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• SUMMER 2017 •

CONTENTS Tribute to Joe Campbell ...... 4


Carwash Profile ....................... 8 WashIdeas: Interview with ..... .....................................16 Around the Wash: Tokens ......................................28 Industry Dirt...........................34 Extra Extra ...............................38 Innovations..............................46 Association News & Calendar ..............................50 Tricks of the Trade ...............53 WCA Panel Part II ................60 Cover Story Credit Cards ...........................67 Darwin at the Carwash.......83

A short & sweet


To the readers and supporters of Self Serve Car

moment to remind you that SSCWN has always

Wash News:

been unique in our industry in that it strives to be

Thank you.

*your* soapbox -- not an advertiser’s or its editor’s.

After nearly 12 years of writing for the car wash

Helping to tell your stories was my privilege and

industry -- including my four-year encore here at

I hope my respect for the role was evident in the

SSCWN -- it’s time to let the curtain fall. This Au-

pages of every issue.

gust, I face a new challenge: Teaching fourth grad-

In that regard, please do not hesitate to reach

ers in Eastern North Carolina. (No doubt they

out to Deb to get your voice in print. SSCWN

will be just as wily and stubborn and entertaining

continues, as always, to rely heavily on your inter-

as the many self serve operators I have had the

est, your input and your involvement.

great privilege of getting to know over the years

Last but not least, I would be shamefully remiss

-- although they will have rather large shoes to fill

if I didn’t offer a very special thank you to our

with their nine-year-old feet.)

Editor Emeritus, JJ Jakubowski. Without your

I leave you in the capable hands of Debra

support I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of ed-

Gorgos, who you may recall from her time at

iting the pages of SSCWN for the past 15 issues

the head of Professional Carwashing & Detail-

-- and without your guidance, the entire publica-

ing. (A familiar story, eh?)

tion would have been lost, I’m sure. Thank you for

As I prepare to bow out, I would like to take a

your time, your generosity, and your wit.

In sincere gratitude and with best wishes for all of the washing days ahead,

VOL. 44, NO. 3, SUMMER 2017


Publisher Jackson Vahaly Editor Kate Carr 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

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• SUMMER 2017 •



Joe Campbell, SSCWN’s Founding Father By Editor Emeritus, J.J. Jakubowski

It is with a most heavy heart that I share this news. Joseph Jackson Campbell has died.

In 1971, Joe founded the SSCWN. And thereby he became one of the founding fathers of the self serve carwash revolution. In 1983, Joe asked me to take the SSCWN torch and carry it as Publisher/Editor. I did so for almost 3 decades. Over that time, I truly savored opportunities to tell and tell again Joe’s special story in print. This time, however, will most likely be the last time. And as such, it is a most bitter sweet “opportunity”. Joe’s record of military service was remarkable … even for one of “The Greatest Generation”. Fresh out of high school and just 18 years old, he enlisted in the Army Air Force. Being a bright, tech savvy kid, he was soon flying bombing missions in WWII as a navigator and bombardier. And then in the early 1950’s, he was called back into service as a bomber pilot in the Korean War. And then, about a dozen years after Korea, Joe received the call yet again to fly supply missions in Viet Nam. And then, after that “official” stint in Nam, he flew recon missions as a “private contractor” for the CIA over Laos and Cambodia. Joe retired from the Air Force as a Major. He then went looking for a nice Mom ‘n Pop type

business that would suit him and his wife Julia. They thought they had found it in their purchase of an existing coin-op laundry. Wrong! They found themselves victims of an operation that had been terribly misrepresented. Joe and Julia were forced to “bail” as that first business went down in flames. Much to their dismay, the Campbells were hit by another sort of “flak” with their second business venture — a 6 bay self serve carwash in Tustin, California. It was an improvement of a sort. You could say they went from the fire to the frying pan. They soon discovered the depth and breadth of what some would call carwash distributor “puffery”. While other pioneering SS carwash investor/

owner/operators would bellow “fraud!” Yes, the assurances from many (most?) of those slick “blue suede shoe” characters selling SS carwash packages were “overblown”. Coin-op carwashes do NOT “just take care of themselves” . And you sure do NOT “just come in a couple times a week to collect the money”. But beyond that … The equipment back in the not so good ol’ days was notoriously prone to breakdowns and malfunction. To survive, newbie owner/operators were forced to find workarounds for essential supply and service that were virtually nowhere to be found … after the sale. I do not want to get sanctimonious and pretentious here as I eulogize a guy as down to earth as Joe Campbell. And yet what comes to my mind are the wise words of the revered holy man Mahatma Ghandi. People who see a need for change were urged by Ghandi to “be the change you want to see”. Joe Campbell was the personification of that sage advice. He and Julia set out on a mission of change … as was proclaimed in their Mission Statement of that 4 page, first issue of the SSCWN. Their little ol’ Mom ‘n Pop newsletter (cut ‘n pasted on their kitchen table) was dedicated first and foremost to creating a more unified, communicating fraternity of SS {continued }

Here’s an interesting sidebar to this story. Joe was a teen ager in the 1930’s-40’s. And back then Howard Hughes was THE ultimate hero of every American boy who wanted to be an aviator. Did Joe perhaps “cultivate” his resemblance to Hughes? Hmmm, he did grow an identical “stache”. But capped it off by naming his bomber “The Outlaw” — after the sexy (for ‘41) Western movie that Hughes produced! Yup, “boys will be boys.”


• SUMMER 2017 •

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One of Joe’s iconic operator to operator interviews (circa ‘78) … with his ever present mic and tape recorder.

THE 1970 photo that introduced Joe and Julia to the SS world via every early issue of the SSCWN.

Joe and Julia presented with the ICA’s 1985 Award of Merit in Washington DC.

owner/operators. And as a very close and related second — fostering the evolution of the technology and service from manufacturers and their distributors. The Campbells traversed the country in their van. First up and down their native California. Soon they were driving the highways and byways criss crossing America to attend national and regional carwash trade shows and conventions. There and all along the way, they perused cities and small towns to personally search for SS washes and connect with operators — who enthusiastically got on the SSCWN mailing list. Word of mouth spread news of this upstart publication that was produced by operators for operators. They shared (“networked” if you will) tips and info from all over the USA as to what worked and what did not. Manufacturers and distributors found themselves being held publicly and boldly accountable for their products and service. Lo and behold, both began to “evolve” in exciting, meaningful ways. Innumerable thousands of family business and personal lives were made better through Joe’s devotion to his fellow operators’ needs. His caring about carwashers was perfectly consistent with his self sacrificing, patriotic love of country and his loving, generous care for family and friends — all without measure. Joe was a second father to me. My birth father gave me the gift of Life itself. And decades later, Joe gave me a wonderfully fulfilling professional life and


• SUMMER 2017 •

career by allowing me to become the SSCWN’s publisher/editor … and occasional benign rabble rouser. Joe did not sell the SSCWN to me. It was given. He only asked for my commitment to “adopt and nurture his baby” — taking it, as best I could, to the next level, while remaining true to its founding principles. I took that promise to heart. The extraordinary friendships and adventures I discovered along the way in this industry are profoundly precious to me. A “thank you” is not enough. But for a man like Joe, he’d not ask for “thanks” … let alone anything more. I’d simply ask and hope that he be remembered. Several years ago, well into his 80’s, Joe decided to leave the “Left Coast” and move to “fly over country” and back to his roots — to Bossier Parish in Louisiana, near Barksdale Air Force base where

Joe first received his training in WWII. Barksdale, in the far Northwest corner of “Loozianne”, is also close to the hometown of his birth in the state Texas. Joe succumbed to leukemia in June at the age of 92 in Louisiana. But he had a memorial service and burial back in California, where he had left his beloved wife Julia who had passed in 2001. Allow me one more request of those who have been kind enough to invest your time in reading this celebration of a life so well lived. I would suggest that you to go to this web page (or do a Search at the with keywords “Hero Receives Medal”): h t t p s : / / w w w. k t b s. c o m / c o m m u n i t y / h e ro-receives-medal-years-late/article_1e0303ae-3f41-11e7-af82-4bcfb53b85ef.html There you will experience a truly remarkable news story produced by the TV station KTBS. I was surprised that something so poignant and powerful was not picked up by the national/networks. Regardless, you will see “our” Joe being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Air Force officers from Barksdale. The ceremony took place just several weeks before Joe died — finally, 60 some years after he earned it in Korea! Be prepared to get a lump in your throat and maybe even a tear in your eye. 10/4, Major Campbell, over ‘n out. See you on the flip side, Joe.



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A picture is worth 1,000 words Re-visiting Marcus Kittrell’s SS/IBA conversion to express in Palisades, AL with a photographic tour of the construction process.

Started construction in Sept. 2013

Demo all the walls and concrete

By: Kate Carr

Ask & ye shall receive. Ever since our “debut” Back to the Future issue in January 2014, we’ve had readers approaching us at industry trade shows and by email interested in learning more about “those conversion sites we keep talking about.” When we first published the article about Robert Greene’s success converting two touchless IBAs into a conveyorized express tunnel (sometimes referred to as an “In-bay Express”) in Kingsland, GA, we knew he wasn’t the first -- nor would he be the last -self serve operator to be tempted by higher throughputs. The topic frequently comes up during panel discussions and at industry networking events, and we’ve reported on a number of different types of conversion projects since then. Perhaps one of the most talked about presentations was Marcus Kittrell’s during {continued }


• SUMMER 2017 •

Purchased in August 2013. Gross sales $140,000.

3 Bay Self Serve & 3 Bay Automatic

• SUMMER 2017 •


CARWASH PROFILE the Southeast Car Wash Association’s annual show and expo in 2015. At a crowded morning program, Kittrell shared a PowerPoint of his experience converting his 3/3 self serve/IBA into a 90-foot express tunnel. Unlike Greene, Kittrell didn’t keep any self serve features at this location -- a decision he hasn’t once regretted. “We could have converted one of the inbays to an express, but we really wanted to stick with our model,” Kittrell explained. Originally a self serve carwash operator, Kittrell has made a name for himself as an express operator in the Birmingham area with five locations. In addition to an interview with Kittrell about this conversion, SSCWN has also reported about his successful experience with the gated self serve model in Pelham, AL, in our April 2014 issue. (This location remains his only self serve site.) After covering the SS/IBA to tunnel conversion in our Winter 2015 issue, we had a number of readers complain there weren’t enough photographs of the construction process with the original interview and

Knee wall for glass

{continued } Post for vacuum canopy

Installed pre fab conveyor trench 82 foot conveyor

Equipment room



• SUMMER 2017 •

Todd Klismet Independent Carwash Owner Waupaca, WI

I have a spotless reputation. Running a car wash isn’t easy. I’ve got picky customers, competitors trying to undercut me–and don’t get me started on the weather. So yeah, sometimes I can get a little stressed. It comes with the territory. But one thing I know for sure: my customers keep coming back to my PDQ-equipped car wash because it’s the best in town. All they care about is getting the cleanest car possible, and my wash delivers, week after week. And that puts a smile on their faces and mine.


Copyright 2017 PDQ Manufacturing, Inc., part of OPW, | 800.227.3373 • SUMMER 2017 •



• SUMMER 2017 •

• SUMMER 2017 •


Finished building

CARWASH PROFILE several others have requested a copy of Kittrell’s PowerPoint presentation. Kittrell was gracious enough to share the PowerPoint with us and our readers, and the most recent request made me realize there was sufficient interest to publish it in full. So, without further ado, here is Kittrell’s original PowerPoint presentation. As you can see in the photos (and by reviewing our story about the conversion from our Winter 2015 issue), Kittrell was able to gut the 3/3 entirely, and preserve the concrete and building, saving him about $200,000 in construction costs and lots of time -especially given harsh weather conditions during the conversion process. His total investment was around $1.6 million, including $650,000 for the site, $600,000 for renovations, and another $400,000 in equipment costs. “This was a big facility,” Kittrell noted. “They’re normally not built this way. This was a unique situation. We were able to gut the walls and lay the conveyor in. We pulled up the self serve vacs and laid a canopy in there.” Kittrell’s site has more than quadrupled the monthly revenues for the site, which was underperforming when he purchased it as a 10-year-old 3/3 in 2013. After six months of construction, it was re-opened just before New Years in 2014, and debuted with a $6, $10, $15, $18 menu at that time. (Those prices have since been updated to a $7 base wash and up to a $20 manager’s special.) “We like to give carwashes away,” Kittrell said in reference to how he has promoted the new express site. “We run a promotion -- say, on a Thursday, and our manager’s special will be free for the day. Rather than a discount, we like to give it away and drive the numbers in that way. It’s helped tremendously. We’ll do it for a particular city. ‘For the next few days, we’re gonna wash every car for free.’ That’s been a tremendous promotion for us.”


