Late one Sunday evening, chauffeur Joel Sanchez of my company, Limousine Scene in Bakersfield, Calif., was descending the treacherous Grapevine Highway from its 5,000 foot summit. Loaded with 16 teenagers returning from a day at an amusement park, Sanchez had no idea how difficult the evening was about to get. With the parents of the young teens following in a private vehicle, a truck ahead struck some large debris in the roadway, which tossed it into the path of our 20-passenger Excursion limousine.
The chunk of wood hit the front of the vehicle with such force that the headlight assembly was knocked out of place. The inner fender liner was destroyed along with a good portion of the running board below the driver's door. The tire exploded upon impact and the shredding tire caused even more damage as it flew in all directions.
Sanchez managed to keep the vehicle in control and bring it to a stop in a safe location. He exited the vehicle to check on his passengers and inspect the damage. He realized it would not be a quick tire change. Sanchez called his dispatcher who quickly sent company mechanic Gary Wescot to the scene. Meanwhile, another limousine was dispatched to the location about 40 miles away from the company's base.
Wescot keeps his truck stocked and ready to respond anytime, anywhere. He arrived on the scene about 45 minutes later. During this time, the passengers were kept inside the limousine for their safety. Wescot sheared away damaged pieces and removed debris around the tire before he secured the headlight back into place for the continued trip home.
The other vehicle dispatched was turned around before ever arriving because of the fast response of an in-house mechanic. More importantly, there were so many other issues avoided while saving a lot of money. A tow service or a mobile repair service may not be able to respond quickly, depending on other demand. A repair in a remote area would result in a hefty bill just for the response, not to mention labor and parts. This incident alone justifies the expense of employing a mechanic who can respond quickly with company-owned tools and in-house expertise.
Hiring a Mechanic Can Reduce Expenses