Cleaner-times Environmental Article

Tony Shelton

BS Detector, Esquire
Thats what happens when "Expert" equipment sales lobbyists are chosen as a source of information instead of contractors who have taken the initiative to learn and apply the law.

That whole issue of scare tactics is just a small preview if what the PWNA has in store for all of us with the crew they have lined up to start knocking on our state officials' doors.

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Christopher

Moderator
I am sure that the lady was trying to be helpful with writing the article but for future reference she should contact actual contractors that do this for a living, know what they are doing, don't take pictures of companies that are doing things the right way, keeping the wash water on property and not letting it run down the alley street so the neighbors can see the trash and grease, etc......

You are right Ron, that could have easily been contained at the edge of the property, been less work, been done with the job faster without having to setup stuff that far away which does not make any sense to me at all why they did that. It looks like part of a youtube video I saw the other day, I think the company was wow out of colorado cleaning up a similar situation, might have been them or another company.

Using scare tactics is a crappy way to try to get work and I hope more and more customers, PM's, Property Owners and Business Owners are made aware of these cheap selling tactics so they can determine a quality contractor to hire without getting scared in the process.
 

Christopher

Moderator
There is something interesting that happens when you talk to a contractor vs. talking to a vendor a lot of times.

Talking to a vendor will tell you certain things about the machinery, why it should be used, theoretically how it will save time, money, help the environment, how it should be used, how it should be lobbied into use, etc....

Talking to a contractor will tell you if the equipment works at all for the purpose intended and if he is happy with it, the rest does not matter.

Why is the magazine so concerned with orgs, what they think, what they want to do, etc......? Do the orgs buy most of the subscriptions or do the contractors out there working for a living buy the most subscriptions? Maybe I am different but I would write about what the subscribers want to read about, not worry about what the orgs out there want published or promoted or using scare tactics in articles.
 

bigchaz

Moderator
Pretty sure cleaner times could care less if contractors read their magazine

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We just need to be Careful with what we Publish

Thanks Ron. Something I have noticed also on a similar note is how some PW contractors like to get the live shots and post them on their website. The problem I see over and over again is safety and appearance where is see cleaner dudes out in front of a business wearing street clothes like sneaker and shorts. They don't do themselves or the industry any justice by showing their lack of professionalism right on the front page of their website or marketing materials.

Somebody please tell me if I ever look that way..... you guys would tell me right? Maybe in private..
 

Tony Shelton

BS Detector, Esquire
I prefer boots and shorts. I think customers are willing to pay more if their cleaning is done with style! :p

I don't see how guys work in sneakers. I have to have waterproof boots.

On the environmental side it doesn't seem contractors are taught where the line is that goes from guaranteed legal and safe to possibly illegal and maybe even unsafe with the wrong chemicals.

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Flipper

Moderator
As someone who sells environmental equipment, I can attest that it is a fine line that we have to walk when discussing our products.

As a vendor, talking about environmental compliance makes the whole sales process odd at times. I love selling washers because they solve a problem and make people's lives easier. People are excited to buy new cleaning systems and very happy when they get them. I've sold thousands of wash water recycling systems and can tell you that I can not recall anyone ever being excited about buying one of those. Very few people buy environmental products because they want them, they are almost always purchased because an issue has been forced. It never ceases to amaze me how environmental products are bought. When speaking with a customer, its either casual interest at best, or an emergency and they need the equipment yesterday. People buying these machines are doing so because they are trying to comply with a law, so that issue has to be discussed with the customer at some point in the presentation. There really isn't a pleasant way to tell someone they are breaking the law if they don't change their business practice.

I remember about fifteen years ago I was at a Navy base watching them wash the engines off a P3 aircraft. I knew those were the same engines that are on a C130 and that washing them generates a waste stream with cadmium and chromium, two very serious pollutants. I watched them do this and saw the water go through a French drain into the St. Johns river. I pulled the commanding officer aside and told him what was in his waste water and what he was doing was against the law. I gave him a price on a clay flocculation unit that would have eliminated the problem for about $7500. A month later I called him to see it he had any luck getting the money for the project and was passed up his chain of command until I spoke with the assistant base commander. Apparently a few days after my visit, the state DEP was out there for a scheduled inspection and tested several waste streams. They nailed them on the exact problem I had warned them about.

Guess who they blamed for getting caught.

I was told to never step foot on the base again and after paying a one million dollar fine, they ended up buying a system for over $200,000 that did the same thing as my $7,500 unit. There was nothing I could say or do that would convince them I hadn't ratted them out.

So that a story from the other side of the fence.
 

Scott Stone

New member
I am still trying to figure out what qualifies an expert as an expert. I do not consider myself an expert at much of anything, but I am pretty good at doing a lot of things well enough to make it happen. I recently saw a post somewhere that a guy was being proclaimed an expert on environmental cleaning, when he just bought his first reclaim rig. I guess it is all in how you position yourself.
I do know that if I was to choose an expert, a lot of the things that would help me decide is if they could coherently, and correctly respond to the most simple of questions. There are many that try to prop themselves up, that do not have a clue what the requirements are for environmental compliance.
 