• SUMMER 2017 •

Vacuum canopy

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Road tunnel under vacuum canopy

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• SUMMER 2017 •


Morris Hoole on WashIdeas:

3-2-1 Blast Off Morris Hoole talks with Perry Powell about how his experiences testing NASA innovations influenced his success in the carwash industry. PERRY POWELL: Welcome to this edition of the WashIdeas Podcast (, and boy, have I got a guest for you today. I have none other than the one and only Morris Hoole. Morris, welcome to the show. MORRIS HOOLE: Thank you. PP: Tell me how you got started -- and when you got started -- in car washing. MH: Long, long time ago when you was a twinkle in your daddy’s eye -- probably. Anyway, I was working at the Martin Marietta Aerospace back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. In the early 70s I had a request to move to New Orleans, Louisiana, to help start the plant down there and I didn’t want to


• SUMMER 2017 •

move to New Orleans, LA, so I took a layoff. When I got laid off, I went to work with a company here in Denver that my brother was working for called Miller Distributing. They built carwash equipment and installed it and everything. So I was down there helping them while I was waiting to get called back to Martin and an opportunity came up to buy a carwash -- a little ol’ two-bay -- so I bought it. Luckily, I had enough money to swing that. Editor’s Note: About 10 minutes of this interview trasncript was cut in order to fit in the allotted editorial space. The conversation sections omitted were “off-topic” pertaining to the Huntsville Space Center and current politics and can be heard in full at

From a Two-Bay to an Enterprise

PP: Do you know what year that was? MH: That was in 1975 when I bought that and it was 1972 -- did I mention? -- when I got laid off. Anyway, we got a decent income from carwashing, so we found a piece of property and made a down payment on it to build another one. Hopefully, we’d find somebody with some money who’d build it and lease it back to me. It so happened that the guy I was working for -- Gene Miller -- had {continued }

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WashIdeas a brother-in-law who had lots of money and so he financed it, built it, leased it back to me and gave me the option to buy. So, that’s how I got started in the carwash business. By 1985, we had about seven of them, I think. About six or seven of them, anyhow, all self serves of course. One morning I was working at one of them -- the little original two-bay that was on the way to Miller Distributing -- I was still working at Miller then -- and I happened to hear this clang, clang, clang going on. Somebody was beating on something. So I went out to look and there was a guy just leaving the bay he was in and the wand was bent over double. So I figured he had run out of time. I went over and tried it and everything worked fine. So he ran out of time, got mad because he didn’t have enough time to finish rinsing or whatever, and he didn’t want to spend another dollar or whatever it was at that time. I don’t even remember. I decided that we needed a display to show them how much time they had left -- that way he could have put in another quarter or two. And maybe that’s why people were tearing stuff up. Anyway, that’s what started the digital display timers for me. I went and talked to people, told them what I wanted. They said they could build it, all they needed was money. So that’s what happened. That’s how I got started.


• SUMMER 2017 •

PP: So that’s how Dixmor came into business? MH: That’s how Dixmor Enterprises came to be. Actually, the first carwash that I bought -- the little two-bay -- had a three-by-three sign hanging up on the wall -- well, not on the wall, but on a post out by the street -- and it said: CAR WASH. But it didn’t say anything above that and there was about a foot of space above there, so you know, here’s this big entrepreneur who just finally got something going for the first time in his life, and we had to put a name on it. So, my wife’s name was Dixie and mine was Morris and that’s what I came up with. I put “DIXMOR” up there. That was in ‘75 and since then, everything’s been Dixmor.

Testing NASA equipment, meeting astronauts

PP: Now, when you were at Martin Marietta who were right in the zone of time for this to happen -did you do any work related to NASA and the work that they were doing? MH: Oh, quite a little bit, yeah. At that time, it was

“ Well, about all of them.

Did you ever meet any of the original astronauts?

supposedly secret and all that good stuff. But I traveled around to a lot of the different NASA bases around the country and helped to do a little of this, a little of that. Testing here and there. I was basically a test technician -- I was not an engineer -- so don’t think I was a smart guy. I just had a little bit of common sense from the school of hard knocks. So, if you do a good job for people, usually they’ll do good for you. They offered me a lot of opportunities to travel around, better jobs, and all that, so I took advantage of it.

miles away. He’d been to our house more than once, although I never played with him because he was a couple three years older. But we were acquaintances, we knew each other and all that.

PP: Did you ever meet any of the original astronauts?

PP: You know, I remember those days so well. You’re right. I was 10 years old when they landed on the moon, so I remember the run-up to that. I remember when this accident happened. My grandfather was a pastor and I remember us praying for the families -- I don’t know why, but, it seems to me that it happened on a Wednesday and we had church that night.

MH: Well, about all of them. PP: How about that! MH: Yeah, well, I met all of the originals -- the original nine. Actually, if you get a little further into it, a guy by the name of Gus Grissom, who was one of the first ones, and my brother used to run around together all of the time. He was from Mitchell, Indiana, and we lived in Bedford which was about nine

PP: Wasn’t he one of the three who were killed in the launchpad accident? MH: Yes, in the fire. They had 100 percent pure oxygen in the capsules and there was some kind of spark that set it off and all three of them burned up and he was one of the three.

MH: It’s very possible. I don’t remember. PP: Yeah, it’s very stuck in my head. And you know

what’s really amazing to me -- I still remember, as a kid, they’re going up with these different missions and it’s like -- somewhere around the time I was 8 or 9 -- things got dramatically different because they were going way out in space and they were orbiting things and getting ready for 11. It was really interesting for me as a kid to watch all this stuff. MH: Well, you can imagine, I felt the same way. I was not a little kid at that time, but I got into it, and I really got involved with it -- working with Martin, you know. As far as I’m concerned, getting to meet the astronauts is one of the biggest things to ever happen to me in my life. PP: Oh, I can imagine. Did you ever meet Yeager? MH: Who? PP: Chuck Yeager. MH: Oh yeah, yeah. He was not in the original NASA program. PP: He kind of turned it down, I think. He was an X-15 pilot. {continued }

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WashIdeas MH: A little secret behind the X-15 -- we built the mock-up for that called the X-1B and Chuck wasn’t the one that came to the facility out there where we built it. But the guys that did -- they had two different ones who were going to fly that one that we built by hand -- and I’ll tell you what, those are the craziest guys I’ve ever met in my life. I mean, you’d have to be to do what they do. And it’s just like going to work at the shop or at the office, whatever. Every day and every time they’d jump in one of those things they may or may not come back and they know it. That’s the way all the astronauts were.

Technology grows smaller

PP: What really amazes me is several years ago, when my kids were little, I took them to the Houston center. MH: About fell over, didn’t you? PP: I’m sorry -- I said Houston and I meant Huntsville.

are you aware that your little cell phone, ... has more computing technology than what they used to send the first people to the moon.

MH: Yeah -- and are you aware that your little cell phone, could be an iphone or an android or whatever -- but it has more computing technology than what they used to send the first people to the moon. PP: You know, a couple of stories about that: I had an uncle who was 10 years older than me, and I remember coming home from the 1st grade -- and you might not remember, but some will -the Weekly Reader had Buddy Bear talking about computers. And of course, it was kind of a cartoon, one-line thing -- but the teacher had the opportunity to talk to us about computers and I came home and I said to my uncle -- we lived in an old country house -- and I said, “I want a computer.” And he said, “You’re nuts. Your computer would fill up this whole room.” And I looked around in my early

PP: Wow, you were rolling in it! MH: You talk about big money. PP: Government inefficiency at its finest. Did it come with a hammer? MH: Well, we had two hammers: A little one and then a big one. If the little one wouldn’t work, then we’d use the big one. Hit it a little harder. That’s where I learned how to work on carwash stuff, you know. If it doesn’t work, you just hit it a little harder.

How a NASA tester travels…

PP: Now if I remember, you don’t fly anywhere. MH: Oh, I do. Hey -- I just flew to Idaho three weeks ago.

MH: Same difference. PP: Yeah, same difference. Of course, they still have a room that’s mocked up like it was at that time. Another incident -- we lived for a period of time in Florence, South Carolina, and there was a little known museum at the airport that was full of space junk. I don’t know where the guy got it from but the thing that really amazed me is what that equipment looked like. It looked so pegged together. It was always so amazing to me that we could send men that far into space and retrieve them -I mean, it’s one thing to get them off the ground, it’s another to retrieve them. And they did it with what they had in the 60s. It’s just astounding when you stand in front of the equipment. Of course, we know what computers look like today and how sophisticated technology is and, it’s just absolutely astounding that we managed -- as a nation -- to put together that kind of event in the time in which technology existed at the moment.

ya know? We tested that thing -- it was there for 7 months, from March until October. I did a lot of those little trips like that; on that particular one, I took the family with me. I made more money than I ever knew was possible for me to make because I was on a per diem basis of $27 a day.

PP: Oh, alright. I just knew you were always driving into the shows. We spent several shows next to each other, so we got to know each other well, and you were always doing this shuttle thing with your cars.

30s -- I’m 56 now -- but I looked around then and I owned a little business where I had 17 computers in a little room not much more the size of that space. And now, I’ve got this thing in my hand and it outperforms all 17 of those computers. It’s absolutely amazing where technology has taken us. MH: And you know, a lot of that technology -- or at least the biggest part of it, as far as I’m concerned -- is because of the space program. That’s why they did it. PP: So now I’ve got a real question for you: How is space travel like car washing? MH: Now, am I supposed to have an answer for that? PP: You’re one of the few people I know who’s done both. MH: (Laughter.) Well, now, I didn’t travel in space. I traveled *because* of space. One time we had a project -- I left here in March, took the kids out of school, and drove to Newport News, Virginia, to the NASA Langley Space Center out there and we set up a 1/10th scale model of the Titan 3 Rocket that was going to boost a bunch of stuff up there,

MH: Well, you know, many, many years ago, when I first started this business in ‘85 -- or, well I guess ‘86 is when I first started going to shows -- but it would seem like every show, if you walk around the floor when you get a chance, you’ll see one or two booths that are empty. There’d be a table and a guy standing behind it -- but his stuff didn’t get there. So when I decided to start doing shows, I figured that what I was doing was small enough that I could carry it in my own vehicle. And if my equipment didn’t get to the show, who cares -- because I didn’t either. PP: And the bulk of your equipment has really revolved around that timer/electronic communication -- am I right about that? MH: Yup, that’s all it is. Just timers and weep mizers and little sort of signs you might see -- electronic, digital display signs. Basically, that’s all it is. I’ve got about six or seven different timers we use in various parts of the car wash. And it’s all small -- right now I could put the whole thing -- I shouldn’t say it this way, but for the smaller shows -- everything fits into a rollaway duffel bag. It’s 92 pounds. I lift it up and put it in the back of my car, put the seat belt on it. For the big show, like the ICA Show, I always get two booths instead of one. I take a couple more things along with that, so it looks a little better. A better presentation. I used to take so much to the shows the back of my SUV would be totally filled, and then I got smart and stopped carrying so much with me because I don’t need all that stuff.

• SUMMER 2017 •



Leading through Chaos and shaking hands

what we’re gonna do: We’re gonna lick this thing. And you start telling people what to do and you start instructing people. The great credit to that crew is that they got that crew home. Anyway, I don’t know. Something just popped into my head there. MH: Was that Eugene Cernan?

PP: I’m going to digress for a minute -- who’s the guy in Apollo 13 who’s in charge of the whole deal? He always wore the sweater vests.

PP: I don’t remember. I’ve actually started it on AudioBook, but I haven’t finished it. So, back to car washing. (Laughter.)

MH: I told you I’m old.

MH: Which is most interesting.

PP: He’s written a book and I’m listening to it. One of the things that sticks out in my mind, and in the movie everybody’s going into chaos mode and they’re talking about all the systems and failures and he kind of gets everybody’s attention and he says, “Hey, guys. Listen. I believe when this is over it will prove to be our finest hour.” And I learned something then about management.

PP: Well, you know, anyone our age who grew up watching this on TV -- to meet a real life legend! That’s a big deal, Morris.

MH: Oh. PP: And I’ve taught a few guys this as I’ve been working with them as a consultant over the years, and that is: When you are in the middle of chaos and you realize you are in the middle of chaos, stop everything. In the movie there are buzzers going off and bells going off. But you call your team together in the middle of the crisis, and say, “Hey, guys. Here’s

MH: Well, I know. It is to me, too. It’s just it’s been so long now. It’s been 40 years since I was doing that stuff and every time I think back on it -- they always say that usually everybody is within one or two handshakes of someone famous. Well, I’m many, many times -- as far as presidents and everything else -- I’m right there because they’ve all shaken the presidents’ hands and I’ve shaken hands with all of them. PP: You’re Forrest Gump. MH: Yeah! That sounds good to me. PP: Did you meet the chimps?

