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WINTER 2021 • 3


CONTENTS

Association Calendar

& News ......................................... 5

Note to Self

BY DEBRA GORGOS, EDITOR

Self Serve Snapshot ............... 10

Tips .............................................. 14

Around the Wash:

Insurance Issues

Over Ice ..................................... 18

Tricks of the Trade ............... 20

Small Business News

You Can Use .............................. 28

Industry Dirt ............................ 37

Extra! Extra! ............................. 40

Innovations ............................... 46

Fun & Games .......................... 48

Fill in the Blank ...................... 50

Cover Story ............................... 52

Darwin ........................................ 59

VOL. 49, NO. 1, WINTER 2021

Publisher Jackson Vahaly

Editor Debra Gorgos

Design Katy Barret-Alley

Editor Emeritus Jarret J. Jakubowski

Editor Posthumous Joseph J. Campbell

Editor Posthumous Julia E. Campbell

Self Serve Carwash News is published 4 times

per year and is independently owned by Jackson

Vahaly. Web address is www.sscwn.com.

All inquiries should be directed to:

Self Serve Car Wash News

110 Childs Ln., Franklin, TN 37067

jacksonv@sscwn.com

2021 has already been one heck of a year, hasn’t it? It’s only been

a few weeks and I already feel like putting on an eye mask and

sleeping until 2022. People are still angry, people are tired and some

miss the good old days of…2019.

Are you all sick of talking about politics? I feel as if our nation is

hurting and the days of sitting around the dinner table discussing

the news is over in a lot of households. I live in a house that is divided

politically and the past year has been interesting, to say the

least. After the holidays, I was in a post-festivities malaise, so my

family and I sort of looked around the table at each other, and we

impulsively decided to head down to New York City. We were able

to book a room right in Times Square, got in the minivan and drove

two hours into the Big Apple. It was January 1 so there was still

confetti on the streets. But other than colorful slips of tissue paper

lining the streets there were otherwise bare. Empty. Grey. Dark.

Stores were shuttered.

There were no lines. Broadway marquees

were stygian. We got right into

the Empire State Building and right

into the Museum of Natural History.

We were able to buzz right through

the mazed rope lines. But all in all it

was sad. It was a real wake-up call for

how much people and businesses are

struggling. It left me feeling sort of

“blah.” I have known for as long as I

could shop and order food the importance

of small businesses.

There was no wake-up call about how we

have to support small businesses now more than ever, but it really

hit home seeing the once bustling streets of New York City quiet,

empty and barren. In my first issue of Self Serve Car Wash News, the

cover story headline was, Are Self Serves Recession Proof? But who

the heck knew a pandemic was on its way? If the pandemic has not

affected you at all, then good for you! I have had sick family members

and friends who have been infected, and also lost their jobs.

The mental toll has been numbing. Here in New York some schools

are open, but so many things are closed. I am happy the car washes

are open and running. It is a resilient business industry that has survived

recessions and now a global-wide pandemic. I truly hope our

beautiful nation survives, too.

Thankfully, it looks like this pandemic is on its way out. Let’s slam

the door on it and tell it to never darken our doors again. A friend

of ours tested positive and she is not doing well. A schoolteacher,

who worked hard every day to give her students normalcy. It is sad.

I am sad.

Copyright 2021. 2 Dollar Enterprises/SSCWN. All Rights Reserved

4 • WINTER 2021


Note to Self

BY DEBRA GORGOS, EDITOR

Enough doom and gloom, anyone have any

good news to share?

Here’s a positive story out of Corsicana,

Texas. Jimmy Bates served as a submariner in

the Navy for almost 10 years. Then he got a

Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering

and got a job as a reliability engineer.

Bates told the Corsicana Daily Sun, “My career

was really taking a toll on me and my

family and I was gone all the time. I wanted

to start my own business locally and wanted

to create something unique in Corsicana.”

Bates took a year off and planned out his

small business: A flex-serve car wash including

a self serve and full-service option. His

business opened in January 2020, and then,

before the paint was fully dry, the pandemic

hit and with it, Bates’s plans, dreams and

income were stalled. But he didn’t give up.

Instead, he got smart.

“I was forced to be shut down for a short

period toward the end of March and I almost

lost my business before I could even get a

sign out front,” he said in the story. “It’s been

an uphill battle ever since. I went from having

a plan of aggressive growth and expansion

to just ‘surviving on the fly’ every night

while watching the news. I had to remind

myself that my business goals and milestones

couldn’t change. I just had to adjust timing

and get creative.”

And Jimmy’s Car Wash not only survived a

year of unrest and unknowns, he is now back

on track and looking to add improvements

to his wash. He said a lot of his business’s

success came down to the mission to serve

the customer.

“Basically, at Jimmy’s Car Wash, we aim to

suit every customer’s need. And if a customer

has a need we can’t meet, we gladly recommend

someone who can, even if it’s one

of our competitors,” he told the local newspaper.

“Of course, all the improvements have

occurred slower than originally planned because

of the times, but I’ll get there.”

That’s the attitude, Jimmy! And, welcome

to the self serve car washing family.

And, before I sign off, here’s a picture of

the family and I in front of an Empire State

Building greenscreen.

Until next time,

Debra

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SSCWN2019.indd 1

WINTER 4/15/192021 9:05 AM • 5


CALENDAR

This is normally the place

where we would list all of the

upcoming car wash events.

Considering everything is

so up in the air due to the

pandemic, we decided to

replace this section with

something that will put a smile

on your face.

Here’s a picture found

on Twitter of a

dog washing a car:

And here’s an old

newspaper ad from a

September 24, 1964,

issue of The Call of

Schuylkill Haven,

Pennsylvania:

Association News

International Carwash Association

The ICA remembers Hall of Famer Red Lewis

William “Red” Lewis left this world peacefully at

his home in the Town of Lawrence, Wisconsin, in the

early morning of January 7, 2021, at the age of 78, the

ICA announced.

Red Lewis started with nothing and turned hard

work into a true American success story, according to

his obituary. “A sales/delivery job at Green Bay Auto

Parts followed by a service writer position at Jepson

Chevrolet, along with driving a tow truck at night for

extra money, laid the foundation for Red’s amazing

‘Soggy Rags to Riches’ story. A timely introduction

from a co-worker created an opportunity at the local

PDQ Car Wash in Green Bay and by 1967 Red had

worked his way up to manager.”

In 1974 he purchased PDQ Car Wash and fueled

with innovative ideas and a passion for customer service,

Red seemingly worked without sleep and grew

his company to eight full-service car wash locations

in Northeastern Wisconsin, ranking PDQ in the top

20 car wash operations in the U.S. What was success

by any definition was merely a starting point for Red

Lewis, the obituary stated.

Red founded PDQ Manufacturing, Inc. in 1984

specializing in manufacturing touchless car washes

which spurred the acquisition of Pacifica, Inc. in 1989,

a New Zealand-based vehicle wash equipment manufacturing

company that shared Red’s vision for the

future. The invention of the Laserwash 4000 followed

and soon PDQ Manufacturing grew to become the

world’s largest touchless car wash manufacturer with

clients in more than 30 countries.

“The International Carwash Association bestowed

Red Lewis with the ultimate honor with his induction

into the Car Wash Hall of Fame in 2000. Many other

awards followed including the prestigious Free Enterprise

Award in 2017 presented by the Rotary Club of

Green Bay, celebrating Red’s innovation and extensive

philanthropy in the Green Bay area. However, the

award that touched Red the most was receiving the

Founders Award presented by Notre Dame de La Baie

Academy, formerly Premontre High School, in 2010.”

The obituary also stated that success never went to

Red Lewis’s head, instead he made sure it went to others.

He rewarded employees for helping to build PDQ

Manufacturing and gave generously and anonymously

to countless charities including our country’s veterans,

his alma mater Notre Dame del la Baie Academy,

Green Bay Boys & Girls Club, the Lac Baie Girl Scout

Council, Catholic Charities, Manna for Life Ministries,

NEW Zoo and St. Willebroad Parish to name but a few.

His special bond with young people will remain one

of his greatest achievements. More than 20,000 young

people owe their first job to Red Lewis and PDQ.

William “Red” Lewis is survived by his three children:

Becky (Pat) Lewis-Verheyden, Kelly Lewis and

Jon Lewis; his grandchildren, Kyle and Katy Verheyden;

sister, Durleen (Peter) Braasch; brother, Marlin

Lewis and sister, Shirley Fischer; numerous nieces and

nephews and their families. Red also leaves behind

thousands of close friends and business associates.

ICA announces new Pitch initiative.

“Get ready for their best pitch,” carwash.org

states, “Sit back, and let the game come to you!”

Pitch is bringing together some of the best

minds and most experienced leaders in the car

wash industry to bring forth new ideas for growing

your business and solving your toughest problems,

states it ICA.

With Pitch, hear from up to eight different

supplier experts in an online meeting with up

to 25 other car wash operators. ICA staff keeps

the meeting moving, allowing you to get a new

solution every ten minutes. Set aside just 90 minutes

for the meeting, and attend from anywhere

your screen allows, according to a statement.

Access is limited to qualified car wash operators.

ICA members receive preferred access. Complete

the form to request a seat for our next Pitch.

The next meeting is slated for February 23,

2021, from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Central.

Topics will cover:

• How can you effectively differentiate your car wash and promote your products?

• What products are customers responding to currently?

• How can you increase your revenues on a per-visit basis?

In case you missed it...

The ICA announced new dates for The Car Wash Show️ 2021.

The event will remain in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention

Center but will move to show dates of 15-17 November 2021.

The Westgate and Renaissance will remain the host hotels.

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WINTER 2021 • 7


Southwest Car Wash Association

SCWA announces 2021 Convention date change, CEO forum speaker

The SCWA announced the Board of

Directors voted to move the 2021 SCWA

Convention & Car Wash EXPO to June

9-11, 2021 at the Fort Worth Convention

Center.This decision to move the

dates from February 17-19 was made

after careful consideration of the current

COVID situation and evaluating the factors

that will exist over the next 60-90 days.

The SCWA Board believes that getting through the

winter months; the flu season; and rollout of the vaccine;

will provide a safer and larger attended event

for everyone to enjoy. See you in June!

Steve Forbes, Chairman of the Forbes media

empire will still be the 2021 keynote

speaker for the event.

Michael Dominguez, President

& CEO Associated Luxury Hotels

International (ALHI) Dominguez,

will serve as the CEO Forum speaker.

Dominguez brings an outstanding reputation

for helping companies and small

businesses achieve amazing customer service

and branding, the SCWA stated. “As the President

& CEO for Associated Luxury Hotels International

(ALHI), he leads a team of nearly 80 professionals

located among 26 offices across North America and

Europe, ALHI’s serves a membership group of hotels

that are Independent Hotels & Independent Brands

that are an exclusive luxury collection. Prior to joining

ALHI, Michael served in executive sales leadership

roles with MGM Resorts, Loews Hotels, Hyatt

Hotels, Starwood Hotels and many more.”

Michael will help us move forward together in

the car wash industry as we begin a new year and focus

on all the opportunities before us, according to the

SCWA.

The CEO Forum will take place on June 9.

Last year, Arthur Greeno, the owner/operator

of two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma,

served as the CEO forum speaker.

Heartland Carwash

Association

Details unveiled

for the HCA

2021 Product &

Equipment Show

The Heartland Carwash Association

is inviting your organization to exhibit

at its Annual Product and Equipment

Industry Trade Show. The Annual Product

Show is taking place on Monday,

October 18th, and Tuesday, October

19th at The Prairie Meadows Events and

Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa (a

suburb of Des Moines), a press release

reported. “The Product Show is a great

way to showcase your business to a targeted

audience of current and potential

carwash owners, operators, and other

professionals. If you are looking to sell

more products or services, grow your

business, and network with other industry

executives, the HCA Product Show

is the ideal event for your organization.

We bring buyers directly to you, giving

you the opportunity to generate new

leads and cultivate new sales,” according

to the press release.

With last year’s Product Show being

canceled due to Covid-19, the HCA said

it is looking forward to bringing everyone

back for a great show. “The theme

this year is Powering Forward with educational

guest speakers and roundtable

discussions motivating you to grow your

business. We will also be hosting one of

our more popular events, the Carwash

Tour, once again this year.”

The Heartland Carwash Association

represents carwash owners, operators and

service provider associates in Iowa, Minnesota,

Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri,

Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.

8 • WINTER 2021

New England Carwash Association

NECA names You

Make It Happen

Award recipient

Al West received the You Make It Happen

award. West is a lifelong car wash guy, according to

a press release. “It all started in Marlborough, MA,

where his wife noted that ‘he was the man’: handsome,

athletic, popular and with his motorcycle and

leather vest, ‘very cool.’” He worked for Scrubadub

Car Wash for 10 years, rising to manager. “He now

is the Simoniz Northeast Sales Manager, directly supervising

the sales team from Maine to Buffalo, and

down to Southern New Jersey. Simoniz is like an

extended family for him, and he has enthusiastically

brought that family into New England Car Wash

Association. He has served on the NECA Board of

Directors and was actively involved in starting our

annual golf NECA outing,” the press release noted.

Throughout the pandemic, West has been instrumental

in supporting our NECA Board with the

lobbying efforts to reopen all carwashes that were

shut down by governors due to COVID, the press

release said. “He checked in regularly with both myself

and NECA President, Mat Paisner, to provide

meaningful and scientific documentation that ensured

our lobbyists were able to get car washes reopened

in Phase 1 in Massachusetts and Maine. Al

worked hard to make sure our Association had the

correct information to fight science with science.”

NECA said it was honored to recognize West

who is always coaching and helping motivate others

to do better. “He sends inspiring quotes to his customers

while also finding time to volunteer in his

community, in the schools and as a coach. He is the

proud father of Connor, a 27 year old high school

English teacher, and Callie, a 19 year old sophomore

at Stonehill College who was recruited to play field

hockey. He also is devoted to his third child, his dog

Bradley Cooper. Al and his very active family, who

until recently lived in Westborough, are building

a home in Osterville so that they can live near the

beach when they retire.”

NECA recognizes

Mat Paisner

Mat Paisner is a sitting Board member and President

of the NECA, and was honored by the Association

for his tireless work during the unprecedented

pandemic.

“When this pandemic hit, Massachusetts started

classifying businesses as either essential or non-essential,

and car washes were deemed non-essential,

triggering closings for many of us. Mat immediately

called an emergency meeting of the NECA Board

which quickly formed a committee,” a press release

stated. “It was all hands on-deck as we networked with

as many influential connections as possible to correct

this misclassification. Because of the generosity of

many NECA members, NECA was able to hire an influential

lobby group who had direct access to those

in Governor Baker’s administration responsible for

which businesses were classified as essential in MA.”

Paisner spent all hours, too many to count, making

phone calls, scheduling conference calls, video calls

and texts, with our members, state and local boards

of health, government officials, law enforcement, the

lobbyists, the Governor’s office and the list goes on,

the press release stated. “During this uncertain time

and chaos, we had the right person, at the right time,

doing what is best for our industry. Mat maintained a

high level of professionalism and composure, taking

on the huge task of compiling all the information sent

to him by many of us, disseminating the information,

arguing, debating, calling on local officials and with

the lobby group. Ultimately Governor Baker’s administration

was convinced that car washes are essential.”

The NECA Board is very happy we were successful

in reopening the car wash industry in Phase 1, with

only three other industries, and we have been assured

that we will remain open throughout this pandemic

by Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito.

Mat was given a beautiful clock, with an engraved

plate that reads: Presented in recognition and appreciation

to Mathew Paisner for his tireless efforts on

behalf of the car wash industry. November 10, 2020


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SELF

SERVE

SNAPSHOT

LOCATION:

Tucson, Arizona

THE

PANNO

FAMILY

GETTING TO KNOW

TUCSON SELF WASH

HOURS OF OPERATION:

We are open 24 hours a

day seven days a week.

