environmental mobile truck washing

magazine

New member
Is there a good method of doing this and keeping everyone out of trouble? Anybody else wash fleets?

1. where do you take your water? local potw? do you pretreat it before disposing it? Do they know what you have been washing?

2. is it ok to wash the trucks where they are sitting in your area or should you really be pulling each truck over a mat?
 

Biodude

Moderator
Is there a good method of doing this and keeping everyone out of trouble? Anybody else wash fleets?

1. where do you take your water? local potw? do you pretreat it before disposing it? Do they know what you have been washing?

2. is it ok to wash the trucks where they are sitting in your area or should you really be pulling each truck over a mat?

I'm sure Scott and Mike can answer this a lot better than I can, but since their quiet for the moment I will throw my 2 cents in...

Not only is it necessary to follow the Federal guidelines, but each municipality can set up additional guidelines they feel are necessary for compliance in their location so it is always beneficial to research what the local requirements are as well. We personally take our wastewater back to our shop to dispose of it to our sanitary sewer. It is preteated to some degree before it continues on to be treated by our local municipality. Yes, they are aware of what our business is and how may gallons that we send down the sewer on a monthly basis. I have also seen them testing our sewer occasionally, which is fine with us because we have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. Rather than being confrontational with our local governmental entities, we have found it beneficial to have the attitude of viewing these departments as our friends and by working together we can educate each other as respects the needs of both entities and work together to find solutions.

As far as washing locations are concerned, each location and customer are different. Some companies have as a requirement that it be washed on a mat, while others do not. Either way, it takes more work and time, so if that's what the customer wants, that is what they will have to pay for. One national trucking company located here is required to have their wastewater reclaimed. They are getting their trucks washed (poorly, I might add) by one of our competitors who charge $5.50 per tractor. This competitor has no idea how to reclaim and doesn't do it at all. They had us bid their equipment to wash and reclaim and we came in at $10.50 per piece. The fleet manager said we were crazy and that he was going to continue to let our competition wash his equipment. We told him that he would be breaking his companies manditory policy for washing their equipment and his reply was that he would take his chances. The other thing to consider is what kind of chemicals are being used to clean the trucks. Are they biodegradable? Solvents? Hot soaps or acids that are allowed to go back to the environment high on either end of the PH scale? Degreasing? All of these factors and more should seriously be considered for an environmentally concious fleet washer.
 

Scott Stone

New member
Is there a good method of doing this and keeping everyone out of trouble? Anybody else wash fleets?

1. where do you take your water? local potw? do you pretreat it before disposing it? Do they know what you have been washing? You need to make sure that your water is in compliance with the guidelines of the treatment plant. Usually they will just have a pH limit, and so if it is acidic you can add a base and vice versa. They also might have an oil limit, and I am sure that they will be more than willing to tell you what that is. It usually does not matter what you have been washing as long as you fall within their guidelines.

2. is it ok to wash the trucks where they are sitting in your area or should you really be pulling each truck over a mat? It all depends on what your local guidelines are, some require that no water touch the ground, and others are pure no off property discharge, so that if there is a retention basin on the property, you are good. The most important thing is to make the local environmental people your friends. It will amaze you how often and how much they are willing to do to help, if you are intent on doing full recovery.


Dang, I went out of town for a couple of days and I get crap. Like I am not busy enough...
 

Scott Stone

New member
Is there a good method of doing this and keeping everyone out of trouble? Anybody else wash fleets?

1. where do you take your water? local potw? do you pretreat it before disposing it? Do they know what you have been washing? You need to make sure that your water is in compliance with the guidelines of the treatment plant. Usually they will just have a pH limit, and so if it is acidic you can add a base and vice versa. They also might have an oil limit, and I am sure that they will be more than willing to tell you what that is. It usually does not matter what you have been washing as long as you fall within their guidelines.

