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Mobile Auto Repair?


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Hello Everyone! Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as I did. I wanted to bring this topic up because of PEP BOYS recent "expansion" into launching their "mobile" service. I was interested in your thoughts. Are mobile mechanics a threat to your shop in any way? What are your thoughts? Do they/can they provide the service that today's cars need? 

Or, on the other hand, do you operate as a mobile tech? What are the struggles you face. From what I am hearing, people "seem" to expect mobile to be cheaper. 
 
Only trying to start a discussion about this - and really because, from what I am seeing, there's a lot of buzz around the Pep Boys effort. 

Comments? Really interested to know your thoughts. 

 

Matthew Lee
"The Car Count Fixer"
 

PS: Join me on YouTube and check out this totally FREE on-line course I'm offers- "How to Double your Car Count in 89 Days!"

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Yes. I'm going to start my own mobile mechanic service as soon as I can find a 5,000 sq. ft. van to put everything in. I'll cause some traffic jams I guess.....

I've never seen a mobile mechanic work out. I always thought it was for guys who wanted their own shop but couldnt afford a real building. Pep boys opened 2 independent type shops in my area that I've seen (Austin. Not exactly a economically starved city). One of them already failed. Sounds more like desperation to me. Pep boys has also been bugging the heck out of me to buy parts from them lately. I'm wondering more about about when they're going to start closing stores than them causing good shops a problem.

What ever happened with Amazon selling auto repair? I haven't heard about that lately. 

 

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Thanks for your input Old and Tired! I think you're right about mobile being the solution for guy who want their own shop - but heck, the cost of operating a TRUCK... and I'm not talking about just the gas. There's the insurance... and even travel time too! 

Just to be sure... I'm not trying to say that Pep Boys is the answer - nor do I believe mobile is the answer, and what you're saying about the stores failing sort of proves that. 

Amazon selling auto repair? I thought they were selling unicorns next? Am I wrong? ;)

Thanks for your input!
Matthew

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Thanks for your feedback xrac! I appreciate that. I think you wrapped it up pretty well. That $80K barrier to entry (financed or not) is pretty hi for the average. Then the help issue - and heck, I wasn't even thinking about getting parts. I guess the suppliers still won't deliver to "the corner of 1st and Main!"

Thanks for the input.


Matthew

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  • 6 months later...

I know this is a resurection of an old thread but, I need input on this matter as well.  

While doing my own research on becoming a mobile mechanic it has become apparent that if a mobile business is started with the exptectation to maintain a high work load there is also a high probability for failure.  All transparency... I plan on working mobile until I can get a shop, but also plan on keeping it small.  Are there any words of wisdom?  Is this a bad idea all together?  Should I just start off with a shop?  Any success stories?

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What I can tell you is, you might make more money doing uber or lyft.

I occasionally get a call from someone looking for a mobile mechanic. I tell them I can tow the car to my shop for $60 and guarantee a fix here, or I can drive to them for $114.79 an hour and maybe be able to fix it there. The clock starts when I leave and continues to run as I obtain parts. I get one of two responses,  they go for the tow, or they call around for a cheaper mobile mechanic. 

The people seeking a mobile mechanic are looking for a deal. They want the oil changed for less then 50, the starter or fuel pump replaced for half of what it should cost. They want to supply you the parts. 

Assuming 100 hour labor rate. What if your lucky, and you score 3 oil changes and two starters in one day. The starters pay .8, the oil changes you make 10 each on. You spent all day driving around but made out with $180 for the day. Let's say you get this lucky every day and at the end of the week you have $900 in your pocket. Let's say you score this big all month and made, let's be generous, let's say you got a few extras sold and made like $6500 at the end of the month.

Insurance 600 = 5900

Fuel 700 = 5200

Truck payment 300 = 4900

Tools 100 = 4800

Income tax ?1000? = 3800

Misc 100 = 3700

Truck maintenance 100 = 3600

If your hustling, have a steady amount of gravy work, maybe you can make a living depending on where you live. Am I missing expenses? Being to generous with the amount of gravy work you might lend? What happens when that 2 hour fuel pump becomes 6 hours on the ground? Or you do oil changes all day every day for a month?

You can make over $6,000 a month driving Uber BlackSUV in Denver 40 hours a week.