TYPE OF CAR WASH:

Six-bay Self Serve

DO YOU HAVE ANY

COMPETITION?

There are three car washes

within 5 miles of us … two of them

are self-serve washes like ours.

10 • WINTER 2021


WINTER 2021 • 11


SELF SERVE SNAPSHOT

WHAT SEPARATES YOUR WASH

FROM THE COMPETITION?

The biggest advantage that we have is

that we keep our car wash spotless. It

may be old, but everything works and

if it is broken it is fixed immediately so

there’s not a bunch of signage all over

that says “broken machines.” As far

as the tunnel that is close to us, we

have a different clientele. The people

who come to use our wash want

to make sure their vehicles are not

scratched and want to make sure that

they put their final touches on them.

We get comments all the time from

people driving across town to use our

wash because it’s the cleanest and

everything works.

OUR CAR WASH STORY (AS

TOLD BY TAYLOR PANNO):

My wife and I (married for almost seven

years) and we have three beautiful

children, also have owned a Hot tub

business for almost 15 years. Right

next-door to us is self-serve car

wash that had been owned by the

same owner for 40 years and it was

put up for sale last year. We had A

family meeting and we decided to go

ahead and purchase it with the idea

that all of us will have to work it. My

13-year-old son comes in and empties

all the vacuums and stocks all the

vending once a week. My six-year-old

son keeps the bays clean, helps with

repairs, sorts tokens and hands out our

free dash wipes to all the customers

vacuuming out their cars. My beautiful

wife does all the books and sorts

tokens and my baby girl who is five

helps anyway she can and dances a lot

while at the wash to all the music, but

she’s also not afraid to get her hands

dirty! We are truly a family-owned and

operated car wash and we believe we

have the cleanest wash in town!

12 • WINTER 2021


f W


TIPs

HOW TO HAVE A

WINNING INSTAGRAM

GOT

STRESS?

These are stressful times, to put it mildly. If

you’re experiencing any level of anxiety or depression,

don’t hesitate to call one of the many

resources available.

NAMI (NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON

MENTAL ILLNESS):

Call 800-273-TALK (8255)

Also, the NAMI HelpLine, 800-950-NAMI (6264),

M-F 10 a.m.-6 p.m., est. is a free, nationwide peersupport

service providing information, resource

referrals and support to people living with a mental

health conditions, their family members and

caregivers, mental health providers and the public.

CRISIS HOTLINE:

Text CONNECT to 741741

or visit www.crisistextline.org

to chat with a counselor

Reach out for help for depression.

Free, 24/7 crisis counseling.

SAMHSA: 1-800-985-5990,

is a 24/7, 365-days-a-year

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

Administration Disaster Distress Helpline provides

24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and

support to people experiencing emotional distress

related to natural or human-caused disasters.

FOR VETERANS:

1-800-273-8255 or text 838255

The Veterans Crisis Line is operated by the

Department of Veterans Affairs and is available

for veterans and their families.

Does your car wash have an Instagram

account? If you do not, it

is something to consider. It is not

only free to use but can also serve a

wonderful marketing tool. Described

as mostly a photo-sharing platform,

Instagram offers businesses its own set

of tools to help businesses grow, market

and interact with their customers. There

is a lot of lingo, trends and fancy bells and

whistles that can overwhelm the average

user (ahem, such as yours truly), but an Instagram

page can be kept simple and impressive with some

pretty pictures and regular postings.

It is an easy way to reach out to the masses, and

especially the “younger” generations, and according

to Hootsuite, 81% of users use Instagram to research

a product or service.

If this is enough to convince you to give it a try,

here are some prominent tips and suggestions for

business users, and also some big mistakes to avoid.

3 Make sure you set up your page as a

Professional account—this will allow for you

to list your business name, address, website,

hours etc. Instagram also offers special tools

for business owners on how to best use the

platform. Also, be sure to use a business email,

not your personal one, so that it will not link to

your personal Facebook account. (Instagram is

fun by Facebook). Therefore, while signing up,

be sure to go to settings, and choose: “Switch

to Business Account.”

3 Find or take pictures that showcase your

business. This might sound obvious, but

make sure you’re checking the background

for anything off-putting. Use natural lighting as

much as possible. Sunset photos are also great.

3 For your profile picture, use a picture of your

sign, or your logo.

HOT

TIP

When you first set up your business page, you’ll have two choices for creating

your account — Log in with Facebook or Sign Up with Phone or Email.

Be sure to sign up with a business email so your Instagram profile isn’t

linked to your personal Facebook account. Tip from HubSpot.com

Instagram currently has over 1 billion people using it each month.

Users spent an average of 30 minutes per day on the platform last year,

according to Hootsuite.com, which is a 13.8% jump from 2019.

3 Do not make your page “live” until a few good

photos are posted first. According to the Social

Media Marketing website OutBoundEngine.

com, “It’s a best practice to have a photo or

two posted to your account before you start

following people. There isn’t much incentive for

people to follow an account with no content.

Find a couple of photos you think would be

shareworthy.”

3 As for frequency, there is no exact formula for

how often you should post a picture. But what is

important is that you post regularly.

3 A great feature of Instagram is the Highlights

section found under your profile name. Here

you can post a collection of photos or videos

and label each one with its own name. As a self

serve car wash owner, this would be a good

place to have a series of “How To” sections.

Characters are limited, so you could title them,

How To, or Using a Brush, Wash Options, etc.

3 Post “Instagram Live” stories which will go out

to all of your followers. Post videos promoting

your wash or offering a special discount.

3 Also, be sure to use the Instagram Business

tools. According to Instagram, with a business

page you can have access to real-time metrics

on how your stories and promoted posts

perform throughout the day. Get insights into

your followers and how they interact with your

posts and stories.

QUICK

FACTS

ADVICE FROM A KAZILLIONAIRE

“The best investment you can make is in your own abilities. Anything you can

do to develop your own abilities or business is likely to be more productive.”

— Warren Buffett, an American investor with a net worth of over $85.6 billion as of December 2020

14 • WINTER 2021


WINTER 2021 • 15


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16 • WINTER 2021


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Fax: (414) 764-9763

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QUALITY PRODUCTS SINCE 1937

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WINTER 2021 • 17


Around the Wash

Insurance Issues

Over Ice

Wintertime is full of beauty… and pain, if you slip on ice, or your pipes

freeze up. And, while looking at a glass half full has its merits, it’s when

you see the potential hazards, that you are more prepared, especially when

it comes to running a business and having the proper insurance. We have

already seen snow in Texas this winter. As for the rest of the nation, according

to the Farmer’s Almanac, snowfall will be greater than normal in

the Northeast, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, the High Plains, and northern

Alaska. As for insurance measures, it seems as if there is a lot of information

out there—from contractors’ insurance policies to knowing how to

protect your business from a major lawsuit. Thankfully, Nate Perry, an insurance

auditor with Quinton Insurance – Car Wash Protection Program,

is here to help. The following are some of the common self serve car wash

owner questions along with his answers. If you have a question you would

like to ask Nate, please submit it to Editor Debra Gorgos at debrag@sscwn.

com, and he will answer your question in an upcoming issue.

Self serve car wash customers can often “miss” the mark and

drive into a bay wall, or damage the equipment, can you tell us a

little bit about garage liability?

NATE PERRY: Any property damages to a business owner’s building, property,

or premises would be covered under the individual customer’s personal auto

policy under property damage. Make sure that if a loss occurs, you:

• Contact the police to

obtain a police report

• Exchange contact information

with the customer, and

• Exchange insurance coverage

information with your customer.

This way, you can contact the customer’s personal auto insurance carrier

first to submit the loss and they can properly investigate it.

Wintertime at a car wash can mean property accidents due to

ice, snowfall, and slips and falls by people self washing their

cars. What advice do you have for car wash owners in regard to

insurance?

NATE PERRY: Hire the best snow removal contractor you can buy that will

not only properly salt and remove the snow from your premises, but also

provide you with proof of insurance coverage on a certificate of insurance

and list your company as an additional insured. This way, if there is any

claim from a slip and fall that pertains to the premises, your snow removal

contractor’s insurance policy will be primary and will always pay first.

If a customer were to slip and fall at a car wash during a

snowstorm, what kind of protection would the car wash owner

have from a major lawsuit?

NATE PERRY: If the business owner requests to be added onto the snow removal

contractor’s insurance as an additional insured, the business owner

would be able to submit the loss under the contractor’s insurance policy and

it would be paid on a primary basis before they could touch the business

owner’s insurance.

Fires, unfortunately, can occur at car washes, in equipment

rooms especially, thanks to all of the chemicals -- what do

car wash owners need to do to make sure they are properly

insured?

NATE PERRY: Make sure they have adequate contents and that any equipment

purchased or present is accounted for on their insurance policies. Also,

it is advised to have a central fire system installed in the building that goes

back to a monitoring company. In the event of a fire, this will reduce the

time on the fire department showing up and mitigating the loss.

18 • WINTER 2021

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Around the Wash: Insurance Issues Over Ice

PAST STORIES INVOLVING CAR WASHES AND LAWSUITS

Court Rules in Favor of Car Wash

Back on February 21, 2013, in Pontiac, Michigan,

the Michigan appeals court ruled in favor of a Pontiac

car wash in a lawsuit by a customer who fell

when he got out of his car to adjust the mirrors.

According to an Associated Press story, “Eugene

Rogers blamed Ultimate Auto Wash for the

black ice. He said he was ‘violently thrown to the

ground’ without warning when he stepped out of

his vehicle after it was washed.”

The appeals court said that Rogers could have driven

a short distance and adjusted his mirrors or simply

rolled down the windows and stayed in the car.

“The court said anyone with ‘ordinary intelligence’

would know that water running off vehicles

at a car wash would likely form ice.”

St. Albans man awarded

$634,000 in slip and fall case

On May 25, 2006, in Charleston, West Virginia,

a St. Albans man was awarded nearly $634,000 after

slipping and falling on black ice at a car wash in

2001, the West Virginia Record stated.

Danny K. Whittington broke his hip when he fell

in a car wash bay at Toad’s Car Wash Inc. in St. Albans

on Jan. 9, 2001, the story said. “Whittington,

who was 46 at the time of the incident, filed his

lawsuit in 2002. After two days of testimony before

Judge Irene Berger, the six-member Kanawha Circuit

Court jury returned its verdict in a little over

an hour, according to attorney Charles Hughes.”

Apparently the ruling all came down to the car

wash’s floor radiant heating system. Hughes, who

works for the Daniels Law Firm in Charleston,

said Toad’s ran four car washes then, and the St.

Albans location was the only one with this floor

heating system.

“They tried to show the system was working

properly,” Hughes said in the story. “Yes, it was

working properly mechanically. But it wasn’t

working efficiently.”

Hughes said the defense tried to show that because

the temperature was 19 degrees, people

need to be careful when washing a vehicle.

“You can only be so careful around black ice,”

he said in the story. “Our point was if you’re going

to be open and running a car wash in 19-degree

weather, you have to protect your customers. Danny

exercised care. He looked around. We had independent

third-party testimony about the black

ice. It was a film. You could see right through it. It

wasn’t immediately visible.”

Whittington, who was a mail carrier, broke his

left hip when he slipped and fell on the black ice.

“He didn’t have health insurance,” Hughes said in

the story. “He had about $22,000 in medical bills

in just a few months, and he knew he couldn’t pay

for it. He was making $9 per hour. So, he stopped

treating it. He didn’t have prescriptions or physical

therapy. He rehabilitated himself over the summer.

Then, the Postal Service wouldn’t take him back.

They said they couldn’t take the risk on him.”

As for the verdict, the jury awarded $22,829.94

to Whittington for medical expenses to date,

$11,000 for lost wages to date, $200,000 for mental

and physical pain and suffering, $300,000 for

annoyance and inconvenience and 100,000 for

loss of enjoyment of life.

WINTER 2021 • 19

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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.)

Third time’s a charm for EMV deadline

Anyone got advice on this? I was told EMV compliance by April or else your card reader

will not work. Does anyone in the industry care to comment? ZAL

I do not believe anything is going to stop working

in April as there are too many firms with old CC

readers. You may find in 2021 that you are charged

a fee for non-compliance with respect to CC processing

- perhaps more than you want to pay. - ROZ

They’ve been saying that for 15 years. First everything

was supposed to move to chip/PIN “by the

end of the year” with swipe not being supported,

and we’re all still doing swipe. Who fed you this

line? - MEP001

On the manufacturer side, this is just one of the

reasons we walked away from having our own

credit card system. Constant moving targets. We

were told at least 6 years ago that mag stripes were

going to be obsolete in 6 months. - DAN KAMSICKAS

So, what I was told - the gas station lobby got extensions

every year. They are now compliant and

will not lobby for more extensions. We don’t have

the clout or numbers to be a concern. - ZAL

The EMV deadline at the pump is April 2021. Fuel

station operators have till then to comply with the

EMV standard for paying at the pump or assume

the liability for payment card fraud that happens

at their facility. I think everything will continue

to work, you will just assume the liability which I

think we already have been. - APW

This is what I was thinking has been the case since

2015 when the other retailers were forced to. -

OURTOWN

We’ve already been assuming the liability. Any

chargebacks for lost/stolen cards already say no

remedy, no chip reader used. - SLASH007

Cards will still be processed via mag stripe readers

beyond April, but the liability will be 100%

on the merchant as it has been since 2015. This

could involve:

3 Chargebacks initiated by customers (we’ve

had a few merchants who said their customers

know they can dispute charges when they

use non-EMV readers, and have exploited this)

3 Bank fees/penalties to ‘cover’ their time for

the chargeback request

3 Fees/charges from the banks that issue cards

(I’ve read some cases where issuing banks

have levied fees on a merchant for every transaction

that was not processed via chip read)

3 We’ve never tried to fear-monger at Hamilton

with EMV to encourage new hardware

purchases, but in the past year EMV has

surpassed mag as the credit card solution on

all of our new kiosks. We’ve seen a fairly big

uptick in retrofit kits for existing units too.

So much also depends on the market a wash is

in. Higher-income areas tend to have less issues,

whereas lower-income areas seem to be more susceptible

to the customer-initiated chargebacks.

I’m not sure if processors will levy

additional fees in April for non-EMV

processing, I haven’t heard anything,

but I would imagine they’d be notifying

customers now if they were planning

to. - EXPAT

If I update my Htk and goldline

to EMV will it be one

device for tap and chip?

- ZAL

Yep! We use the iUC285 by Ingenico, which is a

3-in-1 reader (chip, tap, swipe). It mounts directly

into the existing bolt holes on the HTK and GL, so

you don’t need to do any quirky drilling or cutting.

Processing is through Worldpay.

Right now, it can only process chip and mag but

Worldpay is making a software update for us in

January (I believe) to enable tap. - EXPAT

EMV compliant is important, if a customer disputes

a charge and you were not EMV compliment,

a fine of up to $1000 plus the chargeback

fee and amount the transaction will be

pulled or billed to your account. I have a

good processor who keeps EMV compliment

with POS terminals and good rates

and zero credit card process fee options

for transactions. - ALLAN

SSCWN EDITOR CHIMES IN: EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and

Visa and refers to the, “Global standard for cards equipped with computer chips

and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions,” according to

creditcards.com. The original deadline for retailers to accept chip-based credit

cards was October 1, 2015, but it was extended to October 2020 when it seemed

as if retailers were not making enough effort to adapt to the new credit card

feature. However, with Covid-19 it became even more evident that retailers were

struggling even more and unable to meet the Autumn deadline. Now, there is

the new deadline of April 17, 2021. According to a sponsored article by SageNet

which appeared in CSP magazine, while traditional payment cards store data in

magnetic strips that can be copied and counterfeited, EMV cards use computer

chips to create a unique, one-time code for each transaction. That code is useless

to a criminal if stolen because it can’t be used again. …While the move to EMV is

not mandatory, card issuers have given merchants an incentive to replace their

point-of-sale (PoS) systems with EMV-compliant equipment. For example, liability

for purchases made with a compromised card shifts from the card issuer to the

party that is the least EMV-compliant. In other words, the cost of fraud will be the

responsibility of the non-compliant merchant.”