MH: The who? PP: The chimps! Before there were astronauts there were chimps! MH: No, no, I did not meet the chimps. That was before my time. PP: (Laughter.) MH: I watched them on TV, though. Dixmor flirts with credit cards PP: Pretty amazing stuff. Now, car washing. What did you have to do with Cryptopay? MH: What did I have to do with Cryptopay? PP: I think it’s a little known secret, but you may be one of the geniuses behind that, right? MH: Oh, I wouldn’t say that. To make a long story short: When I decided to go into building timers, way back when -- and I don’t build them -- but I found an engineering firm. At that time -- I don’t know if I should say this or not -- but at that time, they were doing the electronic circuitry for Hamilton Bill Changers in Toledo, OH. So I knew them from working through Hamilton. When I decided I wanted to build a timer, I picked up the phone and called and told ol’ Herb and said, “This is what I’d like to do. Can you guys do it?” And he said, “Oh yeah, Marty can do it. He {continued }


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WashIdeas can do anything.” Marty was a young guy that just got out of school -- an engineer that he had hired. Long story short, I jumped on a plane a week later and flew back there -- I was still working for another company, and I had to do all this on my own -- took some vacation time, went back, told them what I wanted to do. They designed it and started building them for me and ever since then they’ve built all the circuit boards for me for everything I have. Same company. They’re no longer in Toledo; now they’re in Colorado Springs. Anyway, way back then, Marty and I began discussing credit cards and how to use them in the car wash and everything. Well, the best thing we could come up with back then -- since they were familiar to Hamilton -- is will take any ol’ credit card you want to out of your wallet; Phillips 66 or whatever -- you know, there weren’t a whole lot of them in those days -- but, put that into this little adapter that we’d build on the front of a Hamilton bill changer. And then you’d punch a couple of buttons and insert the amount of money you’d want to go onto that credit card and it will apply tit to that card and you can use that card in this car wash. But, anyway. That was the original design we were going to do for credit cards. Well, after just a little bit of looking, we found out that number one: It’s illegal as heck. Number two: There’s no security whatsoever, really. So we decided that was not a good thing, so we gave up on the idea of credit cards. Many years later, then people started putting credit cards into carwashes and everything, so we got talking about it again. By then, this wireless technology had come out, people didn’t like the ideas of wires everywhere, especially trying to retrofit an old carwash. So there was enough wireless technology out there and one of the guys that was involved in inventing that wireless technology happened to be a friend of Marty’s, so he hired him to do some work and get this thing rolling again. So by the time they got it ready to go into test, since I was -- I mean, it was originally being built as a Dixmor credit card system. But I also had three or four of my distributors around the country who were already getting their own credit card systems going, so it was sort of a bad deal to go into competition with your customers. So, by the time we got it ready, I said let’s go ahead and install two of ‘em here at one of my carwashes by my shop. We did that and it worked just fine, so after a couple months, we put another couple at another carwash on the other side of town that I happened to own. It worked fine out there. So after about the first year of testing at my

“ 26

carwashes, we decided it was time to go to market. At that point, I had to make a decision: Do I go into competition with my distributors or not? For lack of a better reason, I guess I can just say, I didn’t really want to take all that responsibility. Because to do that you gotta learn a lot about credit cards; you’ve gotta know the whole business, you need to research this and that. I didn’t want to hire more people. It would have definitely taken more people. Marty would still have been building everything for me and all that -- but I, I don’t want to do it. So we talked about it, and said: Why don’t you guys go and start another company? That was one of the ways we had talked about stuff. So, they went ahead and started another company and they named it Cryptopay. And I still did my share of telling people all about it and my response I’ve had. So you know the rest: Here we are. It’s been a great system for me and of course I have it in all my carwashes. I can’t really advertise for it because I have some other friends out there who also have systems and those are great systems, too. I know a lot of carwashes that have all of them installed. PP: Well, I knew that you were involved in it, but I didn’t really understand the role. By the way: the name is Gene Kranz. MH: Oh, okay. See, it comes to you after a while. PP: Oh, I have to tell the truth: I Googled it. MH: You’re a multitasker, huh? PP: Yes, I Googled it. It did not come back in my brain.

The next big thing:

Morris talks upgrades PP: So...where do you think carwashing is going? What’s the next big thing? MH: The next big thing, really, is keeping them going. People will always wash cars and people will always drive cars -- whether it’s electric or magnetic or what. You’re still gonna have some kind of personal transportation so there’s going to need to be a place where you can wash that personal transportation. They’re saying now -- I just saw something on TV the other day about this -- that the dirt will not

stick to whatever this stuff is, some kind of a coating, and well, they can say everything they want to about that, but I still think they’re gonna get dirty. PP: Actually I have a client who puts that on cars -- it’s pretty pricey. A thousand to $1,500 is what it costs to put that coating on, I think, but it still has to be washed. You don’t have to polish it or anything, that’s the big advertisement. And detail guys are promoting that because it’s a $1,000 or $1,500 sell and it doesn’t take them long to put it on. MH: Right. They’re more concerned with the profit now than the profit in two years. PP: Yeah, I think that’s the case. The truth is, not everybody is gonna stand up and bite at that, you know, you’ve got to have some ink in your pen to do that, so most people won’t do that. MH: But, anyway, as long as there’s people, you know, there’s gonna be personal transportation, and as long as there’s personal transportation, you’re gonna have to clean it. I’m not saying they’re gonna change much -- but I think the system is going to change. Right now, the big change is happening at my end of it -- which is the self serves -- and the expresses are really knocking us for a loop. I don’t know how many people around the country are having the same thing, but I know I’m seeing it at all of mine since the big downturn in 2008 when everything sort of fell down. We’ll never get back up to where it was before that, I don’t think. Now I’ll admit, I’m very, very slow about putting in new stuff. I’ve reached the point where I’m not really as interested as I was 20 years ago. There’s a lot of new things out there -- like the Air Shamees, the handheld blowers -- those are great. This triple foam, I don’t know, I’ve never really cared much for triple foam, but you have to have a foam brush. As far as the colored foam brush, I think it was quick in and out and everybody says, “What’s the difference?” whether it’s three colors or one color. I don’t think it will ever go like people thought it was going to. The clear coat? I don’t know about clear coat protectant. I personally don’t have any of those fancy new things in any of my carwashes. You know, you’ve got the foam brush, the tire and engine cleaner, the pre-soak and that’s as far as I go. I don’t have any of the new goodies -- which I probably should try adding in a few of them and then maybe I wouldn’t complain about business being down. But I’m old! PP: (Laughter) I like a guy who self diagnoses. MH: I’m not saying I’m doing it all right, I’m just saying I’m doing it satisfactory to me.

The next big thing, really, is keeping them going. People will always wash cars and people will always drive cars -- whether it’s electric or magnetic or what.

• SUMMER 2017 •

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Around the Wash:

A ‘Token’ of His Love Dallas operator Tom Scott loves tokens and thinks you should, too. In this issue’s “Around the Wash” column, he describes his love affair with tokens and suggests the best methods for making the switch.

This issue I am going to address the subject of converting a coin operated self service carwash over to operating on tokens. This will probably be the longest article you will ever see out of me because this is a very complex subject with a lot of different facets to successful implementation. I hope this will help clear up any confusion and misunderstanding regarding the merits of operating on tokens, as well as suggest the way to do it properly. - Tom Scott

Rules of Engagement Converting to tokens is a subject that can evoke some very strong reactions in the carwash industry. Some who have tried it (the “wrong” way -- but we’ll get to that later) will even get quite angry at the mention of the subject! So, why am I even broaching the subject? Well, I am bringing this up because after 50 years in this business, from the standpoint of management, converting was the single best thing I ever did at my wash. After many years of weighing the pros and cons, I have become aware that there are a lot of

folks that approached the conversion in a substantially different manner than I did - with drastically different results. Anyone having all the problems I did with operating on coins should have the complete picture on converting to tokens based on real experience (over 15 years!) and the results of doing it “the right way.” Tokens can be a major step toward drastically improving your life if done properly! First - There are several simple “rules” for going to tokens that are ABSOLUTE requirements. Thorough explanations of these “rules” and other considerations will follow. Rule #1: Convert to tokens ONLY. Rule #2: You MUST have more than one token dispenser (changer). Rule #3 You must use tokens that are UNIQUE to your business. Rule #4 You must have electronic coin acceptors. To begin with, just thinking about converting to tokens is complicated. I mentioned in the last issue that converting can be “a minefield,” but it DOES NOT have to be. If carefully planned and considered, you can avoid all of the unexpected consequences many operators cite when they rail against tokens. I have tried to consider which of the several considerations is the most important so I could sort of “classify” them as to levels of importance, but I have come to the conclusion that it’s really a number of things that are ALL mutually important. Therefore, I will discuss the following points not necessarily in any particular order.

A Token a Day Keeps the Thieves Away Let’s start by going into WHY a person would ever convert to tokens? The first thing that usually comes to mind is that whole security thing: Theft prevention. Reducing your risk is a very important part of the equation. Thieves just don’t take much interest in stealing tokens. Since converting (15 years ago), I have had one attempt at breaking into my bill changers. That was almost immediately after the switch and before the thieves were fully aware. Not so when on coins. There were many attempts. Nowadays, it is obvious that my vaults and control boxes don’t hold any actual money, and the thieves perceive the bill changers as only holding tokens. Also, my bill changers are front load machines. There is no access to them from the back side (equipment room), so there’s even less reason to try to break into the equipment room. Security wise, there must also be a consideration for the collection and transport of the receipts. I say that because it takes a fair amount of time to open the vaults, scrape out the quarters, haul them to your car, and then take them to your home or office. Then more transporting them to the bank. That’s a lot of hauling of heavy coins! It is also much more {continued }


• SUMMER 2017 •





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Around the Wash obvious to anyone that might be watching if you are hauling $1,000 in quarters walking across the car wash, or into a bank, as opposed to $1,000 in bills. The whole coin collection process at the wash is always a matter of concern because of the time it takes and the wide open and vulnerable nature of it. Nobody really cares if you are taking tokens out of a vault. Years ago, when I was on quarters, I was attacked while I was actually taking quarters out of one of the bay vaults. Luckily, I had a very well trained German Shepard that carried the day, and I was not hurt and suffered no loss. The same cannot be said for the attacker. In all the 15+ years I have been on tokens, I have never been threatened or had one single such problem. At the risk of saying something you already know, being clandestine in the handling and transporting of the business receipts is very important. If the wrong person should observe you going into your home or office with substantial buckets or bags of coins, they may be enticed to break in - in order to steal whatever it is that you are carrying in or out of there. If they know you own a coin operated business, even more so. Paper money is much easier to conceal and carry than coinage of the same value. With tokens, even the need to transport them is virtually eliminated in the first place since they are simply put right back in the changers when removed from the vaults. Their lack of monetary value further reduces risk. When on tokens, receipts are automatically removed as paper cash at the bill changer. Therefore, for all these reasons, tokens make it much easier to be clandestine.

And you can take that to the Bank Another reason to convert is the changing attitudes of a lot of banks regarding coinage. Many charge to accept large amounts of coins. In my case, the shear volume of quarters was a problem. Just having to haul them from the wash to my office, count them, and then haul them to the bank was a real chore. And the only way we had to get them in the bank was to actually carry them inside. There was also that bear of a coin counter. Yes, the good old Klopp. Don’t know how many thousands of hours I have spent running quarters thru that thing. We all know the frustration of the counter getting out of adjustment - dirty - jammed, and all the other maintenance issues with it. Going to tokens eliminates the need for a coin counter. I sold mine for almost as much as I paid for it and put the proceeds into a much less costly bill counter. The tokens never need to be counted. You just simply take them out of the vaults, and put them back in the changer. You don’t have to take them


• SUMMER 2017 •

The tokens never need to be counted. ... There is no reason to care how many there are, as long as there are enough to supply the changer.

home or to an office. There is no reason to care how many there are, as long as there are enough to supply the changer. (More on that later.) So, if you don’t take the tokens to your office, what DO you take to your office? Now you’re getting it! Money! Cash! Lightweight and compact paper stuff, all stacked up nice and neat by the bill changer. My bill changers can be set to accept bills in one orientation only. I set them to accept bills face up, and facing to the right. My Rowe changers have plastic canisters that stack the bills. I have one spare canister for each machine. Theoretically, when I open the machines, all I have to do is reach in and take the full canister out, and set the empty canister in it’s place, and close the machine. In reality, I am in the machines longer than that because I usually have to refill them with tokens. But the point here is that the amount of time I am vulnerable to criminal activity is a great deal less than if I were operating on real coins. As soon as I take a canister out, it quickly and discretely gets locked in my car. There is never any exposed cash to entice a thief, and there is much less time consuming activity indicating money is being handled at all. The only obvious and time consuming activity is when you dump tokens into the machine. That only takes a few minutes - and who wants to steal tokens?

Get it on Paper This brings me to the part of the process I used to dislike the most, and which I now like the most. The handling of the receipts. I’ve already described the process you are all familiar with relative to processing and depositing quarters. Collect the vaults, haul to the office, haul in and run through the counter, bag up and haul to the bank. With paper money, the process is drastically improved and much less time consuming. Take the lightweight bill canister to the car, then to the office where you remove the bills from the canister, and in the same motion place them in your new bill counter (which you probably bought with the money from the sale of the old coin counter). The bill counter runs lightning fast and sorts and separates the bills automatically. Compared to the

old Klopp coin counter it is a joy to watch, and in my experience needs far less maintenance. My bank has a night depository on the outside for which I am provided a key. I drive up and in a matter of seconds, I open the depository door, insert the deposit, close the door and drive off. I have not been inside the bank in months. At first I thought I would not like that scenario, but I quickly came to appreciate its simplicity and time saving aspects. Now my carwash is a clean, mean, easy-maintenance machine Now for another beautiful thing about tokens that I had no expectation of -- or appreciation for -- until I was actually on the program. That would be the huge difference in maintenance on each and every coin/token handling device and mechanism on the wash. Coin/acceptors in the bays, coin/acceptors in the vacuum cleaners, and the coin/token handling mechanisms in the bill changers. All coin handling mechanisms. There are two major reasons that changing to tokens dramatically reduces the problems and maintenance with coin acceptors on a wash. The first thing, which seems pretty obvious when you think about it, is that when you switch from the devices having to process 4 quarters, to only having to process 1 token, the wear and tear and overall exposure is reduced to one fourth of what it was before! Think about that for a second because that is really important. Any time you can reduce your problems at your wash by a factor of 4, are you going to do it? Especially if there were a bunch of other benefits to be realized as well? Seems pretty much a no brainer to me, but there is another reason that tokens reduce your maintenance problems even further... The fact that you are operating on tokens means that the round “things” going through your equipment are not in the general circulation world of normal coinage. Why is that important? Well, it is important because general circulation coins are dirty. Filthy, really. And that is why the tracks in coin dispensers and coin acceptors develop buildups of crud that we are all familiar with? Buildups that require cleaning and maintenance and cause jams. Money of any kind is notoriously dirty. (Bills are worse than coins.) The filth and germs don’t usually show, and they aren’t obvious, but we all know they are there. And that filth gets deposited, a little at a time, on everything the coins touch, especially the tracks in the token dispensers and acceptors. Over time it builds up to the point of causing the device to malfunction. That costs us money, aggravation, time for maintenance, and customer dissatisfaction. Tokens on the other hand, usually travel no further than from the token dispenser to the “token” vaults on the wash. They have relatively little opportunity to pick up filth, therefore they are much less contaminating than normal coinage. I think I can safely say that I spend far less than 1/4th the time maintaining my token carrying mechanisms than I did on coins. Probably much less. That also means fewer jammed acceptors which means fewer unhappy customers. That alone is worth a lot. {continued }

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Around the Wash

Making Money as they Drive Off... Funny thing about tokens: They disappear. This seems a good point to bring up another completely unanticipated aspect of switching to tokens. This has to do with going into the “token selling business.” Funny thing about tokens: They disappear. I say that because when I first switched to tokens I assumed that since the customers could only use them at my car wash and in my acceptors (more on that later) that they would circulate from the bill changer to the coin vaults and back again. Basically, I thought they’d never leave the property. After all, what else would anyone want with them since I purchase unique tokens that only work in MY acceptors. Turns out my assumption was wrong. When people wind up with extra tokens they put them in their pocket or the car dash or wherever, planning to use them later. Naturally, some get lost before that happens, and therefore never return to the wash. Net result is that periodically our inventory of tokens becomes depleted and we have to order more. In that case, we sold tokens for $1 which were never used in the wash. The profit margin on that is really good. I’ve considered shutting down the wash and just selling tokens! Joking, of course. When I realized what was happening, I was concerned because I was worried that the customers would consider the carwash pricing as more expensive than it really is and would be reluctant to return. Apparently that is not the case, because after about 15 years on tokens our business continues to thrive and grow, and I’ve had few complaints about the pricing or the tokens.

