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Starting a Mobile Oil Change Service

    • 1 posts
    December 22, 2010 4:23 AM EST

    Hi, Im thinkink to start mob oil change busines (its in europe), I think it will be good.

    But please explain me what are you using to lift car up? its almoust nesesary if I wnt to change oil filter,, so if you chare some ideas it will be realy nice.

    P.S sorry, my english is not good but I hope you understand my:)

    • 2 posts
    March 16, 2009 9:36 AM EDT
    what kind of fleet vehicles did he do?
    • 2 posts
    March 16, 2009 9:44 AM EDT
    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.
    • 1 posts
    May 27, 2012 3:30 PM EDT

    Hey Nomad, did you ever start this business?  If so, how is it going?

    • 19 posts
    March 3, 2011 8:36 AM EST

    You guys are on to something convenient.  As a consumer and busy-body I would love to have someone come take care of an oil change while I'm at work or home, SO handy!  You could keep track of your previous customers with a simple contact management program and call to remind them if they're due for a little maintenance.  Good luck!

    Nothing makes you feel of look better than body wraps.

    • 1 posts
    February 28, 2009 8:32 AM EST
    Nomad, Shoemakersp, Oilgut,
    I too have been looking into this a bit.  What advise do you have regarding essential startup equipment (other than a vehicle), vendors/suppliers, and any angles on "greening" the service?
    • 2 posts
    June 10, 2009 6:46 AM EDT
    Thanks for the info.  I recently started my mobile oil change business in April.  Gaining momentum albeit slowly.  I started off with a trailer too cause it was cheaper and I already had a truck.  I am longing for the van.  I agree with the ease of parking and getting into areas.  Regarding new business, my question is how do you get past the gate keepers?  Getting to HR poses a problem cause of the gate keepers.  Additionally, in my area fleet vehicles are driven home by the employees so I often get a response of, "the vans are seldom here" (at the shop) to perform service on.  I would be willing to arrive very early to service them.  I have found that small fleets, 7 or less vehicles are easier to get in with.  Large companies seem to have used their size to negotiate prices and are in a contract with a shop and would like to stay with them.  So I continue to network, and pass out lots of flyers, and seek advice from

    Chris Ward
    Peak Performance Auto

    • 4 posts
    March 9, 2009 2:59 PM EDT
    This is a brand new business for my wife and I. We started our company in Feb this year. Talk about a slow start! It seems that is is time to be more aggressive in finding customers. Word of mouth is going to be the best method of advertising and has been working already, but that process starts very slow and takes time to build momentum. I am just at a loss on how to approach prospective clients. Every one I talk to thinks that this is a great idea, now how do I turn that good idea into active customers?
    • 4 posts
    March 11, 2009 3:38 PM EDT
    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.
    • 4 posts
    March 12, 2009 8:18 AM EDT
    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)
    • 4 posts
    June 10, 2009 11:01 AM EDT

    Goin to bid on a cat 950g loader

    What kind of pricing do you guys get for a loader (Cat 950g). Where do I find specs like what kind of filter, how much oil, grease points, etc...?

    Appreciate any help-yuccakev

    • 37 posts
    September 14, 2011 8:32 AM EDT

    You can use the BEST media - reach the MOST prospects, but if you don't give them a REASON for stopping - they won't.  You have to figure most people have SOMEONE doing that now - why switch to you?


    Good luck


    Business Optimization -

    • 2 posts
    June 2, 2009 11:42 AM EDT
    I had a hard time finding an insurance carrier because the service is a new idea and I think they were wary of a van driving around with oil in the back. What I did was call the company who brought me my first barrel of oil and asked them who they got their insurance from. Once I contacted their insurance company, we had a policy in no time. Insurance on the van and equipment, garage insurance and 2 million in liability - all for about $2500.
    BobOdette6/2/2009 5:06 PM
    • 2 posts
    June 2, 2009 11:47 AM EDT
    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.

