These 6 People Will Bring Mobile Services to Your Door
These days, just about every service comes in a mobile truck version. You may never have to leave your house again!
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An Ambulance for Animals
Doctor Walter Lam's ambulence isn't for humans, it's for pets.
Photo: Olivier Koning
When you’re a veterinarian who makes house calls, you tend to run into some unexpected situations. Walter Lam, of Mobile Veterinary Services, says he can’t believe how many big potbelly pigs he’s treated in downtown Honolulu. “They’re up to 200 or 300 pounds,” he says. “I’m so surprised when I find them in a one-room apartment, on the 25th floor.”
Lam, a soft-spoken guy who tends to be more comfortable with animals than people, cares for dogs, cats, horses, pigs and goats all over O‘ahu, many of them in situations that make it inconvenient to transport them to a vet’s office. (Does a pig in a high-rise take the elevator or the stairs?) He says treating them in place also minimizes the stress on the animals at a time when they’re already sick and suffering.
Lam used to treat animals at the Honolulu Zoo and the Hawaiian Humane Society, but these days, equipped with his well-outfitted animal ambulance, he drives all over the island, wherever he’s needed. In fact, the Kāhala resident says, “Ninety percent of my business is in ‘Ewa Beach and on the North Shore.”
Thiago Roitman will bang your car ...
There are a lot of things that can create dents and dings in local cars—fender benders, runaway shopping carts, carelessly flung doors—but Thiago Roitman was inspired to create his mobile Pro Dent Hawai‘i business by something that O‘ahu drivers almost never have to deal with: hail stones. “I saw a program on TV about people traveling to fix dents after hail storms. It seemed like a really good idea.”
Seven years later, he’s become a pro at finessing out the craters and folds in car metal, often well enough to make the surface as good as new. “It looks simple, but it’s really hard to do it well,” he says. “Eighty percent of the people in my training program with me quit before they were able to do it right.”
A skilled touch pays off, though—Roitman says he’s able to rescue cars from more drastic repairs, using just simple tools. “It saves a lot of money,” he says. “People tell me they’ve gotten quotes from a body shop for $1,000 or more, and I could fix that same dent for a couple hundred.”
For part of the year, Roitman flies to the Mainland to pursue his original inspiration. “During hail storm season, I go to where the hail is, Oklahoma, Colorado, places like that, and fix dents after a storm hits,” he says. But don’t worry, Hawai‘i drivers: Roitman says, “I have a friend who works with me here in Hawai‘i, so our local service never stops.”