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SPRING 2021 • 3
Around the Wash:
The Name Game ..................... 6
Small Business News
You Can Use ................................ 8
& News ....................................... 18
Innovations ............................... 20
Self Serve Snapshot ............... 22
Tips .............................................. 26
Industry Dirt ............................ 28
Extra! Extra! ............................. 32
Around the Wash:
Do You Charge? ...................... 38
Tricks of the Trade ............... 42
Fun & Games .......................... 50
The Birds and the Bugs ....... 52
Cover Story ............................... 54
Darwin ........................................ 62
VOL. 49, NO. 2, SPRING 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
Copyright 2021. 2 Dollar Enterprises/SSCWN. All Rights Reserved
4 • SPRING 2021
Note to Self
BY DEBRA GORGOS, EDITOR
I love flying. I’ve been to
almost as many places
as my luggage. - BOB HOPE
Hello, my friends.
Well, as I was just getting used to living in the lap of low-key plans and blank calendars,
not to mention so much binge watching and binge eating, I suddenly started getting
invitations to so many car wash tradeshows and conventions. Similar to remembering how
to ride a bike, I was once again tasked with filling in events in my calendar. How do I book
a flight? I had to ask myself. Employees have been working tirelessly behind-the-scenes
to bring these shows back to us, in person. Las Vegas! Atlantic City! Fort Worth! Altoona!
Atlanta! Who’s booked their hotels? I admit I have stayed in two hotels for family fun
since the C-word upended the world, and, if anything, a positive from the past 14 months
is that people are taking germiness more seriously. As a self-proclaimed germaphobe, I
used to prepare for travel as if I were going into a combat zone. Lysol wipes. Check. Hand
sanitizer. Check. Hand soap. Check. Black light. Wait…I never checked that box, because
I didn’t want to end up in the Howard Hughes hall of paranoia fame. But the thought did
cross my mind. Who else would wipe down the remote, the light switches and doorknobs
in their hotel rooms? This girl would! Who else would bring their own pump of liquid
soap? Me! Now, hotels are using these antimicrobial surface covers on the railings and
handles, etc. Brilliant. But, at the same time, we still have to live our lives and not assume
everything, and everyone is a germ-carrying petri dish out to destroy you. Balance is good.
Being cautious is good. But I am looking forward to some tradeshow get-togethers, so now,
let’s get on with the shows.
I recently got to interview Heather Courtney of Courtney Consulting & Event Management,
LLC, who is helping to put on the Northeast Regional Carwash Convention in Atlantic
City this October. Courtney said they are waiting to hear from the New Jersey State
Department of Health and CDC regarding the safety precautions and will follow those
to a tee. She also said they have been meeting (remotely) since the pandemic started. It’s
been months and months and months and months of work. I cannot imagine. To have to
work so hard with so many unknowns…
If you’re still on the fence about travelling, I get that, too. I have relatives who still
haven’t really left their homes. If you’re one of those people, please know I respect your
stance. This magazine is bipartisan, and you will never know my particular political beliefs
or conspiracy theories. Although, I still think pineapple belongs on pizza and Coke is better
than Pepsi. That’s all you’ll get out of me, though. Oh, and Roger Moore was the best
James Bond. Now, that’s all.
So, for those of you attending the upcoming tradeshow, I look forward to seeing you all
again in the upcoming months. And, please, travel safely.
In other news, I’ve been thinking about safety and security a lot lately. After binge watching
countless Dateline episodes and moving on to even more real-life murder mysteries on
the Discovery channel, not to mention podcasts and documentaries on abductions, etc., I feel
as if I am a bit more on guard with my surroundings. So, for the love of all things holy, please
make sure your washes are well-lit. My girlfriends and I beg of you. This issue’s cover story is
all about lighting. It’s not just about being more visible, it’s about safety, too.
And, finally, if you’re proud of the landscaping around your car wash, please let us know.
Send pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they will be featured in the next issue.
Until next time,
In this world of
it is time I get
No, really, I just need to cancel my
After being in the carwash business for 35
years I sold my carwashes. Luckily, I had an
awesome buyer who has taken the reins and
has been keeping service top notch.
Boy it was tough with a lot of crying and
sobbing. Driving by the carwashes way
too often just to see how business is and
whether customers are being taken care of.
It was a great adventure in the SS carwash
Staff not showing up, hoses getting cut
in the middle of the day, all wash bays
freezing up on a 29-degree night (no bays
freezing when it is zero degrees), all the
wonderful customers I got to know and help
them take care of their cars by providing the
best service I could deliver. It was the best
job I could have had.
Though there were some hard knocks,
they were however overwhelmed by the
good knocks, wonderful suppliers I chose to
do business with and great customers who
chose to do business with me.
I have slowed down driving by the washes
now so the last great part of finalizing my
carwash tenure is canceling my SSCWN.
I have enjoyed reading and learning many
things from the SSCWN issues from way
back in the 90s when Jarret was heading the
I wish all in the carwash business no
matter if you’re an operator, publisher or
supplier, “Happy Washing and love what you
do. I Did.”
Now just a customer waiting in line to get
Letters to the Editor
your retirement. Your
love for your job, and
the industry, is a great
message to all of us.
More ‘good knocks’
are ahead, I am sure.
As Mister Fred Rogers
once said, “Often when
you are at the end
of something, you’re
at the beginning of
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SPRING 2021 • 5
Around the Wash:
The Name Game
Why trademarking your business name is a smart and important move.
BY ROB SCHRUEFER
If you have the ambition to grow your business
into a brand, there are a few things that you must
think about from the very beginning. The most
important being what will your business be called.
A misstep here could result in legal action and losing
the rights to your name years after you have
established your business.
Few people think about what their business
might be in 5 or 10 or 20 years down the road when
they are in the early stages of establishing a company.
The thought of having to enforce your business
name or having someone enforce their rights on
you, might seem unrealistically far away. The reality
is that if you have poorly chosen a name, you are
not alone as it happens more often, and sooner than
you think. If the owner of a trademark discovers
someone using the same business name in the same
industry, they are obligated to notify the offender
and protect the mark. Failure to do so could cause
them to forfeit the mark, so expect they will do
something about it immediately.
Personally, I have sent countless “Cease and Desist”
letters to companies using the On The Spot
name. It is not because I want to be a jerk about
it, it is because I have to do it. Quite often I discover
these other companies when a disgruntled customer
calls us to complain about the other company
thinking we are the same. One of the qualifying
factors for enforcement is whether someone can
be confused as to who they are dealing with. A
business in the same industry using the same name
meets that qualification. As my business expands
into new areas, we also come across established
detailing companies using the same name. With
the trademark, I have the right to use the name
over them, no matter how long they have been
using it. Unfortunately they will be forced to stop
using the name and rebrand or face legal and financial
To avoid this hassle, you should start by identifying
any potential problems from the start. The
easiest way to accomplish this is to hire an Intellectual
Property Lawyer and have them set you
up legally. If that is not financially possible, there
are three places I would suggest checking prior to
naming your business:
1. LOCALLY: Do a Google search in your
area to find out if anyone else is operating
under the name that you wish to use.
Remember: It’s not just car washes. A
business, such as a laundromat or pet
wash could be using your name. If there
is someone that is established and still
in business, you should try thinking of
2. STATE: If you cannot find someone on
an Internet search locally, that does not
mean the name is not registered with
the state already. Each state has a place
on their .gov site where business names
can be checked for conflicts. The state
will not prevent you from using the same
name with variances, especially if there is
a DBA (Doing Business As) in the listing.
For example, my business legally might
be called Rob’s Detailing LLC, D/B/A On
The Spot Detailing. Being registered with
the state does not protect the name of the
business or from trademark infringement.
3. FEDERALLY: The most surefire way to
avoid a potential problem is to check on
the Federal Trademark Registry for your
business name. This can be found at
If you find the name here, stop and go
back to the drawing board. Finding the
name on a federal trademark search
means that someone took the time and
money to federally protect their name
and/or logo, and are more than likely to
enforce it through legal means.
Once you have found the name that works for
you, and no one else is using it, you should protect
it. This means you will have the rights to the
name, and no one can prevent you from using it.
This will cost a few thousand dollars with an Intellectual
Property Lawyer, but after a few years it
will become incontestable, meaning that no one
can challenge your right to the name. You must
continue to use the trademark symbol, and keep
up with the filing. I remember when I first started
out, I was unable to obtain my trademark because
another company had it registered. They were a
tire company that did car washes somewhere in
the Midwest, but they were not still in business. I
had to wait for their rights to expire before I could
move in and get it for myself.
No matter if you dream of being a national company,
or a local one, you should protect yourself
and your rights. Having someone force you to
stop using the name of your business will cause
customers to be unable to find you, force you to
rebrand all of your marketing materials, cost a fortune
in legal fees, and have long-term effects on
your ability to operate. While the chances of this
are low if you remain small and off the radar, why
limit yourself from the start? A little investment
and forethought will save you an immeasurable
amount of time and money down the road.
Rob Schruefer is the owner of On The Spot Detailing out
of Columbia, Maryland and is a regularl columnist for Auto
Detailing News. He proudly serves on the board of the
International Detailing Association and works tirelessly to
ensure that detailing business owners receive business
development support to help them achieve their goals.
6 • SPRING 2021
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SPRING 2021 • 7
sba.gov or call the SBA’s
Customer Service Center
(1-800-877-8339 for the
deaf and hard of hearing).
• SBA to increases lending
limit for COVID-19 EIDLs
8 • SPRING 2021
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
stated in a March 24, 2021 press release that it is
increasing the maximum amount small businesses
and non-profit organizations can borrow through
its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan
(EIDL) program. As of April 6, 2021, the SBA
has raised the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL
program from 6-months of economic injury with
a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to
24-months of economic injury with a maximum
loan amount of $500,000.
“More than 3.7 million businesses employing
more than 20 million people have found financial
relief through SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster
Loans, which provide low-interest emergency
working capital to help save their businesses.
However, the pandemic has lasted longer than
expected, and they need larger loans. Many have
called on SBA to remove the $150,000 cap. We
are here to help our small businesses and that is
why I’m proud to more than triple the amount of
funding they can access,” SBA Administrator Isabella
Casillas Guzman stated in the press release.
Businesses that receive a loan subject to the current
limits do not need to submit a request for an
increase at this time. SBA will reach out directly
via email and provide more details about how
businesses can request an increase. Any new loan
applications and any loans in process when the
new loan limits are implemented will automatically
be considered for loans covering 24 months of
economic injury up to a maximum of $500,000.
This new relief builds on SBA’s previous March
12, 2021, announcement that the agency would
extend deferment periods for all disaster loans,
including COVID-19 EIDLs, until 2022 to offer
more time for businesses to build back. In order to
shift all EIDL payments to 2022, SBA will extend
the first payment due date for disaster loans made
in 2020 to 24-months from the date of the note
and to 18-months from the date of the note for all
loans made in the calendar year 2021.
• Deferment Period
extended for all
disaster loans until 2022
On March 16, 2021, the SBA announced the
extended deferment periods for all disaster loans,
including the EIDL program, until 2022.
• All SBA disaster loans made in calendar
year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will
have a first payment due date extended
from 12-months to 24-months from the
date of the note.
• All SBA disaster loans made in calendar
year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will
have a first payment due date extended
from 12-months to 18-months from the
date of the note.
Current relief efforts can be
found at WWW.SBA.GOV/
Firms participating in the
8(a) Business Development
can email questions to:
For more questions about
the 8(a) Business
Development program, visit:
8(a) Business Development
Corporate Office: 81 Highland Avenue, Suite 300, Bethlehem, PA 18017 | icscarwashsystems.com | 800.642.9396
Defining the World of Car Wash Technology
SPRING 2021 • 9
SMALL BUSINESS NEWS
10 • SPRING 2021
Existing SBA disaster loans approved prior
to 2020 in regular servicing status as of March 1,
2020, received an automatic deferment of principal
and interest payments through December
31, 2020. This initial deferment period was subsequently
extended through March 31, 2021 , according
to a press release. An additional 12-month
deferment of principal and interest payments will
be automatically granted to these borrowers. Borrowers
will resume their regular payment schedule
with the payment immediately preceding March
31, 2022, unless the borrower voluntarily continues
to make payments while on deferment. It is
important to note that the interest will continue
to accrue on the outstanding balance of the loan
throughout the duration of the deferment.
“Small Businesses, private nonprofits and agricultural
enterprises, including those self-employed
individuals, contractors and gig workers, continue
to navigate a very difficult economic environment
due to the continued impacts of the Coronavirus
COVID-19 pandemic, as well as historic Severe
Winter Storms in 2020,” SBA Administrator Tami
Perrillo stated in the press release. “The COVID-19
EIDL program has assisted over 3.7 million of small
businesses, including non-profit organizations, sole
proprietors and independent contractors, from
a wide array of industries and business sectors,
through this challenging time,” she continued.
SBA continues to strive to make available all
previously approved Coronavirus Pandemic stimulus
funding and administer the new targeted programs
related to provisions in the 2020 Economic
Aid to hard-hit small businesses, nonprofits, and
venues as quickly as possible.
“The American people and the nation’s small
business owners need our tireless effort and dedication
to get this essential funding to those in great
need, and SBA will not rest until we implement
President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” and its’
additional targeted programs and funds allocated
for America’s small business and nonprofit communities,”
SBA Senior Advisor Michael Roth stated
in the press release.
COVID-19 EIDL 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. Interest
continues to accrue during the deferment period
and borrowers may make full or partial payments
if they choose.
In mid-February 2021, SBA reached a milestone
in the success of the COVID-19 EIDL program, by
approving over $200 billion in emergency funding
in low-interest loans, providing working capital
funds to small businesses, non-profits and agricultural
businesses to survive the severe impacts of
this catastrophic and historic period within the
entire United States of America and its territories.
SBA continues to approve over $500 million each
week for the COVID-19 EIDL program.
• American Rescue
Plan Act elevates
small business support
Upon President Biden signing the American
Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law, the U.S. Small
Business Administration’s Senior Advisor Michael
“The American Rescue Plan Act enables the
SBA to continue to lift up the cornerstones of
our communities; the mom-and-pop businesses
and nonprofits that provide essential services
for our everyday lives, hire from within neighborhoods,
and more. Our nation’s more than
30 million small businesses are the economic
engine of this country and, in alignment with
the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on equitable
treatment, the SBA will work tirelessly
to ensure eligible borrowers will get access to
this critical economic relief.”
The American Rescue Plan Act, according to a
March 11, 2021, press release provides additional
relief for the nation’s small businesses and hardhit
industries for programs the SBA is currently
administering and adds new efforts, including:
• $7.25 billion additional for the Paycheck
Protection Program, including to expand
eligibility to additional nonprofits and digital
• Additional funds are allocated for the
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program,
and now allows businesses to apply for
both a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, and
• $15 billion additional for Targeted
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance
(EIDL) payments, including NEW $5 billion
for Supplemental Targeted EIDL Advance
payments for those hardest hit
• NEW: $28.6 billion for the Restaurant
Revitalization Fund for industry-focused
• NEW: $100 million to establish a
Community Navigator pilot program;
grants will go to eligible organizations
supporting efforts to improve access to
COVID–19 pandemic assistance programs
SBA’s current relief efforts can be found at www.
sba.gov/coronavirusrelief, and more details about
these program updates and new efforts the SBA
will administer in the coming weeks.
• Changes to PPP will
benefit small businesses
In February 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration
made several reforms to the Paycheck
Protection Program (PPP) to further ensure small
businesses get the help they need, especially
Mom-and-Pop businesses in underserved communities.
According to a March 9, 2021, press release,
putting equity at the center of its policies and
programs, the Biden-Harris Administration
launched a comprehensive plan to engage small
businesses and nonprofits, focusing on building
trust in underserved communities.
The cornerstone of reforms included a 14-day
exclusivity period (February 24-March 9) where
only businesses and nonprofits with fewer than
20 employees could apply for relief through the
PPP. This period was to give lenders time to focus
on reaching out to the smallest of small businesses
left behind in previous rounds.
Early indications show program reforms and
efforts to engage with communities authentically
are working in meaningful ways. As of March 7,
a comparison of the daily average rate of loans
made during the exclusivity period and daily average
rate ten days before the exclusivity period
show loans to:
SPRING 2021 • 11
SMALL BUSINESS NEWS
• Minority-owned businesses up by
20%, or an additional 1,000 businesses
accessing relief each day
• Women-owned businesses up by 14%,
or an additional 600 businesses accessing
relief each day
• Small businesses in rural areas up by
12%, an additional 1,000 businesses
accessing relief each day
In total, more than 400,000 small businesses
and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees
were serviced during the exclusivity period as of
March 7. Compared to the ten days preceding the
exclusivity period, the reforms show that nearly
200,000 are first-time PPP borrowers – a 25% increase
in daily approvals.
During the exclusivity period, the Administration
and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
focused on targeted community outreach in underserved
communities to organize and participate in:
• Black History Month webinars
• Women’s History Month Instagram Live
• Eight virtual SBA informational webinars
about PPP changes whereby:
• Over 73,000 people registered and
20,000 leaders from small business,
community-based organizations, trusted
advisors, and small business owners
• Over 30 small business associations,
community-based organizations, and
other stakeholders joined together to
educate their membership and audiences
Additionally, on March 5, the SBA implemented
the rest of the changes the President made,
including changing the formula for Schedule C
filers, eliminating exclusionary restrictions on student
loan debt and non-fraud felony convictions,
and ensuring access for immigrant business owners.
We are starting to see early momentum from
those changes as well.
• Nearly 30,000 small businesses had flags
removed due to delinquent student loan debt,
allowing them access to new PPP loans and
forgiveness from the last round of PPP.
