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2 • SPRING 2021

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SPRING 2021 • 3


Around the Wash:


The Name Game ..................... 6

Small Business News

You Can Use ................................ 8

Association Calendar

& News ....................................... 18

Innovations ............................... 20

Self Serve Snapshot ............... 22

Tips .............................................. 26

Industry Dirt ............................ 28

Extra! Extra! ............................. 32

Around the Wash:

How Much

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


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 debrag@sscwn.com, and they will be featured in the next issue.

Until next time,


In this world of

cancel culture

it is time I get

canceled. LOL.

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


Stuart Johannes

Letters to the Editor



Dearest Stuart,

congratulations on

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

something else.”



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SPRING 2021 • 5

Around the Wash:


The Name Game

Why trademarking your business name is a smart and important move.



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

another name.

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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sba.gov or call the SBA’s

Customer Service Center

at: 1-800-659-2955

(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

program (SBA.GOV).


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


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

Roth stated:

“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

news services

• 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

the SVOG

• $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

and resources.

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


• 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

nearly 60%

• 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

emergency funding

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


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choice and... well you take your chances.


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



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.


Highly Visible in Sunlight

Yes – Premium Vacuum Fluorescent Display



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

Hot Climates

Eliminates Annoying

Display “Hot Spots”

Exceptional Warranty

Yes – Uniform Viewing vs. Red/Orange LED


Yes – Withstands Extreme Temperatures Hot

and Cold

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.


B&C Electronic Engineering



Coleman Hanna



National Carwash Solutions

(Formerly Hi-Performance Wash Systems)



Shiners Car Wash Systems in



61 3 9646 0777

SPRING 2021 • 13


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

COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Automatic Extensions:

• 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


Graduated Firms:

• 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

submitting comments.

• 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

program (sba.gov).

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).

Coverage Options:

• Carwash Building & Equipment

• Commercial Liability

• Commercial Auto

• Umbrella

• Garagekeepers Legal Liability

• Persona I Property

• Employee Dishonesty

• Employment Practices Liability

• Business Income

• Equipment Breakdown

• Money & Securities

• Workers' Compensation

• Cyber Liability & Network Security

• Surety Bonds and much more!

Brandi Evans

Account Manager-Lead

email: Brandi.Evans@alliant.com


CA DOI Lie. #OC36861

SPRING 2021 • 15


Boom Assembly


Zierco’s Original Swivel and

Boom Assembly, with

New Rebuildable


• Feather light rotating action

• Twin compression springs are

tension-adjustable for a variety

of hose and gun weights

• Swivel rotates 360˚ - 12 ft.



• Temperatures to 280˚ max.,

pressure to 2000 psi

• Longer hose life as spring

prevents kinks

• 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



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





Flat Plate

Mounts directly

to the ceiling or


Easy to Use -"Feather Light" rotating action


Swivel Base

Mounts directly to

the ceiling.


OFFSET Overhead Carwash Boom

Allows for TWO Center Boom Installation


Wall Bracket

Mounts to wall and

is adjustable so

boom swings

to wall when

not in use.

Ideal for foaming brushes.








To Convert Model 203

to a 204 Assembly

Remove boom body

from hinge plate




Rotate hinge plate

counter clockwise to

remove seal elbow

Replace O-Rings

7355 S. 1st Street

Oak Creek, WI 53154

Fax: (414) 764-9763







VISA and Master Card


SPRING 2021 • 17



*All events are subject to changes

due to current circumstances.




9 -11














18 • SPRING 2021



Digital State


2021 SCWA



Fort Worth Convention Center

Fort Worth, Texas








Georgia World Congress Center

Atlanta, Georgia




Atlantic City Convention Center

Atlantic City, New Jersey



2021 PRODUCT &


The Prairie Meadows Events and

Conference Center, Altoona, Iowa



Las Vegas Convention Center

Las Vegas, Nevada


SHOW 2022

Music City Center

Nashville, Tennessee

Association News

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

Camera surveillance

• How can camera’s help you avoid claims of scratches

and dents

• 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

Artificial Intelligence

• 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:

Western Europe

• 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

FastLane Detailing

Stanley, WI

Detail Supplier

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

Magik Touch

Detailing, LLC

Kendall Honore | Dania, FL

Detail Shop of the Year

Classic Appreciation

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:


• 5 p.m. SCWA Happy Hour at the Hampton Hotel



• 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

Sessions S




• 6:30 p.m. SCWA Happy Hour at the Hampton Hotel



• 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


• 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

Media Empire


• 12 noon Attendee Lunch with Exhibitors




• 1 p.m.- 5 p.m. EXPO HOURS



• 5:30 p.m. SCWA Heads to Billy Bob’s – Fort Worth


Enjoy an evening of fun, food and friends.





• 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.


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



Vapor-tight luminaire

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.

PPE vending


from DMVI

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



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:

• Budgeting

• Set Currency

• Resource Allocation

• Define Work Capacity

• Multiple Sub-Tasks

• Add assignees and attachments

• Set repeat task

• Set planned and actual dates



...From A to Bay

Wash Systems • Water Treatment • Vacuums • Payment Solutions • Dryers


Super Flo - R.O.


