April 2021 COVER WEB

jvahaly

contents

FEATURES

4

Carpet

Bombed

Greg Badger of Excel Eco Clean in Charleston,

Illinois, smartly pivots from carpet cleaning and

janitorial services to soft washing

10

Southern

Hospitality

Jamaican-born, hospitality-bred Dwayne

Atkinson overcomes myriad obstacles to build

an exterior wash empire in Hilton Head

20

‘Gimme’ That Old-Time

Management

Comparing management practices from ‘the

good old days’ to modern-day approaches

24

Why i

Oughta...

Why i Oughta

DIY PUMP

FIXES

DEPARTMENTS

3 Editor’s Letter:

Success by Southwest:

Herb Kelleher was an iconic American

businessman. Making decisions was his forte.

12 Industry Dirt:

A look around the exterior cleaning world

for news and notes of interest

Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring 2021

Publisher: Jackson Vahaly

Editor: Drew Ruble

Design: Katy Barrett-Alley

Pressure Wash News is published 4 times per year

and is independently owned by Jackson Vahaly.

All inquiries should be directed to:

Pressure Wash News, 110 Childs Ln. Franklin, TN 37067

jacksonv@pressurewashnews.com

Copyright © 2021 2 Dollar Enterprises/Pressure Wash News. All Rights Reserved.

2 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


Success by

EDITOR’S

NOTE

Southwest

Survey after survey says what

employees want the most from their

leader is to make a decision. They

don't care if it's the right decision or

the wrong decision, they just want

the decision to be made so that

they can move forward.

Herb Kelleher, Southwest

Airlines' co-founder,

was an iconic American

businessman, to say the

least, and making decisions

was his forte. Fortune once

described him as “perhaps the best

CEO in America." Forbes stated in

no uncertain terms at the time of his

death that “he changed the world.”

Kelleher was the mastermind behind

the greatest success story in the

history of commercial aviation. He

accomplished it by wielding a disruptive

business model and one-of-a-kind

company culture that is now emulated

by businesses the world over.

He accomplished it by making

quick, innovative, maverick-like (and

sometimes even wrong) decisions.

Forbes once wrote that Kelleher

“felt that there is no perfect knowledge.

You'll never have enough data

to guarantee success. Endless planning,

study and ‘chewing the cud’

over a significant decision is

another way of hiding, of

avoiding risk.”

No wonder Southwest’s

identity is that of

a “lean and light-footed”

company, as Forbes once

described it. Over and over

under Kelleher’s guidance (and even

to this day), the nimble company

consistently responds innovatively,

unexpectedly, and profitably to both

crisis situations and windows of opportunity

that open and close very

quickly.

According to Forbes, Kelleher

“subscribed to the ‘ready, fire, aim’

approach, because [he felt] if you

spend too much time aiming, you

may never get to fire.”

For instance, when USAir announced

it was pulling out of six California

cities, Kelleher immediately

instructed his property and finance

staffs to get planes to those gates,

rightly predicting they would only be

available for a “nanosecond.”

It’s a culture of fast and decisive

decision-making Kelleher spread

across his company and one he empowered

his regional decision makers

to employ. His employees knew that

even if they made a mistake, they

wouldn't get fired. By contrast, not

acting, or acting fast, was far more

problematical for Kelleher.

His DNA was evident from the

beginning. When Kelleher was figuring

out how to get Southwest literally

off the ground as a low-price leader,

the competition decided that the way

they were going to force them out of

business was to drop their fares as

well. At that time, Southwest was flying

to three cities in Texas and Kelleher

realized the only way he could

compete and keep his enterprise

together was to actually decrease his

fleet from four planes to three. He

made that difficult decision, which

in turn led to the ‘15-minute turnaround,’

meaning getting his planes

on the ground, cleaned up, serviced,

checked for safety and mechanical

issues, and ready for flight again in

a quarter-hour. A key piece of the

Southwest culture was born because

Kelleher was willing to make a decision

and keep his Texas triangle going.

Beyond his fierce willingness to

make a decision, Kelleher also proved

that it is possible to love people (employees

and customers alike), have

fun, and make money simultaneously.

He said, "I'd rather have a company

bound by love than a company

bound by fear.”

Make a decision. Fire away. And

have fun!

Drew Ruble

drewruble@gmail.com

Editor | PW News

VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 3


Carpet

Bombed

Greg Badger of Excel Eco Clean in Charleston, Illinois,

smartly pivoted from an emphasis on carpet cleaning

and janitorial services to soft washing

BY DREW RUBLE

After dominating for decades, carpet’s

share of the floor-covering market

has plummeted since the millennium—

from about 60% of sales to roughly one

third, according to 2019 statistics provided

by Catalina Research.

Time magazine attributed Americans’

ardor for hardwood and tile—

and the perception that carpet is so

1970s, ’80s or ’90s—for the collapse.

“Bedrooms still have lots of it,” the

magazine stated, “but carpet is disappearing

from the center of the home—

living, dining and family rooms.”

Bottom line - flooring is trending

away from carpet, at least for residential

– and virtually no higher end real

estate installs it any more.

Add to this that people don’t really

want to vacuum anymore (anyone

with a robotic floor cleaner like

a Roomba can attest...) and believe

hard surfaces require less maintenance

then carpet.

It’s certainly a far cry from the

days when the expression “wall to

wall carpet” was a good thing. Not

anymore. Time placed carpet’s profile

among modern homeowners at an alltime

low when it stated that “carpet

is often mentioned on Zillow only if

ripping it out will reveal hardwood.”

Some argue the decline in carpet is

also due to poor quality – a result of the

industry selling inferior product based

on price point over performance.

They argue it’s not that people

prefer living on hard surfaces or that

they are worried about indoor air

quality but rather it’s because the

carpet being made today just doesn’t

4 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


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CARPET BOMBED

No Magic Carpet

perform like the carpet of old.

Regardless, it’s a trend, and one reflected

in declining revenues for the

carpet cleaning industry, which were

estimated to be more than 10% last

year, in part because Covid-19 caused

the temporary (and in many cases, permanent)

closure of so many commercial

businesses, specifically nonessential

businesses. Many janitorial and restoration

services felt the same impact.

Those most likely to survive this

perfect storm are the big corporate

franchise entities, not the mom and

pops. Stanley Steemer, driven by low

entry prices teamed with upsells by

technicians, frustrate smaller independent

carpet cleaners. Servpro,

through agreements with insurance

companies, virtually owns the restoration

space.

Which is all the more reason why

Greg Badger of Excel Eco Clean in

Charleston, Illinois deserves plaudits

for his timely and rapid pivot in to

soft washing.

ZERO TO

HERO

Almost three decades ago, Badger

was working a pet food factory enduring

12-hour shifts. He was also working

part-time in his brother’s carpet

cleaning business.

When he realized he wouldn’t be

much of a success doing that for the

rest of his life, he decided to start his

own carpet cleaning business (separate

from brother’s, and in a different

market), working independently

as a “one-man show” until he “didn't

ever sleep anymore.” He eventually

made his first hire, though, and then

an office administrator to answer the

phone. He was on his way.

That was 28 years ago. Badger

has been serving Central Illinois ever

since, first as a carpet cleaning company,

then expanding in to water restoration,

and years later into commercial

janitorial work as well.

RE-INVENTING

HIMSELF

Janitorial work proved to be less

seasonal than restoration, providing a

recurring income model. “You're not

waiting for the phone to ring like you

are in restoration work,” Badger explained.

But by the early 2000s, Badger

said the writing was on the wall

that installed carpet sales were drying

up and that the forecast was flat at best

with the uptick in hard flooring use.