• Tens of thousands of new applications have
come in from sole proprietors, independent
contractors, and self-employed individuals
from over 2,000 PPP lenders
Julie Verratti, Associate Administrator for SBA’s
Office of Field Operations, stated in the press release,
“Meeting small businesses wherever they are
is critical to advancing our goal of equitably supporting
underserved small business communities,
12 • SPRING 2021
especially women and minority-owned businesses.
Our mission is to provide access to vital information
that will help these risk takers take advantage
of billions of dollars left in the Paycheck Protection
Program. The SBA has been answering thousands
of calls, emails, and running multiple webinars
daily to reach as many people as possible. We
will continue working with our small businesses
no matter which zip code they are in, so they can
get back to what they do best, which is grow our
economy, build our communities, and create jobs."
The fact remains that – even with these important
improvements to the Paycheck Protection
Program’s design and implementation – too many
small businesses will continue to close their doors
without the additional, targeted support. That’s
where the Administration’s American Rescue Plan
will step in to play a near-term role with long term
benefits, the press release stated.
• SBA prioritizes smallest
of the small businesses
A February 22, 2021, press release stated that the
Biden-Harris Administration and the SBA are taking
steps with the PPP to further promote equitable
relief for America’s mom-and-pop businesses.
The latest round of Paycheck Protection Program
funding opened one month ago and already the
Biden Administration has succeeded in making major
improvements to the program’s implementation:
• For businesses with fewer than ten
employees, the share of funding is up
• For businesses in rural communities, the
share of funding is up nearly 30%
• The share of funding distributed through
Community Development Financial
Institutions and Minority Depository
Institutions is up more than 40%
“The SBA is a frontline agency working to create
an inclusive economy, focused on reaching
women-owned, minority-owned, low- and moderate-income,
rural, and other underserved communities
in meaningful ways. While reported data
illustrates we have made real strides in ensuring
these funds are reaching underserved communities,
we believe we can still do better,” says SBA
Senior Advisor Michael Roth in the press release.
“The important policy changes we are announcing
further ensure inclusivity and integrity by increasing
access and much-needed aid to Main Street
businesses that anchor our neighborhoods and
help families build wealth.”
These simple progressive steps by the Biden-Harris
Administration further demonstrate the commitment
to racial and gender equity, reaching low
and moderate-income, rural, urban, and other underserved
areas. The SBA will:
• Establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan
application period for businesses and
nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees
• Allow sole proprietors, independent
contractors, and self-employed individuals
to receive more financial support by
revising the PPP’s funding formula for
these categories of applicants
• Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on
PPP access for small business owners
with prior non-fraud felony convictions,
consistent with a bipartisan congressional
• Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small
business owners who have struggled
to make federal student loan payments
by eliminating federal student loan debt
delinquency and default as disqualifiers to
participating in the PPP; and
• Ensure access for non-citizen small
business owners who are lawful U.S.
residents by clarifying that they may use
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
(ITIN) to apply for the PPP.
The 14-day exclusivity period started on February
24, 2021 and the other four changes were
implemented during the first week of March. The
SBA is working on the program changes and will
communicate details throughout this week.
These actions will help to lay the foundation for
a robust and equitable recovery for small businesses
across the country. Small businesses employ nearly
half of the American workforce; they create 2 out
of 3 net new private-sector jobs; they reinvest 68%
of revenues to build and sustain communities.
• SBA distributes
$200 Billion in
On February 12, 2021, the SBA announced
it reached a milestone in the success of the
COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan
(EIDL) program, which has provided U.S. small
businesses, non-profits, and agricultural businesses
a total of $200 billion in emergency funding.
“Following the enactment of COVID-19 emergency
legislation, the SBA has now provided more
than 3.7 million small businesses employing more
than 20 million people with $200 billion through
the unprecedented COVID-19 EIDL loan program,”
Acting Administrator Tami Perriello said
in a press release. “SBA remains committed to
helping small businesses recover from the unprecedented
economic effects of COVID-19.”
SBA is still accepting COVID-19 EIDL loan applications
as the deadline to apply has been extended
to Dec. 31, 2021. EIDL funding is used
to pay fixed debts, payroll and expenses, accounts
payable and other bills that can’t be paid because
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TIMERS FOR YOUR WASH
Having the right timers in your facility can keep you profitable 365 days a year.
One of the most critical components of your facility are the timers you choose for
your bays, vacuums, shampoo and fragrance machines. Face it, if your timer goes
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the right timers and they’ll keep you and your customers happy. Make the wrong
choice and... well you take your chances.
WHAT CUSTOMERS DEMAND IN DISPLAY TIMERS
Let’s face it, your customers are your most valuable asset. While many may be stopping
in on their way through town, acquiring and keeping your regulars happy is
the lifeline of the business. Having, bright, easy-to-read timers that are viewable
from 180 degrees and in sunlight is the most common feedback from self-serve
carwash users. If your timer display is fading or hard to read especially in bright
sunlight, frustrations can build and your competitor down the road may gain their
ADVANTAGES OF MADE IN AMERICA
When choosing timers for your car wash site, as you know, there are a number of
critical factors. As we have mentioned before, knowing your equipment is Made in
America and subject to rigorous quality control standards is important for maximum
up time at your facility. Of course, we all know that maximum up time means
maximum profits. B&C Electronic Engineering has been manufacturing their
timers and computers in Colorado since 1984 when the Company was formed.
With their Tyco Pick and Place Machine, Wave Solder Machine, Heller Reflow
Oven, IPC Certified Soldering Experts, B&C Electronic Engineering controls the
manufacturing process from start to finish. This not only ensures strict quality
control, but keeps jobs right here in America.
B&C Electronic Engineering manufactures their timers and boards
in Colorado, ensuring quality control from start to finish.
Self-serve car wash customers look for easy-to-read displays.
Bluish green Vacuum Fluorescent Displays perform exceptionally
well in all light conditions from all angles.
For maximum visibility in various light condition and angles, the bluish green
vacuum fluorescent displays tend to perform best. The displays are designed to
be visible virtually at any angle and they tend not to get washed out by intense
sunlight. Further to that the displays generally last longer than LED due to the fact
they tolerate heat better.
Further to this, their Customer Service and Repair divisions are also located in
Colorado, where they pride themselves on quick turnaround when you need it
most! “Off shore” customer support can be frustrating to say the least and getting
help troubleshooting and fixing your problems can be extremely challenging to
car wash owners.
To summarize, as a site owner, you want to ensure you have equipment that is
dependable and that makes the customer experience easy and enjoyable. Making
the right choice in timers can separate you from your competition and keep people
coming to your facility week after week.
B&C ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING TIMERS AT A GLANCE
Highly Visible in Sunlight
Yes – Premium Vacuum Fluorescent Display
WHAT SITE OWNERS ARE LOOKING FOR IN
Pleasing loyal customers should always be at the forefront of any car wash site as
mentioned previously. Keeping your site up and running through dependable technology,
decreases down time and the hassle of constant repairs. Timers are not all
created equal, and components and design are critical for dependable operation.
Companies like B&C Electronic Engineering (Denver, CO) have been designing
and manufacturing advanced timing devices since 1984 right here in the USA.
They monitor the quality control literally from start to finish, ultimately offering a
24-month Manufacturer’s Warranty through their distribution partners like Coleman
Hanna, National Carwash Solutions and more.
High quality design, dependable components and manufactured in the USA lead
the way for a site owner’s piece of mind. Up time is critical to profit, and knowing
you have a 24-month Warranty and domestic Customer Service makes it an easy
choice for selecting the highest-quality display timers for your site.
Easy Viewing from all
Built to Last in Cold and
Display “Hot Spots”
Yes – Uniform Viewing vs. Red/Orange LED
Yes – Withstands Extreme Temperatures Hot
Yes – Clean, Crisp Display with no Annoying
Hot Spots found on LED displays
Yes – 24-Month Manufacturer’s Warranty
Save 10% at www.bce-inc.com. Use code SSCWN at checkout.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO PURCHASE B&C ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING TIMERS AND PRODUCTS GO TO:
B&C Electronic Engineering
National Carwash Solutions
(Formerly Hi-Performance Wash Systems)
Shiners Car Wash Systems in
61 3 9646 0777
SPRING 2021 • 13
SMALL BUSINESS NEWS
of the disaster’s impact. This financial resource has
allowed millions of small business owners across
America to retain employees, continue operating
and support their communities during the
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just
one piece of the expanded focus of the federal
government’s coordinated response. The SBA is
strongly committed to providing the most effective
and customer-focused programs possible.
As a reminder, the loan portion of the COVID-19
EIDL program continues to have funds available
at very affordable and flexible terms, with an automatic
deferment of one year before monthly payments
• SBA provides 1-year
8(a) Program extension
Effective January 13, 2021, the SBA is allowing
8(a) Program participants to elect a one-year
program extension in the SBA’s 8(a) Business
Development Program due to the challenges of
COVID-19. According to a January 27, 2021,
press release, eligible 8(a) firms must meet the following
• Any firm that participated in the 8(a)
Program between March 13, 2020, and
September 9, 2020, has the option to
extend its program participation for one
year from the end of its program term;
• Firms that were terminated, early
graduated, or voluntarily withdrew from
the 8(a) Program during this period are not
eligible for the extension; and
• Firms admitted to the 8(a) Program on or
after September 10, 2020, are not eligible
for the extension.
• Firms participating in the 8(a) Program
on January 13, 2021, will receive an
automatic one-year program extension
unless they decline it in writing.
• If an 8(a) firm previously elected
to voluntarily suspend its program
participation in connection with the
nationwide coronavirus emergency
disaster declaration, the length of the
suspension will first be added to the firm’s
program term, and the one-year extension
will be added to the end of that extension.
• Firms that elect to extend their
participation in the program will not be
subject to a higher non-8(a) business
activity target (BAT) for the extension
period. The same 50 percent BAT that
applies to the ninth program year will
apply to the extended program term.
Firms that do not wish to receive the automatic
program extension are required to submit notice
of decline in writing to:
SBA’s Associate Administrator, Office of Business
Development, Small Business Administration, 409
Third Street SW, Washington, DC 20416 or email to
• Firms that were participating in the 8(a)
Program as of March 13, 2020, but
graduated before January 13, 2021, are
eligible for program readmittance.
• Firms seeking readmittance must notify
SBA as soon as possible, but no later
than March 15, 2021. As a condition
of readmittance, a firm must certify
that it continues to meet all applicable
program eligibility requirements. If
readmitted, the extension date is
the firm’s original program exit date.
For example, a firm with a program
completion date of April 15, 2020 is
readmitted January 25, 2021, their new
program end date is April 15, 2021.
Firms must submit readmittance notification to:
Associate Administrator, Office of Business Development,
Small Business Administration, 409
Third Street SW, Washington, DC 20416 or email to
SBA will readmit a firm to the 8(a) Program within
five business days of receiving a readmittance request.
The firm’s new program completion date is
one year from the date it initially completed the
program, not the date the final rule was published.
Public comments to the interim final rule can be
submitted, identified by RIN: 3245-AH64, by any
of the following methods:
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.
regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for
• Email: Van Tran, Deputy Associate
Administrator, Office of Business
Development, Small Business
Administration, at 8aQuestions@sba.gov.
Firms participating in the 8(a) Business Development
can email questions to: 8aQuestions@sba.
gov. For more questions about the 8(a) Business
Development program, visit: 8(a) Business Development
14 • SPRING 2021
Your carwash insurance experience can be hassle free. You don't have to spend hours
comparing coverage options. You don't have to stumble through confusing paperwork.
You can get a specialized insurance policy custom fit for your carwash business with
Western Carwash Insurance Program (WCIP).
• Carwash Building & Equipment
• Commercial Liability
• Commercial Auto
• 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!
CA DOI Lie. #OC36861
SPRING 2021 • 15
Zierco’s Original Swivel and
Boom Assembly, with
• Feather light rotating action
• Twin compression springs are
tension-adjustable for a variety
of hose and gun weights
• Swivel rotates 360˚ - 12 ft.
MODEL 203 FEATURES
• Temperatures to 280˚ max.,
pressure to 2000 psi
• Longer hose life as spring
• Ruggedly built, satisfaction
• Proven performance with over 50 years
service in the field (Since 1962)
FAX: (414) 764-9763
107C Cartridge Features:
• Field Repairable
• 100% 304 Stainless Steel Internal
Materials Eliminate Failure Due to
• Double O-Ring Design Uses Any
Type of Grease
7355 S. 1st. Street
Oak Creek, WI 53154
VISA and Master Card accepted
DISTRIBUTOR INQUIRIES INVITED
QUALITY PRODUCTS SINCE 1937
16 • SPRING 2021
Zierco’s Easy Service Swivel and
Boom Systems with
MODEL 204 and 206 FEATURES
• Twin compression springs are tension-adjustable
for a variety of hose and gun weights
• Swivel rotates 360˚ - 12 ft. diameter
• Temperatures to 280˚ max., pressure to 2000 psi
• Longer hose life as spring prevents kinks
• Ruggedly built, satisfaction guaranteed
• Optional stainless steel components
• Proven performance with over 50 years service in
the field (Since 1962)
Boom Systems with Full 360 Degree roTATIoN
Booms are Available with 3 Different Mountings
ENHANCE YOUR SELF SERVING
to the ceiling or
Easy to Use -"Feather Light" rotating action
Mounts directly to
OFFSET Overhead Carwash Boom
Allows for TWO Center Boom Installation
Mounts to wall and
is adjustable so
to wall when
not in use.
Ideal for foaming brushes.
To Convert Model 203
to a 204 Assembly
Remove boom body
from hinge plate
EASY 3 STEP PROCEDURE
TO CHANGE SEALS.
NO TOOLS REQUIRED.
Rotate hinge plate
counter clockwise to
remove seal elbow
7355 S. 1st Street
Oak Creek, WI 53154
Fax: (414) 764-9763
QUALITY PRODUCTS SINCE 1937
VISA and Master Card
SPRING 2021 • 17
*All events are subject to changes
due to current circumstances.
18 • SPRING 2021
CAR WASH EXPO
Fort Worth Convention Center
Fort Worth, Texas
CAR WASH EXPO
Georgia World Congress Center
Atlantic City Convention Center
Atlantic City, New Jersey
2021 PRODUCT &
The Prairie Meadows Events and
Conference Center, Altoona, Iowa
2021 CAR WASH
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada
THE CAR WASH
Music City Center
International Carwash Association
Car Wash Show Europe to take the digital stage
The April 28 and 29, 2021, Car Wash Show
Europe will be available in a digital format. According
to the ICA, this pan European event will
be broadcasted live from the ProMedia Group studio’s
in the city centre of Rotterdam and will be
• From hand washes to artificial intelligence
• Cashless payments solutions
• How can camera’s help you avoid claims of scratches
• Using license plate recognition for loyalty programs
Washing by app
• Using license plate recognition for wash subscriptions
• Washing by app at Uno-X
Virtual Car Wash Tour:
Best Carwash Regensburg, Germany
• Using less detergents
• Saving water and costs
• The role of AI in the car wash
• How AI can help determine how much and water is
Virtual Car Wash Tour:
All-in Carwash Echt, Netherlands
How are companies organised
• How is a mature market is organized, such as the United States
• New developments in the international car wash market
Western Carwash Association
focused on content sharing and networking. More
than 1.000 professionals from over 90 different
companies worldwide are expected to attend.
The schedule will include sessions covering
the following topics:
Puget Sound Carwash Association now a part of WCA
International Detailing Association
European key market update:
• How is the Western European car wash market organised?
• What is WashTec’s role in this
Key Market Update: Scandinavia
• Finland’s (and the world’s!) first digital car wash
• Superoperator’s role in digitalisation
How to get the most out of your car wash
• New trends in technology
• Connecting with the millennial mindset
Virtual Car Wash Tour:
Delta Sonic Car Wash
Downers Grove, Illinois, USA
• Leadership in times of a pandemic
• What is a sustainable personnel policy?
• Differences in the international market
• How to use data in truck (and car) washes
The IDA celebrates its 2021 award winners
The following winners were announced at the virtual
International Detailing Association Annual Business
Meeting and Awards presentation in February. The
IDA stated it received a record-breaking 4,000+ votes
Detailer of the Year
Mike Karlen, CD
of the Year
John Bell, CD
PRO Products | Tustin, CA
Dates announced for 2022 Show
In case you missed it, The Car Wash Show
2022 remains scheduled for May 9 - 11, 2022, at
Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. This is
the same venue in which the 2019 Show was held.
The Puget Sound Carwash Association
(PSCWA), which includes car wash owners and
operators in the greater Seattle area, is now officially
a part of the Western Carwash Association.
The official announcement was made on January
1, 2021. The PSCWA started the popular Charity
Carwash Program which helps form partnerships
between businesses and the community by
helping non-profit organizations to sell tickets for
environmentally-friendly, professional car washes
throughout the Puget Sound area. The WCA said
it will continue to support and facilitate the Charity
Carwash Program, amongst other initiatives.
for the Detailer of the Year category alone. “This really
shows how strong the detailing community is and
how our community came together after such a difficult
year,” stated the IDA.
Mobile Detailer of the Year
Kendall Honore | Dania, FL
Detail Shop of the Year
World Class Auto Detailing
Greg Swett,CD-SV | Rochester, MI
New England Carwash Association
Annual winter event includes a taste of Napa Valley
New Association President Patrick Mosesso
welcomed over 80 people to the January 26th annual
winter event which took place with a Napa
Valley theme on January 26. The event was sponsored
by AutoWash Technologies, DRB Systems,
Maintenance Technology, Simoniz and Washify
Services and Fernando and Fabiano of Washify.
