On the road to save the day

by Andy Bryenton

When things go wrong around your home or business, it’s good to know that there are specialists out there ready to come to you and fix the problem. While we’re less in need, these days, of mobile armourers and harpsichord tuners, there’s still ample areas of expertise where it’s best if the skills and tools come to you rather than the other way around. From vets to cleaning services, painters and decorators to caterers, there’s a fleet of vans and trucks out there poised to solve almost any issue you could imagine.

It is a very modern way of doing things, of course, some would say an import from the United States, where the mass production of the automobile and the proliferation of freeways and suburbs led to a culture of on-call, 24/7 customer satisfaction. Indeed, this is the nation, which gave us the mobile alligator wrangler, the mobile Elvis impersonator and the mobile taxidermist to name but a few. The concept of calling in the professionals goes back a very long way, in fact, one of the earliest written items we can translate, from the Sumerian era, is a receipt for calling in the builders. In old England, folks of good repute could summon a master from one of the great guilds to offer them a commission although a horse and cart took much longer than today’s ubiquitous white van.

It’s the advent of the van, which really enabled the mobile serviceperson to shine. Office, workshop, tool storage, transport and often blazoned with marketing as well; the van has been a game changer. One of the most popular, Ford’s iconic Transit, has sold more than eight million units worldwide and serves in industries as varied as flower delivery and professional wrestling. Today, locally, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to calling in a helping hand. It’s a good thing too, not just because the rise of television programmes about renovations have seen a sharp upswing in attempted do-it-yourself work gone pear-shaped. A hectic and busy world means we are all specialists in a way, and the complexity of modern systems in areas like IT, refrigeration or auto repair means it’s solid good sense to rely on those who are trained and qualified. The fact that they will come right to your door is definitely a fact to be celebrated.