    Melrics helped me with their startup guide. I bought a sage system and am now pounding the pavement for customers. This forum is awesome. I`m going to be a regular.
    • 3 posts
    March 3, 2009 11:37 AM EST
    My son and I have been operating our own `ON SITE LUBE` business since
    1988.  This is our 21st year.  The important aspects of this business are as follows:
    1.  The money market is not fleets - there are already too many people doing
         this.  The most profitable market is what we call `retail`.  This means pro-
         viding the service to individual automobile owners on a regularly scheduled
         basis at their place of employment.
    2.  We can do this by: A. Getting permission from owners of large office
          building to come onto their property and B. working out of an enclosed
         (heated) mobile oil change trailer large enough to drive the vehicles
         into for servicing.
    Copy this link and paste to have a look at  `` 
    froggie3/3/2009 5:41 PM
    • 3 posts
    March 7, 2009 6:27 AM EST
    I don`t think you understand our system. 
    We don`t go to a person`s place of work to do an individual`s vehicle.  We contract with owner`s of large office buildings (500 to 5,000 employees).  We put together a one page flyer that explains the procedure and includes the schedule for the entire year.  The employer then  E-mails this flyer to everyone so that they know how to use the service and which days we will be there.  Then, the employer E-mails a reminder of the service two days before each visit.  We only move our rig once a day and we usually get between 15 to 30 cars each visit and because our rig is large enough to carry over 250 gallons of oil, 200 air filters, 100 cabin filters, 250 oil filters and over 100 assorted windshield wiper blades our average ticket is around $42.00.  By working inside our trail, we can assure the property owner that there could never be any oil on the ground (big no no in most parts of the country) and we can operate all year round regardless of the weather.  We do service fleets but we require a minimum of 25 vehicles per visit.  We currently service a local fleet of 52 service vans - twice a year.  We can do these vehicles in one day and by providing air filters, wipers, and cabin filters our sales for the day are around $2,700.00 for eight hours of work.  We normally only work 4 to 6 hrs each day, take off 2 weeks at Christmas and 1 week in the summer, we also take off every other Friday.  Our sales are around $150,000.00 a year.  How are you doing?
    • 3 posts
    March 22, 2009 4:33 AM EDT
    Juior77 et al
    We do not use a vacuum system to remove the oil from the car`s engine - this really doesn`t 
    work because you don`t get all the oil out, nor any of the debris that collects in the bottom of the oil pan.  Our trailers are designed with a lowered floor so that we have easy access to the whole underside of the vehicle to allow proper draining of the engine oil and any debris plus the removal of the oil filter and greasing as needed.
    You can get more detailsat 
    • 1 posts
    July 6, 2009 3:53 PM EDT
    hi im new here i ran across this form saw your rig i like it i been i been looking into something like that but have no luck finding one.  I was just wondering if you can point me to find one like that and how much did you spend on your setup well thanks for your time it would be great if you can help me out.


    • 3 posts
    March 22, 2009 5:08 PM EDT
    Do you know of anyone who has purchased a sage oil vac system or a lube and go system  with pumps and do you have any recommendations on which system is the best? Which would be best an open trailor or an enclosed trailor?
    • 3 posts
    March 23, 2009 4:47 PM EDT
    Thanks a lot for your valuable information on the systems. It has been a great help to me already and I have not even gotten started yet. I have had a tough time on deciding which system would be the better but now I think I have a better understanding on which system would be best for me.
    I wanted so much to stay away from an enclosed trailer; however, I want to keep my filters from getting wet so it looks like I am going to be going with the enclosed trailer also here in metro Atlanta you need the option of keeping your equipment locked up. If you have anymore wise advice that you can send me on starting a business please don`t hesitate to send it to me. I look forward to getting started.
    Thanks again
    • 3 posts
    March 30, 2009 5:39 PM EDT
    Do you know of anyone who has purchased a sage oil vac system or a lube and go system  with pumps and do you have any recommendations on which system is the best? Which would be best an open trailor or an enclosed trailor?
    [/QUOTEjithiel]Tell me what seem to work best when it come to serving the same customer over again? Is it the same as the lube shop?Do u just put a reminder in the window and wait for a phone call?How can u tell when they have gone 3000 miles or do u just call every two or three months? Thanks.
    jithiel3/31/2009 12:06 AM
    • 18 posts
    February 28, 2009 3:28 AM EST
    I have been in the Mobile Oil Change Business for 8 years here in Central Texas... I can tell you that it is a GREAT business to be in!
    I haven`t been affected by the current economical situation at all!! And Business is still growing.