 

https://www.ridester.com/driver-income-calculator/

Edited by Hands On
Posted link to uber income calculator.
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Are you currently a mobile mechanic?  Does it help to market and advertize as a mobile mechanic?  You say occasionally get a call for someone looking for a mobile mechanic.  That says one of two things to me...  either 1) You have a permanent shop and occasionally someone calls for a mobile mechanic or 2) Youre a mobile mechanic who occasionally gets calls. 

Uber is out of the question.  So I guess I better get my butt in gear and figure this thing out.  Is insurance really $600/mo?  There has to be a way to be a successful mobile mechanic.  Is there an easy way to start an actual shop?

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  • 4 weeks later...

One thing I never understood... why a mobile mechanic tries to provide the same level of service as a shop... on the road... for less money.

 

Basically undercutting their own ability to earn for a more specialized service that you couldn't pay me to do personally.  Additionally, if you knew the rates they have to pay to companies like "Your Mechanic"... it would further make you question the whole movement.  I understand the hustle, but I don't understand delivering what your client wants, when your clients wants... for less than a shop.  Especially considering you are working in an open environment where the weather is just as harsh as customer expectations.

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that seems to be the constant.  undercutting.  Do I "Have" to undercut myself to stay competitive?  Thats what I do not know.  I would imagine that if I provided a decent service at a convienent time and place for the customer, they would be willing to pay atleast the same as a brick and mortar shop for the convience.  Hopefully word of mouth gets out and more people trust me as a legit business vs a fly by night backyard mechanic working out of the back of a station wagon.  

The working environment is a concern of mine.  I am currently in the USAF as an aircraft mechanic and have spent most of my 23 years outside in the elements.  While I dont mind it, I dont like it.   But, being in florida, makes it bearable for most of the year.  Mobile is definatley not something I want to personally do forever.  Eventually I want my own shop, and a few mobile mechanics to keep that angle going (as long as its profitable).  

 

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There are many corporate offices in my area and many have huge multi-level parking decks. I recently found out that someone is performing repairs in one of the corporate office parking decks. Oil change, light bulb, belt, hose, wiper blades etc... No lift, no heat, no a/c but they are out of the rain and sun. They started doing wash, wax, detailing but they apparently have now expanded their operation to include repairs. Local zoning should hopefully put an end to it. I don’t appreciate having a mobile tech operating in my area with no “brick & mortar” overhead but they are crossing the line when they set up a quasi shop in a corporate office building that is zoned office research. This can’t be the only place operating like this so everyone should be aware of the possibility. 

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11 hours ago, JimO said:

There are many corporate offices in my area and many have huge multi-level parking decks. I recently found out that someone is performing repairs in one of the corporate office parking decks. Oil change, light bulb, belt, hose, wiper blades etc... No lift, no heat, no a/c but they are out of the rain and sun. They started doing wash, wax, detailing but they apparently have now expanded their operation to include repairs. Local zoning should hopefully put an end to it. I don’t appreciate having a mobile tech operating in my area with no “brick & mortar” overhead but they are crossing the line when they set up a quasi shop in a corporate office building that is zoned office research. This can’t be the only place operating like this so everyone should be aware of the possibility. 

When zoning laws start getting strictly enforced... or worse yet... some poor guy gets hurt doing a job in a corporate parking lot... Things will change because that's what it takes for things to change, someone getting hurt and someone getting sued.

If there are any mobile guys reading this, I just want you to know that this isn't personal.  But when I applied for my business license in my town... I was explicitly told that I would be given citations for working on the street in the area in front of my business.  So it burns me a little to pay taxes, be legal and get these kind of limitations thrown at me and have to adhere to them.  I wouldn't even work outside, because it's just not what we do.  But to have that limitation thrown at me and have it become a business model all around the country... seems like a point waiting for friction.  

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19 hours ago, WMW said:

that seems to be the constant.  undercutting.  Do I "Have" to undercut myself to stay competitive?  Thats what I do not know.  I would imagine that if I provided a decent service at a convienent time and place for the customer, they would be willing to pay atleast the same as a brick and mortar shop for the convience.  Hopefully word of mouth gets out and more people trust me as a legit business vs a fly by night backyard mechanic working out of the back of a station wagon.  