“There are all different types of

necessary cleaning on hardwood

floors,” Badger said. “But the market

doesn't like to pay professional prices

for that because they don't perceive it

as necessary. Even in high-end homes,

housekeepers are using Mop & Glo

on Brazilian hardwood floors – and

that should never happen…It needs

to be cleaned and properly, but the

consumer doesn’t acknowledge that.”

As carpet sales continue to decline in America, there

may be more and more cleaners like Greg Badger looking

to either diversify their business by adding pressure

wash services, or re-imagining their operations as cleaning

experts by going whole hog in to the pressure wash business.

Certainly the numbers and the trends in the carpet industry are

cause for alarm and no doubt have long-time carpet cleaning

operators like Badger thinking hard about their futures.

An in-depth analysis of the carpet market completed by analyst

Stifel prior to the Covid-19 pandemic stated “we know the home

centers have (The Home Depot) or will (Lowe’s) reset their merchandise

offerings in flooring recently. We believe that as much as

half of the square footage devoted to carpet in the home centers in

terms of display space has been replaced with hard surface…Our

sources indicate that the home center’s carpet business is off in the

30-40% range…if we assumed that the home centers were selling

approximately 17% of the total residential broadloom market in

units, and their rate of sale of carpet is down 30%, this implies

an approximate 500 basis point decline in residential broadloom

carpet volumes due solely to the home centers.”

The report added that “the replacement cycle for apartment

units has almost doubled from 3.5 years to 6 over the

past ten years.”

Prior to the pandemic, Floor Covering News reported that

“the uphill battle against unrelenting growth in hard surfaces

across multiple segments kept the U.S. carpet market in

check…Overall, carpet and rugs make up 57.3% of the overall

flooring market in volume, still the largest percentage of any

flooring surface, yet waning from its dominant days of a decade

ago when soft surface commanded 66.9% of the market.

Floor Covering Weekly reported that even prior to the pandemic,

“Carpet and area rugs’ share of total U.S. floor coverings

sales remained on a downward trend in 2019 and could have

decreased by 3.4 percent in dollars and 5.1 percent in square

feet in 2019, pushing sales down to $11.3 billion and 10.9 billion

square feet. These trends dropped carpet and area rugs’ share of

total floor coverings sales to an estimated 40.1 percent in dollars,

and a 46.4 percent share in square feet. This is down from 42.9

percent and 48.0 percent, respectively, in 2018. The residential

replacement market weakened as consumers continued to move

away from the use of wall-to-wall carpet. The 7.8 percent decline

in U.S soft surface factory production in 2019 reflects this trend

since most area rugs are imported.”

That’s no magic carpet ride and could mean more operators

like Badger become pressure wash competitors in your

neck of the woods.

6 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


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CARPET BOMBED

Badger knew he needed to evolve

the business - again. “In carpet cleaning,

you no longer have carpet anywhere

except for bedrooms and an

occasional family room or the basement;

so, you can't make real money,

especially just working on middle and

low-income homes.”

Commercial carpet cleaning was

sill viable, but Badger didn’t relish the

idea of running his business at night,

after conventional workplace hours,

when buildings were finally emptied

of employees.

“Rather than managing a workforce

until 7a.m. in the morning, I began

just looking for the next place to move

our business in to,” he said. “And that's

when I discovered soft wash.”

A SOFT

LANDING

Badger still has customers on the

carpet cleaning side of his business;

but it is 30% of what it was 10 years

ago. Since his move into soft washing,

he already has four trucks on the

road, is going to break a million dollars

in revenues this year, and is opening

a new location this spring.

It’s a carpet cleaning conversion

story that could be a common story

across America in the years to come,

making a potentially big topic in the

industry right now.

Excel Eco Clean’s renaissance

once soft wash was bolted on was immediate.

In Badger’s first year in soft

washing in 2018, company revenues

deriving from the newest line of business

surpassed carpet cleaning “by

a mile,” he said. A second truck was

purchased and deployed.

In 2019, Badger bought two more

trucks. Now, in 2021, soft washing is

expected to far surpass his pre-existing

janitorial services revenues and become

the clear number one revenue producer

among the company’s services.

The aforementioned second location

is opening in the Champaign,

Illinois area, where the University of

Illinois is located. Badger hopes to

open yet a third location in a territory

west of Champaign next year.

“We marketed to the Champaign

area because it's a much bigger market

than Charleston (20,000 people),”

Badger explained. “We started

getting work and we had our guys

driving an hour to Champagne and

an hour back every day trying to get a

good foothold into Champagne. Our

success was plenty enough to convince

me that we should have trucks

in Champaign and Charleston. But

we arrived at that conclusion not by

projections but by testing the waters.

We also did television advertising in

Champaign, as well as a mailing. We

did everything we needed to do to

make sure we could attract customers

there and that our price point

was workable. Because it's extremely

expensive to open up new locations.

We're not duplicating administrative

functions – we’re doing the bank

model like a branch. All the phones

are still answered in Charleston and

the dispatching in Charleston.”

A MODEL

OF SUCCESS

While his migration and growth

is impressive, Badger is certainly not

alone in making the transition away

from carpet cleaning and toward

pressure washing or soft wash. He

says he is consistently hearing from

people in the industry calling him up

and wondering how he did what he

did to make the transition.

A member of the SoftWash Systems

Pro Staff, Badger is already (just

three years in to the industry!) serving

in an advisory role and giving advice

to soft wash entrepreneurs and carpet

cleaning converts alike.

In addition to fielding questions

about transitioning from carpet to

soft wash, Badger says he is often

asked about his success in “getting off

the truck” and gaining some degree of

freedom and independence from his

business operations.

“It's all about finding the quality

employees and building your organization

with structure and process,”

Badger said. “I don't want to be on

vacation on the beach in Hawaii and

have to have my cell phone there in

case somebody calls with a problem.

If you want to empower people to fix

those problems – and we're still getting

better at it -- it's business systems

that are adhered to faithfully that

make it possible to get away. If you

have one way of doing things, that’s

how you take care of business whether

I’m here or I’m travelling.”

REAPING

THE REWARDS

Badger is married to his second

wife, has one daughter, and two

grand-daughters. He’s a big Illini fan,

and at press time was excited about

the University’s basketball team’s

chances of competing well in the

NCAA tournament in March.

His “biggest thing,” as his Hawaii

allusion foreshadowed, is his love of

travel. He says he tries very hard not to

work on his business when he’s gone.

“Sometimes you just have to tune

it out, even at the expense of the

business,” he said. “I mean, it's family,

and that more important.”

With his newfound success transitioning

in to soft wash, making that

decision may just be just a little bit

easier these days.

8 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


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Southern

Hospitality

Jamaican-born, hospitality-bred Dwayne Atkinson

overcomes myriad obstacles

to build an exterior wash empire in Hilton Head

BY DREW RUBLE

Dwayne Atkinson, a Jamaican,

was working as a bartender at Jimmy

Buffett’s Margaritaville on his native

island when a group of businessmen

– impressed with Atkinson’s service

and personality – handed him their

business cards and instructed him to

look them up at a nearby hotel the

following day to explore a career opportunity.

A storm was brewing in the Caribbean

and Atkinson had a long night

ahead of him closing the restaurant

and bar and battening down the

hatches in the wake of the approaching

system. It was 8:30 a.m. before he

completed his shift. Tired, and coming

home to his son’s mother “going

crazy” wondering where he had been

(and if he had been with another

woman!), the then-20-something

Atkinson cleaned up and promptly

headed to the hotel to inquire about

the professional opportunity at hand.

His patrons were in fact holding

a job fair and had been out recruiting

good workers willing to come to

America to work in the hotel industry.

When they recognized Atkinson,

no interview was required – they had

experienced his superior customer

service personally – and offered him

a position.

