Starting a Mobile Oil Change Service

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  • yuccakevyuccakev subscriber Posts: 0
    The EPA guidelines are not very hard to comply with. Of course it will vary state to state, but in CA waste oil is not an RCRA classified substance (like pesticides and such). A fed permit is not required and the state permit I was able to on line at no charge. Talking with a waste oil recycling co like Evergreen or AES will be very helpful as their sales reps are usually up to speed and willing to help you, because it will mean an new account for them.
  • slopoeslopoe subscriber Posts: 0
    What about disposal of old oil filters?
  • yuccakevyuccakev subscriber Posts: 0
    Drained, used oil filters are not considered haz waste in most places, however all waste oil companies take filters for a small charge (I was quoted $35.00 per drum and they supply the drum)
  • slopoeslopoe subscriber Posts: 0
    Thanks for all your help i have one more question. Do you need a special insurance to run the business or just garage liability insurance? thanks josh
  • OilgutOilgut subscriber Posts: 0
    Slopoe
    Garage Liability is all I have... Only variation is gov contracts may require a higher policy... I carry a 1 mil policy for a State contract and I bid a city contract that wanted me to have a 2 mil policy.. It just depends but a general garage policy will suffice most fleet managers
    Yucca... Do you crush your filters? I used to and I was able to get 5-6 times as many in a barrel >> Recyclers complained about it because they were very heavy and I wouldn`t let them tip the barrel and roll it across my epoxied floor... Don`t ask me why they had a problem with bringing a dolly >> But they finally told me that if I didn`t crush the filters, they would pick up the filters for free. I was paying $65 at the time.  That was 6 years ago and they still don`t charge me.
    Are they paying for used oil out in Cali? Right now I am getting about $.33 a gallon >> That is down from $.80 a couple of months ago.
    Oilguy
  • skimoskimo subscriber Posts: 0
    I haven`t started my business yet, I`m still doing some research. The advice I`ve seen here has been really good but the question I have is about financing. My credit is pretty much in the tank but I am a retired veteran. Does anybody have any suggestions. 
     
    Skimo
  • OilgutOilgut subscriber Posts: 0
    I started mine with a Credit card - Shoestring budget - Determination - Ambition - and a healthy load of Fear!
    If you are worried about financing and you have a small budget >>> Start small and build your cash flow.
    Use Case oil from Walmart ... work out of your garage or rent a storage unit for your supplies...
    And if you haven`t started up yet >> Pre-market like your life depends on it. >> Talk to as many people as you can without spending a bunch of money.Oilgut3/13/2009 8:30 AM
  • slopoeslopoe subscriber Posts: 0
    Ok i have been on the phone for a couple of days trying to find someone who will write a insurance policy for this business can anybody give me some names or numbers of some companies they have it thru? I am located in tennessee. Thanks josh
  • babygatesbabygates subscriber Posts: 0
    what kind of fleet vehicles did he do?
  • babygatesbabygates subscriber Posts: 0
    What kind of fleets do you do? I hear you on going door to door and word of mouth. I want to get into the mobile business also. I just wanted more info on the fleet side, about advertising and things like that.
  • OilgutOilgut subscriber Posts: 0
    Babygates...
    I do all kinds of fleets... That are on all different kinds of schedules...
    Today I picked up another fleet of medium duty delivery truck for 5 lumber yards. They range from small gasser pickups to medium duty International DT466 with a 32 qt capacity.
    I can tell you that if you try to focus only on fleets >> You are going to fail...
    The only feasible way you are going to get away with it is if you start out servicing anything you can and then later start to specialize in only fleet work... In this business you can`t limit yourself >> Especially when you are getting started.
    I can tell you that I have helped about 10-12 people get started in this business and they would pick and choose what they wanted to listen to and not listen to.(of course I didn`t charge them -- maybe if I did they would have payed better attention)..  As far as I know they have all failed because when it came down to it >> They did not want to go out and get business the way I told them to >> They all threw money at eager-promise-the-world-advertising-sales-weasles and wondered why they weren`t making it.....
    OG
    ALL of my fleet work came as a byproduct of focusing on private owners >>> Those are the people that own the fleets and work for the companies that operate them. I have targeted very few fleet operations and actually ended up with them..
  • shoemakerspshoemakersp subscriber Posts: 0
    Oilguy, Froggie, and others,
     
    I hadn`t checked this in a while, so I just had some reading to do. Oilguy, your posts are an inspiration. I have been in the business for almost a year and I can say now that I am taking the lazy man`s approach. I can abosultely agree that advertising has been a waste. I mostly go to networking groups.
     
    The excuse I have used for not going door to door is that I felt I couldn`t justify the travel and setup and it is so much more efficient to do many vehicles at a time. How do you handle the individuals for both scheduling and pricing? I think that is where I am missing something.

