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Mobile Questions

We have been contemplating for some time now about doing mobile replacements. We are a small family owned business my brother, father and myself. Currently we do in shop replacements and flat glass work. We live in an area in Northern California where we don’t get much competition from the large companies like Safelite, however we do have a lot of competition from other small shops like ourselves. Most of these local installers are mobile. It is hard to compete with these guys when are prices are nearly the same, in most cases ours are lower, and they are eating up the jobs because they are mobile. When people call us now and request mobile service we tell them that we can give them a ride back home/work and pick them up after their vehicle has had the required time to set up. This works for some people but most just want mobile. We are tired of losing these jobs to the mobile companies and see no reason now why we shouldn’t be in the mix. However, I still have my reservations about doing mobile installations.

Since we do most of our cutouts using an air-powered cold knife, we were looking into getting a generator to use for the compressor. I was wondering if any mobile installers use a compressor for power tools or just stick with hand tools? The air-powered cold knife has saved a lot of time with cutouts.

I was also wondering what mobile installers do in bad weather? Most of the installers I know don’t have shops (that’s why they are mobile) and I get different opinions about what they do in bad weather. Some say they won’t do an install when it is raining out. Others say they just put up one of those portable canopies and do the install under that. I can’t imagine doing an install in the rain.

Sorry for the long post. Feel free to add any tidbits about doing mobile installs or reasons not to do them. Thanks!


Re: Mobile Questions

Get a small truck or van and go for it , Id say get off the air powered knife deal and learn to use other tools of the trade.

Re: Mobile Questions


Thanks for the response. We have a truck we use for flat glass. Thought we could put a rack in the bed when doing mobile installs. I think I know some tricks of the trade, I have been helping on and off with installs for about 10 years and doing it full time for 2. We have only upgraded to the air-powered tool for the last year or so. I guess if I need any advise on hand tools I can look you up.


Re: Mobile Questions

We have been doing mobil for a long time, but only in the past few years have felt comfortable with the urathane because of the cold. We would not install in the rain or snow even under a canopy, because the elements would still effect the instalation. It's not bad once you get use to the cold ....good luck from Chicago,Il

Re: Mobile Questions

Bryan, we have over the last few years spent alot of time and $$$ on educating the consumer why it's not a good idea to install their w/s in their back-yard or drive way. Yes there are times you have to go mobile and should prepare and be able to accomodate. We had a customer this summer that when a tree cam down in a storm, basically shattered the w/s. there was so much glass falling from this vehicle that I immediately got it out of the resort it was at, drove it 30 miles back to our shop so as to not have cut-up feet from the vacationers there at the resort. The resort owner was really glad we cared enough! anyway, you need to dedicate a vehicle to going mobile, I still shuffel tools and such and is a real pain, and time consuming. I'm sure you have much better weather conditions for mobile work that we do in N. MN. We deal with Rain, snow, high humidity an heat in the summer. bugs, high winds, dirt and dust even tree sap and lots of birds with droppings. We use electic fien knifes and equilizers. Generally we ask customers if they have a garage to pull it into or explain why it is so much better to have the work done in our shop. once they know all the variables they most always provide a semi-heated shop or bring it to us. We also p/up and deliver and even have 2 courtesy cars for thier convience. Once they understand how much we care and how we do quality work they have no problem and actually prefer to bring it in! We also do residential glass, ig's storms screens etc. almost need 2 vans set up, one for auto one for flat, but we can't afford it so we work around all the dilema's. Good luck I hope the weather works for you not against you!

Re: Mobile Questions

send me an email and I'll tell you how to beat the competition hands down. I am full mobile only, ins networks, and no conventional advertising.

Re: Mobile Questions


I would be interested in hearing how you do this, please post it here!

Re: Mobile Questions

Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't lynx require you to have a shop to be on the network, wasnt metryx suppose to stop the ghost and non-existant shops from participating in the networks refferal process

Re: Mobile Questions

Lynx doesn't go out and inspect anyones operation. it's basicly on the boy scouts honor system. what a crock.

Re: Mobile Questions

I believe that you may be somewhat misled Protek.

LYNX themselves does not inspect anyones operation, but trust me they can and do alert their insurance partners to things.

Statefarm for example, has issued a 1 year suspension to at least one shop in our area for certain practices. And they do check on jobs and mouldings (being re-used and billing for new). We know they cannot and never will be able to catch every infraction, but they do check on all of us from time to time.

Just a heads up.

Re: Mobile Questions

Something else to remember about mobile installs. Yes they can be done correctly, but one of the biggest mistakes installers make is this.... they assume that if the urethane is rated to 0 degrees the job is ok to do at 0 degrees.

However, not one primer I know of currently(glass/frit or pinchweld) is to be applied below 40 degrees. So be careful with this item. Also watch closely for any condensation on the pinchweld when applying the pinchweld primer. Glass/frit primer can be pre-applied in a shop beforehand in most cases, but not the pinchweld primer. And for heavens sake I hope you do not reply that you "do not use primers"

Also research carefully any urethane that says it is "primerless to glass". This is a marketing term, not a scientific one.

Call the actual urethane technicians of the manufacturer, not the sales rep. They will most likely tell you it is a "marketing term". That most of these "primerless" urethanes have a much longer cure time as the primer component is in the actual urethane itself, some as much as a 20 hour difference vs. a one-hour urethane with seperate primers in your SDA time. And many of these urethanes are actually stating that the urethane is primerless to all fixed applications EXCEPT the windshield.

So do your homework for your sake and that of your customers. Which I am sure you all will do.

Re: Mobile Questions

No lynx does not check shops, PPG Reps are supposed to do this. I have had glass shops tell me that PPG rep told them if they have a tech in a 2 or 3 market that they should put his/her address in the Metryx system as a location and the tech as the installer for said location. Does this sound like they care weather there are ghost shops or not?

Re: Mobile Questions

FYI - this very thing was brought to Mr. Bischoff's attention at the recent AGRSS convention in Las Vegas. That being PPG reps rumored to be telling glass shops to use installer addresses, etc.(I only say this as I have never been told such by any PPG rep.)

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