Tony Shelton

BS Detector, Esquire
People buying these machines are doing so because they are trying to comply with a law, so that issue has to be discussed with the customer at some point in the presentation. There really isn't a pleasant way to tell someone they are breaking the law if they don't change their business practice.

Hello Philip,

You are exactly right about this from an industrial perspective. If you are selling to an industrial customer who has a specific problem at their fixed location it's pretty easy to know where the line is drawn.

Your quote above is right on when it comes to the end user at a fixed location.

BUT, in this industry we have a lot of yahoos who don't even know the difference between a sewer and a storm drain or anything about interceptors or even what a "point source" is going around in front of city councils, inspectors, and even the police lobbying with their rhetoric specifically designed to suck money out of the economy by using fear and ignorance as the motivation.

All this to JUSTIFY the $40 grand they just spent on a system that just sits in the driveway all the time doing nothing.

IF someone wants to specialize in some part of cleaning that REQUIRES that type of thing, like cleaning greasy fleets or industrial plants that may runoff into a waterway or "point source" such as the storm drain as recently defined by the EPA - then they might need that 40k machine. But the problem is they want to try to lump ALL cleaning into that mold so they can pay off the huge debt they have on the equipment. There is plenty of inexpensive equipment that can be used when needed without the regular contract cleaner having to worry about keeping up with some cowboy who wants to scare the crap out of all his customers with lies. We use some of the inexpensive equipment ourselves and it works just fine.

If more money was spent designing better pressure washers, like Landa has done with their adjustable baseplates and less time trying to fit cleaners into the same mold and working the government for "BMPs" that lump us all in a bad light we would all be better off for it.

Thanks for your comments Philip.
 

Tony Shelton

BS Detector, Esquire
I am still trying to figure out what qualifies an expert as an expert. I do not consider myself an expert at much of anything, but I am pretty good at doing a lot of things well enough to make it happen. I recently saw a post somewhere that a guy was being proclaimed an expert on environmental cleaning, when he just bought his first reclaim rig. I guess it is all in how you position yourself.
I do know that if I was to choose an expert, a lot of the things that would help me decide is if they could coherently, and correctly respond to the most simple of questions. There are many that try to prop themselves up, that do not have a clue what the requirements are for environmental compliance.

An expert is not somone who hears something from a government employee then parrots that around like it's gospel.

Like "ONE drop of caustic could destroy the bacteria that causes the sewer system to function"

That's the mark of an idiot. Not an expert. (both the source AND the parrot)

I'm no expert, but I will guarantee you I've read as much or more than anyone on this board regarding the Clean Water Act over the past three years. And that includes the experts who are experts simply because they have been considered "experts" for a long time.

Go ahead and ask me a question Scott. It will be answered. If I don't know it I'll find it. To me that's a lot more reliable than just spouting off the same old false answers that have been going around for years.
 

Doug Rucker

Roundtable Host 2009
I'm just gonna start using hay, or back pack blowers, Or just add more water so everything get's diluted more... Lot;s of inexpensive ways.
 

Ron Musgraves

Exterior Restoration Specialist
Staff member
Here's what really matters, is we can discuss why things are wrong or right. Other places we only get one opinion


Ron Musgraves text me for questions 480-522-5227 Pressure Washing Institute
 

Christopher

Moderator
Here's what really matters, is we can discuss why things are wrong or right. Other places we only get one opinion


Ron Musgraves text me for questions 480-522-5227 Pressure Washing Institute

+1000

Should also add, "modify" or delete posts or threads at someone's discretion according to their interpretation of whatever they want.

It is great posting here and talking without fear of posts being deleted or the fear of being banned for the littlest things.
 

Ron Musgraves

Exterior Restoration Specialist
Staff member
Please guys lets not Slam this guy, he is trying to understand how to do this right. Keep in mind we have had 20 of incorrect practices.
 

Tony Shelton

BS Detector, Esquire
Cleaner Times should have sent him a check for his part in bringing in that advertiser placed in the story text. lol.

There is a time and place for recovery. The idea that everything we wash requires recovery is what drives this over regulation.
 

Christopher

Moderator
I agree Ron, that should have been kept on site, it could have been taken care of very easily using the same tools they were using.

If they wanted to clean the alley, that also is no problem using modern tools with the vacuum recovery.

I would have taken care of the immediate area then cleaned the street to get rid of any possible grease if it tracked out that far from the grease can.

These pictures are on one of their youtube videos showing them cleaning the same area I believe.

They should get to one of Jerry's environmental certification classes, it would help them understand more about reclaim/recovery, help them stay compliant and see lots and lots of different methods of doing similar jobs without spending a fortune on non-needed equipment.
 

Tony Shelton

BS Detector, Esquire
Chris S just used Jerry's vacuum at a 20ft x 300ft grease spill.

Took 24 hrs.

This job could have easily been done with a shop vac, but I don't think any shop vac we've had would run 24hrs without a hitch like Jerry's vacuum does.

There is a time and place for reclaim. But that's not EVERY time and EVERY place.
 
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