Mobile Unit Musts

In the past 40 years, Mark Delia of Citywide Auto Glass in San Diego, Calif., has utilized all manner of vehicles from minivans to trucks for his company’s mobile services. He says finding the right vehicle is one of the most important considerations of entering and succeeding in the mobile repair and replacement industry, as is filling that vehicle with the proper tools.

Mark Delia of Citywide Auto Glass in San Diego, Calif., says you can save on vehicle maintenance costs by purchasing the right vehicle for your needs.

Citywide Auto Glass currently operates with seven Nissan vehicles after making a transition from Ford Rangers. Rangers were acquired with ease back in 2006, Delia says, but began to require various degrees of significant maintenance at around 18,000 miles. Delia says brakes on the Rangers had to be replaced at 18,000 miles and that the trucks would drop a number four cylinder at 45,000 miles.

So, his company decided to switch to another manufacturer in the hopes of bringing down maintenance costs.

“Utilizing the best vehicle, you may pay more, but your maintenance cost is nominally less,” he says. “They’re currently running at about 90,000 miles and we haven’t had any problems.”

Once a company pins down the right vehicle for the job, which includes considerations such as weather and anticipated miles to be traveled, it’s time to pack the vehicle with tools that make the job easier for technicians. The quicker a technician can complete a job, the happier the customer. Lil’ Buddy, an auto glass removal tool, also assists technicians of today accomplish that goal.

But there’s one tool Delia says cannot be overlooked.

“All our vehicles have inverters, and you have to have a high enough capacity inverter to use your tools,” Delia says. “And make sure you have one that is on a pure sine wave. A sine wave is how the energy is produced. Earlier inverters, it would peak and drop down. Now, you don’t surge your tools so they blow out.”

Attending Auto Glass Week? If yes, and you perform a significant amount of mobile work, consider attending the session: Bye Bye Brick and Mortar – Your Future Business is Mobile. The session will be held Thursday, September 15 from 9:15-10 a.m.

This article is from glassBYTEs™, the free e-newsletter that covers the latest auto glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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3 Responses to Mobile Unit Musts

  1. Paul Anaya says:

    Great article from quality owner and operator!

  2. Scott says:

    A Mobile business can not do a vehicle with ADAS safety features and allow a customer to drive their vehicle after the windshield has been replaced without the customer knowing they can not use the safety features affected. If you are telling customers to get it calibrated at the dealership or telling them a calibration is not needed that is not a good option. In my opinion the Mobile Windshield Replacement business will not be possible within a few years. A vehicle with a replaced windshield should have safety features recalibrated immediately after the replacement.

  3. Mike says:

    Scott, Advanced Driver “Assistance” Systems are not safety features, the clue is in the title. ADAS can be disabled in settings.

    Further, when the manufacturer states that no extra weight should be in the vehicle else the vehicle can’t be calibrated. What do you do if the vehicle has been converted into a camper, is a courier, has half a ton of trade tools in the back?

    According to their own info in the manual there are dozens of situations where the ADAS will switch itself off. Is this a safety concern?

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