Pre-registrants were sent half bottles of Napa
Valley chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, as well as
various cheeses from Vermont. A wine expert from
Julio’s provided a history of wine making in America
and specifics on wines produced in Napa Valley.
Mosesso presented outgoing board members
Jeff Arimento, Kevin McLoughlin and Micah
Smith with special plaques.
Scott Bernstein, COO of the marketing agency
Mittcom, reported that as of January 26, more
than 182,000 individuals were introduced to the
NECA and the car washing messaging through
www.carwashsafe.com, a “Clean Covid from your
Car” initiative, and over 158,000 people watched
the NECA videos.
A panel presentation was held discussing carnauba
wax vs ceramic and was moderated by Chris
Ouimet of Fitzy’s Car Wash
Panelists included Frank Yonker of Qual-
Chem, John Shalbey of RoJo, Stu Hulsey of ZEP,
Chris Zona of Fresh Auto Wash and Al West of
According to the NECA write up of the event,
“The discussion began by differentiating between
carnauba hot wax, a natural occurring hard wax,
with a high melting point, that is rubbed in and
sits on the surface and ceramic clear coat, a sealant,
composed of self-curing silicone polymers
that hardens over time and bonds to the surface.
They do similar things but ceramic has some added
water repellency. The panelists agreed that if
space and budget allows, offer as many options to
the customer as possible. These are value-added
services that work to increase the average ticket.
They suggested situating your carnauba application
in the first half of the tunnel and the ceramic
application towards the end.”
Panelists pointed out that there is an additive
effect over time. Applying a drying agent with ceramic
is advantageous since the more layers, the
greater the depth of beauty. Plus a drying agent
will help rinse out of cracks and crevices, according
to the NECA.
Another panel presentation was about maximizing
drying efficiency and was moderated by
Mat Paisner of ScrubaDub. Panelists included Mike
Snow of Maintenance Tech, Matt McNamara of
PECO Car Wash Systems, Travis Yaconis of Motor
CityWash Works, Chris Zona of Fresh Auto Wash
and John Shalbeyof RoJo.
Panelists discussed whether heated drying
makes sense all year long or in winter only, the
NECA write-up noted. “The panelists agree that
when it comes to blower nozzles, length not shape,
and placement make the difference. The shape
and size also depends on application. In addition,
customer perception should be considered.
Southwest Car Wash Association
SCWA reveals details for 2021 Convention and EXPO
Details have been shared regarding the upcoming
2021 SCWA Convention & Car Wash
EXPO, which will take place from June 9-11, at
the Fort Worth Convention Center. The dates for
the convention were initially set for February 17-
19, but were changed to mid-June after careful
consideration by Board members 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. Here is the schedule of events
as provided by the SCWA:
TUESDAY, JUNE 8
• 5 p.m. SCWA Happy Hour at the Hampton Hotel
SPONSORING HOST: CHEMQUEST WEDNESDAY
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9
• 9 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. Convention Registration
• 9:30 a.m. Pre-Convention Devotion
Scott Hicks Enjoy a motivational start to your SCWA
EXPERIENCE with industry friends.
• 10:30 a.m. CEO Forum featuring Michael Dominguez,
President & CEO of ALHI
SPONSORS: Innovative Control Systems Kleen-Rite
• 1 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. EXPO HOURS and Quick Talks
• 4:30 p.m. WELCOME RECEPTION
SPONSORING HOSTS: COLEMAN HANNA, EVERWASH,
• 6:30 p.m. SCWA Happy Hour at the Hampton Hotel
SPONSORING HOST: CHEMQUEST
THURSDAY, JUNE 10
• 7 a.m. Convention Registration
• 7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast - State Discussion
Tables Tables will be designated for attendees to discuss
state issues. 8 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Car Wash Investor Basics
If you are considering entering the $23 billion professional
Car Wash industry: A current car wash owner, new to the
business or changing models; this session is for you.
Open only to car washers present or future.
MODERATORS: Andrew Zamora, Jeff Blansit
8 a.m. Fast Tracks. Pick your topics and circulate between
discussion tables. Each session is 25 minutes. Topics to
• How to Know Your Coverage (Pat McCurley, Sharon
• Evaluate Your Car Wash Business (George Adden)
• Targeted Marketing to Attract Top Talent (Sarah Turner)
• Labor and Other Legal Business Issues (Jacob Monty)
• Tips & Strategies for Unlimited Plans (Clayton Clark)
• Social Media Tips to Increase Your Customer Base (Zach Davis)
• Managers Insights (Damon Van Winkle, Tim Hutchins)
• Training 101 (Best Training Programs) (Steve Gaudreau)
• Detailing Options for Your Car Wash (Prentice St. Clair)
• 9 a.m Idea Exchange Sessions
Breakout sessions discussing challenges & practical
solutions for all car wash models & lube/ detail operations.
A. Conveyor/ Exterior Idea Exchange Session
MODERATORS: Tyler Furney, Steve Holcomb
• B. Automatic/ Self-Serve Idea Exchange Session
MODERATORS: Mel Ulrich
• 10:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m. General Session Welcome:
Jeff Blansit - President Presentation of the 2021 SCWA
Lifetime Achievement Award: Sonny Fazio
Keynote Address: Steve Forbes, Chairman of the Forbes
SPONSOR: PRO-TECH SERVICE COMPANY
• 12 noon Attendee Lunch with Exhibitors
SPONSORING HOSTS: HAMILTON MANUFACTURING
MICROLOGIC ASSOCIATES SCOTCH PLAID VELOCITY
• 1 p.m.- 5 p.m. EXPO HOURS
BREAK SPONSORS: AUTO WASH SERVICES – WASH
SALES MIDLOTHIAN INSURANCE AGENCY
• 5:30 p.m. SCWA Heads to Billy Bob’s – Fort Worth
Enjoy an evening of fun, food and friends.
SPONSORING HOSTS: BIG MAN WASHES GALLOP
BRUSH COMPANY SONNY’S THE CAR WASH FACTORY
FRIDAY, JUNE 11
• 8 a.m.- 9 a.m. CONCURRENT SESSIONS
(All sessions will repeat from 9:15-10:15)
Virtual Car Wash Tour - 808 Car Wash - Kapulei, Hawaii
Presenter: Rick Price Get an up close and personal virtual
tour of the new 808 Car Wash plus operational ideas from
owner Rick Price.
MODERATOR: Andrew Zamora
Mini Express Conversions
Presenter: Mel Ulrich
One of the trends in the self-serve car wash market today
is mini express conversions. Hear first-hand one operator’s
experience and learning curves in their conversion.
MODERATOR: Bobby Story
Characteristics That Good Car Wash Managers Have
Presenter: Steve Gaudreau
Why do successful assistant managers often fail when
promoted to site managers? This session will look at both
car wash assistant managers and site managers, clarify
their differences, and look at ways to prevent promotion
failures. Physical attributes, experience, beliefs, and
behaviors for both positions will be reviewed. Deciding on
whom to promote internally, as well as hiring a manager in
training, may never be the same after this program.
MODERATOR: John Agnew
Behind the Mask – Creating A Customer Focused Culture
Presenter: Lanese Barnett
This year has presented new challenges for the car
wash operator in making sure employees connect with
customers in a positive and friendly way. This session will
provide great ideas and guidelines for your employees on
creating a culture that sets your car wash operation apart.
MODERATOR: Steve Holcomb
International Detailing Association’s Sessions
MODERATOR: Prentice St. Clair
• 9:15 a.m.- 10:15 a.m. Above Sessions Will Repeat
• 10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. General Session – Adapting
to Change in Today’s Car Wash World
Moderator: Rich DiPaolo – Professional Car Washing
& Detailing Magazine
PANELISTS: Justin Alford & JT Thomas 2020 produced
both challenges and opportunities on many fronts for the
Car Wash Community. The dynamics of the industry are
evolving and as we move forward in a new environment -
we will face a new landscape. This general session panel
will discuss many of the challenges and changes as we
move forward together.
• 12 Noon Closing Luncheon
Introduction of 2021-2022 SCWA Officers & Directors
SPRING 2021 • 19
from LSI Industries
LSI Industries announced on April 6, 2021, that it has
launched its new Advantage Series Vaportite (EGA) luminaire
– an enclosed and gasketed LED fixture that is
ideal for wet locations, cold storage and parking garage
applications. This cost-competitive luminaire is IP65 certified
and features a slim profile and an impact resistant
lens. It is lightweight, easy to install and can be power
washed at pressures up to 1,500 PSI.
The EGA’s output level is 5,000 lumens at color temperatures
of 4000K and 5000K. With an efficacy of up
to 136 lumens per watt, this new product is highly energy-efficient.
The EGA is made in America, meets Buy
American Act requirements and is ideal for both new
construction and retrofit projects.
Digital Media Vending
International LLC has
designed an effective
and modern sanitizing
solution: the PPE
vending machine: It
can dispense face masks,
travel size hand sanitizer gel
bottles, anti-bacterial wipes and
Nitrile or PVC Gloves The vending machine:
• Is 23.6” wide X 31.5” high X 7.8” deep
• Has a white powder coat paint finish
• Comes equipped with a security cam lock
• Has a modern 7” inch touchscreen
• Includes five product trays, which are adjustable
• Bill acceptor that can accept $1, $5, $10 & $20
• Option to replace the bill acceptor
with a cashless terminal
• Option to replace the bill acceptor
with a QR / RFID scanner
• Optional custom branding or graphics
• The machine is easy to install in different wall
mounting positions, and it can dispense
the items free of cost or at a minimal charge
20 • SPRING 2021
NEW AND IMPROVED PRODUCTS
AND SERVICES FOR SELF SERVE CAR WASHES
Mobile app enhancements from
WashCard Systems announced upgrades to the company’s mobile car wash app named
UWashApp. The app helps car wash owners attract new customers, produce more revenue,
and operate more efficiently.
The UWashApp, which can activate self-serve washes, in-bay automatic washes, pet
washes, vacuums and fragrance, and vending makes it very convenient for the car wash
customer to purchase not just the wash, but all additional services.
Enhancements were based on suggestions from operators, which were incorporated into
V2 of the app. Some of the enhancements of UWashApp V2 include the following:
• Business Accounts: Businesses can have one UWashApp account shared with multiple
users. With the UWashApp, the business establishes an account and then can
invite employees right from their cell phones. The car wash owner doesn’t have to
be involved in tracking washes and fleet cards, because the business owner manages
the account—adding or subtracting employees from the app, keeping track of
the money spent on washes, downloading and sharing records, etc.
• “Count Up”: WashCard invented the “count up” concept more than 30 years ago.
Rather than having consumers guess up front how long they will need to use the
service—$5, $10, or however much, “count up” allows them to start the wash when
they are ready, then stop it when they are finished.
• Location Awareness: With this new version, the app knows the specific location the
user is approaching, and it lists the services available at that location, eliminating
steps and making it faster and easier.
• In-App Messaging: Operators can set up an in-app messaging system whereby a
customer can receive a pop-up message after completing their service. It could be a
cross-promotional message—for example, an oil change advertisement or a public
service announcement. A car wash operator could provide advertising space in the
UWashApp for, say, a landscaping company, in exchange for all of the landscape
company’s wash business.
Time management app by nTask
With nTask you can plan what needs
to be done, with, when, and where in just
a few steps. Define your projects, create
to-do lists, make unlimited subtasks, set
billing method, decide the payout rate,
and allocate resources to your projects.
KEY Features include:
• Set Currency
• Resource Allocation
• Define Work Capacity
• Multiple Sub-Tasks
• Add assignees and attachments
• Set repeat task
• Set planned and actual dates
INDUSTRIAL GRADE SOLUTIONS
FOR ALL YOUR CAR WASH NEEDS
...From A to Bay
Wash Systems • Water Treatment • Vacuums • Payment Solutions • Dryers
Super Flo - R.O.
SPOT FREE RINSE SYSTEM
Vault Meters & Marketing
Whether you are a new investor or looking to upgrade your current equipment, Carolina Pride can deliver what you need!
225 Crown Blvd. Timberlake, NC 27583
www.cpcarwash.com | email@example.com
SPRING 2021 • 21
How many self serve
bays do you have
amongst your six locations?
22 self serve bays
and seven automatics.
24/7/365 days a week.
GETTING TO KNOW
ULTIMATE AUTO WASH
SIX LOCATIONS IN AND AROUND DES MOINES, IOWA
OWNER MARK LILE
Two of the washes are
$2.25 for 4 minutes.
Three of the washes are
$2.50 for 4 minutes.
And one of them is $2 for
4 minutes. The automatics
are $8, $10 and $12.
When did you get
Ultimate Auto Wash?
15 years ago, that is when
I purchased the first wash,
which was a 10-month-old
car wash at the time.
What do your self serves
offer that separates them
from the competition?
Our self-serves can take
anything from 11’ 9” on down.
This includes, large trucks,
ladders, racks, cars with bike
racks, extremely muddy vehicles
and motorcycles, which cannot
go through an automatic wash.
We are open 24/7 and the
automatic tunnels close for
22 • SPRING 2021
A LEADING MANUFACTURER OF CONTROLS,
INCLUDING DIGITAL TIMERS FOR THE CAR WASH INDUSTRY.
1-888-234-9667 FOR A DISTRIBUTOR IN YOUR AREA.
SPRING 2021 • 23
SELF SERVE SNAPSHOT
business at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
I take extreme pride in taking
care of my customers! We
answer the phone 24/7 (even
on Christmas and Easter and
Thanksgiving etc.) I keep my car
washes clean. And thanks to
Wash Card Systems, I have the
capability of turning the base on
Do you accept cash,
tokens, credit cards?
Yes, yes and yes. I take
quarters in my self serves
and I also take my tokens.
In addition, to we do take
credit cards and have a loyalty
system through Wash Card
Systems (I love, love, love
Wash Card Systems). Wash
Card Systems allows us to
offer special programs for fleet
accounts in the self-serve
bays and automatics and
with the vacuums. And most
of my vacuums take credit
cards as well.
What is the hardest thing
about owning and running
a self serve car wash?
Dealing with customers’
expectations. There’s a lot of
like “I washed my car last month
and it didn’t do a very good job,”
or, a customer will call and say,
“The wash didn’t do a very good
job can you give me a code for
next time,” etc. etc.
24 • SPRING 2021
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SPRING 2021 • 25
In God We Rust, and
other quarters to look for
The following is a Q&A with Nate Perry,
an insurance auditor with Quinton Insurance
– Car Wash Protection Program.
Q. With it being the rainy season, what can car
washes do to protect them from rain or hailrelated
A. Make sure their roof or roof coverings are well
maintained to prevent water damages.
Q. What kinds of insurance claims are more
common this time of year?
A. Property damage claims due to people driving
into barriers, signs, curbs, buildings, etc. are more
common because it is difficult to see with the
foggy/rainy weather conditions.
Q. Is there anything new that car wash owners
need to know about in terms of insurance?
A. Yes, most business owners’ policies are
written on a sales basis. Meaning, the annual
premium relates to the amount of sales. Due
to the Covid-19 virus, a lot of businesses
have experienced a loss of sales. Check with
your insurance agent to make sure your policy
accurately reflects the sales. This could reduce
overall insurance rates.
Sure, the above picture shows a regular old quarter,
right? Wrong! When sifting through the vacuum debris
or hoppers, keep your eye out for this 1937 Doubled Die
Obverse Washington Quarter, as it is actually worth $600.
In God We Rust?
The mistake on this
state quarter, stating
incorrectly “In God
We Rust” can fetch you
up to $100 according
According to the website, a
number of these quarters, which were minted
in Philadelphia, were incorrectly imprinted with
the motto due to a build-up of grease in the die,
causing the ‘T’ to not print.
And, finally, we have these 2004-D Wisconsin state quarters worth about $400. According to www.lovemoney.
com, around 50,000 of these quarters were issued accidentally by the Denver Mint in 2004. Two error varieties
exist: the low leaf variety, which depicts an arched leaf jutting out sideways on the reverse of the coin; and the high
leaf version, which shows an additional leaf poking out of the cheese wheel that touches the corn husk leaf.
Why, “take your comment
& _______!” doesn’t work
As much as business owners and employees
would like to respond to rude or wrong or just
plain crazy customers with a heave-ho response,
there are better tools for handling such people.
According to Indeed.com, its March 9, 2021
article, How to Deal with Rude Customers, offers
up the following strategies:
Be empathetic: The simplest way to handle rude
customers involves using empathy. If you know
why customers are being rude, it’s the best way
to defuse the situation. Ask the customer why
they’re upset. Once you have identified the issue,
establish rapport with the customer by letting
them know that you would also be disappointed if
the problem was happening to you.
Actively listen: Listen closely to what the
customer is saying, instead of paying attention
to the anger behind their words. If a customer
approaches you over something not working
correctly, a great response is: “That definitely is
surprising! Let’s check why the product has stopped
working unexpectedly.” This response recognizes
the feelings of the customer without escalating
‘Chunk’ the issue: This is the process of taking
one big problem and dividing it into several smaller
portions. Help a customer by setting up the steps
needed to resolve a problem they are having with
26 • SPRING 2021
your business (such as setting up a membership
account, or using the credit card system, etc.)
Repeat what the customer has said back to
them: A fundamental part of active listening is
making sure you and the customer are in sync
and to let them know that their problem has
been heard of and will be responded to.
Stay calm: Do not take the situation personally.
The majority of the time, the comments and
criticisms are not meant to attack you directly.
A customer is just mad, and you are the person
who had the misfortune of speaking to them.
According to Indeed.com, if you are dealing with
rude customers over the phone, you can just say
something like, “I fully understand your concern. Let
me just speak to someone and make sure this does
not happen again. I’ll get back to you shortly.” Then
put them on hold. This strategy encourages rude
customers to reflect on the way they are reacting.