The working environment is a concern of mine.  I am currently in the USAF as an aircraft mechanic and have spent most of my 23 years outside in the elements.  While I dont mind it, I dont like it.   But, being in florida, makes it bearable for most of the year.  Mobile is definatley not something I want to personally do forever.  Eventually I want my own shop, and a few mobile mechanics to keep that angle going (as long as its profitable).  

 

If you can get away with charging $200.00 per oil change you would make some money. These guys are right too, what happens when you miss the coolant bucket and drop coolant or any other hazard chemical in the street, on their drive way, at the parking lot where they work?  Also can you get insured being mobile? What would your garage keepers policy look like? My policy replaces the car if we cause a total loss, and covers their medical up to 2 million.

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On 6/20/2019 at 3:28 PM, WMW said:

Are you currently a mobile mechanic? 

No

Does it help to market and advertize as a mobile mechanic?

It helps to advertise any business marketing to the clientel you want to attract. We market to higher end clients mostly. We do not advertise mobile.

You say occasionally get a call for someone looking for a mobile mechanic.  That says one of two things to me...  either

1) You have a permanent shop and occasionally someone calls for a mobile mechanic or

Yes, we are  a permanent shop and occasionaly people call to see if we do mobile mechanic. The people that call looking for a mobile mechanic are always looking for a discount.

2) Youre a mobile mechanic who occasionally gets calls. 

No

Uber is out of the question. 

Why discount something that might be more profitable with your current skill set and available funding.

So I guess I better get my butt in gear and figure this thing out. 

If your a solid tech with the skills to open your own business, why not work as a tech, good shops are paying big money for solid techs. Then save and do it right, or find a guy that might be retiring soon, work for him and hope to  get in and take over.

Is insurance really $600/mo? 

On the low end.

There has to be a way to be a successful mobile mechanic. 

Mobile Diagnostic Technicians make good money if you can build your reputation. These are the guys a shop calls when they can not fix a car. I have also seen guys that just do mobile PCM and ECM flashing. There is also good money in this if there is not already someone in your market.

Is there an easy way to start an actual shop?

Learn how to talk people into giving you money until you have 20 to 40 thousand dollars depending on your market. Take that money and find a cheap lease somewhere and drop in two cheap lifts. Buy a few drums of oil and a full line of filters and give away cheap oil changes to build a client base. Keep quality tight and do lots of local events to promote yourself. Hire people right away, there is no way to make money with one person, businesses have way to much overhead, you will need minimum two employees to start. Do not use cheap labor. Do not have a partner. Have your EIN and licensing in place and insurance before you open the door to a client. Pay your taxes and employees first, rent next, vendors, then yourself. Have a spouse with an income to fall back on. That is as easy as I think it is able to be done, maybe someone else can give you a batter start up scenario.

 

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6 minutes ago, Hands On said:

Learn how to talk people into giving you money until you have 20 to 40 thousand dollars depending on your market. Take that money and find a cheap lease somewhere and drop in two cheap lifts. Buy a few drums of oil and a full line of filters and give away cheap oil changes to build a client base. Keep quality tight and do lots of local events to promote yourself. Hire people right away, there is no way to make money with one person, businesses have way to much overhead, you will need minimum two employees to start. Do not use cheap labor. Do not have a partner. Have your EIN and licensing in place and insurance before you open the door to a client. Pay your taxes and employees first, rent next, vendors, then yourself. Have a spouse with an income to fall back on. That is as easy as I think it is able to be done, maybe someone else can give you a batter start up scenario.

Now here is solid advice...

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interesting.  theres alot of good points in this topic. 

For me working for someone is out of the question, if im not working at an airline.  Im just done with big planes.  Obviously I will do whats required to pay the bills but the whole purpose for me opening my own business to do something new that I enjoy on my own terms.  Maybe a mobile small/light private aircraft mechanic?

Maybe for me it is better to find an actual garage to work out of, just seems like that business model has been figured out for the most part.  I am not entirely closed off to the idea and I can see how as brick and mortar business owners it can be frustrating to see someone out on the street doing work,  But I dont honestly see an issue working with a vehicle on someone elses business or home property if given the permission.  Obviously, these would be quick jobs and not clutches, engines or rear ends etc in the business park.  To be honest the messy driveway is a concern of mine, and I dont have a fool proof plan on how to avoid those spills and this combined with the convience of being out of the weather, and being able to raise the vehicle above my head is a major player in reasons why I shouldnt do it mobile.  However, I cant help but think that there is a way to be successful while doing it mobile.  Is it a popular choice? no.  and judging by some responses on here its pretty much blasphemy. lol  Also, as I dig into this veture of mobile mechanics I come across alot of shady backyard mechanics and it is frustrating when I know im going to ask for more money, but then I think about me providing a warranty on parts, and having an actual tax paying and registered, legal business.  Will this be enough to provide myself with a decent flow of customers?  I dont know.  From some of the above statements, it seems nearly impossible to navigate through the rifraf.

