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2 • SUMMER 2019

While Buck slept peacefully

after switching to tokens...

Stubbs continued to meet the

local police force at an alarming rate.




While Buck slept peacefully

Stubbs continued to meet the

after switching to tokens...

local police force at an alarming rate.


OR CALL TOLL FREE 800-553-3134




PHONE 859 / 231-7100

FAX CONVERSION 859 / 231-7108 KIT



OR CALL TOLL FREE 800-553-3134

SUMMER 2019 • 3




Br' T!Yf O.','l'I

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Exclusions Apply. See Details Below

Tanks, pipe, sprayers and other large equipment are not included m this program.

Applies to Continental U.S. ground shipments only.

4 • SUMMER 2019


Snap Shot .................................................... 8

Q&A with Bob Cavalieri

Note to Self


Hot Diggity Dollar$ ............................ 16

Tricks of the Trade ............................. 24

For Your Information .......................... 32

Oh No ... It’s OSHA News

Quick Tips ............................................... 36

Looking Back ....................................... 38

Spring 2008

Industry Dirt .......................................... 42

Extra! Extra! ........................................... 48

Innovations ............................................. 50

Fun & Games ........................................ 54

Association Calendar & News ....... 56

Prices from Coast to Coast .............. 59’s ’ ....................................... 60

How self serves can learn from

the express serve model

Fill in the Blank .................................... 62

Cover Story ............................................. 64

Honky Tonk ICA

Darwin at the Carwash ...................... 75

VOL. 46, NO. 3, SUMMER 2019

Publisher Jackson Vahaly

Editor Debra Gorgos

Design Katy Barret-Alley

Editor Emeritus Jarret J. Jakubowski

Editor Posthumous Joseph J. Campbell

Editor Posthumous Julia E. Campbell

Self Serve Carwash News is published 4 times

per year and is independently owned by Jackson

Vahaly. Web address is

All inquiries should be directed to:

Self Serve Car Wash News

110 Childs Ln., Franklin, TN 37067

It is never easy, meeting other self serve operators

and not blushing at the fact that you allow

me into your headspace each season with

a new issue of Self Serve Car Wash News. I am

truly humbled by your support and readership.

Upon meeting so many of you at the recent

Car Wash Show in Nashville, I was once again

in awe of your pavement-pounding quest for

knowledge, tips and fellowship. I was enamored

with the two self serve forums I was able to attend,

including Reinvigorating Your Self-Serve

Carwash, hosted by Dale L. Reynolds, president

of Carolina Pride Carwash and the Peer Power

Hour: Self Serve Wash Panel Discussion, hosted

by Jerry Nix of Speedi Car Was, Scott Thomas

of Clean Sport Car Wash and Sydney King of

The Good Spray Car Wash. Both sessions were

packed with attendees, both hosted dedicated

self serve owners with questions for the moderators

and answers and solutions for others and

it was clear, at least from my vantage point, that

the self serve industry is still a mighty powerhouse

in the car washing stratosphere.

That is not to say that Nashville didn’t offer

up memorable tidbits all on its own. The

city definitely offered up its own unique atmosphere—music

symbolism was everywhere:

And, I was bemused to find this quote etched

into the foundations of one of Nashville’s many

music-based monuments:

“Country songs are the dreams

of the working man” -- Merle Haggard

Every dog has his wash

I enjoyed learning more about pet washes

and the many benefits to not just the car wash

owner, but also the owner of the dog. I think I

have mentioned previously that I own a golden

doodle named Miles and his fur attracts dirt and

muck like a fly to honey. His grooming bills are

starting to add up and I have to say, I don’t appreciate

the inconvenient hours. Plus, you get a

stern look from the groomer if you’re late (have

you ever tried corralling a 60-pound dog into a

dog for a trip to the groomer’s? They know…

somehow, they always know…) or if there are

questionable items stuck in your dog’s fur. Yes,

I admit, our beloved pooch had a lollipop stuck

in his undercarriage. Yes, I admit we didn’t know.

Yes, I am sure he was uncomfortable. I admit all

of these things, and the shame that went along

with finding these things out did not also need a

boost of tsk tsk from the groomer.

We cover lots of other valuable information in

this issue. From prices per state to OSHA news

to even how to pronounce car wash in Latin.

The only tweak I would do that quotation

if dedicated to all of you would be to add in

a word: Country songs are the dreams of the

hard-working man.”

I even got to sing some karaoke with some detailing

industry altos and sopranos at the famous

Ms. Kelli’s karaoke bar on Printer’s Aly. Sadly,

there wasn’t a self serve car wash owner in site.

San Antonio is the next stop for the Car Wash

Show in 2020 and I see there are about 10 karaoke

bars near the convention center. There

must be some self serve operators

willing to belt out a tune or

two. Who’s with me?

And, without further ado

it is my pleasure to present

to you another issue of Self

Serve Car Wash News. Full

of great information, profiles

and even some fun to

hopefully bring a smile to your

face—I know how hard all of

you work, I hope these pages vide some



One more thing

And, before I go, I wanted to lament that I so

happy to be profiling Bob Cavalieri of Clearwater

Car Wash. Bob is one of those people I

have always seen at the Car Wash Show and,

although he is extremely busy, I got to steal a

few minutes of his time.

Also, have you checked out the new

It’s fantastic and I see so many self

serve operators on there. Are you? If

not, what are you waiting for?

Thank you so much everyone

and don’t forget to

support our advertisers!

Until next time,


Copyright 2019. 2 Dollar Enterprises/SSCWN. All Rights Reserved

SUMMER 2019 • 5




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6 • SUMMER 2019

SUMMER 2019 • 7

From coast to coast, we are profiling different self serve car washes

and will showcase photos, business information, methods of advertising

and what sets them apart from the competition.











I currently own four self serve

car washes in the San Francisco

Bay area. One is in Southern San

Francisco and was purchased in

2000. Another is in San Mateo,

California and was purchased

in 2007. The third location is

in Redwood City (I built that

one from the ground up and

opened it in 2004). And, finally,

the fourth location is in Mountain

View, California, and I acquired

that one in 2012, and it is in the

heart of the Silicon Valley.



All of my car washes operate

under the name of Clearwater

Car Wash. They are all wand bays

only; I do not operate any in-bay




All locations are open 24-7.

8 • SUMMER 2019

SUMMER 2019 • 9

10 • SUMMER 2019

SUMMER 2019 • 11




We take $1 tokens, quarters,

dollar coins, paper money, and

credit cards in the wash bays.



Two locations are $4 for

4½ minutes. And the other

two locations are $3 for 4

minutes. Vacuums are $1 for 2½



We do extremely well with

vending at all of our locations. The

top sellers at two locations —

of which have two glass front

vendors side by side — besides

tree fresheners, are the yellow

microfiber towels purchased from

Costco. The microfiber towels

outsell the paper towels.

We charge $1.75 for

microfiber towels

and $1 for paper ones.


I thought full service car washing was the only way to go if you were going to be in the car wash

industry, until the early 90s as that’s when I learned about the self serve side of the business.

It started when I was attending the Western Carwash Association convention, and I was in a full

serve workshop meeting — and there was a lot of talk about the high cost of labor, the high cost of

workers compensation, insurance and all the headaches of running a full serve car wash… Every

now and then you would hear a burst of laughter and clapping coming from the meeting room next

door. And, after a little bit, I decided I needed to go next door and see what all the excitement was

about. It turns out it was a self serve session going on, and they were all happy, upbeat, laughing

and clapping and their only worries were how to keep the money in the money box so the thieves

didn’t get it and how to stay on top of keeping the equipment in good operating condition.

Because I noticed how much the operators in the room were enjoying their careers in the self

serve car wash business, at that moment I said I need to be a part of this industry as well. And from

that day forward I promised myself to get into the self serve car wash business. And so, in 1995, I

opened my first self serve — which I built from the ground up. It was in a small northern California

town called McCloud, California, where I had a vacation home at the time. I figured I needed to

try out the business in a town where it was cheaper to build, and land costs were less expensive

(compared to the San Francisco Bay area).

It turned out to be quite an exciting business. And, so, I continued to look for other sites. I opened

up my second location in another small town in northern California called Corning, California.

As I learned more about the self ser serve business, I felt comfortable that I knew enough about

it to make it successful just about anywhere in California. I started looking for wash sites in the

San Francisco Bay area and that’s when I started to sell my washes up in northern California to

concentrate in areas closer to home.




Car washing is something I have

a great passion for. I grew up

in the car wash industry as my

parents owned and ran a full

serve car wash in southern San

Francisco for 61 years. I started

working at the car wash at a very,

very young age. In fact, my wife

Cathy (while she was in college)

was a cashier at our full serve car

wash back in the early 70s. Lo

and behold we got married a few

years later and continued the car

wash tradition as we run the self

serves together.

12 • SUMMER 2019

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SUMMER 2019 • 13



Both of my kids are now getting

into the fun of operating self

serve car washes. My daughter

and son-in-law operate my car

wash in southern San Francisco.

My son operates his own car

wash in Hayward, California, and

he also helps me run my washes

so that I can have a few days off.




I truly enjoy going to work every

day and seeing the customers

truly enjoy washing their cars

and quite a few of them say nice

compliments of how well the

washes run and how everything

is working. It makes me feel good

that there are people that do

recognize the hard work that we

put in to running the operation.




And my least favorite thing is:

Cleaning out the dirty vacuums.



Business is certainly growing

in our area in the self serve

car wash market; I believe due

in part to the fact that the San

Francisco Bay area has drastically

increased the minimum wage (it’s

currently at $15.65 in Mountain

View, for example) and goes up

with the CPI every year. This has

caused full service tunnels to

radically increase their prices.

And, therefore, customers are

seeking out cheaper alternatives

to get their cars washed, and the

self serve car wash model fills

that void nicely.

14 • SUMMER 2019

compass_ad.indd 1

SUMMER 7/9/19 20198:16 • AM


Hot Diggity Dollar$

Find out why pet washes can bring

in more money and how they are a natural fit for self serves

In the Spring 2019 edition of Self Serve Car Wash

News, we covered other ways to make money at

your self serve, either by converting an exisiting bay,

or using some land to develop a stand-alone profit

center. From billboards, to food trucks there was a

lot to cover and simply not enough room to cover

one other add-on business model that has become

part of many self serves across the country. It seems

as if pet washes are popping up more and more

and servicing do-it-yourself afficianados who like to

have control over their pet’s handling, their shampoo,

their schedule and their pet-related budget.

Pet washes, similar to self serve car washes, allow

convenience, and are free of the hoity pet groomers

who push the upsell or look down upon dog owners

who are not properly maintaining their pet’s

fur. They can also bring in money, and require little

maintenance, other than the daily walk through,

clean ups, and equipment checks. They are also

somewhat competitionless, as they are still considered

relatively “new” to the masses, so you could be

the first one to offer one in your area.

Also, it is clear that people love their pets and

are willing to spend lots of money of them and

on their upkeep. According to the American Pet

Products Association, the pet industry is now

worth $75 billion. And each year, that number

has climbed by billions of dollars. Yes, that’s right,

billions of dollars (see sidebar: Pet Industry Facts

and Figures). And, of that $75 billion, $6.3 will be

spend on “other services” such as pet washes.

It is clear people love their pets and are willing

to spend money, make that, lots of money, on their

furry friends. A self serve wash, which presents itself

as a medium in which people can have control over

the car’s treatment and micro-manage each detail,

is a natural fit for a pet wash so that pet owners can

be in control of their pet’s care and handling. They

also need about as much maintenance and upkeep

as a self serve. But, don’t just take my word for it--

the following are two examples of business owners

who have found success with their pet washes.

Pet Industry Facts & FIgures*


Estimated Breakdown for 2019:

2019 $75.38 Estimated

2018 $72.56 Actual

2017 $69.51

2016 $66.75

2015 $60.28

2014 $58.04

2013 $55.72

2012 $53.33

2011 $50.96

2010 $48.35

2009 $45.53


$31.68 billion

Supplies/OTC Medicine

Vet Care

Live animal purchases

Other Services


$16.44 billion

$18.98 billion

$1.97 billion

$6.31 billion

These spending statistics are gathered by APPA from various market research sources and are not included in the organization’s biennial National Pet Owners Survey

16 • SUMMER 2019

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SUMMER 2019 • 17



Name: King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash

Name of Owner: Michael J. Walsh

Where is your wash located? Bismarck-Mandan

area in North Dakota

Where can our readers learn more about


What type of wash is it? Self serve + pet wash.

We have three tandem self serve bays. Which

means six total bays when the weather is nice

enough for vehicle lines to form. The King Koin

Dog Wash is nestled between the front car wash

bays and the laundromat. The first picture on my

car wash page of the website

somewhat shows the Clear Lexan-Polycarbonate

Twin Wall Aluminum-Stainless zero corrosion

building. The PLC Touchscreens also have “information

& configuring screens including building

environment controls” besides the customer extra

friendly customer interface.

Unique Features: Floor heat is a must for our

climate & that is where most of the heating

during winter comes from. The floor heat it is

different than the car wash deicer ... the dog wash

floor heat needs to be much hotter for comfortable

dog washing temperatures.

The two hung high Trane Space units normally

used by others for heating are actually for having

our very cold inlet water go through each Trane’s

copper exchanger on hot summer days eliminating

the need for an air conditioner. As a side

benefit the inlet water into our Hot Water Makers

is then a higher energy saving temperature.

Since we bank on many of our customers using

all three services ... in our case it was much more

practical to just put an ATM in our laundromat &

hope the public is still OK with bills & coins for

some businesses where cash can still be the best fit.

Protect your

team & comPly

with oSha!

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Ph: 951-277-5180

Fax: 951-277-5170

18 • SUMMER 2019


Why did you decided to add on a pet wash?

That is a bit on the interesting side. A customer

who made Bismarck his home for years told us

about a thriving dog wash in Helena, Montana. I

told him he was crazy ... loonie ... no space ... he

calmly pointed to below our dryer vents. After I

did some sketching on a computer screen & paper

etc.... we realized that there was just enough

room for two rooms of dog washing. A customer

who was an owner at a local “structure aluminum

metal” seller heard about our plight trying

to somewhat “wing it” and offered to allow us to

“open account” pickup & return the pieces of aluminum

angle by the pound as needed during our

“built by us” construct. That was a life saver. The

“in chief local” building inspector based on my

sketches observed that the structure lent itself to

being somewhat of a “breezeway” which turned

out to really help with the occasional extra smelly

dog! It was almost like the chief was as excited

about it as us. That was another life saver!