Treat your Bill Changers Right! One major point of concern relative to a switch to tokens is that you become totally dependent on your bill changers (token dispensers) to do business. Since they are the only source for tokens, if they go out of service, the customers can’t do business with you. In my case, I live about 10 minutes from my wash, and I used to have two changers.


• SUMMER 2017 •

I designed a system with an automatic telephone dialer that would call me if one of the machines went out of service. Since the other machine would still be working, that gave me time to get there and correct the problem. Since then, my business has increased substantially, and I added yet a third changer. Tokens make good maintenance of your bill changers very important. I have backup transports and a few of the other critical parts of the changers so that I can replace those as needed while malfunctioning ones are being serviced. I find this to be a better situation than when I was on quarters. With other sources for quarters, I never felt the need to be nearly as prepared for a down changer situation as I do on tokens. Now, I am fully prepared. I consider those bill changers to be the cheapest employees I have. However, on tokens it is very important to have more than one changer unless your wash is attended.

Make it Exclusive I spent probably three years considering switching to tokens. All that time, I just couldn’t understand why the whole industry wasn’t on tokens and I thought there must be something I was missing or something I hadn’t thought of that made it a bad idea. Why hadn’t other, much bigger and smarter people in the industry gone to tokens? Finally I decided to take the leap. I’m glad I took the time to figure it all out, because you have to go all the way and do it right. If you do it wrong, it can end up making your life miserable. The absolutely most important thing is - you should NEVER do a partial conversion. That is to say, never convert to accepting “Coins AND/OR Tokens”. One of the primary objectives of going to tokens is to get rid of coins and their complications. If you switch to taking both, you haven’t solved any problems at all. In fact, you have added a new one! Now you have to separate the quarters from the tokens! And that is a super pain in the patootie. A completely new step added to the same stuff you’ve been doing all along. Lots more time and frustration basically for absolutely no gain. Why would anyone do that? I had decals made for my dispensers that announce boldly that the machine ONLY dispenses tokens. If you have been on coins and you switch to tokens, at first a few people will be a little bewildered when they just get the one token instead of 4 quarters. When they realize that it is a lot easier to deposit one token and go straight to work than it is to deposit 4 quarters, they tune in very quickly and become a better customer. Actually - I have come

to the opinion that people actually perceive a $1 token as being less expensive than 4 quarters. There is something psychological that says that if something costs “1 round thing” as opposed to “4 round things” - the 1 round thing just feels cheaper? Anyway, my customers like the tokens. Another advantage of tokens is that your wash ceases to be the “quarter supply depot” for all the laundromats in the neighborhood, and the wear and tear on your bill changers is therefore further reduced. Preventing anyone other than your paying customers from using your equipment reduces your headaches and puts more money in your pocket. Tokens also give you a marketing tool by you being able to discount larger purchases. My Rowe changers allow me to program in “Bonus Tokens.” I give 1 token for a $1 bill, 5 tokens for a $5 bill, 11 tokens for a $10 bill, and 23 tokens for a $20 bill. I get a lot of 10’s and 20’s. Our wash is at 2 tokens ($2) for 4 minutes. Vacuums are 1 token/4 minutes. It is very important to purchase tokens that are unique to your operation. The token suppliers sell all kinds of tokens. It is vitally important that you get tokens that can only be used in your acceptors, and that your acceptors will NOT accept any other business’s tokens. Otherwise you can find yourself in a nightmare. Just imagine if a business down the street is selling for 25 cents the same size token you are selling for $1 and your acceptors will actually accept their tokens! This is easily handled by paying extra for tokens with a unique metal content that will basically be yours and yours alone. All electronic acceptors utilize a “sample” coin/token as the criteria for what they will accept. They work off both the size and the metal content. I strongly recommend that anyone converting invest in tokens imprinted with your own logo and that the token company assures you that your tokens have a unique metal content dedicated just to you, at least in your geographical area. The extra cost is worth every penny. The token companies are more than willing to discuss this aspect of your token purchase, and they have information regarding other token operated businesses in your area and what tokens they are using. Just let them know your concerns. I think my tokens currently cost about $.27 each. After 15 years, I would never consider going back to coins. However, as a matter of warning - initially there will be more or less “reflex” complaints from customers. That’s just “people being people.” So spending some extra time during the early stages to educate the clientele on the change will speed up the process. My customers understand the advantages to them of tokens and prefer that I am on tokens. I have over 50 years in this business and I hope this perspective on tokens will be helpful to those of you with less experience. See you “Around the Wash.”

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• SUMMER 2017 •



Happenings In & Around Self Serve Carwashing

FEDERAL JUDGE: NYC law encouraged unionization, violated federal rules A federal judge has ruled a controversial New York City law that sought to regulate carwash businesses violated federal law because it encouraged unionizations. The law was passed in June 2015, but did not go into effect pending the judge’s recent ruling. SSCWN had previously reported about the law, which would have required carwash owners to purchase special bonds through a licensing process which had two vastly different costs: $30,000 for wash owners who hired unionized workers or otherwise agreed to regulatory government monitoring, and $150,000 for all others. According to the judge’s 11-page ruling, the law “explicitly encourages unionization, and therefore impermissibly intrudes on the labor-management bargaining process.” As The New York Times noted in their coverage of the ruling, federal labor law prevents states becoming involved in those negotiations, and the issue has been tried before the United States Supreme Court in cases dating to the 1970s and ’80s. “I think it’s an application of standard principles, but the City Council and the mayor saw fit to sign the law,” Michael Cardozo, the lawyer who handled the case on behalf of an association of carwash owners, said in comments to The New York Times. “When

ISTOBAL introduces new rollover, rebrands corporate image at Autopromotec

ISTOBAL has redesigned its brand to support its expansion plan for the coming years which includes international growth, high technology focused on product quality and reliability, and being close to consumers with efficient solutions and a pleasant user experience, according to a company press release. The rebranded corporate image, along with the company’s new rollover ISTOBAL M’NEX32, was introduced at Autopromotec, a


• SUMMER 2017 •

you’re talking about another industry, there’s no reason that the same legal principle wouldn’t apply. In that respect, it’s a very important decision.” The New York Times also published a response from Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which represents carwash workers. Appelbaum said the goal was not to encourage unionization but to prevent “endemic wage theft within the carwash industry.” He said the bonds, known as a surety bonds, were to ensure that workers would have money available to them to collect if and when it was found that wages were kept from them. According to NYT, Appelbaum said he would be happy with one level of bond — $150,000 for all

carwash owners — and said the Law Department should “seek clarification” as to whether the judge’s decision meant that new legislation would be necessary to achieve that. Steve Rotlevi, the president of the Association of Car Wash Owners, said that the owners formed an association amid a 2012 push to unionize workers and that the judge’s decision helped preserve jobs — for now, at least. “A lot of us are cutting labor and converting to automated express washes,” he said. “Any other decision would have literally eliminated thousands of jobs.”

trade show for petroleum and car wash industry in Bologna, Italy this past May. According to a company press release, the new corporate image seeks to give prominence to the ITOBAL brand name, identifying the design with its corporate values. Thus, red features as the typical color for the company and blue has been replaced by silver as a symbol of innovation, avant-garde, and technology. The type used is also more contemporary, transmitting flexibility, growth, and expansion. The claim - Vehicle Wash & Care - has also been kept, representing business excellence. In regards to the new M’NEX32 rollover, the company said it will start being marketed by midyear. Its innovations and upgrades include a new wheel wash brush that reaches all grooves and difficult areas on rims, with much better cleaning results than traditional brushes, a foam arch, new centring guides, and LED screens for an appealing and intuitive car wash experience. The new top-of-the-range rollover also includes a brush tilting device on the back of the vehicle to

ensure a thorough clean and a new dosing system for ISTOBAL esens® products which injects super concentrates directly into the circuit in small but very precise amounts. In addition to the new corporate image and rollover, ISTOBAL outlined its goals for the next few years in the press release, which include boosting growth in the US – where the company hopes to consolidate in the short term -, to continue investing in Italy - currently the group’s second largest export market - to strengthen its presence in Germany, and to increase activity in South America. The strong internationalisation strategy deployed to date “has enabled the company to position itself internationally as the second European company in the industry,” the release noted. With 10 subsidiaries in Europe and America (in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Serbia, the United States and Brazil), the company is present in more than 75 countries worldwide, and its sales abroad account for 80% of its turnover. {continued }







• SUMMER 2017 •

INDUSTRY DIRT D&S Car Wash launches IQCarWashSystems. com Website D&S Car Wash Equipment Company has launched its new IQ® Car Wash Systems website,, according to a company press release. This unique website features a 3-layer system of information delivery about the IQ 2.0 In-Bay Automatic Car Wash System, including a layer for consumers, prospective owners, and current system operators. “This new website offers today’s tech-savvy and eco-friendly consumers an easy way to learn about the benefits of using a car wash outfitted with an IQ Car Wash System, including the IQ’s consistent and safe cleaning using less water, power, and chemicals,” a company press release said. “A detailed IQ locator map helps consumers find an IQequipped car wash closest to their location. And a short video allows consumers to view the IQ wash process in action.” The second layer of information is for prospective IQ owners and “delivers the facts on why owning an IQ 2.0 is the smarter, cleaner, greener decision available in the marketplace,” the company stated. The third password-protected layer of information is for current IQ owners and includes special resources to keep IQ owners on top of the competition and tapped into all available opportunities to maximize profitability. In addition, D&S has also announced the release of its new 20-page IQ 2.0 product catalog and planning guide. “This new catalog is the most comprehensive and content-rich ever produced for the innovative IQ Car Wash System,” the release said.

Mark VII adds new distributor in NY Mark VII Equipment Inc., the North American subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, the world’s largest manufacturer of vehicle cleaning systems, has partnered with distributor Carwash Products Inc.. Founded in 2000, Carwash Products will sell and service Mark VII carwash systems in New York’s Hudson Valley and surrounding areas. “We welcome Carwash Products to the Mark VII family,” said Rob Raskell, Director of Distribution for Mark VII. “They have an excellent repu-

tation for serving the needs of carwash operators in their market and we look forward to doing great things together.” “As both distributors and operators of carwashes, we know exactly what our customers need to be successful,” said Todd Mills, President of Carwash Products. “Adding Mark VII to our portfolio gives our customers access to industry-leading technology, and our ‘hands on’ approach to managing our customer projects helps ensure their success.”

HydraFlex’s Carrie Berran is Jr. NBA Coach of the Year The NBA has announced Carrie Berran -- a Hydra-Flex Inc. team member -as the winner of its inaugural Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award, given annually to a youth basketball coach that is making a positive impact on children by demonstrating outstanding integrity, character and leadership. Berran was presented with the award at June’s NBA Awards Show. “I love the sport of basketball and working with kids, so to be honored with this award for doing something I am passionate about is simply amazing,” said Berran. “I am thrilled that Eagan Athletic Association Basketball will benefit from the award with the donation, Positive Coaching Alliance trainings and equipment.” Berran, a former Division 1 basketball player, joined Hydra-Flex Inc. in January 2017 as Hydra-Flex’s HR Representative. Her focus is to create programs and processes to make Hydra-Flex “A Great Place to Work.” Hydra-Flex is a manufacturer of chemical dispensing and fluid handling systems for the carwash industry. Berran was selected as the national winner by a panel of judges, including former NBA player Dell Curry, former WNBA player Jennifer Azzi and Turner Sports broadcaster Ernie Johnson, along with fan voting via social media. She will receive funding as well as equipment and apparel to support her local youth basketball organization, free Positive Coaching Alliance training and an all-expense-paid trip to New York to attend the inaugural NBA Awards Show. For more information and to learn more about Carrie’s accomplishments and coaching philosophy, visit: AUTEC names new manager of chemical department AUTEC, a provider of carwash systems, equipment and supplies, has named Kurt Price as manager of the chemical department, according to a press release. Price graduated magna cum laude from Appalachian State University with B.S. degrees in Chem-

istry and Criminal Justice. Prior to coming to AUTEC, Price served as manager of operations and project leader with Chemical and Metal Industries Inc. in Hudson, Colorado.