SageNet also states, “EMV does not eliminate the need to maintain compliance

with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). EMV is

concerned with preventing fraud in card-present transactions, while PCI DSS

focuses on securing cardholder data. Fuel retailers must ensure that they remain

PCI DSS compliant as they upgrade their PoS systems and software.”

20 • WINTER 2021


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WINTER 2021 • 21


TRICKS OF THE

Check, check!

I was rinsing down a bay.... when the pump just stopped.

I went into the equipment room and found the circuit

breaker to the pump stand tripped. When I reset it ...

BANG! Smoke came out of the motor starter. (BTW ... I

hate it when the smoke comes out of electrical things ...

it’s VERY difficult to get the smoke back in ... )

When I opened up the motor starter ... the wire from

the main panel was fried. About 1.5 inches of wire was

obviously heating, and had finally melted, broken, and

touched the metal case. It turns out that the screw that

holds this wire had loosened over the years. The loose

contact caused the wire to heat ... and trouble ensued.

Here’s the moral to the story: I checked the other

“contacts” in the rest of the car wash motor starters.

About 1/4 of them needed some degree of tightening!

You may want to check yours ... RUDY

It is generally the simple things that get us. I used to

check this even on new machines. MAC

If you have a thermal camera for checking your floor

heat, it might be wise to run that over ALL of your

electrical connection points over time. It can save

you quite a bit of headache and money in the long

run. We used to have this performed annually to all

cabinets and disconnects at the amusement park I

worked at. They paid thousands per visit, but probably

saved us millions in down time. PRECISIONPYRO

I bought a FlirOne Pro for my Android phone. It’s a

thermal camera attachment. It’s allowed me to locate

the heat loops in my floor heat. RUDY

Won’t hurt to double check them every once in a

while now though. Glad you didn’t get nailed by

finding it with your fingers. It’s always better letting

the smoke out of devices, rather than humans.

PRECISIONPYRO

Those screws have to be really tight. I can’t tell

you how many times I’ve gone through almost

new equipment and found them so loose I could

turn them by gripping the screwdriver shaft. I

tighten them until I can feel the joints in my wrist

pop. MEP001

I just checked ours and although I definitely wouldn’t

call them loose, they were not as tight as they should

be. For some reason the ones at the top where the

power comes in, I could barely get them any tighter.

The ones at the bottom going out to the motor I was

able to tighten at least 1/4 turn and some were closer

to 1/2. Good tip. OURTOWN

The pump stand is constantly vibrating, and these

should be checked at least once a month. Make sure

to turn the breaker off when checking them and re

tightening. DAMONI88

Gross opportunity?

I received an odd call today. Local Food Truck start-up is looking for a

location to dump gray water at the end of the day. Has anyone run into

this type of request?

My initial inclination is to not allow. Not sure how I would determine a

fair contract cost if I allowed. I was surprised to find the municipal water

division was in support of allowing this ... GEORGE361

Your drains are going to the sanitary sewer (unless

your wash is really old) so I can see why the city is

allowing it. I’m with you though on not allowing

it. OURTOWN

As long as there is no oil or chunks it could be

worth it. If your sewer isn’t metered and there are

no chunks it wouldn’t cost you anything. I would

just require them to buy bay time to clean up after

(assuming this is a SS). If there is potential for a

lot of oil or waste, I doubt it would be worth your

time for what they can pay. MC3033

I don’t allow any dumping. The carpet cleaners

leave the bay smelling like a wet dog, the food

carts dump their utensil washing water and it

starts to smell like rotten food, and then they start

getting bold and dumping grease. You can probably

imagine what an RV sewage dump smells like.

There’s also liability to worry about if you allow it

or charge for it. MEP001

I wouldn’t allow it for the reasons posted above,

plus who is going to monitor the process? Would

you meet them there to oversee the process? How

do they pay? What is the rate? The car wash is designed

for dirt from the roadway, not food waste.

NO DEAL! WAXMAN

Years ago, I had a food truck dumping their gray

wastewater at the car wash at night. What greasy

stinking mess they’d leave, then a carpet cleaner

saw them dumping their wastewater and he

thought it was ok to dump his wastewater, so he

had his guys start dumping at night. It took a while,

but we caught them, and it got ugly real fast. They

saw no problem in dumping their wastewater. The

carpet guy really pissed me off when he said: “It’s

just a car wash” and then he said where are we

supposed to dump our wastewater at?... like it’s

my problem. Needless to say, they aren’t customers

of mine and I’ve never seen them since. If you

let one dump be prepared for many more. RANDY

No way I’d allow it, the business and legal risks are

sky high compared to the few bucks received. (Yes,

I’ve chased them off.) PAULLOVESJAMIE

Hell no. Anything they dump at your becomes

your problem. AXXLROD

Thanks all. You have affirmed my concerns and I

can’t see there being monetary benefits outweighing

the headache. I will not be proceeding with

negotiations. GEORGE361

The only possible way I would consider it is through

a cleanout with a strainer attached. I wouldn’t want

that water sitting in my pits. GREG PACK

Exactly, let them go to an RV waste facility and

pay them. MEP001

22 • WINTER 2021


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WINTER 2021 • 23


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24 • WINTER 2021


TRICKS OF THE

We work hard for the money!

I am interested in buying a location that is about 17 years old but looks well maintained.

It has 4 SS and 2 IBA bays. Location is quite busy. How much time a week would you guys

think it would take for normal operations? I’m not expecting to include repairs/malfunctions/

emergencies. I’m just looking for ballpark ideas. 30-50 hours? 60-80 hours? WORKIN_IKE

That depends on you and the systems you put in

place and the overall maintained level the wash is

at. Some operators here spend the equivalent to a

F/T job plus OT here. They’re married to the operation

or they just love being there (I do enjoy hanging

around at my washes – it’s my hobby and many

times I just go to hang out).

I have relatively new equipment and it’s well maintained.

I have 4 guys that cover 9-5 every day. I tell

them to call me if something breaks. If I’m in town,

I’ll fix it. If I’m away I call in a tech.

With that said, I’d say I’m at my site as little as 0

hours (If I’m away) and as much as 35 hours (my

office is there). I’d say for a small operation and an

owner/operator 2-3 hours/day would be the average

for a nicely run place. CAR_WASH_GUY

Busy location means high traffic which means high

probability for trash. Excluding what you mentioned

going by daily to clean up and check everything

I would estimate 2 hours. If the customers

basically use the place as a dump well then could

be more. In 2 hours, I would think you would be

able to check vacs, check vending, wash down bays

and clean up and get out of there. Fundamentals of

a car wash.... make sure it’s clean and everything is

working properly. RFREEMAN

I have a very busy 6-bay SS and spend at least an

hour a day cleaning every evening, plus I have a guy

who comes in every afternoon and spends an hour.

Add to that four or five more hours a week here and

there cleaning out the vacs, cleaning walls, pulling

coins and restocking the changer, etc. You say you

aren’t expecting to include repairs, do you plan to

have a service company do them? Because you’ll

basically be working for them, especially with two

IBAs. Depends on the machine, but some need a lot

of preventive maintenance, and the bays can get really

nasty in warm months with algae growth. MEP001

I’m not saying that I don’t expect to do repairs. I’m

just saying I am not including that amount of time

as part of the routine. Because I know a repair or

maintenance can’t be estimated due to skill level, severity

of work required, frequency of repairs. I’m just

looking for a normal routine week. And yes, I plan on

doing my own maintenance and repairs. WORKIN_IKE

We have a 3-bay SS and 1 IBA. I would say plan on

devoting 20-25 hours a week to the car wash. Keep

in mind all of the after-hours phone calls, handling

of refunds, researching things you need to learn and

handling/depositing money. BERT79

I put in between 30 and 45 hours a week at my car

wash. My situation is a little different because we

have a standalone detail shop that is open six days

per week, and a used car lot attached to the wash

too. I have cut back on my hours in the last couple

of years to try and have more of a life as I get older.

When the economy got tough, I was working seven

days a week to try to make everything earn enough.

Once I install my new touch free, I’m hoping for

even a little bit more freedom and flexibility with

my hours. I have other business interests besides

this one which also take up some time during the

work week. WAXMAN

We have a car wash that has five self-serves and

two touch-free IBAS. Before 2016, we would put

in 3 hours a day Monday through Thursday. Fridays

were five-hour days. Saturdays were 5.5 hours. Sundays

were 6. What changed when 2016 arrived was

we started our membership program. We needed to

be attending regularly to sell memberships and do

membership odds and ends. WASH4LIFE

Basically, the more time you can be there the better.

Shoot for the busy times each day. Cameras help a

lot here. MAC

Too Cold to Handle

What is everyone’s policy on opening/closing due to

weather (i.e., rain/snow/ice)? JENNGAMBLE

Right now, we keep the self-serves open 24/7/365. Our

IBA is 15 years old with unreliable doors, so I close at

5 p.m. and re-open the bay at 8 a.m. when it’s below

freezing. Once I have my new equipment installed, the

IBA will be open 24/7/365 as well. WAXMAN

When it dips into single digits and below, we usually

close. Our IBA doors sometimes freeze in the open position

in those temps, and we have problems with our

SS weep not keeping up if there is any kind of wind

chill in addition to those temps. SRR5008

We’re a 24/7 car wash with touch-free IBAs, vacuums

and self-serve. If it’s below 20, we will close. WASH4LIFE

I have my IBAs set to shutdown automatically at -10F.

I have Airlift vinyl doors and floor heat. I do NOT have

any supplemental heat or heated rails etc. Self Serve

bays stay open 24/7. I’ve only shut down overnight a

handful of times when the temp was predicted to drop

to -30. I’ve had some of my best days when the temp

didn’t get over 15F! ERIC H

Ha ha, Southern wash here. No floor heat. We close the

autos when they predict a hard freeze. Not a big deal as

most cold spells are just a day or two and it’s slow then

anyway. I don’t see much business when it’s in the 30s.

Most people just wait a couple of days for it to warm

up, the average winter day high is around 50. GREG PACK

Below zero we close automatics at night. Open in as

bays always. SOAPY

In recent years we only close when it is blizzard/

non-travel conditions ... when my manpower (employees)

become less available then I tend to be closed

much more often ... We sometimes dread super sloppy

weather immediately followed by a horrific below 0° F

long lasting cold spell! MJWALSH

SSCWN EDITOR

CHIMES IN: Want to talk

about cold!? We all know it

gets beyond freezing in Alaska,

and all the way down to the

Northern half of the United

States. But did you know it was

once -2 degrees F in Florida?

According to data was sourced

from the Nautical Oceanic

and Atmospheric Association

in an expose by USA Today,

the below 0 weather took

place in Tallahassee, Florida

on February 13, 1899. In

Huntsville, Alabama, it was

-27 degrees F on January 30,

1966. In Corinth, Mississippi, it

was once -19 degrees F back

on January 30, 1966. And even

in Hawaii, it was once only 12

degrees F in the town of Hilo,

back on May 17, 1979.

WINTER 2021 • 25


WE WANT

YOUR

STORIES!

TRICKS OF THE

I smell a Rat.com!

Because I have my wash up on Google, we do postings to our website. I

get emails from them saying something like 120 people viewed our latest

posting. I smell a rat. I just can’t imagine that many people are bored enough

to look at a web site about a car wash ... Anyone else experience this? MAC

Do you have a funny

story from the bay?

Maybe an inspiring

tale from the wash?

Try something

new that worked well?

“You won’t believe what this

Darwin did at my wash…”

26 • WINTER 2021

“The best decision I ever made

for my business was…”

“On rainy days, I like to…”

Reach out to Editor Debra Gorgos

debgorgos@gmail.com to share

your story with our readers.

Mac, I will say this that it appears Google is making

the same mistake with robo-call coordinated with

3rd party sellers ... as the monopolistic telephone

companies used to do. We have a publicly posted

phone number for our facility & the logistic of that

nonsense “you are not listed pitch” trying to get their

“foot in the door spoofed calling” can actually become

a problem!

When computer industry people brag a bit too

much about their Artificial Intelligence Algorithms

... IMHO people all over the world should consider

“hanging onto their hat” & making a “run for their

life”! MJ WALSH

The important stats to look at are how many looked

up your phone number or asked for directions to

your wash. OURTOWN

Why smell a rat? It’s the WORLD WIDE WEB!

There’s a lot of bored people out there, esp. nowadays!

Do you have any idea how many folks spend

countless hours looking at Facebook? The stats are

believable once you broaden your perspective a bit.

WAXMAN

IMHO ... We should be looking forward to the

day when Google, Facebook, & Twitter alternatives

are more dominant than the current situation!!!

MJWALSH

I realize that Google wants me to buy their advertising.

That part I get. All the other things they mention

though I have no way of telling if it is true. Yes, they

say many asked for directions and also called. I have

an answering machine at the wash that almost never

gets a recording. MAC

Instead of being suspicious of the results that are

claimed by Google, why not go in the opposite direction

and put in an effort to make your Google

business page more appealing to customers? Add

photos of the wash and all your services offered.

Create posts about interesting things to do with the

car wash. I use it as a promotional tool like it was designed.

It’s a low-cost way to improve your business.

WAXMAN

Google is the preferred ad spot due to integration

into phone searches. You don’t necessarily have to

spend money with them, but when someone searches

on their phone for a car wash this is most likely

where the information is coming from. The higher

your ratings, the higher your ranking will be, but to

get to the top page you’re probably going to need to

spend money in a larger market. Personally, I’m old

school and don’t bother buying ads or actively managing

a page with any social media sites (Facebook,

etc.), but that is a personal opinion. It just seems like

too much work for the return. I would not interact

with Yelp at all, I’ve seen many people complain that

Yelp turns into an extortion racket. Same with BBB.

Oh, you can also get a Google voice number just for

your carwash. You can forward, have it ring multiple

phones, etc. and it will send an email transcription

if someone leaves a voicemail. It’s free, if you don’t

mind the invasion of privacy. GREG PACK

This is huge. Especially for car washes. This isn’t

thought of as the most professional business so having

a nice page and pictures is huge. If someone isn’t

already familiar with your business this might get

them to come or not.

I think the Google phone call stat is believable. Just

compare to your missed calls. I would imagine few

if any calls you get come from a source other than

Google. MC3033

I can see valid points in all the posts above. Google

My Business is a great place to describe your process

and services. People love looking at pictures, so I add

lots. You can easily post videos, too.

It doesn’t take much time to add content to your

page. Some of my biggest hits were on pics of things

I thought we’re not going to get many views, such

as a can of graffiti remover, pics of my detail equipment,

etc. All of these little things add up to set you

apart from competitors. If nothing else, you are providing

the customer with more knowledge of your

car wash. WAXMAN

I just went to the Yelp page for my wash, and it

seems to be broken. Despite the hours listed as

24/7 it shows it as closed, and I can’t change it as a

business owner. It seems useless anyway since Yelp

shows 39 people have visited the page 39 times this

year, where the Google page shows 15,000 just this

month.

If I’m within five miles of my wash and search “car

wash near me” on my phone, my Google listing

comes up first even if there’s a car wash between.

MEP001

Highly recommend you ask Yelp to take down your

page. Yelp is useless and the only people who use it

are the ones who are specifically leaving a bad review.

MC3033


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FALL 2020 • 27


SMALL BUSINESS NEWS

YOU

CAN USE

SBA Re-Opens Paycheck Protection Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation

with the U.S. Treasury Department, reopened

the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion

or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications

on Friday, January 15, 2021.

SBA granted dedicated PPP access to Community

Financial Institutions (CFIs) which include

Community Development Financial Institutions

(CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs),

Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and

Microloan Intermediaries as part of the agency’s

ongoing efforts to reach underserved and minority

small businesses.

