INSPECT T R
INTRODUCING THE NEW
IVS POWER VAC COMBOS!
The new IVS Power Vac
Combos are designed to
be wash owner friendly.
These new products are
easy to maintain and easy to
service combination vacuums
that allow you to sell your
customers new features while
costing you less.
• Simplified design utilizing the Dixmor
LED6 Sooper display as timer and
control, all in one.
• 2 fragrances or 1 shampoo capability.
• 2 or 3 extended brush life motors.
• Lockable cash box keeps profits
secure and out of sight.
• Heavy 12-gauge steel doors and control box
with high security plug style locks.
• Accepts coins, bills, credit cards
and mobile payments.
• No jugs or tanks to refill.
• Bottom of the unit offers ample space
for your own gallon jugs.
• Industrial, heavy-duty relays and contactors.
• Compact profile uses standard vacuum
mounting pattern for easy upgrading from
your existing vacuums.
• Lock shroud option to provide limited
access to filters and debris collector.
Domes available in
five vibrant colors
• Single or Dual Arch
• LED Lighting Standard
Connects to any IVS Vacuum or
Central Vac System
• Constructed of Stainless Steel for long lasting durability
• Booms can swivel 180° or can be fixed stationary
• Free use or Pay Operation Available
Also from IVS
2 • SUMMER 2020
INCREASE LOYALTY & REVENUE WITH
SMART UNATTENDED SOLUTIONS
Designed for the automatic and self-serve markets, Hamilton’s diverse range of loyalty
programs, pay stations, and bay timers can help differentiate your car wash and bring a
truly unique value proposition to your customers.
CUSTOM MOBILE APP
Styled and named after your car wash brand, users can:
Join a Monthly Wash Club | Buy & Gift Washes | Claim Deals & Discounts
Earn Loyalty Rewards | Pay for Self-Serve Bay Time | Receive a complimentary Birthday Wash
EXPRESSPASS RFID SYSTEM
Improve throughput, loyalty, and cashflow by offering a Monthly Wash Club program. Using RFID
technology, a unique windshield tag on the customers vehicle is read before vending their chosen
package. Our flexible system includes custom greetings, multiple pass types, and automated billing.
CUSTOM ECOMMERCE WEBSITE
Customized to your brand, our new Ecommerce site lets customers sign up for RFID plans, update
credit card information, purchase gift cards, check gift card balances, add new balance, and buy
Single Washes & Wash Bundles.
All Hamilton loyalty programs are managed through a single cloud-based system for ease of use.
Hosted Solutions also provides multi-site data reporting, a site status diagnostic tool, and Single
Use Codes for rapid customer service responses.
www.hamiltonmfg.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 888-723-4858
SUMMER 2020 • 3
Self Serve Snapshot ................. 6
Howard & Beverly Higginson of
Howard’s Car Wash
Fun & Games .......................... 12
Random Thoughts ................. 14
Is your signing sending the
Innovations ............................... 16
Industry Dirt ............................ 23
Extra! Extra! ............................. 26
Fill in the Blank ...................... 30
& News ....................................... 32
Where's the Money ............... 36
Tricks of the Trade ............... 46
Cover Story ............................... 53
Chief Inspector is Back!
Darwin at the Carwash ....... 67
Note to Self
BY DEBRA GORGOS, EDITOR
Well, it is day 2,000,598 of quarantine and I
am doing just great! The walls of my home are
not caving in on me at all and I have fully recovered
from trying to homeschool and teach
a 7-year-old new common core math. I mean
really! It has been fantastic (if you’re reading
this, send help). I am just joking, sort of. I am
not one of those people that took the past five
months to learn a new language or “embrace
the downtime.” Instead, I paced back and forth
and nervously plead with the world to be normal
again. Which brings me to asking, how are
all of you? I know the car wash industry has
sustained worser situations, but I still am thinking
of you all. I felt so badly for car wash convention
organizers and the hours and blood,
sweat and tears they put into putting together
massive events. I feel for grandparents trapped
in lonely homes. And, of course, I feel for small
business owners. What a mess. Towns are dotted
with “Stay Strong” and “Closed Temporarily”
signs and I pray that customers realize these
business’ worth and will spend lots of money as
soon as things are back in full swing.
Living in the state of New York has been
interesting during this quarantine. I live two
hours outside of New York City. But I also live
40 minutes from the Adirondacks. The state
is a tapestry of farmers, Wall Streeters, Yankee
fans, Mets fans, Niagara Falls, mountains,
dreamers, settlers, and celebrities, and people
by Emma Rose Curto, Age 5
like me: Lifelong upstate residents, with children
and a dog and a house in a suburb. As a
family, we made our efforts to go on road trips
and see our beautiful state and also vowed to
support small businesses. But we also are committed
to do this once Covid-19 is obliterated.
This issue’s cover story is all about my road trip
in which I visited car washes. Actually, I should
say “we” visited. Yes, my two kids and even my
beloved goldendoodle went with me to visit two
locations. One was way out there where the open
road kept going and going. My dog was happy in
the back seat, but I think I heard, “are we there
yet?” more than 100 times. I am so grateful that
this could be the cover story because I got to see
parts of the state of New York that are beautiful,
quiet and have been hit hard. I hope you enjoy
my coverage, it was fun, eye-opening and once
again, made me proud to be a part of the self
serve community in my own small way.
One more thing before I go, many of the
talks my kids had with me while on the road
were about my job as editor of Self Serve Car
Wash News. They had lots of questions and
even started to understand the way a self serve
works and why I like to write about the industry.
They then asked if they could contribute to
the magazine, and Emma wanted to include a
drawing of a self serve. So please, if you’ll bear
with me, here is what they asked me to share:
VOL. 47, NO. 3, SUMMER 2020
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
Copyright 2019. 2 Dollar Enterprises/SSCWN. All Rights Reserved
4 • SUMMER 2020
Once there was a car wash
Shiny as it can be
When people go in it, their cars got so
shiny they won the biggest medal
Car Wash Owners
by Nathan Salvador Curto, age 7
There once was a happy place
and there was a car wash, too
With a lovely owner
And anybody who drove through
Would wash their car and their
car would win every race
And the people who drove through the
car wash would have a happy face.
Until next time,
2 billion vehicles are
washed annually in
North America, and that
number continues to rise
That’s a lot of dirty cars lining
up for a wash. It’s time to line
them up for yours. We have
over 40 years of experience
helping car wash owners
understand, enter, operate,
and thrive in the industry. Our
experts are ready to guide you
every step of the way.
From startup to success, we’ll
be the partner that steers you
in the right direction.
Our knowledge, your success.
Harrell’s Mid Atlantic
SUMMER 2020 • 5
GETTING TO KNOW
HOWARD & BEVERLY HIGGINSON OF
HOWARD’S CAR WASH
NAME OF CAR WASH:
Howard’s Car Wash
TYPE OF CAR WASH:
Three self serve locations
TOTAL NUMBER OF BAYS:
17 total bays throughout
the three locations
First year in operation was
1978 (subsequent openings
in 1980, 1982, and 1991)
METHODS OF ADVERTISING:
Flags, banners, yearly calendar,
and personalized giveaways
ARE TOKENS ACCEPTED?
Tokens accepted at two locations
HOW HAS YOUR SELF SERVE
CAR WASH CHANGED OVER
THE YEARS SINCE
YOU FIRST STARTED OUT?
We started with one self-serve coin-op which had been closed
and was about to be relieved of old equipment that was still on
the premises. We rescued it for less than $2000, got the power
back on, and reopened. We know such a move is impossible
today. When you start a business not knowing very much about it
and create a system for yourself with modest modifications over
the years, and it still works, major changes aren’t necessarily a
requirement for success.
6 • SUMMER 2020
HOW HAS PRICING CHANGED?
We started out at fifty cents to wash, twenty-five cents to vacuum.
We vended blue shams for twenty-five cents out of one machine.
Believe it or not, those numbers haven’t changed much at our three
locations. After opening our second wash (built and opened in
1978), nicknamed Howard’s “50Cent Quickie”, we raised the price
after a year to seventy-five cents to wash, and a year later to $1.25.
We thought customers would squawk, but only a few did. By raising
our price, we were merely keeping up with our closest competitors.
Just after Thanksgiving, we ran a special. We dropped the price
back to $1.00 to wash, intending to run that discount for the month
of December — the Christmas holiday — to the first of the new
year. It was so successful, we ran it through January. We were the
only self-serve in the area to DROP our price, and it proved a good
move. We never went back. We’re still at $1.00 for a wash today.
The Next Evolution in Car Wash Lighting:
Bay / Tunnel Light
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A light made for car washes. Water-tight, chemical
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withstand the rigors of car wash environments.
Unmatched versatility. Innovative mounting system
enables easy use in bays, tunnels, chemical arches,
vacuum arches, and building wraps.
Vac Arch Light
Delight your customers
by adding light along
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designed to fit your
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Chemical Arch Light
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light for a truly
Make a continuous
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SUMMER 2020 • 7
SELF SERVE SNAPSHOT
WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN
THE BEST INNOVATION/ADVANCEMENT?
For the time, back in the 80’s, the addition of the long handled
foaming brush was right on time. It cut back on the number of
bucket washers (though we still have more than we like), and
having pure white foam coming forth, visible even from a distance,
was incentive for potential customers driving by. In this modern era
of self-serve washes, I would guess the inclusion of blow dryers
(though we do not have any installed) is a bottom-line booster that
has positive and negative results.
WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN
THE BIGGEST “PROBLEM” FOR
SELF SERVES OVER THE YEARS?
Customers who don’t heed signs. Bucket washers. Trash dumpers.
Customers who use the stalls for parking spaces. Customers!
You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. Most
customers wash, vacuum, dry, and move out, especially on a busy
day. But there are a few bad apples who want to sit, detail their
cars in the bays, or talk on the phone even if someone is waiting
to drive in. Signage is important, but occasionally a gentle verbal
reminder is required.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU MISS ABOUT YOUR
EARLY DAYS IN THE CAR WASHING BUSINESS?
What I miss most is the vitality I had, the energy of my younger
years, and the enjoyment I felt getting into the business and
watching it grow, seeing its progress, and realizing this was my
dream, and it was coming true.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS
YOUR SECRET TO YOUR LONGEVITY?
Just staying with it, being there for some part of every day, being
hands-on, embracing some “innovations” while staying true
to procedures and routines that I started in the beginning. I’m
“old school” in that I still believe, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
What worked for me in the past is still working, and I credit my
dedication to being hands-on as one aspect of why I’m still making
profits and enjoying my life.
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE OUT
THERE IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA?
Right now, May of 2020, life in Los Angeles is like life in most of
America, stunned and at something of a standstill. I’ve heard that
some self-service car wash owners have been lucky, and we’re
included in that group. With the assist of typical California weather,
business has been very good in spite of the quarantine. My three
locations are open and all systems are in service. My sons work
with me, we observe the social distancing rules, wear our masks
and gloves, and have posted signs for customers to do the same.
DO YOU GET A LOT OF CELEBRITIES
AT YOUR CAR WASHES?
As for the appearance of the rich and famous, our car washes
are located in a section of Los Angeles that is not populated by
many “celebrities.” Distance-wise, however, Hollywood is only
about 45 minutes away, but if anyone from LaLa land has come
through Howard’s Car Wash, they’ve done so incognito. I did see
a Bentley at one location, once, but he only rinsed off and I don’t
believe he was famous at all. We’ve also gotten tourists from
England, Australia, and Norway (at different times of course) who
came through in campers to our location near the airport for a final
cleanup before turning in their motor homes and heading for LAX.
They weren’t famous, but they were wide-eyed and friendly, and
their accents were delightful. And…to find out more, the book: The
Life and Times of Howard H. Higginson is now available!
ACCORDING TO THE BOOK DESCRIPTION:
This is the story of one baby boomer, born of a Catholic dayworker
mom and a dock worker dad, one of four kids growing
up in the city of the Angels at a time when black people were
still called Negroes; a boy who happened to be named after an
eccentric white celebrity with a lot of money; a child who never
acknowledged that the odds of becoming a success were against
him, who had a belief in himself that was as strong a motivator
as religious faith. His was a childhood in the early 50’s and 60’s
that could almost be described as carefree, for it was a time when
families stayed together, when neighbors knew each other, when
kids played in the street without fear, and adventure in simple
things was right around the corner. This is about a man whose
goal was to leave a mark, a man who avoided the path of least
resistance in search of his version of freedom. It took him from
the streets of Los Angeles to Vietnam, to Beverly Hills, and back.
Some biographies are about famous people. Others are stories just
wanting to be told. This is one of those.
8 • SUMMER 2020
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SUMMER 2020 • 9
10 • SUMMER 2020
SUMMER 2020 • 11
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. Buttons on panel are missing
2. Panel is wider
3. Floor mat is larger
4. Barrel label is missing
5. Conduit is different color
6. Outlet is removed
CAN YOU NAME
If any of you are avid readers of Self Serve Car Wash News and happen to
remember the Fall 2008 edition, OR, if you’re a fan of 1950s crooners, maybe
you’ll recognize him. As the days of wine and roses are being long forgotten, ain’t
that a shame that great singers like this are as well? Look for the answer below.
According to former editor JJ Jakubowski, the picture is from Mark Whaley, of
www.markwhaley.com. Mark was 17 when he was hired by the celebrity to work
at his carwash in 1966 in Burbank, California. Mark said he will never forget the
day of the grand opening when the celebrity drove his Cadillac into one of his
wash bays. Here are a few more photos, courtesy of YouTube.
Answer: It’s Pat Boone! Boone was owner of Pat Boone’s Coin-Op Carwash of Burbank, California, back in the 1960s.
12 • SUMMER 2020
Know Your Pump!
• Stainless Steel Valves & Valve Cages Protect
Against High Temperatures
• Will Not Melt
• Will Not Wash Out
• Standard on 5, 7 and 11 Series Pumps
Belt & Direct Drive Pumps
Self Serve, Single Gun & Dual Gun Prep
4 GPM, up to 1800 PSI
5 GPM, up to 1500 PSI
8 GPM, up to 1000 PSI
5 HP Motor
• Pump only or pump set (as pictured)
• Available for same day shipping
• SS insert models available
Select Arimitsu Pumps to be installed on
your new pump stands & equipment or
when refurbishing your existing ones.
313 L Set Up
to 4 GPM 0 -
516 L Set Up
to 5 GPM 0 -
508 L Set Up
to 10 GPM 0 -
View "Resources" at arimitsupumps.com for helpful video tutorials.
arimitsupumps.com l 763.205.8341 l email@example.com
700 McKinley St NW, Anoka, MN 55303
SUMMER 2020 • 13
Lost for Words
Is your signing sending
the wrong message?
I have been to my share of car washes. I have
toured car washes. I have made special trips just
to look at a car wash. I have helped people with
their issues at their car wash. I have taken the long
way home from trips just to stop by even more car
washes. Believe me: I have seen a lot of operations,
which means I have also seen a lot of car wash
signs. From the good to the bad to the just plain
unintelligible. I have seen it all.
Business owners need signs. Legally we are required
to have some. State tax signs, automatic
signs, changer signs, vacuum signs, and ones explaining
how everything works…. you get the idea.
