16/04/2024

Auto Vibes

Revving Up Your Automotive Experience

Mobile Truck Cleaning Or Fixed Site Truck Wash – Both?

3 min read
Mobile Truck Cleaning Or Fixed Site Truck Wash – Both?

Prior to retirement, I ran a franchising company and one of our major markets was cleaning trucks, most often fleets of trucks – trust me, there are lots of them, and they keep getting dirty, so there is definitely job security in that regard. There is heavy industry equipment cleaning, there are fleets, and there are over the road independent truckers as well. So, how do you serve them all, or do you want to? Is it better to go after a niche and concentrate there, or try to be the wash-all be-all to this entire sector?

All good questions so let’s talk. About 8-months ago I was contacted by a gentleman looking at cleaning oil field equipment, presumably in TX, CO, WY, and ND. He was trying to decide if he should wash on-site or set up a truck wash at a fixed location. Now then, there is good money in cleaning oilfield equipment. Onsite is good too, all sorts of things to wash, you’d never run out of work, but somewhat hard to manage with many trucks in remote places. I hear things booming in places right now, ND for instance, but there is no place to stay, and it’s colder than a witch’s breast, not sure I’d go for that, and where the hell do you get labor anyway, they are importing people from all over the world to work in those conditions right now – it’s a ball buster.

What about setting up on-site at a truck terminal? Well, I can recall in Memphis, we had an offer to clean trucks at one trucking company terminal for Swift, $45,000 a month, park one truck there with a reclaim system and then discharge that affluent to their onsite reclaim tanks. Our franchisee at the time didn’t want the account. If you could swing a deal with Wal-Mart, their distribution hubs are huge, you could devote full-time to a unit at every location they had. The problem with many of these terminals is their sizes are small. But outside of Los Angeles if you look at some of the LTL operations or grocery stores hauling their own products, 3000 units, you could make that work. The challenges is to get to each unit per/period of wash frequency, it’s a logistical issue in the midst of basically; controlled chaos.

Your wash teams have to really want to hustle, or it will never happen. Hire some college age kids who are hungry, athletic, and gungho, pay them a commission for each unit washed and let them figure out how to get to it all. They’ll be washing between loading, follow them in the gate matching numbers to their checklists.

Indeed, there are many ways to look at this business. It’s hard to wash everything, there’s just so much dirt in the world, and it’s all over everything, everywhere you see? Please consider all this and think on it as you prepare your business plan and truck washing strategy.

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