The Mobile Mechanic
Jerry Claborn comes to your car when it’s in need, wherever that may be
There is concierge service at hotels, concierge doctors who make house calls and concierge security details who can keep you safe. I don’t use any of those services, but I do have a concierge mechanic. OK, maybe he’s better known as a mobile mechanic.
He comes to my house to fix my car or meets me at the various places my car breaks down. Yesterday, yes, on a Sunday, he came over to fix a faulty battery cable. It is beyond convenient. Just knowing he is out there in the world keeps my stress levels down — a good thing in these crazy times.
The auto repair industry accounts for maintenance repairs for passenger cars and light trucks. Including an estimated 16,000 establishments across the United States, this industry is estimated to be valued at $880 billion annually. The field is anticipated to grow since the trends are for people to keep their cars longer, and the profession is relatively immune to fluctuations in the economy as a car is a necessity, not a luxury, for so many people.
My mechanic is Jerry Claborn. He learned the skills of fixing cars when he was 13 years old. His brother taught him all the things he needed to know as they fixed up an old Volkswagen.
Claborn has held other jobs in construction and plumbing. He’s also worked in auto shops, but he says he much prefers being independent.
“You get to treat people right,” he says.
Claborn has 20 regular customers and does everything from valve jobs to brakes. He says he goes on about three calls a day. While he works on all cars from Fords to Hondas, he says Audis and Jaguars are the most difficult to fix.
Claborn is quick to stress the importance of regularly checking a car’s fluids and tire pressure, and adds that when that dreaded check engine light blinks on be sure to check your gas cap. The light comes on when the gas cap isn’t screwed on tight.
Claborn drives a 1981 Chevy van, which serves as his shop, and of course, is in great running condition.
What he loves most about his job is simple.
“I don’t have any overhead.”