Edited by WMW
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I am amazed how mobiles they get away with BAR, Osha, City, Fire, Carb etc..... Sounds very unacceptable to me.....mobile should do code reading ,bulb replacement, glass replacement and such.....anything else seems to me as they have to clean up the dirt afterwards which they do?   Who is keeping an eye on their mobile garage libaility etc?   .

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On 7/22/2019 at 6:01 PM, WMW said:

interesting.  theres alot of good points in this topic. 

For me working for someone is out of the question, if im not working at an airline.  Im just done with big planes.  Obviously I will do whats required to pay the bills but the whole purpose for me opening my own business to do something new that I enjoy on my own terms.  Maybe a mobile small/light private aircraft mechanic?

Maybe for me it is better to find an actual garage to work out of, just seems like that business model has been figured out for the most part.  I am not entirely closed off to the idea and I can see how as brick and mortar business owners it can be frustrating to see someone out on the street doing work,  But I dont honestly see an issue working with a vehicle on someone elses business or home property if given the permission.  Obviously, these would be quick jobs and not clutches, engines or rear ends etc in the business park.  To be honest the messy driveway is a concern of mine, and I dont have a fool proof plan on how to avoid those spills and this combined with the convience of being out of the weather, and being able to raise the vehicle above my head is a major player in reasons why I shouldnt do it mobile.  However, I cant help but think that there is a way to be successful while doing it mobile.  Is it a popular choice? no.  and judging by some responses on here its pretty much blasphemy. lol  Also, as I dig into this veture of mobile mechanics I come across alot of shady backyard mechanics and it is frustrating when I know im going to ask for more money, but then I think about me providing a warranty on parts, and having an actual tax paying and registered, legal business.  Will this be enough to provide myself with a decent flow of customers?  I dont know.  From some of the above statements, it seems nearly impossible to navigate through the rifraf.

First step to any business is laying down a map to profitability. In other words, show on paper how you plan to make your money. I do not think anyone thinks mobile mechanic is blasphemy.  Just show me, with numbers, how you plan to make your money. What do you figure will be your operating expense vs what you think your income will be, and why.

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On 7/29/2019 at 11:08 PM, Hands On said:

First step to any business is laying down a map to profitability. In other words, show on paper how you plan to make your money. I do not think anyone thinks mobile mechanic is blasphemy.  Just show me, with numbers, how you plan to make your money. What do you figure will be your operating expense vs what you think your income will be, and why.

these are all answers im trying to figure out.  As I origionally stated, there are established brick and mortor shops everywhere, the information to become a successful traditional garage is there.  Just not alot about having a successful legitemate mobile mechanic business.  

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On 7/29/2019 at 5:48 AM, Dnzauto said:

I am amazed how mobiles they get away with BAR, Osha, City, Fire, Carb etc..... Sounds very unacceptable to me.....mobile should do code reading ,bulb replacement, glass replacement and such.....anything else seems to me as they have to clean up the dirt afterwards which they do?   Who is keeping an eye on their mobile garage libaility etc?   .

Are these just a simple abide and comply within the standard for normal mechanic businesses?  Why wouldnt this concept work with mobile?  Any specific standard that would be broken if I were working in someones yard/driveway parking lot etc?  other than the city ordanences that would state weather or not its specifically allowed.  I wouldnt imagine it to be difficult to have a fire extinguisher, eye wash station, gloves/goggles and all appliccable ppe, etc. available on the site.  Is there a major item im missing.  Cant be too much different than working on an airplane on a ramp as far as spills and safety.  

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4 hours ago, WMW said:

Are these just a simple abide and comply within the standard for normal mechanic businesses?  Why wouldnt this concept work with mobile?  Any specific standard that would be broken if I were working in someones yard/driveway parking lot etc?  other than the city ordanences that would state weather or not its specifically allowed.  I wouldnt imagine it to be difficult to have a fire extinguisher, eye wash station, gloves/goggles and all appliccable ppe, etc. available on the site.  Is there a major item im missing.  Cant be too much different than working on an airplane on a ramp as far as spills and safety.  