I had thought about adding to the synergy of three

services might complement each other & I am pretty

sure that has proved to be true for the most part.

What is something you want to warn readers

about if they are considering adding on

a pet wash? Plan on having someone doing very

frequent “walk throughs” just in case you local

customers decide to not clean up after themselves.

Since there are plenty of other options for dog

washing, you don’t need rumors going around that

your place is not clean enough & does not smell

sweet enough!

What is the best thing about having a pet

wash? The fact that almost 100% of the dogs

that come are very socialized & the interaction

we have with the customers who choose us ...

tends to be very enjoyable.

-5 horsepower industrial strength motor

-3 phase, 12 amp motor -super quiet

-Heated air without heater filament

-30% more powerful -maintenance free

-Mounts inside bay, in the attic, or on the roof

-Nozzle with mechanical on/off safety trigger

SUMMER 2019 • 19


Boom Assembly


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• Swivel rotates 360˚ - 12 ft.



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Oak Creek, WI 53154


VISA and Master Card accepted



20 • SUMMER 2019




Zierco’s Easy Service Swivel and

Boom Systems with

MODEL 204 and 206 FEATURES

• Twin compression springs are tension-adjustable

for a variety of hose and gun weights

• Swivel rotates 360˚ - 12 ft. diameter

• Temperatures to 280˚ max., pressure to 2000 psi

• Longer hose life as spring prevents kinks

• Ruggedly built, satisfaction guaranteed

• Optional stainless steel components

• Proven performance with over 50 years service in

the field (Since 1962)

Boom Systems with Full 360 Degree roTATIoN

Booms are Available with 3 Different Mountings





Flat Plate

Mounts directly

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OFFSET Overhead Carwash Boom

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Wall Bracket

Mounts to wall and

is adjustable so

boom swings

to wall when

not in use.

Ideal for foaming brushes.







To Convert Model 203

to a 204 Assembly

Remove boom body

from hinge plate




Rotate hinge plate

counter clockwise to

remove seal elbow

Replace O-Rings

7355 S. 1st Street

Oak Creek, WI 53154

Fax: (414) 764-9763






VISA and Master Card


SUMMER 2019 • 21





Pet Wash 24

Name of Owner:

Harley Dietrich


Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

and Cary, North Carolina.

Both are in shopping centers

suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Where can our readers

learn more about you?

Visit or

and see our commercial at:

What advice you have

for people considering

adding a pet wash?

Safety, security, and cleanliness

are impariratve.

Also, are they a lot of

work to maintain?

No. It is fully automated.

Every night the pet hair

is cleaned up, etc.

Types of Payment Accepted:

Cash, credit cards and tokens.

Security Needed?

It is open 24/7 , but from

11 p.m. to 6 a.m. people need

to use their credit cards to

enter the facility.

Methods of Advertising:

YouTube, Facebook direct

mailing, face-to-face networking.

Unique Features:

We also offer an infrared

therapy center for your dog,

allowing them to calm down

while reaping the health benefits.

The rays can help their joints,

muscles, and skin.


Our mission is to lease or sell

each facility to an honorably

discharged veteran and create

a revenue stream for their families.

22 • SUMMER 2019


30 years!

Northeast Regional

Carwash Convention

September 23-25, 2019

√ Keynoter Moo Moo’s John Roush

Learn how to think out of the box and create a brand like no other!

√ The “Virtual Carwash Tour” is back!

We’ll get inside some innovative washes—virtually! This event was standing room only last year!

√ 320+ exhibits

√ Welcome Reception at The Water Club

√ Exceptional Educational Programming

√ Limitless Networking

At Atlantic City Convention Center and Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

Host Association: NYSCWA.

Call 1-800-868-8590 or visit us online at

SUMMER 2019 • 23


(Note: Some posts feature minor edits for readability.)

Presenting some of the best discussions from the Self Serve, IBA and General Discussions sections of Auto Care Forum. To view more posts

discussing some interesting and common problems, as well as some of the best and brightest solutions, visit

There once was

a guy with a bucket ...

My Bay signs say “No bucket washing if someone is

waiting”. And, I kind of let it go when things are slow, but

chased 2 away Saturday. I luv it when they say something

like,“I do this first then I will put money in.” Asked one

guy if he brings his own sandwich to the restaurant and

sits at a table and just asks for coffee. So, I am looking

for new wording. One local guy simply says: No Bucket

washing. Of course this doesn’t stop weep washers

and foam brush freeloaders (even with wobbleheads).

Thinking of something like, “Meter must be running

to use this facility. Please start meter promptly after

entering and leave promptly when it stops.” Looking for

other suggestions. - EARL WEISS


SSCWN Editor chimes in: Here’s one way

to do it! In April 2018, a 7-Eleven in Modesto,

California, got rid of its loiterers by way of

Bach. What’s that, you might ask?

According to the New York Post, Sukhi

Sandhu, who owns the franchise

in Modesto, started blasting

symphonies and occasional

operas over outdoor speakers.

“The classical music is

part of a 7-Eleven program

that encourages nonconfrontational

methods to

reduce loitering, Sandhu said in

the story. “It eliminates any risks

faced by clerks when asking

panhandlers to leave.”

Another method used,

according to the Post, is a

device that emits a high-pitched

screech similar to a mosquito

buzzing in your ear.

I had a guy in Sunday who drove in and gunked/

scrubbed/washed his engine. He was quick and

spent money. No one was waiting behind him.

I know a lot of operators don’t allow this, but I

want their money. I don’t want to be the jerk who

runs a good wash but looks for reasons to get aggravated.

I smile a lot more now since I went to $3

for 3:12!!!!! - WAXMAN

“Bay may be used only while meter is running” or

something similar. It covers bucket washing, towel

drying, whatever. Few heed it, but when you have

to ask them to move you can point to it. - Greg Pack

“All time spent in bay must be paid for.” Today

it was raining and a guy came up and asked to rent

one of the SS bays to install a motorhome window.

He specializes in motorhome windows, but

was from out of town. Just the fact that he asked

me first and was willing to pay me lead me to let

him use a bay for free. - SOAPY

“This bay may only be occupied if the meter is

running.” They will either read it and not care or simply

not read it at all. This is one of those things that

require someone to be present in order to enforce it.

And if someone is there, then signs are not necessary.

I have signs that say no bucket washing and I have

about 50 a week. I’ve thought about taking all signs

down except for my instructions and some signs that

talk about not washing, abandoning or dumping oil,

paint or any other hazardous materials on this premises.

I think that one would be the most important

and the more signs you have the less chance there is

that anyone reads them. - ALPINE DREAMS

You’d think that would be the logic, but I can’t

count on both hands and feet how many times I’ve

24 • SUMMER 2019

said we don’t allow bed washing and had the customer

tell me, “Well, you need a sign if you don’t

allow it!” I told one guy, “First off, I don’t need a

sign, I just told you and now you’re informed. Second,

it’s right there on the meter door two inches

from where you put your coins in.” Even had one

woman told me she was going to keep using the

changer for her laundromat coins until I posted a

sign saying it’s for car wash customers only. I let

the police inform her that she’ll be arrested next

time she sets foot on the property. - MEP001

I don’t get it a lot but I’ll let it slide if no one

is waiting. I’m like Waxman....take that money no

matter what. - CAR_WASH_GUY

What’s the big deal? They still pay to rinse the vehicle

off when they are done and a lot of them will

even fill the bucket with soapy water from your wash.

I may say something if they take forever washing their

car and people are waiting in line. It’s not like the trash

dumpers that don’t spend a dime and block access to

your bay for a half hour at a time. - SPARKEY

I agree. I don’t say anything unless all of my bays

are full and I have people waiting. And because of

that, I may remove my signs. If all of your bays are

full often with a line, then you should raise prices.


This is OUR property no sign is needed but

these morons just DO NO CARE. I have a 10ft

sign saying NO BUCKET WASHING they still do

it, then when you tell them they catch an attitude.

Same with loud music. This just drives me nuts.

Why is it that people think it ok to play loud a$$

banging music at a carwash???? I had one guy ask

where my sign is at! I said this is private property

and I do not need a sign and if you don’t turn it

down i will call the cops so they can come tell you

to turn it down. - DAMONI88

That is exactly the situation. A few minutes - I

would not care. But when you see several buckets,

brushes, even long handle ones and several different

types of soaps and products across the bay

floor you know it took them several minutes just

to unload that stuff and reverse the process to load

it all back up. Then of course you have the time

using each item. - EARL WEISS

What are we really selling at our car washes? Does

anyone know? TIME is what we are selling plain

and simple. When they bucket wash in bays they are

stealing the thing we sell in that bay TIME. I don’t

run them out if we are not busy, but I have found

that when you let them [stay] during slack times

they will come in during busy times and expect to do

the same thing. Our hard cost in a bay is maybe 5 to

10%, soap, water, etc., so we lose 90% income when

they are in the bay not paying for it. - SOAPY

I generally won’t say anything or run them off if we

are not busy, but when I do I usually get a smart a$$

remark or stink eye comment. They will never understand

the concept of a carwash business. - SLEDGE

I watched a guy this past Saturday tie up a bay

for over an hour to spend $3. I saw at least six customers

pull in and wait behind him before moving

to another bay. I didn’t get a plate but I got great

video of him and his car, so I’m watching for him

for both the theft of service and that he tied a dog

up to a picnic table and left it. Cops said they want

to prosecute. - MEP001

SUMMER 2019 • 25


But I wanted Uncle Chester’s

gold watch!

I inherited two locations in Sterling and Rock Falls, IL. that are about

three hours away from my home. Looking for any insight on the best way

to sell them. We tried a local realtor but he didn’t reach-out to any real

potential buyers that know this kind of business. The Sterling location

has two IBA (Lazer 360), four self-serves, two Valvoline Oil Lube bays. It

has three long term full time employees that run the business. The Rock

Falls location has two IBA (M-5), three self-serves and four Valvoline

Oil Lube bays. It also has three long term full time employees. Both

businesses are profitable but it is two much for me to travel once or

twice per week. - PITSTOP.CARWASH


There are many tales (some of woe

and some of wow) regarding wills

and inheritances. The story of hotel

heiress Leona Helmsley leaving $12

million to her dog comes to mind,

but how about the story of Jerry

Williams of North Carolina who

ended up inheriting 250,000

Native American arrowheads?

Moon and Irene Mullins left their

massive collection (which included

arrowheads that are over 12,000

years old) to Williams back in 1987.

Back in 1997 Williams asked roadside

museum owner Wayne Underwood

to display the arrowheads under

the condition that he give him

and wife $1 for every ticket

sold. As of 2018, the couple

has made $400,000.

A really good realtor that actually tries to sell and

is a true commercial realtor is worth it. Most just list

the property and collect at the sale (if there is one)

You could advertise on some of those business for

sale websites, Craigslist and Loopnet. Make a few

cold calls to other owners in the area to see if they

are interested. - OURTOWN

As Ourtown mentioned I would first look to see if

any other operators in the area would be interested

in the locations....I know I am always looking for new

car washes in my area. Posting them here wouldn’t

hurt either and it’s free. Check to see what car wash

association is in your area and I would list them there

as well. Good luck! - RFREEMAN

Also tell your equipment and chemical distributors

that they are for sale. They might get the word

out or know someone that wants them. - OURTOWN

Have you asked any of the long term employees if

they would be interested in buying?

Is the place making a profit? Laser 360’s aren’t

terribly old and are a top of the line machine. I can’t

imagine that whomever you inherited these sites

from would have made a significant investment in

great equipment if they weren’t making some decent


I’m sure that you could move these properties

pretty easily if you reach out to the right people but

sounds like you got a dud for a realtor. - ERIC H

You need to do some research and number crunching


1. You have to determine the value of the business

and land , present-day. This takes into account

things like assessed value and appraised value. It

also takes into account gross revenues and a multiplier

applied to gross.

2. You said the business is profitable. With proper

inventory controls and the right manager in place,

is it feasible to run both locations remotely and be

on site less than once / week?

3. Determine tax implications of: a). selling everything

and not holding the note. b.) selling and

holding some of the note. c.) retaining / operating

the business.

The best option is the one where the taxes, revenue

and stress / involvement / personal commitment

best meet YOUR needs. - WAXMAN

Fracture by tractor


We built a new express tunnel with 2 self serve bays connected a few months ago. Got

my first ding, maybe more than a ding! Luckily our tunnel attendant was there and

cameras caught the whole thing, so it is getting taken care of by the equipment rental

company. Yes, it was one of the drivers from the local heavy equipment rental companies

that thought he could wash off the tractor in the bay, because they had it rented out the

next day (broke the windshield and bent the cab frame on the tractor as well).

What an idiot. I’ve had two doofus at different locations

try to pull trailers through my in bay automatics

in the last 2 weeks. - APW

I think every self serve car wash I’ve seen has 2

dings/dents above the bays where tractors’ stacks hit.

They try and pull up enough to wash the front then

turn around and back in. - WAXMAN

Without getting into details ... it is even tougher

when it comes to damage when overhead

doors are required because of weather. - MJWALSH

I had a similar incident last year at one of my washes.

A tall cargo van ran into my concrete block header

cracking it pretty bad. I had a structural engineer

come over and design what it would take to replace

and make the building sound again. $7600 we had a

new metal header and supported by metal beams in

the doorway. Engineer fee was $500. - SOAPY

I’ve had 5 hit and runs this year. They all have

come and paid except for 1 entitled a$$. He wants

to talk about how we don’t have signs up saying how

tall our clearance is and how we ruined his light bar

on his side by side. It wouldn’t have stopped him

from damaging our place as he was coming in at a

high speed and never slowed down until he hit our

boom. Not one of these customers left a note in our

box. Somehow, we got the responding deputy that

he knows and he refused to charge him. We then got

the run around and they mysteriously lost all of the

paperwork. I’m not sure how this will play out, but

we have spoken to someone at the sheriff’s department

to complain. Good luck with your damage.