It was 2008 and America was in

recession. What many Americans

don’t understand, Atkinson says, is

that when America is in recession “we

all are in recession – there is recession

everywhere.” He took the offer.

By 2008, Atkinson was living and

working in the low country of South

Carolina, on a sea island called Daufuskie

Island, nestled between Savannah

and Hilton Head and only accessible

by boat, a remote retreat from

modern life. Many of Daufuskie Island’s

permanent residents make their

living oystering and fishing to this day.

This lovely Island also served as the

setting for The Water Is Wide, author

Pat Conroy’s haunting and powerful

tale of a place the world forgot.

The work was fine. Atkinson fared

well. But he wanted more. First and

foremost, he wanted to become an

American citizen. Only then did he

feel he could truly chase the American

Dream.

10 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


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SOUTHERN

HOSPITALITY

FINDING A WAY

Atkinson’s father had on several

occasions in his own life taken up

temporary residence in the United

States working as a day laborer, cutting

sugar cane and planting apples on

a contract basis in the late 1970s and

early 80s. His father’s frequent work

permits through the years, combined

with months spent living with his son

on Daufuskie Island, opened the door

for Atkinson to apply for citizenship,

which he did in 2016.

“I drove to Charleston [South Carolina]

to secure citizenship,” Atkinson

recalls. “Driving home, I let my wife

drive, and on the way back, I told her,

I said, ‘I'm going to start something,

something for myself.’”

From the passenger seat, he began

googling start-up business ideas. He

stumbled upon pressure washing. It

struck a chord.

“Out of nowhere, I said to my wife

‘I'm going to start washing houses,”

Atkinson said. “I like to clean.”

Inspired, and while still driving

from Charleston back to Daufuskie

Island with his freshly-minted citizenship

still warm in his hands, Atkinson

bought his first pressure washer from

a Lowe’s home improvement store.

He proceeded to spend the rest of

the trip googling YouTube videos on

how to pressure wash houses.

Driving along, it wasn’t long before

he scrolled across a series of videos

produced by SoftWash entrepreneur

and exterior cleaning titan AC

Lockyer of SoftWash Systems fame.

“I thought, ‘you mean to tell me I

don't have to use a pressure washer

to clean!’” Atkinson recalls exclaiming

to himself after learning through

Lockyer’s videos about softwash and

the use of chemicals as opposed to

power to clean exterior surfaces.

He promptly returned the pressure

washer he had just purchased.

“From there, I just start digging

more into videos, watching them day

and night, night after night,” Atkinson

said. “I can remember nights I was

in bed just continuously watching

videos, so much so that my wife got

mad and said ‘you are bringing AC

between us in the bed!”

Atkinson also registered for and

later attended Lockyer’s annual softwash

event, Softwashapolooza, a few

months later.

“And that's when I got in the network

and really learned the business--

you learned everything,” Atkinson said.

STARTING FROM

SCRATCH…AGAIN

How did he get his first job? Well,

Atkinson says made a flyer, tied it to a

small rock, and started driving around

Hilton Head, South Carolina at night

tossing his elevator pitch in to people’s

driveways.

“Homeowners are going to pick

up their mail and they are going to

see your flyer,” Atkinson said. “Some

will complain about it; but that's how

I got started -- a rock flyer in people's

yards. Pretty soon I started getting the

first few jobs, and then you start getting

a few more jobs and so on and

so on.”

It wasn’t long before Atkinson was

making as much money doing single

softwash jobs as he was earning in a

full week in his hospitality gig.

The key to his growth, Atkinson

said, both in terms of company size

(he recently bought his second truck)

and reputation is to “get rid of whatever

is holding you back.”

Atkinson says he used to let his

immigrant status, his skin color, and

his accent hold him back from approaching

certain customer types or

commercial gigs.

“When you come to the bar to

buy a drink, you have to talk to me,”

he explains. “When you order food, I

have to do my job to get a tip.”

By contrast, he says, drumming up

your own business is different -- you

have to initiate a transaction.

“I used to hold myself back…but

I learned to let go of what's inside.

So, right now, I'll take a conversation

with anybody or anything. I can stand

in front anybody and tell him what

I do and who I am…You have to be

able to talk about what you do and

have the confidence in what you do.

People recognize that.”

That a Jamaican with dark skin

and a heavy accent can be so successful,

Atkinson says, is proof that “anybody

can do it.”

“You’ve got no excuses,” he adds.

That hospitality sense paired with

Atkinson’s work ethic and perseverance

have made the Bluffton, South

Carolina entrepreneur one of the rising

stars in exterior cleaning nationwide.

12 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS

Caileen Kehayas Holden penned

an article for Career Contessa, a career

website built for women, explaining

how the primary lessons she

learned for life – and business – were

learned in her time spent working in

the hospitality business.

Kehayas Holden outlined five

specific lessons she learned -- lessons

that no doubt Dwayne Atkinson also

learned while working in the hospitality

sector – that lead to success as a

small business owner.

According to Kehayas Holden,

“working in hospitality teaches you

skills you could not learn anywhere

else. It teaches you about prioritization,

about swift problem-solving,

about communication, about humility,

and about how people act when

they’re seriously hungry—like monsters—and

how to keep a smile on

your face despite that.”

Kehayas Holden says not even

graduating magna cum laude from

an esteemed university can teach you

the business “soft” skills that you can

learn “from a night on the line at a

busy restaurant.”

She says it builds character, and

teaches the arts of navigating every

type of person, truly working with

a team, and building empathy for

people who might seem (at first)

rough on the surface.

So what life lessons do you really

learn in hospitality that can make

your small business a greater success?

Kehayas Holden outlined these five

key lessons learned from working in

the hospitality field.

HOW TO PRIORITIZE/

MULTITASK

“If you’ve worked a busy Saturday

night, you learn something about prioritization….The

wait list is 40 people

deep, you have 30 to-go orders for

30 separate Postmates cyclists who

are forming a circle around you, and,

oh yeah, you actually have to wait tables,

too.

Working in the hospitality industry

creates a pressure cooker. When

you’re in it, you sort of snap into motion.

You intuit exactly what needs to

be done, when, and in what order of

importance. Before you know it, it’s

11:45 p.m.…I can’t really explain

how you know what to do, you just

do. It’s like a dance. You’re learning

the moves on the fly, but you flow

through it. When you come out the

other side, you realize you did it.”

HOW TO PROACTIVE-

LY PROBLEM-SOLVE

Guess what happens every day at

a restaurant? Problems. Whether it’s

the bathroom overflowing into the

dining room, someone no-call-noshowing,

or a deeply unhappy customer,

problems happen—often all at

once.

An enormous life skill you learn at

a restaurant is how to solve problems

on the spot. Often, you do not have

the time to ask for backup or additional

guidance. Instead, you need to

find a solution, and quick!

Problem-solving skills will come

into play no matter what career path

you choose. Some problems are easier

to navigate. If someone doesn’t

like their food, you can offer them

the chance to reorder. However,

there are trickier problems…In order

to squash potential problems, I

always over-communicated the wait

situation—with a smile and a little

commiseration, “I know the wait is

long and being hungry is the worst,

but it will be worth it!”

HOW TO PRACTICE

PATIENCE

Like many things in the hospitality

business, you either learn to

be patient, or you get out. Patience

occurs table-side when you have to

wait for someone who claimed they

were ready to order, but they are

clearly still reading the entire menu.

Patience occurs when you encounter

someone with severe allergies and

you are painstakingly careful to make

sure no cross-contamination occurs

anywhere…Be warned that when

you put in the extra care and patient

touch, it will often go unrecognized.

But sometimes, a person will stop you

for a moment and thank you for the

extra effort—and that makes it all

worth it.”

HOW TO ALWAYS

HAVE EMPATHY

“There are two kinds of empathy

I think you learn—directed toward

your coworkers (who become close

to family) and directed towards customers.

