Washing Trucks

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Doogiegh, Mar 9, 2003.

  1. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Well, it got to be nice weather here in NJ on Saturday, actually up into the mid/low 50's and sunny so I washed the truck for the first time in a couple of weeks, although with the amount of salt and grit on it, it seemed like months.

    I would of taken it to a regular car wash, but I feel that car washes can do more damage then good.. Cause they use the same bristols and brushes on every car... so all the salt particles from the cars that go before you go beating into your car and it can scratch the clear coat up real bad..

    So I washed the truck three times, over and over just to get it to looking real good again.

    Just thought I'd mention that I opened up all the doors and washed the kick-plates and the door jams real well as well cause salt and crud can sit in there and although "no-one sees it", it's one of the causes of door panel rust years down the road.. So make sure you get all the areas of the truck when you wash them down.. Sure ya gotta be careful with the hose that you don't wet down the inside of the truck by accident, but it's well worth it.

    Another thing I do is I drive the truck up on ramps so the truck has a pitch to it.. That allows me to clean out the bedliner in the back real well and all the water and junk run down to the ground.. Washing the bed out on level ground just causes big puddles inside the truck bed and the water doesn't rinse out until you start driving.

    Last thing I did was I put the floor mats of the truck in the WASHING MACHINE.. First time, I used regular laundry detergent, and did the mats all by themselves.. I then used the machine and did the mats 2 more times, but without any detergent, just washing them over and over (each time with extra-rinse turned on).. So I guess that means they went thru 9 different tub fillings and emptyings.. But it allows ALL of the grit and junk in the mats to float out AND go down the drain.. AND to do it enough times so that the wife doesn't wonder where all this dirt in the bottom of the machine came from!?!? Three times in a row cleans everything out, and I bet if I still had the receipt, I could return the mats to Pep Boys today and no-one would question it. (and they're a year old. :) )

    Anyone else do any tips or trucks for doing a truck? Anyone POWER-Wash their truck? Are power washers too strong and damage the paint?

    I gotta get a good coat of wax on next.. The one from October is gone..

  2. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    i washed my truck on saturday as well. im so sick of it being so dirty from winter. i guess im lucky though, cause my father has a touch free car wash at his gas station. wheel in for a little diesel and a touchfree wash..... does it get any better than that?:D no car wash can do as good of a job as doing it by hand, but it works great for taking some layers off, and wont scratch anything cause its touchless. i find during the winter, ill wash my truck by hand, and then go over the whole thing with turtle wax express shine. it doesnt put an awesome coat of wax down, but shines the paint right back up, and makes if feel all nice and smooth.
  3. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Yeah well none of our trucks fit into a car wash... wish it was that easy. We pressure wash all the under bodies and chassis of our trucks really good with degreaser. Then we soap up the cabs, and wash them well. As far as ramps, we just dump the beds a little. Having a can of rubberized undercarriage paint is always good to touch up on the chassis. All that road salt can really do some damage. like you said always check the door jams and get in good under the mats. There is a plastic strip that runs along the floor. You might pop off the 3-4 screws and check under there every once and a while. Don't ask me how, but it gets jammed with sand. :cool:
  4. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    In between actual waxes, try a product from Eagle called "Wet". It comes in a black spray bottle (I think all their packaging is black).
    This stuff is great! Spray it on, wipe it off, in sections and it shines like you just polished the vehicle!
    We use to use this when riding sportbikes. We realized how great it was when we did our clear wind screens on the front of the bikes, and it would actually make the tiny surface scratches disappear!

    You can get it at most auto stores. Try it, I guarantee you'll like it.

    BTW, don't confuse it with their tire shine which I think is also called "Wet"!!.
  5. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    I guess i'm lucky to have a car wash that has two huge bays for larger trucks:) Not sure on the actually dimensions, but I can raise the dump all the way up and let the water/dirt run out as I spray it. It costs a quarter more than the normal sized bays, but it's much roomier.

    During winter I take it to the power washer, in the summer I do a little more scrubbing.

    Some of the products I use:
    --Meguiar's tire protection gel (tire shine that lasts weeks and prevents brown/cracked tires).
    --Westley's blech-wite (to clean off white lettering on tires).
    --Some type of upulstry cleaner with a brush on the end (for seats, carpet, or carpeted mats).
    --Meguiar's quik detailer mist & wipe (apply between waxes for extra shine--works well)
    --Armor-all on dash etc.
    --A coat a wax every once in a while

    One other thing I do--the pressure washer guns are usually angled, so I hold them upside down and spray the undercarriage of the vehicle to get all of the salt off.


    PS What do you think of my new exhaust?

  6. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

  7. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    OryanO, sweet looking exhaust. What did you go with? I plan to get a 3" Flowmaster soon. The guy told me the sound would be better if I stay with original exit, single pipe out the side just behind the rear wheel.
    I do prefer the look of dual pipes out the back like yours though!
    Hmmm, now you got me thinking.
  8. GLS

    GLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    Jonathan - I had the local muffler shop put it on. It's a dual cat-back. Has a cherry bomb right after the cat and then splits with 2.5" pipes out the rear with 3.5" stainless tips. One thing to consider when you have pipes put out the back--when hooking up the trailer your going to get exhaust fumes. Sorry I got a little off topic.

  9. Jusmowin

    Jusmowin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 727

    Odin, nice looking pipes but I hope they are stainless. I have the same setup on my 94 3/4 ton Chevy and with in 2 years the tips are almost completly rusted out.:angry: I learned my lesson, Stainless is the way to go it might be a little more but its worth it!
  10. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    What's everyone use for a Wax?

    I usually use anything from Meguiars or Mothers, I find them to be almost identical in product formulation that I can't really tell a difference. I've used the 3 step product, where theres a cleaner, followed by a polisher, followed by the pure carnuba wax.. Sure makes it feel real nice when you do all three steps.. Only problem is that even with an electrical random orbit bufferer, it takes a bit of time to do the entire truck..

    As far as the mats go, Hmm.. They may be rubber backed, they may be vinyl.. Not sure.. Either way they are kinda heavy, but the washing machine seemed to do them just fine since it's only 4 mats in the entire machine all alone. Nothing else in there with them...

    I don't doubt that the backing, if cracked can come apart easier than a Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookie.. but my mats were/are 1 year old, not cracked and now that they are washed, show very little wear.. I've done this before as well for my wifes passenger car mats, they come out great.. Just take the mat out off the car, wack it a few times to get all the visible granular dirt off, and then into the machine they go.. Come out nicer then you can imagine and better than you can do by hand..

    As I mentioned, I picked up a power washer as a Xmas present, so I'm looking forward to doing the undercarriage as well, super good. Just that with the weather in NJ, until we get to April, there is no point in doing it now as the snow is still melting, roads are still wet, and the salt will just re-appear after 10 miles of driving.. But to be thouroughly done in April for sure..

    I also use the Black Magic tire gel and the yellow curved sponge applicator from Pep Boys to easily cover the whole tire.. When that's done, the truck looks great.. Same with the Westleys Tire whitener bleach.. Boy does that stuff stink. <G>

    I heard that Armor All for the dash is NOT good since it contains Sillicone and STP Son-of-a-gun spray is much better.. Silicone under sun can cause your entire dashboard to crack under heat it was I was told.. And it wears off so quickly.. I find the STP to be better..

    I also use the Eagle-one "Wet" and that stuff is good.. I just seldom have the time to apply it. <G>

    Does anyone actually power-wash their truck paint itself or always hand washing?? I could see power washing the bedliner, especially after hauling some clippings in there.. But for the actual paint itself? That makes me nervous and I've never done it before..


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