But you have to admit no one, not even the owner,
reads some of these signs. I was reading a post the
other day and someone came up with their own design
for a vacuum sticker. The sticker wording really
made no sense. I said to myself, “Where did he get
this wording from?” Well, it was the original vacuum
sign, set up by some engineer that explains how
to use the vacuum. Now I understand why some
people can get confused while visiting a self serve,
because even when someone actually does read a
sign it does not make any sense, or fails to properly
explain the rules or how to use the equipment.
My point is this: Signs need to make sense for
normal people. I have read lots of signs that do not
make sense for normal people. So, these are my
rules for signs that are in a self-service bay:
RULE 1: Limit the amount: I have been to
way too many car washes that have way too many
signs. Also, no one ever reads them when there are
too many. My arbitrary number for the number of
custom signage inside a bay is 2.
RULE 2: Use illustrations: All signs should
be illustrated in some way. The standard function
picture signs are great examples.
RULE 3: Limit the chemical, manufacturer
or distributor names or branding:
Never include a chemical company name on your
signs even if they are free. For a manufacturer or
distributor, make sure no phone numbers are on
the signs. If customers get desperate enough, they
will call that number. Plus, you might switch
chemical companies at some point.
RULE 4: Watch your Font Size: I commonly
see signs have too small of a font…. But I
have seen some with too large of a font also. You
need to see the font before you print the sign.
Make sure you can read it from a fair distance.
Make sure the font isn’t too fancy and also make
sure it doesn’t “scream” at the customers.
RULE 5: Do not Cluster: The only thing
worse than too many signs are having lots of signs
bunched together. The human brain can process
just so much information at one time. I understand
that some or all of the signs are important, but
having clusters of signs will just make customers
RULE 6: Edit your Credit Card Signs:
These are always confusing because even if you
purchase a new meter box, the credit card is an
add-on device. Basically, the credit card is not designed
to be there. So, you have to have instructions
to inform customers to use the swiper and at what
point to use it. The location of the swiper is important
also…. I also never understand why they still
add bill acceptors in new meter boxes…. They clutter
the boxes and seem to be irrelevant with credit
cards. But that topic is for another column.
RULE 7: Do you Need Changer/Vending
Signs? These signs in bays are debatable, I admit.
I can see how some owners might like having the
signs, but they are usually overkill. I have been to
locations where a map and legend is a good idea.
But if your location is shaped like a rectangle, they
are either in the front or the back and usually do
not require a sign.
I must admit... I have owned a car washes for
over 16 years and I do realize that I always wondered
how I could possibly get a question like,
“Where is your changer?”….while talking In front
of my changer. But instead of installing the “changer”
signs, let’s just think about this: Do you honestly
believe some individuals would notice the
“changer” sign in any of the bays, at the end of any
of the bays and on the top of the changers? This
individual is just overwhelmed and will not notice
anything. Less signage, not more, would probably
help. Let’s also remember the changer also has
signs on them and also directions which could also
Plus, try learning from my lesson…. I was collecting
money one day in a drop safe. Someone
was spraying out the back of their truck, which
basically went directly into my face. I told the guy,
“You cannot spray out the back of your truck….
Can’t you read the sign?” I said this while pointing
at the sign. His reply was, “No, actually I cannot
read.” So, when I say you should illustrate instructions
for people that will not read the sign…. I also
mean for people who cannot read.
I would also love to see your car wash and the
signage you have at your locations…. Please send
me your car wash pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eric Wilson is a self-serve car wash owner who also blogs online on the popular and very funny website, cwguy.com.
14 • SUMMER 2020
Everything you need to Succeed
From the most trusted name in Self Serve Equipment
IQ SELF WASH
D&S Carwash Equipment
SUMMER 2020 • 15
INTRODUCING NEW AND IMPROVED PRODUCTS AND
SERVICES FOR SELF SERVE CAR WASHES
Fixtures from LSI
LSI Industries has launched a new line of high-performance commercial
wall fixtures. The newoutdoor luminaires feature a sleek, modern housing
and offer multiple temperature, distribution and lumen options. Cost-competitive
and energy-efficient, the new fixtures are ideal for retail exterior applications.
“Our new commercial wall lights are among the most competitive, scalable
and affordable wall fixtures on the market,” said Mike Prachar, Chief
Marketing Officer of LSI Industries. “Not only do they deliver excellent
photometric performance, they match the aesthetics of our commercial area
lights – giving property owners the ability to create modern, attractive and
LSI’s new wall mount fixtures are easy to install, featuring an external box
for surface conduit, including thru-wire, as well as stub conduit for use when
a junction box is not present. The new luminaires are available in three sizes
with outputs ranging from 1,500 to 20,000 lumens. The optics can distribute
illumination in Type 3 and Forward Throw patterns at 3K, 4K and 5K color
temperatures that enhance visibility, safety and security. In addition, the new
products can be configured with photocell sensors that automatically switch
the lights off during daylight hours – conserving energy and minimizing associated
energy costs. LSI’s new wall mount product line is compliant with
DesignLights Consortium (DLC) premium standards, allowing customers to
qualify for energy rebates. The new products can also comply with California’s
Title 24 energy conservation requirements and International Dark Sky
Fragramatics new Ezee-Mist stainless steel vehicle sanitizer dispenser
helps carwash operators to profitably meet the growing demand for
quick, efficient vehicle sanitizing, according to Larry Ingram, president of
Fragramatics. “We developed this machine to deliver an application of an
EPA/FDA approved product in three minutes,” Ingram said. The machine
produces a four to five foot plume at one ounce per minute. The spray kills
viruses including COVID-19, bacteria and fungi.
With coin-op, credit card and push-button options, the machine is easily
adapted to virtually any operation requiring vehicle sanitization. Mobile
version also available.
Career Center from International
The International Carwash Association has
launched the ICA Car Wash Career Center, designed
to connect employers in our industry with
candidates, job seekers, and talent. It’s never been
easier to amplify the benefits of working at your
operation or company; and it’s never been easier
to find opportunities in our business.
The Car Wash Career Center features postings
from all segments of the car wash business. Jobs
will be available at retail operators, suppliers, distributors,
and facility or ancillary services like marketing,
finance, or HR.
Employers should know that the Career Center
is distributed and promoted to ICA’s global
audience of more than 25,000 subscribers and
members. These individuals include veterans to
the industry and those from “car wash families” as
well as those brand new or seeking entry into the
industry. And between now and October 1, 2020,
all job postings to the ICA network will be FREE
to any employer.
To help protect our communities against
COVID-19 and other viruses, our disinfectant,
sanitizing and remediation sprayers are designed
for home and commercial use. Our mobile spraying
units make protecting homes and businesses,
and the people in them, easy, fast and effective.
16 • SUMMER 2020
• CLASSIC LITTLE TREES SHAPE IN 4 NEW FRAGRANCES
• AVAILABLE CARDED (24 PACKS) & VEND PACK (72 PACKS)
VS57068 24 PACK
VS17068 72 PACK
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VS50262 24 PACK
VS10262 72 PACK
VS50249 24 PACK
VS10249 72 PACK
VS57177 24 PACK
VS17177 72 PACK
VENT WRAP ®
• 4 WRAPS PeR PaCkAGe
• 4 PACKAGES PER CASE
• CONVENIENT PLACEMENT-
Attaches to vehicle vents
NEW CAR SCENT
• 4 PAcKs pEr bOx
• ADjUsTaBlE ScEnT CoNtRoL
• MOuNtS On vEhIcLe vEnTs
• INdIvIdUaLlY PaCkAgEd
VS52625 CARIBBEAN COLADA
VS52632 GOLDEN VANILLA
VS52633 NEW CAR SCENT
VS52635 SUMMER LINEN
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SUMMER 2020 • 17
Zierco’s Original Swivel and
Boom Assembly, with
• Feather light rotating action
• Twin compression springs are
tension-adjustable for a variety
of hose and gun weights
• Swivel rotates 360˚ - 12 ft.
MODEL 203 FEATURES
• Temperatures to 280˚ max.,
pressure to 2000 psi
• Longer hose life as spring
• Ruggedly built, satisfaction
• Proven performance with over 50 years
service in the field (Since 1962)
FAX: (414) 764-9763
107C Cartridge Features:
• Field Repairable
• 100% 304 Stainless Steel Internal
Materials Eliminate Failure Due to
• Double O-Ring Design Uses Any
Type of Grease
7355 S. 1st. Street
Oak Creek, WI 53154
VISA and Master Card accepted
DISTRIBUTOR INQUIRIES INVITED
QUALITY PRODUCTS SINCE 1937
18 • SUMMER 2020
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
ENHANCE YOUR SELF SERVING
to the ceiling or
Easy to Use -"Feather Light" rotating action
Mounts directly to
OFFSET Overhead Carwash Boom
Allows for TWO Center Boom Installation
Mounts to wall and
is adjustable so
to wall when
not in use.
Ideal for foaming brushes.
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
7355 S. 1st Street
Oak Creek, WI 53154
Fax: (414) 764-9763
QUALITY PRODUCTS SINCE 1937
VISA and Master Card
SUMMER 2020 • 19
4.99% FINANCING AVAILABLE ON ALL COLEMAN HANNA EQUIPMENT
*Terms and conditions apply, limited time only.
Simple, compact, easy to operate Prep Units. Available as a one
or two pump package. Typical prep units include high-pressure
wash only. Additional rinse can be added.
We offer a wide variety of the most popular
vending products including Armor All® Wipes and
Sprays, Little Tree® Fragrance Trees, Cali Scents®
Fragrance, and various cloth towels of all sizes.
Order vending materials from us to simplify the
process or select your own vending materials
• Single electronic coin acceptor
• Greater coin capacity
• Single point of collection
• Credit card capable
• Large capacity keyed vault
• Low voltage power
• Bill acceptance available
Coleman Hanna allows
operators to customize
their wash to meet
market demands and
produce the most profit
for their location!
Single Vacuum Arch
The Blast-N-Vac System allows you to
vacuum your vehicle as well as blast
water from mirrors, door crevices,
wheels and engine compartments.
You can also blast clean floor mats,
carpets, air vents and those hard to
reach areas that a vacuum just cannot
• Stainless Steel arches
that are designed for the
single SS vacuums
Fixed SS Boom to provide
the hose near the drivers door
of the vehicle
• Vacuum boom can be ordered
to allow the hose to swing
over the vehicle
Post is 3” x 6” x 8’ tall for
fixed vac arch
Central Vacuum System
94000 Series Vacuum
The 94000 Series Vacuums are constructed of high quality, stainless
steel and provide high performance. Our aff ordable dual-function
vacuums mean long life, dependability, and a higher return on your
dollar than any other equipment. Round in shape, the 94000 Series
Vacuums make an attractive vacuum at your car wash with your choice
of dome color and matching decal graphics.
Easily provide multiple vacuum stations with one central system with
the Coleman Hanna Central Vacuum System. This central vacuum
system provides ease of use with only one central location to service.
The central vacuum system is ideal for locations with free vacuums
such as full service and express tunnels.
• NEW Hanna Central Vacuum has been
improved to provide longer life and better
• Comes with an exhaust pipe to easily install
a muffler if needed or desired
• Heavy Duty Bearings and 1-1/4” shaft, larger
than the old design
• Optional vacuum gauge can be mounted
inside the collector to measure the
performance of the vacuum
• Dimensions for the mounted producer and
collector 28”x100” ( 0,72 m x 2,55 m )
• Durable Stainless Steel Parts
• 15 HP, 20 HP or 25 HP model available
20 • SUMMER 2020
SUMMER 2020 • 21
Self Serves Can Compete
Add New Vacuums To Your Self Serve Car Wash
And Raise Your Revenue.
NOW AVAILABLE IN STAINLESS STEEL
Call Us Today To Learn How
Flexible • Profitable • Dependable
225 Crown Blvd., Timberlake, NC 27583
PO Box 488 | Roxboro, NC 27573
www.cpcarwash.com | email@example.com
22 • SUMMER 2020
HAPPENINGS IN & AROUND
SELF SERVE CARWASHING
OPW Thanks and Supports Local Foodbanks
OPW thanks all the local foodbanks that have
worked hard to support families in need around
the world, especially during these uncertain times,
a press release reported. With many foodbanks
reporting shortages, OPW has donated between
$500 and $1,000 (USD) to key foodbanks in communities
where OPW employees live and work.
“Many communities and industries have been
impacted by COVID 19,” OPW President Kevin
Long stated in the press release. “We recognize
the challenging times and are committed
to supporting our employees and the communities
in which we operate. OPW would like
to thank the local foodbanks that are providing
critical services for our neighbors in need.”
OPW has provided charitable donations to the
following foodbanks to help them continue to
provide meals to their neighbors in need:
3 Illinois (U.S.): Greater Chicago
3 Mumbai (India): Khaana Chahiye
3 New South Wales (Australia): Oz Harvest
3 North Carolina (U.S.): Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
3 North Yorkshire (U.K.): The Trussell Trust
3 Ohio (U.S.): Shared Harvest Foodbank
3 Suzhou (China): Suzhou Industrial
Park Volunteers Association
3 Wisconsin (U.S.): De Pere Christian
Outreach Food Pantry
Can you spare
me a dime? …
Or a quarter?
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE
NATIONWIDE COIN SHORTAGE
It seemed to start out as your basic viral rumor:
That a coin shortage was happening across the
United States. Then a few signs started appearing
on storefronts. And then, for the real clear-cut
announcement — thanks to the super sleuth and
rumor-squashing machine, Snopes.com —it was
made very clear that it was actually true. Pennies
and quarters were disappearing, and a nationwide
shortage was unavoidable.
On June 11, 2020, the U.S. Federal Reserve released
the following statement:
“The COVID 19 pandemic has significantly disrupted
the supply chain and normal circulation
patterns for U.S. coin. In the past few months,
coin deposits from depository institutions to the
Federal Reserve have declined significantly and
the U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased
due to measures put in place to protect its employees.
Federal Reserve coin orders from depository
institutions have begun to increase as regions
reopen, resulting in the Federal Reserve’s coin inventory
being reduced to below normal levels.
… The Federal Reserve is working on several
fronts to mitigate the effects of low coin inventories.
This includes managing the allocation of
existing Fed inventories, working with the Mint,
as issuing authority, to minimize coin supply constraints
and maximize coin production capacity,
and encouraging depository institutions to order
only the coin they need to meet near‐term customer
On July 23, 2020, the U.S. Mint updated the
public on the state of coinage affairs and encouraged
the public to use coins as much as possible
“We are asking for your help in improving this
coin supply issue…You can do so by paying for
things with exact change and by returning spare
change to circulation. Until coin circulation patterns
return to normal, it may be more difficult
for retailers and small businesses to accept cash
payments. For millions of Americans, cash is
the only form of payment and cash transactions
rely on coins to make change. We ask that the
American public start spending their coins, depositing
them, or exchanging them for currency
at financial institutions or taking them to a coin
redemption kiosk. The coin supply problem can
be solved with each of us doing our part.”
HOW ARE CAR WASH OWNERS HANDLING
THIS CHANGE IN CHANGE AVAILABILITY?
