Getting old sucks

Messages
9,524
Location
Virginia
You guys who work so physically hard replacing parts on cars.... Same is true for the physical body... Parts get worn out and or give out. ..

Thus why orthopedic doctors are so extremely busy and make big $$$$$$... Replacing parts... Knees, hips etc etc.

Will tell you all... If by chance you can talk with a infections disease physician in your area find out which orthopedic doctors have issues with post operative infections. That could well help save you from a whole lot of added rough times.
 
Messages
1,450
Location
Sask, Canada
One of my older brothers (49) has been in mechanics since leaving high-school 30 years ago. Light, heavy, aircraft and back to heavy. He is upgrading currently and will be shifting careers because its hard work and hard on the body.
 

clinebarger

Thread starter
Messages
5,676
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Yeah I used to do repairs all manually, no lift, no power tools, back in the day. Pneumatic, corded, and cordless tools help a lot, enough to motivate me to start a repair then finish it. I always finish what I start so the starting is the hurdle. It does make a difference, spreading out the effort by using air or electricity to do the work, so your mind is focused on most efficient way to tackle the next step rather than getting the current step done. Let the tool do the work.

Back and knees though, they need exercise and will remind you if you don't give them that then ask too much all at once.

I try to work smart as possible & I do back stretches & exercise along with having an inversion table.....It helps a lot. My knee issues can be attributed to HS football injuries.

This particular job.....There's no easy way to do it on the ground by yourself in a timely manner. It's straight Heavy Line "You are the Tool" type work. I would challenge any mechanic approaching 50 to do it faster, Granted.....I abused my body more than I should have in my teens & twenties.
 
Messages
164
Location
Connecticut
In a different way yes. But I will still take it over the back breaking work they have done for decades. My grandpa is so stiff and arthritic, he can barely get in the car. He can’t sleep in his own bed anymore, it has to be his lift recliner.
You're definitely right.

My dad mostly from being in manufacturing, but then heavy restaurant machinery repair ended up all messed up. Part was the inactivity and unhealthy living that comes with it, but he ended up with a giant (benign, thankfully) brain tumor likely not helped from years of greases and solvents everyday, and seemingly everything he owned smelling like and being covered in them.

I briefly worked as a mechanic and I couldn't handle it due to headaches everyday from messing with solvents, being covered in oil, grease, etc. Now as a house painter it still sucks but I at least tolerate it better than being an auto mechanic, especially with most stuff being waterbased latex paint now. I'm looking to get out of all the trades for numerous reasons, but seeing a lot of these guys in old age vs the "desk jockeys" at my gym still kicking perfectly in old age from doing rinky dink workouts, riding their bikes and walking a few times a week, and eating somewhat well convince me enough.

I think needing someone to force you to do physical labor to burn calories is stupid, and purposeful exercise is way better than physical labor. The trades and physical jobs just tend to come with so many bad habits like fast food, drinking, etc. There's a distinct lack of respect and social standing in them, especially in today's political climate. I would not encourage any of my future children to take up a physical trade as a career. DIY stuff is fine, but as a career it's slow suicide, imo. I feel part of my life's issue is sort of being encouraged into this kind of work by family and friends as I can do it, but I learned just because can do something doesn't mean I should. There's also the aspects of it being macho and my father/etc deriding office jobs/etc as not real/manly work when I was younger.
 
Messages
5,011
Location
Southeast
I volunteer at a local church with a 3 bay garage, 2 of them with 2-post lifts. they work on cars for folks in need. I cant imagine doing it 8-10 hours a day. I know that professionals learn tricks of the trade to reduce bungling mishaps and injuries, while becoming much more intelligent in their approaches, but its still long hours doing physical contortionist work with heavy items and chemical exposure. I get sick after 30 minutes of unleaded fumes... while in my younger years i cleaned carbs bare-handed and occasionally siphoned gas and antifreeze, starting it by mouth. So dumb, but we did it. All that to say, i think the folks who can stick with it long term are gifted with both physical strength as well as a level of talent allowing them to use their bodies very efficiently. Even then, it still must take a toll.

our local autozone is staffed by a good number of folks who i suspect worked as mechanics or techs for a while. one of them, i know was for sure. i tell you what, his advice at the counter is golden, and when he doesnt know, he’ll tell you instead of making something up.
 
Messages
8,642
Location
Texas
I'm sort of in the middle - my main job is a production manager in a GM plant but I also run a car repair and restoration shop so I guess I am burning out my brain and body 50/50 lol
 
Messages
1,397
Location
PEARL River la
I made it to 50 before the automotive repairs got me. Cage in back was told no more. I started at 10 years old rebuilding engines under a tree. We couldn't afford correct equipment so benching transmission off your chest was normal. Worked on everything from Sunbeam Spider to cranes. Hardest thing I have done was heads on diesel in bread truck.
 
Messages
26,136
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
I try to work smart as possible & I do back stretches & exercise along with having an inversion table.....It helps a lot. My knee issues can be attributed to HS football injuries.

This particular job.....There's no easy way to do it on the ground by yourself in a timely manner. It's straight Heavy Line "You are the Tool" type work. I would challenge any mechanic approaching 50 to do it faster, Granted.....I abused my body more than I should have in my teens & twenties.
I feel exactly the same, most of my aches and pains come from old non work related injuries, if anything the work built up muscle that have protected the joints more than anything.
 