The SBA will continue its emphasis on reaching

smaller lenders and businesses by opening to approximately

5,000 more lenders, including community

banks, credit unions, and farm credit institutions.

Moreover, the agency also plans to have

dedicated service hours for these smaller lenders

after the portal fully re-opens next week.

“A second round of PPP could not have come at

a better time, and the SBA is making every effort

to ensure small businesses have the emergency

financial support they need to continuing weathering

this time of uncertainty,” said SBA Administrator

Jovita Carranza in a press release. “SBA has

worked expeditiously to ensure our policies and

systems are re-launched so that this vital small

business aid helps communities hardest hit by the

pandemic. I strongly encourage America’s entrepreneurs

needing financial assistance to apply for a

First or Second Draw PPP loan.”

“We are pleased to have opened PPP loans to

CDFIs, MDIs, CDCs, and Microloan Intermediaries.

The PPP is already providing America’s small

businesses hardest hit by the pandemic with vital

economic relief,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven

T. Mnuchin stated in the press release. “As the Program

re-opens for all First and Second Draw borrowers

next week, the PPP will allow small businesses

to keep workers on payroll and connected

to their health insurance.”

First Draw PPP Loans are for those borrowers

who have not received a PPP loan before August

8, 2020. The first round of the PPP, which ran

from March to August 2020, was a historic success

helping 5.2 million small businesses keep 51 million

American workers employed.

28 • FALL 2020

Second Draw PPP Loans are for eligible small

businesses with 300 employees or less, that previously

received a First Draw PPP Loan and will

use or have used the full amount only for authorized

uses, and that can demonstrate at least a

25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable

quarters in 2019 and 2020. The maximum

amount of a Second Draw PPP loan is $2 million.

How and When to Apply

You can apply for a Second Draw PPP

Loan from January 13, 2021, until March

31, 2021. SBA is currently accepting Second

Draw PPP loan applications from participating

lenders. Lender Match (Lender

Match is a free online tool that connects

small businesses with SBA-approved lenders.

Do not use if looking for an SBA EIDL

loan) can help connect you with a lender.

All Second Draw PPP Loans will have the

same terms regardless of lender or borrower.

Updated PPP Lender forms, guidance, and

resources are available at www.sba.gov/ppp

and www.treasury.gov/cares.

60,000 PPP loans

approved in first week

In its first week since reopening, the SBA announced

that it has approved approximately

60,000 PPP loan applications submitted by nearly

3,000 lenders, for over $5 billion. In early January,

the PPP provided dedicated access to community

financial institutions that specialize in serving

underserved communities, including minority-,

women- and veteran-owned small businesses.

“The SBA continues to help small businesses across

the nation access vital funds through the Paycheck

Protection Program. Data from our first week, which

first allowed hundreds of community financial institutions

to submit applications, then opened wider to

small banks, demonstrate that we have helped tens

of thousands of businesses,” said SBA Administrator

Jovita Carranza in a press release.

“The PPP is off to another great start helping our

nation’s economy. With PPP re-opening today for

all First and Second Draw loan applications, the

SBA remains committed to keeping small business

workers on payroll and their doors open during

this challenging time. Moreover, the SBA over-performed

operationally, issuing guidance and rules in

advance and in alignment with the new law’s requirements,”

Carranza added.

$1.1 million PPP loans

forgiven so far totaling

over $100 billion

The SBA has already forgiven more than 1.1

million PPP loans for over $100 billion, providing

an extraordinary amount of critical relief to

America’s small businesses just 3 months since the

earliest PPP borrowers’ covered periods ended, according

to a January 12 press release.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza stated in the

press release, “For any eligible small business continuing

to struggle due to the coronavirus pandemic,

the Program has re-opened for new and certain

existing PPP borrowers, and we encourage you to

take advantage of the PPP to keep your workers on

payroll, regardless of any local economic restrictions

on your operations. SBA is continuing to work

around the clock to forgive existing PPP loans and

implement the next phase of this vital Program.”

The SBA has so far received 1,346,125 forgiveness

applications for approximately $170.5 billion.

SBA has made payment on nearly 85% of

the applications, forgiving over $100 billion. For

the smallest borrowers with loans up to $50,000,

88% have been approved for forgiveness.

Department of Labor

announces annual

adjustments to OSHA

civil penalties

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced

adjustments to Occupational Safety and Health

Administration (OSHA) civil penalty amounts

based on cost-of-living adjustments for 2021.

In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties

Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act

to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties

and to maintain their deterrent effect. Under

the Act, agencies are required to publish “catch-up”

rules that adjust the level of civil monetary penalties

and make subsequent annual adjustments for

inflation no later than January 15 of each year.


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30 • FALL 2020


SMALL BUSINESS NEWS YOU CAN USE

OSHA's maximum penalties for serious and

other-than-serious violations will increase from

$13,494 per violation to $13,653 per violation.

The maximum penalty for willful or repeated

violations will increase from $134,937 per violation

to $136,532 per violation.

The Department of Labor Federal Civil Penalties

Inflation Adjustment Act Annual Adjustments

for 2021 final rule became effective January 15,

2021, and the increased penalty levels apply to

any penalties assessed after January 15, 2021.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act

of 1970, employers are responsible for providing

safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions

for America's working men and women by

setting and enforcing standards, and providing

training, education and assistance.

Employers can withhold,

make payments of deferred

Social Security taxes from 2020

The Internal Revenue Service today released

Notice 2021-11 addressing how employers who

elected to defer certain employees' taxes can withhold

and pay the deferred taxes throughout 2021

instead of just the first four months of the year,

according to a January 19 press release.

In response to a presidential memorandum

signed August 8, 2020, Notice 2020-65 was issued

on August 28, 2020, giving employers the option to

defer certain employees' Social Security taxes from

September 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. This

applied to employees paid less than $4,000 every

two weeks, or an equivalent amount for other pay

periods, with each pay period considered separately.

The taxes, which are technically called Old Age,

Survivors and Disability Insurance, or OASDI, are

calculated at 6.2% of employees' wages.

Any taxes deferred under Notice 2020-65 are

withheld and paid ratably from employee wages

between January 1, 2021, until April 30, 2021.

However, the Consolidated Appropriations Act,

2021, signed into law December 27, extended

the period that the deferred taxes are withheld

and paid ratably. The period is now for the entire

year − from January 1, 2021, through December

31, 2021. Notice 2021-11

makes changes to Notice

2020-65 to reflect

this extended

period. Payments made by January 3, 2022, will

be considered timely because December 31, 2021,

is a legal holiday. Penalties, interest and additions

to tax will now start to apply on January 1, 2022,

for any unpaid balances.

Employees could see their deferred taxes being

collected immediately. Employees should check

with their organization's payroll point of contact

on what their collection schedule will be.

Additional tax relief related to the COVID-19

pandemic can be found on IRS.gov.

Security Summit urges

businesses to tighten security

to protect against identity theft

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies

and the tax industry urged businesses to be on

guard as thieves try to use their stolen names and

data to file fraudulent tax returns.

The partners, operating cooperatively as the Security

Summit to fight identity theft, marked the

fourth day of National Tax Security Awareness

Week with a warning to businesses to enact the

strongest measures possible to protect their data

and systems. The IRS also is planning additional

MYTHS vs. FACTS

MYTH #1: PPP is wrought with

waste, fraud, and abuse.

MYTH #2: PPP only supported large

corporations, not small businesses.

regarding PPP loans

MYTH #3:

PPP did not support workers.

FACT: The vast majority of PPP funds supported

American small businesses and their hardworking

employees in dire need of economic relief. To

ensure all program rules were followed, all loans are

undergoing an automated review, and all loans of $2

million or more will undergo a manual review. In addition,

any loan may be selected for a manual review.

SBA has a robust process for ensuring PPP funds

were used as intended. SBA is committed to rooting

out fraudulent activity; any abuser of this important

program will be held appropriately accountable. A

borrower listed in the data release doesn’t mean that

SBA has made an affirmative declaration that a borrower

is eligible or that it will receive loan forgiveness.

SBA has a process for review and that is ongoing.

FACT: The PPP was deployed to help keep

small businesses afloat and employees on payroll

through the coronavirus pandemic. Of those

businesses that received PPP loans, 75 percent

have nine or fewer employees. In addition, 87% of

all loans, or nine out of ten, were $150,000 or less.

Not a single eligible independent contractor, sole

proprietor, or small business that applied for a PPP

loan and was approved before the PPP closed—

whether it employed hundreds of workers or a single

individual—was precluded from receiving one

due to lack of funding. The PPP closed in August

with more than $130 billion in available funding

that went unclaimed.

FACT: Every facet of PPP was designed to keep

Americans employed. The PPP has succeeded.

To date, PPP has supported more than 51 million

American jobs, and account for more than 80%

of small business payroll in the United States. By

requiring at least 60% of PPP funds to cover payroll

costs, the Administration ensured Americans’

paychecks were protected. The PPP directly contributed

to the historic economic recovery we are

currently experiencing, keeping unemployment far

lower than expected at the peak of the pandemic. In

addition, the unemployment rate is currently 6.7%,

a rate not expected to be achieved by many outside

experts until the fourth quarter of 2021.

MYTH #4: PPP funds did not reach historically underserved communities.

FACT: Since enactment of the CARES Act, SBA

and Treasury worked closely with Congress, borrowers,

and lenders of all sizes—including regional

and community banks, Community Development Financial

Institutions (CDFIs), and Minority Depository

Institutions (MDIs)—to make certain the broadest

possible segment of small businesses could access

the PPP. To ensure funds began flowing as rapidly

as possible to all small businesses, particularly

those in underserved communities, SBA and

Treasury worked closely with lenders that were

positioned to reach borrowers who had had less

well-established traditional banking relationships.

Through our actions, we increased the number of

participating lenders from the 1,700 that participated

in SBA 7(a) lending in 2019 to nearly 5,500 lenders

participating in the PPP. SBA and Treasury executed

an aggressive outreach campaign to ensure

PPP participation by CDFIs, MDIs, and minority,

women, veteran, or military-owned lenders due to

their unmatched ability to reach underserved communities.

The data shows that SBA and Treasury’s

outreach campaign worked. As of August 8, 2020,

when the PPP closed to new loan applications, 432

MDIs and CDFIs had participated from across the

country, providing over 221,000 loans for more than

$16.4 billion. PPP delivered $133 billion of loans to

businesses in Historically Underutilized Business

Zones, accounting for more than 25 percent of all

PPP funding. Additionally, a review of census tracts

indicates 28 percent of the U.S. population lives in

low and moderate income census tracts, and when

matched against the distribution of PPP loans, 27

percent of the PPP funds went to low and moderate

income communities, which is in line with their

representation in the population.

FALL 2020 • 31


SMALL BUSINESS NEWS YOU CAN USE

steps to help businesses combat cybercriminals

trying to steal their data.

"As the IRS and our partners have strengthened

our security standards, identity thieves have

looked for new ways to find sources of information,

and businesses need to stay alert," said IRS

Commissioner Charles Rettig. "Businesses, just

like individuals, can be victims of identity theft.

Thieves may steal enough information to file a

business tax return for refund or use other scams

using the company's identity."

More than 70% of cyberattacks are aimed at businesses

with 100 or fewer employees. Thieves may be

targeting credit card information, the business identity

information or employee identity information.

Businesses are encouraged to follow best practices

from the Federal Trade Commission include:

• Set your security software to update

automatically

• Back up important files

• Require strong passwords for all devices

• Encrypt devices

• Use multi-factor authentication

More information is available at FTC's Cybersecurity

for Small Businesses.

Businesses should especially be alert to any

COVID-19 or tax-related phishing email scams

that attempt to trick employees into opening embedded

links or attachments. IRS related scams

may be sent to phishing@irs.gov.

Starting back on December 13, 2020, the IRS

began masking sensitive information from business

tax transcripts, the summary of corporate tax

returns, to help prevent thieves from obtaining

identifiable information that would allow them to

file fake business tax returns.

Only financial entries are fully visible. All other

information has varying masking rules. For example,

only the first four letters of each first and last

name – of individuals and businesses – are displayed.

Only the last four digits of the Employer

Identification Number are visible.

The IRS also has publicly launched the Form

14039-B, Business Identity Theft Affidavit that

allows companies to proactively report possible

identity theft to the IRS when, for example, the

e-filed tax return is rejected.

Businesses should file the Form 14039-B if they

receive a:

• Rejection notice for an electronically

filed return because a return already

is on file for that same period.

• Notice about a tax return

that the entity didn't file.

• Notice about Forms W-2 filed

with the Social Security

Administration that the entity didn't file.

• Notice of a balance due that is not owed.

This form enables the IRS to respond to the

business much faster than in the past and work to

resolve issues created by a fraudulent tax return.

Businesses should not use the form if they experience

a data breach but see no tax-related impact.

For more information, see Identity Theft Central's

Business section.

Although the tax scams can come and go, all

employers should remain alert to Form W-2 theft

schemes. In the most common version, a thief

poses as a high-ranking company executive who

emails payroll employees and asks for a list of

employees and their W-2s. Businesses often don't

know they've been scammed until a fraudulent return

shows up in employees' names.

There is a special reporting procedure for employers

who experience the W-2 scam. It also may be

found at Identity Theft Central's Business section.

Finally, Security Summit partners urge businesses

to keep their EIN application information

current. Changes of address or responsible party

may be reported using Form 8822-B. Reminder:

Changes in the responsible party must be reported

to the IRS within 60 days. Current information

can help the IRS find a point of contact to resolve

identity theft and other issues.

SBA extends COVID-19 EIDL

deadline to Dec 31, 2021

The SBA announced on December 30, 2020,

that the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury

Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19

Pandemic disaster declaration is extended to Dec.

31, 2021. The deadline extension comes as a result

of the recent bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill

passed by Congress and enacted by former President

Trump on Dec. 27, 2020.

To date, the SBA has approved $197 billion in

low-interest loans which provide working capital

funds to small businesses, non-profits and agricultural

businesses to make it through this challenging

time.

“Following the President’s declaration of the

COVID-19 Pandemic, the SBA has approved over

3.6 million loans through our Economic Injury

Disaster Loan program nationwide,” Carranza

stated in the press release. “The EIDL program

has assisted millions of small businesses, including

non-profit organizations, sole proprietors and

independent contractors, from a wide array of industries

and business sectors, to survive this very

difficult economic environment.”

EIDL loan applications will continue to be accepted

through December 2021, pending the

availability of funds. Loans are offered at very

affordable terms, with a 3.75% interest rate for

small businesses and 2.75% interest rate for nonprofit

organizations, a 30-year maturity, and an

automatic deferment of one year before monthly

payments begin. Every eligible small business and

nonprofit are encouraged to apply to get the resources

they need.

Small business owner burnout is

real – here’s what you can do

Rest, Reframe, Rejuvenate

In an article by content marketing expert Susan

Guillory that appeared in Forbes magazine last

November, advice is given to small business owners

on how to deal with the burnout feeling you

can experience with everything going on.

“It's been a hell of a year, hasn't it? Between the

pandemic and politics—not to mention the dayto-day

stressors the average small business has —

it's been challenging to keep our heads above water,

let alone think about the future.

But as things slow down a bit around this holiday

season, I invite you to do three

things: Rest, reframe, and rejuvenate.

Trust me, both you and your business

will be better for it,” Guillory wrote.

The following are her tips on how to accomplish

the three Rs.

Rest:

Entrepreneurs desperately need time to

disconnect and unwind. Starting and running a

business understandably requires more work and

causes more stress: 61% of entrepreneurs have

32 • FALL 2020


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• Commercial Auto

• Umbrella

• Garagekeepers Legal Liability

• Persona I Property

• Employee Dishonesty

• Employment Practices Liability

• Business Income

• Equipment Breakdown

• Money & Securities

• Workers' Compensation

• Cyber Liability & Network Security

• Surety Bonds and much more!