At the conclusion of a recent fire inspection I was written up for having a folding chair stored in front of my main electric service panel. This is a safety infraction because the chair could prevent quick access to the panel if needed during an emergency. Do mobile techs know where the service panel is? Am I mad that I was written up for the folding chair? Not happy but not mad, I was wrong, I unknowingly caused a possible safety issue and it is now corrected. Am I mad that there is a mobile repair tech performing auto repairs at a residential home garage with no access to the service panel which is locked in the basement? Yes, that annoys me because the mobile tech will never have to deal with a fire inspector. That safety hazard goes undetected. We no longer have an even playing field.

Concerning your comparison of this not being too different than working on an airplane on a ramp. Although I have never worked on airplanes I would imagine that even on the ramp you would have airport safety specialists, possibly OSHA and an airport fire department at you disposal in a moments notice. You working on the ramp instead of the hangar is more comparable to me working on a vehicle in my parking lot as opposed to inside one of my bays. We would both be performing repair work on our property just not in our building. Transport that same plane to a residential driveway in a remote neighborhood with no supervision, no OSHA, no in-house fire department and then you have a better comparison. Is the mobile tech familiar with the topography in the event of a spill? Does he know where storm drains are? Is he prepared with an adequate spill kit? Does he have the phone numbers to alert local, county and state officials in the event of a spill? Or is he a ghost that flits in and out of neighborhoods, homes and office buildings making repairs and leaving no way to trace any of his actions or mistakes? If I cause a spill I own it and the authorities will look no further than my front door. If the mobile tech causes a spill he is gone like a fart in a wind storm. 

If I have a commercial office building that is zoned for office research and I rent out the office space to appropriate tenants I would be within my rights. If I allowed a chef to set-up gas grilles and sell hot dogs and hamburgers in a tent in the backyard it would be a zoning violation. If I allowed a “mobile tech” to operate an auto repair business in the garage of my building it is also a zoning violation. If a tech responds to a road call for a dead battery it would be normal to jump the car, bring it back to the shop and replace the battery. If on the other hand he brings a new battery to the vehicle and installs it on site I have to question his efficiency but I am ok with it. When he proceeds to complete an oil change, air filter, cabin filter and wiper blades then I get upset. He is now no longer performing unexpected road service to get the vehicle mobile but instead he is completing routine maintenance.  

 

 

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The more I inquire it would appear that its more of a hate on mobile tech's issue.  Some dont like them due to not having as much overhead.  Some stereotype by assuming all are the same slimey, backyard, tricksters up to no good.  Maybe this is why there is assumed to be no good or decent mobile mechanics.  I can honestly see both points of view.  When im researching competing local mobile techs on craigslist, facebook etc. I do a search in the florida business license webside and most of them (90%) are operating without a license...atleast not one under thier posted business name.  Most of the rest are operating as business, but are working out of a trunk of a civic, and cannot possibly have a legit way of providing a quility service.  When I search nationwide on Google, a few that appear to be legit come up.  Most specialize in a specific arena.  One was tires and they had an entire trailer full of mounting/balancing machines (which i wouldnt imagine would be a very accurate balance being in a moving trailer), but they appear to have a legit, good business going.  These are not the norm.

However, good scenarios are presented.  Like working inside someones personal garage.  Seems like a bit of a risk.  conflict of insurances i would no doubt be an area of contension.  Say I R2 a fuel injector on someones car in thier garage I start the car and fuel sprays everywhere and ignites.  Burns down the house.  Who's insurance covers it?  homeowners? or my garage keepers policy?  I see this as an issue.  the slimey, backyard, tricksters would undoubtedly dip out leaving the homeowner to fend for themselves.  The answer...not sure.  Work solely outside to eliminate the home owner liability?  establish with the insurance company the intent of coverage inside someones garage?  Same with the electrical panel issue.  Simple answer for me would be to have my own generator.  Theres no way to know that im going to have power everywhere so it would without a doubt be something I would have at all times.  Spill kits are mandatory when working with and transporting hazardous chemicals.  As well as having an up to date MSDS/SDS with all the potential chemicals one could come in contact with.  Labeling on the vehicle are also mandatory if carrying a certain amount.  