Bruce Yeoman, who owns three coin-operated
Car Wash Inn locations in and around the Cincinnati,
Ohio, area told Cincinnati Public Radio, “Our
business is run on quarters and with the coin shortage
banks don’t have the quarters to replenish. He
added that banks tell him their supplies vary week
to week. The July 10 news story said that Yeoman
is turning to friends and social media for help. “Everybody
has a coin jar at home,” he says. “I’ve asked
(friends and family) to see what they have, and
I’ve been driving around from house to house giving
them cash for their quarters.”
Yeoman said in the story that he’s getting by
thanks to that generosity, but he estimates it’s
only making up about 5% of what he would normally
use in a given week.
There have been threads on carwashforum.
com about the coin shortage. A post by Keith
Baker states, “I’ve been “salting” my dollar coin
changer with my 1-dollar tokens. About 5 to 10
per cent. It seems to have slowed down my walk
off of coins some. If someone just stops by just
to get coins, then I either get some payment for
my service or I make a customer out of them.
I’ve posted the policy on the changer and had no
complaints about it.”
A lot of forum users suggested converting
to tokens only or only giving out $1 coins as
change. Another suggestion was to put a sign
saying that the change dispensed was for paying
As for what’s to come of the shortage, the
Federal Reserve said not to worry. “Since mid-
June, the U.S. Mint has been operating at full
production capacity, minting almost 1.6 billion
coins in June and is on track to mint 1.65 billion
coins per month for the remainder of the year…
As the economy recovers and businesses reopen,
more coins will flow back into retail and banking
channels and eventually into the Federal Reserve,
which should allow for the rebuilding of
SUMMER 2020 • 23
Spending is up since May for small businesses
A report by CNBC stated that business spending
showed some signs of green shoots in June, as manufacturers
bought more equipment and spending
shifted away from stay-at-home sectors to ones that
could rebound in a reopening economy, according
to Cortera, a software company which analyzes
business-to-business credit transactions.
But overall, June spending was still depressed,
down 10.9% from the same month last year, and up
just 2.7 percentage points from the 13.6% decline
in May year over year, according to the company.
Cortera said spending by industries that benefit
from the work-from-home trend, like internet retailers
and food and beverage stores, fell by 6 percentage
points in June from May, but is still 1.7%
above 2019 levels. “Gasoline stations and food and
beverage establishments and other sectors that
would benefit from reopening spent 7 percentage
points more in June than in May, but that is still
lower than last year.”
The report also stated that 48 states saw increases
in spending from May to June, with small
and medium-size businesses recovering at a faster
rate than large businesses, up 7 percentage points.
However, they were harder hit in March and April,
and small business spending was still down 10%
from last June.
And, now for the hurricanes!
As if Covid-19, murder hornets and lionfish
weren’t enough trouble we are now in the midst of
hurricane season and weather experts are predicting
a more troublesome season this year.
According to a July 28 National Geographic report,
states along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf
of Mexico have yet to see the worst of what’s predicted
to be an active and potentially destructive
“Things are unfortunately shaping up to be an active
hurricane season in the Atlantic, which is probably
not what people are wanting to hear,” Phil Klotzbach,
a meteorologist at Colorado State University
who specializes in Atlantic Ocean hurricanes, told
This year, forecasters at the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration predict that anywhere
from 13 to 19 large storms could spin up, with as
many as six becoming major hurricanes.
Last year, warm September waters in the Caribbean
Sea allowed Hurricane Dorian to dump a devastating
amount of rain over the Bahamas, the story said.
Currently, Atlantic surface waters are the fourth
warmest they’ve been since NOAA began keeping
records in 1982. The only years water has been
warmer are 2005, 2010, and 2017, which bore witness
to Hurricanes Katrina and Maria, two of the
most devastating natural disasters to strike the Atlantic
The Small Business Administration is offering up
hurricane preparedness information. It has listed
what to do if a hurricane is going to impact your
WHEN A STORM IS APPROACHING
When a hurricane is approaching, follow these
steps to protect your property:
3 Install windstorm shutters or plywood over
windows and doors. Doing so will help prevent
interior damage to your building.
3 Take precautions so that items outdoors will
not blow away or cause physical damage. For
example, remove all loose debris, anchor or
relocate all nonessential equipment, and secure
large cranes and other heavy equipment.
3 Have cash on hand for post-hurricane
needs. Cash may be useful for buying food and
supplies or paying employees and contractors in
case electronic payment systems are down.
As the storm strikes, your safety and your employees’
safety are what matters most. Follow any
guidelines issued by state and local officials. If you
are at your business during the storm, stay in an
interior room on the lowest level of the building.
AFTER THE STORM
After the hurricane passes, the following tips
can help you quickly start the recovery process
3 Carefully survey your business property for safety
hazards. This could include live wires, leaking gas or
flammable liquids, and poisonous gases. Inspect for
damage to foundations or underground piping. If you
are uncertain where to begin in this process, consult
with an expert first to ensure your own safety.
3 Begin debris removal as soon as possible to
prevent further damage. For example, cover
broken windows and torn roof coverings
immediately. You should also clean roof drains
and discard to prevent drainage problems.
3 Apply for disaster assistance if needed. Check
disasterloan.sba.gov to see if a disaster has been
declared in your area. Then, create an account and
apply for a loan on SBA’s disaster assistance website.
For help preparing your business for hurricane
season, consult with local SBA resource partners,
including Small Business Development Centers
and SCORE. Resource partners can also help businesses
apply for disaster loans and provide guidance
on how to get up and running after a hurricane
strikes. Free and low-cost business assistance is now
available remotely via phone, video chat, and email.
Unitec launch Here
to Help initiative
DRB Systems, in conjunction with partners
Suds Creative and Unitec, launched the DRB
is Here to Help initiative to guide car wash
operators through the coronavirus outbreak.
“For over a third of a century, DRB’s journey
has been about helping entrepreneurs
discover the American dream of running and
growing a business,” DRB Systems President
Dan Pittman stated in a press release. “At
times like these, we take that job even more
seriously. That is why we’re are putting these
resources together to help car wash operators
during this time.”
Those resources include:
3 A video series providing data about
the potential impact of the coronavirus
outbreak on wash volumes, unlimited
wash plan memberships, credit card
3 Webinars focused on what operators
can do now to hit the ground running
when business starts to rebound.
3 Regular communications to DRB
customers regarding how the company
is responding and helpful tips specific to
Information DRB had planned to share at
The Car Wash Show regarding new products
and services that can help operators plan for
DRB will also poll customers to determine
what topics and information they are looking
for as they navigate this situation.
“We love the car wash business as much
as our customers do, and we have a passion
to keep car washes up and running,” Pittman
said in the press release. “The car wash industry
is strong, and we will get through this
For more information, visit https://www.
follow the conversation on social media with
the hashtag #DRBHeretoHelp.
24 • SUMMER 2020
When a customer purchases
tokens, you have made a sale
Put your mind at ease with
tokens. Minimize staff
supervision and deter theft
Hoffman Mint offers different
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car wash needs
Tokens help reduce operating
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Set your business apart and
help build your brand with
Whether for a promotion or
price fluctuation, simply adjust
the value of your tokens
VISIT US AT THE CAR WASH SHOW BOOTH 2917
Whether using our stock tokens
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the benefits are endless.
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
SUMMER 2020 • 25
Presenting the news stories featuring self serve car washes
Free washes were a no-brainer, says business owner
Coach Bowles and his wife Kim own two Water
U Doing CarWashes in Idabel, Oklahoma. When
the pandemic wreaked havoc across the world and
first responders became the first lines of defense and
risked their lives to stop the spread, Bowles didn’t
think twice about giving them something in return.
“My oldest son 26, is a Marine, and my youngest is 21,
and is a fireman in Fort Worth, Texas,” Bowles, who
goes by soonermajic on carwashforum.com, told SS-
CWN. “So being able to give away free washes to first
responders, nurses and doctors was a no-brainer to
my wife and I.”
Bowles said they used their Facebook page to promote
the free carwash day which took place Monday,
April 20 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The post read:
We would like to show our appreciation with
a FREE car wash to all of our county FIRST RE-
SPONDERS and HEALTH CARE WORKERS
Must have badge or ID! If you know a first responder
or health care worker please like, share or
tag them in this post!
Bowles said, “Our county has been hit pretty
good, I figured there are about 500 of them in this
town of 7500… I [thought at the time that] about
250 or more will come. As I was contacting them
all day, I was pretty impressed with how sincerely
appreciative they all were. I am a [tough] guy, not
very touchy feely, but I just felt their appreciation
and it was pretty cool.”
The car wash owner said he went by and spoke
face-to-face with the CEOs at the main county
hospital and the Indian hospital, and also with
people at home health places, ambulance services,
police and fire departments.
“We gave away 224 washes, which is pretty
amazing for our population and [a wash with]
no tunnel. We had both our IBAs going like gangbusters!
Those folks were so appreciative, it was
just awesome to see them, talk to them, meet
them and hear their stories,” said Bowles.
When asked about a photo of the 12-hour event,
Bowles said one wasn’t taken because they were
way too busy.
ModWash looks to become nation’s largest chain
A company called ModWash, is looking to roll
out 100 express wash locations by 2023 and is looking
to become one of the nation’s largest car wash
chains. The business is backed by the Chattanooga,
Tennessee-based real estate, development and investment
firm Hutton and CEO Karen Hutton said
100 car washes are slated to open next year.
“It will be state-of-the-art equipment, the most
modern out there,” Hutton told the Chattanooga
Times Free Press.
The July 12 story stated that the first location
has already opened in Lexington, North Carolina,
while another is close to completion in Thomasville,
She said the Hutton company will own the land
and buildings and lease to ModWash, which is its
own operating entity. Each ModWash unit takes
about $3.5 million to $4 million to develop. Permitting
and construction typically takes about 14
months, she said.
Hutton said the company, which puts up structures
for businesses such as McDonald’s and Taco
Bell, was building car wash locations for other entities,
the story stated.
According to the story, the Hutton company
owns 75% of ModWash while Hans Weger,
a Georgia business consultant for Hutton in the
past, is the minority partner.
Weger, who also is CEO of ModWash, said the
company is founded on the concept to “make life
Weger said in the story, “We wanted to create a
company that was focused on customers and giving
back to the communities and developing people,”
he said. “We’ll make the car shine, help the
community shine and help people shine.”
Weger said if the company gets to 100 units covering
15 states by 2023, that will place it as one of
the biggest such businesses in terms of size, but
that isn’t their goal exactly.
“The goal isn’t to be the biggest, it’s to be the
best,” he said.
Locations are planned in South Carolina, Florida
and New Jersey, said Elle Welch, the company’s
Hutton said that plans are to give 1% of Mod-
Wash revenues back to local communities where
it will do business. Also, the company plans to put
employees in leadership and training programs,
“We want to make an impact,” Hutton said.
She said Hutton has about 65 employees, while
a construction company, Berry & Hutton, has between
80 and 100 employees. ModWash expects
to employ about 100 people by year’s end, Hutton
said in the story.
Roadhouse Car Wash serves
as art museum
Back in May, the Roadhouse Car Wash of
Davenport, Iowa, was supported by local business
sponsors, and gave children a framed canvas
and supplies to paint “whatever makes them
happy,” the Dispatch-Argus reported. The art
was hung inside the wash bays. One-third of
the proceeds from the bay went to a charity
and all of the proceeds from the vacuum went
to that same charity. The event, called Bay Art
for Charity, continue for a week to raise money.
According to the car wash’s Facebook page:
The idea is simple....we will hang art you
submit in our carwash bays, a dollar from every
wash will go towards the charity posted above
that bay. We have chosen 4 local charities that
help benefit children and families in our area.
Money raised was given to The Salvation
Army, Bethany for Children and Family Services,
Children’s Therapy Center, and The
Child Abuse Council.
26 • SUMMER 2020
• Convenience stores
• Car washes
• Taxi fleets
• Rental fleets
• School districts
• Golf carts
• Shopping carts
• Police cars
• Car pools
• Shuttle buses
• Car dealers
• Profitable, $5 suggested vend price
• Fast, effective coverage. Dispenses 4 to 5 ft
plume at one ounce per minute.
• Treats largest SUV’s quickly. Recommended
vend time, three minutes.
• Kills viruses, including COVID-19, bacteria and
fungus with an EPA/FDA approved product.
• Stainless steel cabinet – 14” x 22” x 20” H, 85
lbs., 15 ft wire braid dispensing hose, 2 gallon
capacity,110V 15 amp
• Push button
• Coin/token/credit card
• Credit card only
• 42”, 64” or 84” Pedestal
FIND OUT MORE AND GET
FACTORY DIRECT PRICING:
Call Steve at 800-643-1574,
Mobile - 501-554-6129
3021 S. Midland Drive • Pine Bluff AR 71603 • 800-643-1574 • 870-535-5777
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.fragramatics.com
SUMMER 2020 • 27
The Gravette Auto Wasche opened on July
3, according to the Eagle Observer. Owners
John A. Lykins, his wife Janice and their son
John opened the self service wash after several
months of extensive renovation.
“I just got tired of not having a place to clean
my vehicles,” John said in the story. “We are excited
about being able to provide this service to
New equipment was installed in the bays and
equipment room and the wash was repainted.
The cost is only $1 for a 3-minute wash.
A large automated wash bay with a brushless
cleaning system will be in operation in a couple
of weeks, according to the story, and customers
can choose a clean costing $8, $10 or $12.
The Lykins pointed out that the property is
well-lit and surveillance cameras are in use so
customers can feel safe using the car wash both
day and night. John even went so far as to post his
phone number in the newspaper so that customers
can call him with any questions or concerns.
The Rocky Mountain Car Wash opened on
July 27, according to The Montana Standard.
Butte will be Montana’s flagship location for
Rocky Mountain Car Wash, one of Wyoming’s
largest car wash chains, the story said.
The car wash includes three automatic bays
and six self-serve bays.
Founded by Mike and Sherri Irwin, the family-owned
business got its start in 2001 in Pinedale,
Wyoming and now has eight Wyoming
IQ Car Wash opened the self serve and
in-bay wash in March, according to KMTV.
Owner Travis Barker admitted the timing
of the opening has not been ideal, thanks to
the pandemic, but he is hopeful things will
take a turn for the better. “Between weather
and people actually getting out and about,
I think some people are back in the office,”
Barker said in the story. “I think people also
became restless, and that’s something else
we found out through COVID too, was
that I had families who with mothers and
children, because they were looking for
something to do with moms being home
with the kids, and throughout automated
washers they kind of have a light show that
goes with them so it was a form of entertainment
sometimes. It was something to
go do, that was still available to people.”
Along with the self serve option, the car
wash offers touch-free and soft touch automatics.
“And those are both unique in that
they do a 3D scan of the car,” Barker said
in the story. “So the best example of what
that 3D scan allows you to do is if you have
a truck, the machine will actually come
down and wash the back window of a pickup
truck, and then move along, and wash
the tailgate, and it washes those as separate
pieces because it knows where they are.”
Butte is its new location thanks to the Irwin’s
son, Riley, who attends Montana Tech.