Offer solutions: If this does not satisfy the
customer, ask them what would need to change. If
you give a negative message, make sure to counter
it with a positive one. For example, you can say
“While I can’t do that for you, I can do this for you.”
Act quickly: Being able to address a customer’s
issue quickly may just turn their unpleasant
experience into a pleasant one and may even
make them a loyal customer who purchases from
you regularly and tells their family and friends.
Be sincere with your apology: Even if you’re
in the wrong, you should still apologize. Why?
Because it shows the customer that you feel badly
about their negative experience at your car wash.
But, in case you’re not at fault, be careful with
your wording and say something like: “I’m sorry
that you have had an unpleasant experience with
our service/product.” This way you’re empathizing
with the customer without taking the blame.
Watch your tone: Learn how to employ a
neutral or nice tone as needed. Speak calmly and
slowly. If a customer talks over you, let them
talk. Do not raise your voice and hopefully, the
customer will eventually calm down as well.
Thank the customer: This one can be tough,
because the customer may have just insulted
you and/or your business but thanking them for
bringing the issue to your attention can go a long
way toward establishing a rapport with them. A
simple thank-you to acknowledge their patience
and time as you work to solve the problem is
enough, according to Indeed.com.
Follow-up if necessary: If the issue can’t be
solved in just one phone call, tell them you can’t
handle the problem while on the phone with them,
and let them know you will call them back. It will
also help to give them a timeline of when they can
expect to hear from you next and let them know
what information you expect to have by that time.
Stick to the facts: If the client’s anger is making
the issue difficult to deal with, you can try to keep
everything factual, the Indeed.com experts state.
Simply outlining the issue at hand encourages the
customer to pay attention to their communication
and makes it harder to keep an aggressive tone.
Communicate what you can and can’t do:
You can say something like, “I understand your
disappointment, and I’m really sorry, but there’s
nothing we can do about the issue,” suggests
The Power Pack self-service
car wash system is designed
for the space conscious.
The modular stainless steel
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of the same features as the
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THE SELF SERVE CARWASHING INDUSTRY
Sonny’s makes more
Sonny’s CarWash College
names its 2020
Instructor of the Year
Sonny’s CarWash College of Tamarac, Florida, the
industry-recognized authority for conveyorized car
wash training, named Luis Hernandez as its 2020
CarWash College Instructor of the Year, according
to a January 25 press release. Luis was presented the
Shawn R. Brown Award for Instructional Excellence
Back in December 2020, Sonny’s, of Tamarac,
Florida, announced it was planning on expanding
quickly in Texas. The company wasn’t kidding,
stated a press release. Over the past two months,
Sonny’s has closed on the acquisitions of Lone Star
Car Wash Systems based in Houston, Texas; Twin
Distributing based in Denison, Texas; and Scotch
Plaid Chemical based in Dallas, Texas.
“We made a promise to our Texas clients that
we’d scale up our ability to service them faster
than ever before,” said Paul Fazio, CEO of Sonny’s,
stated in the February 19 press release. “We kept
our promise. We believe through this series of acquisitions
we have put together a team of known
professionals that are strategically positioned
throughout the territory to deliver exceptional
service for our clients.”
Lone Star and Twin will join Sonny’s CarWash Services
Texas. Current car wash owners and potential investors
will have a local Sonny’s team, based in Texas,
for all their carwash needs. Everything from site selection
and development; parts, equipment and chemistry;
and maintenance and repair.
In addition, the acquisition of Scotch Plaid
Chemical allows Sonny’s CarWash Chemistry to
rapidly scale production and have manufacturing
and blending capabilities in Texas.
“Scotch Plaid is a first-class operation,” said Fazio.
“Don Witt will remain in a leadership role. The Scotch
Plaid brand will remain in production. And with
by Paul Fazio, CEO of Sonny’s.
“Luis epitomizes what CarWash College is about.
He loves sharing the knowledge he has accumulated
in his 20 plus year car wash career with newer
entrants to the business. He is at his happiest when
he is helping people,” said Bob Fox VP of CarWash
College in a press release.
Previous winners include Bryan Hage, Jorge Jaramillo,
Vic Alonso, and Richard Ovalles.
The Shawn R. Brown Award for Instructional
Scotch Plaid and Diamond Shine under one umbrella
of Sonny’s CarWash Chemistry, we expand upon our
commitment to bring chemical management and operational
efficiency to a whole new level.”
Back in December 2020, Fazio stated in a press release,
“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. We
believe this will be a game changer in Sonny’s helping
Texas car wash owners gain their unfair share.”
Fazio added, “To service our current customers
better and to reach new customers, we intend to
hire big. 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.”
Excellence is given each year in memory of Shawn
Brown, a former CarWash College instructor whose
life was cut tragically short.
The CarWash College “Rookie of the Year” award
was presented to Mike Berlin of SLAM CarWash
“Mike was hesitant at first about teaching, but once
he got his feet wet, he was off and running. His two
sessions in our Management Class are very popular
with the students,” Fox added in the press release.
Innovative Control Systems
welcomes Warren Day as new
GM following OPW acquisition
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Innovative Control Systems (ICS), a
leading technology and software provider
for the car wash industry based in
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, publicly announced
in January that Kevin Detrick,
founder and president of ICS, will be stepping into a new role, while Warren
Day, formerly of Honda and the Danaher corporation, will serve as the new
A January 26 press release stated that the transition follows a recent acquisition
by OPW, a Dover Company, and supports a vision of growth and collaboration
across OPW’s vehicle wash businesses, wherein Detrick will remain
onboard as the vice president of Technology Strategy and Business Development,
while Day oversees day-to-day operations.
“We are excited to have Warren join OPW Vehicle Wash Solutions to oversee
the business, allowing Kevin time to focus on building the ICS technology
roadmap and identifying potential technology synergies across our portfolio of
vehicle wash products,” said Gary Campbell, vice president and general manager,
OPW Vehicle Wash Solutions.
Day joins ICS with a proven track record of excellence and success in operations
management, engineering, and cross-functional team leadership. Prior to
joining the company, Day advanced through multiple positions of leadership
at Danaher, including sales, operations, distribution, and general management.
“ICS has a solid reputation in the industry for offering quality products
and services with integrity and innovation. I’m very much looking forward to
taking part in the continued success and helping to ensure a smooth transition
into the OPW Vehicle Wash Solutions family of brands,” said Day. “We’ve got
a great team and a lot of exciting projects coming down the pipeline, and with
OPW’s support, we will continue ICS’s strong track record of delivering quality
products and services to our customers around the world.”
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SPRING 2021 • 29
Pacific Pride Carwash;
generates turnover in
excess of 128 million
euros in 2020
As a distributor to over 75 countries, ISTOBAL
Group of Valencia, Spain, announced on February
4 that it has acquired its distributor in Southern
California, Pacific Pride Carwash Company Inc.,
strengthening its presence in North America.
This acquisition represents the first of the strategic
growth plan envisioned by ISTOBAL for the
coming years with the aim of continuing to increase
its sales in the countries in which it is present
and consolidating its international leadership,
a press release reported.
Thanks to the strategic location of Pacific Pride
Carwash Company Inc., this operation boosts IS-
TOBAL in California, and enables the opening of
new market niches with great potential in the Pacific
region of the United States.
Pacific Pride Carwash Company Inc. is one of the
main ISTOBAL distributors in the US market. A
leader in Southern California and with more than
20 years of experience in the sector, it is an approved
supplier to the US Armed Forces and has a large
ISTOBAL Customer base. After the acquisition of
this company founded by Ed Staley and Lanai Staley,
Pacific Pride Carwash Inc. is now integrated into
the American subsidiary ISTOBAL USA.
"We are excited to have Pacific Pride join IS-
TOBAL USA. It is the next step in growing our
worldwide company. Other acquisitions are underway,”
stated ISTOBAL USA CEO Jimmy Sisk
in a press release.
Staley also stated, "We at Pacific Pride Carwash
Co., Inc. are excited about joining the global IS-
TOBAL team. We felt that the timing was right to
team with an excellent organization to take this
market to a new level."
Currently, the United States is one of the largest
export markets for ISTOBAL and represents one
of the areas with the greatest growth potential for
the Group, along with China, Germany and Poland.
With a staff of more than 900 professionals, 9
subsidiaries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, United Kingdom,
Austria, Denmark, Sweden, USA and Brazil),
and three manufacturing and final assembly plants
in Spain, USA and Brazil, together with a wide network
of distributors, ISTOBAL exports to more
than 75 countries across five continents and 70%
of its production corresponds to international sales.
ISTOBAL also reported that it achieved turnover
of $128.3 million in the 2020 financial year, which
represents a decrease in sales of 12% compared to
the previous year, according to a press release. The
impact that the pandemic had on sales was less than
expected for the multinational group thanks to its
great diversification in markets, products and sectors.
An April 7 press release stated that in 2020, IS-
TOBAL internationalised 76% of its production
with France, the UK, Italy, the USA and Denmark
being its main export markets. The UK was the
second foreign market, while Norway entered the
top 10 as an eighth-external market, thanks to the
cooperation with the country’s largest food retail
group NorgesGruppen, established through IS-
TOBAL’s distributor in Norway, Holta and Håland.
ISTOBAL believed that the performance of its
foreign subsidiaries as a whole was positive given
the pandemic, with turnover drops of 6% on
average, but below the Group average, stated the
press release. As an exception, they highlight the
positive results of subsidiaries in the UK and Portugal,
which saw an increase in turnover of 16.5%
and 4.2%, respectively, thanks to agreements with
large supermarket chains, as well as other oil and
energy customers operating in these countries.
By product divisions, rollovers continued to
lead ISTOBAL’s sales, followed by jet wash facilities
and the commercial vehicle range. However,
chemical products, along with payment and connectivity
terminals, were the lines with the highest
sales growth in 2020.
By 2021, ISTOBAL expects to reach 145.7 million
turnover, 13.5 percent higher than the previous
year, thus returning to its pre-pandemic turnover
figures and to the growth path that has characterised
the company in its financial years. It also maintains
its strategic projects and expansion plans. In
addition to the recent acquisition of its distributor
in California (Pacific Pride Carwash) and the opening
of a new subsidiary in China with assembly
plant, ISTOBAL isn't ruling out other operations
in order to further drive its internationalisation and
strengthen its leadership in foreign markets.
ISTOBAL also stated that it will increase its investment
in RD&I by 11% this year compared to
2020 to boost its robotics lab and build on chemical
product applications and new materials, the
press release stated. It will also continue to develop
its open innovation model, driving innovation
from within and collaborating with universities,
companies, technology centres and start-ups to
develop projects in the areas of vision and artificial
intelligence, security systems and robotics. Over
the past five years, ISTOBAL has increased its investment
in RD&I by 56%.
In addition, the group is committed to digital transformation
as another strategic focus in the development
of its business, the press release stated. In this
regard, it promotes Big Data, IoT and Machine Learning
to implement Industry 4.0 solutions, as well as
to optimise sector profitability and the experience of
using and maintaining car wash equipment through
its Istosmart by ISTOBAL connectivity system. The
company continues to leverage cloud business solutions
and data analysis and integration to improve
efficiency and increase competitiveness.
DRB Systems, LLC Acquires
Washify Services, LLC
DRB ® Systems, LLC of Akron, Ohio, a leading
provider of software and hardware innovations to
the car wash industry, announced on March 24
that it has acquired Washify®, an advanced car
wash point-of-sale system.
“Today, more than ever, we have assembled the
best minds in the car wash industry,” said DRB
CEO and President Dan Pittman in a press release.
“We have not only joined two of the best car
wash technology lineups, but we have also joined
two of the most talented teams.”
DRB and Washify represent two growing brands
in the car wash space. By joining forces, they can
offer car wash operators the widest set of technology
solutions to profitably grow their businesses,
the press release stated.
“Our industry is rapidly transforming. Recent
consolidations warranted a change,” said Washify
President Adam Korngold stated. “We wanted to be
aligned with a best-in-class partner that supports
our growth. I wanted to work with an organization
that had the best interest of our employees at heart
and that would allow us to remain in the industry
doing what we love. DRB is that partner.”
Both companies will maintain their own brand
entities and industry niches, leveraging synergies
where possible to achieve the common goal of
helping car wash operators sweat their assets. Korngold
will continue to serve as President of Washify
while Pittman continues to lead DRB as CEO.
DRB acquired Washify from Adam Korngold and
private equity firm Ambina Partners, with the help
of legal services provided by Benesch and insurance
brokerage and risk management consulting provided
by Marsh, a business of Marsh McLennan. Legal services
were provided to Washify by King & Spalding.
30 • SPRING 2021
SPRING 2021 • 31
Presenting the news
self serve car washes
Park 'n Fly & Blackhawk Partner Together
to Offer Park 'n Fly Gift Cards
ATLANTA, March 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Park 'N Fly, the nation's leader in off-airport
parking, is excited to announce their partnership with the BlackHawk Network to launch
the Park 'N Fly Gift Card Program. Park 'N Fly, headquartered in Atlanta will now offer
variable ($25-$500) gift cards at Kroger stores throughout the Atlanta market and $100 gift
cards available at Target stores in the 15 cities where there are Park 'N Fly locations. Park
'N Fly's CEO, Tony Paalz commented "We are excited to be included in Target and Kroger's
gift card assortment, just in time for the spring travel season." "Whether you are going away
for spring break or planning a business trip this year our Park 'N Fly gift card program allows
you to use this in place of cash next time you visit a cashier at one of our locations".
NOW AVAILABLE AT SELECT TARGET AND KROGER STORES!
El Car Wash acquires Motor City Car Wash
El Car Wash, the largest car wash company
in South Florida, announced its acquisition
of three Motor City Car Wash locations
in Palm Beach County, Florida, in a April 12,
2021, press release. .El Car Wash now has a
total of 12 operating locations and a development
pipeline throughout Miami-Dade,
Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Plans
are to have more than 25 locations in total
within the next year.
“We are thrilled to partner with David
Daszkal and the extremely talented Motor
City team to expand our presence north
while advancing our strategy of building
the leading car wash platform in Southeast
Florida,” stated Justin Landau and Geoffrey
Karas, co-founders of National Express Wash,
which is the parent company of El Car Wash,
a press release reported. “Over the last 20
years, Motor City has established the leading
brand with the best operations in Palm
Beach County which, when combined with
our complementary development pipeline in
Palm Beach and Broward Counties as well as
our existing stores in Miami-Dade, will create
a highly attractive geographic footprint with
an unmatched service offering for our growing
Motor City’s combination with El Car
Wash creates a unique platform with a market-leading
position, stretching from Miami
up to and throughout Palm Beach County,
David Daszkal, who founded Motor City
Car Wash, stated in the press release. “I am
extremely excited to join the El Car Wash
family, leverage my longstanding ties to the
community and decades of car wash and
real estate development experience as I
work with Justin, Geoff and their team to
execute the combined company’s ambitious
As part of the acquisition, El Car Wash has
hired industry veteran Ronnie Bertka as VP
North, and will be onboarding all Motor City
employees, notably its District Manager Jose
Peralta and Chief Administrative Officer Beth
Galassi. Additionally, El Car Wash plans to
invest substantial capital to further upgrade
Motor City’s tunnels to mirror the signature
show and wash quality that are hallmarks of
the company. El Car Wash and Motor City
will merge its unlimited membership programs,
allowing current and future members
to have access to all locations. Upcoming initiatives
also include the launching of special
limited time promotions for new members to
celebrate this transaction.
Earlier this year, El Car Wash opened a
new store in Pinecrest as well as the biggest
car wash in Florida, located in South Kendall.
In addition, El Car Wash is the newest
sponsor of Zoo Miami, with the El Car Wash
Flamingo Exhibit set to be unveiled shortly.
Construction is also nearing completion at
additional sites in Miami-Dade, including
locations in Palmetto Bay, North Miami/Miami
Shores, Homestead and West Hialeah.
Opening dates will be announced towards
the end of April.
acquires 10 HyperShine
Car Wash locations
WhiteWater Express Car Wash (“WhiteWater”), an express
car wash platform headquartered in Houston, Texas, acquired
10 HyperShine Car Wash (“HyperShine”) locations in Ohio,
Kentucky, and Michigan on March 31st. With this acquisition,
WhiteWater now owns and operates 40 locations across five
states and eight MSAs. Additionally, WhiteWater and Hyper-
Shine will jointly develop car washes via an ongoing development
partnership, targeting an incremental 20 locations across
Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan over the next three years.
“We are thrilled about the opportunity to add HyperShine
to the WhiteWater family,” stated Clayton Clark, President
and Chief Operating Officer of WhiteWater, stated in an
April 1 press release. “Dan and his team have done an outstanding
job of site selection and building a great brand in
these markets. One of our visions for WhiteWater has always
been to expand into the Midwest and build a geographically
diverse car wash business.”
“HyperShine is excited to join the WhiteWater team,” said
Dan Dougherty, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HyperShine,
stated in a press release. “WhiteWater provided a
holistic solution, acquiring our existing operations and creating
a path for us to continue to develop car washes for the
next several years.”
According to the press release, Henry Shine, Chief Development
Office of WhiteWater, said they are excited to enter
the Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan markets. “Alongside our
market-leading presence in Texas and Oklahoma, this expansion
brings WhiteWater to new geographies and solidifies our
position as a leading national car wash company. We couldn’t
accomplish our vision without Dan and his team.”
As part of the acquisition, WhiteWater will be onboarding
all HyperShine employees including its Chief Operating Officer,
Brad Osborne. Osborne will be joining WhiteWater as
Vice President - Midwest as well as Vice President - Technology.
WhiteWater will continue to offer its signature unlimited
membership program, towel exchange program, vacuums,
and air guns at all locations.
