Mobile or Workshop engineer?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by ShiftZZ, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. ShiftZZ

    ShiftZZ Funster Life Member

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    I have used both over the last few years..

    Any funster got any thoughts?

    Pro's /Con's
     
  2. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I think it depends on the task in hand.
    I have used Mark (CLS), Ash and Malcolm Rock with very satisfactory results. But these were for what I would term light - medium jobs such as inspections, fitting an external gas point and replacing my regulator. I know they can do a lot more.
    I have been to Dave Newell's workshop for bigger tasks where the covered area and vehicle hoist were of benefit. Most recently I had to have the alarm replaced (Vanbitz were fortunately on our return route from a stay in Somerset) and I would not think that job could have been done very easily on the drive.
     
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  3. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    One thing that many overlook is the ability for things to go wrong or your ideas to change.

    I mean by "things go wrong" an example:- A customer is convinced that their Satellite system will fit on the roof "Because they'd measured it"

    Only to find out that it will foul the solar panel or put shade on the panel. At that point the panel needs to be moved as well. Being blunt a one man operator 120 miles from home simply cannot draw on the extra manpower needed to undertake the additional work.

    At a workshop based business we simply allocate extra time for the job and get on with it.

    Also, most smaller trader can't afford to keep a lot of stock. If you order say a KHV R4SL the trader probably will order it in for you specially.

    Once the trader and the dome has driven the 80 miles to your house, you probably wouldn't be given the option of changing your mind and having the slightly larger, better performing R4, once you see the slightly smaller unit doesn't really look too big at all. You may be too embarrassed about saying "I have changed my mind and want to consider the bigger unit" Even if you did, you may be faced with the "I had to order this specially in for you"!

    We supply many traders, dealers and internet companies. It is unusual for us not to have everything we advertise in stock, available with the staff to install it.

    So in essence, the choice to change your mind regarding equipment and the ability to tailor the installation to suit your requirements and the best for the end job, rather than the stock in the van and the fact that the trader has to get home tonight are considerations that many over look.

    I wouldn't even start on weather conditions and associated care of your motorhome and your possessions.

    I talk from experience as some one who started mobile some 25 years ago and quickly realised that the environment controlled me and the installation and that wasn't best for the motorhome, the customer or me!

    (PS having said that my staff now moan if they have to go outside in the rain to drive a motorhome into the workshops:Eek!:)

    :Wink:Eddie
     
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  4. tofo

    tofo Funster

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    used to think mobile fitters was the best idea

    till a mobile fitter changed my cambelt

    200mes later bang wrecked head and bores

    new engine please

    you could see the top of the piston was cleaned

    just were the valves whisper touched the piston

    till a valve head broke off the stem

    RAC home couldnt get in touch with the fitter

    history now but stuff hapens and buildings dont

    vanish usually:thumb::thumb:

     
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  5. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    We've used a mobile mechanic for vehicles out of warranty for many years now. Mind you, we have known him for over 20 years. He was an apprentice at a garage we used to use so we knew how well he had been trained. He started up on his own when the garage closed after a CP order when that area of Middlesbrough was redeveloped. He is fully insured and does an excellent job.

    For our solar panel & Alugas bottle on the current van we went many miles to Dave Newell to have the work done. Personal knowledge of high quality workmanship was the overriding factor.

    A few years ago the alarm on our previous van went wrong. It was just at the time when using a hand held phone whilst driving became illegal so many companies simply couldn't fit us in. We used a mobile engineer who did a reasonable job but seemed expensive. When we bought our current van it had only one remote control for the alarm. We decided to take it to a local company with a good reputation built up over many years rather than call a mobile engineer.

    So, we use a mixture of both but the common factor is reputation and knowledge of workmanship which can be trusted.
     
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  6. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Reputations being equal it will come down to logistics and price. It's often cheaper for you to travel in your time than pay for someones time and vehicle travelling to you. Simples
     
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  7. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    I would say for most things the person doing the job is more important than where its done.Not all cowboys look like Bob:RollEyes:
     
  8. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I would have thought it would be the other way round. The mobile guy doesn't have the overheads of a premises and staff?
     