Brandi Evans

Account Manager-Lead

email: Brandi.Evans@alliant.com

http://wwwwesterncarwash.com

CA DOI Lie. #OC36861

FALL 2020 • 33


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34 • FALL 2020


SMALL BUSINESS NEWS YOU CAN USE

higher stress levels than when they started

their businesses, and 60% struggle to take

time off, the article stated.

“Even if you can't go on your annual ski

vacation this year, find time for rest. That

might mean taking a Friday off now and

then (a practice I highly recommend!) or

spending a long weekend in a cabin in the

woods. Heck, it could just be getting a massage

or turning off your phone after work

hours if that's the best you can do. But I

encourage you not to devalue the importance

of being well rested. A brain that isn't

stressed and overtaxed can come up with

innovative ideas.”

Reframe:

The biggest takeaway from 2020 is that

we can't rely on how we used to conduct

our businesses, Guillory wrote.

“You may struggle now to attract business

the way you used to, either because of the

economic climate making consumers gunshy

about spending money or because the

market has changed. The worst thing you

can do is continue doing ‘business as usual.’

These are not usual times, and even when

things level off, we will need to have a permanent

plan in place for what our businesses

will look like moving forward.”

Guillory suggested revisiting your business

plan and giving it an update. “Where you

find customers, what you sell, and your longterm

strategy may have shifted, so put those

changes in writing; your business is there to

remind you of how you might need to pivot

to survive.”

Rejuvenate:

Find your passion again

“I occasionally go through extreme burnout

in my business and lose passion for what

I do,” Guillory wrote. “It can be tough to do

the same thing for years. But when I feel like

I can't go on another day, I step back. I rest. I

take time away from my business and don't

even think about it for days or weeks. Inevitably,

when I return, I feel better.”

If that does not work, Guillory suggests

trying something else such as coming up

with a new product or service, or finding

different industries to work with. You might

learn a new skill. Or hire help to take some

of the pressure off of you.

“Don't let your passion die or running

your small business will consume your soul.”

And if these rejuvenation ideas don't work,

she advised, consider that it might be time to

call it quits. “Again, just like in a relationship,

sometimes there's a shelf life for your business,

and denying that will only make you

unhappy. Find an exit path and make room

for something new to light you up.”

CDC offers job stress tips

Whether you are going into work or working

from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has probably

changed the way you work, according to

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(CDC). “Fear and anxiety about this new disease

and other strong emotions can be overwhelming,

and workplace stress can lead to burnout. How

The CDC said to recognize the following

symptoms of stress you may be experiencing.

• Feeling irritation, anger, or in denial

• Feeling uncertain, nervous, or anxious

• Lacking motivation

• Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out

• Feeling sad or depressed

• Having trouble sleeping

• Having trouble concentrating

And here are the common work-related

factors that can add to stress during a

pandemic, according to the CDC:

• Concern about the risk of being exposed to

the virus at work

• Taking care of personal and family

needs while working

• Managing a different workload

• Lack of access to the tools and equipment

needed to perform your job

• Feelings that you are not contributing enough

to work or guilt about not being on the

frontline

• Uncertainty about the future of your

workplace and/or employment

• Learning new communication tools and

dealing with technical difficulties

• Adapting to a different workspace and/or

work schedule

The CDC said to follow these tips to build resilience

and manage job stress:

• Communicate with your coworkers, supervisors,

and employees about job stress while

maintaining social distancing (at least 6 feet).

• Identify things that cause stress and work

together to identify solutions.

• Talk openly with employers, employees,

and unions about how the pandemic is

affecting work. Expectations should be

communicated clearly by everyone.

• Ask about how to access mental health

resources in your workplace.

• Identify those things which you do not have

control over and do the best you can with the

resources available to you.

• Increase your sense of control by developing

a consistent daily routine when possible —

ideally one that is similar to your schedule

before the pandemic.

you cope with these emotions and stress can affect

your well-being, the well-being of the people you

care about, your workplace, and your community.

During this pandemic, it is critical that you recognize

what stress looks like, take steps to build your

resilience and manage job stress, and know where

to go if you need help.”

• Keep a regular sleep schedule.

• Take breaks from work to stretch,

exercise, or check in with your supportive

colleagues, coworkers, family, and

friends.

• Spend time outdoors, either being

physically active or relaxing.

• If you work from home, set a regular time

to end your work for the day, if possible.

• Practice mindfulness techniques.

• Do things you enjoy during non-work

hours.

• Know the facts about COVID-19. Be informed

about how to protect yourself and others.

Understanding the risk and sharing accurate

information with people you care about

can reduce stress and help you make a

connection with others.

• Remind yourself that each of us has a crucial

role in fighting this pandemic.

• Remind yourself that everyone is in an

unusual situation with limited resources.

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or

listening to news stories, including social

media. Hearing about the pandemic

repeatedly can be upsetting and mentally

exhausting

• Connect with others. Talk with people you

trust about your concerns, how you are

feeling, or how the COVID-19 pandemic is

affecting you.

• Connect with others through phone calls,

email, text messages, mailing letters or

cards, video chat, and social media.

• Check on others. Helping others improves

your sense of control, belonging, and

self-esteem. Look for safe ways to offer

social support to others, especially if

they are showing signs of stress, such

as depression and anxiety.

• If you feel you may be misusing alcohol or

other drugs (including prescription drugs) as a

means of coping, reach out for help.

• If you are being treated for a mental health

condition, continue with your treatment and

be aware of any new or worsening symptoms.

FALL 2020 • 35


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INCLUDING DIGITAL TIMERS FOR THE CAR WASH INDUSTRY.

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36 • FALL 2020

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INDUSTRY DIRT

HAPPENINGS IN & AROUND

THE SELF SERVE CARWASHING

Car Wash Owners Network

partners with Okie Express

Car Wash Owners Network (CWON), a portfolio

company of Baltimore, Maryland-based Access

Holdings, today announced it has closed its investment

in Okie Express Auto Wash, the largest car

wash operator in the Oklahoma City market, a press

release reported. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2008, Okie owns and operates 11

premier express car wash locations known across

Oklahoma City for their superior customer service,

convenient locations, exceptional wash quality

and speed. Okie washes more than one million

cars annually and supports multiple local charities.

CWON is partnering with Okie CEO Mike

North and COO Steve Holcomb to support the

company’s next stage of accelerated growth.

Kevin McAllister, Managing Partner and Founder

of Access Holdings, said in the press release,

“We are excited to partner with Mike and Steve,

who’ve built Okie into the #1 car wash operation

in the Oklahoma City market. During our investment

process, we developed a shared view of future

growth opportunities and a compelling vision

for the business we want to build together.”

Dover and OPW acquire

Innovative Control Systems ® (ICS)

Dover, and its OPW business unit, of De Pere,

Wisconsin, announced on January 6, 2021, that

it has acquired Innovative Control Systems, Inc.

(ICS), an industry-leading provider of technology

solutions for the car wash industry, based in

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. ICS will now become

part of OPW’s Vehicle Wash Solutions platform of

brands, which includes PDQ and Belanger.

“We are thrilled to bring ICS into OPW’s Vehicle

Wash Solutions group to provide customers state-ofthe-art

payment terminals and point-of-sale management

solutions, wash site management software and

other wash equipment technologies as part of a complete

vehicle wash solutions package,” Gary Campbell,

vice president and general manager for OPW

Vehicle Wash Solutions, stated in a press release.

Happy 80th birthday, Warsaw Chemical!

2021 marks the 80th year anniversary for Warsaw

Chemical. The company, which is based in Warsaw,

Indiana, has grown from a small manufacturer of

toilet bowl cleaners and mechanics hand soaps, into

a nationally recognized supplier of more than 300

cleaners, soaps, disinfectants, protectants, lubricants

and specialty products, a press release stated.

Warsaw Chemical was founded in 1941 and has

always been privately owned. Currently, about 70

people are employed by the company. “We are proud

of the fact that Warsaw Chemical has been a part of

the Warsaw Community for eight decades. We have

a team of highly talented people that have championed

the success of the company. We will continue

North added, “We had several options to consider

when looking for a growth partner, but Access

Holdings and CWON clearly distinguished themselves

by their knowledge of the industry and relationship-oriented

approach to crafting the right

deal. Their team focused on finding solutions that

were right for us and our business.”

Okie is CWON’s second investment in a car

wash operator. In January 2020, CWON partnered

with the ownership team of Cobblestone Auto

Spa, the premier car wash operator in Phoenix and

Denver. CWON’s affiliated network now includes

42 locations with additional locations planned to

open by the end of 2021. “We want to partner with

operators in attractive markets and accelerate their

expansion. Okie is another great example of this,

and we’re excited about our new partnership,” said

Jason Cellura, CWON’s Chief Development Officer,

stated in the press release.

CWON is executing a purposeful growth strategy

by partnering with express car wash operators in attractive

markets, the press release stated.

Both Vehicle Wash Solutions and ICS have previously

partnered to develop a retrofit kit for PDQ’s

installed base of Access payment terminals at inbay

automatic sites to ensure those customers have

access to EMV payment solutions and ongoing Payment

Card Industry compliance. This joint product

will be ready to launch in early 2021.

“By joining OPW, ICS can continue to expand its

customer base and partner with the Vehicle Wash

Solutions brands to bring innovative new products

to market. Those ICS customers who do not use

VWS equipment will continue to see our same focus

on innovation and dedicated customer support.

This is a great development for our business,” said

Kevin Detrick, founder and president of ICS.

to build on our history of creating and manufacturing

products that carry value and contribute to the

success of our clients,” Troy Gamble, CEO and partner

of Warsaw Chemical, stated in the press release.

Warsaw Chemical is a high-quality chemical

manufacturing business that produces a diversified

line of Warsaw Chemical Branded and Private Label

products distributed in four different markets:

Janitorial Cleaning Products, Disinfectants and

Hand Soaps; Car Wash Chemicals (our Car Choice

line) for self-serve systems, touchless automatics

and tunnel/conveyor washes; Tire Mounting Lubricants,

and Agrochemical Adjuvants.

DRB ® Adds

EverWash as

a DRB

Certified Interface

DRB, a leading provider of software and hardware

innovations to the car wash industry and

based in Akron, Ohio, announced on December

3, 2020, that EverWash, Inc., is now a DRB Certified

Interface. This new integration allows critical

information to flow between EverWash’s mobile

applications and DRB In-Bay Solutions’ Unitec®

brand of pay stations, a press release reported.

With the DRB Certified Interface, EverWash

can provide a mobile app to in-bay automatic

(IBA) car washes that utilize Unitec pay stations.

The app allows customers to purchase unlimited

plans on the app and redeem them by scanning a

code at the pay station, creating an easy, contactless

transaction.

This allows IBA washes to take advantage of the

recurring revenue that unlimited wash plans offer.

“We’re passionate about helping car wash operators

grow and get the most out of their assets,”

Dan Pittman, president and CEO of DRB, said

in the press release. “The EverWash integration

opens up new paths for unattended car wash operators

to generate revenue and consumer loyalty.

The ability to offer unlimited wash plans via

a mobile application is a game-changer for this

segment of the car wash industry.”

The DRB Certified Interface also enhances

EverWash’s ability to help car wash operators

grow their businesses and manage consumer behavior

in the face of growing competition, Scott

Pashley, EverWash’s Chief Revenue Officer stated

in the press release.

“This integration will provide the contactless

solution so many consumers are looking for now

while also streamlining the experience for hundreds

of our wash partners and tens of thousands

of members,” Pashley said in the press release. “We

are extremely excited to partner with DRB In-Bay

Solutions to grow our wash partner's profits."

"EverWash's DRB Certified Interface is a huge

win," said Jerry Sinner, general manager at Orlando's

Market and Carwash. "This made for a

straightforward EverWash implementation at

my location, and an effortless membership experience

for our customers. We look forward to

growing our membership thanks to the technology

offered by both EverWash and DRB In-Bay

Solutions moving forward."

The DRB Certified Interface program provides

a platform for the secure exchange of data

between DRB and third-party companies with

which car wash owners do business. DRB requires

vendors to complete a certification process which

helps ensure secure access to car wash data. DRB

supports its approved vendors with technical assistance

and system updates.

FALL 2020 • 37


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38 • FALL 2020


INDUSTRY DIRT

Sonny’s makes multiple acquisitions;

says more acquisitions are in the near future

Sonny’s, of Tamarac, Florida, the

world’s leading manufacturer of

conveyorized car wash equipment,

parts, and supplies, announced on

December 4, 2021, that it entered into a definitive

agreement to acquire Lone Star Car Wash Systems

based in Texas.

“Our proposal to acquire Lone Star was an easy decision

because it allows us to scale up our ability to

service clients in Texas faster than ever before,” Paul

Fazio, CEO of Sonny’s, stated in a press release. “We

believe this will be a game changer in Sonny’s helping

Texas car wash owners gain their unfair share.”

Through this acquisition, Sonny’s CarWash Services

of Texas has plans to expand quickly throughout

Texas servicing all stages of a car wash project and

business, the press release stated. Current car wash

owners and potential investors will have a local team

to rely on for help with everything from equipment

and chemistry, to site and management consulting,

maintenance, and repair.

“Creating Sonny’s CarWash Services of Texas provides

our clients incredible growth opportunities and

the best equipment, chemistry, controls and servicing

in the industry. We are grateful for Sonny’s partnership

and are eager to see what we can continue to achieve

together," Clay Wilson, owner and CEO of Lone Star

Car Wash Services, stated in a press release.

On December 16, in another press release, Sonny’s

hinted of future plans for additional acquisitions

in Texas.

“To service our current customers better and to

reach new customers, we intend to hire big,” Paul

Fazio, CEO of Sonny’s, stated in the December 15

press release. “We’re more than just a car wash equipment

manufacturer; we’re service people here to

service car wash owners every day of the year, at all

hours of the day.”

Sonny’s hosted a job fair for multiple positions

in Dallas, Texas, on December 16th. Qualified candidates

will have opportunities from all sides of the

industry including commissioned sales reps, district

managers, car wash service technicians, and drivers.

In other Sonny’s news, back on November 2, 2020,

the company announced the acquisition of Florida

CarWash Services.

Florida CarWash Services is a full line car wash

equipment and supply distributor primarily serving

the Centraland Northeast Florida market. Headquartered

in Apopka, Florida, just outside of Orlando,

CarWash Services is a family-owned company that

offers professional assistance to conveyor, in-bay and

self serve carwash operators.

“I’m pleased to share the news that Sonny’s has

acquired Florida CarWash Services,” Fazio stated in

the press release. “They have been a Sonny’s distributor

for over 8 years and are known for providing

superior service and support in Florida and helping

car wash owners maximize revenues. We couldn’t

be any more excited to form this new business relationship

with them.”

“Everyone at Florida CarWash Services is very excited

about this new partnership with Sonny’s and

all that we’ll be able to offer our customers,” Harold

Chenoweth, President and CEO of Florida CarWash

Services, stated in the press

release. “Our companies share

the same core values of service

to our customers. Being

a part of Sonny’s strengthens our ability to provide

the best service and solutions to help our customers

be more successful.”

Florida CarWash Services will continue to be led

by the same management team for the thousands of

clients it serves.

In an October 23, 2020, press release, Sonny’s announced

the acquisition of Harrell’s Car Wash Systems

based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Harrell’s is the leading distributor of carwash systems

and supplies in the Midwest, Northeast and

MidAtlantic regions. Founded over 40 years ago as

a carwash, Harrell’s has grown into a full service distributor

that provides site evaluation, design and development

assistance, equipment solutions and a full

line of chemical and parts.

“Our partnership with Harrell’s represents an opportunity

to service our customers better locally,”

Fazio stated in the press release. “When I look back

at the humble beginnings of both companies and the

growth we’ve experienced, the passion and commitment

to customers is what made Sonny’s and Harrell’s

the companies we are today. Sharing this value

is what makes this partnership possible.”

