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FALL 2019 • 3


CONTENTS

Looking Back ...........................................6

JJ Checks In!

Cwguy.com’s ’ ........................................ 10

The Customer is always Wrong!

Association Calendar & News ........ 14

Quick Tips ............................................... 18

10 Questions ........................................... 21

One on One with Jerry Nix

Cold Hard Cash ..................................... 22

Are ice vending machines a good

addition for your self-serve wash?

Snap Shot ................................................. 28

Q&A with Kimberly Berg

Fun & Games ........................................ 32

Fill in the Blank ..................................... 34

Tricks of the Trade .............................. 37

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

Industry Dirt ........................................... 52

Extra! Extra! ............................................ 56

Cover Story .............................................. 58

Car Wash Royale

Darwin at the Carwash ...................... 71

VOL. 46, NO. 4, FALL 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 www.sscwn.com.

All inquiries should be directed to:

Self Serve Car Wash News

110 Childs Ln., Franklin, TN 37067

jacksonv@sscwn.com

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

Note to Self

BY DEBRA GORGOS, EDITOR

Fall is now upon us which means mud, leaves,

post-hunting messes, tailgating and car owners

not looking to wash their vehicles in their driveways.

It also is the season of the Northeast Regional

Carwash Convention which, once again,

took place in Atlantic City this past September,

and I had a wonderful time meeting so many

self serve car wash owners, some of whom are

new to the industry. It was also nice to see Kevin

Detrick of Innovative Control Systems/Sparkle

Car Wash as the recipient of the Hall of Fame

Award, which is the NRCC’s highest honor. I

have known Kevin for over 10 years and he truly

deserves the honor.

Another great thing about Fall is that it is the

season of Halloween. I had a bit of fun with

the holiday in this issue, asking operators about

their scariest self serve car wash tasks, the creepiest

things they have found left behind in and

around the bays and I also found some old footage

of a zombie self serve car wash in Toronto.

I also wanted to use this opportunity to promote

a carwashforum.com post in which I.B.

Washincars of central Kentucky was hoping to

locate the owner of the keys in this picture:

Lost Keys, anyone?

I.B. Washincars’ post: We’ve had a

rash of break-in around here over

the last couple of months. The Nelson

County Sheriff’s Dept. has

made a couple of arrests. They had

a lot of stolen goods in their possession,

including some things from one

of my washes. They recovered this set

of keys in their loot, but as of yet haven’t

connected them to an owner. I have

directed them to Medeco to possibly match that tag

to someone, but they don’t have any owner yet. All

of my washes are within 20 miles of Makers Mark.

I have contacted several wash owners around me

and none are the owners. I know that they are most

likely useless to the owner now, since locks will have

been changed, but it would be nice to tie them to

another crime. Anyone here recognize them?

Speaking of crimes, this issue’s cover story is

timely, fascinating and maybe even polarizing. I

Letter to the Editor

Good Afternoon,

I am writing to you regarding an

article that was in your magazine

approximately 3 years ago. It was

regarding 1/3 of the water used

would stay on the vehicle and

would not go down the drain.

My sewer bill has gone up to

$2100 per month and my water

bill is $300 per month.

Any help with locating this

article would be helpful.

Regards,

Douglas Pete Carter

have my own stance on guns, but it goes without

saying that car wash owners are constantly experiencing,

or thwarting criminal activity (SEE

PAGE Darwins at the Carwash). There is also a

lot of cash being transported and I for one, understand

the need for some operators to be armed.

I used to work inside of a mall at a pretzel stand.

I used to have to close up the shop and bring

the money, in a bag, to the bank deposit drawer

inside the mall. Looking back, I realize how

much of a naïve and lucky gal I was. I am not

even sure there were high-tech security cameras

there at the time (it was 1996), but I was definitely

a moving target. Granted, it was not a lot

of cash, but I still had zero self-defense skills or

weaponry. I do not own a gun and there isn’t one

in our house, but I support well-trained, responsible

gun owners. I also understand how all of

you are pretty much out in the open. A criminal

can maybe see those of you (who accept cash)

emptying your machines. You out there, braving

possible criminial activity. I also admire all of you

willing to share your stories of why you carry.

And, before I sign off, I wanted to mention

that have now officially been at the helm of

this esteemed publication for two years.

I can remember the night in October

of 2017 when I was scrambling

to make sure my first official issue

lived up to the reputation

pre-established by JJ Jakubowski

and Joseph and Julia Campbell.

I was, honestly, being a bit too

impassioned and can even remember

showing up my son’s classroom

Halloween party looking like an actual

zombie. The legacy, the readers, the JJ wit! It

was and still is a tough pair of proverbial shoes

to fill. I hope you all enjoying each issue and I

hope you all know how grateful and I am to

work with the talents of Art Director Katy Barret-Alley

and Publisher Jackson Vahaly. Thank

you, everyone, for all of the support, the advertisements

and the readership.

Until next time,

Hello, Doug!

Debra

Yes, the article you are referring to was

published three years ago, but that was a reprint

of an article published by former editor JJ

Jakubowski. It originally appeared in the Fall 2001

issue of Self Serve Car Wash News. Also, to make

things even more confusing, it was a two-part

article, the first of which came from an SSCWN

article about 10 years prior, and the second part

was issued three years after that. Phew. I feel as

if I am back in chemistry class. Anyway, Doug,

the article is brilliant and ageless, and I can

understand your desire to see it once again. JJ

was kind enough to forward it to me. Enjoy!

Debra Gorgos

4 • FALL 2019


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FALL 2019 • 5


JJ Checks In!

Like the voice of Obi Wan Kenobi, every once in a while, former

editor Jarret “JJ” Jakubowski will pop into my email inbox to let

me know he is still out there reading the publication. Not one to

formally advise or correct, JJ has a mystical way of saying he still

cares. Sort of like the way Andy Dufresne would write to Red,

with no return address, or wordy diatribes. Recently, JJ sent over

a wonderful snippet from his archives.

I did some more digging and unearthed a local carwash

story that came along in the Grand Rapids Press newspaper

a few years after I retired … and I had forgotten. I finished

Photoshopping the wild ‘n crazy photo/graphic today. And

thought it probably still has “legs” as a pretty good fit in the

Darwin column. Your call, of course. Anyway, here tis.

Editor Emeritus JJ Jakubowski

CoinOps Were His

“The Golden Calf”

William Baer was a serial self serve carwash

burglar in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan.

His latest spree lasted a couple years until he

was busted in the act of busting open a coin

box. He then led the cops on a 100+ MPH car

chase which ended in Baer’s crashing into a

police cruiser. At his sentencing he pleaded to

the judge that he had become “a changed man

through the Power of Jesus!” The judge congratulated

him on his “being born again.” Apart

from the 5th Commandment, “Thou Shall Not

Steal”, he could not change the civil law, “Just

because you’ve had a conversion of spirit.” The

judge also noted that Baer had been arrested 10

years earlier for another string of SS burglaries.

He added that, “to you, coin op carwashes are

like the biblical ‘Golden Calf’ to which you are

inexorably drawn!” Baer was then sentenced a

“repentance” of up to 10 years in prison.

The following is t he let t er sent t o t he

SSCWN wit h t he dat a Joe Wolfinger compiled:

To t he SSCWN Edit or s and Reader s:

I have complet ed a wat er loss t est t hat

was designed t o det er mine what per cent age

of the water that entered the wash bay

act ually r eached t he sewer syst em. This t est

was designed by the Pennsylvania Technical

Assistance Program which is administ

er ed by The Pennsylvania St at e Univer -

sity. I thought your readers might find the

results very informative.

As you can see, any carwash that is

paying sewer r at es based on incoming wat er

met er r eadings is being subst ant ially over

char ged. Even when a vehicle wit h a small

sur face ar ea (such as a mot or cycle) was

washed dir ect ly over t he sewer t r ap — 12%

of t he wat er never r eached t he sewer t r ap!

We found 3 major loss ar eas: Evapor

ation fr om t he bay floor and walls, dir ect

vehicle Car r y Out, and Atomization dir

ect ly int o t he air fr om t he nozzle t ip.

This is a cost area for carwashes that is

going to become more critical as time goes on.

We found that the main concern the sewer

department had was developing a billing system

that was easy for them to administer.

What is needed is for our national organizations

to develop some more testing data

and lobby directly to the Environmental Protection

Agency for a recognized percentage of

water losses based on the type of carwash. This

could then be used as a rate allowance on any

federally funded sewer project. Virtually all

local sewer departments receive funding from

the EPA and this would help prevent inequitable

sewer rates to carwashes.

You Are Being

Over Charged On

Sewer Costs!

Here’s The Proof

...

And A Way

To Find Relief.

Needed Reprise

The following ar t icle is a compilat ion of

two articles that were first run in the SSCWN

over 10 year s ago. We’r e r epr int ing t hem now

because t he info/dat a is st ill per fect ly r elevant ,

and, unfor t unat ely, t he pr oblem of excessively

escalat ing sewer bills has got t en so much wor se

in so many different areas around the country.

These ar t icles ar e an excellent example

of both independent initiative and a willingness

t o help ot her oper at or s. Such endeavor s

char act er ize many of t he new br eed of t he best

in pr ofessional self ser ve oper at or s. So we

want to thank Joe Wolfinger (of Solar Shine

Carwash in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania) for

his important pioneering efforts and Larry

Mor r ison (East Adams Carwash, LaGrange,

Or egon) for his valuable followup wor k. We

would also encourage ot her s t o do likewise on

this and other issues that impact the indust

r y. The mor e we shar e, car e and communicat

e t he bet t er off we all be.

We’ll start with the man who got this ball

r olling — Joe Wolfinger — who had been

mot ivat ed t o do somet hing when his sewer bill

incr eased suddenly and dr amat ically — in excess

of $8,000 and virtually “overnight”! Joe

knew t hat consider ably mor e wat er was being

piped into his wash than was going out via the

sewer s, and yet his sewer bills wer e based on his

water bills. One gallon of water in “must” equal

one gallon of wat er /sewage out ... or so most rate

boar ds r eason. But he r ealized t hat befor e he

In the trenches — Joe Wolfinger precisely

measured the water lost to

the sewer after various

wash processes.

could convince t hose set t ing his sewer r at es t hat

he was being unfairly overcharged — he had to

accumulat e and pr esent t he r at e boar d hard

data to substantiate a request for a rebate or

rate adjustment.

After some invest igat ion Joe discover ed

that Penn State had a program, personnel,

and exper t ise t o help. The following t est s

wer e scientifically designed and t he dat a compiled

under t he object ive auspices of t he Univer

sit y. The cost ? Free! 0ur r eader s might

be surpr ised t o discover t hat t her e ar e many

gover nmental agencies, univer sit y pr ogr ams,

and independent organizations around which

can pr ovide a business per son wit h all manner

of assist ance. Your public libr ar y infor mat ion

ser vice and a book called “I nfor mat ion U.S.A.”

by M . L esko ar e a couple good places t o st ar t .

Bot t om lined — t hese t est s demonst r at ed

that of all the water used at a typical self serve

car wash an aver age 1 gallon out of 3 does not

even get t o t he sewer !

In certain areas sewer rates are a staggering

30% of costs and are literally destroying carwash

businesses. I t was the SSCWN’s hope that

Joe Wolfinger’s study would provide a springboard

SSCWN ........................ ● ........................ F ALL 2001

Flow Rates

1) Pre Soak 7.5 Pints Per Minute

2) Foam Brush .5 Pints Per Minute

3) HP Wash/Rinse (1250PSI) 32 Pints Per Minute

#1 . Morning Clean Up

A typical morning cleaning: use HP Rinse to push

debris toward drain. Sprayed clean foam brush,

signs, hose, grease spots, and mat holders. Also

cleaned first 4 feet of entrance pad with HP Rinse.

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.......144

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).............79,2

PI NTS Of Water Trapped......................34.75

PERCENTAGE Of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................56%

#

2 . Floor Clean Up

Dollars

Down

The

Drain!

1

can we stem

the tide?

for more research, organized lobbying efforts, and

more effective tools for carwash operators to deal

with their local boards of bureaucrats. There has

been and is important movement in that direction.

The International Carwash Association has available

some good adjunct data and materials. The

video tape “Home Carwashing And Environmental

Concerns” produced by the I CA and Tom

Hoffman illustrate how self serve carwashes are

actually meaningful environmental assets to any

community by helping save water resources and

protecting ecological integrity. Driving our carwashes

out of business hurts more than “just” the

carwash owner and his employees. The I CA is also

going to release this year the results of an exhaustive

3 year scientific study which will further

support the data presented here and that will be of

great help to operators dealing with sewerage and

other water management issues.

The SSCWN wants to again thank Joe

for his effor t s and acknowledge his special

contributions to our industry which have had

a ripple effect far beyond Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

We hope ot her oper at or s ar e inspir

ed by his example.

(Continued On A Following Page)

#

3 . Wall Clean Up

HP Rinsed walls between 4’ and 10’ levels.

Walls were dry at start. Water that ran off

walls followed low spot s of floor t o dr ain —

75% of floor r emained dr y.

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.......60

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).............35

PI NTS Of Water Trapped...............10.75

PERCENTAGE Of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................70%

#

4. Compact Car

Cleaned Sat urn sized car . Used Pr eSoak.

Floor was dry at start of wash process.

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.......176

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).............96.8

PI NTS Of Water Trapped...............77.5

PERCENTAGE Of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................20%

#

5. Full Size Car

Cleaned full size, 4-door car . Floor was ver y

wet at start of test. No PreSoak was used.

Test Procedure

1) Complet ely r emoved all r esidue (solids

and fluids) from test trap.

2) All wash and rinse fluids touching

floor will drain to trap via standard bay floor

designed t o gr avit y feed fluids into t r ap.

3) Est ablished t he flow r at e of wat er for

t he var ious wash and r inse ser vices (33:5

Pints Per M inute aver age flow).

4) Typical wash and water usage:

• Per for med a var iet y of maintenance/

cleanup act ivit ies t o bay st r uct ures (walls,

floor s, signs, et cet er a).

• Washed and r insed a wide r ange of

vehicles — from small mot or cycle t o a semitruck

and trailer.

5) Wait until wash/rinse water stops

dr aining into enclosed container (from 5 t o 10

minutes, depending on size of vehicle).

6) Finally — measure water in cont

ainer and compar e t o est ablished flow r at es

(from wand and foaming brush).

A short clean up of the bay floor only — HP Rinse

t o push debr is t owar d cent er of bay and dr ain.

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.................72

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).........................39.6

PI NTS Of Water Trapped......................26.5

PERCENTAGE Of^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................33%

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.......297

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).............163.3

PI NTS Of Water Trapped...............124.5

PERCENTAGE Of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................24%

(Continued On A Following Page)

Joe Wolfinger’s Solar Shine is a 6+1 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The wash’s

name was inspired by the impressive bank of solar collector panels on the roof. It’s a demonstration

of owner’s genuine committment to the efficient use of utilities and natural resources. The big utility

problem here, however, is “where the sun don’t shine” — the sewer. And Joe warns other operators

that his fight to cut unfair, dangerously high sewer rates could very soon become their battle too.

6 • FALL 2019

SSCWN ● ........................ 2

........................ F ALL 2001


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8 • FALL 2019

SSCWN ........................● ........................ F ALL 2001

2

The following is t he let t er sent t o t he

SSCWN wit h t he dat a Joe Wolfinger compiled:

To t he SSCWN Edit or s and Reader s:

I have complet ed a wat er loss t est t hat

was designed t o det er mine what per cent age

of the water that entered the wash bay

act ually r eached t he sewer syst em. This t est

was designed by the Pennsylvania Technical

Assistance Program which is administ

er ed by The Pennsylvania St at e Univer -

sity. I thought your readers might find the

results very informative.

As you can see, any carwash that is

paying sewer r at es based on incoming wat er

met er r eadings is being subst ant ially over

char ged. Even when a vehicle wit h a small

sur face ar ea (such as a mot or cycle) was

washed dir ect ly over t he sewer t r ap — 12%

of t he wat er never r eached t he sewer t r ap!

We found 3 major loss ar eas: Evapor

ation fr om t he bay floor and walls, dir ect

vehicle Car r y Out, and Atomization dir

ect ly int o t he air fr om t he nozzle t ip.

This is a cost area for carwashes that is

going to become more critical as time goes on.

We found that the main concern the sewer

department had was developing a billing system

that was easy for them to administer.

What is needed is for our national organizations

to develop some more testing data

and lobby directly to the Environmental Protection

Agency for a recognized percentage of

water losses based on the type of carwash. This

could then be used as a rate allowance on any

federally funded sewer project. Virtually all

local sewer departments receive funding from

the EPA and this would help prevent inequitable

sewer rates to carwashes.

Test Procedure

1) Complet ely r emoved all r esidue (solids

and fluids) from test trap.

2) All wash and rinse fluids touching

floor will drain to trap via standard bay floor

designed t o gr avit y feed fluids into t r ap.

3) Est ablished t he flow r at e of wat er for

t he var ious wash and r inse ser vices (33:5

Pints Per M inute aver age flow).

4) Typical wash and water usage:

• Per for med a var iet y of maintenance/

cleanup act ivit ies t o bay st r uct ures (walls,

floor s, signs, et cet er a).

• Washed and r insed a wide r ange of

vehicles — from small mot or cycle t o a semitruck

and trailer.

5) Wait until wash/rinse water stops

dr aining into enclosed container (from 5 t o 10

minutes, depending on size of vehicle).

6) Finally — measure water in cont

ainer and compar e t o est ablished flow r at es

(from wand and foaming brush).

Joe Wolfinger’s Solar Shine is a 6+1 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The wash’s

name was inspired by the impressive bank of solar collector panels on the roof. It’s a demonstration

of owner’s genuine committment to the efficient use of utilities and natural resources. The big utility

problem here, however, is “where the sun don’t shine” — the sewer. And Joe warns other operators

that his fight to cut unfair, dangerously high sewer rates could very soon become their battle too.

Flow Rates

1) Pre Soak 7.5 Pints Per Minute

2) Foam Brush .5 Pints Per Minute

3) HP Wash/Rinse (1250PSI) 32 Pints Per Minute

#1 . Morning Clean Up

A typical morning cleaning: use HP Rinse to push

debris toward drain. Sprayed clean foam brush,

signs, hose, grease spots, and mat holders. Also

cleaned first 4 feet of entrance pad with HP Rinse.

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.......144

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).............79,2

PI NTS Of Water Trapped......................34.75

PERCENTAGE Of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................56%

# 2 . Floor Clean Up

A short clean up of the bay floor only — HP Rinse

t o push debr is t owar d cent er of bay and dr ain.

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.................72

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).........................39.6

PI NTS Of Water Trapped......................26.5

PERCENTAGE Of^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................33%

# 3 . Wall Clean Up

HP Rinsed walls between 4’ and 10’ levels.

Walls were dry at start. Water that ran off

walls followed low spot s of floor t o dr ain —

75% of floor r emained dr y.

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.......60

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).............35

PI NTS Of Water Trapped...............10.75

PERCENTAGE Of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................70%

# 4. Compact Car

Cleaned Sat urn sized car . Used Pr eSoak.

Floor was dry at start of wash process.

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.......176

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).............96.8

PI NTS Of Water Trapped...............77.5

PERCENTAGE Of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................20%

# 5. Full Size Car

Cleaned full size, 4-door car . Floor was ver y

wet at start of test. No PreSoak was used.

TI ME (Seconds) To Wash & Rinse.......297

PI NTS Of Water Flow (I n).............163.3

PI NTS Of Water Trapped...............124.5

PERCENTAGE Of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wat er L ost To Sew er ...........................24%

(Continued On A Following Page)

SSCWN ........................ ● ........................ F ALL 2001

4

Review

This article ran 3 years after the previous

one feat uring t he "wat er lost t o sewer "

t est s done by Joe Wolfinger . Those findings

helped hundr eds of oper at or s ar ound t he country

obtain 20%-30% adjustments on the their

sewer bills from utility rate boards. And quite

t ypically r ebat es on paid char ges from 1 t o 3

year s back wer e also given many for t unat e

oper at or s. Ther e have been, however , municipal

boar ds ver y skept ical of t he st udy. They

have demanded mor e dat a as a r equisit e for

t he consider at ion of any r at e adjust ments.