“Butte seemed underserved in terms of
self-service car washes,” Taylor Irwin (Riley’s
sister) said in the story. “We felt we had something
we could offer to the community.”
This will not be the only Rocky Mountain
Car Wash in Montana as plans are underway to
build another car wash in Belgrade.
Their first car wash was a bit of an impulse buy,
so Mike and Rachel Wiersema figured they might
as well do it again, the Clinton Herald reported.
The couple purchase the former Precision
Wash last February an renamed it MR Wash. A
grand reopening was held in May.
“We say MR wash because ‘Mike and Rachel’
is what it stands for,” he said in the story. “But
everyone else says ‘Mister wash.’
The two also bought a Super Wash franchise
in Fulton, in late 2018, in a spur-of-the-moment
decision. “(Rachel) went to clean out her car one
day and the owner was putting a for sale sign up,”
Mike said in the story. “She came home and said,
‘get your butt over there because it’s for sale.’”
When they saw that the Precision Wash was for
sale Mike thought, ‘Hey, I can fix that one up too.”
Their new wash features self serve and IBA
bays. Mike said it is all part of his retirement
plan. “I figured this would be something good
for retirement and a good job and business to
have the rest of the time, too. You’re always going
to have guys who want to go out and play
in the mud and want to wash their truck. Same
way with (all-terrain vehicles) and stuff like
that. It’s one of those things where your car is a
big investment, and you can keep it clean.”
Scooptown Car Wash opened in mid-May, according
to the Black Hills Pioneer.
“Everybody is really loving it,” co-owner Chris
Bergman said in the story. Bergman and his wife,
Tylea also own and operate an oilfield maintenance
company and physical therapy clinic in
Killdeer, North Dakota.
The car wash features two automatic wash
bays, three self serve bays, a pet wash and two
outside wash bays. One is a seasonal bay for cars,
pickups, and motorcycles. The outside bays are
for oversized vehicles such as RVs, campers and
boats. There is also an RV dump station on site.
28 • SUMMER 2020
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SUMMER 2020 • 29
FILL IN THE
THIS ONE CUSTOMER
WAS SO CLUELESS, HE/SHE ...
... jammed three Peso coins, two Chuck E Cheese
tokens, five pennies and a wooden nickel into a coin
slot that was clearly marked “Insert Quarters Only”.
... I watched a girl one day spray her car with spot free
rinse, then she bought an Armor All protectant pad and
scrubbed her car with it, then sprayed it with presoak
... I had a guy straddle the treadle running the left arm
across his hood, and when I went to see why the auto
hadn’t started he asked me “Why isn’t it working?”
... An old man pulled into a self-serve bay, got out and
deposited his money, then came and got me to ask why
it wasn’t washing his car. MEP001
... could not figure out how to turn the dial to get the
function they wanted. soapy
... had an older gentleman wash his car, then proceed
to cover it with tri foam. He then rinsed just the
windshield and started to leave with the car still
covered with foam. I asked him if there was a problem
with the equipment and he said “no.” Thinking he was
out of money, I offered to put time on the meter and
he said no thanks. So then I pointed out to him that
his car was still covered in soap. To which he said, “I
know. I just washed it.” And down the street he went. I
saw him do it again a few weeks later. Maybe we’ve all
missed it and have given the rinse cycle way too much
credit. Lol. Scott S
... would complain that self serve high pressure is
low. walk out and notice they are not squeezing the
... tried to “shampoo” a large area rug from home from
home using our tri foam which is currently 2/3 polish
and 1/3 wax... I saw this on camera one night and they
were there a long time. They must have been hard
rinsing the wax out of the carpet. Dan-Ark
... I went to the wash Sunday to find “FIX YOUR
CAR WASH!!!” written on my pump room door.
Checked everything and couldn’t find a problem.
Checked the video and found that he put 4 quarters
in then punched the coin box repeatedly, then shook
it by grabbing the coin return. Wrote on my door
then pulled into another bay......put the required 6
quarters in to start and washed his car. I thought
I was going to show up once a week to pick up
quarters and take them to the bank. Well not really
but it would be nice. Green_As_a_Gourd
THE FUNNY THING ABOUT OWNING A SELF SERVE CAR WASH IS ...
... I love it. Through all the hard work and
emergencies, damage, etc. I still love it. (It’s only
been a week, LOL) Nuphoenix
... is you hate your customers as much as you love
... I like having fun with some of my customers.
Sometimes one comes up and says he put money
in something, and nothing happened. I tell them
that I found that we make more money that way.
Sometimes one comes up and asks for change
for a dollar (while standing next to the changer). I’ll
say we’re having a sale today and give them five
quarters. The look is priceless, and I know most go
home and say what a nice place it is. And that only
cost me a quarter. mac
... My customers mostly don’t speak English, or
don’t speak it well, so if they want change for a $20
they walk up to me and hand it to me usually without
saying anything. I just say thank you, stick it in my
pocket and pretend to walk away. MEP001
... is finding treasures that customers have left
behind. Last summer I found a hard top to a Mazda
Miata. Posted it as lost, hung signs up, no takers.
Sold it for $1000 on craigslist. Oh the things we find.
... I had a girl call me tonight who had sold a pair of
sub woofer speakers today at one of my washes. All
went well as she got her $600 and left them there
with him even though he had no car. Turns out she
was paid in counterfeit bills and they were gone
when she came back.
... I thought this looked funny driving down the street
but it became even funnier when they pulled in to
wash it in one of my wand bays. Then they came
back 2 hours later to wash it again. Soapy
... I found a sofa in one of my bays. I wouldn’t have
cared too much if they would have put it by the
dumpster but it was a hide-a-bed. Heavy as all heck. I
pushed it out of the bay with my truck and had to cut it
up with a sawzall to put it in the dumpster. 6t7gto
... I found a dead dog in one of the vac island trash
cans. I guess the funny part is some idiot thought,
“hey, let’s take it to the carwash. I buried it out back.
Some people are such dirtbags. Traveler17
... During the summer we get our trash cans filled with
cull watermelons. Makes a sticky mess. Large Farmer’s
Market nearby and the town fills up with watermelon
crews gathering melons in the area. Allen
... you quickly find out it owns you!!!! Rfreeman
... I thought I was going to show up once a week to
pick up quarters and take them to the bank. Well not
really but it would be nice. STXCW
... a percentage of the customers actually turn out
to be friendly in a sincere worthwhile way & the
next thing you know they become more than just an
... that the more I learn, the more I realize I have yet
to learn… Waxman
If you would like to contribute your own answer, visit AutoCareForum.com and do a keyword search of “fill in the blank.”
... The guy who was stealing my hanging flower
baskets, caught on video handed over to local police.
They gave the video to the four local news stations.
All four came & did live remotes from my wash for the
local evening news (my 15 min of fame). Someone
knew who he was and phoned in. Talk about being
embarrassed. This was back in ‘98 before cameras
were common in our industry. Timmb
... that it is NEVER dull!! I’ve owned my car wash for
17 years now, and I think public behavior is getting
more outrageous - especially with the homeless!
I’m glad that I have cameras and live close-by.
Recently, one of my wash bays was converted into an
overnight “bike repair” operation!
... I got a call last night from the police. Seems a lady
came to wash her Jeep. WHile she was washing she
suspects her passenger sitting inside rifled through
her purse and stole one of her credit cards. They
wanted to know if I had cameras that looked into
the car and caught video of the theft. I told them
that theft inside someone’s car is generally not what
I worry about. Turns out my cameras are not like
superman and could not see the theft. Soapy
... If you stay in the car wash business long enough
you’re going to see it all. After 38 years of being in the
business you name it I’ve seen it or had it happen.
I’ve had guy’s paint their car in the bay, brake jobs, oil
changes. I had one guy drop his gas tank to change
out his fuel pump. They all seem to think it perfectly
OK to do these kinds of things... . Randy
I had a lady come in last week and spray paint
(black) an entire patio furniture set in one of my bays.
Thankfully she bought cheap paint. KleanRide
30 • SUMMER 2020
Do you ask
NO, IT IS
AT A CAR WASH:
NO, IT IS
NOT THE LAW
WHERE I LIVE:
I ALREADY RAISED THEM
WITHIN THE LAST YEAR
Whether to offset
the economy, or to
you going to not
raise your prices
at your self serve or
are you intending
to raise them?
*This unscientific poll was conducted via the carwashforum.com.
We invite you to join us in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the
3 rd Women in Carwash conference
JANUARY 18 – 20, 2021
At the B Ocean Resort.
For more information and to register please contact:
Brenda Jane Johnstone
phone: 1-204-489-4215 email: email@example.com
SUMMER 2020 • 31
Astromatic Softgloss 3-375x4-875 ad PRINT 011818
AT PRESS TIME, THESE EVENTS
WERE STILL GOING TO TAKE PLACE
NOV 18TH, 2020
JAN 18-20, 2021
B Ocean Resort
Fort Lauderdale Florida
FEB 17-19, 2021
Fort Worth Convention Center
Fort Worth, Texas
JUNE 7-9, 2021
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada
OCT 4-6, 2021
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
*Dates are subject to change.
32 • SUMMER 2020
International Carwash Association ® (ICA)
Car Wash Show going back to Vegas
The ICA announced a change to the dates for
The Car Wash Show 2021. The event will still be
held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas,
NV, but will now be held June 7-9, 2021.
Since cancelling The Car Wash Show 2020 on
March 10, ICA has evaluated several different options
for providing attendees and exhibitors with the
show experience they deserve and desire, according
to a press release. This includes new considerations for
health and safety given the COVID-19 crisis. As part
of this evaluation, the 2021 event has been moved
from March to June.
“The Car Wash Show 2021 will feature all new
Dan Pecora, owner of Erie Brush & Manufacturing,
has been selected as the 2020 International Carwash
Association Hall of Fame inductee. The industry’s
highest honor, the Car Wash Hall of Fame was
created in 1962 to recognize the innovators, leaders,
and pioneers of the professional car wash industry, an
ICA press release stated.
1962 is the same year that Dan’s father, Carlo Pecora,
purchased the property in Appleton, Wisconsin
that would become one of the very first exterior-only
washes in North America. Carlo opened Automat
of Appleton in 1963, and Dan, manager of the site,
graduated from hand making brushes in the family
basement to promoting the business and drawing customers
to the conveyor-powered wash.
Innovation has been the defining quality of Dan’s
career. In 1970, he bought Erie Brush and grew it from
a two-man operation to a thriving 40 person operation.
His experience developing and running exterior
washes drove him to create products that solved real
education sessions, an expansive show floor, and the
opportunity to catch up on the incredible innovations
and resources we missed out on in 2020,” Kim Vinciguerra,
ICA Chief Experience Officer, stated in the
press release. “We can’t wait to bring our community
together again, and the move to June dates helps ensure
that we’re able to offer a safe and productive experience
that has all the value you’ve come to expect
from The Car Wash Show.”
To ensure you receive the latest information
about The Car Wash Show, including details about
registration, be sure you’re signed up for our email list
by visiting www.TheCarWashShow.com.
Dan Pecora of Erie Brush named 2020 ICA Hall of Fame Recipient
Time is running out to nominate board members
There are days left, but the ICA is still accepting
applications and nominations for directors to serve a
three-year term on the Board of Directors beginning
January 1, 2021. Applications and nominations are due
Monday, August 17, 2020.
The ICA Board of Directors is comprised of 16
industry leaders who meet twice per year. In fulfilling
its fiduciary responsibilities, the Board of Directors
establishes the mission and vision of the Association,
approves its strategic plan and establishes financial
Applications and recommendations are reviewed
challenges for operators. Under Dan’s leadership, Erie
developed unique brushes for a variety of applications,
and to this day continues to carry a wide range of
brush materials for washes of all kinds. Dan’s devotion
to product led him to several patents in the industry.
Dan was honored to serve as president of the
Chicagoland Carwash Association. He won the ICA
President’s Award in 1987, and the Distinguished Service
Award in 1988, as well as numerous other awards
from regional car wash organizations.
“Dan is truly an industry pioneer,” stated ICA
President Ken Littrell in the press release. “He has dedicated
his life to this industry, and his passion for the
practice and people of car washing truly shows in his
products and in the network of customers he’s built
all around the country. We’re honored to be able to
recognize him with the Hall of Fame Award and look
forward to being able to gather in person as soon as
possible to formally induct him.”
by the Nominating Committee, a subcommittee of
the Board of Directors. The Committee decides which
candidates to propose to the membership for election
as part of the slate. Candidates under consideration can
expect to have at least two conversations with members
or representatives of the Committee, and be asked
to provide additional information in order to determine
appropriate fit. Applications for director positions usually
far surpass the number of positions available and
will be evaluated based on the candidate’s skill set and
the current needs of the Board of Directors.
Shop online or call today for your free printed catalog!
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On Orders $1800 Or Over
Exclusions Apply, See Details Below
Tanks, pipe, sprayers and other large equipment are not included in this program.
Applies to Continental U.S. ground shipments only.
SUMMER 2020 • 33
International Carwash Association ®
(ICA) ... continued
The 2020 Women in Leadership program coming this November
The 2020 Women in Leadership Certificate
Program, a 100% online comprehensive leadership
training experience held this November in
partnership with the University of Notre Dame.
Participants will enter a cohort of women in business
and leadership, including fellow car washers.
“This program builds skills in strategy and
communication that are integral to the success
of every car wash leader, including the high-performing
and high-potential women the certificate
is designed for,” ICA Chief Content Officer
Claire Moore stated in a press release.
The program will span the full four weeks of
November 2020. This means the course work is
available to access on any schedule, and each week
of the month features a different theme of study.
The course will prepare participants to:
• Implement strategic leadership skills.
• Identify core values, cultivate
resilience within, and discover
how to live a fully integrated life.
• Enhance negotiation and
• Leverage networks and
build stronger relationships.
“In addition to the program’s amazing content,
we’ll be offering an additional live session,”
Moore said in the press release. “This session
will focus on how the lessons from the course
can be applied to car wash environments. Open
and candid discussion is a hallmark of our Women’s
Leadership Experiences, and we’re excited
to integrate that with the benefits of a virtual
For completing the program, participants
will be awarded with a certificate from the University
of Notre Dame, as well as a digital credential
issued by International Carwash Association.
These accolades can give a real boost in a
Learn more about the program now, including
costs and details on how to register, at carwash.org/WLE.
New England Car Wash Association (NECA)
for 2020, Hard
Rock to host
A press release from the
Northeast Regional Carwash
Board of Directors, was sent
out June 1, 2020, stating
that the 2020 Convention,
that was supposed to take
place in Atlantic City in
October, was canceled.
According to a letter from Suzanne Stansbury:
The Northeast Regional Carwash Convention
(NRCC) Board of Directors, after extensive deliberation,
has decided to cancel the 2020 show, October 5-7, at the
Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ.
This thoughtful decision took into consideration the numerous
unknowns with a trade show in early October as
a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The board felt that
this decision would be in the best interests of its exhibitors
“We are concerned that large venue events may not
be an option in October, there could be a resurgence of
the virus in the fall and our carwash economy will still be
recovering,” said 2021 Show Chair Dave DuGoff. “In addition,
even if allowed, will people feel comfortable traveling
and congregating? These are certainly unprecedented
times and with that caution and safety are necessary,
but it was an incredibly difficult decision.”
