What is the most important element of washing vehicles in your fleet: image, extended life of equipment or environmental impact?
All can be achieved with great returns, yet consistent washing is still generally ignored by most companies, giving it little investment or thought.
In light of today’s level of concern about the environmental impacts of business, the ground transportation industry has given serious thought to its own impact on the environment and has found ways to be efficient in the areas of tires, engines, fuel consumption, aero-dynamics, among others. With that in mind, isn’t it time to do an analysis of how you wash your vehicles?
There is now technology available to meet the needs of your washing requirements, from the financial to the environmental. Generally, the most popular mechanical options to wash vehicles are automated drive through, rollover and walkaround units. These systems make it possible for a limousine to be washed and rinsed in two to five minutes. Also available are water reclamation and recycling systems to offset environmental impacts and help you to save on water costs.
However, there are many operators still using the manual pressure washer and hand brush scrub system, which can take up to 30 minutes or more to wash and rinse. Reliable labor, time costs and wash consistencies are the major frustrations associated with a manual system.
Washing inside your building usually requires you to be tapped into your municipal water sewage system, thus the grey water is being sent to the local treatment facility. This does help the environment but there still may be big costs to pay:
- The cost incurred by the municipality to clean this water
- The cost to your company or building to pay for water (possibly on a meter). Check your water bill and understand it.
- The cost of sewage discharge: Some areas meter wash in and out, often charging twice the amount for water discharge.
Today’s technology allows for water treatment systems to be right at your wash bay. There are many systems available that capture your water, clean it and re-use it for washing. This allows a zero discharge, thus saving money and the environment.
The use of water can have major hidden costs, not only for your company, but for the environment. Do the analysis and find major savings, especially when you look at your cost per gallon of water.
For most of us, the municipality supplies the water through pipes to our facility. Examine the water bill and determine a cost per gallon of water. This is not easy, but necessary to determine your cost per vehicle washed. After determining the cost of water, capture the costs of labor, chemicals and supplies.
Overall, limousine washing has more of an impact than most operators take time to consider. There is a major effect on company image, driver satisfaction, the environment and the bottom line of every company, city and municipality. //LD
Jack Jackson is the President of Awash Systems Corp. that provides large vehicle washing systems. Jack has 30 years of experience in sales and marketing, with a passion for providing solutions to clients. Entrepreneurial-relationship builder focused on delivering exceptional customer service with “best of class” products. “We at Awash, believe that we can help everyone in the industry understand the most efficient way to wash their vehicles.”