Enter Larry Morrison who was in the

lat t er cat egor y of oper at or s — t hose wit h

skept ics on his local boar d. H e wrot e t he

SSCWN and told us what he was going to do

about it. We'll let Larry tell his own story.

The following ar t icle is t aken from let t er s he

was consider at e enough t o send us and shar e

wit h our r eader s. H is backgr ound, exper i-

ment, and resulting data should be of great

inter est t o t housands of oper at or s t oday ...

and t housands mor e of you “tomor r ow”.

B Y L ARRY M ORRISON

I am a high school science t eacher in L a

Gr ande, Or egon who decided t o build a car -

wash as a source for a second income. After

ext ensive r esear ch, I set t led on a 4-bay self

serve outfitted with a Southern Pride wash

rack from Jim Garner who was my supplier

and “carwash coach” from Carwash Equipment

of Boise, Idaho. About 2 months after

my gr and opening, Jim showed me t he “Dollar

s Down The Drain” ar t icle from t he SSCWN.

I t hen showed t he ar t icle t o Rod M cK ee,

our local Cit y Engineer . M r . M cK ee said t hat

it was “interesting”, but he added that more

har d dat a would be needed befor e I could

r ecei ve an adjust ment on my sewer r at e

char ges. H e went on t o r ecommend and outline

a met hod by which I could collect t he t ype

of quality data he required — basically a year

long monit or ing of my wat er /sewer usage by

way of a wat er met er and car eful cor r ellt ion t o

var iables such as weat her , season of t he year ,

equipment, hours of oper at ion, et cet er a.

H aving a M ast er ’s Degr ee in Science and

being ver y familiar wit h pr oper r esear ch pr ocedur

es, I was confident t hat I would be t hor ough

and accur at e — “dr op for dr op”. I , t her efor e,

agr eed t o t he lengt hy t est and so pr oceeded in

conjunct ion and cooper at ion wit h bot h t he Cit y

Engineering Department and Eastern Oregon

St at e College. H er e's a br ief summar y of my

situation and the results of that test:

Background

La Grande is a small community of

11,000 people locat ed in a valley surr ounded

by mountains in nor t heast Or egon. We ar e at

45 degr ees nor t h lat it ude near which ar e such

ot her cit ies as M inneapolis, M innesot a and

Bangor, Maine. La Grande has an elevation

of 2700 feet and has a ver y t emper at e, moder -

at e climat e:

Temper at ure ext r emes can r ange from

highs up to 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) and

down t o as low as -20 degr ees. But t ypically

we do not have over one or t wo weeks per year

of t he ext r emes in t emper at ure. Our aver age

temperature in July is about 73° and 33° in

January. Rain falls at an average of 20" per

year with much of it in the winter months. We

have an aver age humidit y of 61% and moder -

at e winds.

My wash,the “East Adams Carwash”, is

locat ed on t he east end of Adams Avenue

which is L a Gr ande’s main st r eet . I t faces

nor t heast wit h it s backside r eceiving dir ect

sun exposure.

Due t o our pr oximit y t o t he “out of door s”

and occasional har d winter s, t her e ar e many

4 wheel dr ive vehicles and pickups in our

area. Our business volume is quite brisk due

in part to many students attending nearby

East er n Or egon St at e College which assist ed

in my year long pr oject .

Wat er and sewer cost s ar e not a major

oper at ing expense for me. When my st udy

began water was only less than 60¢ per 100

cubic feet (8¢ per 100 gallons). And sewer was

billed at a rate about 158% more — 95¢ per

100 cubic feet (less than 13¢ per 100 gallons).

These ar e low r at es r elat ive t o many ot her

par t s of t he countr y wher e sewer age r at es can

be often be as high as 300% to 500% more than

wat er char ges. M y inter est in doing such a

st udy, t her efor e, was mot ivat ed mor e by a

nat ural scientific curiosit y, as well as t he fact

t hat such r esear ch could be used as t he basis

for a paper in one of my college science courses.

I n shor t , I was definit ely not compelled by a

strong financial self interest.

Equipment And

Routine

My Southern Pride wash rack has 5 HP

motors and Giant 5066 direct drive pumps

which produce 1450 PSI at the pump and

approximately 1300 PSI at the wand.

The rate of flow is 3.2 GPM at high

pressure (Wash, Rinse, Wax) and about .5

GPM for t he l ow pr essur e ser vi ces (Tir e

Cleaner, Pre Soak, and Foam Brush). I now

have Spot Free Rinse (de-ionixed), but it was

in use only one month during t he t est per iod

and, t her efor e, should not be a fact or .

I have one boiler and st or age t ank and

provide heated Wash, Rinse, and Wax services

— 120° at t he boiler .

I use Giant trigger guns and 1/4 inch

Gat es hose. M y winter weep syst em is act i-

vated by an air thermostat when temperat

ures dr op below 35°. The weep wat er flows at

a continuous weep through both the wands

and the foam brushes.

The only unusual procedure is in my bay

and lot wash downs. I use a 3/4" garden hose

rather than the more typical in-bay wand at

high pressure. The reasons for this are that I

pr efer t o avoid t he added expense of using t he

heat ed wat er , and because our municipal wat er

pressure is a very high 105 PSI ! Given that

amount of force and the high GPM, clean ups

consist of a fast, heavy flush rather than a the

mor e t ypical low GPM , high pr essure, shar p

impact spray from the wands.

Dollars

Dollars

Dollars

Dollars

Dollars

Down

Down

Down

Down

Down

The

The

The

The

The

Drain!

Drain!

Drain!

Drain!

Drain!

(Part 2)

Larry Morrison undertook this study to

satisfy a natural curiosity related to the

subject he teaches and in which he has a

Master’s Degree — science.

(Continued On A Following Page)

SSCWN ........................● ........................ F ALL 2001

5

My building size is 79' x 28' and my lot is

100' x 110'. I wash down my bays virtually

ever y night, and hose down t he lot at least one

t ime per week.

I have landscaping that requires minimal

maintenance and relatively little water.

There’s no grass, just 20 small, hardy evergreen

shrubs that are briefly and manually

wat er ed (no sust ained wat er ing by way of

spr inkler s) at t he ver y most 2 t imes per week

during t he gr owing season ... if needed due t o

lack of rain. Water used on bushes in the

Summer months is appr oximat ed t o be 200-

250 gallons per monlh.

Water Monitoring

Equipment

To comply wit h our cit y engineer , t he

wat er met er had t o be inst alled in my secondary

holding sump — the 1000 gallon tank into

which drain my four 1000 gallon bay pits/

sumps. At t he secondar y sump, solids set t le

and effluents are then drained into the city

sanit ar y sewer line. To facilit at e easy, r outine

access t o my secondar y sump, I obt ained a

manhole cover and cr eat ed an opening lar ge

enough t o accommodat e it .

I was for t unat e enough t o have acquir ed

a 3/4" wat er met er from our ver y cooper at ive

City Engineer. His department provided me

wit h t he wat er met er which was an analog

type — the kind with dials that’s very accur

at e but has been r eplaced over t he year s by

t he easier t o r ead digit al unit s. The met er was

rebuilt and calibrated by the Engineering

Depar t ment and sold t o me for only $25. I 'm

told that this was far, far below the usual costs

for a met er for which t ot al char ges t ypically

run from hundreds into thousands of dollars!

The met er r equi r es wat er t o move

through it under pressure in order for the

internal gears to turn, register, and then measure

wat er flow. For t his purpose I obt ained

an elect r ic- automat ic Simmer M ar k 1A sump

pump. The wat er met er was connect ed t o t he

sump pump and t he assembly was inst alled in

t he secondar y sump. The pump was mounted

8 inches below t he r egular outlet t o t he sewer

so that if there were pump failures that outlet

would still function.

To eliminate continuous off/on pumping,

t he pump was set t o allow t he sump t o

r eceive an addit ional 7 inches of wat er befor e

being activated. Effluent from carwashing,

weeping, and bay cleanup then would drain to

t he bay pit s and on into t he secondar y sump.

When the liquids' level rose sufficiently, the

top 7 inches (about 150 gallons at a time)

would be pumped t hrough t he wat er met er

wher e t he flow would be measured and t hen

dir ect ed t o t he cit y sanit ar y sewer .

I then maintained a schedule of taking

met er r eadings at t he same t ime of day ever y 2

to 3 days for one year. June 1989 to June 1990.

During that time all outgoing effluent actually

being pr esent ed t o t he sewer was measur ed —

"dr op for dr op”. And t hose r eadings wer e compar

ed t o t he t ot al amount s of incoming wat er

met er ed and billed t o me by t he cit y.

The Results

Our cit y wat er /sewer billing per iod is for

2 months so I cor r elat ed my r eadings wit h

theirs. During that first 2 month period (from

June 25, 1989 to August 21, 1989) my findings

almost exact ly mat ched Joe Wolfinger ’s dat a:

Wat er Use Sew er Use Wat er L oss % Of L oss

14,615 10,179 4436 30-35%

(Not e: r eadings ar e in Cubic Feet not

Gallons. One Cubic Foot = 7.48 Gallons)

Based on that data I sent a letter to our

city manager and requested a 30-35% reduction

(almost $40) of that period's sewer bill

which was for $130.90. I cited the Sewer

Or dinance number and specified t he r elevant

The manhole cover provided access to the

secondary sump with the water meter and

pump. (Note the 1/2" double braided hose

line that was used to protect the electric

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxcord to the pump.

In the course of one year, the cover was

removed every couple days to take a total

of 189 meter readings.

The Simmer Mark 1A electric pump used

to power effluent through the water meter.

(Note the screen mesh around

the bottom to keep debris from

entering the meter.

Section and paragraph numbers, and then

requested that I also be given a 30-35% rebate

of my last 12 months sewer char ges.

As a result of that letter regarding my

init ial r esear ch I r eceived a 30% sewer r at e

reduction on that first bill plus a future adjust

ment fr om a ci t y engi neer (N or man

Paullus) which stated that “... owner (Larry

M or r ison) is t o pay only 70% of wat er consumpt

ion for sewer use. This is effect ive until

furt her not ice.”

M y second t est i ng/bi l l i ng per i od was

from August 21, 1989 to October 15, 1989.

H er e wer e t he r esult s:

Wat er Use Sew er Use Wat er L oss % Of L oss

13.326 9.982 3344 25.1%

I r equest ed a 25% r educt ion on t hat

per iod's sewer char ge. And I again sought a

rebate which was not granted with my previous

rate adjustment. Rather than again ask

for a r efund for t he whole pr ior year , I suggest

ed a r ebat e of only t he same cor r esponding

2 month period of 1988.

On my third testing/billing period. I had

a 24.9% water loss. So I was very surprised to

r eceive a sewer char ge t hat r eflect ed a 90%

r educt ion of what my r eading indicat ed it

should have been ... even after a 30% r educt

ion! I contact ed t he Wat er /Sewer Depar t -

ment and asked about t heir bill which seemed

much t oo low. I was t hen t old t hat my r ebat e

had finally been approved and that I had been

allowed 30% cr edit from “over payments” from

t he pr eceding year ... t he year I opened. The

cr edit whit t led my char ge down t o only $23 ...

what a deal!

Conclusion

Without a doubt water is essential to

self ser vice car washing. H owever , it is not

really all that water intensive. Thanks to

high pr essure at low GPM ; effect ive, bio-degr

adable cleaning agents; and t he ot her special

ser vices and t ools of our t r ade self ser ve

car washing is (bar none) t he most efficient

way t o wash a vehicle.

Additional good news can be found in that

we r un businesses t hat ar e not "sewer int ensive"

eit her . M y year long st udy pr oved t o t he

sat isfact ion of our cit y engineer s t he significant

water loss due to Carry Off. Evaporation, and

Atomization as well as lot clean up and landscape

wat er ing. That loss r anged fr om a high of

over 35% dur ing a hot , windy summer t o a low

of almost 7%. That low, however , was December

(Continued On A Following Page)

DIAGRAM OF THE WATER LOSS METERING SYSTEM

DIAGRAM OF THE WATER LOSS METERING SYSTEM

DIAGRAM OF THE WATER LOSS METERING SYSTEM

DIAGRAM OF THE WATER LOSS METERING SYSTEM

DIAGRAM OF THE WATER LOSS METERING SYSTEM

SSCWN ........................● ........................ F ALL 2001

6

1989 — t he coldest mont h on r ecor d for as much

as 100 years in much of the Northern latitudes.

It was an unusually bad winter month for carwashing.

Not only was it much t oo cold t o wash

car s, t her e was almost no snowfall (or salt on t he

roads) to dirty cars! And yet to prevent freeze

ups my weep system ran continuously and

ar ound t he clock t aking most of t hat lar ge amount

of wat er dir ect ly t o t he sewer . But even in spit e

of t hat fluke wint er per iod, my year ly aver age

water loss was a substantial 24.8% — only about

one gallon in 4 got t o t he sewer !

Our cit y engineer would accept t he r e-

sults of this year long test and apply its average

per centage of wat er loss t o my future

sewer bills. I , however , will continue my t est -

ing on an ongoing basis for a couple of r easons:

I n t he course of my 12 month t est I also

kept t r ack of weat her condit ions and found 4

var iables t hat would affect wat er loss: t emperature,

humidity, wind, and length of day.

I 've analyzed this data in light of my water

loss for 1989 and compar ed it t o weat her

averages for my area in past years. And I 'm

confident t hat my future year ly wat er losses

will be larger than 25% and on average will

pr obably be mor e in t une wit h M r . Wolfinger 's

aver age wat er loss of about 30%.

The amount of money I have saved by

pr esent ing my r esear ch t o our local cit y engineer

may not be impr essive t o some, but it is

significant. My first year I had about a $500

reduction and rebate. And I know that I will be

r eceive at least a $300 savings ever y year fr om

now on. But, as I said at the outset, our water/

sewer r at es ar e r elat ively inexpensive in my

area and I only have one, small 4-bay carwash.

Owner s wit h lar ger washes, mult iple washes,

and t hose oper at ing in ar eas wit h high sewer

r at es could ver y well enjoy much mor e subst ant

ial savings when t hey pay only for t he sewer

ser vices t hey act ually use.

Of course t he only way t o be absolutely

— “dr op for dr op” — accurat e at any ot her

locat ion would r equir e a r epet it ion of my t ype

of r esear ch at t hat par t icular locat ion. I n lieu

of that, I have been formulating charts and

gr aphs t hat could help oper at or s from differ -

ent parts of the country (with different average

t emper at ures, per centages of humidit y,

et cet er a) mor e pr ecisely det er mine t heir wat

er loss based on my r esear ch.

M y r esear ch is also going t o cont inue so

t hat I can pr ove t hat self ser ve car washes do not

produce effluent that warrants the higher sewer

r at e assessed ot her commer cial/indust r ial businesses.

M y det er gent s ar e all biodegr adable and

nor mal effluent is cer t ainly no mor e danger ous

than that most municipalities allow to freely

flow down r esident ial dr iveways and int o our

water supply by way of street storm sewers. I

will, therefore, be trapping and analyzing all

sediments in 2 separate traps in addition to

monit or ing wat er loss.

I ’ll be sure to keep you and your readers

informed. I hope this first effort will be of some help.

LarryMorrison

East Adams Carwash

La Crande, Oregon 97850

Addendum:

Even More Proof!

Larry Morrison’s research results will

be of gr eat inter est and value t o many oper a-

t or s. One especially not ewor t hy aspect of t his

st udy is t o be found in it s conser vat ive t o

moderate findings. Rate appeal boards reviewing

such dat a should be able t o comfor t -

ably allow about a 25% r educt ion of sewer

cost s. Some fact or s t hat assure t he conser vat

ive safet y of a 25% r educt ion ar e t o be found

at washes that (when compared to Larry's 4

bay in Or egon) have war mer weat her ; use less

or no winter weep; ar e in ar eas wit h less

humidity; occupy larger lots (if regularly

washed down); and have grass or more landscaping.

M ost of t he var iables in place at

Larry’s wash (especially that bitterly cold ‘89

December t hat badly skewed his year ly aver -

age) point to water loss that will be typically

larger (across the board) than that “safe” 25%!

Adding even mor e cr edence t o t his conser -

vat ive 25% aver age can be found in t he r esult s

of a t est act ually designed and monit or ed by a

Mr. Frey, the City Engineer of West Valley City,

Ut ah. Fr ey’s office r eceived a copy of t he fir st

“Dollars Down The Drain” article along with a

r equest fr om Rick Diehl (owner of Tur bo Wash

Car wash) for a r educed sewer r at e in line wit h

Joe Wolfinger ’s 30% wat er loss aver age.

M r . Frey was ext r emely skept ical of t est

r esult s pr ovided by any car wash owner who

was mot ivat ed by wanting t o lower a sewer

bill. H e r efused t o allow any r educt ion until

t he Cit y Engineer ing Office concluded it s own

t est ... which was done. The t est focused only

on washing vehicles and the bay clean up —

no lot cleaning or landscape wat er ing. The

r esult s r eally seemed t o surpr ise t he officials

whose r evenue inter est and pr econcept ions

wer e t ilt ed t owar d dispr oving Wolfinger ’s findings.

In the end, however, the City Engineer's

report had to admit that, “... by comparison,

our study is fairly consistent with the study

(‘Dollars Down The Drain’) sent to us by the

carwash owner (Rick Diehl).” Their t est complet

ed in M ar ch 1990 showed a wat er loss of

slightly over 26%! Consequently M r . Diehl

was granted a 25% reduction on all future

sewer bills. The engineer also suggest ed t hat

if Diehl wanted mor e of r educt ion t hat opt ion

was still open, but it would require essentially

t he same sor t of ongoing, involved wat er metering

procedure outlined by Larry Morrison.

Since our first publishing of Joe Wolfinger’s

“Dollars Down The Drain” the SSCWN has

r eceived let t er s fr om oper at or s ar ound t he country

notifying us of rate reductions based primarily

on that article. Roughly half of those who

cont act ed us wer e gr ant ed 25% r educt ions and

about one four t h each got eit her a 30% or a 20%

reduction. Others unfortunately have gotten no

relief at all. And what is most ironic — almost

tragic — is that the operator who started it all,

Joe Wolfinger , is among t hose who have local

r at e boar ds unwilling t o budge.

Hopefully this rising tide of data will help

convince t hose municipal boar d member s t hat

t he self ser ve car wash indust r y only want s t o be

t r eat ed r easonably. The closer t his issue is

examined t he mor e obvious it becomes t hat

granting a 25% or at the very least a 20%

r educt ion on sewer char ges conser vat ively r e-

flect s our act ual use of cit y sewer ser vices. As far

as most municipalit ies ar e concer ned, such r e-

duct ions seem t o be not only fair , but act ually

pr ovide t hem wit h t he bet t er end of t he deal.

Given some of the variables mentioned, operators

may very well be entitled to markedly

larger reductions — above 25%, 30%, and some

even more. Some operators may still their own

metered studies. I f so and regardless of method,

the SSCWN would be most interested in your

results in obtaining rate reductions. Please share

with us results of your tests and experience.

Finally, we ar e also ver y encour aged by

t he fact t hat befor e t he end of t he year (2001) t he

I CA will be r eleasing it s own exhaust ive, scient

ific 3 year st udy on t his as well as r elat ed wat er

conservation and pit sand issues. This massive

undertaking was in no small part inspired by

t he independent oper at or effor t s as seen in

t hese SSCWN ar t icle. The pr oofs cont inue t o

mount. Yes, pr ofessi onal car washes ar e

conser vor s and pr ot ect or s of our nat ur al r e-

sour ces. We ar e genuine asset s t o any communit

y. The dat a will cont inue t o make t hat point

— adding up ... “drop by drop”.

The East Adams Carwash — owned and scientifically operated by Larry Morrison is an

immaculate and very popular 4-bay near the “great outdoors” in La Grande, Oregon.


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FALL 2019 • 9


Cwguy.com’s

‘Random Thoughts’

The Customer is

always Wrong!

By Eric Wilson

Sure, some customers may have some

truths to their stories or stretches of

the truth (or just a white lie) ...

... but I would just say the majority of the time

a customer just makes up a story so you will call

them back. They pad their complaint to make you

feel it is more important than it actually is. I honestly

appreciate knowing there is any issue, even

the smallest little problem with my equipment, but

some customers’ stories just make no logical sense.

I am not denying self-service equipment can

and does make mistakes. We are leaving vacuums

that cost over 4k outside and unattended, as well

as thousands of dollars in changers and vendors.