    When are you thinking of launching your business??  >> That is important because you need to be pre-marketing for at least 3 to 4 months ahead of opening so that you hit the ground running...

    Focusing on fleet business may sound great but one thing you have to consider >> Most companies with fleets don`t pay out right away... They pay every month at a set date or 30-45-60 days from service completion. >> Some companies have fleet services that you must register with to take a special card like GE Capital and many other like them.
    I am not saying not to go for them >> I am saying that you could starve if you focus on them.
    Why?? How much money are you going to have to spend in materials and supplies and ectra insurance in some cases before you see a return?? At some points I have $15,000-20,000 floating out there waiting to come in... But my regular privately owned clients pay right away!

    How do you get the most long term clients in the shortest amount of time?? I will tell you how to pick up 25-40 NEW clients a days....
    Have 1/4 page fliers printed up in at least 2 colors and then go knock on doors... It is not a very popular thing to do >> Most people want to pay a load of money to advertisers and wait for the phone to ring >> But that won`t work ( It tried that and It would have been more productive and fun to just burn a few thousands buck in the fireplace)
    Why does door knocking work?? Because you start out by building report with your potential client with face time... (Critical)
    Many people will say that you spread yourself too thin by going for the private owners and not the fleet guys... Why would you do that?? Well... Think about it... What else are you going to do between those fleet clients?? You are going to need fillers and those fillers pay right away!! CASH IN HAND!!
    I love cash flow!! That is what is going to make your business grow!!

    Another way to market is what I am doing this weekend... Set up a booth at a local trade show... I have one set up this weekend at a local "Home & Garden Show" >> Why H&G? Because every year they get about 10,000 visitors that walk through and they all drove to get there!! Every Single one of them is a potential client and they are GOING to use a service "Like" mine >> So why not ask them directly to give mine a try?? I fully expect to pick up 200 new clients this weekend and that is looking good since I picked up a couple of dozen just talking to other exhibitors that set up there also. These shows work very well but when you are started out you need to keep you focus on growth every day... Good traffic trade shows happen 3-4 times a years in most markets so they can`t be the only marketing tool in the bag... Door knocking can be done every day and one thing you are going to have is time... You have to use that time like you use you money... You have to make it work for you.

    I can tell you a lot more... but it is probably better if you just ask questions...


    • 18 posts
    February 28, 2009 2:03 PM EST
    What kind of start-up investment are you looking to make?
    If you are on a shoestring budget... well... buy case oil and start a filter stocking agreement with a local supplier until you get a cash flow to reinvest back into you business....
    If you have a little to invest to get an on board dispensing system >> Ebay.... Search for someone that is selling because you will usually find a generic setup pretty cheap....
    If you are serious and going to hit the ground running and want the very best... buy or build a pressure/vacuum system similar to Sage Oil Vac.

    As far as Suppliers and vendors >>> you are pretty much going to have to go with whatever is local... some people can make the drop shipping work but I like to have a personal relationship with my suppliers... it help for when you are making bids on contracts and such.
    Green?? I guess you are talking about environmental concerns??
    I sell my waste oil to recyclers.... tell you the truth >>> Most people here in Texas are more concerned about how much my service cost rather than how "Green" I operate.
    Another Idea for startup is to ask you local supplier what equipment they can supply you with if you agree to buy you materials from them instead of their competitors.... Many of them will supply pumps, tanks, reels, guns etc...  They won`t have a clue when if comes to a mobile service but they can set up a warehouse or garage so that you can store and resupply your service truck.