PECO appoints new sales manager PECO Car Wash Systems, a family-owned manufacturer of tunnel carwash systems, has appointed Jennifer St. John as sales manager.

St. John holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Merchandising Management from Michigan State University and is “a sales leader skilled at assessing and developing new sales initiatives and value propositions for organizations,” the release noted. According to the company, St. John will be responsible for the strategic direction of the PECO sales department, developing new business opportunities and driving revenue. She has over 20 years implementing, managing and selling highly customized complex solutions; her most recent experience includes the development of the inside sales department for Akzo Nobel North American Vehicle Refinishing Division, selling and supporting the distributor and their associated end-user accounts by working with and through the distributor.

SONNY’S CarWash College opens on the West Coast SONNY’S CarWash College is now open on the West Coast in Buena Park, CA, according to a news release. Car Wash Equipment Repair, Management and Maintenance courses are already underway at the ACES/FASTECH Facility. “We are excited to bring SONNY’S industry-leading CarWash College to the West Coast. This will make it easier for car wash operators in {continued } • SUMMER 2017 •


INDUSTRY DIRT the West to invest in their team members and separate themselves in this highly competitive market,” says Brad Sorenson, Managing Director of SONNY’S New Business Development for CarWash College. Established in 2006, SONNY’S CarWash College “has successfully trained thousands of students,” the release noted. These comprehensive training programs are designed to be non-brand specific and 95% of what a student learns during training is transferable to any type of conveyor car wash.

SONNY’S partners with its largest distributor CWSSE SONNY’S Enterprises, LLC., the world’s largest manufacturer of conveyorized car washing equipment, announced a partnership with its largest distributor, Car Wash Services of the Southeast, Inc. (CWSSE), “in a move that will

elevate the level of consulting services SONNY’S will provide to its distributors and clients across the country,” a company press release said. Founded over 50 years ago, CWSSE delivers a turn-key solution from initial site evaluation and system design, to installation, maintenance, chemistry, and marketing support to clients in the fivestate region it serves. The company will continue to be managed by the same management team, led by CEO Zeev Josman. “What you have to understand about Zeev, and his entire team, is that they are not just SONNY’S largest distributor, a title they’ve held for over a decade, but they’ve made it their life’s work to help clients become more profitable; to provide the consultation and services to guide new investors to success, and help existing clients take it to the next level,” Paul Fazio, CEO, SONNY’S Enterprises, LLC, said in the release. “Day-to-day, nothing is going to change at CWSSE. The only thing that’s new, is that by coming under SONNY’S umbrella, our entire client base can now benefit from the knowledge and expertise this group has leveraged so spectacularly to support car wash business owner’s growth for generations.”

CWSSE Zeev Josman stated, “Our initial conversations centered only on an exchange of knowledge, but as we got deeper into all the opportunities to collaborate, and how quickly we wanted to get everything done, common sense pointed to a more formal partnership. Now with Sonny’s backing, we’ll be able to add the necessary resources to simultaneously improve our ongoing operation and offerings to our clients, while contributing our expertise, and hands-on client feedback, to help the Sonny’s team further drive their clients’ success.” Mr. Fazio continued, “SONNY’S has no interest in changing our distribution model, or even interfering with CWSSE’s daily operation. Zeev’s team has developed a set of best practices that have been proven to add more value and profit for their clients. Our goal is to package those practices as a set of tools all our Select Service Organizations (SSOs) can use in the field. Once our clients start to see some of the innovations in training, programs and services that will come from it, I think they’ll agree that once again we have helped them become even more successful.”


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INDUSTRY DIRT Shurhold Industries Autobell receives named Manufacturer Family Business of the Year Award Shurhold Industries, a supplier of car care and detailing maintenance tools, chemicals and accessories, has been named Manufacturer of the Year by the South Florida Manufacturing Association. SFMA recognizes high-performing manufacturing companies from a wide range of industries, the release said, noting Shurhold demonstrated exceptional leadership, strategic planning, analysis, customer and market focus and an emphasis on its workforce operations. “We’re honored to be recognized by the South Florida Manufacturing Association with this award,” said Barry Berhoff, CEO of Shurhold Industries. “Our team makes significant contributions every day to better the company. Our thousands of enthusiastic and satisfied customers are due to their hard work and dedication.”

Charlotte Business Journal gave its 2017 Family Business Award to Autobell Car Wash, the second largest conveyorized carwash chain in the nation, according to a company press release. The publication’s awards recognize local, family-owned businesses for overall excellence, innovation, ethics, philanthropy and contribution to the region. Selections were based on several factors, including how many family members are part of the business, how many generations have been involved and succession plans that will carry the business into the future. “When my grandfather and father started Autobell in Charlotte in 1969, they had a vision, and they worked together to continually hone and fo-

cus the vision that made the company a leader in our industry,” stated Autobell COO Carl Howard. “We strive everyday to carry on that commitment to excellence. Howard continued, “While the Howard family has been at the helm of the company since our inception, we could not have achieved our growth and success without the tens of thousands of stellar young people we have recruited, trained and employed through the years, as well as the vital support of our home office staff members and the dedication and skill of our management team, many of whom have spent their entire careers at Autobell and risen to be leaders in our business. All of these folks are certainly considered part of our Autobell family.”


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• SUMMER 2017 •


EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it ... The Las Cruces, NM, carwash owner who shot and killed a customer in 2015 during a fight over dog feces was acquitted of murder this summer, according to a local news report about the case. Leo Molina had been charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 21, 2015, shooting death of Gregory Fernandez, 39, at Molina’s carwash. Molina shot Fernandez three times in the chest with a .40-caliber semiautomatic Glock during a fight at the carwash, where Fernandez had rinsed away dog feces from the bed of his pickup. Molina claimed to have shot Fernandez in self-defense, but prosecutors argued over the five days of the trial that Molina had deliberately killed Fernandez after becoming enraged about the dog waste. Molina had previously banned Fernandez from the carwash. By acquitting Molina, the 12-member jury of seven men and five women affirmed his account of the incident. He testified Friday and maintained that he shot Fernandez in self-defense as Fernandez attempted to gouge his eyes during their confrontation.

Pat Shannon, president of Heartland Carwash Association and a city councilman-at-large in Bellevue, NB, has more time to find funding and make plans to fix up a non-operational carwash which community members say is an “eyesore” after Bellevue City Council members voted not to move forward with a proposal to condemn the property. A local newspaper said a “defiant” Shannon blamed his inaction on the city and a former City Council member. He called the proposal -- which sought to have him tear down the carwash, which he purchased in 2015 -- a political attack in an interview after the meeting. “I’m ready to push the button and start construction tomorrow if the city will get the hell out of my way,” Shannon said. Shannon tried to have the property designated as blighted and substandard in March 2016, which would have allowed him to apply for special financing, but it was not approved. Councilman Don Preister said the matter before the council was not about the blighted and substandard designation but the condition of the property, which neighbors complain has tall weeds and garbage. “This is about when is the property going to be cleaned up,” Preister said. “When is it going to be presentable to the neighborhood?” Shannon said that to make major improvements,


• SUMMER 2017 •

Reduce, reuse, recycle:

It’s never far from the carwash owner’s mind. But this is a neat spin on it: A Romanian carwash is now the lucky recipient of a new logo -- complete with plenty of marketing materials and a branded Mini Cooper -- after a Swedish ad agency put out a call for companies looking for an image upgrade. As explained in an article on, JCP Nordic realized it had tons of promotional materials they wouldn’t be able to use after rebranding their company. “Changing our visual identity meant that we suddenly had a lot of excess branded office supplies and so on, with our old logo on it,” JCP Nordic CEO Øystein Tynning told Adweek. “At the same time, many companies worldwide struggle with their own visibility. Instead of just throwing everything away, we decided to donate it all to a business somewhere that would benefit from.” The agency received about 400 requests from companies all over the world, before eventually deciding on a carwash outside of Bucharest, Romania. “[The carwash owner] seemed like a genuinely nice guy, and when we found out his business had been struggling for some time, the decision was easy,” Tynningtold AdWeek. “The way he greeted us, and the look on his face when we handed over the stuff, was definitely worth the long trip.” The Romanian carwash, now called JCP Carwash, received a new website, 259 pens, 48 coffee cups, a soda machine, a branded Mini Cooper and “God knows how many beach flags.” “Of course it feels nice to have helped another firm with a makeover, but we are also pleased to have found an original way to self-promote JCP,” JCP Nordic’s creative director Paul Little told Adweek. “We are in love with our new visual identity, and at the same time very happy that our previous one has received a revival in Romania, and a very worthy new owner.”

he needs the blighted and substandard designation approved. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking action against Geowash Pty Ltd, a national franchisor of carwashes in the country, for failing to comply with the Franchising Code of Conduct. The ACCC alleges that Geowash made misleading representations on its website to prospective franchisees regarding the revenue and profits that a franchisee could expect in running a Geowash fran-

chisee. The ACCC further alleges that: Geowash made a false representation on its website that it had a commercial relationship/affiliation with companies such as Nissan, Kia, Renault, Audi, Emirates, Shell, Hertz, Holden, IKEA, and Thrifty; and Geowash directed a substantial portion of franchisee funds for purposes that were not allowed under the franchise agreements and which were not disclosed to franchisees, including commission payments to the franchisor’s director, Sanam Ali, and its National Franchising Manager, Charles Cameron. The ACCC is now seeking orders to prevent Ge{continued }

Replace or upgrade your ACW. Installs inside an existing ACW cabinet! Accepts Cash, Coins and Credit Cards The most economical 24hr Automatic Entry System! CryptoPay provides secure credit card processing that ‘Simply Stops Fraud’ Features CryptoPay Consolidation reducing Merchant Fees Compatible with CryptoPay In-Bay credit card system*

PayStation Features: l 4 - Selection Large backlit LCD display and voice prompts. l Accepts cash, coins and credit cards securely with CryptoPay! l Connect this Paystation CryptoPay to your existing CryptoPay system or add CryptoPay to your In-bay boxes for one complete credit card solution*. (*CryptoPay Coordinator is required for each car wash location) l Program up to 25 discount codes. Add an “optional” 2nd hopper to vend a bonus token that can be redeemed for a free vacuum or a discount on your next car wash purchase.

CryptoPay Security: Prevents credit card data from being ‘in the clear’ and at risk by encrypting the credit card data at the moment, and point, of the credit card swipe. CryptoPay provides secure credit card processing that ‘Simply Stops Fraud’. CryptoPay Consolidation: Reduces merchant and credit cards fees which are essential for small ticket purchases. Here’s an example of CryptoPay Consolidation: Imagine that a customer visits your carwash. He swipes his credit card at the PayStation and purchases an $8.00 wash. Ten minutes later swipes his card again at the vacuum, and is charged $1.00. CryptoPay combines these two charges into one $9.00 charge that is submitted to the credit card company, which results in only one merchant fee for the purchase. CryptoPay GoGreen Receipt Service: Allows your customers to get their receipts from credit card purchases made at your car wash. Receipts are available online 24/7, two hours after last usage. It provides end-to-end encryption delivering receipts safely online. American Changer Corp.

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• SUMMER 2017 •


EXTRA! EXTRA! owash from continuing to engage in the above conduct, pecuniary penalties, consumer redress orders (to compensate those franchisees that suffered losses as a result of the above conduct), and corrective notice orders. The ACCC will also push for orders disqualifying Ali and Cameron from managing corporations for five years. Family and friends of a motorcyclist shot and killed at an Albuquerque carwash again gathered at the business to protest against the district attorney’s decision not to press charges against the man who shot and killed Earl Roybal. In our last issue, SSCWN reported when friends and family staged a memorial at Hose It carwash, which was also the scene of Earl Roybal’s death, this past March. About 50 bikers from the New Mexico Motorcyclists Rights Organization and other biker groups came together after the district attorney announced his office would not be prosecuting James Morales,. D.A. Raul Torrez called the death a tragedy, but said he didn’t have enough evidence to successfully prosecute the shooter. “This decision in no way condones the shooting that occurred,” Torrez said in a prepared statement. “This is a tragic death that should never have happened, but the State does not have a good faith belief that it could convict Mr. Morales given the available evidence.” “We, the family of Earl Roybal, refuse to believe that our society, our community, would agree with such a ‘Wild West’ mentality,” Roybal’s family said in a prepared statement.


Photo courtesy King’s Oil and Lube in Prineville. Surveillance video captured the scene as an “errant bull -- and the cowboy who followed him” strolled through the carwash bay at King’s Oil and Lube in Prineville, OR. The owner of the carwash told a local TV station there was no damage to the bay “except for a few cow pies in the parking lot.” The cowboy was successful in rounding up the bull and returning him to the cattle drive -- which was in town for the opening of the Crooked River Roundup, an annual rodeo that took place this past June. Nissan in India is patting itself on the back (and marketing their achievements with a neat infographic) after saving 6.1 million liters of water over the last three years using a “Foam Wash” technique to wash vehicles at their sales and service centers. According to a press release from the company, “the foam wash technique, introduced in 2014 at Nissan service centres, uses only 90 litres of water per car which reduces water consumption by 45 percent. The amount of water saved by the company is equivalent to the water consumption of around 25,000 households in India for one day.” SSCWN couldn’t find any specifics about the foam wash technique or how exactly it conserves water -- but the company’s infographic gives us a neat idea for marketing self serve washes here in the United States. After all, a typical scrub at the self serve car wash uses about 17 gallons of water, while an at-home wash wastes about 100 gallons. Add the savings up over 3 years -- accounting for only one wash a month -- and you’ve still saved your community about 3,000 gallons of water per customer. In a town of 10,000 vehicles, you could potentially save nearly 10 million gallons of water each year!