Are we the ones that are insane leaving an automatic

that cost over 150k uninstalled without a

guard? So, yes, equipment breaks down under normal

conditions…. Also, stuff breaks down because

random people use your equipment unattended.

Changers sometimes have problems. I remember

when a random distributor informed me when

my changer was giving 5 quarters instead of 4 for a

dollar (which I greatly appreciated.) That incident

seemed odd because I did not get any other complaints?

But when my changer gave 3 quarters for

a dollar, I was stealing food from their dinner table.

Or, “I need that 25 cents to pay my water bill!”

Another thing I will never understand is if you put

a nasty bill in my changer and it jams my changer,

shouldn’t you know the owner of the changer will

know exactly which bill you put in there? “I put

a $20 in your changer and then the light came on

and did not give me change.” “My changer was

jammed on that side you are correct…. But it was

only a dollar.” I also like, “Your changer took my

$50.”. “My changer does not take $50s or change

them.” And, then I come to discover that the

changer does not even have a $50 in it ...we never

met in person after that conversation.

After all these years of discussion and asking

why would you put $30 in a bay that has “Mega

Time” for 15 minutes? I have figured out some

simple rules for defusing any hostile situation:

1. I always like to check if there was an actual

issue with my equipment before talking to the

customer. Half the time there is not an issue.

I have talked to other car wash owners who will

deny a refund if their equipment is working properly.

But I believe if the customer is really a customer,

they would not come back. Sometimes, customers

do have issues with working equipment, or they

might not understand how the equipment works.

They also might not read the instructions. (Some

older versions of timers might also work differently.)

2. Accept responsibility and explain how all

equipment sometimes has issues but you are fixing

the issue right away. When you accept responsibility

the person’s attitude about the issue almost

always changes. Usually it will shock the customer

and it honestly was your fault if your equipment

was not working correctly. Sometimes I relate my

equipment to their car and almost anyone can

understand general maintenance in that aspect. I

always try and put money in my equipment. But I

will give a cash refund when this happens.

3. Limit claims to a certain period. This has

happened way too many times. When you accept

responsibility and admit there is an issue with your

equipment, tell the customer you will give them a

refund. However, make a limit to how long ago or if

you would accept other refund attempts. Example:

“This issue also happened 5 years ago.” “Your vendor

also did not give me a product 6 months ago.” My

answer is always “I wish you told me then. Sorry”.

4. The customer is required to have a car

to get a refund. Paying the complainer to leave

is the easiest method. But paying them could also

cause issues and make them a constant complainer.

Also, pointing to a car and claiming it is theirs

should not count. Even if they are, “trying to save

gas by not driving the car.”

5. Any excuse with the word “laundromat”

makes me deflect responsibility and blame them

for using my changer and trying to steal business

from me. Using my changer costs me money. It

is not my fault the laundromat can’t keep their

changer working. I am not sure I ever had anyone

claim they were also a car wash “customer” either.

6. Automatics and customers…. I believe

it is always good to stay calm when talking to customers

concerning your automatic or any building

damage. You just need to remember when your customer

claims your automatic or building broke their

windshield and dented their hood, you probably

need to be nice to the customer so you can get lots

of information from them. This way you can report

the damage claim to their insurance company rather

than relying on the police to find the customer.

Even when a customer is upset, usually talking

to them results in them not even asking for a refund.

Usually venting and realizing that you are accepting

and fixing the issues is enough for them. But

I do get irate customers over a dollar or less.

I have this dream that one day

the whole car wash will just accept

credit cards….

No changers, no coin acceptors,

and it would be great, but I know

that would also come with a whole

other host of problems!

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

10 • FALL 2019


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700 McKinley St NW, Anoka, MN 55303

FALL 2019 • 11


12 • FALL 2019


FALL 2019 • 13


2019

CALENDAR

OF EVENTS

NOV

13, 2019

NOV

18, 2019

DEC

5, 2019

JAN

29-31

2020

APR

6-8

2020

JUN

8-10

2020

OCT

5-7

2020

14 • FALL 2019

CALIFORNIA

LAW UPDATE

Lucca Restaurant & Bar

Sacramento, California

www.wcwa.org/events/

WOMEN’S

LEADERSHIP

EXPERIENCE

The Second City

Chicago, Illinois

www.carwash.org

CALIFORNIA

LAW UPDATE -

SOUTHERN CA

Tin Roof Bistro

Manhattan Beach, California

www.wcwa.org/events/

SOUTHWEST

CAR WASH

ASSOCIATION

2020 Convention and Expo

Fort Worth Convention Center

Fort Worth, Texas

THE CAR WASH

SHOW

Henry B. González Convention

Center - San Antonio, Texas

www.carwash.org

CAR WASH

EXCELLENCE

SUMMIT

Hotel Bennett

Charleston, South Carolina

www.carwash.org

NORTHEAST

REGIONAL CARWASH

CONVENTION

Atlantic City Convention Center

Atlantic City, New Jersey

www.nrccshow.com

Association News

SCWA announces CEO forum

speaker for 2020 convention

ICA names its 2019 award winners

NRCC numbers are up

The 30th Northeast Regional Carwash Convention

(NRCC), which was held September

23-25 in Atlantic City, hosted 348 booths, which

is an 8% increase from the 2018 convention, and

it drew in 1,847 vendors/attendees which is a

19% increase.

The three-day event also included a keynote

address from Moo Moo’s John Roush who poignantly

spoke about the culture of care, and how

it is important to care for your customers, your

people, your community, your brand and the car

wash industry as a whole.

WCA partners with law firm

The Southwest Car Wash Association

(SCWA) announced that Arthur Greeno, the

owner/operator of two Chick-fil-A restaurants

in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will serve as the CEO forum

speaker at the 2020 Convention & EXPO.

The SCWA stated that Greeno believes customer

service is the cornerstone to business success

in any business and extraordinary customer

service comes from creating a special culture in

your business.

“Arthur’s insight will give you keys to be

remarkable and make a difference in your business.

Arthur teaches business owners how to

create a unique culture in his own lighthearted,

irreverent and down to earth way.”

Greeno is also the author of Dysfunctional

Inspiration and Breaking Conformity, the latter of

which hit the Amazon Bestseller list in one day.

The convention will take place in Fort

Worth, Texas from January 29-January 31 at the

Fort Worth Convention Center. Former United

States Vice President Dick Cheney will be the

keynote speaker. His keynote address will be on

Thursday, January 30, 2020.

Each year International Carwash Association

awards its Emerging Leaders Scholarships

to up-and-coming industry professionals under

the age of 45. This year’s recipients include:

• Tim Ehmann of Bethel Park Rapid

Wash in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

• Daniel Haynes of Waves Carwash Café

Pty Ltd. in Australia

• Daniel Petrelle, Jr. of Splash Car Wash

in Bethany, Connecticut

• Kyle Pezoldt of Kuhnsville Car Wash in

Allentown, Pennsylvania

• Travis Rogers of Marc 1 Car Wash in

Pelham, Alabama

In other ICA news, Suzanne Huisman of

Belgium’s car wash association (BBRV) and Brian

Madderson of the UK’s Car Wash Association

(CWA) were honored September 18 at an

awards dinner hosted by International Carwash

Association at Car Wash Show Europe. Huisman

and Madderson were recipients of ICA’s

Distinguished Achievement Award, recognizing

unique and exemplary contributions to the car

wash industry.

According to a press release, “Both the Belgian

and British markets have been plagued by

criminal activity at illegal hand car wash locations,

many of which were involved in tax fraud,

unsafe working conditions and human trafficking.

Thanks to Madderson and Huisman’s leadership,

their associations have played a major role in

gaining the attention of authorities and improving

conditions for workers and communities.”

Awards were also handed out with Innovative

Control Systems/Sparkle Car Wash’s Kevin

Detrick, receiving the NRCC’s highest honor, its

Hall of Fame Award.

The Most Distinguished Person Awards

were given to Jeff Gold of Buckman’s Car Wash,

Tom Hoffman, Jr. of Hoffman Car Wash, and

Brett Benderson of Delta Sonic.

The dates for next year’s NRCC have also

been revealed and the three-day Convention will

take place October 5-7, 2020, at the Atlantic

City Convention Center.

The Western Carwash Association (WCA)

has partnered with employment law firm Palmer

Kazanjian Wohl Hodson (PKWH) to provide

members with the resources they need to navigate

the world of labor law. WCA members receive

free access to one thirty-minute consultation

per calendar quarter, and a discounted rate

for two additional hours of consultation.


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SEPT 15, 2019

FALL 2019 • 15


Association News

SCWA’s Expo is record-breaking success

The Southwest Carwash Association’s

2019 Convention & Expo, which was held

at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington,

Texas, in February drew in over 2100

attendees, making it the largest regional carwash-based

gathering.

According to the SCWA website, there

were 325 exhibitors covering over 75,000

square feet of exhibit space.

Two highlights from the Expo included

MGM Vice President Michael Dominguez,

who spoke at the CEO Forum, and FOX

News anchor Dana Perino, who gave the keynote

address.

Details for next year’s event have also

been announced by the SCWA, which stated

the venue had to change due to the need for

more exhibit space. The 2020 Convention &

Carwash Expo will take place in Fort Worth,

Texas, on January 29-30, at the Fort Worth

Convention Center.

SCHEDULE, HOTEL DETAILS REVEALS

FOR 2020 CAR WASH SHOW

“Seek new landscapes,” suggests the International

Carwash Association by attending next year’s

Car Wash Show, which will take place April 6-8 in

San Antonio. “We can’t wait to host you in River

City in 2020,” states the ICA. “Amid spring-fed

rivers and rolling hills, San Antonio’s rich culture

shines. Its repertoire of artists, historic legacies and

culinary delights will tempt travelers of all ages.

From the River Walk and the Alamo to Hill Country

vineyards and golf resorts, San Antonio embodies

the charm of an authentic American city.”

According to the ICA, here’s a taste of what

you’ll experience in San Antonio:

• Amazing food and festivities just steps from the

Convention Center by the beautiful River Walk. Hop

on a river barge, grab a drink, or take your team out

to dinner.

• Incredible history: The Alamo is steps from the

convention center, and Missions National Historic

Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a quick taxi

ride from downtown.

• Vibrant neighborhoods: for trendy restaurants and

nightlife, check out the Pearl district, or head over to

HERE IS THE 2020 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

King William/Southtown for San Antonio’s arts district.

The Show will take place at the Henry B Gonzalez

Convention Center, which is located at 900

E Market Street.

Hotel information is now posted on carwash.

org. The ICA warns that special hotel rooms associated

with the Car Wash Show are only available

through Connections Housing. “Connections

Housing is the exclusive housing company for The

Car Wash Show. The use of any other housing

company claiming affiliation with The Car Wash

Show may result in loss of deposits, relocation

without warning, or unfulfilled hotel reservations.”

Orange = Basic Pass Green = Premium Pass Purple = Member Experience

SUNDAY, APRIL 5

• Registration: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

• New Investor Seminar: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

MONDAY, APRIL 6

• Registration: 7 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

• Premium Education Sessions: 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

• Partner Solution Sessions: 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

• Peer Power Hour Sessions: 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

• First Time Attendee Tour: 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

• Trade Show Floor: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

• Quick Hits: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

• Opening Night Party: 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

TUESDAY, APRIL 7

• Registration: 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

• Premium Education Sessions: 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

• Partner Solution Sessions: 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

• Peer Power Hour Sessions: 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

• Trade Show Floor: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Booth Crawl 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.)

• Quick Hits: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8

• Registration: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

• State of the Industry & Keynote Address: 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

• Trade Show Floor: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

• Quick Hits: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

NECA hosts annual golf outing

The New England Carwash Association hosted

its annual golf outing on September 10, 2019, at the

Brook Meadow Country Club, in Canton, MA.

WINNERS FOR THE CHARITY EVENT

INCLUDED:

1st Place Team: Tony Lombardo, Jeff Hill, Chris Hill, Dan

Nguyen

2nd Place Team: Bill Rogers, Jim Rogers, Jim Cheney, Joe

Macrina

3rd Place Team: Chris Ouimet, Ryan Gough, Scott Goodreau,

Dan Mendes

Closest to the Pin: Micah Smith

Golf Cannon Closest to the Pin: Micah Smith

Long Drive Ladies: Yvonne Blackman

Long Drive Mens: Chris Hill

NECA IS ESPECIALLY THANKFUL

FOR ITS OUTING SPONSORS, INCLUDING:

Presenting Sponsor: Autoshine of New England

Golf Cart Sponsor: Simoniz USA

Putt for Prize Sponsor: Autowash Maintenance Corp.

Passport Sponsor: Washify Services

Golf Ball Cannon Sponsor: DRB Systems

Rules Sheet Sponsor: ICS

Beverage Cart Sponsor: Motor City Wash Works

HOLE SPONSORS

Balise Car Wash ~ Car Wash Insurance Program by Mc-

Neil & Co., Inc.

ERC Wiping Products ~ Gem Wealth Management ~ Harrell’s

Car Wash Systems

Motor City Wash Works ~ National Ticket Company

Qual Chem LLC ~ Wheel-eez

IN-KIND DONATION

ERC Wiping Products

AutoWash Technologies

Autoshine of New England

Mid-Atlantic

Carwash Assoc.

helps to save the

Chesapeake Bay

At its October 16 meeting, the Mid-Atlantic

Carwash Association presented the Chesapeake

Bay Foundation (CBF) with a symbolic

$19,000 check. This brings the total donated to

the Foundation by MCA members to $79,000

since it started helping out in 2012.

According to the CBF website, the Foundation

is dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

“Serving as a watchdog, we fight for effective,

science-based solutions to the pollution

degrading the Chesapeake Bay and

its rivers and streams. Our motto, ‘Save the

Bay,’ is a regional rallying cry for pollution

reduction throughout the Chesapeake’s sixstate,

64,000-square-mile watershed, which

is home to more than 18 million people and

3,000 species of plants and animals.”

16 • FALL 2019


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FALL 2019 • 17


QUICK TIPS

BUSINESS TIP

Finding Fruitful

Fleets

Self Serves have an opportunity for consistent

revenues by offering a fleet account program. And,

businesses can benefit from partnering with a self

serve wash because it offers the business owner accountability,

convenience, control and oversight on

how and when their vehicles are being washed, as

well as a systematic way to pay for each washing. For

a self serve car wash to do this successfully, you have

to offer a program that both you and the business

customer can use and understand as well as the person

washing the car. Here are some important questions

to ask yourself:

• Will customers be able to set limits on the

days, time, or cost that an employee can

spend at the wash?

• Will they want to service more

than 25 vehicles?

• Do you want to offer them actual cards?

• Would you prefer them to prepay?

• Will they want a program that

itemizes receipts and offers tracking

on different vehicles?

Next, a self serve might have to market their

fleet program to a business. According to Amber

Foley, marketing manager for Classy Chassis Car

Wash in Tacoma, WA, there are two ways to doing

this successfully.

The first one is using your website. Using keywords

and proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

techniques, give a clear and easy-to-understand

breakdown of your fleet program and how it

would benefit a business.

Next, is good ‘old fashion pavement pounding.

“We have gone by businesses and handed out brochures

and asked if they feel it would be beneficial

-- a lot of times, that works very well,” Foley

explained. “They say, “Oh, really? We can track it

ourselves?” A lot of businesses think there’s a fee

to the program, so we explain that it’s free and

they’re pleased to find that out. We also approach

businesses that are already using our wash and let

them know we have a program just for them. And

then a lot of it comes in from the website.”

Also, don’t just market this towards transportation-based

businesses. Think outside the box. For

instance, it only takes a few vehicles to consider

it a “fleet.” And, these businesses can include caterers,

party supply rental agencies, maid services,

mobile house technicians, etc.

Once you have established a customer, be sure to

maintain a healthy rapport by checking in with them

to see if there are any issues, or if they need more

cards, etc. The key is to be accessible and not make the

business owner have to track you down. A monthly

check-in is likely the right amount of communication.

If done right, having a fleet account could be the

perfect fit for your car wash and a perfect fit for a

business owner looking to monitor the cleanliness

of their vehicles.

2020 Convention & EXPO

SCWA IS HEADED TO FORT WORTH

CREATING NEW EXPERIENCES

January 29–31 | Wednesday–Friday

Fort Worth Convention Center

For Details Visit - www.swcarwash.org

18 • FALL 2019


MARKETING TIP MANAGEMENT TIP

Make ‘Small Business

Saturday’ Work For You

The 10th annual Small Business Satruday is

taking place November 30, 2019. Promoted by

the Small Business Administration, it is a day to

celebrate and support small businesses and all

they do for their communities. It was founded

by American Express in 2010 and officially cosponsored

by the SBA in 2015. The SBA.gov

reported that according to the 2018 Small Business

Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, the

total reported spending among U.S. consumers

who said they shopped at independent retailers

and restaurants on the day reached a record high

of an estimated $17.8 billion. The same survey

reported that more than 70% of consumers are

now aware of Small Business Saturday. In total,

over the past 10 years, approximately $103 billion

has been spent at independent businesses.

“The highly successful team of SBA, Women Impacting

Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express

will be kicking off the 2019 holiday season

by driving traffic and revenue to our nation’s 30

million independent businesses with Small Business

Saturday events.”

American Express is offering free marketing

tools — from signage to social media platform

training. Of course, the credit card company

wants to promote the acceptance of their credit

cards at your business, but even if you are cash

or tokens only, they will still offer up their Small

Business Saturday tools and resources.

There is an automotive category on the

American Express website for its marketing

tools, which can be found at https://www.americanexpress.com/us/merchant/.

You can also promote Small Business Saturday

on your own, by switching up your signage,

adding banners, changing up your social media

alerts, and being on hand at your car wash on

November 30 to thank your customers. Consider

handing out low-priced “thank you” gifts

such as balloons and ice cream to the kids, etc.

Also, be sure to promote that you’re celebrating

Small Business Saturday to your local news

outlets. Send a press release to the newspapers

and stations, saying you’re excited to celebrate

along with other local businesses, and that you’ll

be handing out free gifts, and that you’re willing

to be filmed or interviewed for a story.

How to Protect

your Wi-Fi

According to the Small Business Administration,

if you have a Wi-Fi network

for your workplace, make sure it is secure,

encrypted, and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi

network, set up your wireless access point or

router so it does not broadcast the network

name, known as the Service Set Identifier

(SSID). Then, be sure to password protect

access to the router.

Also, how often are you changing your

password? If you think once or twice a year

is enough, you might want to think again.

According to the SBA, you should change

your passwords every three months. And,

never make your password the name of your

business or even the name of your business

with a number after it. Also, “Consider implementing

multifactor authentication that

requires additional information beyond a

password to gain entry,” according to the

SBA. “Check with your vendors that handle

sensitive data, especially financial institutions,

to see if they offer multifactor authentication

for your account.”

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FALL 2019 • 19


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20 • FALL 2019


10 QUESTIONS

One on One with

Jerry Nix

By Debra Gorgos, Editor

debrag@sscwn.com

Jerry Nix is the president of Speedi Car Wash

-- a car wash chain consisting of four locations

throughout the Washington State. He is the former

president of the Western Carwash Association

(WCA) and has been a key player in the WCA’s

recent Self Serve Summits as well as forums and

educational seminars at the International Carwash

Association’s Car Wash Show. He has over 35 years

of experience in the car washing industry. Nix, along

with his car washes, survived three recessions, water

restrictions, a drought or two, the onslaught of the

$2, $3, $4 and $5 express models, and maintained

a positive outlook and mentor for other self serve

owners. In May 2009, when Nix was president of

the WCA and the economy had officially crashed,

Nix wrote in the WCA newsletter, “While most

businesses dread economic downturns, some

believe that nothing sharpens the mind better than

the economy taking a nap. Leaner times make us

focus our energies on what’s most important.”

His championing advice encouraged many other

owners and it was also around this time that I first

met Jerry Nix. A very busy man, I asked him if he

would answer 10 questions for me and he kindly

said, “yes.” Here is what he had to say.

How did you get started

in the car washing industry?

I got started in the car wash industry in 1982.

I owned apartment rental properties at the time

and had a friend whom was building self-serve car

washes. So, I decided to try it out as an investment.

What type of car wash

is Speedi Car Wash?

I have four Speedi Car Wash Self Serves with 2

Autec Soft Cloth and 2 Laser 360 Plus. All of the

locations are self serves.