  9. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I mean your own time is FREE so paying for a mobile guys time if it's a signifcant distance can be more expensive than you travelling to a workshop for the price of diesel only
     
  10. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Only if you discount opportunity costs. If I spend my time travelling to a workshop I cannot use that time for anything else. In the case of anyone who is not retired then, depending on pay rates, the opportunity cost might be well in excess of the mechanic's hourly charge.

    At MoT time, our mobile mechanic take the vehicle for the test and bring it back. In doing so he knows exactly what is required should any work need doing, having spoken to the tester and having the technical understanding necessary. The (small) fee he charges is well worth it compared to me taking the vehicle in.
     
  11. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I did say logistics and price
     
  12. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    There will always be debates as to which is best. A mobile mechanic collecting a vehicle from a house to take it to a garage is hardly the same as having a mobile guy drive miles and miles to fit an accessory

    Also a mobile mechanic doesn't need to turn up with the stock, as he will be invariably local.

    Very few mobile fitters are employed, very few good employed fitters want to work outside in the bad weather, especially the Winter.

    I always use the analogy of the Doctors: If I arrived and was told that my surgery was going to be carried out, outside in the car park as it was such a nice day, I would demand that the operation took place in theatre where the environment was correct, the correct equipment was on hand and there were the staff to cope with any eventuality!

    I also practice what I preach. I had an engine problem on my new van and am going on holiday next week. I was up at the crack of dawn for a 10am appointment at Signature Motorhomes to have my RV "plugged into" their system to diagnose the fault.

    300 mile round trip, fuel consumption up from 6.3 MPG to 9.9MPG instantly due to the right people with the right tools and the right experience doing the job. a couple of hours of checks, 15 minutes of work and a I am a very happy bunny knowing that the jobs been done right!

    Personal choice I guess

    Eddie
     
  13. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Having served 15 year as as a local Mobile before being garage based I can see the benefits of both arguments
    I have to agree with Eddie on the winter months though,
    Not suitable for the majority of Motor home work
    I don't agree with Eddies analogy though
    I'd opt for the Car Park:Doh: its probably cleaner than some Hospitals:RollEyes:
     
  14. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I have to agree:thumb: In hind sight it was a stupid analogy :Laughing:

    I have to get a repeat prescription for a hiatus hernia picke up along the way during rugby years. Every six months my Doctor has to see me to renew my prescription. She always asks me "How are you" and I always say "Fine until you made me sit in a room of sick people for 20 minutes:Laughing:

    Eddie
     
  15. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    The ideal situation would be a company that had both. Mobile fitters carry out a very usefull function and are invaluable in many cases, and having the use of a large workshop and stock base is also valuable although less so in these days of overnight delivery etc.
    At work we have both. On both sides of the business, mobile fitters add flexibility and offer customers an unbeatable service, parts are dispatched to the fitters pick up point, and in some cases they dont visit the workshop for weeks at a time. A busy workshop will prefer some mobile staff that free's up workshop space.

    When we recently had to return out motorhome to its dealer several times, my time was costed at over one hundred pounds a visit, the cost of any future work would be costed the same and added to any quotes if the vehicle had to visit a workshop. I think flexibility would be the key, choice for individual customers, and the business.
     
  16. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I agree in the instance you describe it is perfect. Years ago when every office had a photo copier there was a whole army of talented useful mobile engineers who could fix most things Ad hoc

    I think though in the "Cottage industry" that it is the motorhome industry, (despite swanky stands and flyers at the shows) mobile service work such as habitation checks etc are valuable and viable. However, I can't see that a mobile installer can give the same service as a fully equipped workshop with a team of staff and access to a range of accessories allowing the customer choice.

    To add further complication is the dire state of the warranty situation. People believe when buying a motorhome that they will get the same kind of warranty assistance that they enjoy when buying a new car.

    This is simply not the case so a with a more "joined up" approach to warranty perhaps approved "mobile fitters" could augment their service with warranty work which would please everyone. So while your leaky shower is being fixed, you could discuss that new Avtex DSR TV at the same time:thumb:

    Eddie
     
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