When you’re in the middle of a

busy shift with your coworkers, you

might want to yell expletives at them,

throw dishes at them, or just exile

them from your life altogether. Once

you clock out, though, it’s usually all

hugs and post-work decompression…

Another target of your empathy

will be customers. What might seem

on the surface like a grumpy, nitpicky

guy—well, he might actually be

a lonely person trying to engage in the

only way he knows how—for better

or worse.”

HOW TO RESPECT

EVERYONE

As a server, a busser, a host, a

cleaner, a cook, or a manager, you

will experience people who are rude.

Sometimes, these people are seemingly

rude for sport…

I challenge you with this. Next

time you’re in a busy restaurant and

you really, really want to complain,

take a look around instead. Is anyone

sitting around doing nothing? Is your

server leaning up on the bar texting

a friend? Probably not. What you’ll

likely see is a staff running around,

getting as much done as they possibly

can. Instead of complaining, give

a thank you for the hard, (usually)

thankless work they are doing.”

VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 13


INDUSTRY

DIRT

A look around the cleaning equipment

world for news and notes of interest

Send your company news and press releases to drewruble@gmail.com

Double

Barreled

Denver, Colorado-based Top Gun

Pressure Washing (Top Gun), a portfolio

company of Osceola Capital,

acquired Bob Popp Building Services

(BPBS) in 2020. Founded in 1975 and

also based in Denver, BPBS provides

high-rise, mid-rise, and ground-level

window cleaning services for commercial

businesses across Colorado. Top

Gun and BPBS have a long history of

successful partnership, as the companies

have collaborated on many projects,

buildings and shared customers

over the past 20-plus years.

Stephanie White, President of

Top Gun, commented, "We are

excited to partner with the entire

Bob Popp Building Services team

and capitalize on the Company's

significant growth opportunities in

the Colorado market. BPBS is the clear

market leader in Colorado commercial

window cleaning due to its deep

industry expertise, customer-first

business model, and outstanding reputation.

Combining Top Gun and BPBS,

who together have 73 years of operating

experience in the Rocky Mountain

region, reinforces our commitment

to delivering quality, environmentally-friendly

services and provides

us with the resources and support to

continue to grow our business."

Ben Moe, a Managing Partner at

Osceola Capital, added, "The acquisition

of BPBS is consistent with Top

Gun's growth strategy of building a

leading provider of facilities services in

the Rockies and nationwide through

the acquisition of strong regional

players that complement our existing

portfolio of services. The addition of

BPBS solidifies our core offering of pressure

washing, window washing, power

sweeping, and snow removal services,

and we look forward to continuing to

expand our geographic footprint and

service suite."

Founded in 1992 and headquartered

in Colorado, Top Gun is a leading

provider of exterior facilities services

to commercial businesses and municipalities

in the Rocky Mountain region

of the US. The Company's core service

offering includes pressure washing,

window cleaning, snow removal, and

industrial power sweeping. Top Gun

also offers a broad suite of ancillary

services, including caulking, paint

striping, environmental spill clean-up,

sandblasting, graffiti removal, building

restoration, and specialty cleaning.

Osceola Capital invests in business,

healthcare, and tech-enabled services

companies in the lower middle

market, typically with EBITDA of $2

million to $10 million.

Justice Served

Savage, Minnesotabased

Hydra-Flex Inc.

announced that the U.S.

Patent and Trademark

Office issued a favorable decision in

its ex parte reexamination of Hydra-

Flex’s U.S. Patent No. 8,887,743 for

a chemical delivery system and platform,

according to a press release.

As a privately held Minnesota

company that commercializes custom

solutions concentrated on the science

of fluid handling applications

worldwide, Hydra-

Flex’s current chemical

dispensing systems include

the Aqua-Lab TM SD GEN2, Aqua-

Lab TM MD GEN2, Aqua-Lab TM XD

GEN2, and Aqua-Lab TM HD, the

release continued.

In its commitment to innovation,

Hydra-Flex believes that investing in

the best research and design in the

business leads to the development of

superior products, the release noted.

“Hydra-Flex is proud of its innovative

technology and its intellectual

property portfolio,” Hydra-Flex

President Jaime Harris stated. “I am

pleased the Patent Office agreed that

our patent was correctly issued.”

The ex parte reexamination was a

proceeding in which the Patent Office

reexamines an issued patent to verify

that the subject matter it claims is

patentable, the release added.

The Patent Office also confirmed

that all 13 original claims in the ’743

patent are patentable and allowed an

additional new claim that it determined

was also patentable, the release

stated.

As a fluid handling solutions

leader in the vehicle carwash,

hydro-excavation, industrial cleaning

and sewer jetting industries, Hydra-

Flex currently holds 11 patents for its

technologies, the release concluded.

14 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


All-star Cleaners

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game

took place in The State Farm

Arena in Atlanta on March 7, 2021

with no fans in attendance due to

Covid-19 protocols. According to

Hypepotamus, though, The State

Farm Arena tapped Charlotte, North

Carolina-based Lucid Drones, which

has previously been profiled in PW

News, to help expand the venue’s

cleaning and disinfecting protocols for

the game and events going forward.

Lucid’s D1 Disinfecting Drone

(D1) was deployed to sanitize the

17,5000 seat stadium, Hypepotamus

reported—the first NBA arena to

implement drone-enabled sanitization

protocols. Lucid had already been

employed to clean Atlanta’s nearby

Mercedes-Benz stadium, home of

the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. According

to Sporttechie.com, Mercedes-Benz

stadium partnered with Lucid Drone

Technologies last October “on an

innovative plan to spray disinfectant

across the stadium’s 71,000 seats,

using drones with “electrostatic

spraying nozzles to spray the cleaning

solution anywhere fans may sit.” It

became the first NFL or Major League

Soccer venue to use disinfecting

drones. Sporttechie also reported

that it will now use two regularly,

with a third on standby. Two drones

can reportedly disinfect the football

stadium in five hours, compared to

about 75 hours of manual work using

backpack sprayers. Mercedes-Benz

stadium first contacted Lucid in 2019

for exterior window washing—MBS

has an extraordinary amount of glass,

including a 16-story window on its

west side.

For the NBA All-Star Game,

Geoff Stiles, Senior Vice President,

Facilities and Events for the Atlanta

Hawks and The State Farm Arena,

told Hypepotamus that he took

notice of Lucid’s work at Mercedes-

Benz stadium. “The Lucid team was

working with them to develop an

exterior cleaning solution and pivoted

when the pandemic hit to sanitizing

seats. We went over and met with

their team to get a demo – and moved

forward from there,” Stiles told

Hypepotamus writer Maija Ehlinger.

Lucid’s D1 drone is designed to work

specifically within indoor arenas like

the one at The State Farm Arena,

which is unique within the standard

GPS-enabled drones. According to

Ehlinger, the 27-pound drone can

hold up to 10-liters of cleaning solutions

and is said to be able to clean

The State Farm Arena in an hour and

a half. The drones are one of several

technology-enabled innovations that

are helping the venue comply with

health and safety guidelines. “The

pandemic has created many difficulties

for large venues, like professional

sports stadiums, as there are a limited

number of hours between events.

With our drones, our customers have

been able to disinfect up to 14x faster

than traditional methods,” Andrew

Ashur, CEO/Co-founder Lucid

Drone Tech, told Ehlinger.

The Covid-19 pandemic spurred

Lucid’s emergence on the large-venue

sanitation/disinfection market. It was

a perfect extension of the work they

were already doing using drones to

modernize exterior cleaning.

Millennial entrepreneurs

co-founded Lucid Drone

Technologies near Charlotte, North

Carolina shortly after graduating

from Davidson College. Their mission

was to increase the use of technology

use in the pressure washing industry

in an effort to lower costs, increase

efficiency, and transform blue collar

into “new” collar.