I’ve had good luck with equipment rental companies

even though they hit and ran. - ALPINE DREAMS

26 • SUMMER 2019


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SUMMER 2019 • 27


Perhaps it’s time to call the Kool-Aid man?

The wash I am dismantling has most of the panels (tri foam, spot free, etc) attached to

the brick wall with what looks like a lead anchor with a steel nail in the center. I have used

by 4” grinder on a few, tried to drill but that didn’t go so well. Tried to melt the lead(?) with a

propane torch but lost my patience before I could tell if it was going to eventually work. I have

gotten some great advice here, hoping for yet more. -DAN-ARK

Nothing is easy. Drilling them sometimes lets you

reuse the hole, but I only attempt that with mat

clamps now since there’s a lot of leeway and I enlarge

the 1/4” hole to 5/16”. I mostly grind the heads off

now, still slow and messy (Had a chunk burn a hole

right through my shirt and into my chest last time)

but it gets them flush with the wall. I tried cutting

into the steel pin with a cutoff wheel and chiseling

off the rest, but it took about as long as just grinding.

I don’t know what the material is but it’s probably

not lead or it would melt pretty easily. - MEP001

A 5lb hammer and a pry bar I can pull 95% of

them out. Actually been pulling some out the past 2

weeks at my wash. - TDLCONCEPTSLLC

I think they are called drive rivets and the bodies

are aluminum. They can be nasty to get out and are

just a quick and dirty way to hang things. Someday

that thing will have to be removed from the wall and

someone will have to deal with them. Other than

what has been suggested you can just use a cold chisel

on them but can be damaging to the item you are

removing. Sometimes the head comes off and other

times the whole thing will pull out.

...I remember another way I got them out. Using

the claw end of a small cat’s paw pry bar I was able to

pry the pin out a little ways by hammering it in between

the pin and the anchor head. Then removing

that and using a large heavy duty pry bar I wedged

in the claw end behind the head of the anchor and

pried them out. Still a booger to get out but it is

something else to try. -OURTOWN

When we were remodeling our self serves all of

the signs had those lead anchors we just chiseled the

head off then used the claw end to pull the nail out

and fortunately it pulled the body out as well. But I

will NEVER use those again at my wash. - DIAMOND-


I am have been ripping down the FRP panels at

my place just looks worn and tired way way way too

many holes from the plastic anchors and I am going

back with just brick stainless anchors no plastic or

lead anchors, to me nothing beats clean brick and extrutech

in an automatic bay and brick in self serve


There called “Metal Hit Anchors” or “Metal drive

Anchors” the body is made out of zinc. The easiest

way I’ve found to get them out is to use a chisel on

each side of the nail and break the zinc body in half

and then pull the nail out and the rest of the body of

the anchor should come out. We use plastic anchors

now with a plastic center nail. - RANDY

The last time I put up signs on brick I had some

strips of stainless cut and used plastic sleeves and

stainless countersunk screws to mount the strips,

then used outdoor rated double-stick adhesive to

mount the signs on the stainless strips. I marked and

drilled the holes in the strips so all the holes were

drilled into the mortar so it can be patched easily in

the future. - MEP001

I rehabbed a place that had about a million of

them in the concrete decked ceiling. Tried pulling,

drilling, grinding beating them. The end result for my

location was a propane torch. A minute on each one

and they just dropped out, with a nice clean hole left

behind. Might be a pita on walls if your trying to save

signs, but if you can chop the heads off then follow

with a torch to get the remaining lags out? - PGRZES

Come on in! The water’s hot!

Is hot water a must in self service or will tap water temp for all

services? What about from a customer point of view? - BR549MS

I’ve always heated my high pressure soap and

clear coat in the winter… Actually.... I Have my

GAS turned OFF mid March and turned back on

late September (based on weather). I pay a re-connect

fee .... but end out ahead vs the minimum fee

even if I don’t use gas in a particular month. - CHAZ

I turn off my water heater around the first of

June and leave it off until the end of September.

No one seems to notice/care. - I.B. WASHINCARS

The folks at KR have told me that room temp

water for the SS chemicals is as effective as using

hot water especially with the newer chemicals on

the market - and they could have sold me on a

new hot water tank. When we used hot water in

the winter months no customer noticed nor did

they care when we switched to room temp H2O.

For the IBA we have been told that hot water is

beneficial for Touch-Free IBA machines to get a

better outcome so we use a tankless on demand

system to reduce utility costs. - ROZ

I agree with Roz. We have not heated water in

years. - ROBERT2181

We never used Hot Water in our SS. But we definitely

use it in the IBA. - WATER GUY

I must be in the minority because I supply hot

water for my high pressure soap in all my self service

bays. It usually runs $100 per month for 4 ss

bays and 2 IBA March through October. - SOAPY

I quit using hot water years ago. Too expensive

with very few customers noticing whether the water

was hot or cold. - MEL(NC)

No hot water on self serve bays. I do for the automatic

presoak. Never had a customer complain.


I heat water for the HP and foam brush soap .

I have hot and cold T’d together so I can regulate

temp. The colder it is outside the warmer I make

it. I also heat the weep. - EARL WEISS

We have gained some customers because some

of our competitors decided not to repair their

boilers and run all cold water. - OURTOWN

I don’t think it’s all that important to have hot

... continued

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SUMMER 2019 • 29



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Come on in!

The water’s hot!

... continued

water in a Self-Serve car wash. If you

watch the average customer they only

have the selector on High pressure soap

for a short time, just about long enough

for the hose to begin to get warm and

then they switch it to foam brush. Most

of the car washes in our area don’t have

hot water. I have on demand water heaters,

as they fail we aren’t fixing them

anymore. - RANDY

I’m currently cold everything - if

these three solid weeks of rain don’t kill

me I’m going to put an electric heater

on the presoak and crank it up as high as

the tubing can handle, then I’ll advertise

it somehow. - MEP001

I’ve had both and can tell you I make

more $$$ year round having heated water.

In the beginning the boiler didn’t

work and I only had cold water going to

the bays. When I installed the HE HTP

Tank Style Heater, it paid for itself in

6 months over the previous years income.

People do notice. I heat soap and

wax cycles and have the water heater

set on 100°. The nice thing about a

modulating/condensing HE design, you

can run them at lower temps without

it self destructing or adding a mixer. In

the winter when its cold, a 100° wand

feels pretty darn warm along with the

steam it creates. People love it. The HE

water heater is so efficient and cheap to

operate, I just let it run all summer. So

I guess operators using only cold water,

you have to ask yourself, am I leaving

$$$ on the table?! - 2BIZ

I would say it isn’t necessary but it

does help to melt snow and ice out of

hard to reach areas like wheel wells etc...

however that means you are spending

extra money to heat the water just so

people can spend LESS time spraying

ice etc off their cars..... kind of backwards

thinking if you ask if you

do heat the water, I would advertise it as

heated. Let people know that your water

is all heated and maybe it works to

convince customers your wash is somehow

special, unlike the competitors.....

kind of like a restaurant advertising that

they have a comfortable dining room

and heat and or air conditioning.... it

almost implies their competitors don’t

without saying it. - SPARKLECLEAN

30 • SUMMER 2019

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SUMMER 2019 • 31




It’s OSHA News!

It’s not all bad, but if you don’t already know, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

of the United States Department of Labor (OSHA) has announced the following…

Businesses cited for exposure to hazardous

chemicals, improper ladder safety

As detailers continuously work with chemicals,

and are also often on foot in slippery conditions,

it is important to make sure each and every employee

is safe, otherwise OSHA will hand out

stiff penalties. In San Angelo, Texas, OSHA cited

7 S Packing LLC – operating as Texas Packing

Company for exposing workers to releases

of hazardous chemicals. The company faces

$615,640 in penalties.

OSHA determined that the meat-packing

facility failed to implement a required Process

Safety Management (PSM) program for operating

an ammonia refrigeration unit containing

over 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia. The

employer also failed to provide fall protection,

guard machines and equipment, control hazardous

energy, and implement a respiratory tion program.

The PSM Covered Chemical Facilities National

Emphasis Program focuses on reducing or eliminating

workplace hazards at chemical facilities

to protect workers from catastrophic releases of

highly hazardous chemicals. PSM standards emphasize

the management of hazards associated

with highly hazardous chemicals, and establishes

a comprehensive management program that integrates

technologies, procedures, and management


to prevent an unexpected release.

The company has 15 business days from receipt

of the citations and penalties to comply, request

an informal conference with OSHA’s area

director, or contest the findings before the independent

Occupational Safety and Health Review


And in Tumwater, Washington, OSHA fined the

Dollar Tree for repeated safety violations, including

blocked emergency exit routes, unsafe ladder

use and improper stacking of merchandise. A recent

inspection resulted in several “repeat willful”

and other violations for unsafe merchandise storage

and handling, and obstructed exit routes.

The $503,200 fine is also related in part to L&I

finding the same safety hazards at the store during

multiple visits. The violations continued even after

the company was informed by an L&I inspector of

the safety hazards during earlier visits and was provided

specific instruction on how to improve employee

safety at the store and avoid further violations.

“Even after multiple large fines, it appears this

company has not gotten the message to ensure

their safety and health system is working in every

Washington store location,” said L&I Assistant Director

Anne Soiza. “This fine is one of the largest

we’ve issued, and we will apply pressure to Dollar

Tree until its leadership takes sustained, comprehensive

steps to prevent serious hazards.”

This is the third substantial L&I citation and fine

involving Dollar Tree in just over a year. Since the

beginning of 2017, L&I has completed 15 inspections

at Dollar Tree stores after complaints and referrals

about unsafe working conditions.

The Virginia-based company has dozens of

stores throughout Washington. Prior to this most

recent citation, Dollar Tree has been fined nearly

$593,000 since 2013. Last year, a store in Bonney

Lake was fined $166,000 for three willful violations,

and a Kelso Dollar Tree was fined $140,000

for violations similar to the ones found at the Vancouver

store in this recent inspection.

Dollar Tree’s corporate office controls inventory

for local stores, and shipments arrive frequently.

Challenges with too much inventory and not

enough storage space lead to high stacks of boxes,

often leaning over, which cause blocked and impeded

pathways and other hazards.

Improperly stored merchandise can fall, resulting

in serious injuries or death if the boxes strike

employees or cause employees to fall, or if exits

are blocked during an emergency. Lifting heavy

boxes onto over-the-head stacks is also likely to

cause strains and sprains or serious back injuries. In

the Vancouver store, workers were also climbing

on shelving units, which can result in falls.

The violations are not unique to Washington.

Dollar Tree locations around the country have

been cited for improper stacking of merchandise

boxes, mostly in their storerooms, and for blocking

exits or impeding pathways.

The company has now been placed in L&I’s Severe

Violator Enforcement Program, which means

its stores are now subject to inspections at any

time, among other things.

Dollar Tree has appealed this citation, and it

could take several months for the appeals process

to be completed.

Penalty money paid as a result of a citation is

placed in the workers’ compensation supplemental

pension fund, helping injured workers and families

of those who have died on the job.

32 • SUMMER 2019





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It’s OSHA News!

Summer’s here! Do you know the

warning signs of heat exposure?

According to OSHA, the following are common heat-related illnesses.

HEAT STROKE: The most serious form of heat-related

illness, happens when the body becomes unable to

regulate its core temperature. Sweating stops and

the body can no longer rid itself of excess heat. Signs

include confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that may result in

death! Call 911 immediately.

HEAT EXHAUSTION: This is the body’s response to loss

of water and salt from heavy sweating. Signs include

headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability,

thirst, and heavy sweating.

HEAT CRAMPS: These are caused by the loss of body

salts and fluid during sweating. Low salt levels in

muscles cause painful cramps. Tired muscles—those

used for performing the work—are usually the ones

most affected by cramps. Cramps may occur during

or after working hours.

HEAT RASH: This is also known as prickly heat, is a

skin irritation caused by sweat that does not evaporate

from the skin. Heat rash is the most common

problem in hot work environments.

The chart on the right shows symptoms and first

aid measures to take if a worker shows signs of a

heat-related illness.










• Confusion

• Fainting

• Seizures

• Excessive sweating

or red, hot, dry skin

• Very high body temperature

• Cool, moist skin

• Heavy sweating

• Headache

• Nausea

or vomiting

• Dizziness

• Muscle spasms

• Pain

• Usually in abdomen,

arms, or legs

• Light


• Weakness

• Thirst

• Irritability

• Fast heartbeat

• Clusters of red bumps on skin

• Often appears on neck,

upper chest, folds of skin

• Call 911

• While waiting for help:

• Place worker in shady, cool area

• Loosen clothing, remove outer clothing

• Fan air on worker; cold packs in armpits

• Wet worker with cool water; apply ice packs, cool

compresses, or ice if available

• Provide fluids (preferably water) as soon as possible

• Stay with worker until help arrives

• Have worker sit or lie down in a cool, shady area

• Give worker plenty of water or other cool beverages to drink

• Cool worker with cold compresses/ice packs

• Take to clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation or

treatment if signs or symptoms worsen or do not improve

within 60 minutes.

• Do not return to work that day

• Have worker rest in shady, cool area

• Worker should drink water or other cool beverages

• Wait a few hours before allowing worker to return to

strenuous work

• Have worker seek medical attention if cramps don’t go away

• Try to work in a cooler,

less humid environment when possible

• Keep the affected area dry

* Remember, if you are not a medical professional, use this information as a guide only to help workers in need.



OSHA is requesting information on a possible update to the Control of

Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)) standard. The Agency is interested

in comments on the use of control circuit-type devices to isolate

energy, as well as the evolving technology for robotics.

OSHA is requesting information about how employers have been using

control circuit devices, including information about the types of circuitry

and safety procedures being used; limitations of their use, to determine under

what other conditions control circuit-type devices could be used safely;

new risks of worker exposure to hazardous energy as a result of increased

interaction with robots; and whether the agency should consider changes to

the LOTO standard that would address these new risks.