I guess their bucket ran dry. A year after carwash workers won $1.65 million in back wages and damages, owners Jose and Andres Vasquez have closed their carwash in Inwood, NY. Jose Vasquez filed bankruptcy in 2016, shortly after 18 employees at Soft Touch Car Wash sued him for wage theft and emotional distress. According to a news article about the case, the 18 workers were supposed to receive between $91,000-$200,000 each, depending on their length of employment. Fox News previously reported the lawsuit found the workers were scheduled for long hours and were paid as little as $20 a day. They were denied lunch breaks at times, as well. There were four other carwashes, located throughout New York City and Long Island, included in the suit.

“Workin’ at the Car Wash?” Make sure you knock off early enough to check out ABC’s new sitcom, which will hopefully becoming to your television screen soon.


• SUMMER 2017 •

The TV network has tapped producer Will Packer to turn the 1976 feature film Car Wash Into a half hour weekly sitcom. “The ABC take is described as a workplace comedy that explores the family we build in order to survive — as seen through one kid’s determination to create his own destiny, one man’s struggle to accept who he has become and the bonds they form at an iconic Hollywood destination: Deluxe Car Wash,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Packer had previously produced Ride Along and Straight Outta Compton, as well as ABC’s shortlived Uncle Buck and A&E’s Roots revival. Photo courtesy King’s Oil and Lube in Prineville.

Rising Tide Car Wash is not only inspiring operators in our industry -- it’s now actively inspiring other new business ventures! As SSCWN has previously reported, the full-serve carwash in Parkland, FL, has earned accolades in our industry and made national headlines by making its primary mission to employ individuals with autism.

Now, a new bakery specializing in gluten- and dairy-free goodies in Carmel, IN, has found success after only a few months in business by taking a page from Rising Tide. No Label at the Table currently employs seven staff members, all of whom are on the autism spectrum. Co-owner Shelly Henley started the business with her son, Jacob, who has autism, with no formal culinary or business experience -- but after hearing about the carwash in Florida, she realized it might work as a concept for a bakery. The business currently sells its baked goods at local farmers’ markets, with plans to sell their products online and to open a storefront in the near future. (Autism affects one in 68 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2017 report by the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute showed that only 14 percent of adults with autism spectrum disorder had a paid job, although approximately 25 percent list it as a goal. You can learn more about Rising Tide and their mission by visiting their website at

The Elite Pro™ is an industry leading self-serve system sure to blow the competition away and produce cleaner vehicles from your car wash business. Consumers feel more value and enjoy better cleaning power as a result of the Elite system’s Advanced Product Delivery, which gives car wash operators the ability to customize the delivery pressure for all functions.

The Elite Plus enables you to add value and create efficiencies with the most powerful and flexible options available in self-serve car wash equipment. It’s 5 Hp Direct Drive Motor controlled by the Smart Logic VFD Controller, offers impressive flexible Product Delivery to your car wash bay and new services that your customers will enjoy!

Standard Options:

Standard Options: True One-Bay, One-Pump Design Modular Design Flexible Multi Pressure Delivery 5 Hp 3 Phase Direct Drive Motor & Pump 9 Delivery Functions Standard (Rinse, Soap, Wax, Pre-Soak, Tire/Engine, Foam Brush, Foam Wax, Spot Free & Bug & Tar) Direct Inject, Tank-Less Design Pre-Plumbed HOT, COLD & Spot Free Water Connections Efficient Purge Chemical Change Over Multi (3) Boom Ready Retro Fit Ready-Easily Adapts to Any Car Wash Industry Standard Parts & Controls *Plus Smart Logic VFD Controller

One Bay, One Pump Design Integrated Design-Up to 6 Bays Per System Flexible Multi Pressure Delivery 5 Hp 3 Phase Direct Drive Motor & Pump 9 Delivery Functions Standard (Rinse, Soap, Wax, Pre-Soak, Tire/Engine, Foam Brush, Foam Wax, Spot Free & Bug & Tar) 9 Individual Solution Tanks-Gravity Feed to Pump Pre-Plumbed HOT, COLD & Spot Free Water Connections Efficient Purge Chemical Change Over Multi (3) Boom Ready Retro Fit Ready-Easily Adapts to Any Car Wash Industry Standard Parts & Controls

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1-800-528-5733 2928   2928 Washington Avenue  Clearfield, PA 16830 • SUMMER 2017 •



• SUMMER 2017 •

• SUMMER 2017 •




From Istobal - New hot water heater, 5-senses wash accessories, and more... Istobal introduced several new products for the carwash industry at Autopromotec, a trade show for the oil, petroleum, and carwash markets in Bologna, Italy. Those products included: • ISTOBAL M’NEX32, a top-of-the-range rollover featuring a new wheel wash brush, a foam arch, new centring guides, and LED screens for an appealing and intuitive car wash experience. The in-bay automatic also includes a brush tilting device on the back of the vehicle to ensure a thorough clean and a new dosing system for ISTOBAL esens® products. • A new aerothermal heating boiler to be used at jet washes. This

equipment can save up to 75% power compared to electric heaters, and 60% compared to gas boilers. This sustainable and efficient system also reduces maintenance and has a lower environmental impact thanks to the use of renewable energy and the absence of combustion and smoke emission. The new hot water heater, together with ISTOBAL’s patented systems for chemical product injection and automatic management of high-pressure pumps make the jet washes of the Spanish brand one of the most environmentally friendly systems in the market. • A new accessory range for a ‘car wash experience for the five senses’, thanks to the incorporation of music, the use of different fragrances, and special lighting for the carwash bay. • TNew ISTOBAL esens® chemical line. This system of super-concentrated car wash products reduces CO2 emissions by 80% and hardly generates any waste into the environment.

From SONNY’S Outdoor digital menus SONNY’S Car Wash Factory is proud to introduce a new class of outdoor digital menus explicitly engineered for the car wash industry. Designed with visibility, durability and performance in mind, this LED display is readable in direct sunlight, withstands extreme ambient temperatures, and is both impact and vandal resistant. “SONNY’S Digital Menu allows you to upsell your top package, club plans, happy hours and extra services with engaging motion graphics. With our service you can test different menus to increase dollar-per-car averages in real time and easily schedule all your seasonal specials in advance.” says Regi Flanagan, VP of SONNY’S Controls. The content is completely cloud managed by SONNY’S Controls team, so there’s no need for an onsite server or additional maintenance. Multisite operators have the flexibility to schedule updates across locations by property, by state, by wash type, or other business specific criteria. Car wash operators will captivate their audiences with the auto brightness sensor that adjusts from 200 nit to 3,000 nit for perfect day and night visibility. The display and IP56 rated enclosure provides peace of mind with it’s reliable 24/7 operation even in extreme moisture and conditions from -22°F to 122°F with the patent- pending Steady Cooling System.


• SUMMER 2017 •

From Flight Shield Automotive and Marine High performance coating

Sapphire V1 is a ceramic coating that can be applied on any vehicle. It was first tested on and used in the aerospace industry, coating airplanes that go over 400 mph. It is said to protect against harmful UV rays, oxidation, abrasion, fallout, chemicals and other contaminates through curing and bonding to the surface of a vehicle. “This product is proven and tested,” said Randy Coates, a professional detailer with 30 years of experience and owner of Regency Car Wash and Professional Detail in Wisconsin. “You don’t even have to wax the car after using this product, just wash it and keep it clean and it will do the trick.” “You won’t have to re-apply and re-apply this coating,” said Coates. “Your car will stay cleaner for longer and you will reduce the expense it will cost you to clean your car at least by half.” Dave Bender, President of Flight Shield Automotive and Marine, has been working with this product for 13 years now. “The harshest environment that any vehicle will operate in is the aerospace industry,” said Bender. “If you can prove your product in the harshest environment you have instant credibility in the automotive and marine industry.” Bender also emphasized how the product will protect vehicles from harsh winter conditions. “This product is such a durable coating that salt from ice trucks does not penetrate it,” Bender said. “It negates salt and rust.” Sapphire V1 comes with a five year warranty. “

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Designed Here. Here . Testimonial Built Here. Backed Here.™ Call Today to Calculate Your Potential ROI What’s your Site’s Potential? Call us today and Sonny’s will run a demographic report, traffic survey, and create a sitespecific proforma with 5-year revenue projection for your proposed site conversion.

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• SUMMER 2017 •


2017 Calendar of Events Submissions can be made to Editor Kate Carr at


SWCA Salt Lake City Car Wash Tour

Sheraton Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT

Association News & Calendar


Car Wash Show Europe (ICA)

Amsterdam, Netherlands


NRCC 2017

Atlantic City, NJ


SWCA Baton Rouge Car Wash Tour

Marriott Hotel, Baton Rouge, LA


Splash! (ICA) New Orleans, LA


Australian Car Wash Show Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia

From the Western Carwash Association: Napa Roadshow Car wash operators and vendors from across the country traveled to Northern California for WCA’s Napa Roadshow! The fun began on Sunday, April 30th with a welcome reception, and the Roadshow departed Napa on May 1st. Tour stops included two 7 Flags locations, one in Vacaville and the other in Fairfield. The group of nearly 75 then headed to American Canyon Car Wash, and then hit one of Sonoma’s best Italian restaurants, Mama Tanino’s, for a meal break. Lunch was served with a side of education, as Christy Largent energized

the group with her discussion on employee engagement, and the need to create an opportunity culture to keep employees engaged. Following lunch, the group visited Sonoma Car Wash and Jolly Washer 76. The day concluded with a wine tasting reception in Napa. Attendees went home with a souvenir WCA wine glass and memories of a jam packed day of learning and making connections. Stay tuned for more information on our Arizona Roadshow and Self-Serve Summit coming in November!


Southwest Carwash Association Expo Arlington, TX


35th Annual Products Show

Heartland Carwash Association

APRIL 26-28

The Car Wash Show (ICA) Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, NV

MAY 15-17


Stuttgart, Germany


• SUMMER 2017 •

From the Southwest Car Wash Association: 2017 Wade Welch Memorial Golf Classic The 2017 edition of the popular SCWA summer golf classic hosted more than 110 golfers (30 teams) on a “beautiful golf day” at the famous La Cantera Palmer Golf Club in San Antonio. The annual event is played in memory of long time SCWA member; officer and avid golfer Wade Welch. The Classic kicked off the evening prior to

the event with a golf reception at the Eilan Hotel & Spa. The first place team was the Arbor Car Wash team led by Megan Swenson. Lunch and awards ceremonies followed the tournament with awards including the putting contest winner; longest drive; closest to the pin; and highest score.

From the Carwash Association of Pennsylvania: Annual Dinner and Table Top Show The Carwash Association of Pennsylvania kicked off summer with our Annual Dinner and Table-Top Show which we held on June 8 at the Hollywood Casino in Grantville, Pennsylvania. The room was filled with vendors and operators from across the state who enjoyed an evening of industry education and business building. Harry Campbell, Exec-

utive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, joined us as our keynote speaker. He gave a fascinating presentation on how CBF and the carwash industry share a lot of the same goals as it relates to clean water initiatives. All who attended the dinner took home a valuable education that will help us prepare our businesses for possible chang-

es to regulations in the future. Thank you to our sponsors Kleen-Rite, Hydro-Spray and Shore Corporation. Our next event this year is our Annual Golf Outing on October 12. Please visit for more information.

From the Heartland Carwash Association The Heartland Carwash Association hosted 2017 their Annual Product Show, themed Technology Shaping Solutions,on April 25-26 at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center Hotel and

Casino in Des Moines, Iowa. The HCA Product Show the largest trade show in the Midwest, the 20167 show was the best attended in its history.

From the Midwest Carwash Association: 2017 Expo The Midwest Carwash Association moved to the motor city and hosted its 2017 Expo at MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit. The event kicked off June 20 th with attendees networking with vendors on the show floor. The day ended with MCA’s annual dinner with more than 60 in attendance. Then on

June 21st operators and vendors hit the road to visit four of-the- moment area carwashes: Canton City Car Wash, Paul’s Auto Wash, Jax Kar Wash (Southfield), and Pro Car Wash. Special thanks to all event sponsors: AVW, Belanger Inc., DRB Systems, Gallop Brush Co., Har-

rell’s Car Wash Systems, Huron Valley Sales, Innovative Control Systems, Kleen-Rite Corp., Michigan Cleaning Fund, Motor City Wash Works, PECO Carwash Systems, Schultz Inc., Simoniz, Turtle Wax Pro, and Vaughan Industries. Our next event is our Annual Golf Outing on September 26th. • SUMMER 2017 •



• SUMMER 2017 •

Presenting some of the best discussions of the self serve industry’s headaches and solutions from ACF. You can find more discussions like these on

This issue’s topics from HTP water heaters; pouring new concrete over old; raising vacuum prices. Pour new concrete over old washnvac: I have a 4 bay wash (2 auto/ 2 s/s) that needs all new concrete and floor heat tubing. I have a vendor that says it will be fine to lay new tubing over old concrete, then pour 4 to 5 inches of new concrete over it. Has anyone ever done it this way? If yes, what are the results? Obviously this way is about 55% of the cost of ripping all of it out; then re-pouring. I am concerned if it will hold up without cracking in the future.