    • 18 posts
    March 6, 2009 3:04 PM EST
    Hey Froggie!
    Good to hear form another fellow mobile guy.
    I have only been at it for 8 years and I work with my wife... It is much nicer than employees...
    I am not sure where you are working at but her in central Texas >>> There is not any competition so I find that there is a great deal of money and demand from fleets... In my market I have not really gone after any business in over 5 years but I see slow steady growth every year simply from referrals... Granted I am not in a huge market... The Population in my area is about 150K in the city limits and about another 150K in the county. I do agree that you make a higher profit margin on the individual owners but if you include travel time between the units... The difference is negligible.
    Basically the way I have my schedule structured is to start out at about 6:00 to 7:30 AM at my first fleet where I generally service between 5-15 units and then move on to some individual owners until about lunch time and I might have a few small fleets scheduled right after lunch if they meet back at their office... Then I hit a few more privately owned units until the after noon when fleet vehicles start making there way back to the yard and I usually set up to get them as the return until I have all the ones I was scheduled to service....
    On the average day I service 15 to 30 vehicles and it is usually about half and half (fleet/private)

    The Main thing to remember... When you are out building your client base.... Don`t swing for the fences every time... You will make a LOT more money if you focus on the retail private owner and work the fleets in as you go...

    As for working "in" an enclosed trailer... No way I would do that here in Texas... I set my rig up so that I can service 6 to 8 vehicles arranged around the rear of the trailer. My wife does the vehicle moving, paper work, and customer service and I do the "dirty" work. We have worked out a very effective and efficient method of operation... We can service up to 12 units per hour with a high degree of accuracy (If the client doesn`t want to come out and talk).... Of course I have my rig set up for speed and efficiency also... I built it myself and it is base loosely on the Sage Oil design but with a LOT of tweaks and modifications... I carry 300 Gallons of Fresh Oil (4 types) and I have a 215 Gallon Waste Oil tank.... I don`t have any pumps which reduces a lot of maintenance and repair issues I had with my last rig and I have my air compressor setup to pull a Vacuum (at the touch of a switch) on the waste tank (down to 29-30hg) to suck the oil out of the drain pan.... I run my compressor once a day for about 30 to 45 minutes to charge the system with air pressure and vacuum and I don`t have to listen to it the rest of the day! (nice!)>>> So I installed a nice stereo to listen to...LOL...


    • 18 posts
    March 9, 2009 9:48 AM EDT
    I understand....
    Nice Rig by the way!!
    I am in a MUCH different environment here in Central Texas... We don`t have large employers here in town outside of Texas A&M University and I tend to stay away from there because it is too chaotic.
    I have a couple of deal with employers that set it up that way but they only employee 10-30 people and I usually service 30% of those plus the company fleet if they have one.
    My service rig is set up completely different than yours...I like yours but I like the speed of working on the ground... I understand the environmental concern and it is an issue that I deal with... However My first client was TxDot (State Road Dept) and they have a large number of off road, big industrial truck, and heavy equipment that has to be done on the ground... I also service farms/ranches and all the equipment that they use... Like I said >> Different Business environment
    You average ticket sounds pretty good... Last year mine was a little over $55  >> Keep in mind that I do a lot of light and heavy diesels equipment which tends to drive the average ticket up a lot.
    I also do air - fuel (diesels) - wipers....
    This last year we finally started taking a vacation.... Very much needed!!
    This year we are doing a 4 day weekend every month to get away and recharge...

    No doubt that this is a great business to be in >> I love the flexibility and security of it.

    Where are you located?? I couldn`t get your link to work...


    Oilgut3/9/2009 6:02 PM