Posted by NCWayne on November 15, 2012 at 20:38:03 from (18.104.22.168):
... or maybe I should say if you need something don't give up too quick. I've got two nearly identical Jackson welding helmets that take the same type of lens holder. My favorite that I keep on my service truck I've had for nearly 20 years and the other I keep in the shop I've had for probably 12 years or so. I've also got a third helmet that gets used by friends who want to watch, or use my welder for their own projects. Recently one of the lens holders broke so I started looking for a replacement. Seems Jackson, in their infinite wisdom, has discontinued a $5 part that effectively renders a $90 helmet worthless. I tried every local and online supplier/distributor I could find that said they carried parts, over the course of the past few months, and came up empty.
You'd think a manufacturer of things like welding helmets would know that most guys that weld have their favorite helmets, and that those helmets are often personalized to some degree, and as such, care enough to continue stocking the parts to keep those helmets usable for their owners. I could inderstand if it was a $70 part for a $90 device, but when it's a injection molded part that can be made by the thousands, for pennies apiece, and sell for $5 or more, it just doesn't make sense to me. Granted, over time, they always make changes to things like the friction devices on their headgear (That's another stupid move if you ask me...Seriously if you have a good design and people like it, leave it the he!! alone....). Anyway, I've been able to find ways around that, to maintain what I like, but ultimately they at least still make a headgear that will fit the helmet so it remains usable. So, they ventually decide to the make the one, cheap part that makes it usable obsolete in order to render a whole helmet, that is otherrwise working and functionally no different than the 'latest and greatest' design unusable and as such candidate for the trash, all so they can sell you a new one made out of the latest and greatest 10 cent piece of plastic, etc, etc, and charge you an arm and a leg for it.....
That said, I went out on a job about 2 hours away from me today and had to find somewhere to get a hydraulic hose made. Customer recommended a place right up the road from us so I lit out to see them. Turns out to be the kind of place I enjoy going into. By that I mean it's an older outfit, in a small town, that has a little bit of everything on their shelves. While waiting on the hose to be made I asked the lady behind the counter if she had any Jackson parts and told her what I needed. She said she believed she did and went back to look. She wound up having to get her ladder to reach the top shelf but in a few minutes she came back to the counter with a box full of the lens holders. I wound up buying all 10 of them from her.
The way I see it I made out like a bandit. As much as I hate the way Jackson has done things, I know by buying the parts they might still be making a bit of a profit off of me, but now they are getting it on my terms. As it stands now, I will get a lifetime of use out of my three helmets now for less than $50 instead of having to pay them close to $300 to replace the complete helmets as that one part broke, and then still not know when they are going to decide to stop carrying the latest $5 part to make the new helmet obsolete too.
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