The current LOTO standard, published in 1989, requires that all sources

of energy be controlled during servicing and maintenance of machines

and equipment using an energy-isolating device. The standard specifies that

control circuit devices cannot be used as energy-isolating devices, but the

agency recognizes recent technological advances may have improved the

safety of control circuit-type devices.

Comments must be submitted on or before August 18, 2019. Comments

and materials may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.

gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal

Register notice for submission details.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are

responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working

men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training,

education and assistance.



OSHA has issued a final rule that revises 14 provisions in the recordkeeping,

general industry, maritime, and construction standards that may be confusing,

outdated, or unnecessary. The revisions are expected to increase understanding

and compliance with the provisions, improve employee safety and health,

and save employers an estimated $6.1 million per year.

OSHA proposed the changes in October 2016. This is the fourth final rule

under OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project, which began in 1995 in response

to a Presidential memorandum to improve government regulations.

Other revisions were issued in 1998, 2005, and 2011.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible

for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OS-

HA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and

women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education

and assistance.



As National Suicide Prevention Week is just a few weeks away, taking

place September 8, 2019 – September 14, 2019, OSHA wants you to know

that there are many resources available all year round for those who are

suffering from depression and having suicidal thoughts. OSHA wants every

worker to know that If you’re in crisis, there are options available to help you

cope. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at any time

to speak with someone and get support. For confidential support available

24/7 for everyone in the United States, call 1-800-273-8255. Or you can

chat online at Online chat

34 • SUMMER 2019

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The Vending Sales Formula

Here’s the lowdown on L V S P R T C

which stands for locations, visibility, security,

reliability, time and convenience, according

to Jim Holve, the vending expert behind

ShurVend Vendors.


installing a vendor for high sales volume, the vendor

should have “End Aisle” exposure for high

visibility to make the customer take notice. Our

experience indicates that the best vendor location

is in or near the vacuum area of the wash site. A location

at the end of one of the vacuum islands near

the center of the vacuum grouping is preferred.

“S” — SECURITY: This is priority #3 as the wash

operator needs to have confidence that his/her

vending products, sales, and profits are not stolen

or the vendor put “Out of Service” due to vandalism.

The current versions of our ShurVend security

systems, which keep improving all the time, have

been found to be very effective.

36 • SUMMER 2019

“P” — PRODUCTS: Experience over many years

has proven that more product choices always produce

higher sales volume in a vending center.

“R” - RELIABILITY: Machines should operate

24/7 and require very little attention from the owner

other than collecting the money and restocking

with product. The “Guaranteed Delivery” feature

makes the vending experience hassle free for both

the customer and the owner.

“T” & “C” — TIME & CONVENIENCE: These

are important to the success of a vending machine.

The only unmetered time for a customer

at a wash site is in the vacuum area where customers

are not worried about the clock and can

spend time cleaning their vehicle. When a vending

product is needed, the customer will buy on “impulse”

if the vendor is close by. If the vendor is

not in the customer’s sight or is not readily available,

the “impulse” to buy quickly fades away.

That’s money left on the table by the wash operator.


What is wrong with this picture?

These pictures were not taken at a car

wash, but at a very popular hamburger chain

that rhymes with “Nick Wonalds.” I took these

pictures because I was waiting in line during

lunchtime and was disturbed by what I saw.

Tape? An illegible screen? A sad coiled hose?

Weeds? Customers are stuck in their cars

while waiting in the drive-thru line and this

is the site they see. It wasn’t glaringly obvious

unkemptness, but it did make me question

the business manager’s commitment to

quality food, quality upkeep and cleanliness.

This photo was taken on June

24. That is plenty of time to

get the property in tiptop

shape after the pollen and

salt and muck of spring and

winter. The manager or owner

should know to clean off the

POS system. Plant some grass

seed. Buy new mulch. Hide

the hose… you get the idea.

And, for goodness sake, make

a better effort that using a taped-up sign,

messily clung to the screen.

Curb appeal is important. It doesn’t have to

break the bank and can make the difference

between a one and done or a repeat customer.

A few years back, the market research and

consulting firm Morpace surveyed 1,000

consumers. A whopping 95 percent of those

surveyed said a store’s external appearance

influences their decisions. Also, more than

half of those surveyed said they would avoid

a store if it appeared dirty on the outside. Two

out of every three people

also said the would not visit

a store based on its outward


Do you have properties

you are proud of? Nice

landscaping? Please share

them with the readers by

sending them to me at


Keeping it Local

My hometown area got a bit of the Hollywood treatment

recently as Madison Vandenberg, of Latham, New York, was a

top-three finalist on American Idol. Her reign as a finalist was

all over the local news, on lawn signage and even our local ice

cream chain made a special flavor in her name. Also, businesses

would put special messages on their signage. It was a nice way

to show hometown pride and also prove that a business wasn’t

“setting and forgetting” their marketing initiatives.

One idea for car wash signs would be to tap into local

noteriety. For instance, did a local football team do well? A math

team? Is someone being featured in a reality TV competition?

Or make headlines for some noteworthy reason? If so, consider

switching up your signage with a personalized, homespun

message. Or, you can even have a professional banner made

(costing anywhere from $30 to $100+) to show your local

pride. The idea is that your business’s presence isn’t stale and

you are taking pride in your area.


Are you Prepared?

Flooding season most commonly occurs between Spring and

Fall. It can happen anywhere and it is important to be prepared.

According to the Small Business Association (SBA), Floods are

one of the most common and widespread of all disasters, and

continue to grow in frequency and severity and businesses are

more likely to flood than burn down, so it is vital to prepare


The SBA also offers this checklist to follow before a flood


33Review Emergency Plan with team, and key employees

33Take all necessary steps to prevent the release of dangerous chemicals

that might be stored on your property - locate main gas and

electrical shut-offs and anchor all fuel tanks

33Postpone any receipt of goods- deliveries, couriers, etc.

33Contact insurance agent, discuss policy, etc.

33Establish emergency communication method (Alert Notification

System, phone tree,etc.); identify meeting place and time for all key

employees in Crisis Management Team; create voicemail for when

evacuated, or out of office, etc.

33Update disaster recovery kits and begin crisis back-up procedures

33Maintain accurate inventory of product on site

33Use plugs to prevent flood water from backing up into sewer drains,

or install flood vents/or flood proof barriers

33Stay tuned to local media & community messaging

After the Flood

33Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply

is safe to drink

33Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw

sewage - water may also be electrically charged from underground or

downed power lines

33Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded, roads may have

weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car

33Clean and disinfect everything that got wet, mud left from floodwater

can contain sewage and chemicals

33Implement DR plan, and monitor local authorities’ communication

33Contact employees via determined method of communication and

discuss next steps

33Contact your insurance agent

Your carwash insurance experience can be hassle free. You don't have to spend hours

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SUMMER 2019 • 37



Presenting some of the best, and most

noteworthy headlines and excerpts from

the Self Serve Car Wash News archives.

Here are the highlights...

38 • SUMMER 2019

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SUMMER 2019 • 39

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SUMMER 2019 • 41




Lovegrove Electrical to

distribute PDQ equipment

in Western Australia

PDQ Manufacturing, Inc., part of OPW Vehicle Wash Systems, announced

the appointment of a new distributor for the state of Western

Australia. Lovegrove Electrical, located near Perth, WA, has agreed to acquire

the PDQ vehicle wash equipment distribution business from PDQ’s

former WA distributor, Carwash Spares and Repairs, along with related

lines, a press release stated.

Lovegrove Electrical is a large,

family-owned, multidiscipline contracting

company delivering ‘complete

confidence’ via its end-to-end

solutions within the commercial, industrial, petroleum, LPG, solar and

carwash industries.

“PDQ is very excited to have Lovegrove as an official distributor,” Rob

Lewis, PDQ’s International Sales Manager, stated in the press release. “Lovegrove’s

wide array of capabilities will tremendously strengthen PDQ’s

distribution capabilities in Western Australia, especially in the fuels segment.

Chris Read, owner of our former distributor Carwash Spares and Repairs,

leaves a strong legacy of superior customer satisfaction for Lovegrove

to build upon. PDQ thanks Chris for his many years of industry service, and

we welcome the Lovegrove group to the team.”

“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity of working with the

best vehicle wash equipment available,” said Mike Lovegrove, co-owner of

Lovegrove Electrical, in the press release. “It makes our job much easier

when you can approach customers and know that you are selling a very

sound and proven product. We see a strong potential for growth opportunities

across the state as there are some areas that are clearly under washed.”

Tony Lovegrove, co-owner of Lovegrove Electrical added, “We believe that

the LaserWash 360 Plus is the perfect carwash solution for our busy lifestyles.

It’s quicker and gives a far superior wash than its competitors.”

Belanger launches

new website

Belanger, a manufacturer of tunnel and in-bay automatic vehicle wash

systems, has introduced a completely redesigned and improved website

that’s located at The new mobile-responsive site, according

to a press release, was developed to provide customers with a more

user-friendly design that allows easy access to critical technical resources, as

well as helpful educational materials. The new site also aligns the Belanger

brand with the image standards of the newly formed OPW Vehicle Wash

Solutions business unit.

“Creating one effective eco-system for car wash solutions is a contributing

factor to the success of our new vehicle wash brand,” said Gary Campbell,

General Manager for OPW Vehicle Wash Solutions, which includes

Belanger and PDQ, in a press release. “A new Belanger site that provides the

same intuitive experience as our other OPW business unit pages is a major

step in improving purchasing, service and education for our vehicle wash


Aside from new branding and an updated design, the Belanger website

houses an expansive resource library of technical guides, product literature

and helpful videos for distributors to deepen their knowledge of the products

and enhance customer support. To expedite and simplify the user journey,

the site also features these user experience improvements:

• Improved navigation featuring a more intuitive menu system

• Improved search functionality to make narrowing down and finding relevant

results easier

• Cleaner layout that puts key content first and guides users to their desired

destination in fewer clicks

DRB Systems acquires

Suds Creative

DRB Holdings, LLC, DBA

DRB Systems, a provider of

technology-enabled devices

and software solutions to the car wash industry, announced it has acquired

Suds Creative (“Suds”), a full-service marketing agency for car wash owners

and industry vendors, according to a press release.

“Our mission is to help car wash operators drive growth as a trusted partner,”

said Dan Pittman, CEO of DRB, in the press release. “Traditionally,

we’ve done that with enterprise technology solutions, industry know-how

and best-in-class support. With Suds, we can take that to the next level by

providing strategic marketing solutions, that truly drive customers to the

car wash. We know marketing is a success quotient to a thriving car wash

and lube center, which is exactly why we are partnering with Suds.”

“We’ve been working with DRB Systems for years, and this is just a natural

fit,” said Jason Baumgartner, co-founder and CEO of Suds. “We’re looking

forward to combining the strengths of our two organizations to help car

wash operators achieve greater levels of success.”

With this acquisition, DRB is adding Suds to its collection of brands in

the car care industry, including: DRB Systems, Unitec, NoPileups by DRB

Systems and Sage Microsystems.

42 • SUMMER 2019

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LSI Industries names new CCO and National Sales Manager


LSI Industries Inc., of Cincinnati,

Ohio, a manufacturer of outdoor

and indoor lighting and graphics for

commercial, industrial, and multi-site

retail environments, announced new

hires recently. Ross Horton has been

promoted to Chief Commercial Officer

for Atlas Lighting Products, a

press release reported.

Atlas Lighting Products joined the

LSI Industries portfolio of brands in

early 2017 after LSI’s acquisition of the stock of

Atlas Lighting Products.

Atlas Lighting Products is a North Carolina-based

manufacturer of quality, energy-efficient,

and fast-selling LED lighting products sold into

the electrical distribution market. The company’s

US manufacturing facility provides for extensive

quality testing, faster delivery, and quick turnaround

on both stock and special-build items.

Tapping his extensive experience with both LSI

and Atlas Lighting Products brands, Horton will

be responsible for marketing, inside sales, customer

service, and IT functions for the Atlas Lighting

Products organization.

“Ross Horton has been an excellent performer

in multiple roles at LSI

Industries and at Atlas

Lighting Products, producing

a series of positive

outcomes wherever

and whenever he

gets involved,” Seth

Walters, President, Atlas

Lighting Products, stated

in the press release. “So, we

are thrilled to promote him to this

new role as Chief Commercial Officer, where

he’ll utilize his expertise to drive strategy alignment

across commercial functions and business

growth, while creating more value for our customers.

LSI has also added on John Bank as a new National

Sales Manager for Retail Accounts Bank

will work directly with national brands and large

retailers, focusing on graphics, décor and digital

signage programs, a press release reported. He will

bring his expertise to provide lighting, graphic,

and digital signage solutions that create engaging

environments, strong identities, and operational

efficiencies, including energy savings from LED

lighting and control products and digital displays

that can reduce print costs and automate

promotional schedules. Bank will also

work to grow lighting product sales,

and advance LSI Industries’ initiative

to expand product offerings of

smart tools, digital, and safety and

security products to each of LSI Industries’


Bank, according to the press release,

has a special expertise (both print and digital)

in exterior and interior signage and LED signage.

Prior to joining LSI Industries, he served for 15

years in senior sales positions in the sign industry

with Parvin Clauss Sign Company, Jones Sign

Company, Identity Group, and Kieffer Signs.

“John Bank has outstanding expertise, given his

background in retail signage, and he is able to offer

our customers deep knowledge of lighting, graphic,

and digital signage solutions and the effective

integration of these elements in the built environment,”

said Steve Moeglin, LSI Industries’ Director,

Retail National Accounts, in the press release.

“We’re thrilled that John has joined our team; he

really rounds out the expertise we can bring to

market, and our customers will be thrilled to have

access to his knowledge.”



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American Changer purchases assets of

Triad Design Group Incorporated

American Changer Corporation announced

the finalization of an Asset Purchase

Agreement with Triad Design Group

Incorporated, a manufacturer of Self-

Serve Money Changers servicing a

variety of industries, according to a

press release.

“Triad’s culture of providing high

quality products and services, along

with developing long-term relationships

with customers, supports American

Changer’s continued growth plan and

accelerates innovative product development.

