked, “What’s this wood for?” then I can answer honestly, “I build small boats.” I don’t say that *this* wood is for a boat, but if that’s what they assume.... ;-)
 

Richard6

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Aug 14, 2010
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Plymouth, MN USA
This kind of stuff is getting harder and harder nowdays, because when you go into a car parts store the only thing that Dr. Einstein wants to hear is "what kind of car is it?" I have found myself concocting fake names of imaginary cars that were built in Moldovia, simply to break the death-grip that the store computer screen has on the helpful associate. Most of the time, as soon as they realize their computer doesn't have any listing for the Bamboozler Utopia Targa GT, their next move is to usher me the **** out of their store. "You'll definitely find parts for that car online..."

You know, just like everything else in life, BS has changed for the worse.
Yes I know that feeling. When I went out to buy parts for my race car, I usually had the best results at the warehouse store for NAPA. They seem to know what parts they have and were to look for them, don't need the make, model, year or color of the car. But on the other hand, when I went looking for new brake calibers for my Dodge van, they sold me the wrong parts, go figure.
 

Kyle Boatright

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Nov 11, 2012
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912
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Marietta, GA
If I wear a company helicopter logo shirt to one of the local bearing stores in town, they will not sell me anything.
I was gonna relate a bearing story. Went to the bearing supply house adjacent to work looking for the aileron hinge bearings for an Aeronca Champ. P/N XYZ, if you will.

Gave the guy the part number, he found the bearing and proceeded to tell me "We don't sell anything aviation related". Obviously, the P/N I gave him (which cross referenced to a very common industrial bearing) was some sort of indicator for him.

I had a similar experience at the starter/alternator shop when I needed a Prestolite starter repaired. Given that my starter was from an experimental, there was nothing regulatory preventing them from doing the work. They just wouldn't.
 

Mad MAC

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Dec 9, 2004
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Hamilton New Zealand
I have used "its for ground support equipment" as the email address I was using had aerospace in it.

Reminds of a story about an OEM that had a crisis when they used the last of the nylon they had in stock as no one could remember what brand of nylon chopping board they had been buying from the local discount store as a cheap source of nylon.
 

Mcmark

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Sep 24, 2013
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Owings, MD
If at the auto parts store, "it's for an old tractor that I'm trying to make work" and at the lumber yard, "I'm building a boat" works better than most other.
 

Twodeaddogs

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Dunlavin, County Wicklow,Ireland
same for aluminium tubing....I made the mistake of mentioning aircraft and the barriers came down. I came back later when the storeman had gone to lunch and sought out the replacement, who turned out to be the newest guy on staff and hadn't a clue so happily sold me the tubing ;-).......also found aluminium pop rivets, aircraft spec, in a trade hardware supply place. Normal price was nearly a euro each; i got them for cents each as the vendor had no clue that they were supposed to be aircraft spec.
 
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