2. is it ok to wash the trucks where they are sitting in your area or should you really be pulling each truck over a mat? It all depends on what your local guidelines are, some require that no water touch the ground, and others are pure no off property discharge, so that if there is a retention basin on the property, you are good. The most important thing is to make the local environmental people your friends. It will amaze you how often and how much they are willing to do to help, if you are intent on doing full recovery.

Dang, I went out of town for a couple of days and I get crap. Like I am not busy enough...
 

Russ Spence

Commercial Pressure Wash Expert and PWI Admin
I am no mad at ya patrtner......... JUST DONT GO NO WHERE WITHOUT CHECKING AGAIN
 

magazine

New member
Thanks for the help. I am trying to find out what is required around here but noone seems to know anything.
 

magazine

New member
let me rephrase that. Companies around here all seem to have their own opinion about reclaim. The local potw here is trying to help out but they dont really know what to do either. Your answers are exactly what I thought but nothing is really set in stone. Thanks.
 

allcleanpwd

New member
Hey Terry as a fellow powerwasher here in Arkansas I know there are regs but not many of the trucking companies outside of Little Rock seem to really obide by them mostly because its not inforced much outside of the capital city. How ever there are'nt many guys here in Arkansas offering this type of washing and most of the bigger companies like Continental, CalArk, and J.B.Hunt take care of there own. If you want my opinion go for the smaller accounts here in Arkansas like the logger, excavaters and specialty hualers like that they will allow you more time to focus on any other types of power washing services you may offer and you can get the smaller accounts under so that if you do get you foot in the door of one of the big guys you will have some ref's. I use to take care of a fly ash hualer out of Redfield would make $1000 to wash 16 trucks and acid foam wash 16 trailers with a helper or 2 not bad money for a day of work. like i said around here less may be more
 

Christopher

Moderator
That is something that I have not tried, acid foaming the trailers.

I have foamed all kinds of high ph cleaners, bleach, roof cleaners, etc......

There are cleaning situations where foam is a great idea but out where it is windy, it might not work as good but it would give you longer dwell time.

I am very happy with the BioClean system.
 

Lee_Henderson

New member
Man are u kidding me? Really $5.50 a tractor???? Man i wont even pull the wand off my trailer for anything less than $40.00. I do mobile refer wash outs for 35 &I im still a rookie. There's no way in hell i could go even as low as 10.00. Again no profit in fleet wash. Far too competative, over regulated, and troublesome to fool with unless you have accounts that can keep u going all day every weekend. And those accounts are already taken and i wouldnt cut my throught that much to get them. But as im sure Russ will agree Bama is a lot like! AR in a lot of ways. Its kinda the wild west. Depending on where you are...you can pretty much get away with murder. My experiance with ADEM is that they're a bunch of cubical dwellers who hate sunlight and live for paid holidays. So the very idea of reclaiming anything is kinda funny to me as i only know of one truck wash that does it. If i do them at all i wash em where they sit. I tried washing trucks and i cant make any money at it. I am open to sugestions. I'vve had to brush everything. I dont know any better way. And equipment....3 weeks ago i spent 5 1/2 hrs washing 2 tri axle dump trucks & 2 of the greeseiest nasty Bobcats you could imagine. Wont touch one again with out the right chem to do it. Again im open to any suggestions.
 

Paul Kassander

New member
that pricing was from 2007, that guy is probably gone and I know Blaine is higher than that now. Recollection is not always necessary depending on your situation and local requirements. It also is not all that difficult to do and can raise your bottom line allowing for more profit.

There are ways to properly clean vehicles without damaging the surface and eliminate brushing in most cases (such as 2 step cleaning). However there is nothing that will completly replace brushing of the surface, again that comes at a price to the customer. You can make money fleet washing you just have to determine what the customers expectations are and price accordingly.
 

Christopher

Moderator
Good time to talk about your event coming up Paul, maybe they can get some private tutoring from you on fleetwashing?

Sounds like a good idea to me.
 

Kiloman

New member
Good post Paul you can one two three step trucks but the old swinging brush needs to be done sometimes.
 
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