As the company went about its

business of incorporating drones into

their own operations, other cleaning

companies increasingly started

reaching out to Lucid asking where

they got their drone cleaners and how

they could also get their hands on one.

Lucid’s founders and investors

quickly realized that they had a solution

for some of the most intractable

problems facing cleaning companies

that operate above-ground. That’s

when they exited the service sector

and became a technology provider.

The company’s premise is that

every cleaning company is hindered

by the problems that come with

above-ground cleaning. In short,

revenue potential and profit margins

suffer from the inefficiency of

current above-ground methods, the

egregious worker’s compensation

costs that result from the danger of

those methods, and the expensive

costs associated with obtaining lifting

machinery.

Lucid’s model is to supply the

drone, the training, and the necessary

certification to commercially operate

a drone to complete exterior cleaning

(or, now, large scale sanitization).

The net effect is to keep workers

safer, shift worker classifications from

above-ground work to on-the-ground,

pay less on worker’s compensation as

a result, do jobs in less time (allowing

operators to move faster to their next

revenue-generating opportunity), and

stop spending money on overpriced,

outdated equipment. Completing

jobs in 30 minutes that used to take

hours to complete, and never having

employees get on a ladder or walk

on a roof is significant given that

insurance rates in the pressure wash

industry are often already crippling

to businesses and seemingly getting

worse by the minute.

Drone use additionally impacts

a company’s marketing profile in

their marketplace. It offers a distinct

marketing advantage in an industry

where differentiation is hard to come

by, given that people are naturally

intrigued by the technology.

VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 15


INDUSTRY DIRT

Bobcat Attachment

In 2020, Bobcat launched its new

Pressure Washer Attachment for

Bobcat loaders, joining the Bobcat

family of over 100 different kinds of

original attachments.

Bobcat is the world’s first manufacturer

to offer this kind of attachment

for skid-steer, compact track and all

wheel steer loaders on the market.

Designed to spray high pressure

water on city streets, roads, or any other

suitable surfaces, the plug & play design

is quick and easy to connect it to the

Bobcat loader, allowing the operator to

begin work with the new attachment

immediately.

The compact dimensions of the

new attachment guarantee maximum

efficiency and simplify transportation

requirements, whilst the front sprayer

is adjustable to easily adapt to all

types of work.

There are three different Pressure

Washer Attachment models – the 250S,

250M and 250L – to match different

Bobcat loaders and to meet the specific

requirements of the many different

applications for the attachment which

include:

• Roadwork and construction

• Disinfecting to protect against

Covid-19 or any other kind of

sanitization

• Cleaning furniture in parks

and urban streets

• Maintaining railways,

bridges and tunnels

• Cleaning animal or poultry sheds

• Cleaning many types of machinery

A spokesperson for the attachments

Product Line stressed that wherever

much larger dedicated machines

cannot gain access or where the job

must be done mechanically – the new

Pressure Washer Attachment mounted

on a Bobcat loader is a great way to

clean surfaces, and that it can also be

used when cleaning façades and roofs,

to clear waste and moss/lichen.

The operator can either operate the

sprayer from the cab or with a handgun

for more targeted high-pressure water

cleaning or sanitization of various

objects, providing an alternative solution

for cleaning apartment entrances,

corners, statues, machines, cars, benches,

signs, or in any tight spaces.

The 250S Pressure Washer model is

intended for the Bobcat S100 skid-steer

loader. Next in the range is the 250M

model, which is approved for use on all

Bobcat skid-steer loaders from the S450

to the S650 model and the T450, T590

and T650 track loaders. The third

model, the 250L, is designed for use

with the S630, S650, S770 and S850

skid-steer loaders and the T590, T650,

T770 and T870 compact track loaders.

To work with the Pressure Washer

Attachments, all the loaders except

for the S100 must be equipped with

the Bobcat Attachment Control

Kit, which is standard on the high

flow machines.

Working closely with the supplier,

a Finish based company, Dynaset,

Bobcat’s Pressure Washer Attachment

transforms the hydraulic power of the

loader to pressurized water without any

loss of power. This simplicity is also key

to the ease-of-use and low maintenance

of the attachment, ensuring increased

uptime and more working hours.

Other product features include the

Floating Front Wheel, which allows

the Pressure Washer to work more

smoothly and faster. According to the

company, the absence of rotating parts

in the High Pressure Pump increases

durability and ensures low maintenance

requirements.

The Marksman

Savage, Minnesota-based Hydra-

Flex Inc., manufacturer of innovative

fluid handling equipment, announced

in 2020 the worldwide release of the

Marksman, a new industrial cleaning

nozzle designed specifically for long

distance cleaning applications.

The Marksman is an addition to

Hydra-Flex Inc.’s industrial cleaning

market, and more specifically takes

the patented nozzle technology, to

produce a more accurate and direct

stream to support municipal, industrial

cleaning efforts.

“We are excited to launch our latest

patented innovation, the Marksman,”

said Mike Tonies, director of industrial

sales at Hydra-Flex. “This new

nozzle addresses several challenges we

recognized in the municipalities and

contractors that keep our wastewater

systems operational.”

The Marksman is a 0-degree static

linear flow long-distance cleaning

nozzle, designed to keep operators safer

and more efficient while drastically

reducing water consumption.

With a controlled flow that provides

optimal cleaning impingement over 20

feet, the Marksman is an ideal fit for

cleaning corrosive environments like

lift stations or manholes.

The nozzle requires the use of a

six-foot minimum lance equipped with

a dead man switch, ensuring the operator

more control while resulting in less

impending harm.

The Marksman offers an up to 20

GPM – low water flow design, reducing

each job’s water consumption and

duration, while still providing superior

results and performance.

“The development of this nozzle

continues to raise the bar for our

industrial marketing and showcasing

our successful history in not only

technology for digging but for cleaning

as well,” Tonies added. “However, this

wouldn’t have been possible without

the collaboration of our partners and

field trial participants, this tool provides

a more effective process for cleaning

while also making it safer and easier on

the end customer.”

Hydra-Flex was awarded the

Product Innovation of the Year award

by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business

Journal at the 2020 Minnesota

Manufacturing Awards.

16 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


INDUSTRY DIRT

Coming to Your Town

The Tribune in Seymour, Indiana

reported on an interesting proposal

by the mayor of Seymour that mirrors

a potentially growing national trend

and could mean business opportunity

for pressure washers nationwide.

According to The Tribune,

“Seymour Mayor Matt Nicholson

aims to improve neighborhoods and

increase residential housing options

in the city by making it a focus of

his administration in 2021. One way

he wants to tackle this goal is by

supporting homeowners through a

new curb appeal grant program.”

According to the report, Seymour’s

plan would be modeled after similar

offerings in Green Bay, Wisconsin,

and upstate New York. The program,

as outlined “provides a matching grant

as an incentive to property owners

to enhance the exterior appearance

or curb appeal of their homes and

properties. Eligible projects could

include things like fixing a sidewalk

in front of a home, redoing or adding

flower beds or flower boxes, replacing

or painting a front door or shutters,

repairing gutters, exterior painting,

pressure washing or replacing siding,

landscaping, repairing driveways

or replacing mailboxes or house

numbers.”

As part of the plan, the city would

match the amount invested by the

homeowner up to $500. Neighbors

can apply together.

The mayor stated that such a

program would be similar to the city

granting tax abatements to companies

and businesses for expansion and real

estate improvement projects.

“In my mind, it’s a lot like that

except it’s for residential property,”

he said. “We’re not giving them an

abatement, but we are offering a

grant match. I think it’s a good way

for us to experiment to see if we can

make some places look better.”