That being said, the 2021 show, October 4-6, will
include a reimagined education track and show floor, as
well as an elite keynote speaker, and a move to the Hard
Rock Hotel & Casino for overnight accommodations on
the city’s iconic Boardwalk. “The 2021 NRCC will have
a new look and feel but still provide our attendees with
an intimate setting in which to learn, grow and reimagine
their operations,” said DuGoff.
Southwest Car Wash Association (SCWA)
New twist to SCWA Car Wash Tours
Due to Covid-19 and the restrictions on gatherings, the SCWA
will be offering a new type of car wash tour. The first SCWA Showcase
will feature a streaming video in which several Mr. Wash locations in
Germany will be shown. In addition, car wash owner Richard Enning
will be live to narrate the videos and answer attendee questions.
The Showcase will take place Thursday, August 27, at 10 a.m.
(CST). Registration is Required.
• The Virtual Showcase is COMPLIMENTARY for current SCWA Members
• A non-member rate is $25 or FREE with SCWA Annual Membership
Announcing the 2021 President’s Award
The SCWA is proud to announce a new award recognition for 2021 -
the SCWA President’s Award. This award will honor early career car wash
managers and employees who have demonstrated strong skills and exceptional
work ethic, according to an announcement. The award encourages
continued growth in the industry and serves as an example to others of the
culture; attitude and commitment that makes the car wash industry special.
Be sure to click on this link for the criteria and the nomination form. The
Award will be presented during the 2021 SCWA Convention & Car Wash
EXPO in Fort Worth, February 17-19, 2021.
34 • SUMMER 2020
Midwest Carwash Association
President writes impassioned letter to
members regarding the Covid-19 pandemic
Women in Carwash tm
Third Women in Carwash
event to take place next January in Florida
According to Brenda Johnstone, founder of the Women in Carwash
initiative, the third conference will take place next January in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida. “In the ever-changing carwash industry, women are rapidly
emerging as some of the most forward-thinking leaders. What is also exciting
is that a growing number of men are welcoming and actively supporting
this change,” the website stated.
The 2021 conference will include three days of guest speakers, workshops
and networking opportunities. The B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale
will serve as the venue.
On May 28, 2020, MCA President Joe Chatel, sent a poignant and passionate
letter to its members regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect
on car washes within the midwestern association, including Michigan, Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
A portion of Chatel’s letter was as follows:
During this pandemic virus situation, the MCA has been tasked with navigating
a never before seen industry situation. I am determined to continue the
fight for our rights as operators as well as using the silver linings to make the
MCA better for its members.
...The MCA has filed legal action in the State of Michigan where legal
restrictions impacting our members have been the greatest in our region.
The majority of the other cases filed in the federal cases sought emergency
injunctive relief and lost. We could easily take the same tactic, but we would
likely lose, not because of the lack of merit in our position, but because the
standard for obtaining emergency injunctive relief is very high. This is why the
other plaintiffs in the other federal cases have had problems—when the plaintiffs
moved for immediate injunctive relief, they had the burden. The state had
no burden; and was able to easily move away from the action.
Again, our goal is to put pressure on the Governor and to try our best to
obtain a ruling that the executive orders released have been unconstitutional
under the United States Constitution. Our case is a matter of federal law, not
state law. The MCA has obtained an agreement from the State of Michigan
Assistant AG to respond to our complaint on or before June 5, 2020. As such,
the burden is now placed on the Governor to either answer our case or move
to dismiss. We have every reason to believe that the Governor will move to
dismiss our case and will ask for a speedy hearing.
...As for the Legislature’s case—this was a matter limited only to Michigan
state law—not the United States Constitution. Federal courts, in general, do
not decide matters of state law against a state or state official. We could have
filed our own “state law” claims in the Court of Claims too—but that would
have required additional costs and fees and expense to our loyal members’
dues. Spending the association’s money is something that is never taken lightly.
The Legislature conceded that Covid-19 was an emergency. Judge Stephens
sped up the hearing for a number of reasons, including mootness, and
including the Legislature’s immediate need to be included in the process. Yes,
the Legislature moved for immediate relief, which was risky, but also necessary
given the nature of the state claims, the concession of Covid-19, and the supposed
May 28, 2020 expiration of the emergency declaration. But the Legislature
also has deep pockets and it presumably has a huge budget to take its case
through the appellate courts.
Unlike the Legislature, we are not conceding the Covid-19 emergency.
That’s why we put so much work into the data. As such, I don’t believe that
we have wasted our resources with the amicus brief, especially since the Governor
has magically decided to open the northern half of the state. By filing
the amicus brief, we effectively obtained two venues and we will reap the
benefit of a favorable decision from the Court of Claims. But even if the Court
of Claims rules against the Legislature, such a ruling will not impact the legal
analysis of our federal claims. Again, by forcing the Governor to respond in the
manner that we did, gives us the best advantage in our legally guided opinion.
SUMMER 2020 • 35
Successful Car Wash
Self-Serve to Ex
AQUA BLUE CAR WASH
Get in the trenches with Scott Oster as he describes the renovation of this existing
self-serve site that converted successfully to a 110-foot express exterior tunnel.
Scott guides you through the project’s design and permitting, as well as the technology
upgrades and marketing decisions that made this Grand Re-Opening a huge success.
5 Self-Serve Bays & 2 Inbay Automatics
Exterior Detail Hybrid Tunnel System
Watch Scott Oster, owner of Aqua Blue Car Wash
as he explains his successful conversion
Make CarWashing Easy
www.SonnysDirect.com or Call 1-800-327-8723
36 • SUMMER 2020
MARC-1 CAR WASH
Go behind-the-scenes with Marcus Kittrell as he shows us how he converted a
limited, pre-existing self-serve car wash into a 80-foot express exterior tunnel now
known as MARC-1 Car Wash Palisades. Marcus is the owner of seven Marc-1 car wash
locations in the state of Alabama.
3 Self-Serve Bays & 3 Inbay Automatics
Exterior Detail Hybrid Tunnel System
Watch Marcus Kittrell, owner of marc-1 Car Wash
as he explains his successful conversion
Consulting College Equipment Services Vacuums Controls Marketing Signage Chemistry Parts
SUMMER 2020 • 37
Around the Wash:
If you feel like you’re floating out to sea,
lost in a fog with money worries, and Covid-based
nightmares, there are lifelines available, both financial and
advisory, for small businesses. But with so many different
platforms, and deadlines, and red tape, it can be challenging
to know what opportunities are right for you and your business.
Here is a breakdown of the various funding options, offered
by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Economic Injury Disaster Loans:
On June 15, the Small Business Administration
resumed accepting new EIDL applications from
all eligible small businesses. EIDL proceeds can be
used to cover a wide array of working capital and
normal operating expenses, such as continuation
to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed
Small business owners and qualified agricultural
businesses in all U.S. states and territories are currently
eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due
to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
As of July 15, 2020, 2,622,203 loans have
been approved across the United States totaling
Each applicant must review and check all the
following (If Applicant is unable to check all of
the following, applicant is not an eligible entity):
• Applicant is not engaged in any illegal activity
(as defined by Federal guidelines).
• No principal of the Applicant with a 50 percent
or greater ownership interest is more than
sixty (60) days delinquent on child support
• Applicant does not present live performances
of a prurient sexual nature or derive directly or
indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue
through the sale of products or services, or the
presentation of any depictions or displays, of a
prurient sexual nature.
• Applicant does not derive more than one-third
of gross annual revenue from legal gambling
• Applicant is not in the business of lobbying.
• Applicant cannot be a state, local, or municipal
government entity and cannot be a member of
Payroll Protection Program:
An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their
workforce employed during the Coronavirus
The SBA reopened this program in July, but the
deadline for new application is August 8, 2020.
Therefore, depending on the date of this publication,
it might be too late.
As of July 27, 2020, 5,017,603 loans have been
approved equaling $519,770,805,963.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed
to provide a direct incentive for small businesses
to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention
criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a)
lender or through any federally insured deposito-
38 • SUMMER 2020
SUMMER 2020 • 39
We have Answers!
Carwash and accounting expert Pat
Shannon answers questions on everything
from PPP loans to tax forms to revenue
In the hazy maze of this financial quagmire
thanks to Covid-19, many car wash
owners are left with questions. The Small
Business Administration (sba) is offering
help, but unless you’re an expert in the
field of economics and car washes, there
are opportunities for confusion and frustration.
Thankfully, Pat Shannon fits the
bill for the aforementioned qualifications.
Shannon is a car wash owner, the President
of the Heartland Carwash Association and
an expert in small business accounting,
payroll, personal and business tax preparation.
The following are answers to questions
posted to carwashforum.com.
Why doesn’t an S-corp
qualify for the PPP loan?
Pat Shannon: Being an S-Corp
does not disqualify you from receiving
a PPP Loan and if you do not receive a
PPP loan you should explore the employee
retention credit. If your business is taxed
as an S corporation, your owner draws are
known as shareholder distributions. It’s important
to realize that these distributions
are non-taxable, which means there are
some pretty strict requirements in place to
prevent owners from taking advantage. As
an owner of an S-Corp, you are required
to pay yourself a reasonable salary through
payroll, meaning that you are remitting
payroll taxes on that amount. You are
allowed to take distributions in addition to
this salary, but it’s best practice to have a
combination of the two rather than distributions
We purchased our wash about
two years ago from the owner on
a land contract and we have about
a year left to pay it off. We updated
our equipment and rehabbed the building
using a home equity loan. Our LLC is a
partnership between my dad and me. I
have noticed that sole proprietors and
LLCs are specifically mentioned in the
stimulus package. From what I have gathered
so far it seems like we may be able
ry institution, federally insured credit union, and
Farm Credit System institution that is participating.
Other regulated lenders will be available to
make these loans once they are approved and enrolled
in the program.
The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds
are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages,
rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription,
at least 60% of the forgiven amount must have
been used for payroll).
• PPP loans have an interest rate of 1%.
• Loans issued prior to June 5 have a maturity
of 2 years. Loans issued after June 5 have a
maturity of 5 years.
• Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
• No collateral or personal guarantees are
• Neither the government nor lenders will charge
small businesses any fees.
Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining
or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary
levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time
headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.
The loan forgiveness form and instructions include
several measures to reduce compliance burdens and
simplify the process for borrowers, including:
• Options for borrowers to calculate payroll
costs using an “alternative payroll covered
period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular
• Flexibility to include eligible payroll and nonpayroll
expenses paid or incurred during the
24-week period after receiving their PPP loan.
• Step-by-step instructions on how to perform
the calculations required by the CARES Act to
confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness.
• Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory
exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction
based on rehiring by June 30.
• Addition of a new exemption from the loan
forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have
made a good-faith, written offer to rehire
workers that was declined
The following entities affected by Coronavirus
(COVID-19) may be eligible:
• Any small business concern that meets SBA’s
size standards (either the industry based sized
standard or the alternative size standard)
• Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and
• Any business with a NAICS Code that begins
with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services)
that has more than one physical location and
employs less than 500 per location
• Any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization,
501(c)(19) veterans organization, or Tribal
business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small
Business Act) with the greater of:
• 500 employees, or
• That meets the SBA
industry size standard if
more than 500
EBL = SBA Express Bridge Loans:
Enables small businesses who currently have a
business relationship with an SBA Express Lender
to access up to $25,000 quickly.
These loans can provide vital economic support
to small businesses to help overcome the temporary
loss of revenue they are experiencing and can
be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while
applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster
loan. If a small business has an urgent need for
cash while waiting for decision and disbursement
on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may
qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
• Up to $25,000
• Fast turnaround
• Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds
from the EIDL loan
EBL loans can only be made up to six months
after the date of an applicable Presidential Disaster
Declaration. For the COVID-19 Emergency
Declaration, EBL loans can be approved through
March 13, 2021.
Use of Proceeds:
• EBL loan proceeds must be used exclusively
to support the survival and/or reopening of
the small business within the eligible Primary
or Contiguous Counties. For the COVID-19
Emergency Declaration, EBL loan proceeds
must be used exclusively to support the
survival and/or reopening of the small
• Lenders must certify in the credit
memorandum that the EBL loan proceeds
will be used by the borrower to support the
survival and/or reopening of the small business
within the eligible Primary or Contiguous
Counties. For the COVID-19 Emergency
Declaration, Lenders must certify in the credit
memorandum that the EBL loan proceeds
will be used by the borrower to support
the survival and/or reopening of the small
business. This certification must be included
with any guaranty purchase request to SBA.
• EBL loan proceeds may be disbursed as
working capital, or for specific disaster-related
purposes, such as the purchase of generators,
repair or replacement of disaster-damaged
equipment or inventory, making repairs to the
business premises, etc. For the COVID-19
Emergency Declaration, EBL loan proceeds
must be disbursed as working capital.
Around the Wash Where’s The Money
40 • SUMMER 2020
Around the Wash Where’s The Money
SBA Debt Relief:
The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small
businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the coronavirus debt relief efforts, the
SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and
any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current
7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing
status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans
disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. This relief
is not available for Paycheck Protection Program
loans or Economic Injury Disaster loans. Borrowers
do not need to apply for this assistance. It will
be automatically provided as follows:
• For loans not on deferment, SBA will begin
making payments with the next payment
due on the loan and will make six monthly
• For loans currently on deferment, SBA will
begin making payments with the next payment
due after the deferment period has ended and
will make six monthly payments.
• For loans made after March 27, 2020 and
fully disbursed prior to September 27, 2020,
SBA will begin making payments with the first
payment due on the loan and will make six
SBA has notified 7(a), 504 and Microloan Lenders
that it will pay these borrower loan payments.
Lenders have been instructed to refrain from collecting
loan payments from borrowers. If a borrower’s
payment was collected after March 27,
2020, lenders were instructed to inform the borrower
that they have the option of having the loan
payment returned by the lender or applying the
loan payment to further reduce the loan balance
after SBA’s payment.
Borrowers should contact their lender if they
have any questions regarding this payment relief.
Additional Debt Relief
For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and
Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular
servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is
providing automatic deferments through December
What does an “automatic deferral” mean to borrowers?
• Interest will continue to accrue on the loan.
• 1201 monthly payment notices will continue
to be mailed out which will reflect the loan is
deferred and no payment is due.
• The deferment will NOT cancel any established
Preauthorized Debit (PAD) or recurring
payments on your loan. Borrowers that
have established a PAD through Pay.Gov or
an OnLine Bill Pay Service are responsible
for canceling these recurring payments.
Borrowers that had SBA establish a PAD
through Pay.gov will have to contact their SBA
servicing office to cancel the PAD.
• Borrowers preferring to continue making
regular payments during the deferment
period may continue remitting payments
during the deferment period. SBA will apply
those payments normally as if there was no
• After this automatic deferment period,
borrowers will be required to resume making
regular principal and interest payments.
Borrowers that cancelled recurring payments
will need to reestablish the recurring payment.