Ric: I did the exact thing to one my washes about 25 years ago. It’s still going strong today. The contractor did tear out the aprons so he could bring the new floor down to asphalt level. Pit grates had to be framed up also. I would not hesitate to do it again. wash4me: As long as you don’t feather it out at the edges (it remains a full 3-5 inches clear to the edge) I think it would be fine. lag: Will it affect the vehicle height you can accept in the two auto bays? Randy: How much is this project going to cost you? My bay floors are in pretty bad shape. The idiot who built my car wash 35 years ago poured the floor over the dirt, no rock ballast, no rebar or wire. They’re getting pretty cracked now. washsnvac: Complete demo, and new floors is about $35,000. This is with me doing the labor installing the floor heat tubing. Pour over old, with me doing the labor on the floor heat tubing is about $19,000. Lag-- Yes it would affect autos. They are lasers, so I would have to raise the units up to keep 7’ clearance. I have not gotten a price on that yet, but it seems to me that is not too complicated. The s/s bays - one is already 12’6”, and the other 9’6”, so that is not a big deal to lower that clearance. slash007: I’ve been thinking about doing that to get new floor heat installed, but can’t afford to lose the 4-5” in bay height. Any pictures of completed pour overs would be great. sparkey: Seems like you would need twice the BTU’s to heat the concrete slab pouring another floor on top of the existing floor. mjwalsh: We poured over ours for part of our car wash & our dog wash. I could be wrong but I think the over 10 inches of accumulated concrete height also makes it stronger in case something extra heavy travels over it or mounted on top of it. DiamondWash: My concern would be what caused the original concrete problems would eventually makes it’s way into the new concrete. Bought this location out of bankruptcy. Previous



on new concrete pour by laying floor heat tubing over old concrete. He has clearance to do so in SS, but will need to raise his IBAs. Other Forum members have done the same with satisfactory results. owner thought it would be a good idea to plumb the floor heating system with water; and constant fresh water pressure feed. Gas meter was removed years before we bought it. Needless to say, it was busted in many places. We have jackhammered and fixed many. But these have just been temporary repairs; as floor it just cracking up all over the place. It is time to fix it properly.

surface would solve my issues, 1/4” resurface just doesn’t seem very durable in our application considering we get a lot more traffic than typical driveways.

mjwalsh: That is an example of if the cement is kept from freeze thaw via deicer ... it tends to stay in a much more pristine condition.

VetteCity: I have never poured any concrete with floor heat but I have poured many caps on existing concrete some as thin as 2 inches most were 4 inches and all held up well. It is my experience that the extra thickness and the grout that settles in the cracks from the new pour stabilizes the broken concrete underneath. That being said none of these were car washes but most had heavy truck and trailer use(not semi tractor and trailer). I am not sure if you can use fiber in the concrete with floor heat but if you can I would pour the first 2 inches with fiber and the top without for a smoother finish. I have used several different skim coats we call them and I have yet to find one that will hold up to pressure washing.

DiamondWash: Could you post pictures of the concrete you are going to replace?. Have you started/ completed this concrete project? I’m really interested on how it turned out. washnvac: Negative; I have not decided what I am going to do yet. I am awaiting the contractor to come back so I can get firm pricing on both avenues. It may be a few months. Whatever I decide, am going to try and complete in September. I will let you know. DiamondWash: I have been researching “concrete resurfacing” lately and it’s got me thinking about it alot more now, as I too have cracking in my bays but from what I have seen and heard a 1/4” re-

MEP001: Years ago I saw a product that was basically an epoxy mixed with concrete and some sort of fiber reinforcement that could spread thin on top of existing concrete. I haven’t been able to find exactly what I remember.

{continued } • SUMMER 2017 •


HTP Water Heater Pour new concrete over old {continued} We have applied many different High build epoxy coatings in factories and mixed them with a variety of fillers for traction and they are very expensive. In my area it would be cheaper to pour a cap on existing concrete if you have the height. sparkey: I had to repour my automatic bay a couple years ago. I used fiber in the concrete and the floor heat has no issues. DiamondWash: OMG I’m starting to hate concrete right now, our slabs are finally settling and the cracks are appearing everywhere in my lots n,e,s,w, had a company come out to quote me “just my backlot” at 4,925 Sq Ft with 6” thick C4 concrete $35,050.00 and that doesn’t include the areas with floor heat, so I ask this if you had to demo out your concrete would you replace with asphalt I know the price of oil dictates the cost of it but $35k MEP001: You shouldn’t need 6” concrete unless you have fully loaded dump trucks going over it regularly. A proper base and 4 1/2” is the standard here. Asphalt needs an even sturdier base to not shift and crack, so your cost won’t be a lot less if asphalt is done right, and if it’s in an area that will get wet a lot it won’t last 20 years.

DiamondWash: Majority of our business is commercial traffic such as: FedEx, UPS, Construction vehicles, RV’s, Etc were going on 16 yrs here, so we are at that time to probably replace the concrete because I think we have hot poured the cracks over the years to the point of no return. I’ve seen some wash owners just pour a slab in the front and rear of the bays and have gravel for the parking lot LOL. 6t7gto: Over $6.00 a sq. ft. seems high. I did 5” concrete 23 years ago and mine is fine. UPS, Fedex, garbage truck, semis cutting thru to neighbors building. MichaelGlenn: I see some mention of ‘resurfacing concrete’... my bays are pretty rough but not deteriorated enough to warrant tearing them out. Has anyone tried the Sakrete brand resurfacer ? There’s some other similar products, basically you mix in a 5 gal bucket, pour and spread over existing concrete with a oversized squeegee. Product claims to hold up in driveway applications but doubtful about use in a carwash bay.

Copperglobe: I’m pulling the “on demand” water heaters this summer and replacing with a HTP model basically because of the posts listed on this site. My on demand just can’t keep up nor heat the water hot enough on those busy days. In a 4-bay self serve wash how many gallons will take care of business and since HTP lists a few different models- which model? Thanks! soapy: I have one 199,000 btu Voyager/HTP style heater that will keep up with 4 ss bays and 2 automatic bays with no problems. MDrost1: What automatics do you have installed at that location? What kind of wash volume do you have? Thinking about the same route. soapy: I run 2 Ryko automatics and 4 SS bays. I have the 199,000 btu 80 gallon tank model. It keeps up on the busiest of days with all bays lined up. I have watched the recovery rate when I mix a 55 gallon drum of soap with hot water. It will raise the 80 gallon tank 5 degrees per minute. soonermajic: How much more is the 80 gal vs. 55 gal


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soapy: The last one I purchased was 14 years ago so I have no idea of current prices. 2Biz: I have the HTP 199k btu 55 gallon model for a 4 bay. Heat soap and wax. No problems keeping up even on my busiest day ever. 4500 gal. copperglobe: Do you know the model number of your heater? That would take all the shopping time out of my thinking, just go with what you got. Thanks



is planning to replace his on-demand water heaters with an HTP (heat transfer product) and seeking recommendations for size and model. Recommendations include: 199,000 btu 80 gallon tank model for 4/2 SS/IBA and a 55-gallon model for a 4-bay SS without IBA.

Randy: At some of our washes we use a 199,000 btu A.O Smith water heater, they seem to work fine. The older washes still have the on demand Bosch water heaters, they work fine. We only heat the water for the High pressure soap. 2Biz: The Ao Smith is similar to the HTP except I think it has a steel tank. The HTP has a 316 SS tank. One of the main reasons I went that route. Greg Pack: What kind of street price are you guys seeing for the HTP? Just browsing they were 6k. A Rheem runs about 3K. I love stainless but the Rheems have been lasting forever. What makes that unit worth the extra money?

about 199bti, & I think it was $4k!? 2Biz: I got my 55gal HTP from, Its up to $4371...I paid $3800 a few years ago. Worth every penny...I compared to all of them, AO Smith, Rheem, etc...The HTP has one of the highest energy efficient ratings ...96% . I liked the fact it has a SS tank SS...It modulates, 40K BTU to 199K btu...It had the best recovery and the highest GPM output at comparable GPM data... BTW, don’t be misled by the picture...It doesn’t look like that. This is what it looks like... Give us a link to the Rheem you were looking at for comparison... JMMUSTANG: I believe this is the link you are looking for. HTPPhoenix.aspx soonermajic: A LOT of choices! Ha

Copperglobe: Anyone willing to post model numbers for their water heaters? Thanks soonermajic: Someone put a Phoenix HTP,

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1-800-528-5733 2928  2928 Washington Avenue  Clearfield, PA 16830 • SUMMER 2017 •


50-cent Vacs chaz: I’m two bucks for 6 minutes on my vacs. Most washes around me are one buck for 3 or 4 minutes. I’m fine with being at $2. I get an occasional customer comment about my pricing ... but today someone accused me of “highway robbery” saying the wash he usually goes to is 50 cents, though he had no idea how much time he gets for the 50cents. I plan to go and visit that wash. But my question is ... does anyone vend vac that cheap and at what time? I can’t even imagine a 50-cent start, at any time ... just invites the slobs.

kentadel: I will fess up and admit that I have 50 cent vacs at a location. I have kept the vacs at 50 cents since the day I opened the wash in 1990. Small town courtesy that I choose to do. 2 minutes time and they are always busy. 2Biz: Same here...50 cents for 3 minutes...My reasoning? There are 2 other washes within a mile that I compete with in a small town. They are $1.00 for the same amount of time. I never see anybody use their vacs. Mine gets a lot of use and I make $$$. It also helps draw in customers and helps increase bay revenue...Plus I remember doing the math once. It cost less than a penny in electric for 3 minutes of vac time. The highest profit margin $$$ source at the wash.



Do lower prices invite more business -- or just more problems? (Spoiler alert: The Forum wants you to raise your prices.)

on the 2 new vac’s. My vac’s are $1.25, soon to be $1.50 for 3.5 minutes. They are always busy. I clean them out 3 times a week, keep the bags clean, and the do very well. You guy that only charge .50 or .75 are leaving a lot of money on the table.

first wash and I simply choose to, plus I don’t give a lot of time for that .50. I have vacs that are $1 and $1.25 for 3 minutes and fragrance/shampoo for $3 at other locations. chaz: It’s my belief that no matter what your

tdlconceptsllc: This is a funny makes me think back. I was at one time 50cents over 11 years ago and 75cents I had every farmer,brick mason,painter,vaccuming out truck beds the turning point for me was i had enough and seen a guy vacuuming out a boat livewell with water in it and water was coming out my vac door. One of the best things I ever done was put in new vacs and go to $1.50 for 3:10seconds and my customers comment on how happy and clean and powerful they suck now. Thanks too one of my Carwash buddies for shinning the light for me to do this. I got tired of practicing on the vacuums and got with the program.

loewem: I’ve thought about the idea of not showing a timer. My most used vacs show time and people seem to race the clock. Lesser used vacs don’t show the time and people seem to take their time. Location is the difference in usage for me, but have thought about switching around a vac or two and see if not showing time makes any difference. I am at 3 minutes for $1 and planning on increasing to $1.25 July 1st and $1.50 on January 1st. Cost/time definitely makes a difference in the amount/type of mess. Last November I went from 4 minutes per $1 to 3 minutes per $1. Noticeable difference in mess and income. The best deterrent to people making a mess that I have found is to provide a great service and trespass people who make a mess. I trespassed one high school kid who cleaned a muddy jeep in a bay and then messed up a vac. His buddies got the message and the mud has decreased significantly. BTW - I caught a guy from the electric company vacuuming out water from a cherry picker bucket. Amazing what people will do. I couldn’t do something like that for fear of my dad leaping out of his wheel chair and beating my A$$.

chaz: Yep, it was the concrete mix followed by water that got me thinking. Lucky for me the concrete was not set....but still a huge mess that took over an hour to clean. $1.50 for 3:10, that’s great. I wanted to stay in $1 increments since I dispense dollar coins. I have countdown timers on the vacs with add money for more time option activated. I sometimes think not showing the running clock would add to overall revenue.

chaz: Why wait. Make the January price increase ASAP. That way more money in your pocket now and no need to retrain customers twice in 6 months. When I found the concrete in my vac, I was so annoyed, I raised prices that day and made temporary price stickers with my dymo. I briefly though about waiting a few days for new decals from the sign guy so it wouldn’t look too obvious that I made a change. I also added sunburst decals “Now More Time”

Haines: I may be the cheapest at $.75 for 5 min-

Randy: That’s all BS that you keep the vac prices low to draw in customers. In the small town my car wash is in the only other car wash in town is .50 for 5 minutes on 2 of his vac’s and .75 for 5 minutes

2Biz: And then there are CW owners that offer “Free” vacs!

run off the slobs and generate additional revenue.

kentadel: I am not keeping the price low to draw in customers at the one location. It was my

MEP001: The only time I’ve seen a gas station

chaz: Yeah, I agree great profit margin. But cleaning the vacs is a dirty awful mess, especially after a rainy period. I had thought about staying at a buck and dropping time but figured that wouldn’t accomplish my goal. 1) chasing away the “vac and run customers” that make the biggest mess and will vac anything including concrete fix, so far so good. 2) increasing revenue per activation. 3) Reduce wear and tear on equipment.