There is nothing I can do shy of renting a building to increase my overhead to be equal to any brick and mortor shop.  I dont think hating on mobile tec's because it costs less to operate is the answer.  I do agree that there needs to be something done to make them legit business and to operate within the established standards.  

Looks like I still have tons of homework still to do.   I need to get smart on laws and policies, and come up with a way to operate within thier standards.  There has to be a way to navigate this thing.  Does anyone have references for anywhere to start looking for this information?  OSHA/safety standards I can find, but I believe the laws of zoning, working, and conducting as a business in varying scenarios would be a good place to start.  Im in Hillsborough county, Florida, hoping to serve the greater Tampa area.

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Some of the large business campuses here have concierge services for:  1) Car Washes, 2) Gasoline Fillups.   I think they might even offer oil changes.    With as many broke people that I meet daily, I'm surprised that these services are a hit.  But it probably explains some of the broke problems.   Some of my less well-off employees don't think twice about ordering takeout from DoorDash or the like.    So, there is a market for convenience.   I also meet DIY-ers that would DIY, but their apartment won't let them do it onsite.

Now, how do you reach your customer base?    Who knows that you exist?   I would expect that you will meet even broker people on Craigslist that I usually meet.   If you can sign on with a business that will do concierge, that would be good as they advertise internally to their tenants.    I would guess that the drive time between jobs and the back and forth to the parts store will kill any efficiency that you might have.   And what if the part won't be here until tomorrow?  Florida isn't much cooler than Texas and I would not want to be working out in the elements.  This sounds like a tough way to start.    But, there are folks doing (trying) it.  Good luck.

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On 8/5/2019 at 6:26 PM, WMW said:

The more I inquire it would appear that its more of a hate on mobile tech's issue.  Some dont like them due to not having as much overhead.  Some stereotype by assuming all are the same slimey, backyard, tricksters up to no good.  Maybe this is why there is assumed to be no good or decent mobile mechanics.  I can honestly see both points of view.  When im researching competing local mobile techs on craigslist, facebook etc. I do a search in the florida business license webside and most of them (90%) are operating without a license...atleast not one under thier posted business name.  Most of the rest are operating as business, but are working out of a trunk of a civic, and cannot possibly have a legit way of providing a quility service.  When I search nationwide on Google, a few that appear to be legit come up.  Most specialize in a specific arena.  One was tires and they had an entire trailer full of mounting/balancing machines (which i wouldnt imagine would be a very accurate balance being in a moving trailer), but they appear to have a legit, good business going.  These are not the norm.

However, good scenarios are presented.  Like working inside someones personal garage.  Seems like a bit of a risk.  conflict of insurances i would no doubt be an area of contension.  Say I R2 a fuel injector on someones car in thier garage I start the car and fuel sprays everywhere and ignites.  Burns down the house.  Who's insurance covers it?  homeowners? or my garage keepers policy?  I see this as an issue.  the slimey, backyard, tricksters would undoubtedly dip out leaving the homeowner to fend for themselves.  The answer...not sure.  Work solely outside to eliminate the home owner liability?  establish with the insurance company the intent of coverage inside someones garage?  Same with the electrical panel issue.  Simple answer for me would be to have my own generator.  Theres no way to know that im going to have power everywhere so it would without a doubt be something I would have at all times.  Spill kits are mandatory when working with and transporting hazardous chemicals.  As well as having an up to date MSDS/SDS with all the potential chemicals one could come in contact with.  Labeling on the vehicle are also mandatory if carrying a certain amount.  

There is nothing I can do shy of renting a building to increase my overhead to be equal to any brick and mortor shop.  I dont think hating on mobile tec's because it costs less to operate is the answer.  I do agree that there needs to be something done to make them legit business and to operate within the established standards.  

Looks like I still have tons of homework still to do.   I need to get smart on laws and policies, and come up with a way to operate within thier standards.  There has to be a way to navigate this thing.  Does anyone have references for anywhere to start looking for this information?  OSHA/safety standards I can find, but I believe the laws of zoning, working, and conducting as a business in varying scenarios would be a good place to start.  Im in Hillsborough county, Florida, hoping to serve the greater Tampa area.

Not sure why you say folks are hating you, so far everyone has simply posted about realistic roadblocks and environmental concerns.