"Our commitment to helping in-bay and tunnel car

wash investors succeed is about finding ways to create

a competitive edge for their business,” said Chad

Tearman, president of Harrell’s, in the press release.

“With Harrell’s becoming part of Sonny’s CarWash

Services, our localized knowledge combined with

Sonny’s leadership position in carwash innovation

and manufacturing will only elevate the solutions we

deliver to all our customers on a local level to make

them more profitable.”

Harrell’s will continue to be led by the same management

team for the thousands of clients it serves.

And, last but not least, Sonny’s also announced the

acquisition of GoToKiosk, a manufacturer of custom pay

stations and kiosks, including hardware and software.

A December 4, 2020, press release stated that

GoToKiosks engineering excellence in factory direct

product and product mix, software innovations, and

marketing solutions provides Sonny’s clients with a

higher level of operational efficiency and profitability.

“Bringing together the technical strengths of our

two companies accelerates our ability to create new

car wash controls solutions, as well as marketing and

business management solutions that deliver more value

for our clients and partners,” Fazio stated in the

press release. “Evan Timmons and his team are well

known for high-quality products, technical expertise

and innovative systems. This is a great addition to our

Controls and Marketing solutions and a huge benefit

for our clients.”

“The combination of our products and Sonny’s

world-class Controls technology offers tremendous

benefit for car wash owners and the industry. We’re

proud to become a part of Sonny’s and we look forward

to creating more cutting-edge technology for

the carwash industry,” Evan Timmons, General Manager

of GoToKiosk, stated in the press release.

FALL 2020 • 39


INDUSTRY DIRT

Belanger’s Cube® Soft-Touch In-Bay Automatic Wash System

wins Best New Product Contest

Belanger, of De Pere, Wisconsin, a leading manufacturer

of tunnel and in-bay automatic vehicle

wash systems, and a product brand of OPW Vehicle

Wash Solutions, is proud to announce its Cube®

Soft-Touch In-Bay Automatic Wash System has

been named the winner in the Car Wash/Forecourt

category of CSP magazine’s 17th Annual Retailer

Choice Best New Product Contest. According to

a November 2, 2020, press release, the winners of

the contest, which honors the convenience-store

industry’s most successful product launches from

the past year, are chosen via an online poll of c-store

retailers. The Cube’s victory was celebrated during

a Virtual Best New Product Happy Hour that was

hosted by CSP on Oct. 14, and it was honored in

print in the December issue of CSP magazine.

“We were incredibly excited to learn that our

Cube vehicle wash system had been chosen as the

winner of CSP’s contest by the retailers,” Gary

Campbell, General Manager for OPW Vehicle

Wash Solutions, stated in the press release. “The

needs of any vehicle-wash customer are simple –

provide customers with a cleaner car and do so

efficiently. But the Cube’s capabilities go well beyond

that. The Cube is a truly unique IBA wash

system, one that checks every box for a high-quality,

reliable, cost-effective, safe and enjoyable vehicle-washing

experience.”

In addition to providing a cleaner vehicle, the

Cube does its job quietly and without the commotion

that can come from brushes beating against

the surfaces of the vehicle. The Cube utilizes

slow-spinning friction wheels and Belanger’s ShineMitt

foam media to reduce noise levels and thoroughly

clean the vehicle with gentle brush passes.

The Cube also features a host of “smart” technology

systems, allowing it to be precise, intuitive and

flexible while providing the best possible cleaning

result for each customer.

The Cube also offers remote-access capabilities,

patented LED-enhanced wheels and spray arms

that cycle through six colors to provide Active

Site Marketing, and an innovative scissor-arm

top wheel that precisely lowers to the vehicle and

covers more area along the front, top and rear of

the vehicle. The Cube’s LED lights also provide

navigational assistance to move customers in and

out of the bay quickly, increasing throughput.

EXTRA!

EXTRA!

Presenting the news stories

featuring self serve car washes

NOW

OPEN

New wash opens in Iowa

JQS Deluxe Car Wash of Vinton,

Iowa, is open for business.

A November Iowa News story

quoted owner John Ketchen who

said the new car wash features two

self-service bays, a brush automatic

bay, and a brushless automatic--with

each offering the option to pay with cash, credit,

or by app.

“All machines [are] able to scan your phone for

payment. [We offer] a mobile app with push notifications,

discounts, and club promotions,” Ketchen said.

The cement in and around the car wash is heated,

including the exits. Ketchen said in the story, “Snow

and ice should never get in the exits and freeze the

bay doors...The boiler continually pumps all the

water under the heated cement and in storage.”

Ketchen contracted with Washworld for the car

wash system itself but used local contractors for

everything else. Ketchen has owned and operated

John’s Qwik Stop since purchasing the business

from John and Bev Anderson in the fall of 1995,

the story said.

Ketchen estimated that between the convenience

store construction in 2016 and the car wash this

year, JQS has spent more than $2.5 million locally.

His Vinton store employs 35 full- and part-time

employees, one of whom will be present at the car

wash to answer questions and keep the bays clean a

majority of the time, Ketchen said in the story.

Daytona business tycoon hopes car wash will revitalize area

Back in 2004, businessman Chuck Duva transformed

the LPGA Boulevard of Daytona, Florida,

from a sleepy rural road into a magnet for commercial

development, according to a January 24, 2021,

Daytona Beach News-Journal story.

Now Duva hopes to help spark the revitalization

of the "Gateway to the World's Most Famous

Beach" on the city's beachside that leads to the Atlantic

Ocean, by including new businesses including

a self serve car wash.

40 • FALL 2020

Duva recently paid approximately $1.4 million

to acquire three commercial properties with a goal

is to redevelop them, starting with renovating the

5,000-square-foot former Shell gas station/convenience

store/car wash. The car wash is a much

needed amenity that is currently lacking on Daytona

Beach's beachside, Duva said in the story.

The Shell station and car wash closed more than a

decade ago and are surrounded by a chain link fence

with "No Trespassing" signs on it. The property has become

an eyesore on a

stretch of road that

Duva describes as

"an embarrassment"

and one of the most visible examples

of blight because of its prime location along the

city's busiest east-west corridor, the story said.

Duva said he currently expects to spend at least

$3.5 million to $4 million on improvements to his

newly purchased properties.


FALL 2020 • 41


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FALL 2020 • 43


EXTRA!

EXTRA!

Here’s some sweet news!

While washing his wife’s car at the Running

Clean Car Wash in Fredericksburg, Texas, Anthony

Ware felt his Aggie Class of ’94 ring slip off his finger.

According to the Fredericksburg Standard, the

ring had been loosened by soap and water, and fell

into the drain under a wash bay on Saturday, January

23. When he realized it was gone, the former

college basketball player lifted the heavy grate and

got down on his knees to search for it.

It was more than just a ring Ware, it was a representation

of his journey.

He told the Standard he had a rough childhood

in Chicago where his parents could sometimes not

afford heat, his fridge was never full and he never

had a Christmas tree. “She broke it down. There is

no Santa. There is no Easter bunny. No such thing

as magic,” Ware said in the story. “We are poor.”

As he grew older, he understood his future was

limited. So, all Ware wanted was a basketball, he

said in the story. “I figured nothing in this neighborhood

is going to get me out of here except

maybe playing a sport, and going to college, or

going into the military.” Ware found a basketball

with a hole in it and wrapped it in duct tape.

Ware eventually got into Texas A&M University

for his basketball skills. It was there at college

where Ware finally felt like his life took a turn. He

had support, friends and the future seemed bright.

Getting the ring meant a lot to him and he had

been wearing it proudly since graduating over 25

years ago. Even before losing it at the car wash, he

had discovered a man selling an Aggie ring that did

not belong to him. Ware paid him $100 and posted

about the find online in search of the owner,

the story said.

As for him losing it at the car wash, Ware was

determined to find it and after an hour of trying to

fish it from the sludge, attendant Alonso Castillo

came to the bay to help.

“The two worked together trying to find the

ring. Soon after, the Stroeher and Son, Inc. general

manager Steve Olfers joined the hunt and Ware

told the men why the ring was so important to

him. Both of Olfers’ daughters attended Texas

A&M University, so he knew the old tradition tied

to the lost piece of jewelry,” the story said.

Olfers and Castillo continued the search even

after Ware had to leave.

“I admire him and his tenacity,” Olfers said, in

the story.

The next day, Duane Neffendorf joined the two

men in search of the ring. Using a metal detector

didn’t work so the men ended up resorting to

shoveling and sifting through the mud.

‘Don’t play with

me, Steve. My

emotions are fragile

right now. I’m an

eggshell and I’ve

got a piano hanging

over my head’

Later that Sunday, Neffendorf found the ring.

They were able to track down Ware’s address so

that they could tell him the good news.

“When Steve showed up at the door, I said

‘Don’t play with me, Steve. My emotions are fragile

right now. I’m an eggshell and I’ve got a piano

hanging over my head,’” Ware said in the story.

Olfers showed Ware the ring safely locked up in

his office. According to the story, Offers said, “You

couldn’t imagine the joy in his face.”

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44 • FALL 2020


Self serve coming to Southington, Connecticut

Plans for a self serve car wash have been submitted

to town officials in Meriden, Connecticut,

according to a Record-Journal story.

The January 22, 2021, story said Michael Riccio,

Michael Fasulo and David Carabetta own three

parcels of land and when they bought the property

about seven years ago, they had intended to

market it to a drug store chain but those companies

began to slow their growth around that time.

“We had a lot of interest from drug stores and

gas stations and all kinds of stuff, but nothing ever

came to fruition,” Riccio said in the story. “When

the drug stores started pulling back, it shrunk our

pool of potential buyers.”

Carabetta already owns Class Act Auto Wash

in Meriden, Connecticut, which is a self-service

car wash with a 1950s theme.

Construction will hopefully start in the Spring.

“We are beyond excited to finally clean it up,” Riccio

said in the story. “We know it’s been an eyesore

EXTRA!

EXTRA!

for a long time. It was a product of the market.”

Plans are for there to be five wash stations including

automatic wash, truck and self-service areas.

Sharon Blanchette, a resident who lives next to

the proposed car wash, said having a car wash next

door would not bother her.

“Right now, the way it looks, it’s just an eyesore,”

Blanchette said in the story. “I’m glad they ’re going

to put something there.”

Car wash wants to add on meat cutting and packing facility

In Andover, Hampshire, England, a car wash that

was raided by police for illegally operating as a

meat processing plant is now applying for a permit

to allow for it to legally pack mean. In November

2020, over 5,200 pounds of meat was seized after

council officers stormed the site, finding beef, goat

and lamb in “poor conditions”.

A planning application for the site was submitted

on January 28, according to the Andover Advertiser.

“The new facility will have a covered van delivery

and dispatch area for the meat facility, with a car

wash area being maintained the other side of the

former petrol station’s steel columns nearer to the

road. The hours of its opening are not yet known.”

If approved, the application would allow for the

legitimate packing and cutting of meat at the site,

the story said, following a prohibition of such activity

at the site following a council enforcement raid.

Another similar raid took place in Devizes, England,

back in October, where fresh meat was being

cut in “grossly unhygienic” conditions at a car wash.

The facility’s operator, Gent Jakupi, moved his

operations to the new car wash site iwithout registeringwith

the council or Food Standards Agency.

This site was then raided on November 27. At

the time, according to the story, Jakupi said that

he was buying the meat fresh and shipping it the

same day, so was unaware that he needed a licence.

He added that his premises were cleaned thoroughly,

describing the floor as “so clean I would be

happy to eat off it.”

However Councillor Simon Jacobs, cabinet

member for public health and public protectionnd,

disagreed and said officers were “shocked” by

the conditions.

Jacobs was quoted as saying, “They found that

even the most basic requirements such as clean

food rooms, a hot water supply, washing facilities,

the control of pests and basic welfare facilities for

food handlers were missing. This business has put

their customers at risk.”

The application is currently under consideration

by Wiltshire Council, with a decision to be made

in due course, the story said.

FALL 2020 • 45


INNOVATIONS

INTRODUCING NEW AND IMPROVED PRODUCTS

AND SERVICES FOR SELF SERVE CAR WASHES

Spray from Buffalo Scents

Mud Stopper

Plugs from

Kleen-Rite

Have you noticed that mud, grime, and grit sometimes builds up in the

outer holes of the fiberglass grating in your car wash bay? It’s difficult

to clean out this sludge and it might begin to collect gravel and small

pieces of trash. This is unattractive and potentially unsafe for customers.

In addition, this increases the possibility that brushes will pick up solid

particles that can scratch or damage vehicle surfaces.

Mud Stopper plugs easily and quickly

solve this problem! Once you identify

which holes in your grating collect mud,

you can clean them out and insert a plug

in each one. This directs the mud and

sludge further towards the center of the

grate where it will fall into the pit instead

of building up around the edges. Plugs

are easy to insert and perfectly sized for

common car wash grating. Your wash

will instantly look cleaner, stay cleaner,

and provide a safer experience for all

customers and employees. Packs of 100

plugs are available.

Buffalo Scents Room Spray is specifically made to quickly freshen any

room, while also providing a special scent for your entire home or car.

The new forest scent has a majestic redwood cedar forest scent with a nice

strong thyme note running through it. This is the California redwood forest

in a bottle! Hints of wild oranges, yuzu, delicate jasmine, and rosewood rest

on a bed of ancient red cedar, fir needles, and fresh thyme bushes with a dry

down of dark oud, amber, and cashmere musk.

This environmentally friendly, non-aerosol bottle quickly freshens any

room or car for instant fragrance.

The Buffalo Scents trusted formula is made with essential and fragrance oils,

water and alcohol (to help the oils mix with the water). Plus, the plant-derived

ingredients are safe to use on many fabric types (excluding delicates).

Made without propellants, phthalates, parabens, or artificial colors - and of

course, always a cruelty free room air freshener.

Count-up timer from B&C

Electronic Engineering

The new TM5-CU Self-Serve Car Wash Bay

Timer from B&C Electronic Engineering counts

up to allow for longer washes without interruption.

It is compatible with most Hi-Performance

installed sites (now National Carwash Solutions)

and works with major credit card terminals including

ePort, NAYAX, CryptoPay etc.

Upgrading your self-serve bays with the latest

timer can increase your revenue per wash and

encourage the loyalty and business of wash customers.

The new TM5-CU is manufactured in the

USA for National Carwash Solution and their customers

and is made with the same dependability

of the long-standing TM5-J. And, because it counts

up, the new TM5-CU allows customers to stay in

wash mode longer without having to add more

money or swipe their card again.

46 • FALL 2020


FALL 2020 • 47


FUN&

GAMES

WHAT’S

DIFFERENT?

Think these two pictures taken at a

self serve car wash are the same?

Think again! There are six differences.

Can you spot them all?

1. Bay 4 changed to Bay 5

2. Bay 1 hose is gone

3. Pole on roof is missing

4. Bay 4 hose is shorter

5. Sign in Bay 2 is missing

6. White paint in Bay 3 is higher

WE HAVE ANOTHER

FLIP BOOK!

Not since Yakov Smirnoff has a

Russian given me such a laugh.

What we have here is an August

2020 video posted to YouTube

of 32-year-old Anna Zhakova of

Saint Petersburg, Russia.

HOW TO MAKE A FLIP BOOK.

Cut out each picture in order as listed below.

Stack from top to bottom. Staple on left side and flip away!

1 2 3 4

Zhakova was apparently unaware

of the power of the self serve car

wash wand and ends up going for

a little tumble, and then another

tumble, and then a backward

somersault, eventually hitting the

wall, and then, voila! With the

grace of Oksana Baiul, she gets

back up again, never letting go of

the wand.

Maybe it was just a stunt, but

you can judge for yourself by

searching “Woman Has Epic

Car Wash Fail.”

5 6 7 8

According to the YouTube

description, Zhakova was quoted

saying, “The water was very

strong and it took me more than

three attempts to just gain control

of the jet.”