How has the self serve

industry changed since

you first got involved?

The industry has changed in many ways from

1982 to present day. The quality of the chemicals in

today’s car wash world has been outstanding. New

soap and wax products have evolved to where they

actually do a tremendous job of cleaning, protecting,

and putting a nice protectant shine on a vehicle.

Self-serve car wash equipment has had a major leap

forward with additional features to sell and market

on your coin box. The addition of pre-soaks, tire

cleaner, triple foam conditioner, air dryers, Rain-X,

tire shine, in-bay credit cards, and in-bay bill acceptors,

have given the operator additional profit opportunities

for their car washes.

Also, there are the other profit centers self-serve

operators have built into their car wash, including

coffee stands, pet washes, and the development of

the in-bay automatic.

What is it you like best

about running a

self serve operation?

What I like best about running a self serve is the

satisfaction of providing a quality service to the

public for cleaning their vehicles. Watching customers

line up and clean their cars either themselves

or going through the in-bay automatic gives

me great satisfaction.

What is the biggest hurdle

facing self serve

car wash owners today?

The biggest hurdle operators face is competition

from the express tunnels that offer the $5 car wash.

The competition from the express tunnel is different

in other markets around the country, but I would say

that’s the biggest hurdle for self serve operators.

What do you think a self

serve owner/manager should

do to improve their business

in terms of attracting more

repeat customers?

Provide a clean, safe and well-maintained car wash

for the customers is the best way to attract and keep

loyal customers. Make sure your facility has curb

appeal, is well lit at night, is cleaned daily and the

equipment is kept in top operating condition.

What should they do in terms

of their car wash equipment?

In terms of equipment, my goal is to keep all

pieces of equipment operating at 100%, which is

why we check on the properties 2 times per day. If

there’s a maintenance issue we fix it ASAP so that

the customer sees everything working and no “out

of order” signs indicating inoperable equipment.

Where do you think the

self serve car wash

model is headed?

There’s no doubt the self-service model has retracted

with the advancements in automatic tunnel

technology. The self-serve business model success

appears geographically specific where some

self serves are thriving and other markets where

they have outlived the highest and best use of the

property they sit on. In my market area of the Pacific

Northwest there hasn’t been a new self-serve

car wash built in the last 26 years. Existing selfserve

locations that are well maintained are still

profitable and successful operations.

What advice do you have for

our readers who are new to

the self serve industry?

New operators to the industry need to learn

as much as they can about their operations and

equipment. Network with others in the industry

or stop by and meet your competition, join regional

associations, and join forces with the self-serve

car wash online forum. There’s a lot of experienced

operators on the self-serve car wash forum

that could help the new operator solve problems.

What advice do you have

for long-term owners?

My advice for long-term owners is to identify what

it is you want your car wash property to do for you.

Are you satisfied with its current operating revenue

or do you want to demolish the property and build

a mini tunnel? Other questions to ask yourself are:

How much longer do you want to work? What other

opportunities can you do with the property? Can

you lease the property to another operator/family

member which will free up some of your time? It

is important to start searching out the most viable

opportunity that suits your lifestyle.

FALL 2019 • 21


Cold, Hard Cash

Are ice vending machines a good addition for

your self-serve wash? One expert weighs in.

According to Tyler Jones of Kooler Ice an ice vending

machine is a good addition to a self-serve car

wash for several reasons, including:

1. Location. The same reason you put a car

wash in the location you did, is the same reason

an ice vending machine will do well. The

demographics for each are very similar.

2. Zero Rent. Car wash owners have access

to real estate, they do not have to pay rent to

place the machine. It is a great way to increase

traffic and get better utilization of the property.

If you can attract 10,000-12,000 customers

a year to your car wash to purchase ice, it is a

great way to sell additional washes, improve

customer satisfaction and increase your overall

awareness in the community.

3. Easy Utilities. Electricity and water are

generally readily available on site, and a lot of

owners will use their RO system to provide

purified ice and water to their customers

without having to purchase an RO system on

the machine, thus lowering their equipment

acquisition price while providing a superior

product.

4. Ease of Use. Car wash owners are generally

a mechanical group, and are very familiar

with bill validators, coin exchangers, sensors

and motors, etc. So, managing an ice machine

will not be difficult for car wash owners.

Why have they

become so popular?

Ice vending machines have become popular

because of the benefits they offer to customers

looking to buy ice and the owners who manage

the machines.

For customers it is a convenient way to buy ice.

Rather than having to go into a store and wait in

line, they can pull their car up to a machine, insert

their money, get their ice, put it in the car, and be

on their way. They will also pay considerably less

for vended ice, compared to ice that is delivered

to a store. It costs 40 cents to make a bag of ice

through ice vending while it costs $1.15 for a store

to acquire a delivered bag of ice. An average vended

10 lb. bag of ice will cost a customer $1.50-$2.

An average 10 lb. bag purchased from a store will

cost $2.50-$4.

Cost is one of the first benefits for business

owners. As previously mentioned, it costs about

40 cents to vend a bag of ice compared to $1.15

for ice delivery companies. Thus, it presents an

opportunity for profit margin improvement. Furthermore,

you virtually eliminate stock out and

overstock issues. Every bag is bagged on demand.

You also cut out theft entirely. You can choose

from four different models to best match your

customer demand for ice, so you rarely run out or

have too much ice in stock.

22 • FALL 2019


FALL 2019 • 23


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service in the field (Since 1962)

OPTIONAL

107C CARTRIDGE

FOR COMPLETE

INFORMATION

CALL

414-764-6630

FAX: (414) 764-9763

www.ziercowaterboy.com

107C Cartridge Features:

• Field Repairable

• 100% 304 Stainless Steel Internal

Materials Eliminate Failure Due to

Corrosion

• Double O-Ring Design Uses Any

Type of Grease

7355 S. 1st. Street

Oak Creek, WI 53154

sales@zierden.com

TM

VISA and Master Card accepted

DISTRIBUTOR INQUIRIES INVITED

QUALITY PRODUCTS SINCE 1937

24 • FALL 2019


Carwash

Boom

Assemblies

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

MODEL 204

ENHANCE YOUR SELF SERVING

CONVENIENCE

STYLE B

Flat Plate

Mounts directly

to the ceiling or

beam.

Easy to Use -"Feather Light" rotating action

STYLE C

Swivel Base

Mounts directly to

the ceiling.

MODEL 206

OFFSET Overhead Carwash Boom

Allows for TWO Center Boom Installation

STYLE D

Wall Bracket

Mounts to wall and

is adjustable so

boom swings

to wall when

not in use.

Ideal for foaming brushes.

FOR COMPLETE

INFORMATION

CALL

(414)-764-6630

www.ziercowaterboy.com

CONVERSION KIT

204B

To Convert Model 203

to a 204 Assembly

Remove boom body

from hinge plate

EASY 3 STEP PROCEDURE

TO CHANGE SEALS.

NO TOOLS REQUIRED.

Rotate hinge plate

counter clockwise to

remove seal elbow

Replace O-Rings

7355 S. 1st Street

Oak Creek, WI 53154

Fax: (414) 764-9763

sales@zierden.com

QUALITY PRODUCTS SINCE 1937

TM

DISTRIBUTOR

INQUIRIES

INVITED

VISA and Master Card

accepted

FALL 2019 • 25


Ice Vending

What kind of maintenance

do they require?

To keep a machine running at peak performance,

we recommend performing some preventative

maintenance every six months. The maintenance

requires a thorough inspection and cleaning

of key components. Machine owners can perform

this maintenance themselves or pay to have a service

technician perform the service. Other than

this semi-annual maintenance, day-to-day or

week-to-week upkeep entails replacing bags and

removing cash/coins from inside the machine and

wiping down the bill validator, coin exchanger and

outside Lexan.

Whoever you buy a machine from, make sure

they have a robust monitoring system that provides

the car wash owner a way to see what is always

going on with the machine. This makes upkeep

easy and removes any of the guesswork. We

have an iPhone and Android App as well as a desktop

application to allow owners to see exactly how

many bags are in the machine, how much money

is in the machine, if the door open, if there is a bill

or coin jam and if the ice maker is performing as

it is supposed to, etc. Having a high-quality monitoring

system on the machine will reduce stress

and make management of the machine easy since

you know exactly what is always going on with the

unit. Plus, if someone else is responsible for the

machine, you will be able to easily keep up with

cash amounts and monitor how they are taking

care of the unit.

Frost

Bits

According to

Marketplace.org:

1. Packaged bags of ice are a

$2.5 BILLION

BUSINESS.

2. There are over 2,000

packaged ice retailers

who sell it.

3. The average American buys

FOUR BAGS of

packaged ice each year.

4. 80 percent of all packaged

ice is sold between

MEMORIAL DAY

(May) and LABOR DAY

(September).

What would a car wash owner

have to do to allow for one to

be installed (land allotment,

electricity, etc.?

Due to electricity and water being readily available

at car wash locations, not much needs to be

done to the site for an ice vending machine. You

will first need a 4-inch-thick concrete pad poured.

For our largest machine its pad would need to be

10’ x 15’. It can be smaller for smaller units. The

electrical service required is 220/Volt – Single

Phase and anywhere from 60-100 amps depending

on the machine model. For water, a 1/2’” to

3/4” supply line with shutoff is required along

with a 2” drain line (if the machine is placed on a

pad). Depending on the site, other drainage may

be used such as a French drain.

What kind of ROI can an owner expect within

the first two years?

On average, machine owners receive a 25-30%

percent return on their investment in year one.

In year two, the ROI usually increases to 30-35%

thanks to the local area becoming more familiar

with the machine.

How Interesting!

Timeline Information provided by International

Packaged Ice Association.

1. 1700s: Farmers started selling ice procured from their ponds. Only the wealthy

could afford to house it. Ice was in heavy demand especially in New England.

2. 1806: Twenty-three-year-old Frederick “Ice King” Tudor decided to not follow in

his brothers’ footsteps by going to Harvard and instead worked in Boston Harbor

loading wooden hulled ships. It was there that he got the idea of selling and

shipping ice. In 1815, Tudor built a functioning ice depot in Havana which could

hold 150 tons of ice. Eventually he began shipping ice to places in the South,

including, Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and New Orleans.

3. 1952: Leer Manufacturing introduced the first ice merchandiser

to store packaged ice at retail locations.

4. 1960s: Charlie Lamka, an ice company operator in Amarillo, Texas, invented

and marketed a volumetric packaging machine that revolutionized the industry

by making the change from ice packed in paper bags to plastic poly bags. Also,

during the 1960s, coin operated vending machines were introduced by S&S

Vending and KG Brown.

26 • FALL 2019


Now unattended car washes

can offer unlimited wash programs.

In bay Tunnel I Touch Free & Soft Touch

• Quick and simple equipment set up

• System will work with any inbay

equipment on the market

Maximum Throughput

• Washes and dries 40 cars per hour with

separate bays in one tunnel

• Applies chemical and washes five sides of

vehicle at one time

• Real-time data on customer and

equipment usage

• View detailed reports to understand

customer needs and patterns

Unattended Operation

• Specifically designed without a conveyor

system, allowing for unattended operation

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Convenient Customer App

• Easy download with no employees required

to sell program on site

• Guaranteed secure payments with no hassle

of coins or tokens

Versatility & Reliability

• Smart technology able to wash small and

large vehicles, even duallys

• Minimal moving parts decreases downtime

and increases longevity

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FALL 2019 • 27


SNAPSHOT

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.

PRESENTING A Q&A WITH KIMBERLY BERG

OWNER OF CITRAUS HEIGHTS CAR WASH

LOCATION: CITRUS HEIGHTS, CALIFORNIA

HOW LONG HAVE YOU OWNED

YOUR CAR WASH?

16 years ago, in 2003, I purchased an old self-service car wash,

fixed it up and branded it “Citrus Heights Car Wash.”

WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND

THE CAR WASH?

The car wash was built in 1982, by the Neal family, who built it

at the site of their family’s two homes, on a quiet corner in Citrus

Heights. Little did they know, 37 years later, that the location

would become a central part of town, where approximately 80,000

cars pass by every day.

WHAT TYPE OF CAR WASH IS IT?

Citrus Height Car Wash has 5 self-service bays.

HOURS/DAYS OF OPERATION:

We are open 24 hours a day.

METHODS OF ADVERTISING:

Our customers tell us that we have the best self-service car

wash in the Sacramento Area. The best forms of advertising are

our location, and word of mouth. We’re located on a busy corner

in Citrus Heights, where approximately 80,000 cars pass by

every day. We advertise in the local on-line newspaper, have a

website, and a 4.3 star rating with Google (148 reviews) and a

4.5 star rating with Yelp (39 reviews).

ARE TOKENS AND/

OR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED?

Quarter theft in 2014 made us switch over to $1 tokens and enabled

us to add a single credit-card reader at the cash machine. The

hoppers dispense only $1 tokens that can be used in all of the wash

bays, vacuums and vending machines. To promote goodwill, we

absorb the credit card transaction fees.

NUMBER OF VACUUMS:

We have 5 dual-motor vacuums. They get a lot of use, because our

vacuums suck! We wash the vacuum filters weekly, and replace the

gaskets when they start to compress and deteriorate.

HOW MANY VENDING MACHINES?

We have 7 vending machines that dispense Armor All Protectant

Sponges, Quick Dry Towels, Quick Dry Glass Cleaner, Quick Dry

Microfiber Towels and Little Trees hanging scents. We also have a

stand-alone Carpet Shampooer and Spray Fragrance machine.

28 • FALL 2019


KLEENRITE.COM • 800.233.3873

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LIGHTS TOTAL 32 FEET

DX1000

WEEP MIZER

• Cycles weep system on and off for

maximum savings

• Prevents line freezing

• Battery backup and built in “FAIL

SAFE” program for peace of mind

Get 32 feet of bright LED lighting at your car wash

or detail center!

• Easily

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$1,289.99 GGBAY32 32ft Self-Serve/In-Bay Lighting Package

$949.00 GGBAY48SS-AC Driverless 32ft Self-Serve Bay Lighting Package

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• Never throw money in the trash again!

• Features 162 less than dime-sized

holes to allow dirt and debris through

while keeping coins and valuables out

of the trash.

• Fits JE Adams vacuums without

cutting notch for hose inlet hole

• 18.75” Dia. x 7.25” H

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FALL 2019 • 29


WHAT ARE YOUR PRICES?

Wash: Currently $2 for 3.5 minutes, and we’re planning to

increase to $3 for 5 minutes in January 2020.

Vacuum: $1 for 2.5 minutes

Carpet Shampoo machine: $2 for 3 minutes

Spray Fragrance machine: $1 for 40 seconds of spray scent

Vending: $1 for Armor All, Quick Dry Towels, Quick Dry Glass

Cleaner, and Little Tree scent

Vending: $2 each for Quick Dry Microfiber Towels

ANY COMPETITION NEARBY?

Within 3 miles, I have another self-service car wash, and 4 express

tunnel car washes. I don’t really consider them competition,

because I attract a different type of customer, looking for a higherquality

self-service experience. What sets me apart from the other

car washes is that my wash is clean and well-maintained, open

24 hours with bright LED lights, acceptance of credit cards (with

no credit card fee), gentle hogs-hair bristle brushes, in-bay dryers,

high-quality wash chemicals, self-service carpet shampooer and

spray fragrance machine, and friendly customer service.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL

PROFIT CENTERS (OTHER THAN

VENDING MACHINES)?

When the car wash was built in 1982, the original owners had

the foresight to build a giant billboard right over the car wash.

It’s a 2-sided billboard that measures 14’ x 48’, and 12’ x 25’.

The billboard is mounted to the roof, and the 36” base runs

down through the roof, the middle of the pump room and work

bench (see photo)! The billboard company leases the space from

me. They handle all the advertising and pay the lighting bill,

and mail me a monthly check for doing nothing. Not only is the

giant billboard a landmark, but it provides us a steady source of

revenue. Our contract is up for renewal in 2021.

DO YOU OFFER ANYTHING SPECIAL IN THE

BAYS DURING CERTAIN SEASONS (I.E. SALT

REMOVER, ETC.)?

During the summertime, we hand out popsicles to the kids!

Fortunately, with the mild seasons in the Sacramento area in

Northern California, we don’t need to worry about snow or ice.

WHAT IMPROVEMENTS HAVE YOU MADE AT

YOUR CAR WASH?

Since we purchased our car wash in 2003, we’ve made a lot

upgrades and improvements:

• On the grounds we replaced the weeds with colorful flowers and

bushes, and added yellow pole covers. We recently added an

asphalt overlay.

• On the building we replaced the original brown metal paneling with

blue paneling and added a “Clearance” bar over each bay. Added

building signage “Citrus Heights Car Wash.” Replaced sodium and

30 • FALL 2019


metal halide lights with LED lights, which cut our electrical bill in half!

• In the wash bays, we added custom menu signs and colorful instruction

signs, advertising the hogs-hair foam brushes, in-bay dryers and

discouraging bucket-washing (while others are waiting). We upgraded mat

holders and wand holders. We recently installed Diskin’s Super Air Shammee

in each bay, and replaced the aging ceiling booms with Zierden’s booms.

• Added a 16-video camera surveillance system.

• Painted the 4 original and faded fiberglass vacuums a bright yellow.

• Upgraded the vending machines from mechanical pull-knob style with

electronic retrofit kits.

• In the pump room, we replaced the water softener and recently switched wash

chemicals from mediocre generic brand to high-quality Blendco chemicals.

Chemical technology has improved significantly in 16 years.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT

RUNNING A SELF-SERVE?

What I like most about running a self-service car wash is being of service

and making a personal connection every day. For me, it’s not about making

money. It’s about making a positive difference, and letting my customers

know I care about them. I enjoy personally greeting all my customers and

talking with them, making change, explaining the wash menu options and

how the equipment works, giving out extra tokens, and using my portable

jump starter to help a customer when their vehicle battery dies. In this day, a

little kindness goes a long way that customers will long remember.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING?

The diversity of my work load is a challenge. Every day I need to be mentally

and physical strong to be flexible and able to handle whatever comes my way,

in a positive and professional manner, with patience and a smile. In a given

day, I may arrive to deal with a muddy bay, then need to move an abandoned

broken television set, then confront a customer who feels entitled to bucket

wash their vehicle on a busy Saturday morning, then need to make an

unexpected repair, then empathize with a long-time customer, who has fallen

on hard financial times and needs help washing their vehicle. At the end of the

day, I am tired, but feel an enormous sense of satisfaction and joy.

Keep coming!

Subscribe online at www.sscwn.com

or mail a check with this order form:

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Send order form and check to:

110 Childs Ln., Franklin, TN 37067

Call toll free at 888-881-5861

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0

FALL 2019 • 31

Astromatic Softgloss 3-375x4-875 ad PRINT 011818


FUN& GAMES

WHAT’S

DIFFERENT?

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?

1. 3 is changed to an 8

2. Red corner bumper is missing

3. Part of coiled hose is missing

4. Cement slab is shorter

5. Tree has been added

6. “S” is missing from canopy

SIGNS OF LAUGHTER

Looking

to up your signage game?

Check out these business signs from

across the country for some inspiration.

32 • FALL 2019


HUR-98-62023

Increase Wash Time

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The energy efficient

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that is simple to use. Your

customers will love having the

ability to dry their car, which

means more time in your bay.

Amazing!

FOR THE ULTIMATE IN CAR APPEARANCE

USE PURIFIED SPOT FREE RINSE WATER AT LOW PRESSURE

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1. WASH & RINSE CAR NORMALLY WITH HIGH

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3. RINSE CAR FROM TOP DOWN WITH LOW

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Both Systems Come With Bay Signage To Promote Your Items.

Call Us Today to Find Out More About the Services Carolina Pride Offers.