This strategic Asset Purchase

Agreement allows customers

to benefit from increased resources

and shared knowledge,” the press release


Products and parts for Triad changers will

continue to be sold under the Triad trade name,

which has been associated with developing products

to meet customer needs and filling gaps in

the marketplace. Triad’s principal owner, Chuck

White, will join the American Changer team as

National Accounts Manager following a brief

transitional period. In his role as National

Accounts Manager, White will focus

on several projects which include ensuring

relationship continuity with

Triad customers, sales growth in new

and existing markets, and product


Products and services will be provided

from American Changer’s manufacturing

and corporate center in Fort Lauderdale,

Florida. The absorption of

Triad’s product line into American

Changer’s expanding portfolio will

be supported by American Changer’s

dedicated and experienced team


The acquisition unites three of the

most reputable brands of money changers

in the world – Triad, Rowe and American Changer.


Kleen-Rite acquires

Kim Supply


Kleen-Rite Corporation of Columbia, Pennsylvania,

is pleased to announce it is acquiring the

assets of Kim Supply.

Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Kim Supply

has been a staple carwash distributor for generations.

Its strategic location and knowledgeable staff

combined with Kleen-Rite’s inventory and pricing

power is sure to be a winning combination for car

wash operators in the Midwest region of the United

States, a press release states.

Kleen-Rite aims to offer fasting shipping times

to the majority of its existing customers.

“It’s all about providing exceptional customer

service,” says Jeff Detz, Kleen-Rite Chief

Operating Officer. “We can service a greater customer

base and offer 1-2-day ship points to most

of the lower 48 continental states.”

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter

of 2019.





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SUMMER 2019 • 47



Presenting the news stories featuring self serves car washes

48 • SUMMER 2019

Car wash praised

for sunflower fields

A self serve car wash in Chester County, Pennsylvania,

is gaining quite the exposure and praise

for its thousands of sunflowers. According to NBC

Philadelphia, the sunflowers attract tens of thousands

of people each year. Please Wash Me owner

Rick Frey said in the story, “People drive up to sunflowers

and as soon as they see them their eyes are

big, and everybody smiles.”

The first batch bloomed the last week of July.

Frey estimated that last year people drove to the

car wash from different states and countries just to

see the sunflowers. He told NBC that people come

to take wedding pictures, pregnancy and newborn

photos and family portraits. “Some people bring

their dogs, cats, pigs, horses, cows, Guinea pigs and

other animals for pictures.”

Frey’s wife, Joey Frey, who is in charge of the

car wash’s Facebook page had to start a Sunflower

Update series to appease the countless messages

she received, asking about the sunflowers. “We’re

always excited,” Rick Frey said in the story. “On

the weekends it can get a little crazy.”

Frey, who has owned the self serve for 15 years,

said he planted the sunflowers nine years ago because

people said they didn’t notice his business and

it was tanking. The sunflower field is free for people

of all ages to visit and walk through and there is a

ramp for handicap people, reported NBC.

New self serve going up next

to an Aldi’s in Virginia

Councilmembers in Leesburg, Virginia, voted

to approve plans for an ALDI grocery store,

gas station with a self-service car wash, a standalone

car wash, a tire shop, and buildings for retail

and restaurant uses. A story in the Loudoun

Times-Mirror stated that, at press time, four of the

buildings have signed leases, including ALDI, the

stand-alone car wash and the gas station with the

self-service car wash.

Developer Peterson Companies worked with

the Board of Architectural Review and the Planning

Commission to refine the application, and

most of the council approved of the buildings’

style, the story said. Councilwoman Suzanne Fox

stated in the story, “When I looked at the renderings,

they were beautiful. I liked them.”

Councilmember Tom Dunn voiced concerns

about their being two kinds of car washes within

close proximity. Molly Novotny, a representative

of Peterson Companies, responded that the final

design, including any tweaks to the architecture,

are under development. Plans are for the businesses

to be open by spring 2021.

A new car wash is

coming to Sioux Falls

A Clean Ride Auto Spa is currently under construction

in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and will

include both full-service and self-service car wash

options and a coffee shop.

According to the Argus Leader, owner and partner

Dave Dreessen wants to create af lex-service


The wash should be open this fall. Dreessen is

one of five local families which invested in the

business. He and other founders wanted a higher

level of car wash in the city, according to the story.

Details for the coffee shop have not yet been

revealed, but the article stated that Coffea brand

coffee will be served.

Did you celebrate

National Car Wash Day?

Starting last year on July 14, a day was officially

carved out for car washing. Known as the National

Car Wash Day, thanks to Bentley Brandon of

Smyrna, Georgia, the day has grown in momentum

and is now officially recognized in multiple

states. Brandon, who worked tirelessly to make the

day happen, also holds the Guiness Book of World

Records title for most washed cars by an individual.

According to his website, “on Sunday, September

16, 2018, Bentley Brandon etched his place

in the [history]. He established a new Guinness

World Record by washing 101 cars in 8 hours by

himself.” The previous record was 55 cars.

New wash in South Carolina

caters to female customers

A new automatic car wash is coming to Rosewood,

and it’s geared to women.

The new Rosewood Express Car Wash is currently

under construction in Rosewood, South

Carolina, and is being designed for the female demographic,

according to The State, the car wash

is going up across from the University of South

Carolina track and field facility. The lot is notable

because of the huge retaining wall that was built

to level the property, according to the story.

Owner George Renard said the car wash is “designed

to be inviting to young female customers —

especially University of South Carolina students

— who don’t want to use a self-service car wash

or pony up the bucks for a full service car wash or

detail shop,” the story said.

The car wash is slated to be open before the

school year begins.

SUMMER 2019 • 49




New website

from Belanger

Belanger has introduced a completely redesigned and improved website

that’s located at The new mobile-responsive site was developed to provide

customers with a more user-friendly design that allows easy access to critical

technical resources, as well as helpful educational materials. The new site also

aligns the Belanger brand with the image standards of the newly formed OPW

Vehicle Wash Solutions business unit.

“Creating one effective eco-system for car wash solutions is a contributing

factor to the success of our new vehicle wash brand,” said Gary Campbell, General

Manager for OPW Vehicle Wash

Solutions, which includes Belanger and PDQ. “A new Belanger site that provides

the same intuitive experience as our other OPW business unit pages is a

major step in improving purchasing, service and education for our vehicle wash


Aside from new branding and an updated design, the Belanger website

houses an expansive resource library of technical guides, product literature and

helpful videos for distributors to deepen their knowledge of the products and

enhance customer support. To expedite and simplify the user journey, the site

also features these

user experience improvements:

• Improved navigation featuring a more intuitive menu system

• Improved search functionality to make narrowing down and

• finding relevant results easier

• Cleaner layout that puts key content first and guides users

• to their desired destination in fewer clicks

Lighting for harsh

environments from G&G

G&G Industrial Lighting has announced the release of the new VPX

Industrial Vaporsealed LED Linear, a low-profile, waterproof solution for

harsh environments. The VPX is driverless, seamless and IP68 rated. Its

compact 1” round housing is permanently sealed and requires

no assembly. This vaportight reduces the risk of failure by more than

80% in comparison to traditional models.

The VPX was derived from a need for a high efficiency vaportight that

is able to withstand prolonged exposure to harsh environments without

the need for assembly or maintenance. A seamless extruded housing provides

IP68 ingress protection along with excellent chemical and UV resistance

without the use of clips, gaskets or seals. By creating a completely

sealed housing, the VPX prevents any risk of water intrusion and will not

collect debris. By also eliminating the need for a traditional LED driver,

VPX is able to connect directly to AC line voltage to drive the LEDs,

resulting in higher efficiency, smaller size, longer life and greater reliability.

By removing the power source, the overall size of the fixture is significantly

decreased, resulting in a much smaller footprint with a lumen density

of 150 lumens per cubic inch. The VPX incorporates the highest quality

components and the latest LED technology to achieve an efficiency of

over 120 lumens per watt and 1250 lumens per foot.

G&G’s lighting products are proudly Made in America, all of which

are engineered, tested, manufactured, assembled and shipped from one

facility in Clifton Park, New York.

Regulating valve

from General Pump

General Pump is now offering a patent-pending

CWR4525, a proprietary regulating valve for vehicle

wash applications. The CWR4525 is specifically

designed to handle higher flows of up to 45 GPM and

pressures up to 2,500 PSI, making it especially perfect

for General Pump’s HTCK Series pumps.

Completely made in the USA, this valve also

features a grease zerk to keep the piston and seals

lubricated, multiple connections for easy installation

and is ideal for use in rollover carwashes. This unique

regulator protects against pressure spikes and regulates

pressure variations.

High foaming

presoak from CSI ®

CSI ® has introduced the all new Ultra Presoak UF224, an ultra concentrated

high foaming presoak designed for high performance cleaning.

This is an ultra-concentrated high performance all-in-one liquid alkaline

presoak for all types of car washes. UF224 was developed with unique

surfactant matrix, organic builder, and powerful

Solvent. The ideal ratio of surfactant/builder/solvent offers an attractive

foam presentation for customer appeal and economics.

This product has great compatibility to other alkaline products, surfactant

blends, and extenders utilizing it in various environments. It has proven

to be very effective in overcoming some water hardness and continuing

to perform at a high level. It is perfect for touchless automatics, presoak

arches, prep guns in tunnel applications, and presoak and high-pressure

soap in self-serve car washes.

50 • SUMMER 2019

SUMMER 2019 • 51


1131 Greensburg Road • Lower Burrell, PA 15068 • Phone 724.337.8255 • Fax 724.337.8554



All Turbo Wash

units come with

the Rear Blaster!

Top Reasons to buy a


Touch Free

In-Bay Automatic

The WORLD’S finest self service automatic continues to set the


While our competitors claim their equipment is high tech

because of its good looks and aesthetics that does not mean it

will make you successful in the car wash business.

This business is all about clean cars and happy customers. It is

not about having the prettiest equipment.

High volume car washes that can deliver clean, shiny cars need

to be a “WORK HORSE”, and that is what the TURBO WASH is

often called. In fact, there are more units of the TURBO WASH

basic design that are 10, 20 even 30 years old that are still out

there washing cars. What other manufacturer can make that


Clean cars! Better than any other touch free

Available to fit in existing bays easily

Simplicity of operation

Extensive use of Stainless Steel

Highest quality components throughout

High production – you wash more cars

Will STILL be running when you make your

last payment

UL approved electrical throughout

52 • SUMMER 2019

The Total Self-Service Package

1200-1500 psi • 3 hp • 3 phase Available up to 8 Bays.


Includes: Soap • Wax • Rinse • Pre-Soak • Foaming Tire Cleaner and Foaming Brush

Standard Features

• Stainless Steel Frame Construction

• Stainless Steel Holding Tanks

• Stainless Steel 360 o Boom

• Stainless Steel 180 o Brush Boom

• Stainless Steel Coin Box (vault ready)

• Coin Box Heaters

• Electronic Coin Acceptors

• Digital Readout Timers

• Motor Starters with Overload Protectors

• Low Pressure Air Pumps

• Trigger Gun and Hose Assembly

• Hogs Hair Foaming Brush

• Automatic High Pressure Weep

• Roof Trough Manifold

• All High Pressure and Low Pressure

Hoses and fittings

• 100 KVA Transformer Per Bay

• Stainless Steel Pre-Soak Pump

• Sign Package

• Wire from Coin Box to Panel

• U.L. Listed Control Panel

Call us for our Special Pricing on Upgrading your Present Equipment

Check us out on the Web:

Manni’s Wash Module


WASH SYSTEMS 724-337-8255 800-552-4492 Fax: 724-337-8554

SUMMER 2019 • 53


Think these two pictures taken at a self serve car wash are the same?

Think again! There are six differences. Can you spot them all?

5. $1 and $5 is $10 and $20

6. Row in vending machine is missing

3. Garbage can hole is larger

4. Vending machine is longer


1. There are two fragrance trees

2. Flag is missing




If you want to impress your customers with your worldly

language skills, you can start by learning how to say “car wash”

in various languages. We will help in getting you started by

presenting you with various ways “car wash” is said across the

globe. Can you guess each dialect? Answers are below.


1. Turkish

2. Portuguese

3. Polish

4. German

5. Albanian

6. Hungarian

7. Samoan

8. Welsh

9. Finnish

10. Latin

1. oto yikama

2. lavagem de carros

3. myjnia samochodowa

4. waschanlage

5. larje makine

6. autómosó

7. fufulu taavale

8. golchi ceir

9. autopesu

10. currus lava

54 • SUMMER 2019



SUMMER 2019 • 55




AUG 21-22


Anaheim, CA

AUG 28





Fairview Farm Golf Course

Harwinton, CT




Country Club

Canton, Massachusetts

SEP 23-25




Atlantic City Convention Center

Atlantic City, New Jersey

OCT 10


Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas

Association News

ICA to host Splash!, anncounces scholarship winner

The International Carwash Association will be

hosting its Splash! event this fall. Designed for a

powerful community experience, Splash! is a condensed

conference so you can get in, gain an edge,

and get back to your business to put all your new

knowledge into action. You also won’t find any

equipment on display as Splash! is all about the

people, according to the ICA. People will gather

“in one big room and in less than 24 hours, you’ll

get everything you need to stay competitive and

profitable: industry connections, education, inspiration,

and practical tools and strategies.”

For just $99, Splash! provides:

• Insightful educational presentations

• Engaging tabletop discussions

• Solutions from 50+ vendors

• New ideas and connections with attendees from

across the country

PLUS, join in on the Las Vegas Western Carwash

Association Roadshow and tour local washes

before Splash begins Oct. 10.

Every half hour, the program alternates between

stage presentations and networking opportunities,


• Wash Talks are educational stage presentations.

• Windshield Time is a rare opportunity to meet

directly with exhibitors intent on solving your car

wash-related problems.

• Table Topics offer unique, table-specific topics

for small groups to discuss.

The ICA is also pleased to announce the recipient

of its 2019 Larry Harrell Scholarship. Michael

Trentini is a Greensboro, North Carolina, native,

who graduated from Greensboro Day School

NRCC details announced

Those looking to attend this year’s Northeast

Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC) from September

23-25 in Atlantic City, can now book their

room at the Borgota Hotel Casino & Spa. Using

the group code GBCAR19, the room block cut-off

date is September 6.

