Summer 2019

jvahaly

EDITOR’S

NOTE

As most PW News readers know, three

primary entities serve the pressure wash

industry. The Power Washers of North

America (PWNA) is a trade organization

that is specific to pressure washers. The

United Association of Mobile Contract

Cleaners (UAMCC) is, as its title suggests,

a “united” organization for not just pressure

washers but also window cleaners,

janitorial services, carpet cleaners, and

other general cleaners. And the Pressure

Washing Resource Association (PWRA)

provides resources for individual contractors

to grow but does not serve any type of

certificatory or regulatory function.

There are benefits to all. As an individual

contractor, it is not unrealistic (and,

arguably, sensible) to be a member of all

three. How better to stay on top of industry

trends, new ideas to grow your business,

and networking for support and education?

When I talk to people in the industry, they

consistently tell me that the biggest thing

that holds back this industry is the industry

itself. What they mean by that is that there

are a lot of operators out there nationwide

who would like to “play professional,”

who are often already members of one of

these professional associations, and who

are perhaps even trying to “step up their

game.” But they still won’t wear their safety

ropes, they still do business under the table,

they still want to cheat the government on

their taxes, and they still don’t want to obey

OSHA laws.

It has to stop.

The

Road Ahead

Most companies out there check all

those boxes successfully. Nevertheless, there

are still far too many marginal companies

that occasionally think about checking

those boxes but never do. Let’s be honest: a

large portion of the industry is comprised

of a bunch of trunk slammers and gypsies

running around cleaning driveways for

$50 and really dragging the rest of the

industry down. That’s not unlike a lot of

industries. We are not unique in that. But

that’s no excuse for not dealing with such

problems head-on.

Every time someone in our industry

goes looking for the shortcut, or fails to

deal with safety and OSHA requirements,

or workers comp requirements, and they

do so because they’re more interested in

skirting around them than acknowledging

these are the things they have to deal with,

and that they need to be compliant with

regulations like the Clean Water Act,

we all suffer. Allowing members in our

industry to persist with the attitude of

‘don’t tell me what to do, if I want to get

up on roof without my safety ropes on

that’s my decision, it’s not going to

hurt anybody else,’ is simply

no longer feasible. Because

in fact it does hurt other

people. The minute that

person falls off the roof and

gets injured or dies, it registers

on the entire industry’s loss modification

risk ratio, plummets our collective

reputation, and raises rates for all of us

(not to mention the unnecessary

loss of life).

No wonder when you walk

into your local bank to borrow

money to build a building or

something like that that they too often

look at you and say ‘oh, you’re just some

stupid little pressure washing company.’

Why? Because we’re too often acting like

stupid little pressure washing companies!

Holding such companies accountable

and even pulling their membership from

the associations are reasonable outcomes.

Associations train people to use safety

ropes to get up on roofs and when those

companies flaunt and violate the requirements

it should jeopardize their membership.

There must be accountability.

Everything boils down to leadership.

Either those companies need to start

following the guidelines or the leadership

in this industry needs to bare more teeth.

Losing membership or even creating

controversy is less important than doing

what’s right. At the least, such

Let’s be honest:

a large portion

of the industry is

comprised of a

bunch of trunk

slammers & gypsies

running around

cleaning driveways

for $50 and really

dragging the rest of

the industry down.

members should remove the association’s

sticker from the side of their truck and the

association’s name from their marketing

materials. They must be held to a standard,

be certified, and essentially ‘cut the crap’

if the pressure wash industry is going to

truly mature as an industry. No doubt all of

the associations and organizations representing

this industry can agree on that.

I, for one, believe we’ve reached

that point and that matters are set to be

improved – which is just another reason

I continue to be so high on the future of

this industry.

Best,

Drew Ruble

drewruble@gmail.com

4 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 1, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2019

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