Checklist Limo Repairs & Service

Remembering Stephen Covey for Limo Service

Organization and efficiency is just a series of checklists, right?! ✓

I admire the server at the 5-star restaurant with a photographic memory.  Is he or she really going to remember the side of blue cheese, extra crispy wings, not to mention the substitutions for that party of 9,  with extra lemon for five soda waters and more?  I certainly couldn’t do it on memory without a list. 

What about for a limo operation?  The Chauffeur alone is like a server on wheels who preps the bar with ice, provides an assortment of beverages, play DJ or sets up your blue tooth, makes reservations for the hottest clubs and more, all while driving you safely.  

Before each trip starts, there is a checklist for pre-trip planning in order to maintain consistent execution.  Efficiency requires advance planning, coordination and preparation.  Can’t forget to ice those beverages at least 20 mins prior so the champagne has a chance to chill.  But wait, it’s summer time, and a limousine AC doesn’t cool down quickly in idle when you’re trying to beat the Arizona heat, etc.

I remember learning that pilots at American Airlines still do a traditional walk around inspection of their aircraft to check the tires and wings.  Sounding redundant?  Check this.  Check that.  Make another list to check, check, check… I do the same visual inspections minus the wings, and holding my nifty PSI meter gives me a sense of utility as if I’m an official FAA inspector, especially with my clipboard in hand.  They say art can reflect culture but it can also work in reverse, just as becoming the uniform is nothing new for those of us in the service industry whether I’m dressed for the role of mechanic, chauffeur or owner.  As a Chauffeur & Owner, checking off each item despite the uniform is ultimately aimed at sewing trust, gaining repeat customers and earning 5 star reviews!       

In this business, preparation makes a huge difference but unexpected traffic jams, sudden road closures and mechanical issues can spring up faster than a gust of wind during monsoon season.  It helps to anticipate road blocks and prepare for the unknown, right?  Unfortunately, we all know life can throw us knee buckling curve balls so you better have a Plan B.  For me, that’s picking up my cell phone and calling Eddie Montano.   Eddie keeps the operation running like a well-oiled machine.  He literally saved my business when other shops were seemingly overcharging me and trying to sell me unnecessary services.
So, how would Stephen Covey run a limo company is what I asked myself before I met Eddie?  I remember taking his course, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”  My biggest take away from this class was the visual illustration called the “circle of influence.”  My lasting impression from this course helped me to recognize we all have concerns and areas we cannot control

Eddie Montano – Limo Repair

Discovering this space called the “circle of influence” felt like the logical home where the serenity prayer lives.  God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Circle of Influence

What can I control?  Being well groomed, dressed in a black-tie suit, cleaning the limousine, loading the bar with ice and an assortment of beverages, etc.  Did I plan to arrive 20 minutes early?   

What are my concerns? I want my customers to have an amazing time and love the experience of course.  A limo outing is always a special occasion, so you pray there isn’t any kind of mechanical problem or unexpected traffic issue.  It’s more than just taking a customer from Point A to Point B safely.  I want to bring that glowing vibrant ambiance, dazzle them with luxury, and always, always, always gotta keep it professional and fun, fun, fun!  And my biggest concern is so clear.   You guessed it…  It’s about avoiding a mechanical breakdowns.  This the nightmare for any chauffeur or limo company.  I imagine Stephen Covey’s car never breaks down, right?  A break down is everything you want to avoid if you’re efficient like Stephen Covey, right!?  The limo must run smoothly!  So, if I can’t control it, how can I influence it is the question. 

My circle of influence? When it comes to influencing the best possible maintenance reliability for my car, it ultimately comes down to finding a mechanic I can trust and letting go.  As a startup business, the wrong mechanic can bankrupt you pretty quickly, too.  The only move I could do is interview mechanic after mechanic until I found someone I trusted who’s competent and assessable .  The answer to my serenity prayer has certainly been a trusted mechanic along side proactive maintenance logs.  I would not be exaggerating to say Eddie has been an answer to my prayers and my biggest influencer outside of what I can directly control.  I was tired of other shops making me feel like a Valencia orange with the sole purpose of squeezing my bank account.   

I learned a lot in a shot time from Eddie and I’m thankful he specializes in specific vehicles like the Lincoln Town Car and other popular American makes and models.   He has shared nuances and tips that previous mechanics left out.  It’s just a different language of trust and transparency I was not experiencing.  Getting things done the right the first time saves me time, money and and most importantly, prevents headaches.  

I knew he was cut from a different kind of cloth when he fixed a problem 3 different mechanics couldn’t figure out over 3 months when he humbly said, “it’s hard” as he humbly and nonchalantly refers to his reoccurring training certifications on the wall.  He went on to explain, specializing in certain vehicles instead of trying to service all vehicle types leads to mistakes and issues with problem solving.  He’s also shared with me some trouble-shooting tricks I can do when he’s not around, like how to jump my aux battery with my secondary alternator if I ever accidentally leave my inverter on. 

In summary, I know my concerns and I accept what I cannot control.  As for the proverbial circle of influence, I connected 3 points below from my experience. 

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