48 • FALL 2020


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FALL 2020 • 49


FILL IN THE

BLANK

MY GOAL FOR 2021

(BUSINESSWISE) IS TO ....

... make more money! - APW

... make more money than APW. - MEP001

... sell out and retire like Pat Hall - Randy

... raise my prices, new pole sign, paint outside of

building. Maintain the excellent service I provide. -

swampdonkey

... I maintain my carwash's equipment very well but

have let the years go by w/ the decals deteriorating

and it's always been too far down on my to-do list

to ever get to... 2021 goal is to make some drafts

to print of ideas for sign shops to then create some

nice-looking decals and signage to where my

signage finally again matches my equipment's high

performance for a change! - Carl

... figure out methanol soap, complete installation of

floor heat, install FRP panels, install air Shamee. -

Andy Burn

... paint the wash, introduce new chemicals (in stock,

just running out old stock), stabilize revenue at target

level. - Greg_T

... close the deal and get to work on rehab!! -

PrecisionPyro

... install new wash World Razor, new doors,

new wall panels, lighting, cameras. Sell .25 used

cars, install new detail shop vacuums, build an

awning over my pay station, build an awning over

my token machine, install 5 More streetlights in

my parking lot, install two new internally lit car

wash signs on the building. - Waxman

... stay retired - I.B. Washincars

... hopefully, get stronger in the ability to organize &

be able to access key information pertinent to our 3

semi-automated services that we provide. Easier said

than done ... but if we avoid unnecessary worthless

distractions... - Mjwalsh

... hopefully Survive This Newly Elected President -

water guy

... in the words of Randolph Duke: Sell, Mortimer, sell,

sell, sell!! (1980s movie Trading Places, for those of

you too young to remember) - washnvac

Double the Detail business we do. - BenBranam

... buy another wash - Slash007

And we have had more responses to this fill in the

blank thread since its original posting date last year

THE FUNNY THING

ABOUT OWNING A

SELF SERVE IS ___________

…fortunately, when they left 3 hours later, they had cleaned up most of their

mess! The gray bucket that was left behind was taken by the next customer

who drove in. Not sure if it was paint or cleaner, but it was gone when I arrived!

Although I didn't make much money in that bay overnight, I am GRATEFUL they

didn't steal anything, break anything, burn anything or leave a HUGE mess!! …

The funny thing about owning a self serve is seeing such a striking contrast in

people every day: Common sense vs Stupidity, Happy vs Depressed, Grateful

vs Unthankful, Neat vs Messy, Free-spender vs Thrifty, Positive vs Negative,

Introverts vs Extroverts, etc. - Kimberly Berg

…Wondering why I got in this business in the first place... - Twodose

...how people perceive that I probably spend about an hour a week collecting

big bags of money, without having to do any other work! - Greg_T

If you would like to contribute your own answer, visit AutoCareForum.com

and do a keyword search of “fill in the blank.”

50 • FALL 2020


FALL 2020 • 51


Strange Legends

PIT

FROM THE

PIT

Legends

It’s the Pits...

Along with dealing with clueless customers and having to repair vandalized equipment, on a scale of

1 to10, how bad is cleaning out the car wash pits? If you do it yourself, from the back-breaking, yuckentrenched

ick, it is most likely a 10. Some have found solace in knowing you can pay others to do it …

but at a cost. So, what is the best solution? Pay in terms of labor, or pay in terms of cost?

Here are some stories from fellow self serve owners who share what works best for them.

John Hilzendeger owns two Monroe Street

Powerwash locations which include self serve

and automatic bays and are located in Spokane

and Hayden, Washington. The Hayden location

has smaller pits requiring monthly cleanings and

they use a clam shell digger for that location. “The

second location in Spokane has much bigger pits,

but with the grate being smaller the clam shell digger

does not work as well so they use a commercial

company that uses a pump/vacuum system,” said

Hilzendeger. They have the commercial company

come in the early spring of each year. The costs of

maintaining the pits is around 1.5% of gross revenue

for the self serve bays.

As for the amount of time it takes, he estimates

it takes roughly 30 minutes per pit.

Kimberly Berg, the owner of the five-bay

self serve Citrus Heights Car Wash, in Citrus

Heights, California, said she hires a local pumping

company which comes out once a year every

November.

52 • WINTER 2021

“I have a 1500-gallon size tank and it costs me

$1050. The process takes less than an hour for them

to suck up the sludge and wash down my pits. Because

their truck is so large, and blocks access to

two wash bays and two vacuums, I schedule them

to come out early in the morning, usually around 7

a.m., in November when business is slow,” Berg said.

As for her advice for new owners, she suggests

scheduling such services regularly as an essential

maintenance item.

“When I first purchased my car wash, the pits had

not been emptied in a while. It was full of smelly

sludge, that had backed up into the wash bays.

There was so much sludge, that it required two

trips and cost me double to remove! In the past,

when we noticed more oil in the pits, I dropped in

oil-absorbing sheets, but it's so messy to pull out

the oily sheets and throw them into a trash bag.

This year, I researched an easier solution that is better

for the environment. It's a concentrated liquid

bacterial enzyme, that is supposed to break down

oil in grease traps and drain lines. It's called ‘Get Serious’

and it has 4-star reviews on Amazon. It cost

me $24.98 for 1 gallon. I pour 1 cup (8 ounces) into

my main pit every month, from each of our 5 wash

bays. We'll see how good it works next November,

but it certainly won't hurt anything!”

Mike Walsh, owner of King Koin Launderette

& Car n Dog Wash in Bismarck, North Dakota,

has been in the business for 50 years, and said

that one thing that came about from unbelievable

intense competition from local gas stations no longer

doing any mechanical service work and adding

"100% hands off" drive thru automatics was the

increase from Roto Rooter and many others offering

car wash suction services. “Whereas” he added,

“it was almost impossible for those services in our

area back in the 70s.”

“Those were the days when I personally physically

cleaned out our pits,” Walsh said. “Since I was

a quite a bit younger ... in retrospect ... the exercontinued

...


Vending Islands

Prep Units

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to customize their wash to meet

market demands and produce

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Simple, compact, easy to

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Typical prep units include highpressure

wash only. Additional

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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 supplier.

9400 Series Vacuum

The 94000 Series Vacuums are constructed of high quality, stainless

steel and provide high performance. Our affordable dual-function

vacuums mean long life, dependability, and a higher return on your

dollar than any other equipment. Round in shape, the 94000 Series

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choice of dome color and matching decal graphics.

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• Single point of collection

• Credit card capable

• Large capacity keyed vault

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• Bill acceptance available

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• Post is 3” x 6” x 8’ tall for the fixed vac arch

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WINTER 2021 • 53


It’s the Pits...

cise probably did me some good ... and timewise

possibly did help to keep (ha ha) me a bit more

out of mischief.”

Another observation, added Walsh, “Was the

farm septic tank pumpers rose to the new potential

business which helps to explain the more small

pumpers willing to serve us car washers starting

back in the late 1980s – early 1990s.”.

Bill Hoaglin of Grubville, Missouri, said they

use a septic pumping company for his seven bays,

plus the reclaimer tank. It costs $450 and they

have them pumped totally clean every 60 days.

He said the cheapest location is $350 for three

bays and the reclaimer pit. “[it is] well worth the

money to [pay] to have it done.”

Tony Fitch, a car wash owner in Oklahoma,

agrees that hiring outside help is the way to go. “Hire

[to have] it done.” Why? “Too many regulations.”

Ervin H. Wyatt owns a four-self-serve and

two-in-bay-automatic car wash in the Western

Slope of Colorado, and he said they do it all inhouse.

“We have our bay pits done by our staff, and

we dump it into a big pit, which we have serviced

every other week costing $300 per time.”

Recent retiree Pat Hall, who previously owned

The Car Pool in Bardstown, Kentucky, said that

back in the early '70s they had a wash with small

pits and they shoveled it straight into the dumpster.

“After that and until my retirement last year,

I always paid to have them cleaned and hauled off.

Most of his pits were 3’x7’ and 4’ foot deep. I would

say we would average a couple of times a year. I had

several different pumpers over the years, but at the

end I think I was paying around $150 per pit.”

Now this is clever!

Carwashforum.com user Alberta North has 8

SS bays with 2 truck wash self serves and he made a

custom bucket. “It works great. I also dump outside

and let it dry.” It is an attachment for a skid steer.

He said he bought the mounting plate and got their

local welding shop to build the bucket to his specs.

The main reason he invented it was to save time,

labor and cost.

“I also don’t have to rely on anyone to come help.

I can do the whole job myself and on my schedule,”

he added.

Is pit cleaning the worst job ever?

Or should people just deal with it and

realize it's just part of the job?

Answers submitted via carwashforum.com

Trust me. It is not the worst job ever. Dirty yes

though. I use a company that pumps them out.

Costs me $600 for six bays and may take 2 or3

years before another. And the best part is they give

me money to put their dirt there. - MAC

That blows my mind that y'all can go one, two, or

even three years. I have to clean the five pits at one

of my washes that I just cleaned 3 weeks ago again

this weekend. The other two washes I can only go

about 2 months before they have to be cleaned out.

My biggest pit is 4 ft deep 8 ft long and 3 ft wide

and it's the one that will make it two months. - APW

We clean our pits every 2-3 months.

From my perspective, no option, but to deal with

it. We clean it ourselves. - CENTRALTEX

Worst part is the smell from grain that is fermenting

in the bottom. - SWAMPDONKEY

I have to clean pits on average every 2 months.

No way I could afford to be paying someone

else to do it. - SOAPY

Lots of variables. When I was a kid my dad paid

me to clean pits with a bucket and a shovel. One

of the pits was large with a manhole cover that

required getting down into the pit to clean it. That

was not a lot of fun but after watching Dirty Jobs,

it is not the worst job ever, it may not even be the

worst job in car washing.

Moved to a Handi-clam at the recommendation of

guys on the forum and no more getting into the pit.

Now we have the pits pumped, easiest solution but

a lot more expensive. - DAVIDM

In 2019 I had a sewer problem which required

me to climb into the tank and jet the line myself.

This took hours. The problem was the 'plumber'

had connected my new sewer pumps incorrectly,

so the wrong diagnosis of the problem was made.

THIS was the hardest job at the car wash for

me - WAXMAN

My wash is in a unique site. Affluent market

area and customers that really don't get their

cars too dirty. I wash the bays down by blowing

and dirt to the vacant lot behind the place.

Pits are 3'W by 3'D by 6'L. - MAC

Mine wash was built for rural use knowing mud

was going to be a problem, so they designed my

pits 9 feet deep. Once every year and a half for

me seems to be the average for cleaning.

Dirty job! Keep those drain pipes clean with a

jetter too! Overflowing pit drains with freezing

weather is certainly no fun! - DAVID ROLF

Mine only has one pit; the rest have a drain with a

basin that lifts out to catch most of the mud. The

basins have to be dumped about once a week,

which isn't a huge deal. The pit is huge, 4' across,

8' long and 8' deep. I don't know why they made

it so deep, the lines from the other bays come in

a foot off the bottom, so I can't let the mud get

above that. It only costs $500 to have it cleaned

once a year. The original owner managed to go his

first 8 years without cleaning it. - MEP001

My guess is that if I didn't shovel my own pits, we

would need to get them pumped every 3 months or

so, at a cost of $2,000 (which is just way too much

for a wash of our turnover to absorb). We had

them pumped once out of necessity but will aim to

never do so again. So, each week I use old-fashioned

shovels and buckets to keep the pits nearly

empty. This also helps to keep drains and the final

discharge pit clean. It seems that our pumping and

disposal costs in Australia are much higher than in

the U.S. - GREG_T

I have a Ring-O-Matic and 2 Handi Clam. I usually

have an employee hit the pits and dump it in my

drying area. I have 2 Handi Clams...1 6' one for

hitting the pits to buy us some more time, and a 15'

one for hitting the interceptor. Local septic company

wants $500/pit to haul and dump (they also

need to test). I pay a guy $300 to haul away the

dried-out dirt. - CAR_WASH_GUY

I have to shovel out my pits every 7 days in the

winter and every 14 days in the summer. It's a real

PITA! When you're 70 years old it can be a challenge.

- RANDY

99% of washes in my metro area have 500-600

gallon in-ground pre-cast concrete tanks under

each bay…plumbed to a 1,500-gallon partitioned

sand/oil separator buried out in the parking lot.

The bay tanks are topped with cast iron, traffic

duty sewer grates. The s/o tank has a manhole

cover over each section.

Prior to DOT and municipalities converting to

liquid deicers from salt and sand we had to have

the bay tanks pumped out about twice a year. The

s/o tank had to be pumped every 2-3 years. Cost

was about $2,500 per visit for my 8-bay.

After DOT switched to liquid deicers our 500 tanks

could go nearly 1-1/2 years between pumping…

there aren’t any unpaved roads for miles around!

Then, the local sewer district created a Sand/Oil

inspection division. A tech shows up with a test rig

and an iPad. He dips the tank and takes a photo

with the iPad. An email is immediately generated

showing the test results and remedy, if needed.

(They allow only 10% of the tank’s capacity to

contain solids…it’s usually only superfine sludge).

The techs have been on the property searching for

the source of waste stream contamination…antifreeze,

oil, toxins, etc. They take this stuff seriously

because it kills the “bugs'' at the sanitary sewer

treatment plant!

The pumping company we used specializes in

carwashes. Their trucks and facility are state-ofthe-art.

They accept all responsibility for treatment

and disposal.

25 years of ownership and I cannot recall ever

touching the mud! My rural and mountain town

friends…not so lucky!

Side note: Since liquid deicers were introduced…less

cost for solids removal…more wintertime

revenue from customers wanting to get the

Mag Chloride off their vehicles ASAP! A win-win for

the carwashes! And, I no longer have to have my

windshield repaired/replaced on an annual basis. A

loss for the glass shops. - CANTBREAK80

54 • WINTER 2021


POLL

Do you clean

the car wash

pits yourself?

Yes

No, I hire

outside

help to do it

43.8% 50%

6.3%

No, an employee does it

From the Forum:

Do you clean the car wash pits yourself?

Answers submitted via carwashforum.com

I have cleaned my pits for over 20 years, on my

2nd Ring-O-Matic 750. I pump in the evening

when the wash has slowed down. I paid off the

first pumper in 2 1/2 years pumping my 3 washes

and hiring out too. I didn’t pump sewage tanks. -

SWAMPDONKEY

I’ve been digging them, but my back can’t handle

it anymore. I’m dealing with four washes now, we

just priced out having them pumped and they want

$6000 twice a year. Time to buy a Ring-o-matic

clamshell cleaner... - MEP001

I used a Ring-O-Matic for 25 years and did all

the pumping myself for the first15 years. Then

I mostly let my employees do it for 10 years.

Now I use a tractor with a custom-made pit shovel,

and I do the pit cleaning about 1/2 the time as this

makes cleaning the pits like sitting on an easy chair.

Gator from this forum made the first one. I do my

own, and make sure I do some each week rather

than letting it build up. At this stage I can still get it

done with shovel and buckets, but I’ll see where I’m

at in 5-10 years! - GREG_T

On my dad’s first wash, back in the early 70s, we

shoveled them out, directly into the dumpster. All

subsequent washes, we built with large pits and

always paid to have them cleaned. - I.B. WASHINCARS

Do it myself with a Ring-O-Matic. I have 4 bays total

and it only takes me a couple of hours. Then I haul

the dirt to my property and dump it. - COOLL903

So, I had my pits in the bays pumped about a month

ago, 3-1000 gallon in the bays, this guy charged me

$350.00, I know cheap, I gave him $450.00 and said

I will see you next year! …They take it to a sewage

treatment plant. I actually offered for them to unload

some on my property because they couldn’t fit

all three bays on their truck for one trip, and they

refused to do it. - TWODOSE

…The best price we have found is $350 per

1,250-gallon bay and compared to everyone else was

crazy cheap. - OURTOWN

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WINTER 2021 • 55


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56 • WINTER 2021


Watch

Your

Back!