Having a Blast

Mr. Dirt Blaster, a national

power cleaning brand, announced

several recent agreements with

formerly independent pressure

washers nationwide.

The first was with Great

American Power Washing & Painting

LLC of Fort Worth, Texas, to deliver

all-encompassing residential, industrial,

and commercial exterior high

pressure and soft washing services in

the larger Fort Worth, TX metro area.

Dan Barker, the owner of

Great American Power Washing &

Painting LLC, has been attending to

the needs of the home and business

owners in Fort Worth and the larger

Fort Worth, Texas region for the

past several years. As a result of this

exclusive local partnership, Great

American Power Washing & Painting

LLC, will represent the Mr. Dirt

Blaster brand, and will handle all the

exterior power cleaning work generated

around the greater Fort Worth

region. Great American Power

Washing & Painting LLC offers

high pressure deck, stucco, brick

and concrete cleaning, low pressure

roof, fence and gutter cleaning, as

well as pressure cleaning for exterior

and interior commercial buildings,

concrete and driveway cleaning.

Spokesperson for Mr. Dirt

Blaster, Boris McCaul commented,

“This form of partnership is the

wave of the future. Some of the most

successful outcomes are achieved

by businesses joining together to

leverage their core assets.”

Similar agreement were

reached between Mr. Dirt Blaster

and Pensacola, Florida-based Let

it Shine Exteriors and its owner,

Chris Ard, as well as Amelia Island

Services in the greater Jacksonville,

Florida city area, with its owner,

Angie Perry.

According to Mr. Dirt Blaster,

the company is “100% dedicated to

delivering quality business to local

power/pressure cleaning companies

who are our Exclusive Territory

partners” and that their Local

Partners “enjoy saving up to 90%

off the industry average cost of new

business acquisition.”

Nationwide, there are over

27,500 businesses offering power

cleaning services. However,

according to Mr. Dirt Blaster, “only

20% of those get 80% of the business.

And the top 1% get 50% of

that 80%.”

“Either you’re part of the top

20% or 5% market share ‘owners’

or you’ll be forced to keep undercutting

your prices and fight for the

scraps,” the company states.

Because all territories that Mr.

Dirt Blaster operates in are exclusive

to their selected local partner, the

company states that less than 5% of

power cleaning companies nationwide

can become their local partner.

18 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


Global Graffiti

Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria,

and Australia’s second-largest city. A new exterior

cleaning protocol advanced by the city

may bode well for people around the world

working in the exterior cleaning trade.

According to a March 2021 press release

from the city, a six-month cleaning blitz by

the City of Melbourne to remove unwanted

graffiti and litter is well underway, with additional

cleaning crews and footpath sweepers

deployed as workers and visitors return to the

city.

The City of Melbourne and the Victorian

Government have jointly funded the cleaning

program through the $100 million Melbourne

City Recovery Fund. Lord Mayor Sally Capp

said extra workers and equipment have been

used to remove graffiti from hard-to-reach

locations.

“We're removing unsightly tagging that's

been scrawled on bridges over the Yarra

River as well as on shopfronts and awnings,"

the Lord Mayor said. "This is all part of our

commitment to ensure the city sparkles as we

welcome workers and visitors back, to support

city businesses and create jobs. We want to

make Melbourne as clean and welcoming as

possible."

She added, "It's important to send a message

that we will not accept graffiti and tagging."

The Lord Mayor said the crews are high

pressure cleaning and disinfecting, with inner

city areas cleaned multiple times a day.

"We are high pressure washing an additional

20,000 square metres of surface area each month

until June. That's the equivalent of six MCG

ovals of additional high pressure washing during

the six month cleaning blitz," the Lord Mayor

said. "So far crews have high pressure washed

and disinfected the entire length of Southbank

Promenade from Princes Bridge to Queens

Bridge, including Queensbridge Square and the

Red Stair Amphitheatre. We've completed a

deep clean of Swanston Street and the popular

visitor district at Centre Place."

The cleaning blitz is in addition to the $14

million invested by the City of Melbourne on

street cleaning each year.

INDUSTRY DIRT

Big Weekend in

the Big Easy

The annual joint conference of the Cleaning

Equipment Trade Association (CETA) and the Power

Washers of North America (PWNA) will take place

Sept. 8-11, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans,

Louisiana.

The associations are coming together again

for PowerClean 2021. See industry leading exhibitors,

experience equipment training, attend seminars,

network, and have fun.

While both associations will remain independent

and have events on their own, CETA and PWNA feel

that these two associations can combine efforts to

work towards a common goal: “Two Teams. One

Vision. Advancing the industry forward.”

The Hyatt is centered downtown near Champions

Square, Smoothie King Center, and minutes from the

historic French Quarter, Arts District, and Mississippi

Riverfront. If you registered for PowerClean Reno

2020, your registration will carry over to 2021 New

Orleans.

Call (800) 393-7962 with questions.

Tik Tok

Spray Wash

News 19 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama

reported on 21-year-old local entrepreneur

AJ Joyner, founder of Advanced

Pressure Washing. “Like many businesses

during the pandemic, Joyner

looked to social media to increase his

online presence,” News 19 reported,

“but not Facebook and Twitter; Joyner

took to the video-sharing social network

app, TikTok.”

By creating fun, entertaining videos,

Joyner “got much more engagement

than he was expecting, with some

videos receiving more than six million

views,” the news station reported.

Joyner readily credited his recent

business success with new customers

to his newfound Tik Tok stardom. But

rather than basking in the fame and

profits, he told the news station he is

actually more interested in spreading

the word about his story and helping

other pressure washers succeed with

the social media platform as well.

“You do not have to be in with the

times,” Joyner stated in the article. “It’s

just documenting; documenting and

uploading. Because if you create one

video on your smart phone or whatever

you may have, and you upload it and

you get one client from it, what did that

cost you, nothing—your time just to

make that one video.”

Small Business Trends writer Annie

Pilon recently wrote an article explaining

how small business can get in on the Tik

Tok trend to build their businesses.

Tik Tok currently has more than

800 million monthly active users. And

it has been downloaded more than 1.5

billion times.

It’s especially popular among young

people. But it’s quickly growing a wide

base of users.

“So businesses that want to create

viral video content and connect with

consumers online may want to consider

it as a marketing platform,” Pilon wrote.

What do you need to know to get

started? Pilon states:

“TikTok videos are 15-second videos

that can follow nearly any format.

However, many include lip-syncing

and/or dancing to a popular song, or

follow recognizable meme formats.

“TikTok for Business is a division of

the platform that enables businesses to

promote themselves. The social media

platform offers various solutions for

companies to increase engagement, like

interactive polls and hashtag challenges.

Businesses can also utilize advertising

options to increase reach.

“Businesses can use TikTok’s ad

platform or they can just create video

content that attracts attention organically.

TikTok ads appear in between

videos on the app and are often creative

and look similar in format to regular

TikTok videos. However, there are

other formats as well.

“Regardless of what option you

choose, you likely need to create

unique, short content to get noticed

on the platform. Many companies

may even use a combination of organic

video posts and advertisements.”

What are some content ideas? Pilon

writes: ”Hashtag challenges when a

user challenges others to make and post

a specific type of content and then tag

them using a dedicated hashtag. A lot

of current challenges have to do with

dance routines or lip-syncing. Brands

can participate in existing challenges or

create their own.

“How to videos related to what they

offer in some way.

“Product demonstrations showing

customers how your product works.

“Before and after videos showcasing

a transformation based on your

product or service. [Editor’s note: this

is meat-and-potatoes pressure washer

content!!!]

“Process videos showing your work

behind the scenes.

“Relaxing videos. [Editor’s note:

Once again, this is perfect for pressure

washers, as it has been scientifically

proven that people find joy and peace

watching dirty surfaces be cleaned.]