INDUSTRIAL GRADE

Flexible • Profitable • Dependable

(800) 421-5119

225 Crown Blvd., Timberlake, NC 27583

PO Box 488 | Roxboro, NC 27573

www.cpcarwash.com | sales@cpcarwash.com

FALL 2019 • 33


FILL IN THE

THE SCARIEST THING

ABOUT OWNING A SELF

SERVE CAR WASH IS

______________________.

... It’s the people who come to these Self-Serve car

washes, not necessarily customers. Over the years I’ve

been in fist fights, had to draw my weapon, I carry a Sig

P220 .45, thank God I’ve never had to fire it. We go to

the car wash at 05:30 so we don’t have to interact with

anyone, most of the night lizards have gone into their

holes at that hour. Self-Serve car washes are pretty much

a magnet for the trash of society and a transfer site for

the dump, a place where people can come to drop off

whatever.......am glad they’re not bucket washing in one

of my bays when paying customers are waiting. - RANDY

... We have a lot of illegal immigrants in our area, due to the

natural gas fracking industry. I have kicked several of them

off the site, due to loitering and just generally $&%$#@! the

place up. Twice I’ve had them drive circles around my lot

watching me (for upwards of an hour). Not a comfortable

feeling.... I am always packing, but that doesn’t mean I

want to have to use it if things escalate. - SRR5008

... The scariest thing is when you get on people for

dumping everything in our trash cans they just go nuts

and start cussing. I’ve been called a D..khead and Ahole

in the last week. And it seems to be getting worse. And

[we are in] a small town in Tx. - WATER GUY

BLANK

... The scariest part of my car wash is when I have to

point out the rules I have in place written for all to see

and someone is breaking them. They always want to

debate you and things can escalate. - SOAPY

... I find the best way to get loiterers to leave is to tell

them they have 5 minutes to finish up whatever they are

doing and then leave if they are not paying customers.

This usually does not result in any hard feelings as

opposed to telling them to “Get out”. - EARL WEISS

... Monday: power washed a massive paint dump.

Tuesday: used oil pads to soak up an oil change in one of

my pits. This morning: degreased a bay from a taco truck

dumping his fry tank on me at 2am. All despite signs in

every bay that say no paint, oil, or grease. - KLEANRIDE

... Yes there are some crazy people out there. Years ago

a guy pulled in with a large mower on a trailer. I walked

down to the bay, spoke to the man and told him it was

ok to wash the mower from the top down but please

don’t wash the deck and I walked off. Before I got 2

bays away, he sped off obviously not finishing. A few

minutes later I was filling some vending machines and

didn’t notice he had driven back in and circled around

and was behind me. Suddenly something hit me in the

back and someone was screaming obscenities at me,

and maybe this will pay for the clean up. It was the lawn

mower guy and he had wadded up a $20 bill and hit

me in the back with it and then burned rubber off the

lot. Now that was scary. That could have been a bullet.

I taped the $20 bill inside my changer for years as a

reminder every day to be careful and more aware of

what is going on around me. - JERRY

... Well maybe my guardian angel looks out for me. I

really don’t find any part of it scary. Sometimes a little

tense, but not scary. - MAC

... Earl & others, That tends to be our “trying to be fair

enough” approach also. Too often we get answers

stating they are waiting for a ride etc. Sometimes it

becomes somewhat of a “cat & mouse” type of game

with them lying about being with someone etc. The

restroom in our laundromat makes for a subtle helpful

draw for maintaining some customers and potential

customers. On the down side ... restrooms can be

tough if someone stays in too long with the door locked.

I wonder if any car washes have free wifi for their

customers??? I remember motioning to what appeared

to be some rich kid’s son to turn down his stereo that

was clearly way too loud. I could not have been more

gentle and kind and it usually is enough and just the

right touch for most who don’t have a malicious intent.

The under 30 year old went into a tizzy wanting to talk

to the owner. He then called me every name imaginable

accusing me of being racist and persecuting the

homeless ... keep in mind ... both him and me are

whiteys. He was so pathetic he even called on our

listed phone number about 2 weeks later. I happened

to answer that specific line. Again he goes into a spiel

about wanting to talk to the owner about how he was

abused!!! After trying the reasoning approach again ...

I might have finally had to hang up on him ... not sure.

Sometimes ... it seems like somehow someone behind

the scenes (truer faith at work) finally vouches for an

owner and straightens those kind of lunatics out. In a

worse case scenario (in my humble opinion) sometimes

they find fellow lunatics and form sort of a gang against

a person??? - MJWALSH

AS FOR DOORS ON MY SELF SERVE BAYS __________________________...

...No. My place is drive in, back out, no need… - KEITH

BAKER

...We have a four bay wash site in Vermont. Three of the

bays contain IBAs and one bay is a self serve. The SS

is new to us, and the bay had existing doors when we

added the SS. The bay has been open 24/7 since mid

April but we are going to use the door and post winter

hours, closing the bay overnight during cold weather. -

NEW WASHDOG

...We are set up with 3 tandem bays. The inside portion

of the tandem bays have four 10’x10’ overhead doors

& for our RV-truck bay there are two 13’x11’ doors with

the one in front no roof but 8’x20’ windbreak fiberglassredwood

homespun structures. Via cameras we can do

some closing & opening remotely via ZAP operators

that Airlift sold back in the day as their extra safe

(Made in England) door opener option. We don’t auto

operate the Zap operators or let the customers use

them even though I believe they are safer than standard

door openers. There has never been an incident of a

customer not being able to safely use the ropes on the

doors. The signs clearly state that the door must be lifted

completely open to prevent an unwanted fall down.

In our North Dakota climate there are times during the

winter when we have to make sure ice does not build up

on the overhead doors. Airlift’s strapeze counterweight

system have been a life saver for us compared to if

we had been stupid enough to put in torsion springs.

Our main and very almost brand new self service

competition “sensor auto opens and closes” the doors

for their customers 24/7 ... time will tell if they will be

able to maintain that luxury in my opinion. I am sure

we have lost a few customers because of that luxury

convenience. Does anybody else uses that approach?

My mindset is that if the customer opens and closes

manually and the doors are kept light enough for even

dainty women ... it makes more sense it seems to have

the customer be in total control and not have to rely

on sensors. Having the rope on at least one door does

stop the tunnel wind effect ... that is why even above

freezing temps we allow our customers to close our

south doors even if the wind is coming from the north.

BTW ... we had a custom setup made about 19 years

ago that a machine shop friend helped us with to lock

our doors from inside the equipment room by use of

air cylinders and linkages etc. Definitely something

worthwhile knowing what it was like to fight with the

locking mechanisms on our previous overhead non

alaskan doors. - MJWALSH

…[we are a] 4 bay SS in Ontario, Canada. We use the

Wyndstar Vinyl doors both front and back. They are

connected to loop sensors that open and close the

doors as it detects the vehicle, when time expires, or

after 30 seconds if not money is inserted. Have door

openers on the inside as well so a customer can open

or close the door. Doors help keep the equipment and

bays warm. Customers love the added protection from

the elements. More equipment does come with more

issues although we have been able to work through

most things (clips breaking and the door getting out

of the guides, moisture in the push button controls,

customers moving garbage bins unintentionally under

the door and the photo eye detects this and won’t

close). All in all we have pretty harsh winters and the

doors are almost a necessity. They were not cheap by

any means to purchase or install. Not sure how you cold

climate operators do it without them. - SPARKLESSS

...What a great idea Soapy. I got so tired of fixing them

at the self serves I just took them down. I‘ll be redoing

my entrance/exit doors at my tunnel and can’t decide

which doors to go with. It sounds like some have more

problems than others. - JMMUSTANG

34 • FALL 2019


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36 • FALL 2019


TRICKS OF THE

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 AutoCareForum.com

Wherefore art thou, water?

Have a bay at my wash that has not been operational for several years, and the place is around 15 years old.

So I removed the motor and pump, rebuilt both and cleaned up the stand. Put it all back together and manually

pushed in the starter. No pressure showing on the gauge, and this is the best part, no water coming out in

the bay. So what’s going on? Since there was no pressure showing on the gauge, I thought it was bad, so [I] put

a new one on. Same thing. Pulled the discharge hose from the pump and got a nice stream coming out. Well

the old hose and steel fittings must have corroded closed. But if that is so, there should be pressure showing

on the gauge. The fun just never stops. And to make things easy, the bay is the farthest one away and you have

to crouch down and walk on the roof trusses. And did I mention it’s 90 degrees out? - MAC

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

air bound? Start at the pump and remove the output

hose. water there? keep going like that... WAXMAN

Have done that. Water comes out of the pump

under pressure. Pulled pressure gauge off and water

comes out there also. Finally got water to come out

boom in the bay but not a good flow. Now have bad

bypass hose on pump and bad check valves above the

boom. The whole bay system was bad. Every part. Just

have never seen one bay so bad. And it’s a pain to just

climb up there. Also need all low pressure hoses. MAC

Yeah it’s always a pain to climb up to replace

trough hosing etc. for me, too. I would start with

a fresh length of 3/8” HP hose and together with a

helper re-fit it. WAXMAN

Sweet dreams,

carwash... zzz…..

By my tally about 2% of my paid business and 98% of my crime,

abuse, and stupidity happens between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. I’ve spent

the better part of the past two weeks chasing down midnight trash, taco

grease, and paint dumpers and I’m wondering if any SS operators are

closing at night? Signs and cameras don’t seem to phase these people

and I’m getting a weak response from the cops.

By closed I mean gated and locked up, not just lights out.

All of my SS competitors are open 24/7 but I’m thinking it may be a

fair trade to give up 2% of my revenues in exchange for sending all of

my late night sh_t heels over to their washes.

Am I crazy? Any thoughts? - KLEANRIDE

I sympathize with you. Probably many have little

revenue but plenty of problems after dark.

I would be concerned with starting something

you could not undo later. If you start closing at

night, it is conceivable that you would not be allowed

to go back to being a 24-hour operation.

Opposition to increased noise or whatever.

There is a labor cost to opening and closing each

day. So if you could not go back if you changed

your mind, you would be stuck with that. - SEQUOIA

About 30 years ago we were forced to shut

down one of our washes at night from 10 p.m. to

7 a.m., all the power had to be shut off except

for the lights over the back door and the over the

changer by the city for violations to the newly enacted

noise ordinance, we fought them tooth and

nail, spent thousands of dollars on lawyers but still

lost. The city actually did us a favor by forcing us

to shut down at night. Our illegal dumping, theft,

and vandalism went way down. The next 3 car

washes we built we did the same thing, fenced and

gated them, shut them down from 10 p.m. to 7

a.m. We have a security company come, close the

gate, lock it and then come back at 7 a.m., unlock

and open the gate. It’s worked out so well that a

couple of other local car washes have done the

same thing. - RANDY

I know of one operator who shuts his down at

night, not sure of the time but it’s gated and all lights

out all night. He’s in one of the worst areas in town.

I might consider shutting down at night, but I feel

like I’d want the entire wash fenced off. - MEP001

I have gone through the same thing. Most operators

accept that it comes with the territory. I

have cabs and tow trucks washing 24/7 so closing

at night would really hurt. You’re out to make every

dollar you can. It starts to get on your mind

on what’s going on when you’re not there. You

arrive every morning with a bit of unease to see

what kind of condition your wash is in. If you’re

in a rural area with very little business, it would be

worth it to close at night. I don’t have that option.

- CELICA

I’m in a rural area, but I get occasional washers

at all hours. And there are a few devoted truck

owners who always come in about 5am, likely

on the way to the job site. I get at least several of

those every few days, maybe more.

I think the night business I receive is probably

roughly equal to the cost of electricity to keep the

property lit up. But that has the benefit of added

security. - SEQUOIA

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38 • FALL 2019


TRICKS OF THE

Winter is coming...

Two of my washes do not have a weep system connected to the foamy brushes.

I live in the Pacific Northwest so we regularly get under 32 degrees. I have used

antifreeze foamy brush chems in the past and it has been fine but I’m

having trouble finding someone to sell me it this year. Anyways,

what are your favorite antifreeze foamy brush chemicals and

who do you buy from? - WYATT

Source methanol by the barrel from a fuel supplier

and mix your regular chemical with it to make your

own winter solution.

Figure your ratio so you can dilute between 4:1 -

8:1 at the hydrominder. Example: If your standard

foam brush is diluted 240:1, make the methanol/

chemical mixture 30:1. Then 8:1 at the hydrominder

would give you 240:1 in the tank.

8:1 at the hydrominder should give freeze protection

to around 20 degrees. 4:1 goes significantly colder

likely to 10 degrees or less.

This is what I purchased from a Sunoco Race Fuels

dealer. I think they had a couple options, but I buy

the most basic. Was approximately $200 for a 55gal

drum. - XBOWHUNTER86

For you guys that mix methanol with your current

soap, is there a certain kind of methanol that works best?

Is this the same stuff as methanol racing fuel? - NOOB

I pick my methanol up using my own 15 gallon

barrels. I just paid 2.89 per gallon. Distributor dispenses

it just like gas. - SOAPY

Anybody else have so many auto-doors on both

ends self service car wash competition ... in your area

... so your customers no longer will use the self service

bays when the temperature is below freezing? In other

SSCWN EDITOR CHIMES IN:

Warning! Stop reading now if you’re not a fan

of winter weather predictions. Okay, if you’re

still with us, I want to turn our attention to the

good ol’ 2019-2020 Farmer’s Almanac, which

has been exceptionally accurate year after year.

So, for this winter, expect… Snow, ice, wind….

Your basic seasonal wintertide trifecta. More

specifically, according to the Almanac, expect

everything from flurries to no fewer than seven

big snowstorms from coast to coast, (this

includes two in April in the Intermountain region

west of the Rockies).

“This snow-verload will include storms

pummeling Washington state and points

eastward across the northern-tier states

into Michigan. For the normally rain-soaked

Northwest, this could mean a repeat of last

winter’s record-breaking extremes, including

the Snowpocalypse that dumped 20.2 inches on

Seattle in February.”

In the middle of the United States as well as

New England it will be “more wet than white”

and people are warned that the slush will freeze

during the overnights. “Meanwhile, much of

the Deep South will be saturated by soakers.”

However, winter should be most pleasant in

Florida, the Gulf Coast, and Texas.

words... we used to have short day wintertime situations

where we used the antifreeze foam brush soap

but our competitors changed that ability ...

I notice lately signs & adverts on many local gas

stations stating, “free car wash with fill”. I remember

the days where there was some effort on the part of

the ICA where they lobbied a bit against predatory

big oil companies’ deeper pockets subsidizing the

“free car wash” directly or indirectly. It appears those

days are gone & us “self service especially” basically

have to fend for ourselves when it comes to the gas

stations. Maybe “predatory” discussion should be a

new thread. It does affect the below freezing customer

flow opportunity with the use of more outdoor

style washing methanol level of car washing from my

perspective. - MJWALSH

Polish

Knowledge

I should know this, but I don’t. What is a good

product to use to really polish an old stainless

vac? The crap at the hardware and big box stores

doesn’t do diddley. I’m not looking for a mirror

finish, just clean and new looking. - MAC

If they’re getting over spray from SS bays, start

with an aluminium brightener such as Arcadian’s

nu wall. Do not allow it to dry on the surface or it

will stain black. Spray on and use a white scotch

brite pad (with gloved hands of course) to clean.

You will not scratch or mar the finish with a white

pad. You can use one grade coarser than the white

pad but have to be careful and go with the grain of

the metal. Be sure to rinse off before the product

dries. It’s best to do it at night or first thing in the

morning while the vacs are cool to the touch.

They make aerosol stainless polishes, but every

one I’ve tried just left a greasy messy finish that

will attract dirt. - GREG PACK

Believe it or not, one of the best cleaners I’ve

found for stainless is called ‘Totally Awesome’

from the Dollar Store and it’s cheap. Probably not

what you need to restore an old old vacuum but

for maintaining its great. - GOBUCKEYES

Totally awesome has the same ingredients as a

decent alkaline tire cleaner.

Oh yeah, you probably know this already, but

don’t use brillo pads or steel wool. Tiny bits of

metal can get embedded and leave rust specks -

GREG PACK

FALL 2019 • 39


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FALL 2019 • 43


TRICKS OF THE

We don’t need

no badges!

I contacted the local Sheriff’s Deputy regarding an excessive trash

dumping incident. 14 items in the dumpster, including 9 large bags of trash,

and rolled carpeting thrown behind dumpster.

My wash is in CA, which has essentially decriminalized just about

everything under about a $1,000 loss. However, the Deputy was willing

to take a report and send me a “Citizen’s Arrest” form. Since it was a

misdemeanor not witnessed by a Peace Officer, this is their process. I filled

it out, and submitted a chronology along with multiple videos in support.

Fortunately, the blockhead drove right by the license plate camera and I got

his plate #. This report and the “Citizen’s Arrest” form then gets submitted

to the DA for any action or non-action. As we all know, non-action is the

likely outcome. I looked up the Deputy’s report this morning (Sheriff’s log)

and it was listed as a call about “littering.”

I’m not familiar with the “Citizen’s Arrest” process. The last flagrant

dumper I reported (lucky me) happened to have an outstanding warrant, so

he went off to jail that night. Does anyone know how the “Citizen’s Arrest”

process in CA works, and is there any downside to pursuing this? - SEQUOIA

SSCWN EDITOR CHIMES IN:

Citizen’s Arrests are really a thing and each state has

its own guidelines on how and when an arrest is allowed

or tolerated. According to the Los Angeles Times’ Ask Laz

section, in most cases, the general rules are that, if it’s a

misdemeanor, the crime must have been committed in your

presence. “In California, Penal Code Section 837 states that

‘a private person may arrest another: (1) For a public offense

committed or attempted in his presence. (2) When the person

arrested has committed a felony, although not in his presence.

(3) When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has

reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have

committed it.’”

And, New York State Penal Law states: there exists a

separate common law/statutory privilege that permits property

owners, including shop-keepers and landowners, to restrain

or “detain” persons whom they have probable cause to

believe have committed or are about to commit violations of

their property rights (e.g., by theft or by trespass or property

damage).

As for my own humble opinion, I say don’t take matters into

your own hands and up your security surveillance and make

any troublemaker’s face viral via Facebook.

Is there not a local ordinance against using someone’s

trash facility without their consent? There is

here, and it’s a $200 fine.

Some local agencies will enforce a sign you post, e.g.

if you had a sign at the dumpster stating $200 fine for

leaving trash, they might go after them with proof.

I think it’s BS that with a citizen’s arrest form submitted

along with video proof they won’t go issue the

guy a littering ticket, or that you can’t show the video

to a peace officer who has then witnessed it. I couldn’t

even get an officer to come out the other day after I

had a safe drilled out. They could only take a report

over the phone and told me I’d get a call back, which

never happened. That’s why I decided to get a gun,

and they’ll just have to deal with these people in a different

way. - MEP001

I wonder if you provided the evidence to Waste

Management or whoever pickup company that they

would help to make sure the individual is fined. It

seems like most trash pickup companies nowadays

own the dumpster & always have the “illegal dumping”

sign on the dumpster ... not the business owner.

Let us know if that helps with your rather severe incident

where you have the evidence.

Here in Bismarck some nonprofit thrift stores got the

news media to shed light on the “leaving of unwanted

items” without their permission. Those news stories

have popped up a bunch of times recently. Not sure of

the effect from that though.

It seems like the more prevalent the socialism mantra

becomes ... the more at risk we are. Yesterday, I

had to talk down a well meaning college student based

44 • FALL 2019

on what he was articulating to me & some others at

the business. It was a bit exhausting & I am not 100%

sure I got through to him about being lulled into that!

- MJWALSH

That is a very good suggestion. Waste Mgmt. is getting

very tired of my car wash, and the workload on

their drivers. I increased trash pickups from 2 per week

to 3. They said I shouldn’t need more than one.

I am trying to figure out options to lock or remove

the dumpster entirely.

When I roust people in the act of dumping trash, I

am always surprised by their reaction: “really? what’s

the big deal?” - SEQUOIA

Your waste company can likely provide a dumpster

with a lock bar. It will likely be an extra charge, but

sounds like it would be worth it. - MC3033

What you need to do depends on your state laws.

You should be able to find them online. If you educate

yourself on your state’s laws you can play the game

and find out exactly what the prosecutor/magistrate/

judge are looking for and needing for prosecution. In

my state, it’s called criminal littering and mail found in

garbage can be used as evidence to prosecute and fine.

Also, each state has slightly different procedures for

arrests and criminal proceedings. In my state, most law

enforcement departments do not investigate and pursue

misdemeanors. It is up to the citizen to pursue charges

by going to the magistrate’s office with a police report

and any additional evidence. The magistrate will look

at the report and evidence, and if there is sufficient

grounds will issue an arrest warrant for the suspect. So,

it sounds like you’re going through a similar procedure.

But you need to know the exact wording of your state’s

littering laws and see if your incident fits the description.

Most likely it did, or the police wouldn’t have filled out

a report. Another possible option is theft of services in

some states according to how the law is written.