WhiteWater is actively pursuing its growth strategy in both
existing and new markets, the press release stated.
32 • SPRING 2021
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SPRING 2021 • 33
Monroe Capital Supports Mammoth Holdings LLC’s
acquisition of Lulu’s Express
A March 25 press release stated that Monroe
Capital LLC announced an increase in its credit
facility to Mammoth Holdings, LLC (“Mammoth”)
to support the acquisition of Lulu’s Express
(“Lulu’s”). In October 2018, Mammoth
partnered with Red Dog Equity LLC, an Atlanta-based
private equity firm, which, through its
partnership with Tom Pritzker’s family business
interests (advised by The Pritzker Organization),
provides the equity for Mammoth’s corporate development
Lulu’s is a six-unit express conveyor car wash
operator in Georgia and South Carolina. The addition
of Lulu's further expands the Mammoth’s
“customer-focused” and “operator-focused” conveyor
carwash platform and aligns with the platform’s
continued growth strategy, the press release
stated. Mammoth’s multi-brand portfolio
includes Marc-1, Wash Me Fast, Swifty, Ultra,
Finish Line, Wiggy Wash, Shine On, Pit Stop, Fast
Trac, and now Lulu's, among others.
New self serve car washes for Bath, Maine, and Elmira, New York
A car wash is slated to open in Bath, Maine, according
to a March 4 Times Record story.
Councilors unanimously approved a zoning
change that will allow the project, proposed by
Trademark Properties LLC, to go forward, the story
said. The property needed to be rezoned in order to
fit the proposed parking and structure while meeting
city setback requirements.
The roughly 3,800-square-foot car wash will
have both a touch-free car wash, as well as 24-hour
self-serve car wash bays, according to Kevin Clark,
president of Sitelines, a Brunswick-based civil engineering
firm representing Trademark Properties.
The project will also add a sidewalk to the property.
City Planner Ben Averill said the planning board
approved the project earlier this year, contingent on
councilors allowing the zoning change.
“It would be great to have a car wash in Bath,”
Councilor Raye Leonard said in the council’s February
meeting, according to the story. “I drive all the
way out to Fast Eddie’s in Brunswick, so it would
be nice to have something that is both manned
and 24-hours in the city of Bath.” Bath has another
touch-free car wash at the Big Apple and Citgo gas
station off the northbound side of Route 1, about
1,000 feet from the proposed car wash.
According to an April 13 WETM story, a new
laundromat and self-use car wash is now open in
Elmira, New York.
Owned by Capriotti Properties, the Madison
Suds laundromat has 18 washers and dryers and a
75lb load dryer for comforters and bedding. There
are also vending machines and a Pac-Man multicade
video game, the story said.
Connected to the building are the two self operating
carwash bays with vacuums. The laundromat
is open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the car
wash is open 24 hours a day.
Driven Brands Car Wash North America
acquires SuperSonic Express Car Wash
New antimicrobial product
for cars hits the market
Driven Brands Car Wash North America
announced on February 1 the acquisition
of four SuperSonic Express Car Wash
locations in Columbus and Starkville, Mississippi,
and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. With
this acquisition Driven Brands Car Wash
North America grew to 17 locations in Mississippi, operating as Car Wash USA Express,
and 36 locations in Alabama, operating as Goo-Goo Car Wash.
“Our car wash businesses have a long history and strong customer base in the Southern
US, and the SuperSonic acquisition further strengthens that network for our services,”
commented Driven Brands Car Wash North America President Gabe Mendoza
in a press release. “We look forward to building on the SuperSonic team’s success and
we thank them for working with Driven Brands for the sale of their business.”
SuperSonic Express Car Wash started in 2016 with the acquisition and rebranding
of two Mr. Bubbles locations in Mississippi. In 2018, two more SuperSonic locations
were added within the existing Mississippi markets, and in 2019 SuperSonic acquired
Robo’s Car Wash in Tuscaloosa.
Supersonic Managing Partner Caleb Box stated in the press release, “This was our
first opportunity to work with Driven Brands and we are extremely satisfied with
the results. The communication and the process was very smooth from contract to
closing, but we’re mostly excited about the opportunities that our team members
now have with their own personal and business growth trajectory inside the Driven
Driven Brands entered the car wash industry in 2020 with the acquisition of International
Car Wash Group. Driven Brands Car Wash operates over 900 locations in 14
countries across US, Europe and Australia, with over 200 locations in the United States.
The Company was founded in Germany in 1965 under the IMO brand, the name still
used at its non-US locations. Driven Brands Car Wash is a member of Driven Brands,
the largest automotive services company in North America, the press release stated.
To reinforce its pledge to deliver long-term solutions to more
sustainable vehicle hygiene, mobile vehicle care leader RideKleen
introduces PureProtect 365, a new antimicrobial solution delivering
guaranteed odor control for up to one year, according to
a March 8, 2021, press release. PureProtect 365 by RideKleen
features an XMicrobe solution from Xzilon® that offers a lasting
biostatic layer that punctures the thin lipid exterior of odor
causing germs, viruses and bacteria, neutralizing threats that land
on treated surfaces. The PureProtect 365 product also protects
against stains from spills, grease, dye transfer and UV fading, and
leaves the surface easier to clean.
"RideKleen's charge to rethink clean extends beyond the current
pandemic," said Pratik Patel, president of RideKleen in the press release.
"With a focus on the customer experience, we're equipping
vehicle owners, fleet operators and other mobility service providers
with the now-essential sanitization and disinfection solutions to
drive consumer confidence and overall vehicle safety."
According to the Cox Automotive 2020 Cox Automotive
COVID-19 Consumer Impact Study, nearly half of vehicle shoppers
(47%) are willing to pay for extended sanitization services.
This could mean more revenue for automotive dealers, as well as
car wash operators offering this enhanced level of service, the press
34 • SPRING 2021
Are water restrictions looming for the Southwest?
Unrelenting drought and years of rising temperatures
are pushing the long-overallocated Colorado
River into new territory, setting the stage for the
largest mandatory water cutbacks to date, according
to an April 6 Arizona Republic story.
Lake Mead, the biggest reservoir on the river, has
declined dramatically over the past two decades
and now stands at just 40% of its full capacity, the
story said, adding that this summer, it’s projected
to fall to the lowest levels since it was filled in the
1930s following the construction of Hoover Dam.
The reservoir near Las Vegas is approaching a
threshold that is expected to trigger a first-ever
shortage declaration by the federal government for
next year, leading to substantial cuts in water deliveries
to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico, reported the
Arizona is in line for the biggest reductions under
a 2019 agreement that aims to reduce the risks
of Lake Mead falling to critical lows.
“With the reservoirs continuing to drop, the expected
cuts next year will reduce the Central Arizona
Project’s water supply by nearly a third and shrink the
amount flowing to farmlands in Pinal County.
Managers of Arizona's water agencies say they
United States Drought Monitor
D0 (Abnormally Dry)
D1 (Moderate Drought)
D2 (Severe Drought)
D3 (Extreme Drought)
D4 (Exceptional Drought)
MAP RELEASED: APRIL 15, 2021
Local conditions may vary.
The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale conditions.
have detailed plans in place to deal with the reductions
in water supplies over the next five years, even
if the drought continues to worsen. These initial
steps to cope with shortages are playing out while
the seven states that depend on the river prepare
for difficult talks on post-2026 rules, negotiating a
plan for adapting to a river that’s yielding less as
the watershed grows progressively warmer with climate
change,” the story said.
36 • SPRING 2021
Astromatic Softgloss 3.375x4.875 ad Ver A 15DEC20 PREPRESS
SPRING 2021 • 37
Around the Wash:
How Much Do
Prices from Coast to Coast
(All prices in Australian dollars)
WASH BAYS: $1 =
1 minute 30 seconds
VACUUM: $2 = 4 minutes
These are also minimum to start
$3.25 = 4 minutes
$2 = 4 minutes
WASH BAYS: $3.50 = 3 minutes 40 seconds
VACUUM: $2 = 4 minutes
WASH BAYS =
$3.50 for 5 mins 30 sec
VACUUM: $2 for 5 mins
(Cards same as cash)
Puget Sound Region
WASH BAYS: $2.75 = 3.5 minutes
VACUUM: $1.50 = 3.5 minutes.
(Owner is thinking it’s about time to raise his prices)
WASH BAYS: $2.75 = 4 mins
VACUUM: $1 = 4 mins
WASH BAYS: $4 = 5 mins
VACUUM (cash or coin):
$2 = 4 mins
VACUUM (credit card):
$3 = 6 mins
Alberta, Western Canada
$1 = 1 min
$1.25 = 1 min
$0.75 = 1 min
WASH BAYS: $1 = 2:20 mins
VACUUM: $1 = 4 mins
(Owner says competitor
across town has lower prices)
WASH BAYS: $2 = 3:20 mins
VACUUM: .75 = 3 mins
WASH BAYS: $3 = 5 mins
(approx.. 4 min 20 second for CC)
VACUUM: $2 = 5 mins
($2.50 minimum with CC)
WASH BAYS: $3.75 = 5 mins (quarters)
$5 = 5 mins (CC)
VACUUM: $2 = 4 mins
WASH BAYS: $3 = 3.5 mins
VACUUM: $2 = 3 mins
(Owner thinks this
Fall he will raise his prices)
St. Louis, Missouri
WASH BAYS: $2.50 = 4 mins
(Cryptopay minimum $4, max $15)
VACUUM: $1.50 = 4 mins
(Cryptopay $2 for 5:30 mins)
(Owner raised prices to this
last November and has
highest prices in area)
WASH BAYS: $2 = 4 mins
VACUUM: $1 = 4 mins
WASH BAYS: $3 = 3 mins 14 seconds
VACUUMS: $2 = 4 mins
$1.75 = 4 mins
($2 for credit card
minimum for 4 minutes)
Rocky Mountains, Idaho
WASH BAYS: $3 = 3 and 1/2 mins
VACUUM: $1 = 4 mins
WASH BAYS: $3 = 4 mins
38 • SPRING 2021
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SPRING 2021 • 41
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.)
Time is money and
not for family or the ladies
... I have seen other people struggle with this issue across the
industry and I may or may not have this problem, but deep down
inside I think [my employee] is giving time away to friends,
family, hot girls, etc. and getting reimbursed for it on my dime...
I have told my clean up guy if he is caught he will be fired on
the spot if I catch him giving time away on the meters. I currently
have Dixmor LED7s. How could you prevent this if he has his
own remote for washing down bays. I know I could install toggle
switches on the pumpstand, but I like it on the remote because
it times out at 4 minutes even if he forgets to turn off the toggle
switches and the pump cooks itself overnight (I have had this
happen at a different location). Any suggestions? - TDLCONCEPTSLLC
I took the remote away from my clean up
guy for that very reason, I thought that he
was giving away time. He has marked tokens
that he uses to clean up the bays that
give him enough time per token to clean
up the bay. We count the tokens every time
we pull coins, 3 times a week. If there are a
large number of clean up tokens in the coin
vault he’s going to have to explain why and
we check the video. He knows that we watch
the video. - RANDY
If you have good reason to suspect a thief
is working for you, do what you have to to
catch him and fire him. If he’s a thief, he’s a
thief and will figure out how to steal.
You can track the cycles of the manual
washdown so if you think he’s using more
time than he should to clean bays, you have
You could install a washdown key switch
on the bay doors. If I were wanting to
watch for someone giving away time, I’d
wire the key switch through a relay to
also turn on a light in the ER for a camera
to pick up, that way you wouldn’t
need to watch video of him all day, just
the time when the light is on. - MEP001
42 • SPRING 2021
The LED7 has a reading in the inventory
labeled “Manual” that is the total number
of times the washdown has been used since
reset. I would think it should only be used a
couple of times a day per bay, at most. - DAN
You might employ the help of a ‘secret
shopper’ and if he takes the bait he’s caught.
In my experience, once you suspect, it’s
been happening awhile and the relationship
is nearing the end. - WAXMAN
Whatever happens, if he is caught file a
police report and see if he can be arrested.
Most police have a dollar amount to hit before
it becomes a felony. If so, tell them you
suspect he has been doing it for years. - MAC
Trust your instincts ... the folks here provide
‘golden nuggets’ that come from years
of experience. - ECKERT16
I have Cryptopay and give my attendants
wash down cards. Then you can see all the
usage online. I know you don’t have that installed,
but it’s another incentive to do so
if you ever considered it. I also have coinless
and some attendants use that instead.
Also trackable and you just add $ to their
account as needed. - SLASH007
Don’t cry when
the tap runs dry
[The city shut off our water] and no, not
because of nonpayment. They cleverly
chose to do this at 4 a.m. and said it could
be 4 to 8 hours. Should this ever happen
to you there are two things you should
do. If you do nothing you could create a
maintenance nightmare. First turn off the
water to everything beforehand. When
they turn it back on, DO NOT just open the
valve. Usually when they do this they are
working on the main water line for your
business. When that happens they usually
get a lot of sand in the line. So when the
water is ready keep the main valve off and
hope you have another line before that.
Turn that one on for 15 to 20 minutes to
flush the line, then open the main. - MAC
Mac, great information. The first thing we do is turn off all
the power to the equipment. We turn off the water at the
backflow. When they turn the water back we flush from the
backflow, leaving the discharge from the backflow closed. -
The best is when the city DOESN’T tell you they are working
on the main and all that %!#$ comes through. - DIA-
We have frequent main breaks during the winter...Our
crews never turn off the water flow. Normally the pipes
twist but are still in-tack, but spraying water like you’ve
never seen once they’ve dug down to the break. The crew
then draws straws to see who gets to get in the hole to fix
the leak. The youngest guy always draws the shortest straw!
Hmmmm! They get in the hole and put a SS clam shell
looking clamp on the pipe and tighten a row of bolts on the
clamp with a cordless impact. Once tight, it seals tight and
fixes the leak....
A few years back, we had a main break within 20’ of the
wash. I was told not to worry and that I wouldn’t have to
shut down. I stuck around to watch how they pulled it off.
Pretty slick way of fixing a break. This was probably an 8”
main. No dirt, no sand, no discoloration of the water because
the pipe is always under pressure during the fix - 2BIZ
SPRING 2021 • 43
TRICKS OF THE
Has anybody banned a certain company that just completely destroyed your
facility on a daily basis? We have fleets of FedEx vehicles on our Wash Club
that frequently wash BUT “each box truck” leaves a $40-$60 mud/sand mess
in each bay rendering unusable I say 40-60 because we have to reinsert our
washdown card 2-3 times at $20 cap when just prepping the bay to shovel
the mud/sand out. Regular customers have told me they are not coming back
because of them and whatever money I thought I would make from FedEx
is quickly re-spent washing their mess. Sorry for the rant. By 7:30 a.m. this
is what my self serves looks like from 3 FedEx trucks and this is a very light
mess. Between the 3 trucks the total spent was $20.50. - DIAMONDWASH
Yeah I’d be done w that, wouldn’t blame ya for canceling.
Not worth $20. That’s annoying just looking at
it...LOL. - TRAVELER17
...I think I’d talk to the fleet manager and see if an
agreement could be reached, if not just cancel the
contract as soon as provisions allow. I don’t want to
be the wash for everyone. I’m in a nice suburb and
95% of my customers are passenger cars. We have a
junk removal company that uses ours and they want
to keep a clean fleet. However, the local landfill is
muddy and they can make quite a mess. Ironically a
chronic mess maker is a guy that runs a construction
debris company and was in the SS business years ago.
His attitude is that mess is an inevitable part of the
business. - GREG PACK
Why don’t you make one bay for FedEx and tall
trucks such as them. Post and a sign in the bays that
says to blow dirt into the drain before leaving. I’m sure
some won’t read or care what the sign states but it’s
worth a try.
Reduce the height of the other bays for cars and
suv height with a cross bar and signage. I posted signs
in each bay and on the entrance sign to the property
like this also stating there is a $300 fine. You should
also state that each vehicle is captured on video. This
helped me a lot. There’s always an ass or 5 but it made
a difference for me. - JMMUSTANG
Can you not just “disconnect” their cards? Say you are
having a problem with your server and just stall them.
If they come back with cash get a police restraining
order. They are not playing nice so don’t see why you
should. - MAC
I see where you are losing money with them.I sell FedEx
tokens with no discount and my market is rural.
I have an attended wash due to the mud factor.
This is only somewhat related as I don’t do any fleet
accounts or token sales to companies, but I have
banned several businesses from my wash, the latest
of which was a concrete company. One of their guys
came in and sprayed dry cement mix off a flatbed
truck and left it all over the bay walls, floor, and ten
feet out on the lot. It took me four hours to clean it
up. I called the company and told them to warn their
guys that they’d get a criminal trespass warrant if they
came back, and if the driver had a warrant or was illegal
(The latter highly likely) he’d go to jail and their
truck impounded, which could cost $1,000 or more
to get out. - MEP001
Years ago I had a fleet account with a national lumber
company to wash their crew trucks that they took up
into the woods. They washed about 20 crew trucks
a week. The only stipulation I had was they had to
clean up the bay after each wash, which they did.