Messages
35,797
Location
NY
I try to work smart as possible & I do back stretches & exercise along with having an inversion table.....It helps a lot. My knee issues can be attributed to HS football injuries.

This particular job.....There's no easy way to do it on the ground by yourself in a timely manner. It's straight Heavy Line "You are the Tool" type work. I would challenge any mechanic approaching 50 to do it faster, Granted.....I abused my body more than I should have in my teens & twenties.
I agree. I tell the younger guys in my trade to work smarter not harder. I marvel at how some guys will make three movements of a ladder when one or two will do. They're usually younger and say something like the ladder isn't heavy, or something along those lines. I tell them their body parts are wear items like tires and brakes, only many of them can't be replaced. The parts that can be replaced are not as good as OE either! At the end of the day I get more work done, which equals more money working smart. ;) That usually opens their eyes.
 
Messages
2,015
Location
Northeast Nebraska
I worked for 5 years after I was diagnosed with a herniated disk in my lower back laying block/brick until I just couldn't get out of bed some mornings. I was lucky and was able to get help to go back to school and get an associates degree in Computer Science. I just didn't think I would fare very well flipping burgers.
 
Messages
333
Location
Rahui Pokeka Aotearoa
I'm 67 and have worked full time as a mechanic for 51 years, sure I have sore stiff muscles, my hearing is shot, and my hands are scar tissue upon scar tissue, but I'm not in as bad shape as it seems everyone here is. I am (was) a little guy, a petite body with no muscles at all - so I've always worked smart. I have often and now at my current job, work sole charge, with no one to help me - I have to find the easy way to do things. I think big tough guys like to act tough, show they can do it, and they are the ones with the knees and hips that need replacement. My boss goes in in a couple of weeks for a hip replacement - yes, he's one of those guys who always does too much, and now he is paying for it. 3 months off, and I don't think he'll be coming back....and I just keep on doing the job.
 

clinebarger

Thread starter
Messages
5,676
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
I'm 67 and have worked full time as a mechanic for 51 years, sure I have sore stiff muscles, my hearing is shot, and my hands are scar tissue upon scar tissue, but I'm not in as bad shape as it seems everyone here is. I am (was) a little guy, a petite body with no muscles at all - so I've always worked smart. I have often and now at my current job, work sole charge, with no one to help me - I have to find the easy way to do things. I think big tough guys like to act tough, show they can do it, and they are the ones with the knees and hips that need replacement. My boss goes in in a couple of weeks for a hip replacement - yes, he's one of those guys who always does too much, and now he is paying for it. 3 months off, and I don't think he'll be coming back....and I just keep on doing the job.

I'm a pretty big/tall guy with a lot of muscle mass, Was never one to act tough......I'm so used to Flat Rate that it's kind of natural to push myself for more money.
 
Messages
333
Location
Rahui Pokeka Aotearoa
We don't have flat rate here, it's time on the job. If it's a neglected vehicle, and things take longer, bolts break etc...the customer pays. As far as pay goes, it's an hourly rate...we pull out the stops when needed...and coast when possible. It's worked for me all these years.
 
Messages
1,712
Location
VA
I watched a guy install some carpet once. He was probably in his 50s, but could have passed for 60s. He had a way of kicking the carpet, or maybe it was the padding, sideways to get it under the baseboard. It looked like his knee was jointed to swing side-to-side as well as front-to back. I wondered how his knees felt at night.

My grandparents and my dad had knee and foot problems from standing up milking cows for most of the day and night. But go figure, I've had sit-down jobs since my mid-twenties and my back and hips hurt from sitting, plus I have to run to get exercise.
 
Messages
9,794
Location
Ontario, Canada
In a different way yes. But I will still take it over the back breaking work they have done for decades. My grandpa is so stiff and arthritic, he can barely get in the car. He can’t sleep in his own bed anymore, it has to be his lift recliner.
Just make sure you move around away from the desk or even at your desk once in a while. I have a bad tendency to sit extremely still when I'm shoveling the coal to my brain and it doesn't do my knees or hips any good at all.
Also the best thing I started doing was core exercises and stretching. I bet if alot of manual labour guys did a bit more of this they would feel better at the end of the day and their career.
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
13,418
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Just make sure you move around away from the desk or even at your desk once in a while. I have a bad tendency to sit extremely still when I'm shoveling the coal to my brain and it doesn't do my knees or hips any good at all.
Also the best thing I started doing was core exercises and stretching. I bet if alot of manual labour guys did a bit more of this they would feel better at the end of the day and their career.
Yeah I need to hook up the treadmill to walk on my lunch breaks
 
Messages
541
Location
Hedgesville, WV
I guess I was lucky, I made it through 45 years with only modest pain and injury, always careful of my back, my knees did take a beating and running was out of the question by the time I hit 60 but what brought me down were the grand kids. They were still young and only weighed 40 lbs or so but while giving one a piggy back ride the other decide to pull her off so she could have a turn and there went my back. All those years of being careful with heavy weights and 2, 5 year old children bring me down. It did get better but took 2 years before I didnt notice it so much.
 
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