Have you called an insurance agent to see what that costs yet? Please do so, then report back. One step of business plan will be done.

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On 8/4/2019 at 5:34 PM, WMW said:

these are all answers im trying to figure out.  As I origionally stated, there are established brick and mortor shops everywhere, the information to become a successful traditional garage is there.  Just not alot about having a successful legitemate mobile mechanic business.  

Your to focused on the words garage and mobile. Focus on the word business. It's all the same, resteraunt, barber, garage, mobile, gas station, retail shoe store.

Stop thinking like a worker if you want to be a business owner.

Cost is the easiest to figure out. Make the insurance agent your first call, then report back, I'll walk you through step by step.

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19 hours ago, Hands On said:

Not sure why you say folks are hating you, so far everyone has simply posted about realistic roadblocks and environmental concerns.

Have you called an insurance agent to see what that costs yet? Please do so, then report back. One step of business plan will be done.

I've never said anyone is hating on me.  Just mobile techs.  and I would imagine its the shady mobile techs...atleast I would hope so.  

If youre lumping me into the shady ones automatically (which it would appear is what happened here) then my theory is correct that all mobile techs are hated on.  

-- "Am I mad that there is a mobile repair tech performing auto repairs at a residential home garage with no access to the service panel which is locked in the basement? Yes, that annoys me because the mobile tech will never have to deal with a fire inspector. That safety hazard goes undetected. We no longer have an even playing field."

--" If I cause a spill I own it and the authorities will look no further than my front door. If the mobile tech causes a spill he is gone like a fart in a wind storm."

--"I am amazed how mobiles they get away with BAR, Osha, City, Fire, Carb etc..... Sounds very unacceptable to me....."

--"If there are any mobile guys reading this, I just want you to know that this isn't personal.  But when I applied for my business license in my town... I was explicitly told that I would be given citations for working on the street in the area in front of my business.  So it burns me a little to pay taxes, be legal and get these kind of limitations thrown at me and have to adhere to them.  I wouldn't even work outside, because it's just not what we do.  But to have that limitation thrown at me and have it become a business model all around the country... seems like a point waiting for friction.  "

 

All of these are definatley issues worth mentioning, but it would appear that they are also a stereotype derived by shop owners generalizing ALL mobile mechanics.  Most/all of them are likely to be true in some way and is the exact feedback I was looking for in order to become a successful, legit, OSHA abiding, non-shade tree, mobile tech.

As far as the insurance is concerned, I have done alittle research and found out there are policies for mobile mechanics.  I have a friend who I served with and is currently a shop and mobile mechanic business owner and he led me in the right direction.   I am currently deployed, and with the time difference it is difficult to get in contact with anyone by phone.   Ive inquired via email and received info stating there are policies, but they all want a phone conversation which I want to do.  I may just wait till I return to get an actual quote, then I could make an informed decision to which company to go with.  I will definatley be reporting the policy details.  I want to see how/if they differ from a shop policy.    

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19 hours ago, Hands On said:

Your to focused on the words garage and mobile. Focus on the word business. It's all the same, resteraunt, barber, garage, mobile, gas station, retail shoe store.

Stop thinking like a worker if you want to be a business owner.

Cost is the easiest to figure out. Make the insurance agent your first call, then report back, I'll walk you through step by step.

thanks for the advice.  youre right, its a business.  and I need to think like a business owner.  I appreciate any help and advice I can get.  As I stated earlier, I will inquire about a policy and see what it offers.  What are the basic coverages I would need?  I see theres Garage keepers policy, Garage liability, etc.  Do I absolutley need them all?  

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23 minutes ago, WMW said:

thanks for the advice.  youre right, its a business.  and I need to think like a business owner.  I appreciate any help and advice I can get.  As I stated earlier, I will inquire about a policy and see what it offers.  What are the basic coverages I would need?  I see theres Garage keepers policy, Garage liability, etc.  Do I absolutley need them all?  

Your insurance agent will answer these questions they are supposed to let you know about potential exposures, liabilities ect.  There are also OSHA consultants out there you can make an appointment with to go over those requirements. There is a lot of leg work to do for sure with starting any business.  It will be hard to do while deployed, but you could start reading business self help books. If you can get your hands on a business planning book this will help.  Good luck on your deployment, I am ex Air Force. Thank you for your service.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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