A few of the features of this event, according

to a press release, are:

• Keynoter Moo Moo’s John Roush: Learn how to think

out of the box and create a brand like no other!

WCA is going to Disneyland!

The Western Carwash Association (WCA) is hosting

an event at Disneyland where attendees will

tour car washes, learn the fundamentals of being a

car wash manager, and connect with peers in the car

wash industry. The two-day event will be held August

21-22 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

The event will include:

• Car Wash Manager Fundamentals Course | Wednesday,

August 21st | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Effective teams are the core of every successful

car wash organization. Ensuring that your managers

have the right skills to build and maintain

and will attend the University of North Carolina

at Chapel Hill in the fall.

According to the ICA, Trentini spent his junior

and senior years as an employee at Autobell

Car Wash, also in Greensboro, and attributes a

fellow employee, Matt Ryan, for teaching him a

valuable life lesson.

“What I learned from Matt is about far more

than welcoming me to the Autobell team; it’s

about recognizing when someone feels like an outsider

in any situation and making them feel welcome

with kindness and a smile,” he said in a press

release. “Ever since I met Matt Ryan, I keep my eye

out for new employees at work, lonely students at

school, or even my friends who are having a bad

day, and I try to let them know that they aren’t

alone, just as Matt did to me.”

Each year, to encourage the pursuit of a college

education, the International Carwash Association

presents a $1,000 Larry Harrell Scholarship

to a deserving recipient. Recipients are selected on

the basis of high school standing, leadership roles,

community involvement, honors and response to

the 500-word essay.

Eligibility requirements:

• Recipient must be an employee, or direct family

members of employees, of an International Carwash

Association member.

• Must be a graduating high school senior, or have

graduated in the past three years;

• Must be enrolled (or will enroll) at an accredited

post-secondary educational institution;

• Not be the owner, or a direct family member of

the owner, of the member location.

• The “Virtual Carwash Tour” is Back! We’ll get inside

some innovative washes—virtually: This event was

standing room only last year!

• 320+ Exhibits

• Welcome Reception at The Water Club sponsored by

Innovative Control Systems

• Exceptional Educational Programming

• Limitless Networking

• Opportunities to win big at the Borgata

effective teams will guarantee future success. This

course will provide car wash managers the fundamental

skills needed to effectively manage staff

within their organization.

• Roadshow & Annual Membership Meeting | Thursday,

August 22nd | 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Gain insight into the industry by touring some of

Orange County’s finest car washes! Featuring a keynote

presentation by Doug Lipp, Author of Disney U.

Those attending are encouranged to stay at Disney’s

Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

56 • SUMMER 2019

From startup to ongoing success,

we’ll be a partner you can trust.







Harrell’s Northeast

Littleton, Massachusetts


Washtech - Mid Atlantic

Charlottesville, Virginia


Harrell’s Midwest

Indianapolis, Indiana


Harrell’s Heartland

Johnston, Iowa


SUMMER 2019 • 57

Association News

NECA awards five scholarships

The New England Carwash Association

(NECA) has awarded five, $1,000 scholarships, including

the first Thomas Rando Memorial Scholarship.

Since the program’s inception in 2011,

NECA has awarded $22,000 in scholarships to

very deserving young people.

The 2019 winners include...

• Tommi Bonomo, whose mother works for AutoShine

of New England, will be attending Southern CT State

University and studying psychology.

• Trevor Koppy, whose father works for Triple Play Car

Wash, will be attending UMass Boston and studying


• Cally Seidel, whose mother works for National

Ticket, will be attending Bloomsburg University and

studying psychology.

• Julia Simons, whose father works for RoJo, will be

attending Bridgewater State University and considering

a variety of career options.

Michael Connolly, who has been working for

Sandwich Car Wash while studying economics

at Cape Cod Community College, is the Thomas

Rando Memorial Scholarship winner. Michael

works 25 hours/week at the carwash plus attends

college full time, is his class president and performs

community service. Our Scholarship Committee

was very impressed by his drive and determination.

He is a young man who has exhibited

exceptional initiative.

Anyone who works for a NECA member

company or is an immediate relation to someone

who works for a NECA member company may

apply for a scholarship. 2020 applications will be

available next January.

IDA forms new chapter

The International Detailing Association (IDA)

has recently welcomed two new chapters to its

fold: India and France. The introduction of these

chapters follows a significant revamp to the IDA

Chapter program.

According to a press release, when the program

was first established in March 2016, three

chapters were quickly formed by May of the following

year: United Kingdom, Norway, and New

Zealand. However, it would be nearly another two

years before the next chapter came to be in India.

The IDA Chapter Development Committee,

which was officially formed in January 2019 with

Board Member Jason Rose, CD-SV, RT, at the helm,

is working to promote the international Chapter

program by facilitating the formation of new

chapters. The committee will focus on optimizing

the engagement and results of existing chapters,

through efforts such as quarterly progress meetings

and a mentorship program. The committee also set

goals for its inaugural year, including an objective to

establish four new chapters. With the addition of

India and France, the committee is right on pace to

reach its goal by the end of the year.

India, the first new chapter, received IDA

Board approval in April 2019. The chapter’s formation

comes not only at a good time for the IDA, but

also at an important time for the detailing industry

in India, which has begun increasing exponentially.

IDA President Jonathan Munsell, CD, will be

traveling abroad in July 2019 to continue strengthening

bonds with our existing chapters in Europe.

He is planning to visit the UK, Norway, and the

IDA’s newest chapter in France “to show support

and help build awareness of chapters and the IDA.”

Munsell will also be facilitating Meet and

Greets and IDA certification, as he will be in the

UK the weekend of Waxstock, Europe’s largest car

care event. After a brief hiatus in 2018, the IDA

will once again be represented at the show with

a Certification Event – Phase I (CD), coordinated

by the UK Chapter. This tradeshow presence

fits nicely into the Chapter Development Committee’s

goal of supporting the chapters’ efforts

to maximize participation in the larger detailing

industry in their area.

The IDA currently has five active chapters, with

members in 56 countries and territories across the

globe. If you’re interested in setting up a chapter in

your country or region, please email info@the-ida.

com to request a copy of the “How to Form a New

IDA Chapter” packet. You can also find out more

about the requirements and the process of forming

a chapter by visiting

Australian Car Wash Association talks water restricitons, new wage rates

The Australian Car Wash Association (ACWA)

is warning its members of potential water restrictions

and also sharing important information

about wage rate increases.

Between 2006 and 2008 drought conditions

hit Australia and government authorities moved to

stop car washing, according to a press release. The

ACWA accepted the challenge and on behalf of

car wash owners across Australia, the Association’s

tireless work and political lobbying saw the industry

avoid a wide-ranging closedown.

• After a long, dry summer and autumn again

this year and with water restrictions already

legislated in areas including Sydney, the car

wash industry looks set to face the financial

impact of widespread water restrictions, the

ACWA stated. After providing input into Sydney

Water’s drought management plan and negotiating

for car washing to receive an exclusion,

ACWA received a water restriction “Fact Sheet”

from Sydney Water. On the “Fact Sheet,” a drive

through car washing was listed as a specific

exclusion from restrictions.

Subsequent to this, and without warning, the

“Fact Sheet” was replaced with a different publication

on the Sydney Water website which not only reverses

their position on exclusion for commercial car washing,

it encourages the environmentally damaging notion

of home driveway washing, the ACWA stated.

On behalf of the car wash industry, ACWA

has urgently reengaged with Sydney Water in an

endeavour to have the decision reviewed ACWA

has been advised there will be a three-month grace

period before fines apply. Fines won’t be issued

until after 1 September 2019.

“This is a critical issue for Sydney and other

regionally based car wash operators and ACWA

will keep members apprised of the outcome of our

negotiations. CWA is asking our Sydney and NSW

members to bear with us as we attempt to resolve

the situation. At the same time, the ACWA Water

Subcommittee is engaged with SEQ Water as well

as water authorities in Melbourne, who are also

closely monitoring dam levels ahead of considering

their position on imposing water restrictions.”

The ACWA said it will continue to work on behalf

of members but to do this we need continued

support through membership subscriptions.

The ACWA also provided its members with a

free annual wage rate analysis provided by the Association’s

Industrial Relations experts, Employment

Services & Solutions Australia (ESSA).

The Fair Work Commission handed down the

2019-20 Annual Wage Review Decision in June

2019 and the 3% increase has effect from the first

full pay period commencing on or after July 1 2019.

Members are reminded that all car wash operator

employers are obliged to comply with minimum

wage and/or Award obligations and there are severe

penalties for non-compliance, the ACWA stated.

It is anticipated that members seeking to clarify

wage rates or get general information about agreement

making and termination can obtain such advice

without charge. So, if you are a paid-up member

and require assistance simply call the ACWA HELP-

LINE and ask for Graham Lilleyman or Monica Vu.

58 • SUMMER 2019

Prices from

Coast to Coast

See what other self serves

from across the country are charging in the bays*

*The following information was submitted through posts as well as car wash website data.



$1.50 FOR 3 MINS.



$2 FOR 3:45 MINS.


$1.25 FOR 4 MINS.



$3 FOR 3:12 MINS.



$1.75 FOR

3:50 MINS.


$3 FOR 4 MINS.


$3 FOR 3.5 MINS.




$6 FOR 30 MINS.


$2.50 FOR 4 MINS.



$1.50 FOR 4 MINS.



$2.50 FOR 3.5 MINS.



$2 FOR 3:30 MINS.

CC IS $3 FOR 5:24 MINS








$3 FOR 5 MINS.


$3 FOR 4 MINS.

$4 FOR 4 MINS.,

$5 FOR 5,

$6 FOR 6 & $7 FOR 10


$3.75 FOR 4:30 MINS.


$3 FOR 3:30 MINS.



$3 FOR 5 MINS.




$3.50 FOR 5 MINS.



$4 FOR 5 MINS.


$2 FOR 4 MINS.



$3 FOR 4 MINS.



$2 FOR 4 MINS.




$3 FOR 5 MIN.




$5 FOR 5 MINS. $3 FOR 4 MINS.



SUMMER 2019 • 59’s

‘Random Thoughts’

How self serves can learn from

the express serve model

By Eric Wilson

Can self service car washes learn something from flex and express washes?

No way! (Just kidding). You can learn something

from almost anything if you want to.

A long time ago Marc (the former Southeast Car

Wash Association/SECWA association manager)

built an express wash in Albertville, Alabama. It

was originally built with two entry units. Apparently,

after a couple months they realized, after

lots of complaints, that they needed to pull one of

the entry units and replace it with a cashier stand.

The other day while washing my wife’s car,

we went to Anthony’s flex service in Hoover,

Alabama. I have been to this location before. It

was newly renovated from a full service wash and

previously had two entry units just like the Albertville

express. Well, the last time we went to

the flex wash they had pulled one of their portals

and replaced it with a cashier stand also.

What do these two express washes have in common?

Even though both entry units had talking

prompts (actual virtual people in both cases),

virtual buttons, barcodes, RFID, credit cards, accepted

all currency, etc.) both locations still had

issues. The units were causing delays and were

overly complex for some customers who weren’t

familiar with the lingo, etc. etc. For flex and express

washes they depend on large throughput

and they cannot afford delays. So, having a well

run and easy-to-use entry unit is vital.

We should also look at this issue for our own self

serve car wash industry. Do we really need a complex

system for selling four washes? Sometimes and

overly complex menu can overwhelm a customer.

Just look at a new push button meter box...

then just think about how you would find that

many functions to fill all the buttons. Do you really

need bumper cleaner, engine cleaner and tire

cleaner? Or four stops? This is the same problem

with the entry units. A complex interaction can

be done through the entry unit, but sometimes

explaining or interacting with customers is necessary,

which is why owners switch to a cashier.

Even a phone number to conduct business or an

attendant at peak hours can be sufficient for a self

service wash.

This can really be an issue with your entry system’s

interface design: How the customer interfaces

with the entry unit and how you accept their

payment. This process needs to involve the least

amount of steps and delays as possible. Luckily, in

the self service industry we are selling less items,

which automatically makes the process simpler.

I talk and see owners that make this process

overly complex all the time. You just need to

think about the process you are trying to achieve

and in what order.

1) Accept money (are you accepting

credit cards? all dollar amounts?)

2). Make a wash selection.

Then look at your entry unit. Are there items

distracting the customer? Is there a refund button

you disabled? Other buttons or displays you do not

use? Do you accept all currencies? If you do not

use some of the functions on the entry unit they

are just distracting customers and really need to

be covered up. Also look at the graphics. Is it an

advertisement for a different company? (Manufacturer

of the system for example.) Shouldn’t useful

information for your customers be there instead?

Instructions on where to start? Arrows maybe? Easy

to understand wording?

A cheap solution would be to make custom stickers

along with lexan faceplates to help block unused

buttons or holes. It would help your entry unit be

more useful and easier to use for your customers. It

should also help speed the entry process up, which

makes you more money. Customer feedback may

also help if you are considering any changes. You

have to put yourself in a “new customer’s shoes”

and pretend you are visiting your wash, or better

yet, any wash for the first time. Or, ask a friend to

visit the wash and give honest feedback about how

easy the functions and language are to understand.

Customers do not want to feel unintelligent, or

frustrated. Happy and confident customers will not

only become regular customers, but will also keep

you in business.

