RUTHERFORD, N.J. — At 9 a.m. Thursday, a Nomad Oil van pulled up to a Toyota RAV4 at the Meadows Office Complex in Rutherford.
Inside, its owner worked.
Outside, on the service road, mechanic Roberto Gonzalez changed its oil and rotated the tires.
When it was time to go home for the day, the owner was able to jump into a maintained car.
That was just the kind of seamless, easy scenario Eric Pearson, founder of Nomad Oil, used to dream about.
His mobile auto service – used in lieu of a garage for routine maintenance – first hit the road a year ago and is now busy throughout North Jersey but especially in Bergen County.
It does 85 percent of its business in Bergen around the hubs of Teaneck, Fort Lee, Hackensack, and Paramus – and everywhere in between.
“I used to be a corporate employee and I had trouble getting my car serviced,” said Pearson, who lives in Montclair.
“Whenever I was at work, the garages were open,” he added. “Whenever I had time to get the car serviced, the garages were closed.”
Typically, Nomad works in office parks. Think the Route 208 corporate corridor in Franklin Lakes and the Montvale/Park Ridge area.
Nomad is huge in those places.
It also services the Avis fleet in Ridgewood, contractors who work for major companies such as FedEx, and small businesses, including Jewel Electric in Jersey City.
Pearson thinks of his staff as the automotive equivalent of primary care physicians.
They do the maintenance. For instance, they change oil, rotate tires, change air filters, change wiper blades, provide antifreeze or coolant, and more.
But if a car needs surgery – repair – Nomad refers its owner to a trustworthy local mechanic.
Business is building as customers grasp all that Nomad entails:
- It uses synthetic oil, which lets the driver go longer between oil changes;
- It has a robust insurance policy and is covered just as a full garage is;
- It uses mats that capture and contain oil under cars so as not to damage the environment.
But one of the best parts of Nomad is its easy interface. A customer grabs a smartphone, goes to www.nomadoil.com, fills out some information, chooses a time and place for service, pays, and clicks Submit.
Voila. Done. It takes a few minutes and the Nomad Oil calendar automatically uploads online.
“We’re about to introduce the capability to save your vehicle info,” Pearson said.
That will streamline the process even more.