If you have questions about your current loan
and whether or not your loan is automatically deferred,
please contact your Loan Servicing Office
directly using the following information:
Birmingham Disaster Loan Servicing Center:
800-736-6048 or at BirminghamDLSC@sba.gov
El Paso Disaster Loan Servicing Center:
800-487-6019 or at ElPasoDLSC@sba.gov
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SUMMER 2020 • 41
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SUMMER 2020 • 43
Around the Wash Where’s The Money
to get some assistance based on the numbers
that we show as profit. Is this true?
The help you can receive depends on the program
that you are applying for. For EIDL loans
(applied for directly on the Small Business Administration
website) they are revenue based. For
PPP loans to sole proprietors and LLCs that file
taxes on Schedule C they are profit based. You
stated you were a partnership, so your 1065 and
K-1s would drive your eligibility. The 1065 would
document formal payroll and the K-1s would
document owner draws or distributions. The last
day to apply for a PPP loan is August 8th, so see
your banker right away.
Understanding the self serve business,
here we are with all of the overhead
of a small business without the
payroll. Are there any benefits available
for the self serve car wash owners who have
been affected by COVID-19? Utilities, mortgage
payments and equipment loans are the
same as any other business with payroll…so,
what is available and how do we apply?
The time to take cookies is when cookies are
being passed around. That was the advice that I
gave Heartland Carwash Association members
back on April 4, 2020, when I laid out all the
programs available to help self-serve car wash
owners. Now, four months later, many of the programs
are closed or out of money. You have until
Aug 8, 202,0 to get a PPP loan, get to your banker
ASAP for details. Otherwise the Employee
Retention Credit and the Employer Tax Deferral
programs will still be available to you.
I recently got this email: “You are
receiving this message as a notification
that your Economic Injury
Disaster Loan (EIDL) application is
currently being processed in the order it was
received. You will receive an email notification
when there is a change to your application
status” and then I found $1000 in my account.
It doesn’t say anything about it being an advance.
Should I assume that’s what it is?
Yes, EIDL Advances were deposited without
notice or explanation. Be happy that you got the
advance, as that program quickly ran out of funds
and has not been refunded leaving the SBA owing
advances to many businesses and no additional
funds look to be forthcoming.
The Paycheck Protection Plan loan
includes the self employed, so long
as you have paid taxes as a self
employed business owner. Therefore,
you should be good for 2.5 times the
monthly “payroll” as I understand this so far.
Is this true?
Yes, depending on the tax form being filed and a
few other details.
1. What is the preferred SBA loan
program that a buyer of a self serve
car wash could use? Would that be
an SBA 7a loan of some type?
2. What minimum qualifying factors, and ratios,
does a buyer (and seller) of a self serve
car wash need to meet for loan funding
when the sale of the car wash also includes
3. What credit history or credit score does
the buyer need to have?
4. With real estate included, is the down
payment requirement 10%?
5. How long is the process of funding if the
buyer is qualified and the seller is organized
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44 • SUMMER 2020
Around the Wash Where’s The Money
with needed information?
6. What are the applicable ratios of gross income,
net, and overall debt load of the buyer?
7. Do they require the buyer to personally
guarantee the loan? 8. If the buyer has other
income, is that factored and accounted for
even if the purchase is for a self serve held
in an LLC, which is a separate legal entity?
8. When the ratios are applied, are they calculated
against EBIDTA or tax returns?
9. If the seller doesn’t produce financial
statements that include EBIDTA but merely file
tax returns, are those sufficient records for the
SBA to apply their qualification ratios against?
10. Or do you need to have an accountant
or CPA produce a financial statement showing
Great question, but the answer may be intense.
1. Yes, the SBA 7A loan program is probably
where you will wind up; the other option
right now being an EIDL loan if you qualified
for enough to cover the purchase.
2. Purchasing a car wash always involves
a) the real estate
b) the car wash business, and
c) the personal property.
3. Each state defines the lines between these
three differently. In my state, we pay real
estate taxes on the ground and building
only, the car wash equipment is all personal
property and taxed separately. The
personal property should be listed on a
bill of sale, and separately from the real
estate purchase contract.
4. Keeping your credit score over 700 should
eliminate any problems in that area.
5. Down-payments are usually 20% on a
6. I usually close in 30 to 45 days, but that is
7. The bank will be looking for a ratio of 1.2
to 1.3 on money available to make the
loan payment from the business revenues.
8. Based upon your net worth, experience,
etc., a personal guarantee from both
principals may be required. Emphasis on
required, as banker will always ask, don’t
be afraid to balk and say no.
9. Other incomes may be considered as secondary
repayment sources. Your personal
incomes and financial strength will add to
the attractiveness of the loan to a banker.
10. What does the revenue you are being
shown reflect? Make sure you know the
answer to this question as it impacts the
value of the car wash and what you can
actually expect your revenue numbers to
look like. MANY car wash owners do not
know the proper way to record revenue
numbers. If car wash sales are taxable in
your state, then the money you receive is
part revenue and part sales tax liability.
11. For example: If you receive $500 in revenues
and owe 7% sales tax on that revenue,
you should be posting (500/1.07) =
$467.29 in income and a sales tax liability of
$32.71. The $32.71 are trust funds owed to
your State Department of Revenue and not
an asset of the car wash business. So, posting
an income of $500 and later expensing the
sales tax is not correct accounting and skews
the actual income numbers of the business.
When you go to buy a car wash always
learn how the owner is posting so you can
adjust the numbers properly.
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SUMMER 2020 • 45
TRICKS OF THE
Presenting some of the best discussions from the Self Serve, IBA and General Discussions sections of CarwashForum.com. To view more
posts discussing some interesting and common problems, as well as some of the best and brightest solutions, visit CarwashForum.com
(Note: Some posts feature minor edits for readability.)
Keep your paws off my claws
We’re having vac claws stolen, 3x/week. Any advice?
Police won’t help on piddly $3 items SOONERMAJIC
I took silicone caulk clear and put it on the
threads and all connections, that stopped it for
I bought an electric branding iron at a ranch
store for under $100 with the letters I needed
about 20 years ago after I had another car wash
operator stealing my vac ends. Now I brand all
my foam brush heads, vac cuffs etc. as soon as
they come in. It has really helped stop thefts.
Make sure the vacs are working well. I’ve finally
stopped the homeless from getting into the
cleanouts and leaving the doors open. People
pull the claws off when the vac doesn’t work.
I quit using the large open-end type after the
third or fourth time I had to unstick a piece
of clothing from the middle of the hose. I just
bought a second box of 50 claw nozzles in
about 18 months. MEP001
A long time ago we used 3M Yellow Gasket
adhesive if the nozzles went missing too often.
Messy to apply but holds good when it dries.
Pretty much have to cut the hose to get the
nozzle off. ALLEN
I have the same problem, Sooner. They either
steal it, or throw it in trash after they cut it off
the nozzle cuff. Most of the time it’s the people
going through the clean outs. Bought more
vac claws this year than previous 4 years combined!!
Our customers don’t like the plastic claws and
will cut them off the end of the hose, toss them
in the garbage or throw them into the vacant
lot next door, so we stopped using them. They
seem to like the VAA-20 Vac Upholstery Cuff
2’’ Hose x 1 1/2’’, they leave them alone, very
seldom do they take one off. Go figure. RANDY
I used to offer the type like Randy uses and
the plastic hose cuff. Seems people always
wanted whichever one was not on the vac they
pulled up to. Rather than move their car to a
vac with their preferred hose end they would
walk over and try to swap them but they always
left one off. I have consolidated to only
using one type of hose end now. SOAPY
Stick some strobe lights in there aiming right
at them. Those things are irritating and about
impossible to do anything if it is dark enough
SSCWN Editor chimes in: Strobe
lights aren’t just for discos. In fact,
they are effective ways to thwart and
temporarily disable potential robbers.
Why? According to HowStuffWorks.
com, strobe lights cause disorientation
by overloading a person’s visual system.
“The lens of your eye focuses an image
of the world on the retina, a dense
collection of light-perceiving cells
called photoreceptors. Once the image
is taken and converted to an electrical
impulse, the optic nerve transmits it to
the brain’s visual cortex, which interprets
the pictures. The brain has a limited rate
or frequency by which it can receive
and process visual information. If visual
information arrives faster than the brain
can process it, then the person becomes
temporarily incapacitated. The frequency
required to overwhelm the brain is about
7 to 15 hertz [source: Rubtsov].”
The right light sight Bay
I have the option to mount cameras on my light poles or in each bay. From
experience, would it be better to mount the cameras on the perimeter
light poles in the bays? One of my concerns about mounting cameras in
the bays is that the lens will frequently need cleaning. Additionally, if I do
mount them in the bay what is the best placement? 1CARWASH1
I have both. Two per bay on opposite corners
plus on building and light posts. You can never
have two many ... I’m a 4 s/s and 1 auto with 32
Don’t mount them too high up or you’ll be
seeing the tops of heads instead of faces, and you
won’t be able to see license plates.
Mine are mounted in the corners of bays and
I wipe them off maybe once every two months.
I have them pointed toward the meter boxes/
timers so I can tell if the power is on or if there
are any other issues.
Go 4K for sure. MCHAS
]Mine are up high in the corner of the bay near
the ceiling far diagonal corner from meter box.
Don’t seem to need wiping. EARL WEISS
46 • SUMMER 2020
Swivel it, just a little bit
On your high pressure guns, where are you guys installing
swivels? Between the boom end and the hose? Between the
hose end and the gun? Both locations? Neither? KLEANRIDE
End of the boom I have a 12” piece of hose
known as a swivel saver....I have one there connecting
a 12” hose to the main HP hose. Have
another connecting main HP gun hose to the gun.
Total 2 swivels in each bay. FREEMAN
I used to do the two swivels. I had two upper
ones start to leak in the span of a couple days
and didn’t have any spares, so I took them out
until my order came in. I can’t tell the difference
between the ones with two and the ones with
one swivel at the gun, and I do a lot more turning
around while cleaning bays than customers
do washing ... if I were to run just one swivel
I’d put it at the boom between the bay hose and
swivel saver. They last a lot longer there without
the wear from being pulled on sideways like they
do at the gun, plus they get really beat up and
ugly at the gun. I just use a brass Adams swivel
at the gun. There’s probably something better,
but I take the Adams apart and put marine grade
wheel bearing grease in it and they last a couple
years and swivel easily. MEP001
I run 2 swivels on EVERYTHING. @ the boom
and @ the gun/brush CAR_WASH_GUY
Off of my boom swivel we had a 7’ - 3/8” hose,
on the end of that hose we have 3/8” ball bearing
swivel with a 3/8” coupler and off of that we have
a 12’ - 3/8” hose with another 3/8” ball bearing
swivel at the gun. The ball bearing swivels last
a long, long time, we very seldom ever have to
replace one. RANDY
Swivel at the end of boom and at the gun for
me. In the freeze states the boom swivel is the
first place to freeze and they will start to leak no
matter what brand I use. SOAPY
I have a swivel between 12” hose and main hose,
and another between hose and gun… BIGJWS
The case of the soap in the HP rinse
THE CASE: Car wash owner Davidson noticed he was getting what looked to be soap in the
HP rinse in one of his bays. What was causing this? How should it be remedied? And, why was
it just happening in one bay? The following solutions were suggested: Maybe a bad solenoid if
your soap is gravity fed into your HP line like mine is? Maybe the solenoid is hung open? NOOB
I have a multi compartment tank and found the
seal between compartments was no longer good..
If no solenoid issue and you have this setup . Fill
the rinse compartment and empty soap side and
see if any water leaks through. EARL WEISS
Take solenoid apart and use a can of air on the
components. Usually we have found a small piece
of junk inside which was the issue. ROZ
The least likely thing would be the high pressure
hose trapping some soap and releasing it on rinse.
I’ve seen that happen a number of times. MEP001
AND, WHAT DID IT TURN
OUT TO BE? ACCORDING
TO DAVIDSON, IT WAS ...
Debris in the solenoid!
Anyone have an easier way to remove the vac stickers so they
can be replaced? I have Goo Gone, gas, a heat gun, torch. Mineral
spirits and an eraser wheel for my drill. I’m about 3 hours into 1 vac
and half way to go! What’s the secret? ULTRA SHINE
Heat gun and a paint scraper with lots of spare
blades worked best for me. Then Goo Gone to
cut the residue. Then a rubdown with some diluted
Clean Wall. KLEAN RIDE
I use a propane torch to get it started and spray
brake cleaner behind the decal to loosen the glue.
The only decals I have on my vacuums are the
price decals, somehow the customers seem to be
able to find them without the decals. RANDY
It depends on the decal. Paint stripper will eat
right through a Lexan decal but not a Mylar one.
For those you pretty much have to use a heat gun
and peel or scrape it. I use 3M adhesive cleaner
to remove the residue - I find it best to wet the
adhesive with the cleaner, wait about 30 seconds
and scrape it carefully with a sharp razor blade.
If you’re careful you won’t scratch the stainless.
It’s pretty quick and the cleaner is very low fume.
You don’t have to get the adhesive completely
off, it just needs to be smooth, then use a very
mild soapy water to apply the new one. You don’t
want it so soapy that the decal slides around or it
will interfere with adhesion. MEP001
I use a heat gun to remove the vinyl part and
for the leftover glue I smear on Gojo Original
formula hand cleaner; it’s like a white jelly. Let
that sit a half hour then easily scrape glue off
with a razor blade. Wipe the razor blade clean on
a paper towel. Very easy and no harsh chemicals.
I’ve inhaled enough solvents! WAXMAN
We use a heat gun for the decal removal and
then 3M adhesive remover for the glue. The adhesive
remover works great, but it costs about
$50 for a quart can. I purchase it at an automotive
paint supply store locally. MIKEMPLS
Just tried Citristrip in aerosol. Amazing stuff.
Peeled the sticker. Then sprayed this and let it sit
for about 20 min. Took a rag with acetone and
wiped it away. ULTRA SHINE
SUMMER 2020 • 47
TRICKS OF THE
Open for business,
but cover your face
So I just read that our local city department of health has nearly
convinced our city council to pass a “Mandatory Mask Ordinance”.
Reason being...they think mask-wearing is so efficacious that by imposing
this on its citizenry we will spare so many from contracting COVID-19 I
guess? We aren’t given the details of this “spike in COVID-19”. We are
just to trust that these people know best but anyhow ...enough of that.
I feel as a business owner I have no right to “police” my customers as
to whether they are wearing a mask or not. (I have a dog wash room
& I can’t imagine telling a customer seeking my business services &
then telling them they can’t patronize us because they don’t want to
wear a mask!) From what I understand, we are not to provide services
to customers who are not wearing a mask? Is that how mask ordinances
work not having read what may be coming down the pike yet since this is
still just rumored to be coming soon?
If so, I almost feel like shutting down my business again as I was forced
to do 39 days because my business was deemed “non-essential” because
for example...my security cameras late night right now show that my
teenaged customers who love my car wash are all at the wash happily
washing away none wearing a mask and so I am going to be expected
to police them and kick them out if they don’t have a face mask on if this
ordinance is hoisted upon us?