They eventually built their own wash facilities at their
yard. I’d call FedEx and tell them to clean up the bay
after each wash or don’t come back. In our area FedEx
ground is not owned by FedEx but by a contractor,
FedEx air is owned by FedEx. - RANDY
Well, I’m notifying all my fleet wash club managers
that starting next Monday, March 8th a $150 Cleanup
fee is being added to the monthly invoice, every
FedEx fleet acct has this problem so if they bitch n
moan they can wash at their terminal and see just the
ordeal I have to go through EVERYDAY and I don’t
want them to wash their mess into the pits as I just
had them pumped last week at $1,529.90 then most
recently pumped late November 2020 and with the
recent storm that shut us down for 2 weeks and 2020
that wasn’t an easy pill to swallow. - DIAMONDWASH
If a $150 monthly fee doesn’t stop them, make it for
each day they leave the place like that. - MEP001
What I do with fleet vehicles is I issue a wash card
with prepaid amounts on them. I tell them if your
guys leave the bays the dirty I will clean up the mess
and deduct whatever amount of time I have spent to
clean up after them. They are better about cleaning
the bays but when they don’t I can check cameras
and the wash card history to see who used the bay. If
it is one of my prepaid accounts they get at least $10
deducted from the prepaid balance. - SOAPY
I’m getting ready to ban DTN from my bays. There
If I had a
Anybody else having
problems with people using
your change machines like
its a bank. Pre-Covid I never
went and bought quarters
for probably 7 years. In fact I
would have extra and deposit
them. Since Covid I’m having
to buy about 3-6K per month.
I turned my twenties off
and am still having issues. I
understand there is no longer
a coin shortage but I feel
like the people realized it’s
probably easier to come and
get quarters from my
car washes then the bank.
I think my only options are:
1. Take out bill changer and
install bill validators at self
serve bays and vacuums
2. Dispense tokens
instead of quarters
3. Dispense dollar coins
instead of quarters
4. Install a bill breaker
and turn off $10 bills
5. Keep buying quarters
Anyone have any other
- KRISPY KLEAN CAR WASHES
Easy solution. Convert your changers to
dispense dollar coins assuming your coin
mechs can handle them. You move the
customer away from the 25 cent mentality
to the $1 increment mentality. Solves
the change issue and brings in more revenue.
I chose to lie to the public with this sign,
as my changer still dispenses quarters. Some
people have caught on and some just don’t
read the sign, but the end result is I no longer
have to go to the bank for quarters and
my customers didn’t complain. - 2BIZ
44 • SPRING 2021
When a customer purchases
tokens, you have made a sale
Put your mind at ease with
tokens. Minimize staff
supervision and deter theft
Hoffman Mint offers different
alloys & sizes to best suit your
car wash needs
Tokens help reduce operating
cost and are a lower-cost
Set your business apart and
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Whether for a promotion or
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
SPRING 2021 • 45
TRICKS OF THE
are a couple of fleet trucks that destroy my bays on
Sundays when I’m not there but have them on cameras
leaving a mess of mud. Also, I’m getting ready to
go to the cops too to get them banned so if they do
come on the property I can have them arrested for
trespassing. - COOLL903
My wash had a sign on the changer that said it dispenses
a mix of tokens and quarters. It worked for a
few years, then the owner at the time said he was
buying $500 to $1000 quarters a week to keep up.
At that point we changed the acceptors to take
.984 tokens and he would mix about 10% in with
the quarters which finally stopped the abuse.
Fast forward 15+ years and now it’s my wash. I’m
still throwing maybe 100 tokens into the changer
once a month and I can go a couple months before
I start losing a few quarters and have to add another
100 tokens. COVID comes along and suddenly
I’m losing 5000 quarters a week, so I order 10,000
tokens and had to run 80/20 quarters to tokens just
to keep up. I don’t take $1 coins, so I just dump the
tokens/quarters right back into the changer.
Bill acceptors in the bays or vacs is not an option.
They would be broken into.
Dollar coins would not be a better option than
just buying quarters. I would have to order dollar
coins from the bank, wait a week, and pay $550
for a box of 500, which would still disappear, confuse
my customers, and cause much more work for
myself. Not to mention spending some $5,000 in
coin acceptors, vacuum upgrades, and new vending
machines (mine are mechanical and the .984
token works fine in them with a coin mech insert
that accepts them).
A bill breaker might slow them down, but some of
them will get change, throw the tokens in the trash
and leave. I believe the quarter thieves would be unfazed.
I get a LOT of $10 and $20 bills and I would
lose a lot of business if I turned off acceptance.
The worst abusers would walk around and sell
the tokens to my customers, but usually don’t
come back. The ones I caught doing this I told
them it’s theft of service, same arrestable offense
as shoplifting. - MEP001
What I did was I had a sign made saying “Change
for Carwash Use Only.” Then I made a sticker saying
this changer dispenses a mixture of coins and tokens
that can only be used at this wash. I also turned off
$20 acceptance. I do have bill validators in bays and
vacs but all are wirelessly armed with my security
services. I have never been to the bank to buy coins.
The ones I catch I tell them something cause they
park right in front of changers. I would never recommend
adding bill validators cause it makes them a
target. Once they go out I do not replace them and
since cryptotap has come out I install the tap unit. -
It’s a great excuse to change to $1 tokens. The high
security nickel plated are around .25 each. More
profitable than a vending machine and minimal investment.
I’m still getting customers putting twenties
in to buy tokens. Greatly reduces theft attempts.
- GREG PACK
Pre-Covid we had two change machines. One quarter
changer and one dollar coin. Once Covid hit and
the bank lobbies closed we noticed that the dollar
coins were disappearing more quickly. Apparently a
lot of laundromats and vending machines take these
(as well as apartment building laundries). We got rid
of the dollar coins and made both changers dispense
only quarters. Just wanted to share our experience.
We do still have to buy about $500 in quarters every
month and a half or so but we were buying dollar
coins weekly. - BERT79
I switched to tokens because I was getting killed on
quarters. Changed all my acceptors to multi-coin
and went with a token the size of a dollar coin and
valued at $1.00. I still accept quarters because a lot
of people bring them. Nice thing is every token that
doesn’t come back I make about .70 cents on. It is a
big investment and I didn’t want to do it but I was
running out of quarters. It is fun to get the call that
they wanted quarters for laundry and want a refund.
I tell them to wash or vac. Dunkin’ Donuts called
and got $100.00 worth of tokens and wanted a refund
and I told them to hand out one with every cup
of coffee. Lmao.
Also, I watched someone go to the other machine
after they put a 5 in and put a 20 in the other machine.
lol. - JSSHAC
I had that problem and then just shut off taking $20s.
Now my supply just stays the same. Don’t know exactly
why. - MAC
I had the same problem early on. Put changers on
timers that turned off at 11 p.m. and on at 6 a.m.
Problem went away. - TOM THUMB
I vend 1 1/8” tokens and bays accept quarters, tokens
and cc. I bought custom tokens, which are good for
This is the best way for me; no one is cleaning out a
supply of quarters to then use off- premises, plus you
benefit from unused/lost tokens. - WAXMAN
Appreciate all the feedback. I think I’m going to be
switching to tokens. It seems like it would be the easiest
and best way to solve this without spending tons
of money because I am getting sick of running to the
bank every week for quarters. I hate when I see a car
pull straight up to the changer. I wish I could set up
a spike strip in front of it. LOL. - KRISPY KLEAN CAR
Switching to tokens requires a tremendous amount
of homework. You don’t want to buy a cheap generic
token that anyone can buy. Call the token manufactures
and get samples of what you think you want
and then go to all your competition that uses tokens
and get some of their tokens. You want to use a high
security token that no one in your area is using so
you don’t get any crossover… cheap tokens are normally
an 85/15 or 80/20 alloy, Chuck E. Cheese tokens
are a 70/30 alloy. One of the problems we’ve
had is when we reorder tokens the alloy is just a little
different then the last batch that can be a huge pain
in the $! We value our tokens at a dollar and we
lose about 50,000 tokens a year. Our last token order
25% of the tokens we got wouldn’t work, slightly different
alloy. We used a pure copper alloy token that
is nickel plated. If you go to tokens do it right and do
your homework. - RANDY
Quarters are a necessary evil. I tried to stop taking
them and it was disastrous. Our changers only give
Gold US dollar coins. Bays accept both, but mostly
dollars used. We also use the Coinless Mobile App
to achieve CC acceptance.That has gone over really
well. - MR. CLEAN
The carwash around the corner accepts credit cards
ONLY! Hmm...he says it works for him. No banking,
no coins, no break-ins... I’m not there yet… - JUST-
I only have one wash with tokens but I don’t like it.
Hate sorting them back out and they seem to get
dirty quickly. I’ve been having to get quarters from
the bank but I don’t mind. It’s free to do so and 80%
of the time they are brand new and clean. Clean
quarters are easier on equipment. In a perfect world
I would be 100% cashless. - WYATT
46 • SPRING 2021
INCREASE LOYALTY & REVENUE WITH
SMART UNATTENDED SOLUTIONS
Designed for the automatic and self-serve markets, Hamilton’s diverse range of loyalty
programs, pay stations, and bay timers can help differentiate your car wash and bring a
truly unique value proposition to your customers.
CUSTOM MOBILE APP
Styled and named after your car wash brand, users can:
Join a Monthly Wash Club | Buy & Gift Washes | Claim Deals & Discounts
Earn Loyalty Rewards | Pay for Self-Serve Bay Time | Receive a complimentary Birthday Wash
EXPRESSPASS RFID SYSTEM
Improve throughput, loyalty, and cashflow by offering a Monthly Wash Club program. Using RFID
technology, a unique windshield tag on the customers vehicle is read before vending their chosen
package. Our flexible system includes custom greetings, multiple pass types, and automated billing.
CUSTOM ECOMMERCE WEBSITE
Customized to your brand, our new Ecommerce site lets customers sign up for RFID plans, update
credit card information, purchase gift cards, check gift card balances, add new balance, and buy
Single Washes & Wash Bundles.
All Hamilton loyalty programs are managed through a single cloud-based system for ease of use.
Hosted Solutions also provides multi-site data reporting, a site status diagnostic tool, and Single
Use Codes for rapid customer service responses.
www.hamiltonmfg.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 888-723-4858
SPRING 2021 • 47
Do you have a funny
story from the bay?
TRICKS OF THE
You get a towel!
And, you get a towel!
...We currently offer a courtesy towel drying area with a leaf blower
available for customers to dry their cars/motorcycles. I’m interested
in how others have their courtesy stations set up. We currently use a
flip top storage container for the clean towels and a barrel for used.
Looking for some ideas for a better display area. Also what other
free extras do others offer? - TOUCHLESS
Maybe an inspiring
tale from the wash?
new that worked well?
“You won’t believe what this
Darwin did at my wash…”
“The best decision I ever made
for my business was…”
“On rainy days, I like to…”
Reach out to Editor Debra Gorgos
email@example.com to share
your story with our readers.
I give away 1 car wash token worth 4 minutes
when the mood strikes me. I demo rugbeater a lot.
I have an attended self serve. - SWAMPDONKEY
I offer a free towel dry station. It’s nothing fancy
but we keep it stocked 7 days/week. We buy bulk
towels from ERC Wiping. They get stolen alot. We
go through a bulk box every 3 months or so. The
customers use it constantly and I’m certain it creates
loyalty. - WAXMAN
I’ve offered some freebies at my main wash. I quit
doing the towels when covid started but may start
back soon. I have a JKO rug beater that is free for
customers. It is a big investment up front but customers
love it and it requires minimal upkeep. It
is 13 years old and I’ve had to buy a new timer,
new decals, and a set of rollers in that time (maybe
$600 worth of stuff?) At one time I was leaving
out spray glass cleaner. Meguiars makes a glass
cleaner concentrate that is cheap enough at 10:1
dilution. Theft of product happened occasionally
but wasn’t enough to discourage me from offering
the service. My lot is small and frankly I don’t want
customers hanging around longer than necessary
as it gets quite crowded on busy days. - GREG PACK
I have been doing the free towels for 27 years with
good luck. I use stainless steel bins I had custom
made for the dry and wet towel collection. Big investment
up front but always looks new. I started
with Sam’s Club towels and now switched over
to the .31 cent microfiber towels from Kleenrite.
I also offer free prescrub buckets for the automatics.
Every automatic wash gets a free token good
for a free vacuum or $1 off the next automatic
wash. I would say 75% of the tokens are redeemed
for the $1 off the next wash and 25% for the free
vac. I only give .25 cent value for the tokens in
the SS bays because too many people were cruising
around my my washes just to pick up tokens
people forgot in the token vendor. Since I made
them worth only ,25 in the SS bays I do not get
the deadbeats. - SOAPY
I do this at three locations and we change the bug
prep three to four times a day. It’s all according to
how busy we are. I have some people that will use it
on their running boards or really muddy trucks/cars
and then the whole bucket of bug prep is dirty and
you need to change it ASAP. Most of my customers
use it and really like it. Plus it helps the touch-free
do a better job. - APW
I think it’s a great idea although we are a self
serve and don’t have any employees so that is our
downfall. Its something to think about, maybe we
could offer it while we are onsite in the mornings.
I’m also unattended for the most part (I’m there
every morning and my brother stops by 1-2 times a
day), but I do have an emissions guy that rents one
bay Mon-Sat. So someone is on site but they aren’t
watching the bays all the time. We have the prep
bucket at the kiosk for the auto wash and we change
or fill it daily. It gets used a pretty good bit, only had
a few brushes vanish. The towels with glass cleaner
at the exit of my bays at the vacs wouldn’t be a
bad idea... I have the means to wash and dry them
daily ( I own a cleaners in the same parking lot).
My customers are pretty good for the most part, I
guess I could set up a clean towel and dirty towel
bin maybe in the middle of the vacs, add some glass
cleaner, etc.. And see how it works out. Seems like a
cheap addition for the wash? - FASTLX
MY prescrub buckets are 15 gallon chemical barrels
that I cut the top off. If you use a grit guard
in the bottom of the buckets that will keep accumulated
grit off the brush between bucket fills. I
use wheel wizard brushes and I brand the handle
and brush with my wash name so I lose very few
of them. - SOAPY
48 • SPRING 2021
SPRING 2021 • 49
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?
6. Exit sign is lower
5. Vending Room is changed to Vending Area
4. Flowers are different
3. Van is missing
2. Trashcan is taller
1. Simoniz colors are different
WHERE IN THE WORLD
ARE THESE SELF SERVES?
a. Arbroath, Scotland, Westway 24 hour Self Service Carwash & Vacuum
b. Queensland, Australia, Gold Coast Self Service Car Wash
c. Weißenhorn, Germany, Herzlich willkommen bei MS Waschpark
d. Cyprus, Greece, Adriateh Self Service Carwash
50 • SPRING 2021
Coleman Hanna allows operators
to customize their wash to meet
market demands and produce
the most profit for their location!
Simple, compact, easy to
operate Prep Units. Available
as a one or two pump package.
Typical prep units include highpressure
wash only. Additional
rinse can be added.
We offer a wide variety of the most popular vending products
including Armor All® Wipes and Sprays, Little Tree® Fragrance
Trees, Cali Scents® Fragrance, and various cloth towels of all sizes.
Order vending materials from us to simplify the process or select
your own vending materials 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
Vacuums make an attractive vacuum at your car wash with your
choice of dome color and matching decal graphics.
• Single electronic coin acceptor
• Greater coin capacity
• Single point of collection
• Credit card capable
• Large capacity keyed vault
• Low voltage power
• Bill acceptance available
Single Vacuum Arch
• Stainless Steel arches that are designed for
the single SS vacuums
• Fixed SS Boom to provide the hose near the
drivers door of the vehicle
• Vacuum boom can be ordered to allow the
hose to swing over the vehicle
• Post is 3” x 6” x 8’ tall for the fixed vac arch
Central Vacuum System
Easily provide multiple vacuum stations with one central system with the Coleman Hanna
Central Vacuum System. This central vacuum system provides ease of use with only one
central location to service. The central vacuum system is ideal for locations with free
vacuums such as full service and express tunnels.
• NEW Hanna Central Vacuum has been
improved to provide longer life and better
• Comes with an exhaust pipe to easily
install a muffler if needed or desired
• Heavy Duty Bearings and 1-1/4” shaft, larger
than the old design
• Optional vacuum gauge can be mounted
inside the collector to measure the
performance of the vacuum
• Dimensions for the mounted producer
and collector 28”x100” ( 0,72 m x 2,55 m )
• Durable Stainless Steel Parts
• 15 HP, 20 HP or 25 HP model available
QUALITY CAR WASH EQUIPMENT
FOR OVER 60 YEARS.
Coleman Hanna Carwash Systems LLC
Coleman Hanna Carwash Systems LLC
5842 W 34TH ST HOUSTON, TX 77092
1 (800) 999-9878 (713) 683-9878 INFO@COLEMANHANNA.COM
SPRING 2021 • 51
The Birds and the Bugs
of a Lovebug
(in case your customers were wondering)
Binomial Name: Plecia Nearctica
Other names: Double-headed Bug, Honeymoon
Fly, Kissingbug, March Fly, Tele-phone Bug, and
Found in: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana,
Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Texas, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and
Infestation seasons: Spring (late April and May
and late August and September).
Lifespan: 2-3 days for males, approx. 1 week for
Mating cycle: 2-3 days.
Size: Males are 6-7 mm in length, and 6-10 mg
in weight. Females are 6-9 mm in length, 15-25
mg in weight
Body Chemistry: Almost a neutral 6.5 pH, but if
left on a car surface, acidity level can reach 4.25 pH.
Upside to lovebugs: larval stages by helping to
recycle decaying vegetative matter into organic
matter, according to Biology of the “Love-bug,” by
LA Hetrick 1970.
More profits and customers for self serve car
Downside to lovebugs: Attracted to highways,
lovebugs will splat all over cars, startling drivers.
They can also, according to Hetrick:
• Cause liquid-cooled engines to
overheat due to clogged radiators.
• Reduce visibility
• Etch automobile paint due
to acidic nature of bugs
Interesting Fact: Lovebugs do not bite or sting.
Rumor Has It: A rumor has been around for
decades that lovebugs are the result of a botched
genetic experiment at the University of Florida.
