Ahyone do pressure washing/steam cleaning

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mowingman, Dec 31, 2002.

  1. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    I have a chance to bid on washing the truck fleet at our City-owned electric utility. The job consists of washing 12 pickups and 31 larger trucks, (pole setting trucks, 2 ton trucks, and other tandem axle- type trucks), on a weekly basis.
    I need to know what type of washing equip. would be needed for this job. Do I need a hot water type rig, or would cold water- high pressure be good enough? What pressure and GPM is best? How much water tank capacity would be advised? I am thinking of using some type of trailer mounted rig.
    Also, how is this work commonly priced? The bid asks for a price/truck. What is the normal price per truck, and how much time/ truck should be planned for?
    I already do a lot of mowing for the Electric Dept. and have some good contacts there. This looks like a good service I might be able to add to my lawn maint. business. Any help will be appreciated.:confused:
  2. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I do a little pressure washing, this is what I have learned. Trucks have grease so the E.P.A. mandates control of water runoff.

    GPM is more important that pressure. (4GPM min)

    Insurance is hard to come by.

    Cars at car lots get .80 per car to clean, better not leave water spots. Trucks are about 12.00 per unit. Grease left on the concreat will give you alot more work. Just not a good ideal.

    I find that cleaning hard surfaces is safer and more money.

    I charge .10 a sq ft for cleaning concreat and that is high priced.
    normal price is .06 to .065 sq ft.

    That just touches the top of a very long subject.
  3. LonghornShortgrass

    LonghornShortgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Mowingman- I don't know much about power washing, but I used to work for a trucking company, and we used to have guys with trailer-mounted washers come to wash the trucks. Somehow, the EPA got wind of it one day, and I believe that the power-washing company and the trucking company were both fined due to waste-water runoff. If there is some type of sand trap or other collection system, you'll be ok. btw-this was in Tarrant County, and Denton might not have the same guidelines, but with all of the regs, I would definately check.
  4. A buddy that used to power wash told me off the same trouble over runoff.
  5. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    I wouldn't mind it. I know a guy who does it and he makes a mint! I'd rather do what we do though.
  6. captdevo

    captdevo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    i sell pressure washers and operated a couple car washes.

    hot water is a definate, and also i would suggest a water softener as well!!

    water accesbility would determine tank size.

    definately get a higher gpm unit.

    most car washes are only 1200+- psi and 4+ gpm

    as far as waste water, if you're not cleaning engines, you should have no worries.
  7. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    I have a busines called deck doctor pressure washing. I steer clear of fleet washing because of epa regs. Check with your state on thier web site or EPA web site about regs before you give a price. Chances are the price of the last guy got to high because of those regs. Call a pressure washing company and pretend you have a fleet to wash and ask them to give you a price . You may have to call several before they quote a price on the phone though.
  8. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    check here http://www.dcs1.com/
    I recomend Northern supply for thier pressure washers. They sell a trailer mounted rig with a water tank. Hot water is not necessary but it wouldn't hurt. Get at least a 3000 psi 4 gpm 11 hp HONDA or better. You can get an excellent pressure washer at Lowes or Home Depot. General and AR pumps are good but CAT pumps are top of the line. The cleaners are the key for cleaning vehicles and you can get them a northern or Home Depot sells ZEP products that are good. The home Depot products are not as strong as commercial grade but they are cheap and effective.

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