“Unique stories” about you, your

company, your employees, your clients,

and/or your brand.

VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 19


‘Gimme’ That

Old-Time

Management

Comparing management practices from ‘the good

old days’ to modern-day approaches

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Chuck Violand founded Violand

Management Associates in 1987 with

the objective of helping owners of small

businesses build profitable businesses

for their long-term professional and

personal success. As an author and

popular keynote speaker, Violand is a

respected authority on entrepreneurial

small businesses, having spent

over thirty years as both a business

consultant and an executive coach.

Violand is a regular contributor to trade

journals and newsletters and is the

author of the popular weekly leadership

series Monday Morning Notes. Violand

Management Associates, LLC is a

consulting firm working internationally

to help entrepreneurial companies

achieve sustained profitable growth.

Visit them at violand.com or contact

them at 1-800-360-3513.

BY CHUCK VIOLAND

Over the years, I’ve written extensively

on the subject of leadership as

it applies to small businesses to help

owners guide their company in a

business environment that seems to

change at the speed of light.

Lately, I’ve found myself asking

what’s so wrong with some of the

old ways we employed in the past to

manage our people? Why does everything

have to be so touchy-feely

these days? Are we so concerned

with being politically correct that we

can’t simply say what we’re thinking

anymore? Whatever happened to

being direct in our management of

people? You know ... tell it like it is;

say what you mean; don’t sugar coat

it, soft peddle it, or obscure your real

meaning with subtleties. Or, as a former

office manager of mine used to

tell me whenever I wasn’t communicating

clearly, “If you’ve got something

to say, by all means say it.”

With these questions in mind, I

thought this would be a good time to

investigate a few of the tried-and-true

management styles to see if they still

hold water, rather than simply throwing

them out in favor of the newest

theories du-jour coming down the

pike. By exploring some of the old

techniques, perhaps we’ll gain a greater

appreciation for the newer ones.

Let’s start by looking at a few communication

styles I’ve seen employed

in managing people.

MANAGEMENT

BY BLUNT

COMMUNICATION

Small business owners are not

usually given to long-winded communication.

They prefer giving short,

concise answers to the questions they

are asked. They prefer even shorter

sentences when it comes to them

needing to give directives or feedback

to their people.

In the interest of efficiency and

not wasting time on flowery ways of

communicating, many have gone to a

short-and-snappy, three-word management

style. “Are you nuts?!” “Get

over here!” “Get outta here!” And the

ever popular, “Knock it off!” When

feeling especially chatty, they’ll expand

their directive by adding a name

like “Bucky” to the end of the sentence.

So now it sounds like, “Knock it

off, Bucky!” (My apologies in advance

to anyone named Bucky.)

Shrinking things even further,

some managers have gone to oneword

communication. “ Hey!” “You!”

“What?!” “Chill!” And, of course, the

invective that conveys one’s disgust

with any situation, “Seriously?!”

Some have even carried this to the

extreme by eliminating words from

their communication altogether. Instead,

they’ve mastered the physiologically

difficult skill of raising only

one eyebrow, shaking their head,

or simply uttering an assortment of

grunts, groans, and snorts … before

walking away.

Now that I think about it, the

reason these techniques may have

worked in the past is that people actually

needed jobs. They were willing

to put up with lousy communication

to make sure their families were fed.

Those days are long gone, as anyone

who has tried finding qualified workers

in today’s market can attest.

20 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 2 | SPRING 2020


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‘GIMME’ THAT

OLD-TIME

MANAGEMENT

Today, people want to have a voice

in the decisions that affect their jobs.

And having a voice necessitates communicating.

In addition to the highly efficient

management styles of one-, three-, or

even no-word communication mentioned

above, here are other management

strategies that seemed to work

well in the past.

MANAGEMENT

BY MOOD SWINGS

... neither the older styles nor

newer styles of management

are effective if they are taken

to an extreme.

This style is guaranteed to keep

everybody off-balance. Better yet, it

keeps them subservient. You know

the style I’m talking about. This is

where employees peer out the front

windows in the morning as the boss

walks up to the building, trying to

gauge his mood for the day. If he

seems to be in a good mood, you can

almost hear the collective sigh of relief

that emanates from the building

just before he walks through the door.

But if he’s in a foul mood, the speed of

electronic technology pales compared

to the speed with which this news is

communicated throughout the organization

via the “office buzz” network.

People scatter like mice. Their own

moods turn sour or, at best, cautious.

Heaven help the first person

whose name the boss calls out after

he walks in! Fellow employees watch

in horror as that poor soul walks into

the boss’s office head down, shoulders

stooped, feet dragging like he is being

led to the gallows. Only when he exits

the boss’s office with his head still on

top of his shoulders do they exhale.

The boss has everybody just the

way he wants them … with their

heads buried in work, no unnecessary

fraternizing by the copy machine or

out in the warehouse, and certainly

no frivolous conversations taking

place. Life is good. Or is it?

What happens if people start withholding

information from the boss

because they don’t want to poke the

bear? People find themselves sniping

at each other for no apparent reason.

As a result, they often tend to carve

out territories to insulate themselves,

almost like kids in the back seat of a

car. Nobody better cross somebody

else’s line or there will be heck to pay.

Now consider the effects of stress

and emotional turmoil caused by the

boss’s mood swings. People’s stomachs

start to turn over … sometimes starting

the previous night as they think

about the next day at work. They

begin to exhibit physical signs of prolonged

stress, like fatigue, headaches,

and upset stomachs (which explains

the bottle of Maalox in the admin’s

desk drawer). Moods turn somber

and morale heads south. Soon, people

are looking for any excuse to call

off work, show up late, and take extended

breaks and lunches. Eventually,

some may even start looking for

someplace else to work. Now where’s

the productivity the boss thought his

mood swings were producing?

“Management by Mood Swings”

may dupe the boss into thinking he’s

in control, and it might even appear

that way to outsiders looking in. But,

in reality, he’s not in control at all. Any

business owner who can’t control his

own mood or who intentionally uses

mood swings to manipulate his people

is in for a lonely ride as CEO of

his company.

Executive mood swings aren’t the

only way to subtly control the activities

of your people. There’s one that’s

even more conniving.

MANAGEMENT

BY RUMOR

This technique is a little subtler

than managing by mood swings but

just as effective. It’s amazing how

powerful a few well-placed rumors

can be, and the effect they can have

on an organization.

Do you want productivity to pick

up? All you need to say is, “Somebody

may be looking for a job soon.”

Do you think sales could improve?

Announcing, “Over the weekend,

my brother-in-law was talking to me

about a sales job,” might do the trick.

If somebody confronts you about

the rumor, you can simply reply, “Did

I say anything about somebody getting

fired? I was just saying ...”

As a matter of fact, you don’t even

need to start a rumor for this strategy

to be effective. Sometimes, all it takes

is a well-timed whisper to an employee,

done where no one else can hear

you, while being sure to do it where

everyone else can see you.

The problem with “Management

by Rumor” is that it doesn’t work

long term. Eventually, people stop

paying attention to the rumors and go

on about their business. Plus, rumors

undermine the integrity of the owner.

It can also be tough to control a rumor

once it gets started, as everyone

seems to want to add their own little

bit to it.

Subtlety isn’t the only way to

manage. Let’s not overlook one of the

favorites from the old days.

MANAGEMENT

BY BULLYING

Ohhh yeah! This one is a throwback

to the Neanderthal days of

managing people, when wielding authority

meant swinging a club and

broadcasting a memo meant shouting

at the top of your lungs … even when

the recipient was standing three feet

away.

I’m not talking about your garden-variety

passive bullying. I’m

talking about your chest-puffed-out,

red-faced, finger-pointing, expletive-spewing,

threat-shouting bullying.