I don’t want to lose the revenue if I shut myself down but I’m the type of
person who when an ordinance is put forth; I will comply 100% but since I
don’t agree w/ this one, is that my only option...shut myself down? (during
the 39 days lockdown I kept 100% closed whereas many self serves in town
bucked the order and stayed open...I followed the spirit of the order and
stayed closed but if in a few days the city says we are under a Mandatory
Mask Ordinance, I wonder how you would react? CARL
What I posted:
Per Order of the Mayor: FACE MASKS RE-
QUIRED WHILE ON THE PREMISES
All employees and visitors must wear face coverings
while on the premises, except:
When alone or with members of their
household in a car wash bay
When maintaining a consistent separation
of six feet or more MEP001
You need to read the ordinance. Posting the
signs may be all you need to do. EARL WEISS
I like the signage idea. Also - if customers are
alone in the bay, which is probably a pretty good
chunk of self serve users, probably no need to enforce.
If other people wearing masks keeps ME
from getting it, I’m all for it and will participate
as well. Bit I think distance is the key here and
what you want to be clear on. WASHNSHINE
I’m not familiar with what type of wash you
There will be mud
Anyone have advice on how to get the mud to slide
out of the backend, when dumped? SOONERMAJIC
Shovel and hoe BOYWONDER
A Ford starter with an offset weight on the
shaft on the underside of the tank. MEP001
The guy I bought my Ring-O-Matic from put
a sheet of Aluminum on the bottom. 98% slides
right out! CAR_WASH_GUY
Ring-O-Matic makes an air bladder that goes
in the bottom that is supposed to break the mud
up. You can get a shaker that vibrates that will
help. Even with a trailer that lifts to almost vertical
some mud still sticks... SOAPY
48 • SUMMER 2020
operate and how often you have employees onsite.
If you are a SS and IBA site you are a vending
machine business. Is the city going to mandate
that customers wear a mask while using a soda
machine? Does the soda vending company have
to enforce this ordinance?
Put up signs and don’t worry much about it
until the EVIL code enforcement officer comes
knocking on your door ERIC H
We’ve been mandated by the state to wear
masks. We are conducting business as usual, no
masks. We are outside, we are not within 6’ of
anyone so we aren’t wearing masks and we are
usually gone by the time any customers come
in. I think the mask thing is getting a little over
blown. I have to laugh when I see people driving
on the freeway wearing a mask. RANDY
We do have a sign now but the challenge is if
[mask-wearing] customers will complain if other
customers are not wearing one. CHEESETRAP
I’ve got a 1000T that I just put in a piece of
the wall board from farmtek. It’s not perfect but
much better than before. Before this I had started
putting cheap plastic sheeting down on the floor
and everything will come out, but it’s a pain to
get it spread out by yourself. It worked great just a
pain when you have 4 or 5 loads at one wash. PCB
Get a roll of plastic from the hardware store.
Cut it to fit the bottom. Lay it on the bottom
then add the mud. Slides right out. New sheet for
each load. COPPERGLOBE
Our customers don’t read any of our other
signs, so I think we’ll skip the additional signage.
We don’t wear masks, and neither do 99% of our
customers. I (personally) think it’s silly to require/
wear them in a carwash environment. SRR5008
The majority of mine are wearing masks, mainly
when they first show up and get change, but
they’re usually off by the time they’re in a bay
washing. I put the one sign on the door by the
changer more to cover myself than anything else.
It’s just a printed sheet of paper laminated with
clear packing tape. MEP001
I have no signs up, 1 sanitizer station next to
the changer that has had the same cartridge since
march. A mandate from the governor is not a law
and not enforceable. SWAMPDONKEY
SSCWN EDITOR CHIMES IN:
The more mud, the merrier? The
sport of Mud Bogging is gaining
in popularity throughout the
United States and Canada, now is
considered a multi-million dollar sport
and pastime. Mud Bogging, in which
a vehicle (an atv, truck, motorcycle,
you name it) is driven through mud
puddles, pits, paths and mud-flooded
fields. There are competitions
throughout the year and there is
even now a channel dedicated to the
activity called Mud Truck Television.
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SUMMER 2020 • 49
TRICKS OF THE
The 7-bay SS that I’ve just finished renovating came with
a manager when I purchased it. In addition to mine, he
takes care of two other SS washes in our city.
In addition to trash and wash downs, he can make most
repairs and does a great job of monitoring all of the wash
functions for me. He is honest, almost to a fault, no drugs or
alcohol, communicates well and is very reliable. Problem is:
he’s just turned 60 and the 365 day a year grind is starting
to wear him down. I’m starting to see some slacking off and
He’s typically at my wash 2 hours on weekdays and 2-3
hours on weekend days. He’s doing basically the same time
at the other two washes.
I’ve never had a problem giving him a day off, even
though he rarely asks, but I’m kicking around the idea of
offering him a scheduled day off in the middle of each
week when business is really slow. Either I’ll clean the wash
on that day, or I can pay someone a few bucks to do it. Is
anyone else doing this with their SS helpers? Or is anybody
doing the 7-day-a-week schedule with a week or two of vacation
every year for their helpers?
I’d hate to lose this guy and have to start over with an
unknown, so just wanted to get some ideas from the group.
I’ve been trying to give myself the same sort of
break - fortunately my job has extremely flexible
hours, and I’ve been planning to take Tuesdays
and Wednesdays off. I’ll probably have to hire a
regular clean-up person for the car wash and focus
on repairs and money handling myself. I’ve
been doing the 7-day-a-week schedule thing myself,
and it definitely gets old. MEP001
Wednesday is probably my least busy day on
average. Tuesday is probably second least. That’s
just a gut feeling. GREG PACK
Over the years, the biggest issue was someone
dumping a large object on the weekend, with
no one coming in to haul it away. But since I removed
the dumpster, that problem went away.
At least so far.
...Sort of contrary to other posts, I have someone
who cleans up the wash Mon-Fri and has
weekends off. Weekends with family are very important
to him. And he has a regular job also with
It works well. The wash holds up surprisingly
well even with the two busiest days having no
one come in. SEQUOIA
We have a guy that spends 1-2 hours each
morning (M-F) at our wash - strictly cleaning,
we do all of our own repairs. My brother and I
alternate each evening and spend an hour there
in the evenings. Our guy has the weekends off,
and again my brother and I alternate the morning
and evening visit(s) (Sat-Sun). If we are out of
town for a weekend, our guy covers for us and we
pay him extra (a bonus, if you will) for doing the
weekends. That seems to work well for us. Gives
him a break (he offered to work 7 days a week,
initially) and he is willing to cover for us a couple
weekends a year because he isn’t burnt out from
doing it 7 days a week. SRR5008
I would give him 2 consecutive days off , like
However, I’m not sure if you can fix a bad attitude
with a couple days off per week. He may
just be burnt out and you need someone new for
the job. Honesty is great, but keeping proper security
protocols in place is better.
I’m at my wash 6 days/week now. I worked 7
days/week for the first 10 years, then decided I
needed a day to myself. WAXMAN
Our cleanup guy works 4 days a week, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. He gets paid
$19.50 an hour. He cleans the lot, dumps the garbage
cans and hoses out the bays. If there is an
equipment problem he calls. If we want to take
a week off and go on holiday he’s always willing
to take on more hours, he’s 84 years old, but
you’d think he was only 70. We go to the wash
the days that he’s not there, pull the cash, meet
the garbage truck with all the extra garbage and
do whatever repairs that are needed.
...We get dumped on almost every day, there’s
no way we couldn’t go to the car wash every day
and clean up, the household garbage is getting
out of hand since the pandemic started. The car
wash seems to be a transfer site for the dump…
I have a father & son that work for me. Father is
a jack of all trades and son (20 yrs old) is just an
extra pair of hands for the dad and he (dad) asked
me if I could do him the favor of allowing him to
work and he has worked out pretty good. Together
they work M-F and the son works weekends
one location and my brother in law steps in at
my other location. I have 10 rental properties as
well and allocate their cost across the washes and
rental properties so it has worked out really well
Father makes $19/hr. electrician by trade but
knows plumbing, a/c, and welding. Son I pay $10/
hr. because he’s a millennial and well....enough
At one location I always get 1 or 2 people approaching
me about helping around the lot for
extra cash and they all seem to be 60+ yrs. old
and I have my doubts if they can handle the grind
of taking out the trash on a daily basis. RFREEMAN
I have 3 part time Attendants. We have an attendant
on duty 8 a.m. till 6 p.m./7 days a week
rain or shine. WELL worth it.. no messes for over
5 minutes! CARWASHBOY
...I pay my 2 guys around $40k/yr & they work
6 days/week 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.(ish). They also
pull in another $15k + in tips!
Like you guys, NO WAY i could be unattended
on the weekend. If I could figure out a way to
stop the dumpers though... SOONERMAJIC
50 • SUMMER 2020
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tours upstate Self serves
SUMMER 2020 • 53
Once known as a rural farming
village, Voorheesville was
incorporated in 1869, and is now
a thriving and quaint village.
The first thing I noticed about Advanced Car
Wash was its sheer beauty. If Main Street in
Disney World or the set of a romantic comedy
were to have a car wash, this would be it. It is
bursting with charm and perfection.
From overflowing flowering baskets succinctly
pruned, to shining signage, to even
awnings that would rival the pristineness of
old school New York City aristocracy, it’s as
if the car wash is not even real. As I pull in, I
notice the shade trees and a friendly greeter
who works at the car wash during the day.
That greeter is the owner’s nephew, Chris.
Timm, who is waiting there too, is excited for
me to tour the property because it is one of
the most beautiful times of year, thanks to the
The car wash is in “small town America”
– in fact, it is so quaint, when a truck drove
by with a barking dog riding shotgun, Timm
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knew who the dog was from the bark alone. He
also said his favorite thing about being located in
a small town is the people appreciating your business
and they way he has taken care of it and cares
for it every day. Another draw, he added, is the minimal
amount of abuse and vandalism. “People appreciate
small businesses in small towns,” he said.
Timm, who does all of the maintenance on the
equipment himself, said his favorite thing about
owning the car wash it is watching everything
work correctly and seeing the customers enjoying
the wash. “I also like seeing their pride in their vehicle
when it’s all done,” he said.
The car wash is celebrating its 30th anniversary,
a milestone Timm is celebrating with a 30% off
deal to his loyalty customers. Timm said he recently
upgraded the car wash with new LED lighting
and new self serve equipment. It is so bright in the
bays now… I want our customers to feel safe and
secure and be able to see their clean cars.
As for his advice to others, Timm said keeping
the property clean is key. “If your car wash is not
clean, people will get the impression that their car
won’t get clean. I am happy to go to the wash every
day and clean it up. It is part of the job and I
am happy to do it.”
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SUMMER 2020 • 59
Extremely rural, Delanson was founded
in 1893, it was known as a railroad town.
Next was my stop to an even smaller town.
With roads stretched out for miles, I got to see
amber waves of grain, fields upon fields, zero
billboards and hardly a chain store or restaurant.
The Ultimate Wishy Wash sits beautifully
off the road. A pond sits to its right with cattails
and bathing birds. The owner, Spiro Kagas
is everything a hands-on owner should be. He
not only posts his personal cell phone number
on his website and wash, he also answers
his phone each and every time it rings. In fact,
when I called him and said I wanted to tour his
wash, he answered his phone while out camping
with his family. Then, a few weeks later,
when I called with some follow-up questions,
he answered his phone while he was about to
get his hair cut.
The wash is unique in that it not only has one
regular-sized self serve bay, it also has one with
14 foot high clearance for large trucks. And,
when I visited on a hot and sunny day in July,
along with noticing the large bay, I also noticed
the 80s rock music enlivening the property.
Also, with flowers flowing out of each window
box, the wash seemed like something my son
would enjoy if it were part of a Matchbox vil-
60 • SUMMER 2020
SUMMER 2020 • 61
lage. The wash also has a sparkling clean pet wash
and it also offers full service cleanings.
Spiro, who also owns a diner called Mike’s Diner
in Schenectady, seems really proud of being a car
wash owner. “I love my job,” he said. “I like the
people I meet, they seem so appreciative that I offer
them a large bay for the larger vehicles.” He
took over the diner from his parents and he credits
his work there with preparing him for owning a
car wash. “Working at and owning a diner is hard
work. And so is owning a self serve. I know it isn’t
food, but I view each car wash customer the same
way in that I would want them to have a great
meal at the diner, I also want them to have a great
car washing experience.”
Growing up with a love of cars which he would
always take to a self serve, he saw that the Ultimate
Wishy Wash was for sale back in 1977. I
thought about the fact that a lot of people out
here in the country need a good car wash, the
same kind I would want for my own vehicles, and
I felt like I could provide that for them. Spiro, who
lives about 10 minutes away from Delanson, said
the nearest competition was also 10 minutes away.
“There was a need for a wash, but I also knew it
would help bring in money, and I knew I could
handle the hard work involved.”
Spiro said over the years the car wash has been
a nice cushion as his diner was hit hard by the
recession in the last decade. However, he said he
doesn’t recommend owning a car wash if you’re
not willing to put in the hard work.
I am either at the wash all the time helping out
the customers, or watching the security cameras.
He said he doesn’t discourage “mudders” and will
never turn a customer away no matter how much
mud they need to wash off. “We are out in the
country, it goes with the territory.” He also said
he mind is constantly revolving on how he can
improve the wash. “You have to put in the money
you make if you want to make more money,”
he said. “And I am always thinking about, ‘What
would my customers like to see here? What is
something that would help them to have a good
experience at the wash?”
62 • SUMMER 2020
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SUMMER 2020 • 63
The Hoffman Family
With four colleges nearby,
Wynantskill, founded in the
late 18th century, now is
somewhat of a bustling town.
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My third stop on the tour was in a busier area
with suburban neighborhoods as well as retail
stores and eateries. Its location, with Siena College
and Hudson Valley Community College, nearby,
as well as the up-and-coming and also hip city of
Troy, New York, offers Hoffman Car Wash a lot
of traffic. Located off a busy road, its neighbors
are homes and office buildings, and its property is
sort of triangular shaped. As I approach the property,
I see that an employee is leaf blowing. His
name, Ethan, was given to me by Tom Hoffman
Jr., the CEO/co-owner of Hoffman Development
Corporation, a company which operates 22 Hoffman
Car Washes and 9 Jiffy Lube locations in and
around upstate New York. His family has been in
the car washing business since 1965, and when I
asked Tom if he had a good self serve for me to
visit, he said the one in Wynantskill was his first
choice. The wash was purchased in 1981 and at
the time was a four-bay self serve. “We added two
more bays in ‘81 and then in the ‘90’s converted
two bays to in-bay automatics.” Recent $1m plus
renovations to the self serve were done in 2017.”
Today it has a beautiful upstairs above the self
serve bays which could honestly be rented out as
an apartment. Dormer windows adorn the second
floor giving the wash an overall neighborhood feel.
In fact, the whole establishment, complete with a
wooden picket fence and horizontal, and shingle
and shake siding make the car wash feel as if it
is one of the homes on Whiteview Road. “This is
one of our most rural locations and has long been
my father’s favorite. The landscaping at all of our
locations is our trademark. Curb appeal is so important
and that’s why we invest so much and so
often in our facilities to keep them up to date,”
Tom said. “Attractive facilities will bring customers
in and quality equipment, friendly staff and a great
experience will keep them coming back.”