Eric Wilson is a self-serve car wash owner who also blogs online on the popular and very funny website,

60 • SUMMER 2019




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Backlit or Stainless

Diverse Application Arches

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Variety of Soft Touch Wash

Stack-N-Scrub, Top Brush, Mitters

Multiple Dryer


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SUMMER 2019 • 61





I _________________________

... am glad they’re not bucket

washing in one of my bays when

paying customers are waiting -


... get a bit jealous, especially if it’s

a nice car, shady out, cool breeze,

Bozz Scaggs on a boom box, pretty

wife helping and a can of something

cool nearby. - WAXMAN

... If it’s being done well - with a

good soap and mitt, clean wheels/

tires/wheel wells/hose off the

undercarriage/clean door jambs,

use a good soft drying cloth - I think

of it as a lost art! - WASHNSHINE

... I’m glad there in there driveway

bucket washing instead at my SS

tieing up my bay. - WATER GUY



HAS BEEN _____________

... My car wash is located in Lexington, KY, and

lately, the weather has been extremely rainy since

last year in September - SLASH007

... my car wash is in the Northwest and the first

6 months of the year were high precipitation but

the last month has been almost perfect. - SOAPY

... my car wash is located in Texas (Fort Worth)

and lately the weather has been HOT! Earlier this

year we had a lot of rain more than usual but it’s

just got now - RFREEMAN

... my carwashes are located in Lake Charles,

Louisiana. Weather was bad last week due to

hurricane this week has been perfect! - DAMONI88

... first 6 Months wettest on

record in Illinois. - EARL WEISS

... my car wash is located in central Ky and lately,

the weather has been very rainy for the last


... Cape Coral, Florida and it’s rained every day

since we bought it. - MAC

... my wash is located in Grimes, Iowa, and the

weather has been very hot lately. - DIAMONDWASH

... Our wash is in West Michigan.

June was VERY rainy but July has been

very dry and HOT! - BERT79

... Our 6 bay tandem car wash part of our

laundromat-dog wash facility is in Bismarck

... da capital city of the state of North Dakota.

Since it is the da capitol city & da capital with da

brand new gov mansion is within 3 miles of me

... I try to do my part in my little bitty way to help

clean up whatever political swamp has crept

in or at minimum prevent that existing political

swampiness problem from getting worse. So

hopefully, I get enough support so I succeed

along with other people who also prefer to

take the high road & thee one also ... with less

hypocrisy involved!!! The weather has been very

rainy & extra cool ... my large vegetable garden is

doing extra good this year because of it. It seems

like there has only 2 days where the temperature

has crept up above 90° F during the peak of the

day. - MJWALSH



... 3, total for 2 sites. But I have 2 full time

employees - SOO NERMAJIC

... probably 8-10 hours a week average. no hired

help. - DAN -ARK

... 2-3 hours a day. 1-1.5 in the morning and same

in the evening. I have a hired hand that helps

look after place also and he’s more of a “drive by

check it out” kind of help. - JOS HSWASHES

... 4 - 5 Hours per day between 2 washes and

storage units - SPA RKEY

... 10-12 hours a week on average. No employees

- BER T79

If you would like to contribute your own answer, visit and do a keyword search of “fill in the blank.”

62 • SUMMER 2019



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SUMMER 2019 • 63


Music to our Ears


On May 13, 2019, Tennessee’s “Music City,” and

its populous of troubadours, virtuosos, and melodious

dreamer, was infiltrated by a different type

of people. Not armed with steel guitars and fender

telecasters, but instead business plans, questions

and a list of items to buy. From May 13-15, the

Music City Center, located in the heart of Nashville,

Tennessee, was filled with thousands of car

wash owners, roaming the aisles, looking at new

products, asking, “How would this work at my

wash?” or “Is this the best soap for my customers?”

and also filling up seminar rooms, listening

intently to experts in the field, taking notes and

taking business cards. According the International

Carwash Association, The Car Wash Show 2019

drew more than 9,500 attendees and 400 exhibiting

companies making it the largest show ever. It

is unclear how many of those attendees were self

serve operators, but there were two educational

sessions dedicated solely to the self serve market,

so it must mean the ICA felt the demand. Those

two sessions included: Reinvigorating Your Self-

Serve Carwash, hosted by Dale L. Reynolds, president

of Carolina Pride Carwash; and the Peer Power

Hour: Self Serve Wash Panel Discussion, hosted

by Jerry Nix of Speedi Car Wash, Scott Thomas

of Clean Sport Car Wash and Sydney King of The

Good Spray Car Wash.

For this issue, the highlights from Reynold’s

Session are included. The Session was crowded,

hands were raised during the Q&A, and words of

wisdom were dispersed, thanks to the host’s years

in the business. His dad started out in 1966, and

Reynolds grew up learning every aspect of the car

wash. A mechanic at heart, he paid attention and

soon owned his own washes, and now is sharing

his knowledge with other self serve operators. The

following are excerpts from his talk.

How many people

would like to make more money?

How many are willing to do something

different to make more money?

Are you working on the business

or working in the business

-- what’s the difference?

It’s a trap… if we are not looking at the whole

picture, but working on the day-to-day to [simply]

keep the business running.

A lot of people come to a tradeshow and they

want to change their business and they are looking

for the silver bullet -- what’s the next big thing

that’s really going to make a difference. Sometimes,

you find what’s neat and new -- [but] not

always will the silver bullet change your business.

We need to look further down the road. Unfortunately,

businesses change, whether we want

them to or not. Demographics change, economies

change, customers change -- [they will change

the model of car wash they go to and might go

from self serve to automatic to tunnels]. Technologies

change. One of the biggest things I blame

for change is the iPhone -- it is changing the way

we do everything. Operators change. We get really

excited when we get into a business and we put all

that energy into it and after a while we might get

a little tired and we might not put that energy into

it the way we did in the beginning. Competition

changes. Are we really prepared for a new competitor

to come into our market? And, then also what

about model changes? [There are] big changes in

the “car wash model” and what people are building

and investing in. So, how do we deal with that?

What’s your plans for change? Get ready, because

change is coming whether you want it to or not.

(continued ... )

SUMMER 2019 • 65




The first thing I ask is,

“Do you have a

business plan?”

We suggest you update your business plan every

year -- because things happen that you didn’t plan

for and you have to reinvest in some different areas

to handle [it].

ANNUAL BUSINESS REVIEW: Is business up or down?

What do I do if it is down?

COMPETITION: I have a new competitor, what I am

going to do to compete? I don’t just want to maintain

my business, I want to grow my business.

What’s our wash quality? Am I doing just as good

a job today as I was last year or am I doing better?

We always want to get better. We don’t want to

get worse, but, unfortunately, we sometimes do

because we start chasing the wrong things.

VISUAL APPEAL: does your wash look as nice as the

day you built it?

CLEANLINESS OF FACILITY: One thing I talk about

with the employees of my wash is I wish we could

treat is as a restaurant -- I wish I could have the

health department come in once or twice a year

to inspect it and make sure it’s nice and clean like

you would want to eat there...

Pricing changes? How

many of you changed

your prices in the last

year? Self serve car

wash operators are so

scared to change prices.

But, all your invoices

The thing that I found most interesting was

Superior Control Systems display. The robot

was kind of cool, but the system that allowed

it to see the wheel and make changes

based on that information was even better.

Technology like that and ICS’s Entry Arch

(that could create a virtual vehicle for the car

wash’s computer) means that going forward

the equipment will know what kind of vehicle

it is washing, how long it is, where the wheel

wells and tires are, does it have window

shades, even what is in a pickup’s bed. With

this information the equipment can then take

the appropriate action.

I thought it was one of the best. Having

said that it was a reflection of the

suppliers stepping up to demand…



Terrific venue, strong

turnout ... seemed to be

a fair amount of buyers

opposed to tire kickers!


keep going up every year, don’t they? Your

utilities. Your taxes...etc.

New services offered? Have you offered a

new service? What does your customer need

today that they didn’t need before? Or what

is now available?

CREDIT CARD ACCEPTANCE: Do you offer it at your

wash on all services?

MARKETING: Do you change up your marketing?

One of the worst things we see at a car wash, especially

self serves, do is [keep up old signs that are

worn and dirty].

FUNDRAISING: Do you do anything with charity


FREE VACUUMS: These are a really big thing

can this change your business?

Loyalty clubs: You hear a lot about these, and

unlimited accounts.

WEBSITE: How many people look at the Yellow

Pages? Nobody does anymore. If you want someone

to find your business, you have to have a web

presence. Is there a need to replace equipment?

Maintenance Costs: Are they going up every year?

STAFF TRAINING: What are we doing there? Are we

improving our attendants? Do you have an employee

handbook? Do you have an OSHA Compliance



a lot of expenses here-

- how do we improve

efficiencies and reduce

costs and improve what

we offer to our customers.

Start with the owner.

Owners can get tired and get comfortable...

and stop reinvesting in their business.

Every year you have to handle debt

services, property taxes, business licenses,

employees, maintenance, repairs, supplies,

utilities. If you play blackjack and

you have a 9 and a 2 and the dealer has

a 4, what do you do? You double down.

Sometimes with your business you have

to double down and reinvest in your business

again. How do you keep going and

growing so that you’re the leader in your


Are you the best in town?

If people went to your town and

asked, “Tell me where the best car wash

is?” would they point to yours? Are you


The license plate recognition program

was what caught my attention. It is set

up to look at the cars coming to your

wash as well as those that pass by your

wash which then would allow targeted

messaging. I think it has potential in the

SS market, not just the express market.

The key is finding a marketing company

that understands the rules associated

with messaging people with license plate

technology. Suds was the only vendor that

could do this at the wash. SCRUBS3

the wash that everyone is talking about? I have a

57-year-old car wash in Roxboro, North Carolina.

Started out a 5-bay went to a 9 bay, went to a 7

and 2, it’s been remodeled 5 times. And we will

be remodeling again next year, for the sixth time.

If you keep doing that, it keeps winning. We just

won the car wash of the year award, voted on by

the community.

Could you sell it if you had to?

A big thing you want to do is run your business

like it’s for sale every day. If you were to pass away,

could your business be sold? Every business will

be sold someday, hopefully for a profit. It could be

sold on the courthouse steps. I cannot tell you how

many times I’ve seen men that owned their car

washes pass away and they left their wives with a

car wash that they cannot run, and the numbers

don’t work. And, when it comes time for them to

sell it, the tax returns don’t support the true value

of that business. If you really want to provide for

your family, report it all, maximize your business

so that it can be sold for the absolute maximum

value. The IRS has a 65-page document on how to

audit self serve car washes. So, they know all about

what you’re doing.

If you don’t love it, then leave it.

Have you ever seen the HGTV show Love It or List

It? It is kind of the same thing with your business. If

you do not love your business. Sell it. You need to love

your business. You need to love what you do. And, if

you don’t, sell it and try something new.

If you want to sell your house, what do you do?

You paint it, you stage it, you fix up the landscaping

and remove all of the junk. If you’re running

a business, you should do that every day. We are

in the cleaning business. We should be setting the

absolute best example of what a clean car wash

should look like.

Love the neighborhood.

Sometimes you might need to clean up the lot

next to your business. Or you might even need to

buy it. If it’s an eyesore that might be unattractive

to the customers coming to your business, maybe

you need to help clean it up and your neighborhood

to make the area more attractive to get more

business in that community.

66 • SUMMER 2019






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SUMMER 2019 • 67

68 • SUMMER 2019

SUMMER 2019 • 69



“Think of running a car wash like a sport: It’s a competition and I am

in it to win. I didn’t get in it to come in second place or third place. I got in it to come in

first place. If you run your business that same way, you’ll make more money. But, if you’re

running for second, you’ll get second place prize.” DALE REYNOLDS

Great venue, everyone I spoke

to was buying, not looking,

and the events and

networking were excellent.


The right marketing.

For signage, people notice these things a lot

more than you think. On our signage, we have

promoted an employee of the month and my son

would put certain sayings on the signs. I have had

people say, “we have missed your sayings,” if we

didn’t change it after a certain amount of time.

It is a way for people to remember your business.

You’re part of the community. Sometimes, you

can motivate people with the things you put on

your sign.

Are you environmentally


Being green is important to the younger generations.

We offer an environmentally friendly coloring

book that we give out to the schools to help

promote them coming to our wash. The at-home

washer is still our big competitor.

Other things to consider?

WASH CLUBS: New technology is bringing in more

customers, thanks to smartphones.

Would a gated self serve or free vacuums work

for you?

How well are your vacuums performing? Are

you replacing your filter bags?

I really enjoyed the

Nashville show this year

one of the best shows

I have been to…


Q: Do you offer an express exterior

along with your self serves?

Every market is different and the first thing

we want to look at is, what are the needs of the

community? You need to have the demographics

to support that model. Some people say the self

serve market is dead, but we still build a whole lot

of self serves. But the big thing is, give them a great

wash experience and charge them for it. Self serve

car washes are going to be here for a long time.

Q: How do you deal with

hazardous material dumping?

Video cameras. A woman operator in Texas caught

a guy changing the oil in her pit, so she called the police

who came over and they shut the car wash down.

They called the EPA and it cost her $4000 to clean

up the sewer system. She did the right thing. So, do

you have an oil/water separator? If you have that, it

will catch that oil change. We have video cameras in

every single bay and on the sites, so that if there is an

issue we can track down who is responsible.

Q: How do you minimize rubbish?

About 28 years ago, it was a Saturday and my guys

and I worked really hard cleaning up a site and everything

was pristine and then a customer dumped

three bags of trash on top of our vacuum island. So,

I dug through them, found their address, and took it

back to their house and put it on their front porch. I

was recycling, that’s the way I looked at it.

Q: What do you do about the good

‘ol boys who show up in a pickup

truck and open the tailgate and

shot mud all over your aprons?


We got to meet a lot of people from

the companies that we have talked

to many times on the phone. It sure

is nice to be able to touch and

look at carefully in person things

that you are interested in buying

and can usually only see on the

internet. There are several pieces

of equipment that we are buying

soon that we thought seemed really

pricey. After looking them over at

the show we can see why they cost

so much as some of these things

are complex and have a lot of parts

to them. OURTOWN

If we catch someone coming onto our property

like that we will bring them a broom and a trash

can and assist them.

Q: Do you use a

reclaim water system?

Yes, at some locations. At one location our water

costs 2.3 cents per gallon from the city. We have a

3,000 gallon rainwater catch tank-- so we capture

rainwater, we recycle RO reject water and reclaim

our wash water from all the bays to reuse in the

wash process. We try to minimize our consumption.

Q: Is the self serve model dying?

In my opinion, no. There are vehicles that will not

wash in automatics, so you still need the self serve bays.

Q: Using a good quality chemical,

what is a good price range for a car

to be cleaned at a self serve?