Can’t imagine a downside. - GREG PACK

When I gave the Deputy the license plate number over

the phone, there was a slight pause and then he said:

“Hmmmm.” I took that to indicate this person already

has a criminal history, which might be why he was willing

to even take a report.

As I have been combating the dumping problem by

scrutinizing video, I am learning a common denominator.

A lot of my problem trash people drive “beater”

pickup trucks. This fellow’s truck had body damage on

virtually all body panels, and the back window of the

cab was blown out and replaced with plywood. Not

the kind of vehicle that gets much attention at a carwash.

- SEQUOIA

Maybe there was a warrant out for the person. I don’t

know if anyone else has a problem with apprehending

“a warrant for arrest” person, but it can actually get to

the point where it can hurt a business.... considering

how the police sometimes block both entrance & exits.

It also has a way of scaring away normal regular business

when they do that. Those incidents are not related

to a call from us for help, but our property becomes

theirs (police) for too dang long sometimes. When you

need them ... sometimes “where are they?” .... when

continue ...


FALL 2019 • 45


TRICKS OF THE

We don’t need no badges continued....

you don’t need them .... you get my drift. - MJWALSH

Over the years I’ve been toe-to-toe more than once

with the police over illegal dumping. You can pretty

much forget about the police or the prosecutor doing

much of anything, I’ve never gotten any satisfaction

from them. Lock your dumpster up like it was Fort

Knox. When they dump outside of the dumpster look

for an address and then take their garbage/junk back

to them, that can be very entertaining. - RANDY

We lock our dumpster, but people get creative with

how they go about leaving their crap on our lot. I’m

a big fan of dumpster diving for anything with an address

on it. I then like to return their garbage to their

property (i.e. dumping all over their lawn), if they are

within driving distance. - SRR5008

The chances are low, but you risk an accidental needle

stick if you paw through the dumped trash. That’s

a risk I choose to avoid. I like the idea of taking it back,

except if I am halfway unloading it and a drunken property

owner comes out to confront me. Ahhhh. - RANDY

I think I wore out my welcome with law enforcement

with just one report. The deputy asked for videos;

unfortunately, that became many emails because

of size limits of email attachments. So, my effort to

send the required information, pictures, and videos

probably flooded his email in-box for a bit. From his

perspective, that’s a lot to shuffle through for a “littering”

charge. - Sequoia

I dump the bags into my dumpster and use one of

those trash picker/grabber tools to stir the trash and

pick out envelopes - for that very reason. I’m always

worried about druggies dumping on my lot. I also return

garbage to homeowners during the wee hours of

the morning to avoid fistfights. - SRR5008

Just had my first trash dumper with my newly acquired

wash. And yes, he was dumb enough to have

mail and documents with his phone number on it. Left

him a nice message saying basically if it ever happens

again, don’t worry about it being reported to the police.

There was a little more I said that I wish to not

repeat here. - MAC

I think you are approaching this wrong, I prosecute

this as theft of service. I can sympathize with not wanting

to prosecute littering, but this is not littering- it is

theft. It is NOT a minor annoyance, it is costing me

thousands of dollars per year.

Littering: “carelessly discarded refuse.” (freedictionary)

Theft of Service: a crime which is committed when

a person obtains valuable services — as opposed to

goods — by deception, force, threat or other unlawful

means, i.e., without lawfully compensating the provider

for these services.

In plain English, if you are paying for trash collection,

and somebody brings a tied-off bag of garbage

and leaves it on your property/dumpster without paying

you, they are stealing a service. This is the “service”

(as opposed to product) version of shoplifting. It is a

misdemeanor, and goes on their permanent record.

Whenever somebody tells me “it’s just a bag of

trash, get over it” I remind them that the service of

trash collection is one of the biggest industries in the

US, look up the value of Waste Management or Republic

Services if you think I’m wrong, they are both

fortune 500, climbing steadily. - PAULLOVESJAMIE

I use the “theft of service” tag a lot, including for

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TRICKS OF THE

bucket washers and detailers when it’s busy. I recently

happened upon a food truck parked in a bay, I went

and checked video before I talked to him and he had

already been in the bay for 45 minutes without ever

starting the timer. When I approached him, I just told

him he needed to move out of the bay, and he acted like

he planned to spend a ton of money to wash his truck

and I was running off business. He ended up going to a

nearby wash, and all he did was spend another 20 minutes

scrubbing down his interior and one startup cycle

to rinse food scraps everywhere. Theft of service/shoplifting

is an arrestable offense in Texas, so he’s going to

jail if he comes back and his truck will be towed. The

tow alone will cost him close to $1,000. - MEP001

The current mindset of the local PD is a big factor in

getting a complaint filed & for it to stick it seems. Randy’s

current area’s situation appears to be an “effort

in futility” littering charge wise ... it seems is reflected

by his post. I have very painful memories of how persistent

I had to be to get a contractor charged or even

a strong enough warning of restitution required on a

“HORRIFIC” tar all over my overhead doors, walls

& floor. Some of you may remember that post several

years ago about the 7-8 man hours & lots of chemical

use thread. I suppose we could have tried to hire a private

attorney, but I was not chummy enough with any

of them at the time. Usually private attorneys want an

extremely high upfront fee!!! - MJWALSH

Paul, you are absolutely correct in your statement.

Unfortunately, though, reality sometimes rears its ugly

head. While we in the business appreciate the offense,

our police mostly just blow it off. I used to own a wash

in South Miami and we had a break-in. Big dollar loss

so we called the Miami police. Three hours later a cop

shows up. When my partner said we called three hours

ago he replied, and I am not making this up, “Look I

only make $90,000 per year. You think I’m going to

bust my ass for something like this?” In Florida an illegal

alien has more rights than I do. If he gets pulled

over for a DUI with no license, insurance, or registration,

they might take the car but let them go. For me I

get slammed with thousands in court costs and fines.

It’s sad, but just a reflection of our times. - MAC

We have a lock on our dumpsters, but sometimes

people still pry the plastic tops open and still puts the

trash in the dumpster. - CLEANING UP MUD

I suggested theft of service to the deputy. He wrote

‘littering’ in his report.

I’ve been reviewing the dumpster camera videos for

a few weeks now. I recently spent a day working at the

wash, and politely chased away half a dozen “small”

dumpers probably totaling a dozen bags of trash in

one day. None of the wanna be dumpers purchased a

car wash service.

I heard the same line everyone has: “What? It’s just

a couple little bags of trash!”

I’m going nuclear. I called the trash company today

and told them to remove the dumpster from the

property. I am going to try not accepting any trash at

all. I expect shaky results for a month or two, but I am

hoping to break long held habits formed in my small

community.

We will see how it works out. - SEQUOIA

Be sure to put the Sheriff’s department on speed dial.

I had removed my garbage cans a few times and the customers

would put their garbage where the can should

have been or they laid it on the vac island. - RANDY

MORE CUSTOMERS.

MORE REVENUE.

LESS EFFORT.

ANY WASH

No matter your equipment,

we work with just about any

equipment on the market.

ANY PAYMENT

Payments are made easily

through credit or loyalty

cards, and mobile.

ANY LOCATION

With one location or

hundreds, tie all your data

together to make managing

your wash a breeze.

651-439-5740 | washcard.com

FALL 2019 • 47


www.manniwashsystems.com

1-800-552-4492

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

THE HI TECH CAR WASH SYSTEM

IS BACK AND STRONGER THAN EVER!

Touch Free

In-Bay Automatic

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

standards for CLEAN CARS and HIGH PRODUCTION.

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.

All Turbo Wash

units come with

the Rear Blaster!

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

statement?

Top Reasons to buy a

TURBO WASH

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

48 • FALL 2019


The Total Self-Service Package

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

SIX BAY WASH MODULE·UL Listed

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: www.manniwashsystems.com

Manni’s Wash Module

Manni's 1131 GREENSBURG ROAD • LOWER BURRELL, PA 15068

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

FALL 2019 • 49


INNOVATIONS

INTRODUCING NEW AND IMPROVED PRODUCTS AND

SERVICES FOR SELF SERVE CAR WASHES

In-Bay automatic from Belanger

Belanger has unveiled its new Cube® Soft-Touch In-Bay Automatic Wash

System, the industry’s first friction IBA wash system that provides a quieter experience

for the customer while also improving the quality of the wash.

“We couldn’t be happier with the overwhelming response the Cube received

at this year’s PEI-NACS Show,” said Allen Luce, Sales Manager. “Operators in

attendance were impressed by the Cube’s innovative ‘smart’ features that allow

them to choose the best ways to market their sites while delivering better

throughput and cleaner cars. Additionally, the Cube was designed with the idea

that a successful wash operation begins with meeting the needs of the person

behind the wheel, and this new wash system does just that.”

Prior to developing the Cube, Belanger conducted an extensive voice of the

customer (VOC) survey to learn what customers expected from a wash experience.

From this VOC, Belanger engineered a unique wash system that addresses

each of the top requests, such as lower noise, no vehicle damage, and higher

quality of wash. To address these top expectations, the Cube utilizes slow-spinning

friction wheels to lower the overall noise inside the vehicle during the

wash. In order to keep the noise low and the wash quality high, the Cube incorporated

Belanger’s ShineMitt foam media. The design of the media acts as

a wash mitt that thoroughly cleans the vehicle in a gentle and quiet manner. In

addition, the Cube utilizes a host of “smart” technology allowing it to be precise,

intuitive and flexible to provide the best possible cleaning result for each customer.

The Cube’s smart features include:

Mud stoppers from Kleen-Rite

Mud, grime, and grit sometimes builds up in the outer holes of the fiberglass

grating in a car wash bay and it is difficult to clean out this sludge and

it might begin to collect gravel and small pieces of trash. This is unattractive

and potentially unsafe for customers. In addition, this increases the possibility

that brushes will pick up solid particles that can scratch or damage

vehicle surfaces.

Mud Stopper plugs easily and quickly solve this problem. Once you identify

which holes in your grating collect mud, you can clean them out and

insert a plug in each one. This directs the mud and sludge further towards

the center of the grate where it will fall into the pit instead of building up

around the edges. Plugs are easy to insert and perfectly sized for common

car wash grating. Your wash will instantly look cleaner, stay cleaner, and

provide a safer experience for all customers and employees.

● Smart Wheel technology that tilts and adjusts to the

shape of the specific vehicle

● Smart Touch technology utilizes torque-sensing,

radial-driven arms that detects friction levels and

position the wash wheels in optimal geometric proximity

to each vehicle

● Smart Spray manifolds that “know” the position of

each wheel and apply spray at the right time

In addition, the Cube offers remote access capabilities, patented LED-enhanced

wheels and spray arms that cycle through six colors to provide Active

Site Marketing, and an innovative scissor-arm top wheel that precisely lowers

to the vehicle and covers more area along the front, top and rear of the vehicle.

The Cube’s LED lights also provide navigational assistance to load customers in

and out of the bay quickly, increasing throughput.

Car wash monitoring

solution from Unitec

United introduces has announced the launch of its newest service, Uptime

Solutions.

Uptime Solutions employs a team of experts to monitor the status of

car wash equipment and triage any issues. The service increases wash uptime,

and reduces unnecessary service provider site visits. When the Uptime

Solutions team detects an issue at the wash, they will remotely provide a

fix, advise personnel on how to resolve the issue or, if needed, engage the

wash’s service provider for an on-site visit. The team customizes a resolution

process to the store’s staff and company policies and stays on top of

each problem until it is resolved.

50 • FALL 2019


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2/4/2019 FALL 2019 10:55:40 • 51

AM


INDUSTRY DIRT

HAPPENINGS IN & AROUND

SELF SERVE CARWASHING

ICS relocates

corporate

headquarters

into expansive,

high-tech space

Innovative Control Systems®(ICS), a Lehigh

Valley, Pennsylvania-based company for more

than 30 years, and the global leader in car wash

technology, has expanded and relocated its existing

corporate facility to 81 Highland Ave.

Moving to the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park

IV provides direct access to routes 512 and

22, and an easy commute for employees. The

25,100 square foot third floor suite, where operations

will be housed, has been completely

renovated into a state-of-the-art, world-class

office environment that will support in excess

of 220 employees.

There is also a high-tech first floor 5,100

square foot employee cafeteria that will feature

healthy food choices at company cost prepared

by an onsite chef. Free coffee, cappuccino and

fountain drinks are also available to all employees.

This floor also features a fitness center

open 24/7 for all employees. “In order to attract

highly-skilled employees in today’s market,

you need to provide them with an attractive

working environment with great benefits and

pay scale,” said ICS President Kevin Detrick.

“Our team took a great deal of time designing

a workplace that is attractive, functional and a

fun place to work.”

A living wall was also introduced to bring nature

into the setting, as well as other appointments

added to enhance the workspace environment.

“The wall has over 700 plants and is

a great focal point positioned adjacent to the

cappuccino bar.” said Detrick.

As part of the move, ICS has announced an

expanded benefit package for its employees.

New additions to employee benefits include

expanded vacation time and the ability to receive

paid time off for community service projects

and family matters. “Our goal is to attract

the highest caliber employee to help us continue

to grow the company,” said Detrick.

Lehigh Valley resident Kevin Detrick founded

ICS in 1988. The company has more than 160

employees, most of whom live in the Lehigh

Valley. As a global leader in its market, ICS has

offices in Irvine, CA; Bristol, England; Germany

and Australia. ICS also has a 55,000 squarefoot

production facility in Bethlehem on South

Commerce Way, as well as a 21,000 square-foot

fabrication shop in East Stroudsburg.

FRAM ® Joins How2Recycle Program

FRAM® of Rochester, Minnesota, a market

leader in filtration products, is pleased to announce

that it has joined the How2Recycle ® program in

an effort to help improve the recycling of its packaging

and materials.

As part of FRAM’s sustainability efforts, the

company has partnered with How2Recycle to

help empower customers to recycle specific products

and packaging more accurately through the

program’s smarter label system.

Customers will notice the recycling label printed

on FRAM packaging for its Extra Guard®, Tough

Guard® and Ultra Synthetic Oil Filters and

Fresh Breeze® Cabin Air Filter. The label informs

Women in Carwash

conference is coming to

Arlington, Texas

Registration is open for the second international

Women in Carwash conference in Arlington,

Texas, January 20-22, 2020.

The first Women in Carwash conference, held

April 29 to May 1, 2019 in beautiful Niagara Falls,

Canada, exceeded expectations and left guests enriched

and inspired. Guests had this to say:

What a wonderful experience of learning,

networking, and growing ideas through

meaningful interaction with insightful and

informative speakers. The very first conference

has already begun to change the culture

of the industry to promote greater collaboration

across all areas of the business - Amy

Cantin, Zep

It was much more intimate and personable

than other conferences and seminars I have

been to. I am used to a large convention-center

type event. … I felt like I got to actually meet

and talk to almost everyone in attendance -

Emily Gertenbach, Kleen-Rite Corp

My company paid for me to be at the

conference. It would have been well worth

spending my own money to attend - Kevin

Thompson, Zips Car Wash

customers that the outer box of FRAM packaging

can be recycled across the U.S. and Canada.

“We are continuously looking at materials, processes

and technologies to reduce waste and conserve

resources in all aspects of our business,” said

Kevin O’Dowd SVP, Global Marketing. “Improved

packaging sustainability is a core part of our effort

to protect our environment. This initiative is very

important to our company, our direct customers

and the motorists who purchase our products.”

Launched in 2012, How2Recycle is the standardized

U.S. label across all packaging types and

offers comprehensive instructions on packaging

recyclability.

The Arlington conference will be jam-packed with

productivity-focused sessions designed to help attendees

build their businesses and better engage with

colleagues, family members, and industry peers.

Attendees can choose from a variety of registration

options that are detailed at www.womenincarwash.com.

Monday, January 20 will begin with

a Lunch & Learn session followed by four handson

learning sessions and concludes with the inaugural

evening event – A Toast to Women in Carwash

– featuring cocktails, food, networking, and

an inspiring Keynote Presentation by Paul Krismer,

a high-energy speaker and executive coach.

Tuesday morning begins with breakfast and includes

a two-part DiSC Profiling session and a separate

event for the returning alumni from the first

conference. Tuesday afternoon features a panel discussion

of a range of selected topics followed by an

educational session on Social Media and Marketing.

Tuesday features a special evening event, which

will be held at the Texas Star Dinner Theatre,

where guests will be sure to enjoy an entertaining

theatre production, a lovely three course dinner

and compete with other teams during an interactive

Mystery Theater.

Wednesday includes breakfast, lunch, and educational

sessions on Human Resources and Leadership.

The number of participants will be limited to

preserve the intimacy of the first event, so visit

www.womenincarwash.com to explore the variety

of registration options and register early to and ensure

you get a ticket.

52 • FALL 2019


FALL 2019 • 53


INDUSTRY

DIRT

LSI announces

new hires and

new facility

LSI Industries Inc., a manufacturer

of outdoor and indoor

lighting and graphics for

commercial, industrial, and

multi-site retail applications,

has named Erin Nichols as its

new national accounts sales

manager. Nichols will work

with distributors to expand lighting product sales,

manage customer satisfaction, and provide the firstclass

service upon which LSI is built. In addition,

Nichols will be instrumental in creating direct relationships

with a range of national retailers, including

hypermarket, warehouse, discount, and retail-banking

formats, by leveraging the strength of LSI Industries’

diverse product offerings, and helping LSI’s customers

to be more competitive in their markets.

Prior to joining LSI Industries, Nichols achieved impressive

revenue-generation, customer-acquisition and

customer-retention metrics in account management

and business development roles for the medical and

pharmaceutical industries.

LSI has also appointed

Thomas A. Caneris as Senior

Vice President – Human

Resources and General

Counsel. Caneris brings to

LSI more than 30 years of

experience as a practicing

attorney and senior advisor

in both public and private company settings. Most

recently, he was a Senior Vice President at PharMerica

Corporation from 2007 through 2019, leading

the Human Resources Group and serving as General

Counsel. Earlier in his career, he served as Commercial

Affairs Counsel for AK Steel Corporation.

Caneris will focus on the acceleration of LSI Industries’

initiatives to retain and attract top talent and continue

efforts to deliver a customer-centric organization

and workforce that enriches skill, diversity, and satisfaction.

In addition to guiding the organization on all

aspects of human resources, he will utilize his wealth of

operational knowledge to collaborate with functional

leaders in several areas of the business, including communications,

investor relations, and government affairs.

In other LSI news, a press release announced that

the town of New Windsor, New York, will host the

company’s new facility. “Congratulations are in order

for the town of New Windsor for its approval of the

ground lease, which clears the way for a new owner to

offer quality jobs in another wise dormant commercial

space,” said Jim Clark, President and CEO. “We’re

thrilled to be close to completing this transaction.”

LSI headquarters is in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has

facilities in Ohio, Kentucky, California, New York,

North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas.

CSI ® announces new regional

sales manager for Florida

President of Proto-Vest retires

Proto-Vest, Inc. of Glendale, Arizona, announced

the retirement of President and CEO

Christopher (Woody) McElroy. After 36 years

with the company, McElroy who holds nine

patents on car wash dryer systems.

New Proto-Vest President Jeff Reichard has

previously served as CEO and president of various

business sectors within the $15 million to

POLLS

Profits for June 2019

compared to

June 2018 have been:

HIGHER

LOWER

SAME

Is being a self serve car

wash owner easy?

YES

NO

DEPENDS ON THE SEASON

*These unscientific polls were conducted

via the carwashforum.com.

Cleaning Systems, Inc. (CSI) of De Pere,

Wisconsin, announced the hiring of Victor

Buffo to the position of Lustra® Regional

Sales Manager for Florida. Victor is based in

Atlanta, Georgia, and will help support the

Southeast with emphasis on Florida. For the

past 18 years Victor was with ZEP Vehicle

Care Division as a Territory Manager, Corporate

Account Specialist and most recently was

Distributor Sales Development Manager responsible

for directly managing their distributor

network that spans the East Coast and

Eastern Canada.

Dave Krause, President and CEO of CSI,

stated in a press release, “We are excited to

welcome Victor to the Lustra Division Team.

His industry experience, breadth of roles and

responsibilities and relationship strength will

be a great contribution to the ongoing success

of our Southeast team.”

$2.5 billion annual sales range.

Simon “Buddy” Blattner will continue on as

general manager.

