Running a mobile auto services is business isn’t as easy as it looks. If you get stuck in traffic it is as if you are in a Taxi Cab with the meter running. You sit in traffic and lose money, pay for costly labor and then try to figure out how on Earth you are going to get back on schedule, sometimes you just can’t and then you have to learn how to maintain customers service while apologizing profusely, or you turn that over to a dispatcher with a really pleasant voice to calm down your client who also has important things to do than wait for you.
If they knew they were going to wait they could have taken the car to the quick lube in the first place, saved $10.00 and have been done by now. See that point? Good so let’s talk shall we? Well, not only do you have to deal with traffic but sometimes you have to deal with weather too. Sometimes extreme weather causes traffic jams for a double whammy which can ruin your entire day. Not long ago, someone out of the windy city of Chicagoland asked me for any ideas on dealing with rotten weather while doing mobile oil changing and yes, I do have a few ideas.
You see, we tried a few things – one, was to use the exhaust in the van to redirect it towards the back tires to prevent sliding in the parking lots due to ice. We also wired the handles to filaments to prevent them from sticking from ice. We heated the inside of the vans, so the oil ran smoothly. We used those spikey shoe covers to prevent slipping. I know in Montana, our crews would stop under 12-degrees, it was just too hard to get the labor to want to go outside and work, who can blame them.
The gloves you wear are most important, they need to be thin enough to feel what you are doing but not so thin you end of numbing your hands and thus, easily cut or slice them on engine parts or hood flanges. We put strobe lights on the vans to protect us from idiots sliding in the parking lots. You need safety procedures and harp on safety issues with your crews, not to climb very much on larger vehicles when everything is icy, that’s how you really get into trouble. I’ve seen some really dumb accidents, totally preventable.
Have a cut-off temperature, tell the customer “our insurance doesn’t allow us to work when it is colder than 10-degrees F.” Then submit a safety procedure list to your insurance man and see if he can call the underwriter to give you a discount for your smart safety methods.
If you are in the mobile oil change business and would you like to open a larger dialogue on this topic, tell me your thoughts? Shoot me an email. Until then, please consider all this and think on it.