Ethan says he enjoys working at a Hoffman’s
having spent years at a dairy farm, he knows about
hard work and appreciates the fact that his hard
work is appreciated. I get a tour of the premises
and notice the brick inside of the bays right away.
In fact, right below the menu in Bay 2 there is a
portion of brick jutting out to almost resemble a
fireplace— another nod to that at-home feeling.
The wash is also pristine, the trashcans are empty,
and customers are vacuuming their cars out.
As I go to leave, Ethan goes to check out one of
the vacuum stations. I cannot help but notice the
attention to detail with the landscaping. According
to Tom, that is something they are passionate about
at all of their facilities. “Attractive facilities will bring
customers in and quality equipment, friendly staff
and a great experience will keep them coming back.”
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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.
Well, if being a terrible driver is
a crime, then this guy should be
locked up for life.
Business owner Eric Rice said he never saw anything
like it when on June 6 a crew cab Dodge
diesel pickup was pulling in and he was clearly
having some trouble, he told Central Oregonian.
“We could see he was getting his tire up on the
guide rail and bouncing around a little bit.”
Meanwhile, according to surveillance footage, a
Ford pickup that had just exited the car wash had
parked in front of the exit at an angle. The driver,
the story stated, had gotten out to fold the rearview
mirrors back out and examine his freshly washed rig.
Meanwhile, behind the Dodge, a Jeep had pulled up
and was waiting its turn to enter the car wash.
“Something happened,” Rice said in the story. “I
don’t know if (the man with the Dodge) lost his
cool or had a medical issue, but he ended up putting
it in reverse and full throttle – and we know it
was full throttle because the truck moved very fast
and the tires were peeling out.”
Then, the Dodge slammed into the Jeep and
started pushing the vehicle backward, even
though its brakes were locked, and moved it
about 6 to 8 feet. “Then all of the sudden, the
Dodge (driver) puts it in drive and is peeling out
like he is power braking it,” he said in the story.
“He must have had one foot on the brake and one
foot on the throttle. Now, his tires are peeling out
going forward, smoke is coming off the tires —
and he lets off the brakes and the truck just takes
off forward into the building.”
That impact still failed to stop the Dodge which
rolled over the curb and onto the street where it
t-boned a passing Ford flatbed truck. Now there
are three damaged vehicles!
“By the time I got there, the Ford (in front of the
car wash exit) and the Jeep were gone,” Rice said,
“and the Dodge and the Ford were getting towed.”
Sgt. James Peterson said in the story that the driver
of the Dodge was not believed to be impaired in
Does anyone know what Justin Bieber was
doing during the early morning hours of July 23?
Or if he was anywhere near Ault, Colorado. Of course, I am just
kidding and Justin if you’re reading this, please don’t be mad.
You have to admit that the person pictured here does look a lot
like the Baby, baby, baby singer.
According to The Greeley Tribune, Ault police are seeking the
public’s help to identify a suspect in an overnight burglary at a
carwash. Around 1 a.m., a suspect or suspects damaged the
car wash building, as well as equipment inside the building.
An undisclosed amount of money was also stolen. A security
camera captured images of a suspect and a suspect vehicle,
which appears to be a Honda Odyssey.
any way or intoxicated at the time of the incident.
He was cited for careless driving. That’s it?
The car wash was totaled, though and Rice said
that the insurance funds will take a few months.
Two kids who apparently can’t get
a job, thought they could get away
with stealing from a woman’s
In Prairie Grove, Arkansas, police received a call
from a woman on June 3 who said someone had
broken into her vehicle and stole folding chairs,
DVDs, and a gym bag filled with medicine and
equipment. There were also some soda cans left on
the ground (note that this last part comes into play
in solving the crime). Now, what does this have to
do with car washing? Well, it turns out that sometime
during the night, a police officer recalled seeing
two males at a nearby car wash, according to
the Washington County Enterprise-Leader.
According to the police report, the surveillance
video from the car wash showed two males stumbling
around at the car wash and showed they
purchased two Sprites and a Coca-Cola drink
from the vending machine, which (a ha!) were
the same type of soda cans found at the victim’s
house, the story said. Police were able to identify
the suspects in the car wash video as Charles
Edwards, 19, and Kayden Williamson, 19. Apparently
high-sugar sodas aren’t the only thing they
were ingesting, because when police questioned
both suspects separately they admitted to not remembering
much that night due to drugs and/or
alcohol, the story stated.
It’s not just the name of the town,
but also a state of being for a woman
who dodged a kidnapping in Liberty,
Missouri, back in June according to Fox 4 News.
A 61-year-old woman said she was abducted
while at the Dr. Spotless Car Wash around 3
p.m. on June 17. She said, according to the story,
that she was taken by vehicle to a second location
where she was assaulted. She was then dropped
back off at the car wash.
Thanks to surveillance footage, the man was
SUMMER 2020 • 67
caught! Police released photos of the suspect and
vehicle they were searching for in connection to
the incident. Just over an hour later, the department
said they had their man, later identified
as Terry E. Campbell, in custody, the story said.
Campbell, 35, was charged with first-degree kidnapping,
first-degree robbery, first-degree sexual
abuse, first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle
and two counts of armed criminal action.
I thought the two teens leaving
behind soda cans with their DNA
were the winners of the Dumbest
Criminals Award for this issue,
but no, these two men instead have earned that
honor. According to a June 8 Champion Newspaper
story, two men suspected of burglarizing and
vandalizing a car wash in Yucaipa, California, were
arrested in the parking lot of the Home Depot
store in Chino by the Chino Police Department.
Zachary Thomas Dunmore, 34, and Paul Michael
Kolacki, 31, were booked into the West Valley Detention
Center in Rancho Cucamonga on charges
of commercial burglary, conspiracy and vandalism.
“It was discovered that on Wednesday, June 3, between
3:43 a.m. and 4:17 a.m., a 2003 black Chevy
Tahoe arrived at the car wash,” Deputy M. Miller
said in the story. “Video surveillance footage revealed
that two males attempted to pry open the steel door
to the business using a tow bar, causing damage to
the door but were unsuccessful in gaining entry.”
The two same two men returned to the car wash
at 3:49 a.m. the next day in the same vehicle, but
had a ramming device attached to a rear trailer
hitch. Surveillance video showed the Tahoe ramming
the steel door, and two men stealing $2,000
in coins and disabling the surveillance system prior
to driving away, according to the story.
When police noticed a vehicle in the parking
lot of a nearby Home Depot, they knew they had
their suspects. Why? Well, for one, it was odd that
a vehicle was parked at a Home Depot at 3:30 a.m.
in the morning. And, two, the vehicle still had the
ramming device attached to the rear trailer hitch.
Okay, I take back the accolade I
gave to the criminals in the earlier
story with the Tahoe. Instead, I bequeath
this next guy with the title
of “Dumbest Criminal.”
Let’s start with the fact that his getaway stealthiness
was more Mr. Magoo than the Fast and the
Furious. In fact, his attempt to flee the crime scene
was so extremely short-lived, it earned this amazing
headline in The Age out of Brisbane, Australia: $320k
Porsche gone in 60 seconds, caught in 500 metres.
Last May in Brisbane, an opportunistic thief
was arrested just one-third of a mile from a West
68 • SUMMER 2020
Melbourne car wash where he allegedly stole a
$320,000 Porsche 911 GTS, the story said. The
vehicle “has a top speed of 310km/h but barely
got out of second gear during a bungled getaway.”
The owner of the Porsche said he was drinking
coffee while the folks at the full serve Magic Hand
car wash were doing their magic. A car wash employee
was apparently confused and handed the
keys to the alleged thief after complimenting him
on the luxury sports car, the story said. “Not lacking
in self-confidence, the man allegedly told the
attendant, ‘If you work hard, you could have a car
like this,’ before turning left onto the street.
Wow, way to be way too arrogant. I would also
like to make an editor’s note that this has never happened
with my 2015 Town and Country minivan
with toys spilling out of the door jambs. What gives?
Police immediately saw the gleaming red
Porsche just three blocks away, the story said. The
alleged thief rammed several cars in a desperate
bid to escape. But, it didn’t work. Police were able
to catch the driver and arrest him on charges of
driving while disqualified, driving under the influence
of drugs and two counts of drug possession.
The incident is understood to have been captured
by closed-circuit cameras at the car wash,
the story said.
Meanwhile, the Porsche owner says the repair
bill for his car is expected to exceed $100,000
Officers in Woodland, California, were able to
stop a burglary in progress at the Sundance Car
Wash last May. According to the Sacramento Bee,
officers received notice that a burglary alarm had
been tripped at the Sundance Car Wash around 11
p.m. Video surveillance at the car wash caught two
intruders on camera, one was up on the roof and
the other was inside.
Officers soon arrived on the scene
and surrounded the car wash.
Li Ming, 55, was uncooperative with officers and
was subsequently arrested for obstruction and Anthony
Winger, 33, was arrested and later booked on
suspicion of burglary. It is unclear which one was
on the roof, but police believe Winger was the one
who cut camera cables (apparently not the right cables)
and ransacked the inside of the car wash as he
searched for items to steal, the story said.
They are both booked at the Yolo County Jail,
giving an ironic new twist to the viral acronym
in that yes, You Only Live Once, but how about:
OYGCYSFARG? Which stands for: Once You Get
Caught You Should Find A Real Job.
Move it or lose it I will lose it!
In a case of spoiled-adult-syndrome, a man in
Palm Beach, Florida, made it very clear that he
didn’t learn about being patient in kindergarten.
According to The Palm Beach Post, while fueling
his work truck at a gas station, a man said he was
involved in a physical altercation. He said the trailer
on his truck was blocking the exit to a gas station’s
car wash. A motorist had just gone through the car
wash and asked the man to move. The victim said
he told the motorist that he’d move as soon as his
vehicle was fueled, the story said. This apparently
did not go over well with the motorist who then
began cursing and demanding he move. “Having
reached his verbal vs. physical threshold,” the story
said, “the motorist punched the man in the face.”
The man then moved his truck and let the motorist
pass. The incident was caught on camera and police
were able to get the assailant’s license plate number.
Welp, at least they’re being honest.
After a couple were caught red-handed robbing a
car wash, they pleaded that they needed the money
for food and for their drug addiction. Don’t these
cops understand that drugs are expensive nowadays?
Geesh. According to the Times Herald, investigators
believe they have caught at least two people
responsible for a number of car wash robberies
in the Fairview Township, Pennsylvania, area.
Justin William Kline, 30, has been accused of
smashing open coin machines at the Community
Car Wash back in February. And Amy Jo Kemmerer,
33, and a third person named “Jay,” were caught
on surveillance cameras parking a 2005 Ford Focus
during the robbery, which was missing a rear driver
side hubcap. They all then smashed open coin
machines between 2:34 a.m. and 3:09 a.m.
Fairview Township police investigated the theft
and damages and found that police in Butler Township
had a photograph of a Ford missing a rear
driver side hubcap that was taken weeks earlier
due to a drug overdose incident. A few weeks later
on March 7, police in Old Forge stopped the Ford,
operated by Kemmerer. Police ran the vehicle and
found that Kemmerer and Kline were wanted by
Hanover Township police for a different coin machine
break-in, which this time took place at the
Sans Souci Car Wash on March 5.
After they were jailed, Kemmerer told investigators
they needed money to, “support their drug
addictions and food, and Kline claimed he did not
remember, only admitting to stealing ‘pennies’
from car washes,” the complaint says.
Kline and Kemmerer are facing related charges
in county court for the alleged theft at the car
wash and they are facing open charges for the car
wash thefts in Wright Township. No word on the
third suspect named “Jay.”
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This guy is either really dumb, or
has extremely bad luck.
Or both. The owner of the Grand Prix Car Wash
in Johnston County, North Carolina, reported that
someone spray painted graffiti in a wash bay and
on a trash can on the morning of June 22, 2020,
according to the Johnston County Report. Security
cameras at the car wash captured the 3:32 a.m. incident
and also the suspect who allegedly stole copper
wiring valued at $10. Cameras also captured
the license plate number on the suspect’s car.
Now, here’s where it gets ridiculous. “While
deputies were on the scene taking a report about
the 26-day-old incident, the suspect happened to
return to the car wash driving the same vehicle
with the same license plate number captured in
the security camera video.”
You cannot make this stuff up.
Deputies, according to the story, approached
Christian Hunter Sandridge who allegedly denied
any involvement and requested to see the security
video with his own two eyes. Maybe he was buying
some time while thinking of a getaway plan? But,
nope, he just kept digging a larger and larger hole of
criminal behavior. Instead of asking for a lawyer, he
asked if he could go to his car and get a bottle of water
before watching the incriminating video footage.
Officers reportedly carefully watched Sandridge
who proceeded to go to his car and retrieve a plastic
bag which he then tossed in the trash. Thinking
things were a bit fishy, deputies retrieved the bag
and inside they found a small amount of suspected
methamphetamines and marijuana.
Sandridge was then handcuffed and transported
to the Johnston County Jail where he was charged
with possession of methamphetamines, possession
of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia,
misdemeanor larceny and injury to property.
I am no criminal expert, but maybe
it was the blue hair that made
him easy to catch and identify?
Trevon Charles Brooks, 27, of Lusby, Maryland,
was arrested for the shooting of two people at the
Extreme Clean Car Wash, according to Southern
Maryland News Net.
The story said that on June 14, 2020, at approximately
10:25 a.m., police, fire and rescue personnel
responded to the report of a shooting at the car wash.
Police determined that two male victims, ages
21 and 31 years old, had been shot while at the car
wash. A witness who was in the parking lot of the
car wash at the time of the shooting told police
that prior to the shooting “an unknown male approached
him and began to argue with him about
gang affiliations due to the fact he (the witness)
was in possession of a red bandana.” Following
the argument, the male then left the area driving
a white Nissan Sentra, which had been parked in
the parking lot of the car wash, the story said.
The witness described the male as an African
American with blue hair. About 25 minutes later,
the same blue-haired male returned to the area in
his vehicle, reached out of the front driver’s side
window and began to shoot at a crowd of people.
Thankfully, the incident was captured by video
security cameras at the car wash, and a sheriff’s
deputy who was familiar with the male identified
him as Trevon Charles Brooks. Brooks as it turns
out, had quite the rap sheet.
Police located the same white Nissan Sentra
described by the witness in the parking lot of A
to Z/Hertz Car Rentals. The owner of the rental
business told police he rented the Nissan Sentra to
a Jessica Rivers. The car rental owner said he was
familiar with Jessica and her boyfriend, Tre, due to
the fact they had rented vehicles from him previously
and that Tre had blue hair.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
Brooks, was charged with attempted 1st degree
murder (2 counts), assault 1st degree (2 counts),
assault 2nd degree (2 counts), reckless endangerment
(2 counts), handgun in a vehicle, loaded
handgun on a person and use of a firearm in the
commission of a felony/crime of violence.
And, from the land of Facebook, we have some happy endings!
Car wash owners were able to capture images of criminals in action and the criminals were apprehended
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7/21/2020 3:10:35 PM