“Woody’s ‘Institutional Knowledge’ will be

greatly missed and we wish him all the best on

his next adventure in life,” said new Proto-Vest

President Jeff Reichard in a press release.

Same

20%

Lower

30.0%

DEPENDS

ON THE

SEASON

27%

NO

47%

Higher

50%

YES

27%

54 • FALL 2019


FALL 2019 • 55


EXTRA!

EXTRA!

Presenting the news stories featuring

self serve car washes

Twenty-three-year-old buys opens self

serve in New Mexico

Ernesto Rosas just 23 years old, but he already owns a detail shop, and is

now a proud self serve car wash owner. According to krwg, Rosas said he

remembers visiting the car wash with his father when he was 9. ““This has

been my dream to have a self-service and full-service car wash,” he said.

“We’re hoping that people will come out to give us a chance.”

Rosas has been running Neto Boys Mobile Detailing for the past five

years. Recently, the previous owner of the car wash reached out to him,

and Rosas took over the Valley Drive location in September. He added

fresh paint, bright flags and a big new sign. According to the story, he’s

also reduced self-wash prices from $1.50 to $1.

Rosas said in the story, “I want to make improvements to the Valley

Drive self-service location, but I can only do that when traffic increases,

and the business makes more money.”

New self serve in South Dakota will

welcome boats, campers and RVs

Scooptown Car Wash will soon be open in Sturgis, South Dakota, according

to Black Hills Fox Business News. Owners Tylea and Chris Bergman are

transforming a 4,000-square-foot lot that will feature two automatic bays,

three self-serve bays, an oversized bay for campers, boats, and RVs, and even

a pet wash.

“There’s a lot of research going into equipment. There’s a lot of equipment

companies out there. We’ve done our research, traveled around., toured a lot

of plants,” Chris said in the story.

“It’s right off the exit so it’s convenient for them to pull off and get a quick

carwash and like you said now that there’s going to be the dump station here

when it’s during the summertime and they need to swing in. Now there’s a

convenient place for them for their RVs to get that done,” Tylea added.

Scooptown Car Wash is slated to be up and running by December 2019.

Alaskan self serve chain has been in

business for 50 years+

For the past 50-plus years the Boyd family has been washing cars in Anchorage,

Alaska. Today, Brian Boyd is managing both the Magic Wand self serve

car washes and the Rainmaker touches car wash chain. Brian told KTUU, “It’s

over 50 years of family business at this point, my grandfather, he built the first

one and then my dad ended up running that and grew it to three self serves

and then he added these automatics and here I am I run it with my wife and

got my kids handprints in the concrete so it’s definitely a family business.”

Brian joked that when he was a kid and was working at the self serve, he

kept imagining things like automatic doors and cameras coming into play.

Little did he know that both of those visions would become a reality.

Crediting the women in his life, Brian said in the story, “Boy, having my brilliant

wife on board sure makes a difference and no I really wouldn’t be doing

this without her so yeah it’s pretty important.”

Proposed property tax increase would impact California car washes

A union-backed initiative that looks to impose

higher property taxes on commercial and industrial

property started gathering support via signatures

on October 27 in downtown Los Angeles,

nbclosangeles reported.

According to the nbc report, under terms of

Proposition 13 (the landmark property tax reduction

and limitation measure approved by voters on

June 6, 1978) increases of assessed value of real

property are restricted to 2% per year except if it

is sold or there is construction.

“The measure would mainly apply to large and

older businesses, as it exempts owners of commercial

and industrial properties with combined value

of $3 million or less,” the story stated. “There are

also exemptions for all residential and agricultural

property. The initiative also exempts from taxation

$500,000 of combined tangible personal property

and fixtures from small businesses.”

The proposed initiative would not alter the

1% tax limit of a property’s full cash value under

Proposition 13.

If approved, there would be net increase in annual

property tax revenues from $7.5 billion to $12 billion.

Money garnered through this initiative would

be allocated to schools and local governments.

Susan Shelley, vice president, communications

of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, spoke

out against the initiative, stating, “The split-roll initiative

would be a huge tax increase on every business

in California, simultaneously and repeatedly.

Taxes would rise almost immediately for every

shopping mall, hotel, restaurant, office building,

factory, warehouse, self-storage facility, car wash,

parking structure, movie theater, sports stadium

and supermarket. …Prices would rise to reflect the

higher costs. Even the smallest businesses would

be hurt as landlords passed the cost of higher taxes

through to their tenants.”

56 • FALL 2019


SBA Invites America’s

Small Businesses to

share their story

The U.S. Small Business Administration is now

accepting nominations for its 2020 National Small

Business Week Awards, including the annual Small

Business Person of the Year. For more than 50 years,

National Small Business Week has celebrated the inspiring

achievements of America’s small businesses

and the countless contributions they make to their local

communities, and to our nation’s economy.

“We are proud to recognize the small business owners

that have made it their mission to support their

communities and drive the entrepreneurial spirit forward,”

SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton said.

“A National Small Business Week award is one of the

nation’s highest honors for small business achievement.

Please take a moment to visit sba.gov/nsbw to

nominate a deserving small business owner in your

area. I wish all of our nation’s small businesses the best

of luck and look forward to their nomination.”

SBA Awards given in celebration of National Small

Business Week from May 3-9, 2020 include the following:

• Small Business Person of the Year

• One from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia,

Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and

Guam.

• Small Business Exporter of the Year

• Phoenix Awards for Disaster Recovery:

• Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery

• Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to

Disaster Recovery, Public Official

• Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to

Disaster Recovery, Volunteer

• Federal Procurement Awards:

• Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year

• Small Business Subcontractor of the Year

• Dwight D. Eisenhower Awards for Excellence

(for large prime contractors who use small businesses

as suppliers and contractors)

• 8(a) Graduate of the Year

• Awards to SBA Resource Partners:

• Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence

and Innovation Center Award

• Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award

• Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Year

• Jody C. Raskind Lender of the Year

• Small Business Investment Company of the Year

• District Office Award

All nominations must be submitted no later than

3 p.m. EST, Jan. 7, 2020. All nomination packages

must be hand delivered or mailed to the nearest SBA

Office. Email submissions of SBA Awards forms will

not be accepted as they contain personally identifiable

information (PII).

U.S. is showing strong economic

trends, according to the SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration

announced FY19 lending numbers showing

that it guaranteed over $28 billion to entrepreneurs

that otherwise would not have access

to capital to start, grow, or expand their

small businesses.

“A strong economy is powering America’s

30 million small businesses, and the SBA’s

FY19 numbers bear that out,” SBA Acting

Administrator Chris Pilkerton said in a press

release. “When the economy is doing well,

7(a) lenders are more willing to provide capital

without the need for a federal loan guarantee.

Our 504 and Microloan programs continued

to grow from last year, as all of these

loans are designed to create jobs and grow all

small businesses in communities across the

country. We continue to be proud that the

SBA is here to help America start, grow, and

expand opportunities for entrepreneurs.”

In FY19, SBA’s flagship 7(a) loan program

made approximately 52,000 7(a) loans totaling

$23.17 billion. The 504 loan program had

another year of increased performance, with

more than 6,000 loans made for a total dollar

amount of more than $4.9 billion.

“With a strong economy and historically

solid small business optimism, we know that

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational

Safety and Health Administration

(OSHA) has been granted authority to handle

worker retaliation complaints under the

Taxpayer First Act (TFA). The statute was

signed into law on July 1, 2019.

Under the TFA, OSHA will investigate

complaints of retaliation against employees

for providing information regarding underpayment

of tax; violations of internal revenue

laws; or violations of federal law relating

to tax fraud to the Internal Revenue Service

(IRS), another federal entity listed in the statute,

a supervisor, or any other person working

for the employer who has the authority to investigate,

discover, or terminate misconduct.

The TFA also prohibits retaliation against

employees for testifying, assisting, or participating

in any administrative or judicial action

taken by the IRS relating to an alleged

underpayment of tax, violation of internal

revenue law, or violation of federal law relating

to tax fraud.

OSHA will process TFA whistleblower

7(a) lenders are making loans conventionally

without the SBA guarantee. We also saw

a 4.3% growth in the 504 loan program due

to the longer term and low fixed interest rate

that the product provides to small businesses,”

said Associate Administrator for SBA’s

Office of Capital Access William Manger.

“We are also proud that our Microloan program

had another record year with a nearly

7.5% increase in small business lending.”

In FY19, there was significant growth of

dollars lent in the SBA’s Microloan program,

with more than 5,500 loans approved for

nearly $81.5 million.

In addition to the strong lending numbers,

the SBA continues to innovate and improve

processes by leveraging enhanced technologies.

Lender Match is an SBA technology

platform that gives entrepreneurs the ability

to complete a quick online form, without

registration or cost to the user to connect

with an SBA-approved lender within 48

hours. To date, Lender Match has generated

4.4 million leads on behalf of small businesses

to our lenders, and lenders have contacted

more than 230,000 unique borrowers with

financing options.

OSHA now handles retaliation complaints

under new Taxpayer First Act

complaints using procedures under the Wendell

H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform

Act for the 21st Century (AIR21), 49 U.S.C.

§ 42121, until an interim final rule is issued.

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program

enforces the whistleblower provisions

of more than 20 whistleblower statutes protecting

employees from retaliation for reporting

violations of various workplace safety

and health, airline, commercial motor carrier,

consumer product, environmental, financial

reform, food safety, health insurance reform,

motor vehicle safety, nuclear, pipeline, public

transportation agency, railroad, maritime,

securities, and tax laws, and for engaging in

other related protected activities. For more

information, visit www.whistleblowers.gov.

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 American working men and

women by setting and enforcing standards, and

providing training, education and assistance.

FALL 2019 • 57


CAR

WASH

ROYALE

As self serves continue to

attract criminals, more and

more owners are becoming

armed and ready.

By Debra Gorgos, Editor

debrag@sscwn.com

Along with religion and politics,

the topic of guns can be just

about as provocative and polarizing.

From people not liking the

lack of gun control or oppositely opposing

challenges to the 2 nd amendment, there are

some people who grew up around guns and consider

them part of the scenery and there are others

who just loathe the mere sight of metal weaponry

stocked with kinetic projectiles. Self serve car wash

owners have a unique situation at hand, in that

they work odd hours, they are often alone on site,

they empty machines full of cash, and, unfortunately,

their businesses can attract trespassers, delinquents

and your basic hooligans. Read the back

pages of the last five years of Self Serve Car Wash

News magazines and you’ll see pages upon pages

of crime stories. Some of those stories end

peacefully while others reference criminals

brandishing guns, and some include physical

attacks and violent misconduct. In a survey

that didn’t just reflect car wash owners, but

did represent small business owners, 35 percent

said they have taken steps to protect themselves

against potential shootings or other workplace violence—or

plan to do so soon. The monthly survey

included input from nearly 800 small companies

and was conducted for The Wall Street Journal by

Vistage Worldwide Inc. A not-so-scientific poll

conducted on carwashforum.com asked car wash

owners if they are armed when they go to work,

and the results were as follows:

Always Armed: 54.2%

Never Armed: 20.8%

No, but I am considering it: 25%

And, while this article is in no way promoting

guns or glorifying possible violence (see sidebar:

Shoot to Not Kill), we are sensitive to the idea that

car wash owners feel the need to be armed, and or

protected in some way. And, car wash owners are

not alone. Thirty percent of U.S. adults say they

personally own a gun, while a larger percentage,

43%, report living household with a gun. And it

seems as if the United States in general is not exactly

full of gun-shy inhabitants. A Small Arms

Survey stated that civilians in the United States

account for 393 million of the worldwide total of

1 billion civilian held firearms. Car wash owners

Shane Massing of Dayton, Ohio, and Phil Tutt of

East Texas are two of those 393 million people.

Read on to find out why they carry, what they carry

and what advice they have for others.

continued ...

58 • FALL 2019


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FALL 2019 • 59


CAR WASH ROYALE

Q&A with

Shane Massing

Where are you located and how long have

you been in the car washing industry?

Shane Massing: Currently we have a 3/1 near

Dayton, Ohio, and we bought it about two and a

half years ago.

Has there been a lot of

criminal activity at your car wash?

Our wash is in a pretty decent area and in the

big scheme of things the criminal activity so far has

been very minor (you can’t see it but I’m knocking

on wood right now) …

Why did you decide to arm yourself?

I have been licensed to carry a concealed handgun

for over 15 years now and it all started when my

wife and I were buying vacant houses in these kind

of sketchy areas. Carrying a gun could be paralleled

to having a fire extinguisher handy. Rarely will you

need it but when you do, there is no substitute.

Have you always been someone

who was comfortable with guns?

My dad had guns, so I was exposed to them

(and safe handling) at a young age. My first gun

was a single shot .22 rifle given to me as a Christmas

gift when I was 10 years old and I didn’t have

unsupervised access until several years later.

What kind of gun do you carry

when you visit your car wash?

Currently a Kahr PM9 which is a micro sized

9mm semi-automatic with a 6-round magazine.

Keep in mind that these small guns are easy to

conceal but more difficult to shoot so a larger gun

may be more appropriate for someone else.

What advice do you have for other

car wash owners who are inquiring

about protecting themselves at

their car washes?

At minimum take a concealed carry class even

if your state does not require it for carrying concealed.

In that class you should at least learn about

gun safety, state laws and get some live fire in. After

that, rent different sizes and calibers of guns at

a range to see what you like and what you shoot

the best. After you buy it don’t skimp on the holster

as that is about as important as choosing your

gun. Go to the range to practice and have fun! On

another note: Taking a self-defense class might also

be a good idea.

Have you ever had to

draw or use your gun?

No and I hope to never have to. It is only for

self-defense, and if someone wants to take your

property without threatening your life then let

them have it.

What is your stance on gun control?

If you look at statistics on the areas in the United

States that have the most homicides, they usually

have the strictest gun laws on the books (Chicago,

for example). Most gun laws we currently

have are anti-2 nd Amendment. With that being

said, there are a small handful of laws that probably

do some good.

Shoot to Not Kill

Are non-lethal guns

the way to go?

Even if used in self-defense, shooting someone

with a bullet can lead to emotional, financial

and legal trauma. That’s where some might want

to consider guns that don’t kill, but temporarily

subdue a possible threat. For instance, Cabela’s, a

longtime retailer of outdoor products, markets a

gun-like pepper spray blaster called the Kimber

PepperBlaster® II. This unit, according to Cabela’s,

shoots an extremely potent non-aerosol solution

using a revolutionary pyrotechnic delivery system

capable of accuracy and force sufficient enough to

penetrate facemasks and wraparound glasses. “The

10% OC solution is mixed with benzyl alcohol for

increased viscosity. It causes severe irritation and

temporary blindness that can last up to 45 minutes,

giving you time to get away.”

If you’ve ever played paintball, you might know

that the paintball can hurt upon impact, but what

if it were filled with pepper spray? Salt Supply Co.

offers a pepper spray “paintball gun” which shoots

cartridges which burst on impact and release a cloud

of pepper spray. Shots have to be accurate and maybe

even at close range as you have to aim for the

continued ...

Q&A with

Phil Tutt

My washes are located around the Houston,

Texas, area, but I live in Spring, Texas. I have

been in the car washing industry for 25 years.

When did you first get

familiar with guns?

I was trained in the U.S. Army. That is where

I got to know about them and feel comfortable

with them. I have been carrying a gun at my car

washes for about 10 years.

Why did you start

carrying at your car wash?

I personally never felt that I was in that

much danger but wanted the extra protection

just in case. In the area of our car wash there

were just too many robberies. We are in a lower-

to mid-class area and I’m thankful I have not

had to use one, but better to have one and not

use it than to not have one and need it. I also

have cameras, an alarm system and other guns

available as protection.

What advice do you have for others

looking into getting a gun?

Understand your state laws and the permits

needed. And, get the training. I am a member of

the U.S and Texas LawShield (a legal and self-defense

membership program for gun owners) and

I know anyone in the United States can join.

How do you feel about stricter

gun control in general?

I’d have to cross that bridge when it happens,

but, as a Christian I would likely have to obey

the law.

What guns do you recommend for

people who are new to owning one?

I carry a 380 and a 9mm mini. Those are

small guns that you can conceal easily. I do not

open carry (in Texas you can open carry) because

if they see the gun, you may be the first

one they will shoot while you are not looking.

I’d rather be the person pulling the gun first

rather than them pulling their gun first.

60 • FALL 2019


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FALL 2019 • 63


CAR WASH ROYALE

face area. The company states, “Upon impact, bullets

burst into a 5’ toxic defense cloud that can cause

temporary blindness and difficulty breathing.”

Projectile tasers are another weapon to consider.

These also need to be accurately aimed as they

have to hit exposed skin or light layers of clothing.

The TASER® M26C by Taser International uses

cartridges containing compressed nitrogen to fire

two small charged probes from the TASER up to

an impressive 15 feet away, which provides the user

with enough power and distance to escape to safety.

“The TASER® M26C transmits strong electrical

pulses through these wires into the attacker, thus

immobilizing them,” the company states. “It measures

approximately 8” long and includes a durable

storage case for transportation. It also features

a light display to show you its power level, spark

duration, and other vital information.

And, lastly, while bean bags seem anything but

threatening, ARMA USA offers a Bean Bag Gun

that is lightweight, but delivers knockdown power

from 20 feet away at a rate of 135 feet per second

with reusable bean bag projectiles. It is also legal

to have a loaded bean bag gun in all 50 states and

requires no license or background check, according

to ARMA USA.

Unarmed,

but still dangerous

They didn’t have a gun, but these business owners

and employees were still able to fight off criminals

1. Clayton Leathers, 55, owner of North London’s

Muscle Limit Gym, said it was “fight or

flight” time when he tackled a crazed attacker

to the floor. An August 2019 story by Express

Daily, stated that a crazed knifeman held a

12-inch kitchen knife to Leathers’ throat and

demanded cash.

Leathers remained calm and then knocked him

to the floor with a series of punches.

Leathers said in the story, “On reflection I

would advise anyone not to fight back but people

are sick and tired of the constant knife crime in

London, it’s a pandemic.”

Leathers credits adrenaline and the art of distraction

with his “take no prisoners” defense.

State

2019 State Gun Laws

Firearm

Registration

Required?

Permit

Required

to Carry?

Permit

Required

to Purchase?

Open Carry

Legal?

Alabama No Yes No Yes

Alaska No No No Yes

Arizona No No No Yes

Arkansas No No No Yes

California Yes Yes Yes *

Colorado No Yes No **

Connecticut Yes Yes Yes Yes

Delaware No Yes No Yes

Florida No Yes No No

Georgia No Yes No Yes

Hawaii Yes Yes Yes Yes

Idaho No No No Yes

Illinois No Yes Yes No

Indiana No Yes No Yes

Iowa No Yes Yes Yes

Kansas No No No Yes

Kentucky No Yes No Yes

Louisiana No Yes No Yes

Maine No No No Yes

Maryland Yes Yes Yes Yes

Massachusetts No Yes Yes Yes

Michigan Yes Yes No Yes

Minnesota No Yes Yes Yes

Mississippi No No No Yes

Missouri No No No Yes

Montana No No No Yes

Nebraska No Yes Yes Yes

Nevada No Yes No Yes

New Hampshire No No No Yes

New Jersey Yes Yes Yes No

New Mexico No Yes No Yes

New York Yes Yes Yes No

North Carolina No Yes Yes Yes

North Dakota No Yes Yes Yes

Ohio No Yes No Yes

Oklahoma No Yes No Yes

Oregon No Yes No Yes

Pennsylvania No Yes No Yes

Rhode Island No Yes Yes Yes

South Carolina No Yes No No

South Dakota No Yes No Yes

Tennessee No Yes No Yes

Texas No Yes No Yes

Utah No Yes No Yes

Vermont No No No Yes

Virginia No Yes No Yes

Washington Yes Yes No Yes

West Virginia No No No Yes

Wisconsin No Yes No Yes

Wyoming No No No Yes

2. Patricia Ramos was alone in her bike rental

store last August in Seattle when a man came

in around 10:30 a.m. The man then assaulted

her, breaking her finger. But Ramos didn’t go

down without a fight.

continued ...