Pit Tip

From Lamar Skarda

(PAST SWCA PRESIDENT, 2000-2001)

This originally appeared in the Spring 2015 edition

of Self Serve Car Wash News and was contributed

during the SCWA Convention and EXPO

In 1991, the National Institute for Occupational

Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed a revised

equation to assess lifting conditions.The 1991 equation

uses six factors that have been determined to

influence lifting difficulty the most.The 1991 equation

maintains the biomechanical criteria for establishing

the maximum lower back compression force

of 770 lbs.The load constant had been reduced

from 90 pounds to 51 pounds because of the need

to increase the minimum horizontal distance from

6 inches to 10 inches (which is believed to be the

minimum attainable horizontal distance as measured

from the spine during lifting).

Application of the NIOSH lifting tasks assumes

the following:

• Lifting task is two-handed, smooth, in front of the

body, hands are at the same height or level, moderate-width

loads (i.e., they do not substantially

exceed the body width of the lifter), and the load

is evenly distributed between both hands.

• Manual handling activities other than lifting are

minimal and do not require significant energy expenditure,

especially when repetitive lifting tasks

are performed (i.e., holding, pushing, pulling,

carrying, walking or climbing).

• Temperatures (66-79°F) or humidity (35-50%) outside

of the ranges may increase the risk of injury.

• One-handed lifts, lifting while seated or kneeling,

lifting in a constrained or restricted workspace,

lifting unstable loads, wheelbarrows and shovels

are not tasks designed to be covered by the lifting

equation.

• The shoe sole to floor surface coupling should

provide for firm footing.

Also, according to OSHA, the factors

associated with back disorders include:

• Reaching while lifting.

• Poor posture--how one sits or stands.

• Stressful living and working activities--

staying in one position for too long.

• Bad body mechanics--how one lifts,

pushes, pulls, or carries objects.

• Poor physical condition-losing the strength

and endurance to perform physical tasks

without strain.

• Poor design of job or workstation.

• Repetitive lifting of awkward items, equipment.

• Lifting and lowering assumes the same level of

risk for low back injuries.

• Using the Guidelines in situations that do not

conform to these ideal assumptions will typically

underestimate the hazard of the lifting task under

investigation.

According to OSHA, here are some tips on how

to avoid back injuries:

• Turn the whole body by moving the feet

instead of twisting the torso.

• Use long-handled tools to minimize torso bending.

• Use the "right" shovel for the job.

• Use round-bladed shovels for

sand and dry earth.

• Use square-bladed shovels for

coarse-grained materials such

as gravel or rocky soil from piles.

• Use shovels with a rolled step for digging in

hard earth, so that the pressure applied to the

bottom of feet is spread over a wider area.

• Use smaller shovel heads (trenching shovel)

to minimize the weight of material lifted.

• Break digging tasks into segments no longer

than 15 minutes mixed with non-digging

tasks, depending on environmental conditions

and required digging effort.

• Alternate shoveling between

left and right sides of the body.

• Reduce the throwing distance by placing

wheelbarrows close to the digging area.

Optimal throw distance is approximately

3 feet and should not exceed 4 feet.

Some of the causes of Back Disorders

• Use proper personal protective equipment

(PPE), including protective gloves and

safety shoes with steel shanks.

• Twisting while lifting.

• Bending while lifting.

• Maintaining bent postures.

• Heavy lifting.

• Fatigue.

• Poor footing such as slippery floors,

or constrained posture.

• Lifting with forceful movement.

• Vibration, such as with lift truck drivers,

delivery drivers, etc.

Signs and Symptoms: include pain

when attempting to assume normal

posture, decreased mobility, and pain when

standing or rising from a seated position.

It’s not an idea original to me, but what I’ve

done in most of my bays is attempt to keep

the mud out of the pit.

1. I take the grate off, put a flat quarter-inch

diamond plate on top of it, and on one side

of it put about a 2” piece of pipe that sticks

up even with the top of your concrete.

2. Then I put a slit down one side of it

and about 95% of the mud stays on

top of the pit – stays up in the bay.

3. Then you have your guy come in,

I guess during hunting season, you [them]

come in 2-3 times a day and clean it up.

4. It’ll usually be dried up so you can

throw it in the dumpster.

If you do it all the time, you don’t end up

with one of those 10,000-pound dumpsters

that turns the truck over and he can actually

dump the stuff and haul it off on a regular

basis. If you have a really muddy time, then

maybe you need to get twice-a-week service

…About two years ago I started paying them

a little more money and once a week they dig

one pit and they go from one pit to the next

pit. They dig the pit today, leave it laying on

top, it dries out and the next day they put that

one out of service. The next day they come

in, throw it in the dumpster and the next week

they do another one. So, you minimize the

amount of weight you get in the dumpster

and you get it hauled off on a regular basis.

Obviously, that doesn’t work on the final pit,

you’ve got to have something else there, but if

you keep your bay pits pretty clean, you don’t

have that much carry-over into that final pit

which I put a solid plate on top of and I can

get it pumped once a year. And even if I spend

$2,000 a year to get that one pumped, I’m in

pretty good shape by just doing the everyday

maintenance once a week. That means at a

six-bay car wash you’re going to be able to dig

five of them by hand. That means every five

weeks, that pit that they dug five weeks ago,

they’re digging it again. It’s done by my regular

clean-up guy … If you don’t have a regular

clean-up guy, in my opinion, you’re going to

have problems. I don’t get to my car washes

first thing every morning, but my clean-up

guys do and that’s who I pay to dig them out.

I got one who digs it all the way to the bottom.

The others dig about the first 18” off, but

within about 5 weeks they’re digging about

another 18” off, so it works fine.

WINTER 2021 • 57


58 • WINTER 2021


Darwin

DARWIN at

the

CARWASH

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

with these mostly frustrating, sometimes funny -- and always cautionary -- stories of Darwins Caught on

Camera. Images of these criminals and/or their vehicles were given to police and the press. Many have been

caught thanks to the prowess of security cameras.

For anyone who is a fan of Dateline

NBC or 20/20, you’re going to love

this story.

In fact, try and read it out loud using the voice of

Dateline reporter Keith Morrison (pictured right):

It seems as if a car wash played a role in tracking

down a missing woman in Queen Creek, Arizona.

According to 12News, 28-year-old Jessica Goodwin

was declared missing after she didn’t show up

for work on January 11, 2021. According to family

members, her bank account showed the last place

her credit card was used was at a San Tan Valley

car wash around 1 p.m. on the same day she did

not show up for work. “The sister of the missing

female stopped by and asked if we had video surveillance,”

Steve Engen, the car wash manager, told

12News. “Because this evidently was the last place

that the missing person’s credit card was used.”

A few days later, sheriff’s deputies found her

white 2013 Volkswagen Jetta abandoned near the

car wash in Queen Creek, Arizona, around 7 p.m.

There was no evidence of the missing 28-year-old,

but authorities said there was “minor damage” to

the vehicle.

But the search continued and then Goodwin

was found alive the following Sunday on January

18, near the Gila River Indian Community and

was airlifted to a local hospital. She is in critical

condition, officials said, but is expected to survive.

“This is the outcome we have all been hoping

and praying for,” Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb

said in a statement. “I commend our detectives

and our Search and Rescue team for their commitment

and attention to detail.”

And, I personally, commend the car wash.

A few questions were asked while

reading this next story. Such as: What

is a lollipop lady?

And, what is a forecourt? Or an outdoor laundrette?

Thankfully, we now have some answers.

On January 20 CCTV footage captured a thief

stealing, “a lollipop lady’s car from under her nose

at a North West petrol station,” in Rochdale, Manchester,

England, according to LancsLive.com.

So what is a lollipop lady? It is what is referred

to here in the states as a crossing guard:

Now, that makes sense! Unless of course you are

a woman who sells lollipops-- not sure if there is a

different name for that.

“The offender can be seen getting out of a silver

Ford Fiesta after it pulled up next to the Toyota Aygo

on the forecourt. He then crouches down and sneaks

up to the victim’s car, which was left unlocked with

the keys in the ignition,” the story said.

Now what is a forecourt? A forecourt, according

to the Cambridge Dictionary, is a, “flat area in

front of a large building.”

Jenny Wild and her husband Stewart are shown

using the outdoor laundrette when the robbery

takes place. What is an outdoor laundrette? Well,

it is a washer and dryer on the outside used for

washing larger items, as pictured here in the

CCTV footage:

“When I saw the CCTV of him creeping ‘round

I felt sick,” Jenny told the reporter. “What gives

them the right to think they can just come and take

someone’s car like that? But everything is replaceable,

and no one got hurt - that’s the main thing.”

That’s the spirit, Jenny, but we still hope the

blighter is caught.

This also concludes this

segment of Let’s Learn

British Terms!

WINTER 2021 • 59


Here’s a break from the crime stories and

instead, it’s just one about a bad driver.

In fact, while reading about this incident, I made a mental

note to thank my dear father for teaching me how to drive

almost 30 years ago. I remember him clutching the glovebox,

trying to calmly tell me to pull over as I was driving

the wrong way down a one-way boulevard… Because of

his steadfast determination to make sure I knew my brake

pedal from the gas, I didn’t do what this woman did back

in November. In Randolph, Massachusetts, a woman put

her vehicle in drive to pull out of a car wash… yet her foot

was still on the accelerator. According to a boston.com

story, the car flew through the parking lot and crashed into

the fence and vacuuming station. Thankfully, no one was

hurt. However, the same cannot be said for the vacuuming

station…. or the fence…. or the woman’s car.

This one is from last summer, but

it’s too good to not include.

On the morning of July 20, 2020, the owner of the

Water Works Car Wash in Dundee, Michigan, called

the police after he discovered that “someone had

defecated in one of the car wash bays,” according to

the police department’s Facebook page. Luckily, a

review of security surveillance video identified both

the suspect and his vehicle. A 57-year-oldman was

charged and he has been banned from the car wash

and was given a trespass warning.

The Facebook post also stated that the stall was

cleaned and sanitized by Water Works staff. “As a

reminder there are several public restrooms available

in the Dundee area including gas stations and

restaurants - all available for your #1 and #2 needs.”

60 • WINTER 2021

The dark web’s got nothing on a

stealthy car wash employee and the

car wash’s security network!

In Wausau, Wisconsin, a man has been accused

of trying to purchase a car wash with not one, not

two, but with 60 different stolen credit cards. According

to WSAU News, Jason Neidert would allegedly,

“purchase batches of credit card numbers

from the dark web, then re-program old magnetic

strip cards such as gift cards or hotel keys with

the numbers. An employee at a Wausau-area Kwik

Trip then observed him attempting to use the

cards at the store’s car wash and alerted the company’s

fraud team.”

Police said surveillance footage shows Neidert

attempting to purchase a car wash with as many

as 60 different cards at a time. “Nearly all of the

cards were immediately declined at the terminal,”

the story said.

And, for those who do not know, including myself

a few minutes ago, according to Wired.com,

“the Dark Web is a collection of websites that are

publicly visible, yet hide the IP addresses of the

servers that run them. That means anyone can visit

a Dark Web site, but it can be very difficult to figure

out where they’re hosted—or by whom.”

Neidert, who entered a not guilty plea to more

than a dozen charges on December 16, is being

held on a $1,000 cash bond. “Should he be released

he’s ordered to have no contact with any

Kwik Trip stories.”


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WINTER 2021 • 61


From the Archives!

Check out this crime story from

the Spring 2009 issues of

Self Serve Car Wash News

(Thank you, JJ Jakubowski!) Winter

According to their choices of

weaponry, these men were clearly

not prepared when they showed up at

a car wash to either “intimidate” or

“fight” others.

Back on December 10, three men were caught and

charged with possession of “offensive” weapons following

a disturbance at the Super Hand car wash in

Elderslie, Scotland, according to The Gazette.

“Police were called to the village’s main road at

around 10.40 a.m…. after staff at the Super Hand

car wash reported seeing three men brandishing

weapons. It is claimed the suspects – aged 24, 28 and

37 – were seen holding a baseball bat, shovel and

screwdriver, the story said.

When police arrived, they reviewed CCTV footage

and arrested the three men, who were still at the

scene.

“It is claimed they had visited the premises about

a dispute over the ownership of a vehicle,” the story

said.

A 25-year-old man is facing more than

a dozen possible charges, after getting

caught on camera at multiple car

washes.

According to the Greeley Tribune, Jeffrey Groves

has quite the rap sheet of offensives including:

• On October 18, a woman called around 10:15

a.m. to report someone broke into three vending

machines at a car wash, stealing about $100 in

change and causing approximately $1,500 in

damages. Surveillance video shows the suspect

driving a lime green Chevrolet Spark.

• On October 18, a car wash owner reported that

a vacuum was stolen from the property. Video

showed someone at the car wash around 1 a.m.

removing the vacuum from its base and loading it

into the back of a vehicle.

• On October 21, shortly before noon, an operator

with two car wash locations reported that someone

broke into several vending machines stealing

about $20 in change and causing nearly $4,000

in damages. Video showed someone looking

like Groves allegedly cutting into four vending

machines at one of the locations. The suspect was

wearing clothes matching the clothes the suspect

was wearing in footage of similar burglaries,

according to arrest records.

• Three days later on October 24, the same woman

who reported thefts on October 18 called again to

report someone stole a vacuum from the business.

Video from about 12:30 a.m. that morning showed

the suspect remove the vacuum and load it into the

back of a vehicle.

• At 2:17 a.m. on November 6, police responded to

a burglary in progress at one of the car washes

that had been stolen from back in October. But,

this time an officer found Groves trying to hide

behind a transformer, according to arrest records.

Groves admitted to trying to break into the vacuum

machine, according to the police report.

Police also found a bolt cutter and other burglary

tools in the area where Groves was found, the story

said. Groves admitted to owning the tools.

“Groves was arrested on suspicion of 15 criminal

charges, including seven third-degree burglary

charges, theft charges, three mischief charges and

possession of burglary tools.”

This one doesn’t have to do with a car

wash, but I just had to include it.

In Fullerton, California, a man was caught on camera

breaking into a pizza joint on November 16. Not only

did he steal $500 in cash, but he also took the time to

make himself a pizza before he fled.

According to KCBS, the burglar was caught by police

after breaking into Big Slice Pizza. “Surveillance

video shared by police showed the suspect measuring

out dough for a pizza, all while wearing gloves

for food safety.”

Pizza manager Rafael Calles said he can joke about

the incident now that the suspect has been caught. But

on the morning after the incident he didn’t think it was

very funny. That morning employees came in to find

cash drawers containing $500 had been stolen as well

as electronics, tools, a few six packs of beer and a delivery

car were also gone.

The suspect apparently broke in by forcing open a

patio door. He also spent more than two hours inside

the business.

“But it’s the images of him working two balls of

dough like any experienced pizza maker that have

everybody talking,” according to the report.

According to the Orange County Register, Oscar

Alexander Sanchez, 25, was taken into custody and

has numerous charges against him including suspicion

of grand theft and burglary.

Happy birthday…. in jail!

According to a cleveland.com story, an employee of

the Village Auto Wash in Orange, Ohio, called police

on the morning of December 29 after he noticed several

hundred dollars missing from the safe.

“The employee [said] he had emptied two selfpay

machines believed to contain several hundred

dollars the day before, depositing the proceeds in the

office safe. Upon his return the next morning, the

Beachwood man, 28, found all the money missing,”

the story said.

When police asked who had keys to the building

and/or the code to the safe, the employee said there is

one other employee who happened to be turning 51

that day. But that’s now all. He also had been on nocall,

no-show status at the car wash in recent weeks.

And on top of that, he was already suspected of stealing

money earlier while on the job.

In a smart move, they changed the locks on the

building. They also had camera footage to review…

62 • WINTER 2021


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64 • WINTER 2021

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