An Internet spam email going around stated:
“Love Bugs are actually man-made. Scientists
were genetically engineering females of a
species of insect that would mate with the male
mosquito, but be sterile and produce no offspring.
Unfortunately, they accidentally also created a
male Love Bug, and a pair somehow escaped into
the wild. Since the bugs had no natural predators,
their numbers quickly exploded into the millions.”
However, Snopes.com debunked this tall tale,
stating: “Love bugs are not the result of a genetic
cloning experiment gone wrong, nor were they
unwittingly loosed from a research facility charged
with studying exotic insects. They also weren’t
bio-engineered as a natural solution to the mosquito
problem. (Love bugs do not eat mosquitoes:
the adults do not eat at all, and larvae feed on decaying
plant material.) These overly amorous critters
are native to Central America; the best guess
as to how they came to these United States places
them as undiscovered stowaways who arrived by
ship in Galveston or New Orleans around 1920.”
FOR THE BIRDS
Yes…. We are going ‘there’
Okay, I will admit it, this research made me a
bit squeamish, but I know all of you can handle
it. And, while my degree in Journalism, and 20+
years of research and interviewing has prepared
me for a lot, I never in a million years thought
I would be writing about… bird poop. Yes, that’s
right, I am giving you all of the facts having to do
with bird excrement. Why is it white? What is up
with the blue blobs? The answers are below.
What’s up with
It all has to do with the fact that birds do not
produce pure urine. According to MentalFloss,
birds’ digestive systems and don’t work like most
animals’. “Instead of pooping and peeing separately,
they basically do it all in one weird mess.
Their kidneys extract nitrogenous wastes from the
bloodstream like other animals’ do, but instead of
releasing it as urea dissolved in urine, birds excrete
it in the form of uric acid. It comes out as a white
sort of goo because of the biochemical reactions
that happen to process the waste so it can be safely
excreted with minimal water loss.”
What’s up with the dark blobs?
When there is red, blue, purple or green blobs in
the droppings, that is the actual poop. According to
beautyofbirds.com, it’s the only real solid part. As for
the different colors? It all has to do with the bird’s
diet. “Red pellets and strawberries produce a red colored
dropping. (This does not apply to the urine.)
Seed and green vegetables produce a green dropping.
(This does not apply to the urine either.) Blueberries
and blackberries produce black droppings.”
Are some cars targeted more
There have been lots of theories and studies done
on which cars attract more bird poop. Of course,
unless you’re Dr. Doolittle, you’ll never know this
answer. However, a little over a year ago, a done
by Halfords of the United Kingdom, revealed red
cars attract the most bird droppings. “Red vehicles
made up 18 percent of cars marked by birds, while
blue followed along in second place at 14 percent.
Green vehicles got off the easiest, making up just
one percent of those in the study. The sample
included 1,140 cars, though there’s no
indication as to the total number
of each car color in the group,”
The study also stated that
perhaps it has to do with
the fact that if a vehicle is
darker, the “deeper the reflection
and the more violent
the reaction.” Another
theory is that blue cars suffer
because the birds think they are
over a body of water. In that same report, autoblog
shared that Autoglym weighed in and revealed
that the damage to a vehicle’s surface has to a softening
of paint lacquer. “Damage to vehicle paintwork
arose not from the acid or alkali in bird feces,
but from paint lacquer softening and expanding to
form an uneven mold around the dropping which
produced a dull patch. Grainier textures from
seed-eating birds produced the most blemishes, so
pigeons are worse for motorists than seagulls.”
Or is a spider?
There is an actual spider called: The bird-dung
crab spider. And, yes, it looks exactly like bird
poop. To make sure you’re not about to detail a car
infested with this arachnid, make sure you know
what to look for.
According to newscientist.com, they mimic bird
droppings in color, shape, size and smell.
According to Joseph K.H. Koh of the Lee Kong
Chian Natural History Museum, The spider’s
body has a glossy surface that
gives it a ‘wet’ look of fresh feces.
The nodules on the body and
rough-edges of the legs further
reinforce the ‘shitty’ look – pardon
the rudeness. When the
spider moves, the illusion disintegrates.
The ‘walking poop’ no
longer looks like a piece of dropping,
especially with its legs spread
out,” Koh says.
52 • SPRING 2021
“We’ve been advertising to car wash operators for 7 years now, and
have tried and tracked many of the different industry advertising
options. As far as online opportunities focused on the car wash
industry go, nothing has provided the consistent click-throughs at
the rate of the CarWashForum.com.” JIM LANMAN, TOUCH4WASH
SPRING 2021 • 53
(BUT I LIKE IT)
ENLIGHTENMENT FOR THE MODERN CAR WASH
It seems like a given that a person would choose
a well-lit self serve over one that rivaled the setting
of the latest horror flick. Even if a car wash
owner thinks their wash is bright and secure, does
he or she really know what it looks like from the
viewpoint of a woman, or person who might feel
insecure due to various reason. An owner could
start by looking at the numbers: How many people
are washing after the sun sets? Who are the
people frequently the car wash late at night? If the
profits are slow during those hours, and the money
is only coming from a certain demographic, it
might be time to upgrade the lighting. Not only
will it enhance the look of the car wash from the
street, but it will also illuminate the way a freshly
car looks after a wash, and hopefully encourage
customers to visit the vacuum stations as well. It’s
also about cost-savings, too. Modern lighting saves
energy, and cuts utility bills. It can seem like a big
investment, but aren’t more customers, who feel
secure enough to visit again, as well as lower utility
bills a good thing? And there’s another benefit.
According to Jennifer Spears, who is not only
a sales manager for CarWashCameras.com but is
also a car wash owner, if a crime does occur, good
lighting will help enhance any video footage and
help to identify and nab the culprits. This cover
story includes three different interviews with various
car wash and lighting experts: Erin Noonan,
of G&G Industrial Lighting, Michael Call of Mile
High LED Systems, the folks over at Kleen-Rite,
and Gary Baright, one of the first car wash owners
to install LED lighting inside a self serve bay.
54 • SPRING 2021
Everything you need to Succeed
From the most trusted name in Self Serve Equipment
IQ SELF WASH
D&S Carwash Equipment
SPRING 2021 • 55
SAVINGS & SAFETY
What to look for — and
what not to look for —
when it comes to LED
lighting for your self serve.
The following article was provided by Erin
Noonan, Director of Marketing for of G&G Industrial
When considering site improvements to your car
wash, one of the easiest changes you can make is to
upgrade your lighting from traditional light sources,
such as metal halide and fluorescent lamps, to
modern LED lighting. This type of lighting brightly
illuminates your car wash, offering safety, and
upping your customers’ experience, and it can also
save you money. Also, the amount of maintenance
required is minimal. The following are reasons to
switch over to LEDs as well as tips on how to use
them to your car wash’s benefit.
• Saving money and energy: LEDs,
or Light Emitting Diodes, are the most energy-efficient
source of lighting technology that are
designed to save on electrical consumption, while
reducing maintenance due to their extra-long
team & comPly
removable Plug locks
removable Plug lock & Puck lock Kits
Puck locks & Disk locks
lockout/tagout locks & clamps
t-handles & t-handle locks
retro Fit Security Kits
All the Security You’ll Ever Need!
Ask About our full rAnge of locks And lAtches for
Amusement & vending equipment, gAs dispensers & self storAge.
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S aleS @laigrouP. C om
56 • SPRING 2021
The Next Evolution in Car Wash Lighting:
Call for Promotional Pricing!
Introducing LEDLINE-X. A light that is made to fit
your application at a price point comparable to the
static, fixed size fixtures of the past. No more cables
between lights. No more dark spots.
A light made for car washes. Water-tight,
chemical / UV resistant silicon housing designed
to withstand tough car wash environments.
Create lines of light
making a “runway”
within your bays.
Ideal lighting design
encourages more points
of light for a better look
and feel. With the ability
to achieve 48 ft of
continuous light, LEDLINE
points and symmetrical
No wires. No shadows.
In-Bay Automatic Color
Integrate color changing
lights with your car wash
cycles. Bask the bay in
green light with drive
forward, red on stop.
Purple on presoak, green
on rinse. Rainbow-flash
multiple colors for foam
imagine it, we build it.
Customers love it.
SPRING 2021 • 57
LIGHTING COMMENTS FROM
We installed LED lighting
about 4 or 5 years ago.
Saved us around $45 a
month on the light bill, we
leave our lights on 24/7. It
cost us around $1100 to relamp
the car wash with LED
lights so we’ve gotten our
money back. - Randy
Did it almost 3 years ago.
Our Electric Co. had a rebate
plan. Cost was $7,000, of
which I had to pay approximately
$2500. Saves us over
$200/month! So, the ROI for
me was 12 months!
I bought lights over a year
ago and still haven’t installed
them all. [I’m replacing the
old lighting] because the old
ones are too dim and use four
times the electricity and give
off half the light as what I’m
putting up in their place.
I did outside and [in the] bays
4 years ago. With rebates
from the power co., [I’m impressed
by] the results with
the LED lights.
lifetimes and improving the overall aesthetic with
enhanced quality of light in comparison to their
antiquated counterparts. There are certain types
of LED lighting fixtures that are built specifically for
the car wash industry, that are specially engineered
to withstand the constant humidity and chemicals
found within the harsh car wash environments.
• Potential Return on Investment:
One of the greatest benefits of LED lighting is the
dramatically reduced energy consumption when
compared to traditional lighting technologies. In
most cases, energy use is cut by 60-70%, translating
into big savings on your utility bill. While
the upfront investment may be more initially, LED
lighting typically pays for itself in electricity and
maintenance savings in only 1.5-2 years’ time
while owners will continue to reap the benefits
of their extra-long (100,000+ hour) lifetime for
upwards of a decade without having to replace
them. By comparison, a metal halide bulb will only
last approximately 10,000 hours, requiring around
10 bulb changes and a few ballast changes over
the lifetime of a quality LED fixture.
• Little to No Maintenance: Another
benefit of LED technology is that they require
little to no maintenance. Unlike traditional lighting,
there is no ballast that causes failures and must
be replaced every so often. Many LEDs do have
drivers in lieu of ballasts, but these power sources
are designed to last for the rated life of the fixture
itself. There are also LED products built for the
car wash that use direct-AC driverless technology,
connecting directly to the power source itself
without the use of a driver, therefore eliminating
any chance of premature failure.
iOS APP STORE
iOS APP STORE
ARE IN IN EVER
Believe the numbers. Believe the numbers.
Coinless Coinless is improving is the improving Self-Serve customer the Self-Serve experience. custome
58 • SPRING 2021
• Customer safety: Good lighting is vital
to a self-serve car wash because it not only
attracts business by serving as a beacon to draw
customers in, but it also provides a sense of safety
and productivity when a site is properly illuminated.
While most owners do take safety and liability
very seriously, they often undervalue the ability of
the LED systems to create bright, clearly-visible
environments that foster a sense of security and
attract customers during evening or even early
morning hours. These LED products are also ideal
for cost-efficient lighting areas that are often prey
to theft and vandalism as well as reducing potential
hazards such as fire and shock risks.
Furthermore, a well-lit wash is often viewed as
“inviting” and “always open for business.” Some
owners have even stated that customers actually
thought their bays looked new after the facility
was retrofitted with the latest LED technologies.
Consequently, many others have noted that
dimly-lit locations that appear dark or unsafe from
the street can result in customers that fail to visit
any time, whether it be day or night, such circumstances
that are never good for increasing car
counts and profits.
• Be on the lookout for imposters:
While LED technology as a whole is touted as an
excellent lighting solution, not all LED products
are created equal. When choosing the right lighting
for your self serve, it is important to take into
consideration the ability to withstand the car wash
environment, the light quality, ease of installation,
safety certifications and the warranty offered. At a
minimum, an IP (Ingress Protection) rating of IP66
is important to have, stating that the product is
protected against moisture intrusion and will not
be affected by the constant water and humidity.
Look for a fixture that can withstand exposure to
the chemicals and soaps of the car wash. A UL
Wet Location rating is important as it will show
that the product has been tested and third-party
certified for safety within the car washing environment.
Lastly, look for a product that is rated for a
long lifetime and backed by at least a 3-year warranty
to ensure quality and customer service that
stands behind their products so that you won’t be
paying out of pocket in the case of failures.
DID YOU KNOW?
State and Local Energy
The Small Business Administration
offers state, local and regional
programs that help small
businesses become energy
efficient. These programs offer
financial assistance in the form
of grants and loans for making
energy efficient upgrades. These
programs also offer free or low-
cost technical assistance to help
small business owners conduct
energy audits and implement
energy efficient technology.
for more information.
BRIGHT BAY. HAPPY CUSTOMER.
Waterproof LED Lighting | Available at Kleen-Rite
800-285-6780 | www.ggled.net | firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING 2021 • 59
4/15/19 9:05 AM
…from a Self Serve Owner
Gary Baright of Foam & Wash Car Wash of
Wappinger Falls, New York, is all about customer
safety. As the part-owner of 12 self serve/in-bay
automatic/tunnel/dog washes located about an
hour from New York City, he said they are always
trying to improve their properties and offer up a
better experience for their customers. “Many operators
complain about their self serve business
not growing or going down. But we have seen an
increase most years and we work hard to get and
keep customers,” Baright said.
One thing that Baright credits for their successful
wash chain is that they have installed LED
lights. “We were one of the first self serve car washes
maybe in the country to start installing them,
over 10 years ago,” Baright said. “When we first put
them in, we did a few bays (per site) and tracked
the nighttime business [sales] and it was amazing
how the light drew the customers in. It was those
LED bays that brought in all of the night business.”
Now he said they have LED lights installed in
all of their bays at their 12 locations. Since they
do not cost much as far as electricity, we keep the
LED lights on 24/7, he said. “This way there is always
great light in the bays. The customers know if
it is cloudy, they get the same [exact] experience.
We do more business during the day, so why not
have the lights on then, too, to give the customer
the best experience and light.”
Next, Baright said Foam & Wash will be getting
color LED lights in the in-bay automatics and self
serve bays. “In the in-bays we turn the bay green
when the customer is entering and red when the
customer needs to stop. We then put on a light
show depending on the wash options and then
green again when the wash is done,” Baright said.
“We are just starting something like that in the self
serve bays but it will be a little less dramatic,” he
said. Instead, there will be real white crisp lights
for when the customer is in the self serve bay.
Then, along with a few functions, such as the foam
brush, triple-foam, blower, etc., they will mix in a
little color to add to the overall experience. But,
noted Baright, “It will not be too overwhelming to
Also, Baright, added that having your site lightup
nicely adds a safety feature for the customers.
“And with the new color changing LED lights we
will put on a lightshow even when the bays are not
SWITCH IS SO
During the Victorian era,
shoppers had to use
moonlight to guide them
into a store. If the moonlight
was dim, according to
The Victorian Emporium,
people would use their
own personal lanterns and
business owners would have
to hang lanterns outside
60 • SPRING 2021
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIGGER PROFITS
The following answers were provided by Michael Call of Mile High
LED Systems, a manufacturer and supplier of LED retrofit and
replacement lighting solutions.
Q A self serve car wash is unique
in that it can be unattended.
Customers need to feel as if they
are safe on the property at night.
What amount of LED lighting do
you recommend for a self serve bay
and vacuum station?
Michael Call: Great question. Self serves seem
to be target buildings for vandals and thefts for
sure. Generally speaking, the very minimum I’d do
for a bay is 20 footcandles (see sidebar) and the
lot should be no less than 10-foot candles. With
that said, if you are near a strip mall or gas station,
you have to be BRIGHTER than those locations if
you want a customer to feel safer at your car wash.
Gas stations can push closer to 40 footcandles
under their canopies. If that is the case, go with 50-
foot candles in the bays and 30 footcandles for the
lot. Keep in mind, uniformity and not a lot of variance
in max and min footcandles is the goal. If you
have super bright vacuum areas, and your bays are
not quite as bright, your bays will look scary...
Q How has self serve lighting
improved over the years?
Michael Call: Historically, people used to put 2
x 250W metal halide wall packs in self serve bays
on opposing corners. While it gave off an okay
amount of light, it resulted in shadows, an unsafe
feeling, and an inability to see dirt on the vehicles.
Not to mention, these lights used a tremendous
amount of electricity, so car washes didn’t
10 REASONS TO CONSIDER
1. BETTER ENERGY EFFICIENCY
LEDS emit more light per watt than traditional lighting
options. LEDs use about a third the power of metal
halide and half the power of fluorescent.
2. LONGER LIFE – High-end LEDs can have
a lifespan as long as 30,000-50,000 hours. Incandescent
bulbs last about 1,000 hours while fluorescent
bulbs last about 8,000-10,000 hours.
3. LOWER OPERATING
Cooler temperatures mean less time for the light to
warm up, so LEDs are often at 100% strength as
soon as they’re turned on — unlike traditional bulbs.
Less heat means they’re also safer.
4. RESISTANT TO DAMAGE
Traditional lighting is often encased in fragile glass or
quartz material. LEDs use semi-conductor materials
mounted on a circuit board that can either be covered
in less fragile materials like plastic—or simply uncovered
in some cases. There are also plenty of options
with a UL wet listing that are perfect for car wash
5. NO MAINTENANCE – Newer LEDS
frequently require no maintenance for as much as ten
years. No ballasts or bulbs to replace! The LEDs will
dim and simply be replaced after several years.
really get as bright as they wanted them to and
power costs were still high.
Today, I recommend ceiling mounted lights
to give better distribution and lights that extend
beyond the front and back of a parked car. This
ensures that there are no blind spots, no shadows
and a great, safe feeling.