     
    I am looking at starting a group on LinkedIn especially for Mobile Oil Change businesses as there does not seem to be much out there. I have been seeing a ton of interest in this business recently and would like a central repository for the information. I could use some help with a name. I am currently thinking along the lines of On Site Automotive Service Association, Mobile Oil Change Association or Mobile Oil Change Operators Association. Any thoughts?
     
    -Sean

    shoemakersp3/18/2009 10:59 AM
  • shoemakerspshoemakersp subscriber Posts: 0
    I am sorry to hear that you have closed up. Your giudance was instrumental in the design and operation of my business. Thank you for everything.
    -Sean
    shoemakersp3/18/2009 10:59 AM
  • OilgutOilgut subscriber Posts: 0

    Oilguy, Froggie, and others, I hadn`t checked this in a while, so I just had some reading to do. Oilguy, your posts are an inspiration. I have been in the business for almost a year and I can say now that I am taking the lazy man`s approach. I can abosultely agree that advertising has been a waste. I mostly go to networking groups. The excuse I have used for not going door to door is that I felt I couldn`t justify the travel and setup and it is so much more efficient to do many vehicles at a time. How do you handle the individuals for both scheduling and pricing? I think that is where I am missing something. I am looking at starting a group on LinkedIn especially for Mobile Oil Change businesses as there does not seem to be much out there. I have been seeing a ton of interest in this business recently and would like a central repository for the information. I could use some help with a name. I am currently thinking along the lines of On Site Automotive Service Association, Mobile Oil Change Association or Mobile Oil Change Operators Association. Any thoughts? -Sean

    Hey Shoemaker!
    Net working groups have worked ok in the past but I was never really WOWed by them... Most of the people there had tunnel vision and I guess I didn`t really fit in and feel comfortable... After a while it is just all the same people and they were really doing any business with me or providing any decent referrals so I quit them... Chamber of Commerce also >> They were a great networking tool to get started but after a couple of years I was not seeing any bang for the buck....
    As for the private owners... I focused from day 1 on them and I still do today... I picked up 4 newbie`s today from various sources and they are all private owners vehicles...
    I see them mainly as fill in`s for between fleets but they are actually MUCH more than that! They pay right away instead of 30 days or more... They are cash flow! You may have a fleet at 7AM and then another at 10 with a 2 hour gap >> What do you do for 2 hours?? Well you could service 6 or 8 private owner vehicle and bring $200 - $400 new cash flow into you daily routine... That is definately worth the little bit of driving and setup required...
    I say that but I am not sure how you are set up to operate... My setup is quite unique and efficient for doing this kind of service... yours may not be at this time. I would post a picture of my setup but I am not sure how to in this forum...
    For scheduling and pricing these clients... I had to actually "Train" these people to understand that their emergency is NOT my problem... I schedule 1 to 2 days out and I run a tight route (most of the time) If a customer calls in and they are within my route I catch them that day... if not or I am just tired >> They get on the next days schedule and so on... I try to get as many per appointment as I can but I don`t turn anyone down either!
    Pricing is fairly comperable to other "Quick" Lube companies in town... Right now we are charging $34.95 plus sales tax... It is a stardard service charge for up to 6 quarts... I don`t do a lot of up selling which makes my clients trust me... If I tell them they need to have work done >> I give them I reference to a mechanic if they don`t have one and tell them to have their mechanic call me to explain the issue I found.
    Let me know if you start the other forum.. I would be interested in joining.
    OG
  • shoemakerspshoemakersp subscriber Posts: 0
    Oilguy,
     
    It`s sounds like you are right where I want to be. I agree and share your philosophy on upselling and customer referrals. I am also seeing some limitations to networking, but was operating with the assumption that I could not do one at a time. Your $35 price point is comparable even here and sounds much more doable than the $30 I am currently at. I set it there last year based on costs at the time and the idea that I was doing 10 cars at a time (which I usually don`t).
     
    I feel a bit like an idiot because I have been requiring 3 cars, but I have had people (in the networking groups) begging me for service. I have been putting the burden of scheduling on the customer to come up with the volume and then I sit wondering where all of the phone calls are.
     
    I recently purchased an express van so that it is easier to move about. I assume that is similar to what you use. This is so recent I haven`t even had it lettered yet (actually headed there today). It is now MUCH easier to change location and get in to tight spots than it was with the old setup in the trailer. I think for those getting a full unit it is a no-brainer. I certainly wish I could work inside here in Wisconsin, but Green Bay is a small town so I do have a lot of huge clients.
     
    I am even starting to think about how I can change my online sign-up to allow for the individual vehicle. Before I stayed away from that because of the multiple vehicles.
     
    I also like the feel and informativeness of your website, it is very much where I am trying to go with www.packerlandmoc.com I would probably like to steal your "free oil change" program if you don`t mind. BTW, do you get many responses to that?
    shoemakersp3/18/2009 10:58 AM
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