*Open carry is generally prohibited in California. The law states that the issuing authority of a county or city

within a county with a population under 200,000 people may issue licenses to carry loaded and exposed

handguns. The license would only be valid in that country (source: usacarry.com)

**No permit required; however, local governments can have regulations preventing open carry in certain

buildings or areas. Denver has enacted such regulations banning open carry in the city, this was confirmed

as legal in a court case (source: gunstocarry.com)

64 • FALL 2019


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FALL 2019 • 65


CAR WASH ROYALE

Ramos told the Candy, Mike and Todd Show,

“He said, ‘When your windows are shot up, when

you are shot because you didn’t give me a bike,

you are not going to think it’s funny,’” Ramos said.

“I said, ‘I don’t think it’s funny now. I don’t appreciate

the threats. Please leave.’”

After assaulting her, he pushed her to the other

side of the store and that’s when Ramos picked up

a “super wrench,” which was a 10-pound, metal

wrench that is nearly the size of her arm.

“I was terrified,” Ramos said. “… that’s when I

knew I had to defend myself. Not just my life in

that moment, but the store, my employees … I

kind of just went into defense mode. “That’s when

I went for the wrench,” she said.

Ramos lifted super wrench above her head and

ran across the room at the man, striking him as he

attempted to pick up a bike and leave.

“This is one of those situations where I didn’t

know how I was going to react,” she said. “I’m usually

pretty peaceful, so I didn’t expect it. But I’ve

never been this scared. I’m a small business owner, I

think small business owners are fighters by nature.”

3. Last September in Pomona, California, a

woman fought off a man who brandished a

knife and demanded money at her family’s tax

and insurance business, Fox News 6 reported.

Concepscion Escalante, 23, told KTLA she was

working alone Saturday at ALE Insurance Services,

when a man entered and pulled a knife. “I hit him

in his private area,” Escalante said in the story.

She is seen in surveillance video struggling with

the robber over the knife for about a minute before

he ultimately fled, taking about $1,000 with

him, according to Escalante.

4. The owner of a Fort Myers, Florida, small engine

repair shop chased a gun-wielding burglar

off with a knife in July 2018, according to the

Fort Myers News-Press.

The owner said he was sitting at his desk Tuesday

when a man walked into the garage asking for

work and a glass of water. The owner declined saying

he does all the work himself and didn’t need

help. The man then left.

The next day he returned, once again asking for

water again before leaving. He later returned demanding

cash and allegedly pointed a gun at the shop owner.

He then snatched money from the owner’s pocket.

The owner then grabbed the man and while

the two struggled, the owner pulled out a knife

which he began swinging at the suspect ‘to ward

him off,’ according to the story. The suspect then

fled the scene, dropping the cash on the ground.

continued ...

66 • FALL 2019

I’ve thought about just keeping a loaded shotgun

within reach in the pump room. Same as I do to defend

my home. No carry license required and zero chance of

missing the target.

KleanRide

I am armed everywhere that I go (that is legal to

carry). Car wash is no exception.

Srr5008

If you’re not familiar with guns, then don’t go down

this route until you are familiar. Train, train, train and

then train some more. Spend a lot of time at the range

and pay for some private lessons. After you do all this,

what gun you want to carry will be an easy choice.

Axxlrod

…FIRST buy a good quality gun belt. Then get a 380

and a good leather pocket holster for summer. And

then get a 9mm and a good IWB (inside the waistband)

holster for the rest of the time. Which 9mm is a matter

of personal preference. S&W Shield is a solid choice

if it is comfortable for you. The one other brand that

needs a comment is Glock - massively popular, but

most people either love it or hate it… Definitely try

before you buy, and if you like them, good chance it will

be your favorite.

I’ve seen a handheld taser tested as the result of that

same argument. It definitely messes you up but does not

incapacitate. If drugs had been involved, “slowed down”

would be the way I’d describe it. NOW, I’m not an

expert, so don’t take that as definitive advice (disclaimer

disclaimer!), just my personal experience. As far as I

know it was a pretty good unit, but not top of the line.

Taser or grizzly spray is definitely better than a gun if

[you’re] not prepared to pull the trigger though…

PaulLovesJamie

I carry half the time; my issue is it’s not easy to do

any work with a pistol in my pocket…

Ultra Shine

Yes, on occasion we carry a weapon at the car wash.

There’s tremendous amount of responsibility with

carrying a weapon. Most people who carry a weapon

don’t think about the emotional trauma of having drawn

their weapon, point it at someone and pull the trigger.

It’s a split-second decision and a decision that you

can’t take back. When that bullet leaves your weapon,

you better be 110% in the right that you’re protecting

your life or the life of a loved one from bodily harm.

Because that nanosecond decision will affect you the

rest of your life. The trauma of taking another human

life will affect for the rest of your life. You might think

you’re a real badass, but it will affect you. Then there’s

the financial loss you’re going incur. After you call the

police the next person you need to call is an attorney,

because you’re going to need one. Even if the shooting

is justified, you’d better call an attorney because the

prosecutor is going to do everything they can to try

and put you in jail. Or the family of the scumbag you

just shot is going to sue you for everything they can

get. An employee of mine caught some kids stealing

gas in the middle of the night, he chased them until

they had to stop, and the gun he had pointed at the car

went off, hit the street, ricocheted and hit the underside

of the car. He was arrested and charged with assault

with a deadly weapon. He went to prison for 5 years,

lost everything, his wife, his house, all the money he

had in savings trying to defend himself. So, if you carry

a weapon, you’d better be prepared to assume the

What Others Are Saying

Comments were posted to

carwashforum.com

responsibility that goes along with it, not only emotionally

but also financially because now you’re in the big

league.

Randy

Agree with the liability of shooting through something

is quite high in most situations. Most states have

“stand your ground laws” but if there is a locked door

between you and an intruder you are going to have to

successfully articulate why you saw this person as a

deadly threat and felt the need to shoot through any

barrier.

I’ll say this too: Shooting is a last resort in my opinion

where I feel my life is truly in jeopardy. I’d much rather

hand over a bag of cash than shoot someone. The

legal implications of shooting are just far too great.

Greg Pack

If I’m armed and one guy with a knife or a bat

tries to rob me, I most likely won’t have to shoot him

unless pointing a gun at him doesn’t stop him from

coming at me. If I’m pulling money and two or more

guys come at me, I will absolutely shoot. The original

owner of this wash told me his mother was there alone

one afternoon checking the vendors when two guys

approached her and asked for money. When she told

them no, one of them punched her in the head, she

fell and hit her head again, and they left her for dead.

Luckily, she was fine.

After an incident at the wash last night, I’m going

to pick up an M&P Shield as soon as I can. I’ll have

to worry about an LTC later, but I fully intend to take

safety and license courses. I can conceal carry at the

wash without a permit. I can always start building a gun

collection later too.

The incident: A woman pulled in and parked by a vacuum,

and about five minutes later another car pulled

in and parked next to her. The passenger got out and

started talking to her, it didn’t look like a drug deal, and

at one point I heard them all laughing about something

together, so I ignored it. After about ten minutes I hear

one of the men shouting at her in a VERY angry and

aggressive tone. I listened for a minute to see if things

calmed on their own, but they didn’t. I was concerned

for the woman’s safety and was just about to call the

police, but the two men got in their car and left. If I’d

been armed, I would’ve dialed 911 and then asked her

if she was okay.

MEP001

I carry a gun because my city has high crime and I’ve

been threatened with death and rape when working at

night.

AlpineDreams

I live in a much milder crime area, but I am armed

full time now. Employees are also. Sad that society has

gotten to this point.

Soapy

I carry especially when collecting $$$ from the wash.

I just renewed my license. The Police Chief told me, “If

there was an incident, it’s better to be Tried by 12 than

carried off by 6....”

2Biz

We have a single IBA that is unattended, but when I

go there to collect from the entry machine and vacs, a

friend assists me who is armed (open carry).

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Terms to Know

Provocation Law: Provocation refers to something

that incites or provokes; a means of arousing

or stirring to action. In criminal law, provocation is

a possible defense by excuse or exculpation alleging

a sudden or temporary loss of control as a response

to another’s provocative conduct sufficient

to justify an acquittal, a mitigated sentence or a

conviction for a lesser charge (source: US Legal).

No Cause for Self-Defense: When there is a

mutual combat upon a sudden quarrel, both parties

are the aggressors, and if in the fight one is

killed it will be manslaughter at least, unless the

survivor can prove two things:

1. That before the mortal stroke was given, they

had refused any further combat, and had retreated

as far as they could to safety.

2. That they killed their adversary from necessity,

to avoid their own destruction.

As a general rule, no one is allowed to defend

themselves with force if they can apply to the law

for redress, and the law gives them a complete

remedy (source: UP Counsel).

Imperfect self-defense: A common law doctrine

of criminal procedure whereby a defendant

may mitigate punishment or sentencing imposed

for a crime involving the use of deadly force by

claiming that the use of force was on the honest

but unreasonable mistake that force is necessary to

repel an attack. In some jurisdictions, such a self-defender

will be charged with a lesser offense than

the one committed. For example, a defendant may

be charged with manslaughter rather than murder

because the defendant used unreasonable force to

repel the attack on the honest belief that it was necessary

to repel the attack (source: US Legal).

Malice Aforethought Law: The deliberate intent

to cause death or great bodily harm to another

person before a person commits the crime. Malice

aforethought is an element that must be proved in

the crime of first-degree murder. This description of

the perpetrator’s state of mind basically means that

he or she had an intent to inflict injury without legal

justification or excuse (legal justification included

such defenses as self-defense, while excuse includes

mental illness and duress). (source: USLegal)

Duty to Retreat: In some states, defendants cannot

use deadly force in self-defense if they can

safely retreat from the attack. (source: www.criminaldefenselawyer.com)

Stand Your Ground Law: Stand your ground

means to stick to your stance or position in an issue,

especially in the face of opposition. It may also

refer to the legal right in some states to use deadly

force in the face of deadly force, rather than flee.

(source: USLegal)

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70 • FALL 2019


DARWIN at

the

CARWASH

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.

First a car wash, then a pub, then a Zen House,

and then an IT company,

but it was the car wash’s surveillance cameras which helped in

catching 25-year-old Kyle Michael Carl of Duluth, Minnesota.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, Carl faces seven felony

burglary-related charges in three separate cases.

Carl was accused of burglaries at the Woodland Car Wash in

May and three downtown businesses — Carmody’s Irish Pub, the

Fitment Group and U.S. Bank — in June and July. Back on May

18, Carl allegedly entered the Woodland Car Wash and attempted

to gain access to coin machines at the business. Officers said

they found a suspect forced entry through a door and appeared to

have pried into the backside of the machines. Also located at the

scene were a screwdriver and ice pick, the story stated.

“Carl and another man were found at approximately 3:51 a.m.

when a burglary-in-progress was reported at the nearby Zen

House, according to a complaint in that case. Police identified

Carl as the alleged perpetrator based on surveillance video from

the car wash, and found several additional tools in a backpack

he was carrying, the complaint said.”

The Duluth police said they are continuing to investigate other

potentially related burglaries.

Police thought it was some

sort of Halloween-related

situation, but no,

unfortunately, it was an actual

dead body they found in a car wash dumpster in

Pueblo, Colorado. According to The Mercury News,

police responded to a report of a suspicious item in

a dumpster at the self serve car wash. “What they

saw was what they thought was skin and what they

thought was blood, but being this close to Halloween

and stuff like that you never know if it is real or

not,” said Pueblo police Sgt. Frank Ortega.

Upon further investigating, they discovered it

was a dead woman, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts

and stuffed into a suitcase.

Surveillance footage shows a man driving up in

a car, opening the trunk, wrestling with the suitcase

and driving off.

They released the video and an image of a distinctive

tattoo on the woman’s leg. That footage led

them to suspect Anthony Cuevas, and the woman

in the suitcase was his...mother. Eeks! According

to KRDO News, Cuevas, who dumped the boy on

October 17 around 6:30 a.m., tried to sell his mother’s

vehicle for scrap at 10:30 a.m. that morning for

about $70.

Employees of the scrapyard realized where the

vehicle came from when they saw the picture of the

blue Versa on the news.

If this story were

part of a children’s

book, the idiom of, “If at first

you don’t succeed, try and

try again,” would be warranted. But, when it

comes to More Dumb Criminals it is just plain idiotic.

A man in Concord, California, was caught on

camera trying to steal a coin machine. After many

attempts, at first with what appears to be a rope, and

secondly with a chain, the man drives off. According

to KRON 4, surveillance cameras were also able

to catch that it was a black 2000 Toyota Tacoma as

well as the license plate number.

FALL 2019 • 71


Darwin

A man took the name

of the Duck In Car Wash

way too literally as he

was caught ducking in and

out of the car wash three times before getting

caught. According to 47 abc News, the William Hutson

II broke into the car wash in Milford, Delaware,

three separate times between September 15th and

September 16th, between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7

a.m. “Surveillance footage from the car wash shows

Hutson allegedly taking an undisclosed amount of

money during those three separate entries. Police

say Hutson also caused damage to the inside of the

building as well,” according to the story.

Car wash employees were able to identify the

39-year-old through surveillance footage.

If any of you reading

this are having a bad

day, at least you’re not this

car wash owner. In fact, if

the owner of the Soft Touch Car Wash in Kansas City,

Missouri, is reading this, we are all here for you, man.

According to KDAF-TV, car wash owner Dennis

Nash, who has owned South Touch for 16 years, is

mad after his security cameras recorded a red Chevy

pickup truck driver pouring wet cement on one of

his bay floors. “The video shows the driver wash out

the mixer and then dump wet concrete mix, the rest

of what was in the mixer, onto the floor of the car

wash bay,” the story said.

Seven days later, on October 28, Nash said the

mess still isn’t cleaned up. Nash’s son and a family

friend have been helping him to break up the pile

and carry out pieces in a wheelbarrow.

“It makes me very mad, and the city also, that’s like

dumping. It just doesn’t work,” Nash said in the story.

Nash said he’s also worried about the damage it

might have done to his drainage system.

Police were able to identify the man and he has

been issued a summons for illegal dumping.

Being pregnant can be

difficult. It is especially

difficult when you are

surrounded by reckless

drivers. And, before I go on, I want everyone to

know that the woman as well as her baby are okay.

In Fort Myers, Florida, on September 26, a woman

described as “very much pregnant” was hit by a car

which fled the scene. “The crash caused the victim

to go into labor later that day, earlier than expected,”

according to NBC2. The other driver fled the

72 • FALL 2019

Is it just me or does

this photo of two men

who allegedly damaged a car wash in Franklin,

Tennessee, look like 1950s heartthrobs? The one on

the left looks like James Dean and the one on the

right looks like Tab Hunter.

Here is a picture of Tab Hunter and James Dean

for comparison:

And, back to the news story at hand. Police in

Franklin were able to catch the two men pictured

(not Dean and Hunter) who damaged a car wash

after their truck and equipment got hung up during

the wash, according to Fox 17 Nashville.

The driver and passenger exited the vehicle to

inspect the damage, but fled the scene. Police were

able to catch the two men thanks to the car wash’s

surveillance system.

I understand the importance of

a good high-pressure shower,

but this is a bit extreme.

Two men of Carhaix, France, who are

perhaps trying to honor Benny Hill, got a

good scrubbing after sitting through an in-bay

automatic washing minus a vehicle. Thankfully,

they are not completely nude and left on bright

orange underwear.

The two men sang a song during the wash

down as someone cheers them on in the

background. Afterwards, they went to the

vending machine and bought air fresheners

and tied them around their ankles. Just

kidding, I made up that last part.

scene on foot, but security cameras spotted him at

Arland’s Car Wash. A car wash employee witnessed

the crash and called out to the man on foot to see

if he was okay. “She whistled at him to come to our

property to see if he was okay and everything and he

didn’t really reply to her, he was really nervous and

just wanted to walk away from the scene,” said car

wash Assistant Manager Naomy Martinescu. “That’s

how we caught him on camera by her calling him

over here closer to our property.”

Deputies soon came to collect the security

video from one of the car washes 30 security

cameras, according to the story. Two weeks later,

deputies arrested 32-year-old Daniel Watson at a

methadone clinic.

A 26-year-old man was

caught allegedly breaking

into the Arras Car Wash coin

box in

Hillsboro, Missouri on Oct. 27. The Leader reported

that the car wash owner witnessed the

break-in attempt via his security cameras and notified

police. Police Chief Steve Meinberg said in the

story, “The owner has got video there,” Meinberg

said. “It showed the owner that someone was tam-


Come on, guys,

it’s all ball bearings

nowadays!

Still the

24/7

Operator’s Roundtable!

FALL 2019 • 73


pering with a coin box. We showed up and found

(the) suspect there with a white van that had been

stolen out of St. Clair two days before. It was full

of multiple power tools, probably $5,000 worth of

equipment. There were ladders. There was even a

mounted deer head. A chandelier. Plumbing stuff.”

Methamphetamine was also apprehended.

Sometimes a thief needs to

know when to throw in the

towel. In this case, there were

three men

who simply didn’t give up, and instead tried to rob

a car wash, unsuccessfully, for three hours. Surveillance

video caught a group of men pounding on the

payment machine at the Barn Car Wash in Saugus,

Massachusetts, with crowbars and sledgehammers.

“The owners of Barn Car Wash said the payment

machine was left ruined by the assault,” reported

WCBV 5 News. They believe this may be the same

group that tried to break in about two months ago.

Lock up your guns, folks. A 19-year-old man in

Port St. Lucie, Florida is accused of stealing a gun

from a vehicle at the Stuart Car Wash & Detail

Center, according to TCPalm.com Jordany Elveus

was arrested on two felony charges, including theft

of firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted

felon charges.

The robbery victim said she was at the car wash

earlier in the day and had secured her Ruger handgun

in the center console. After leaving the car wash

she said the gun was missing. Surveillance video

showed three employees go near the automobile,

but only Elveus – went near the center console.

“At one point, Elveus put a rolled up cleaning rag

in the front of his pants and went away for about

two minutes,” the story said. “One of the car wash

owners reported finding a gun “in the bottom of the

cabinet in the area Elveus went to.” Elveus denied

taking the handgun, but was later arrested.

A woman was able to flee on

foot from her kidnapper at a

Des Moines, Iowa, car wash.

Jessica Thompson, said she was washing her

camper on August 5 when her ex-boyfriend, Jeremy

King, 42, arrived. He violently abducted her and

drove off in her camper.

King reportedly then drove off and stopped at a

car wash, according to KCCI 8 news. “And so I just

Security footage shows

robbery suspects trip

over each other

before mugging a car wash employee in

New York.

The New York Post perfectly writes,

“Two bumbling robbers tripped over

each other moments before mugging a

car wash attendant of $800 at gunpoint

… The clumsy pair –– a man and woman

–– approached the attendant booth at

Bedford Car Wash … just after midnight

October 2.”

The two robbers tumbled to the

Shout out to KTUL

Tulsa for this line it

its story: It was a fullservice

arrest with an

unexpected rinsing.

On October 30 in South Coffeyville,

Oklahoma, a man is caught on video,

“hurling soapy water into the face of a

South Coffeyville police officer right before

the officer tased him.”

“It was a first,” said Officer Shelldon

Rivers.

Officer Rivers had been dispatched to

a car wash for a reckless driver complaint

in which the driver, Michael Downing, had

been caught going 70 mph in a 30 mph

zone.

When Officer Rivers approached

Downing, who was inside the car wash

bay, Downing picked up a liquid and threw

it in the officer’s face, forcing him to tase

knew this is the time,” Thompson said in the story.

“If I want to go, I gotta go now. He speeds up to try

to grab me up again and I just book it, just sprinting.

And I just run into a busy road.”

Surveillance video showed King “pursuing her

ground, and, after the awkward

plunge, “the pair continued to the

booth, whipped out their guns and

hit the 29-year-old worker on the

head before fleeing with the cash…”

Downing to the ground.

Chief Wade Lamb said in the story that

his officer handled the situation perfectly,

even if he did get a little wet.

“He already had the taser out, I don’t

know if it got in his eyes and he went ahead

and deployed it cause he already had it

aimed at him, it was a 50/50 hit or miss on

that one,” said Lamb.

Chief Lamb says the liquid he threw was

left behind in this grate after a car wash, it’s

a combination of soap, wax and water, the

story said. The chief says Downing said he

was using it to wash his tires.

“It’s wastewater, I don’t know why

anyone would want to use it,” said Lamb.

aggressively with the vehicle,” but he drove off before

police arrived. King was later arrested and is

awaiting trial.

74 • FALL 2019


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FALL 2019 • 75


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