Vault Meters & Marketing

Whether you are a new investor or looking to upgrade your current equipment, Carolina Pride can deliver what you need!

(800) 421-5119

225 Crown Blvd. Timberlake, NC 27583

www.cpcarwash.com | sales@cpcarwash.com

SPRING 2021 • 21




How many self serve

bays do you have

amongst your six locations?

22 self serve bays

and seven automatics.

What are

your hours?

24/7/365 days a week.





What are

your prices?

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

started with

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








SPRING 2021 • 23


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

different examples,

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


Are you tired of break-ins and being the "neighborhood bank" for everyone

who needs quarters? Switching to tokens can stop these problems.

Tokens offer:

• Pricing flexibility

• Walkaway profit when tokens are purchased and not


• The switch from quarters to tokens is easy and inexpensive

• Marketing opportunities when customized

Van Brook makes it simple to switch to tokens with our Token Conversion Kit.

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SPRING 2021 • 25




In God We Rust, and

other quarters to look for


Spring into

Maintenance Upkeep

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

2005-P Kansas

state quarter, stating

incorrectly “In God

We Rust” can fetch you

up to $100 according

to www.lovemoney.com.

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

their emotions.

‘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

framework is about 25%

shorter but still includes most

of the same features as the




Super Saver 2500.



• Stainless Steel

Sanitize Station

• Light aroma with a fine mist

• Lightweight spray with

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• Reaches all areas

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• Great for any location

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• Marinas

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International models available.

SPRING 2021 • 27





Sonny’s makes more

Texas acquisitions

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.

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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

general manager.

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


ISTOBAL acquires

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

stories featuring

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".


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

customer base.”

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

growth plans.”

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.

WhiteWater Express

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

Brands organization.”

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

release stated.

34 • SPRING 2021

f W



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 Republic.

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)


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

You Charge?

Prices from Coast to Coast




(All prices in Australian dollars)


1 minute 30 seconds

VACUUM: $2 = 4 minutes

These are also minimum to start

Northern Montana


$3.25 = 4 minutes


$2 = 4 minutes

Salem, Oregon

WASH BAYS: $3.50 = 3 minutes 40 seconds

VACUUM: $2 = 4 minutes

Central Oregon


$3.50 for 5 mins 30 sec

VACUUM: $2 for 5 mins

(Cards same as cash)

Pacific Northwest,

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

Central Georgia

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

Eastern Tennessee

WASH BAYS: $1 = 2:20 mins

VACUUM: $1 = 4 mins

(Owner says competitor

across town has lower prices)



WASH BAYS: $2 = 3:20 mins

(25 sec./quarter)

VACUUM: .75 = 3 mins

Lexington, Kentucky

WASH BAYS: $3 = 5 mins

(approx.. 4 min 20 second for CC)

VACUUM: $2 = 5 mins

($2.50 minimum with CC)

Grimes, Iowa

WASH BAYS: $3.75 = 5 mins (quarters)

$5 = 5 mins (CC)

VACUUM: $2 = 4 mins

Northern Ohio

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)

Chico, California

WASH BAYS: $2 = 4 mins

VACUUM: $1 = 4 mins



WASH BAYS: $3 = 3 mins 14 seconds

VACUUMS: $2 = 4 mins

Central Texas


$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


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

more evidence.

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


Fed up!

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

quarter for

every time


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



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

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SPRING 2021 • 45


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.


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

marketing purposes.

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

- JACK954

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



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.


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


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.


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 | sales@hamiltonmfg.com | 888-723-4858

SPRING 2021 • 47




Do you have a funny

story from the bay?


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?

Try something

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

debgorgos@gmail.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







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

Vending Islands

Prep Units

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






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

The anatomy

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

United Bug.

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

wash owners.

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.”


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

the whiteness?

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

than others?

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,”

autoblog.com reported.

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

I know





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



















D&S Carwash Equipment

www.dscarwash.com 800.844.3442

SPRING 2021 • 55


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

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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.

Bay Lights

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

redefines multi-light

points and symmetrical

layout design.

No wires. No shadows.

Just WOW.

In-Bay Automatic Color

Changing Light

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

applications. You

imagine it, we build it.

Customers love it.




SPRING 2021 • 57



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!

- Soonermajic

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.

- MEP001

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.

- Swampdonkey

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.

Scan me!






4.6 4.6






Believe the numbers. Believe the numbers.

Coinless Coinless is improving is the improving Self-Serve customer the Self-Serve experience. custome

coinlessmobile.com coinlessmobile.com

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.


State and Local Energy

Efficiency Programs

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.

Visit: www.sba.gov/content/


for more information.


Waterproof LED Lighting | Available at Kleen-Rite

800-285-6780 | www.ggled.net | sales@ggled.net

SSCWN2019.indd 1

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

the customers.”

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

being used.”




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

their premises.

60 • SPRING 2021


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




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.



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.


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



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

potential ROI?

Article submitted

by Kleen-Rite Corp.


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.


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

red LEDs.

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.


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.



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

57) degrees.

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

electromagnetic physics.”

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

Toyota Tacoma.

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:

Or 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

story said.

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

Sprague’s arrest.”

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

and oxycodone.




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More and





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.

It is

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

more examples:

■ 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

unknown suspects.

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

Children Hospital.

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

welcomed respite.

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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