I’m talking about a real ripsnorter!

The beauty of this management

style is that it plays right into the

highly emotional temperament and

hair-trigger temper some business

owners have.

Fortunately, “Management by

Bullying” has gone the way of mimeograph

machines, cash payrolls, and

the Berlin Wall. And for good reason.

Although it might have momentarily

allowed a manager to wallow in

self-righteous indignation, it did nothing

to change an employee’s behavior

or to improve business. Besides, what

self-respecting person will continue

to work for a manager who acts like a

cartoon character?

Engaging in some of these oldtime

management techniques might

satisfy the itch some of us have to feel

in control or to feel needed. But they

do nothing to build a strong team of

people to help us grow our company.

They only serve to undermine it.

At the same time, neither the older

styles nor newer styles of management

are effective if they are taken to

an extreme. A good choice might be

to combine the straight forwardness

of yesterday’s style with the enlightened

approach of today to produce

the results we want in our business.

22 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


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Why i

Oughta

Oughta...

DIY

PUMP

FIXES

BY JOE ANISH

Equipment maintenance is good

for business. It increases machine life.

It decreases breakdowns that can shut

down jobs or require costly, timesucking

trips for parts. And it limits

calls to me and repair costs that dent

your bottom line. It’s crucial to your

productivity and productivity.

In addition, not all pump repairs

require an expert pump mechanic. You

can do it!

As pressure wash season kicks in

to high gear, then, here’s a little DIY

advice from a pump repair expert to

keep you running.

24 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


SUPPORT OUR

ADVERTISERS


DIY PUMP

REPAIR

TAKING STOCK

For most pressure washing companies,

spring is the beginning of the pressure

washing season.

Most equipment owners store their

pressure washers in a warm environment

during the winter, or else winterize

the equipment so it will be ready for

spring cleaning jobs.

Regardless of whether you store or

winterize your pressure washer and

equipment, you’ll want to check a few

items before using your system again.

By checking these few simple items,

you can most likely save time and money

before starting your busy season.

Luckily, having your equipment in

tip-top shape isn’t rocket science.

By following some simple steps and

checking a few key components on your

pressure washer, you can save a lot of

time and money.

OIL

Always check the oil in your

pump and engine before stating your

equipment.

With your pressure washer sitting

idle during the off season, your oil may

look fine when you remove the dip stick

or view it through the site glass; but this

can often be misleading.

During any prolonged period of

non-usage of your system, the oil in your

pressure pump can separate if water is

present, leaving the oil on top in the

crankcase while water has settled on the

bottom.

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26 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


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DIY PUMP

REPAIR

A wise mechanic taught me several

years ago how to check for settled water

in the bottom of a pressure washer

crankcase.

His technique was to take a straw or

small tube and dip it into the oil reservoir

all the way to the bottom of the

crankcase.

Then he would place his finger over

the end of the straw or tube to create a

negative pressure or atmospheric pressure,

allowing the liquid to be extracted

to the depth of the straw.

Once the straw was removed, he

dumped the contents into a small glass

or plastic cup and looked for either rich

clean oil, dark black oil, or a milky white

and oily substance.

If the oil is black or has a milky appearance,

changing the oil is imperative.

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DIY PUMP

REPAIR

If the oil is milky, finding the reason

why water is in the oil needs to be determined

and fixed.

Some simple causes can easily be

checked. For example, the oil fill cap

on top of your pressure washer may be

loose, cracked, or cross threaded.

Be sure the cap is secure and properly

tightened.

If the cap checks out, there is a slight

possibility your pressure washer could

have been too close to your wash area

during your last wash job.

The cap is designed with a pressure

release hole in the cap and if too much

oil is placed in the crankcase or water

has made its way into your crankcase,

it allows the liquid to vent or overflow.

This small hole allows crankcase

pressure to escape, releasing pressure

from the crankcase.

But sometimes the hole can suck

water in if overspray or rain water has

accumulated on or around the oil cap.

So, be sure not to allow your pressure

washer to enter your spray area while

working.

The most common reason water

infiltrates the crankcase oil is due to

worn seals.

Your crankcase oil seals are designed

to keep the oil inside your crankcase

but they don’t offer a full-proof way of

keeping water out.

The seal is designed to expand when

the pistons start moving and create

a slight pressure increase inside the

crankcase.

The pressure increase allows the oil

seal cupped end facing the piston rods to

expand and seal off any oil from leaking

from the crankcase.

Crankcase seals are not the easiest

seals to check or remove but often are

the culprit when water gets into the

crankcase.

You may then need to replace the oil

seals or high-pressure seals.

BELTS

After you have determined if your

oil has been compromised or not, visually

check the integrity of the pulley belt

or drive system between the engine and

pump.

If the belt is cracked, worn, or loose, it

may be a good time to replace it before

you ramp up your season.

A belt-driven system needs to be

tight with just enough slack not to bog

down the engine.

If you have a direct drive system, be

sure to keep a rust inhibitor lubricant

applied on each shaft of the pump and

motor.

This simple task can save hours when

a keyway or pulley needs replacing as

the pulleys tend to seize to the shafts.

SPRAY TIPS

While the pump is the single most

vital component of your pressure

washing system, small items like the

spray tip can affect the overall performance

as well.

Regardless of if you use a quick-disconnect-type

spray tip or a threaded tip,

it is very important to inspect the orifice

on a regular basis.

The orifice is the hole on the exit

end of the tip that allows a determined

amount of water to exit the tip while

pressure washing.

The size or condition of the tip is critical

for proper back pressure, chemical

injection capability, and overall cleaning

results.

If a spray tip is washed out or oversized

for your system, it can affect the

overall performance, limiting the proper

pressure you need to clean surfaces.

It is important when replacing a

spray tip that it is sized to your pressure

washer capabilities.

For example, if you have a system

that is rated at 4.5 gpm, your tip needs

to be less than 4.5 gpm to build up backpressure

to your pump.

While over-sizing the tip will

decrease your pressure capabilities,

under-sizing can affect the pump as

well, by not allowing enough water to

pass through the system and potentially

overheating the bypass water and

prematurely damaging the pump seals.

GET TO WORK!

Whether you have a basic or highly

sophisticated pressure washer system,

these simple preventive maintenance

tips can prolong the life of your pressure

washer, as well as save you time

and money before requiring a pump

mechanic like me!

So, as you spring back in to action,

check your pressure washer oil, drive

system, and spray tip to ensure a great

start to what is sure to shape up to be an

incredible pressure washing year in 2021.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

For nearly four decades, Vilco Supply

Company and owner Joe Anish, has

offered pump maintenance to thousands

of customers from all over the United

States, Canada, Europe and beyond.

Vilco Supply has repaired some very

complex pump problems as well as very

simple repairs. Anish says some of the

simple repairs can be performed by

the customer if they will just take a few

minutes to check these items listed in this

article before using their pressure washer.

If you really do find yourself in over your

head, though, Vilco Supply offers complete

pump maintenance or repair on nearly

all CAT Pumps, by postal and shipping

method. The company can be reached

at 1 (888) 255-4181.

30 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 3, NO. 2 | SPRING 2021


www.WettSupply.com 651-340-7077 johnw@wettsupply.com

Pressure washer pumps and accessories

DIRECT SALES

W

Wett Supply

651-340-7077

A Nationwide Wholesaler

with 30+ Years Experience

We offer

industry-leading

vendor level

discounted pricing

&

same-day

many items.

johnw@wettsupply.com 651-340-7077


3

1 9 8 9

.

2 0 1 9

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To learn more visit www.arnorthamerica.com

E-Mail: info@arnorthamerica.com

Phone: 1-800-893-4235 · 763-398-2008

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