Q If a self serve operator is looking
to make upgrades to their wash,
but have a limited budget, how
much are they looking to spend
to upgrade their lighting for say,
an average 4-bay self serve, with
2 vacuum stations? What is the
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6. EASY INSTALLATION – Top names
in LED lighting have driverless strips and fixtures that
can be directly connected to AC power in a fraction of
the time that it takes to install traditional lighting.
7. INCREDIBLE CRI
This is the color rendering index—a scale from 0-100.
Customers love being able to see the true color of
their vehicle during their wash. The CRI on traditional
lighting is often poor; 60-70 for metal halides and
70-80 for fluorescents. LEDs can be in the high 80s or
even 90s for CRI, meaning they show color almost as
well as pure, unfiltered sunlight.
8. COLOR OPTIONS – Speaking of color,
LEDS also come in a variety of colors to dress up and
add interest to bays and tunnels. These can also be
useful for GO and STOP directions by using green and
9. TAX PROGRAMS – Rebates and tax
savings are available for installing more energy-efficient
lighting at your car wash. Pay attention to the DLC
rating on the LED products ensure you’re eligible for
these federal, state, and utility company programs.
10. BRIGHTNESS FOR SECURITY
AND SHOWING OFF – Once installed, it’s
shocking how much LEDS light up car wash properties.
Your wash will be absolutely glowing from the
street! This is important to draw positive attention to
your business while also making customers feel safe
while using your wash!
Michael Call: The average four-bay self serve
car wash with two vac stations can expect to
spend between $3500-$7000 based on the
amount of light desired. ROI on this upgrade can
be looked at in two ways:
1. Power savings: If a car wash is still using
metal halides, I would argue that it would be
difficult to find a better use of money than
upgrading to LED lighting. Just with the power
savings alone it can result in a 50%+ ROI. That
means the car wash owner would break even
within two years.
2. An enhanced customer experience: If
a customer has already upgraded to LEDs,
there is still reason to look at newer upgrades.
You’ll save on power vs older LEDs and create
a wash that attracts more users at night and
deters vandalism and thefts.
WHAT IS A
According to Michael Call, two commonly used
terms in the lighting industry are lumens and footcandles.
• Lumen (lm): A unit of light emitted per second
from a light source. The amount of light an LED light
fixture produces is measured by lumens. Lumen levels
are disclosed on LED light manufacturer spec sheets.
• Footcandle (fc): How a lumen impacts an
area. One footcandle equals one lumen of light density
per square foot.
You can also look at is a lumen is the brightness
of a light and a footcandle is the output of light in
a certain space.
Call recommends consulting with a lighting
designer who can properly prepare a photometric
plan showing, numerically in foot candles, the
light produced by fixtures across both the interior
(bays) and the exterior of your car wash, including
the vacuum and vending areas.
Understanding the Lumen
According to Sciencing.com, the lumen is a
measure of luminous flux, or the “flow” of light
through a specified geometric space. All modern
measurements of light are based on the lumen, but
the lumen itself is derived from the candela.
“The candela (cd) was chosen long ago when candles
were the main form of household illumination.
It is the amount of visible light emitted in a given
direction, from a source that emits radiation with a
fixed frequency and intensity, that corresponds to
one “typical” candle from back in the day.”
The lumen, states Sciencing.com, in turn is the
“light flow” of 1 candela through 1 square radian
(sr) of space. A radian is equal to 360/2π (about
Measuring the Footcandle
The footcandle, according to Sciencing.com, represents
the amount of visible light emitted from a
1-cd source striking a surface 1 foot away: 1 footcandle
= 1 lumen/ft2. Note that this is a “quantity”
of light rather than a flow of light, inasmuch as light
can be treated as something that be quantified in
such a way. Light, by definition, is always moving.
“The original footcandle meaning seems quaint
today, in an era when the amount of light generated
by a single candle is trivial compared to the
output of modern human lighting equipment. Still,
the candela, the lumen and the footcandle remain
handy and are popular base and derived units in
The lux, states Sciencing.com, is a unit similar to
the footcandle, but using metric (SI) units. While 1
footcandle is the amount of light 1 foot from a 1-cd
source, 1 lux is the amount of light from the same
source at a distance of 1 m. Because 1 m = 3.28 ft, 1
m2 = (3.28)2 ft2. This in turn makes 1 cd equal to
10.76 lux, reflecting the expected result that light is
“diluted” as it travels outward from its source.
SPRING 2021 • 61
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.
How is this for a tongue twister? Tucker of Truckee totaled
a Toyota Tacoma truck.
It’s not as family-friendly as Sally Sells Seashells, but it is twisty nonetheless.
So, here’s the full story: A man named Tucker Andrews, of Truckee, California,
is suspected of vandalizing the Surf Thru Car Wash car wash early in the morning
on April 8 in Chico, California, according to the Chico Enterprise-Record.
Chico police officers were called over a report “of a suspicious person on the
hood of a pickup truck,” the story stated. The officers arrived around 5:40 a.m.
and reported that a suspect had been there kicking out the windshield of a white
A person also flagged down the officers and said the driver had just vandalized
the Surf Thru Car Wash.
“Officers responded to the car wash and discovered damage to the metal
rollup doors. Officers believed the pickup drove through the rollup door on
the west-side of the carwash and out through the rollup door on the east-side
of the carwash. Several thousands of dollars’ worth of damage was caused in
the process,” police said according to the story.
Officers were then able to look at surveillance footage and released recovered
video of a man they suspected of committing the crime. An hour or so
later, police located the pickup truck and Andrews was arrested.
Does anyone remember the story of the Butt Crack Bandits?
If you do not, it’s from Christmas 2019.
Two thieves in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, gained notoriety and the nickname, “The
Butt Crack Bandits,” after car wash footage showed one of the two thieves repeatedly
readjusting his pants as they slipped down, exposing a bare posterior.
Well, this next story is a worthy additional to the “Criminals’ Body Parts Exposed”
Hall of Fame. Last November, in Adelaide, South Australia, two men
unsuccessfully tried to remove an ATM machine using a drill. A statement
from police read, ‘They were unsuccessful on their first attempt, so they used
a white Peugeot 206 sedan with fake number plates and rammed the machine
until it became dislodged. They placed the pay machine into the rear of the
vehicle and drove off.’
Police added that the empty pay machine was found hours later. Footage
shows one of the men wearing a cap, a surgical mask, black jeans, a black
t-shirt and thongs. But that’s not all. The second man’s shorts fell down during
the heist exposing his backside to the camera. The suspects have not yet been
caught, but police are hoping the public will help identifying them thanks to
the car wash footage.
If anyone is driving through Sand Springs, Oklahoma,
can you visit the Apollo Car Wash and give the
poor owner a thumbs up or something. Or a hug?
Or, better yet, if the owner is reading this, reach out to me and I will
personally send you a batch of my famous “Tough Times Call for Tough
Cookies” cookies. You gotta feel somewhat badly for Brent Burns, first the
main water line froze up in February after a harsh winter storm, and then
things warmed up and customers wanted to wash their cars, the line still
had not thawed. On top of that, when things started to get better for his
business, a man stole not only one of his change boxes, but ruined one if his
bay walls. According to 2 NBC, car wash video surveillance shows a white
truck enter the second vehicle bay just before 4 a.m. “The driver wore a
reflective vest and black ski mask and hooked a chain around the change
box. On the third try, he rips the box from the wall with his truck. A large
portion of the wall tore away with the box,” the story said.
After thieves broke into his equipment office from the roof of Apollo
three years ago, Brent Burns spent a good amount of money on upgrades,
including LED lights and cameras mounted in each bay. Thankfully, footage
from one of the bays will hopefully help in catching the culprit and
truck has already been located.
“It’s the life of a car wash owner,” he said.
The good news is that the damage will not stop him from getting the
wash bay up and running again soon. Plus, let’s not forget about my
promised batch of cookies!
62 • SPRING 2021
SPRING 2021 • 63
A self serve car wash got national
attention (not the type we want
mind you), after it was featured on
America’s Most Wanted.
Also, as a side note, this is what scares me
about those haunted car washes, because something
like this could happen and I wouldn’t
know what to do. Also, for the record, I do
think a haunted self serve car wash is a very,
very, very, very, very bad idea. In Littleton, Colorado,
a man is now in jail after he targeted a
woman who was washing her van back in January.
According to 4 cbs Denver, the woman
had pulled into the car wash when he walked
in, opened the driver’s side door and pulled
her out. “Video shows the woman parked at
the Atlantis Car Wash... She tried to fight off
the man but he ultimately grabbed her neck
and bit her before pulling her to the ground
and getting inside the van.”
Thankfully, the woman was not seriously injured.
Police in Littleton arrested the man, 51-yearold
Phillip Michael Dent, on March 16, after
the story was featured on America’s Most
Wanted. According to the highly reputable
magazine, Variety, it had only been a week
since “America’s Most Wanted” returned to the
air and already a viewer tip led to a new capture,
marking the 1,187th one for the series,
which originated in 1988.
“And after seeing the ‘crime alert’ case on
the show, that’s exactly what a local resident
in Denver did. Contacting the Littleton Police
Department with information that proved to
be accurate and helpful, Dent was arrested,”
according to the story. More details of Dent’s
arrest were explored on the next new episode
of “America’s Most Wanted,” which aired on
Monday, March 29 on Fox.
Dent is being held on charges of robbery, assault,
motor vehicle theft, arson, second-degree
burglary, theft and criminal trespass.
I’m confused by this one. Does the car crashing
into the car wash have anything to do with the
driver bumping a woman’s car?
If not, was he trying to get help? If yes, then why
did he brandish a long gun? What constitutes a long
gun? All I can think of is this:
And, may I just take a moment to say, in no other
publication will you ever see Elmer J. Fudd share a
page with Nathaniel “Hawkeye” Poe.
In Hinesville, Georgia, authorities say at 11 p.m. on
March 31 was driving down a busy street when a vehicle
behind her tapped her bumper. When she got to
a redlight, the driver allegedly came out of his vehicle
with a long gun.
According to WJCL, police said she sped away,
closely followed her before he lost control, hit a fire
hydrant and ended up at a car wash.
His vehicle burst into flames after he ran away, the
Thankfully, an arrest was made on April 6, according
to WTOC 11, Christopher Sumlin was arrested
on charges of aggravated assault and stalking.
If you’re going to steal a
bunch of money, you gotta
go big and take it to a
gambling paradise in Nevada.
No, not, Las Vegas, and no, not Reno, but
Mesquite, Nevada! Who doesn’t want to celebrate
a successful robbery in good ‘ol Mesquite?
These three criminals sure did. But, unfortunately,
their wild ride has been upended
as two of the men are now in jail.
According to St. George News, police arrested
two men, including Michael Gordon
Sprague, 55, and Dylan Soracco, 28, who allegedly
stole a change machine containing approximately
$10,000 from a car wash in Cedar
City, Utah, back on December 29.
64 • SPRING 2021
Police stated that Sprague and Soracco, along
with a third accomplice who has not been identified,
broke into a room at the car wash at approximately
2:30 a.m. and removed the change
machine weighing 500 pounds and loaded it into
a Volkswagen Jetta.
According to the story, the incident was recorded
by the car wash’s surveillance cameras.
“After taking the stolen machine to a storage unit
in town, the men allegedly retrieved the money
that was inside and traveled to a casino in Mesquite,
Nevada, to cash in the change. They reportedly
gambled with some of the money, according
to a probable cause statement filed in support of
The story said that probable cause affidavits filed
in 5th District Court allege that Soracco attempted
to buy liquor with a counterfeit $100 bill at the
state liquor store on Dec. 28. An allegedly, police
also found another counterfeit $100 bill with the
same serial number in Soracco’s possession during
a Dec. 31 traffic stop in a grocery store parking lot,
along with drugs and paraphernalia.
And, back on November 15, Soracco was arrested
after allegedly running a red light, after which
police reportedly found heroin and a .38 caliber
pistol inside his vehicle. When he was arrested in
January, as officers conducted a traffic stop, they
caught Soracco and allegedly found him to be in
possession of heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine
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SPRING 2021 • 65
CRIMES FROM THE ARCHIVES!
Thank you, JJ Jakubowski for sending in this file from the
June 2007 issue of Self Serve Car Wash News. Although
these stories are 14 years old, the criminals are still dumb.
getting to be a real phenomenon — carwash
video security systems proving to be the key
to busting bad guys and solving a number of
aggravating problems. The more reports of
success we hear and share, the more video
systems are being installed ... and then even
more reports of success are shared. It is a
“vicious cycle” , but only for the perps on the
wrong side of the lens. We’ve printed some
already on previous pages of this issue’s
Industry News column, but here are a few
■ In Lehigh Acres, Florida, Rod Willis
owner of the Gator Carwash, got a new IBA
early last year that was plagued with chronic,
mysterious shut downs ... about 3 times per
week. The emergency shut-off button was
being activated and needed to be physically
reset. Willis was “losing a ton of money”, so
he invested $9,000 and installed video surveillance.
Soon after, in September, the mystery
was solved. He got a tag number, description
of the car and good shots of the guy pushing
that button ... with his elbow, so as to not leave
fingerprints. The perp was Tony Zimbicki,
the owner of a competing carwash down the
street from the Gator. Willis and the county
prosecutor hope to be able to charge Zimbicki
with a felony.
■ Four men were identified and arrested
in Tuscon, Arizona after video showed them
washing a stolen BMW. A search of their home
revealed that they were involved in many other
crimes. They’re now all in jail facing charges
of car theft, burglary, fraud, and operating a
major methamphetamine lab.
■ Eric Wilson is a multi-wash operator
in Birmingham, Alabama and over the last 2
years his video was used to • arrest and convict
a ring of Russian counterfeiters. • Nab a guy
who dumped his RV’s “black water” into a bay
pit. He paid Eric $500 to have them cleaned
out. • Convict an oil changer/dumper. • Identified
and caught a trash dumper. “As time goes
on”, Eric says, “we have fewer incidents. I can’t
imagine how the old timers ever managed their
washes without cameras and the internet!”
66 • SPRING 2021
You both got caught!
In Gloucester, Virginia, two men
have been arrested following a
string of burglaries at self serve
car washes throughout the area.
According to WAVY, on March 27 the sheriff’s
office began a multijurisdictional investigation after
three self-operated car washes in Gloucester
were struck by a string of burglaries by then two
The car washes suffered “extensive property
damage and loss of revenue from their coin-operated
vacuum machines,” as a result.
After images of the suspects were captured and
then shared on social media, several community
members forwarded information regarding the suspects.
Larry M. Davis, 40, and Marty J. Redmond,
29, are currently being held on multiple charges.
No criminal is safe when Taco Bell
and a car wash pool their resources
and nab a child abuser.
In Billings, Montana, 35-year-old Willie Redd is
now in jail after he made false claims to the police
regarding the welfare of his daughter.
According to a February 8 story from KULR
8, an investigation began after police learned of
a 3-year-old child being treated at the hospital
for multiple injuries. Detective Robert Miller was
assigned to the case after hospital staff said the
child’s injuries were inconsistent with the account
supplied by the child’s mother, the story said.
“The mother told Detective Miller that she left
her child in the care of Redd on Tuesday, Feb. 2
while she went to work. She said Redd contacted
her early the next morning, advising her that the
child required emergency medical attention.”
Redd told the mother that he was at Taco Bell
with the child around 12:30 a.m. on February 3 and
said an unknown vehicle pulled up next to his car
while began firing at his car. Redd said he then accelerated
away, almost reaching “100 miles per hour”
even though the child was not restrained in her car
seat. The child ended up being thrown around inside
of the car. This is where Redd gets caught lying,
thanks to Taco Bell and a car wash. Redd then
claimed he pulled over at a car wash and called the
child’s mother to inform her of the situation. He also
said he switched out cars at the car wash.
Detective Miller examined Redd’s vehicle and
said two bullet holes were in the driver’s door, the
windshield was fractured and there were minimal
amounts of blood found in the car.
Detective Miller obtained video surveillance
footage from Taco Bell and the car wash from that
night and said he could see a windshield fracture
on Redd’s vehicle when he entered the Taco Bell
drive-thru, but no bullet holes or other damage
to the vehicle was noticed. Video surveillance at
the car wash also did not show any bullet holes or
damage to the vehicle.
On February 8, the U.S. Marshals Montana Violent
Offender’s Task Force (MVOTF) issued a
BOLO alert for Redd for a violation of his probation
connected to a prior weapons possession charge.
He was apprehended on February 17.
While apprehended, Redd was once again asked
to outline the events involving his daughter on
February 3. At the conclusion of the interview,
Redd was remanded to the Yellowstone County
Detention Facility, the story said.
The child has since been released from the Denver’s
I suppose with all of the violent and
brutal crimes being posted here and
reported all over the news, a nice
counterfeit money crime story is a
In Denver, Colorado, police arrested a man for
allegedly using counterfeit bills at several businesses,
including a car wash, according to a March 31
Ski-Hi News report.
Ronald Fleagle, 45, was apprehended after a Fraser
Quick Stop employee reported a customer was
trying to pay for gas with a fake $100 bill.
Police said the employee refused the bill, and
Fleagle paid with other cash, according to the story.
“The Quick Stop provided surveillance footage
of Fleagle and his truck. Police later spotted the
vehicle at the Fraser Car Wash, where Fleagle was
arrested around 5:40 p.m. on March 30.”
When police searched Fleagle’s truck, they apparently
found counterfeit bills and other related
evidence. Two banks also informed police that local
businesses had taken in numerous counterfeit bills,
discovered in the businesses’ regular cash deposits.
Fleagle was charged with forgery, obstruction,
possession of forgery devices, possession of second
degree forged instruments and displaying a
fictitious plate and he remains in Grand County
Jail on a $4,000 cash or surety bond. Police added
that businesses should use caution when accepting
large bills, especially $50 and $100 notes.
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