It is not so much per car on a self serve, but, buy

the best product that you can and if you can wash

your car without using the brush, price your business

to cover that cost. Some do not like that answer,

but it’s the truth. Use premium products and


The keynote was given by TED Talks

speaker and author Shawn Achor. Some

highlights of his talk, according to the ICA

were his notes on happiness. “We can pick

(negativity and nervousness) up like second-hand

smoke,” said Achor. “The entire

system can become cancerous… Luckily,

Happiness can become viral too.” That is

the most important piece of the data, he

added. “Our brains are designed to be wireless

connected …We co-process the world

...Happiness is not an individual sport.” This

is part of the reason that obstacles seem

easier to overcome if you have help. If you

look at a hill by yourself, your brain sees a

hill 10-20% higher than if someone is standing

next to you, he said.

70 • SUMMER 2019








SUMMER 2019 • 71


Reinvigorate your employees

You need to reinvigorate your employees. They

are representing you and your business. We want

employees to feel as if they are part of our family. If

you’re not excited will your employees be excited?

You have to get them excited about what they’re

doing -- about the changes you want to make.

Turn to your customers.

Ask them for suggestions. Are there any customer

complaints? Do you look at them? See what

people are saying about your business. When they

tell you things, don’t criticize them. Do your customers

think you care? If they have an issue do

you try and take ownership when there is a mistake.?

Sometimes, we do make a mistake, but taking

care of the customer is so important today. A

quote from a good friend, who passed away was,

“Make every bay work in every way, every day.”

Every day we test every single cycle in every bay

to make sure everything is working properly. If

there is a problem, we want to fix it then before a

customer gets there.

Have a checklist.

Do have a procedure for testing your services? We

have daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly checklists.

Use your own self serve car wash. I have to remind

myself to go to mine and check and make sure I can

actually clean my car. Can you clean your car without

using the foam brush? Check and test your solutions

to make sure you can clean your car without one.

Train the customers

Most people do not know how to use a self

serve: Most people have never been trained-- if an

employee is onsite, they should be trained to use

every single service so that if they are asked, they

can give a customer the right answer.

Everyone who pulls into our wash and has [brought

their] brand new car, they get a free car wash. I then

show them how to take care of that brand new car.

The best investment you can make is your time:

Give customers your personally attention and

time. Make them feel special and make their day.

Look at your Services

How many of you track the services by the amount

of time you sell or percentage of revenue that comes

in? If you don’t check on these services, how do you

know what people are buying and what is selling?

If a service is lasting a long time, then no one is

buying it. In summertime, your offerings might be

changed from what is offered in the winter.

Change up the menu signs: we promote difference

services during different times of the year.

For instance, in the summer, we offer bug remover.

And in the winter, we offer wheel and tire cleaner.

Change it up.

Change the times.

Look at when people are doing business with you.

Most of the business is done during the day. If from 7

p.m. to 8 a.m., only 14% of your business is coming

in, I would see how you can change that. The most

expensive time of operation is nighttime, you have

your lights on, you might be running the floor heat,

so it is costing you more to operate. So, let’s get more

customers to come in during that time also.


As for the 2021 Show, it will be back in Nashville and held from March 24-26.

The Car Wash Show 2020 will take place April 6-8, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas, at the Henry




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74 • SUMMER 2019




The investment in security cameras pays off for carwash operators (and the readers of SSCWN) with these

mostly frustrating, sometimes funny -- and always cautionary -- stories of Darwins Caught on Camera. Images of these criminals

and/or their vehicles were given to police and the press. Many have been caught thanks to the prowess of security cameras.

This isn’t a crime per se, but yikes … it just has to be shared.

Along with showing up to school and not knowing my class

schedule or locker combination, I also have nightmares of

this happening, and now the nightmares will be even more

prevalent as it actually happened to someone in real life. In

mid-July, cameras caught footage of a 64-year-old driver in

Hackensack, New Jersey, exiting the Spotless Car Wash and

then driving right into the Hackensack River. The woman is

okay thanks to a bystander who plunged into the river to pull

her out along with her passenger. NBC News reported that the

driver of the SUV mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brake.

The story stated, that video shows two car wash workers in

the parking lot as the car careens toward them, almost hits

a fence with an arrow pointing to an exit and then speeds

up, but maneuvers between them as they dodge out of the

way. “When the car drops into the water, the two workers and

two others run over.” Sounds like a real-life nightmare to me.

Maybe the driver thought the car needed an extra rinse?

I am no criminal expert,

but I really don’t understand

a customer patronizing a

business and then going

and robbing it.

So a trailer carrying $29,000 worth of equipment

was stolen from the Hydro-Spray Car Wash

in Columbus, Ohio, on July 11. According to abc

6, owner Scott Aliff, was able to see the theft,

thief as well as his getaway vehicle thanks to his

surveillance equipment. According to the story,

footage shows a vehicle that appears to be a

Dodge Ram truck drive away with a 7×14 cargo

trailer that belonged to the business and was

locked on the property.

Aliff believes the pick-up used to haul away

the stolen trailer, was sprayed and washed at the

car wash an hour before the crime. It is pretty

hard to hide a stolen tractor, so hopefully this guy

will be caught soon.

At least twice a day,

I have to remind my

kids about the importance

of patience. Wait your turn,

I often say.

Patience is a virtue. This isn’t a diner, your food

will be ready when it’s ready...etc. etc. you get the

idea. Well, apparently 68-year-old Joseph Rivard

could use a similar talking to. Rivard was caught

on camera pulling a gun on another customer

at the West Side Car Wash in Dover, Delaware.

Why? This wasn’t an act of defense, or fortitude,

and no one was in danger. It was because Rivard

thought a man took his place in line at the car

wash. The nerve! Someone thinks you took their

place in line and you get a gun in your face? According

to 47 abc, the incident happened a little

before 3:30 p.m. and footage shows Rivard getting

out of his car while in line and , “confronted

the driver in the vehicle ahead of him, claiming

that he believed that car took his place in line.

Rivard then reportedly took a revolver out of his

vehicle and aimed it at the victim while refusing

to let him leave his vehicle.” Upon further investigation,

it was discovered that Rivard was drunk

and was subsequently arrested.

SUMMER 2019 • 75

This next story sets up any good writer with some

wonderful synonymic wordplay.

For instance, “clink” and “can” are

considered slang words for jail. And this story

could easily be headlined: Two cons canned for

clink caper. Or something like that. So, who are

the cons and what cans sent them to the clink?

Why it was David Valiquette and Krystal Pilon

of Windsor, Ontario, who were caught stealing

bags of cans and a recycle bin from the Car

and Dog Wash. The cans were part of a bottle

drive fundraiser to benefit the Pet and Wildlife

Rescue. The amount of cans stolen equaled

about $600. The entire heist was caught on

camera and eventually, the police caught up

with the duo who have been charged.

I believe it was

Eliot “Untouchables”

Ness who said, “That’s

the Chicago way!”

Or maybe it was Al Capone?

Or Oprah Winfrey? Whoever actually said it,

must have known that the city of Chicago as well

as its residents have their own quirks and idiosyncrasies.

Take for instance, this peculiar pair of bandits

who risked jail time and negative notoriety for

some candy and old coupons. Surveillance caught

the pair as they not only broke into the 4 Seasons

Car Wash in Chicago, but also a shrimp restaurant.

Car wash footage shows the pair stealing a

car from the car wash as well as a drawer full of

coins, candy and car keys. “In Chicago, everything

happens. You never know,” Andy Sularz, who’s car

was stolen, told cbs 2. After breaking into the car

wash and stealing the car, the man and a woman

hit up Frank’s Chicago Shrimp House. According

to the story, “After rifling through the back room,

the burglars left with bank bags. Not filled with

cash, but old coupons.”

Police are still looking for the suspects and I am

sure have plenty of questions, starting with why

on earth was the restaurant keeping old coupons

in bank bags?

Now, here is a crime

story with a happy ending

worthy of a Hallmark

Channel movie.

And, it has patriotism to boot!

A 19-year-old teen was caught on camera stealing

an American flag from the Beachon Car & Pet

Wash in Pacific, Missouri.

Car wash owner Bill Hoaglin posted screenshots

of the suspect on Facebook and it only took about

45 minutes for the “tips” to pour in with people

identifying the suspect.

According to The Patriot Post, police reviewed

the footage and stopped by the suspect’s house,

but he was not home. About 15 minutes later, the

car wash’s phone rang. Lo and behold, it was the

suspect. “He wanted to make it right,” Hoaglin said

in the story. “So, I told him to bring the flag back.”

(And this is where the Hallmark Channel would

cue in the redemption music…) So, Instead of

pressing charges, the business owner and the police

officer had another idea.

Hoaglin, who served as a police officer for 18

years, had his daughter go out and purchase every

small American flag she could find. Then, the teen

was given a choice: Either hand out the American

flags or go to jail.

You can probably guess what the teen chose to do.

For over five hours he handed out small American

flags to every customer who dropped by the

car wash, the story stated.

“The middle flag, I stole it,” the young man told

Fox 2 Now. “I made a mistake. Don’t steal flags, kids.”

Hoaglin, who noted that the “punishment” was

not meant to embarrass the teen, said he was very

courteous. Hoaglin added that some people heard

about the flag giveaway and brought their kids to

the car wash to show them what happens when a

person gets caught stealing.

“Community policing used to work a lot back

when I was a kid,” Hoaglin said in the story. “If you

were out being a knucklehead, they wouldn’t haul

you off to jail, they would call your mom or dad

and sometimes that was the worst punishment

than getting a ticket.”

It is unclear if Hoaglin and the teen are now best

friends, but Hoaglin did say this about the incident

and how he is a fan of second chances: “I’m a very

strong believer in that. So, I thought let’s give this a

try. And I think it made a good impression on him.”

76 • SUMMER 2019

Come on, guys,

it’s all ball bearings


Still the


Operator’s Roundtable!

SUMMER 2019 • 77

Some criminals are identified by tattoos, some by a scar,

this man was caught due to something far different.

And, I am most certain if he ends up in jail, and wants to share

his“crime” story with other criminals, he will not include the part about

being caught due to his bicycle basket. According to the Lincoln Journal

Star, a unique basket on a vandal suspect’s bicycle helped Lincoln,

Nebraska, police track down a 32-year-old accused of robbing a car wash.

On March 26 and April 1, video surveillance at the JetSplash shows the

man riding in on a bicycle and breaking the access gates. Investigators

posted images from the footage to the Lincoln Crimestoppers site, and the

suspect was soon identified.

When officers went to his home, they saw the bike with the same

unique basket parked at his home. Talk about a basketcase! The suspect

was ticketed on two counts of vandalism.

This isn’t a story about a

dumb criminal, but more

about an unlucky guy

who was saved, thanks to

surveillance cameras.

Christian Espinoza was arrested for robbing a

car wash in Salem, Oregon, last September. However,

Espinoza wasn’t the culprit and instead it

was Christopher Espinoza. According to the Salem

Reporter, a lawsuit filed by Espinoza states:

Rather than arrest Christopher Espinoza and have

him booked, fingerprinted and photographed, [the

deputy] issued Christopher Espinoza a citation to

appear in court on September 10, 2018. In a weird

twist, the citation even included all of Christian’s

vitals, including his birthday, height, eye color, etc.

And, when Christian didn’t appear in court, a

warrant was issued and he was arrested.

Luckily for Christian, surveillance footage

proved his innocence and Christopher Espinoza

was found and confessed to the car wash robbery.

Christian, according to the story, is seeking damages

now because, in the age of the internet, his

reputation is at stake.

And this, folks, is why I am proud to have the

name Debra Gorgos. I am the one and only in the

entire world.

I wonder if the thief in this

story knew he was stealing

from a former well-known

MMA fighter who goes by

the name “Caveman”?

In Wichita, Kansas, Rick’s Car Wash, owned by

David “Caveman” Rickels, was vandalized and heavily

damaged by a guy wielding a sledgehammer.

According to KSNW, Rickels said security footage

showed the man taking a “sledgehammer to the

wall,” Rickels said. “He was trying to steal the vault.”

The man is seen on camera for about two minutes,

the story stated, going back and forth from

hitting the wall and standing near his truck. Footage

also shows “the man sifting through some of

the damage and picking up what appears to be a

second license plate near the rear of his truck.”

The man caused about $1,000 worth of damages.

However, Rickels is confident they are going to

catch this person responsible. I, personally, think

Rickels should take a cue from the American Flag

story and not send the man to jail if he is found.

They should instead duel it out in the ring. I’d put

my money on Caveman.

If we had a Dumb Criminals

Hall of Fame Kenny Joe Morrisett

would be one of the

notibles. Why?

Because after robbing a car wash in Jonesboro,

Arkansas, Morrisett took a selfie, left behind a cell

phone and returned to the scene of the crime. According

to KAIT 8, Morrisett was arrested on July

2 on suspicion of commercial burglary, first-degree

criminal mischief and theft in connection with a

March 29 burglary at Wolf Car Wash.

According to an affidavit, the suspect “broke a

window to get into the office, took two locked

cash tills, destroyed the outside of the business

and took nearly $200 in cash.” Footage shows

Morrisett walking to the car wash’s dumpster and

throwing the cash drawer/till away. “The suspect

returns approximately one hour later and can be

seen looking inside the window near where a cell

phone was found,” according to the story.

Police were able to determine that the cell

phone belonged to Morrisett. “There is also a selfie

of Kenny Morrisett taken approximately five

hours before the burglary in which Kenny Morrisett

is wearing what appears to be the same blue

jacket he is seen wearing in the video footage. Mr.

Morrisett’s face profile can also be seen in the glow

of the computer monitor while he was in the office,”

Jonesboro police said in the story.

A thief in Clearfield, Utah,

stole four security cameras

while they were filming

his very own face.

According to, a man broke into the

“Splash and Dash” car wash during the early morning

hours of April 19 and stole several cameras.

“The thief can be seen in one of the videos carrying

the ladder through the parking area putting it next

to the camera then pulling the camera off the building,”

the story said. The EZ watch brand cameras are

valued at approximately $2000 each. As the story

states, it is not often a thief targets the equipment

that could eventually lead to his arrest. But, that’s

why this section is called More Dumb Criminals.

78 • SUMMER 2019

SUMMER 2019 • 79

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225 Crown Blvd., Timberlake, NC 27583

PO Box 488 | Roxboro, NC 27573 |

80 • SUMMER 2019

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