• SUMMER 2017 •

time vs coin is, one is better off with a higher start and more time. In other words I THINK a 50cent start for 3 minutes is less profitable than say $1 for 6 minutes. I find 6 minutes is plenty of time to vac the average vehicle, 3 minutes results in a beat the clock approach, and then one can only hope for the additional activation. Since I started this post, I have become aware of two 50cent vacs in my area. One I’m told at a gas station with a wash, has vacs at 50cents four minutes. I have yet to test these, not that it matters I’m quite happy at $2 for 6minutes, even with the occasional drive off swampdonkey: Well Randy I will challenge you on your small town,just kidding. I upgraded to new combos last year and went to $2.00 for 4 minutes from $1.25.Other washes are $ 1.00 for 4 minutes on vacs.Their bigger problem is that they are so run down looking few customers use them. Gets back to running and maintaining a clean looking business. utes. In my town there are many gas stations built recently that offer free vacs. I was hesitant to raise prices for fear of driving them to the free vacs. The longer they’ve been there, I notice the free vacs are getting abused and repair is less prompt. I plan to go to $1 for 3 minutes, which is a drastic price increase, but one that I think is fair (we’ll see). I hope it will We will see. vacuum work properly is when it’s first installed.

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Holding on too tight ...

Are the pending/holding charges on credit card sales losing you customers? KRISTY: That kind of leads me to my next question here: If using credit cards in your bays, what’s the maximum pending charge? And are you using credit card processing on any other equipment besides the bays, and if so, what? JERRY: We use credit cards and our maximum is $12. We do get phone calls -- people say, I only spent $4, and it shows $12. And we now have the signs like the gas stations do, at our bays. It seems to cut down on the amount of phone calls. But credit cards are phenomenal. It’s a great money maker. Even if you charge $2 or $3, they’re not rushing. When it comes to cash, people don’t want to spend a lot of cash. But credit cards -- it’s like no cost, in a sense. TERRY: As long as you let everybody know -- if you put up the sign up like Jerry said, “You will see a temporary or pending charge on your account.” That will diffuse a lot of the questions that come about. Yeah, credit card use is -- if you’ve got a $2 price point, you’ll find that most people are giving you $5.50 almost $6 on average. It’s much better for the younger generation, too. They don’t carry cash -- you have to take credit cards. MARK: I agree completely. We take credit cards everywhere -- at our vacuums, dog washes, and at all our washes and in all our bays. We get a few calls. We had one woman, she came in or her husband did, and she said we’ve got 7 pending charges for $10 on our credit card. So I had to explain to her that she needed to give it 24-48 hours, and then come back. We’ve had more problem with the debit cards, because it holds those funds, so if some-


• SUMMER 2017 •

WCA’s Self Serve Panel Discussion with Executive Director Kristy Babb, Terry McDonald and WCA Board Members Sydney King, Larry Nelson and Mark Mikesell!

body’s low on money -- only $70 in their account -- they can’t go buy a candy bar because it’s taken their money. Or, well, holding their money -- not taking it -- but still. SYDNEY: I was talking to another self serve operator the other day who was explaining to me -- we both happen to use WashGear -- and he said there is a programming capability that will let your system settle every single transaction so that that won’t happen. He said it ended up costing him maybe another 60 cents per transaction, but he said that to him it’s worth not getting these phone calls over it. So there is that capability if you find that it’s an annoyance to your customers and they’re not coming back to you because they see that $10 or $12 charge and they don’t check back to see that it’s gone. I’m one of those terrible people that doesn’t

look at their credit card until I get a statement and these people who are just online and checking their accounts all the time are mind boggling to me. But you do have that capability with some of the software companies. I would check to see if it’s an issue for you. I have not made that choice because I have the signage. That was one of the first things I did when I put the credit cards in. KRISTY: Do different credit card companies provide that signage? SYDNEY: I had to make my own signs. AUDIENCE: Are you all counting up at your bays? LARRY: See, the way we do it is we do a $6 swipe. Just a flat six bucks. We do $2.50 to start for 3.5 minutes and then $6 gives them like 7.5 minutes or whatever. If it’s a big rig or a motor home, they just {continued }






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ICA Show TERRY: It’s a minor inconvenience, but I don’t think I’d want to give 60 cents a transaction back to the bank. RICK DEAL: It’s not 60 cents; it’s 8 cents.

Jason Johnson, WCA President, speaking at The Car Wash Show’s Keynote Presentation with David Begin, ICA President and David Haney, AOCA President.

keep swiping. AUDIENCE: So they just automatically see that $6 charge on their credit card, right away. It doesn’t change. That’s the maximum. LARRY: Right. AUDIENCE: So if they swipe it three times, it’s $6, $6, $6. LARRY: Right. AUDIENCE: Does it charge you processing fees each time they swipe it? LARRY: I imagine so. Yes. AUDIENCE: Can you reduce that pending charged from $10 or whatever? SYDNEY: Yes. If you want to lower your maximum amount, that’s programmable. AUDIENCE: So, like, if it’s your vacuums… SYDNEY: Yes, that’s programmable. KRISTY: Could you change it to a penny charged? AUDIENCE: Yes, you need to talk with your service provider, on your technology, but that’s possible. You can set it at $10, $12. We’re considering going to $15. You could make it $25 if you want. AUDIENCE: We actually do have a $25 minimum -- we’re in a unique area where people wash a long time -- but I wanted to say, I don’t understand why you said before that you might be able to settle each transaction right then, because we actually settle our chargers each night, but it’s the bank you’re waiting on. The bank takes up to 48 hours to get rid of that pre-approved charge. SYDNEY: This is actually settling each transaction. AUDIENCE: I know -- but you still have to pre-approve that credit card for whatever amount. So, it’s still going to be the 48 hours that the bank takes to do that. I mean...that’s how I’ve always understood it. SYDNEY: Yeah, hmmm… I mean, this guy claimed to have gotten rid of the initial pre-approval. It settles right at whatever they closed their ticket at. RICK DEAL: I’ll jump in. See, the way that works is you’ve got a swipe fee (instead of the pre-approv-


• SUMMER 2017 •

al). If you’re at a swipe fee of ten cents a swipe, let’s say, then there’ll be a swipe fee of ten cents when it starts and then a swipe fee of ten cents when they push your stop button. But it does do it (get rid of the pre-approval process) -- and since it does it, I don’t see those complaints anymore. And the complaints on Google, I’m not seeing those anymore either. But it does do it -- I’m not sure how they do it, but it does it. And you do pay an extra swipe fee. I’m on one that’s 8 cents. Adds up to about $80 a month for that extra swipe. AUDIENCE: Could you re-cap that discussion? We couldn’t hear back here. RICK DEAL: So basically, if you’re using the method that Syndey was talking about, they’ll charge you an extra swipe fee. But then what happens is that the transaction will go right through, so the customer is charged only the amount that they washed. It has an extra swipe fee, though -- so in my case, I’m paying an 8 cents swipe fee. It cost me about an extra $80 last month, but for me, it’s worth it. AUDIENCE: How many bays? RICK DEAL: I have one 5 bay. AUDIENCE: So it’s $80 per location? RICK DEAL: Well, it depends on how many swipes you have. AUDIENCE: Yes, of course. But just to get an idea. AUDIENCE: May I ask...who does your equipment? RICK DEAL: That’s WashGear. AUDIENCE: I just want to say, we have 54 bays. We get the calls just like everybody else does. We probably get 5-6 of them a week. And probably over the last five years, once you explain this stuff -- if you really take the time, 4-5 minutes -- I think that 2 people, total, were ever upset. If you explain to them it’s not your fault, this is what the banks do, it’s never been a major problem for us. I don’t think we’ve ever lost a customer. But to do what you’re doing, for us, unfortunately, that would be $1,000 a month, because we have 10 locations. It’s just never been a major problem.

TERRY: Oh, okay. But yeah, so like Howard said, 4-5 calls a week. You explain it to them, “It shows as a pending charge.” “Yeah, it is. You were in on a Friday night, bank doesn’t process on Saturday, Sunday. It’s Monday morning, let’s check with me on Tuesday.” Of course, we can remotely access any computers from our office. So, we get their name, see they were at location, say, “Okay, yes, Mr. Smith, you were on Bay 2 at Location 115. You used $4.37.” He says, “Well, I’m showing $12.” We say, “Okay, you used $4.37. We can print you a receipt, if you want to come by and pick that up until the bank settles the charges.” You know, we have enough management staff that can walk around the locations on the busier days, explain to people who are using the credit cards, you know, you’re going to notice a pending charge. They’ll say, “Yeah, I learned how that works.” Because, I mean, we’ve been doing it for 5-6 years now. It’s over 25 percent of our business is credit cards and we don’t want to give it up. MARLA MAYER: And to add to what Terry’s saying, we put the blame on their bank. We tell them their bank is pre-authorizing them for that charge. It’s not us doing it. They’re very receptive to that. JERRY: Don’t forget -- these are all new customers this is happening to. They’re getting educated. THey may tell their friend. Eventually, this is going to disappear I think -- people not knowing how. Because as more and more people come to our bays and do business. Another thing I wanted to say, you know how everybody is concerned about credit cards being stolen and everything. Well, my wife had her credit card stolen recently. I never reported it. The guy spent less money than my wife. (Laughter.) KRISTY: And just to repeat what Marla had said -- she puts the blame on their bank. So when she gets a customer calling saying, “Hey! What’s this charge?” She puts the blame back on the bank and that seems to alleviate some of her discussions. AUDIENCE: Couldn’t that come back to bite you in the butt? You know, if they call the bank and the bank turns around and says it’s your fee. MARK: But it is the bank. It’s the bank that does that. AUDIENCE: But you’re saying how much; $10 or $12 or whatever. MARK: Well, yes, but the bank is going to hold something. That’s an industry standard -- that $10 or $12. I own gas stations, too, and for gas stations it’s $150. Every time you swipe AUDIENCE: The place I go isn’t that much. MARK: It’s $150. Unless you go in and pay for it. But if you swipe at the pump, the credit card company holds $150. SYDNEY: Yeah -- and I usually use that as an example. I tell my customers this is just like at the gas station. The pump doesn’t know what you’re going to finalize at, and neither does the car wash. So, yes, you set your maximum. But you can use this as an educational moment with your customers, kind of build rapport, even loyalty. {continued }

• SUMMER 2017 •


ICA Show MARK: And you are always able to print out a sales receipt. You’re able to say -- “See, this is what you’re charged, right on there, but it’s the bank holding that amount there in parentheses.” But, it’s not that difficult. I mean, you really only have this problem if you count up. If you count down, you’re fine.

Mix it up: Best practices for chemical mixing AUDIENCE: Can I change the topic? KRISTY: Sure! Please. AUDIENCE: What are the best practices you guys have for making sure your chemical mixes are proper? Is it just a hydrominder color or are you guys actually titrating yoru chemicals to -- is it experience? What is it to make sure you’re not doing too much but you’re at least doing enough to put out a good wash? TERRY: I typically ask the distributor what he recommends -- and I’ve been doing this for a long time -- so I kind of know. With a self serve you need to have a good show in the bay. You want your customer to have a good perceived value: Your foam brush needs to be foamy and have a good color to it. If the triple foam isn’t right, you make minor adjustments. I do not titrate my chemicals, other than my touchless automatic, and then my chemist -- my chemical guy -- does that. But the rest of it is just feel. In Arizona in the wintertime, I’ve got good meter tips on all my chemicals because it gets chilly. Yeah -- it does get cold. It’s less viscous so it doesn’t pull through the hydrominder as well. Now, this time of year, it’s warming up, I may start tapering down. It’s just over the years having experience for us.

LARRY: Our stand is elevated, so we use 5-gallon pails and they tuck underneath and out of the way. SYDNEY: I have touchless automatics at both of my locations, so I have the big 55-gallon drums for everything except the polishes -- I do 15-gallon drums for the polishes. MARK: I use 5’s for everything except my high-pressure, there’s 30’s for that. TERRY: I have a mix of both. I have a local blender that does my soap for me, so he’ll bring me the 55’s, and then I import my triple foams and my hot wax and my Rain-X, and that’s going to be in a concentrated 5. So it depends also on the space in the equipment room at each location.

Credit card acceptors on the vacuums

AUDIENCE: Yes, that’s what’s happening. We’ve gotten five new carwashes -- well, 5 new sets of those free vacuums within the last 4 years.

TERRY: We don’t do credit card on our vacuums.

AUDIENCE: See, we have one free vacuum that’s anywhere near us, but we’ve got a 60-year-old carwash and we’re just trying to get some business in and thinking about it for marketing purposes.

MARK: Yeah, I do on ours, and it’s still the same $10 threshold. You have to press stop. There’s a lot of expense in the equipment to do that. We just kind of did it because when we built a new facility we just had the attitude that we were going to put credit cards on everything. So every piece of equipment on our lot has credit cards on it. I don’t know. It’s like...this day in age...I mean, the younger generation. My wife and I have five kids and not one of them has a nickel in their pocket, but they each carry around a debit card.

Are water softeners worth the trouble? AUDIENCE: Does everybody use a water softener -- or is that just us?

AUDIENCE: Are free vacuums influencing the self serve market at all?

MARK: No, we turned all of ours off and we still ended up with good RO water. Yes, it’s a little bit harder to make foamier chemicals with harder water than it is with soft water. But as long as you keep an eye on your RO -- and yes, you’ll ruin your RO membranes, you’ll ruin them in 2.5 years, some in 1.5 years -- so it’s $150 or $200 versus a bag of salt a day for 365 days? Or you could even have your RO membranes cleaned for $40 and get another 3 or so years out of ‘em. The only places where I keep any spot-free or any RO working is in my touchless automatic carwash where I use soft water.

KRISTY: That’s an excellent segue into our next question! Free vacuums: Who’s doing them? Do they work?

AUDIENCE: Question for the panel: Is your preference for the 55-gallon drums or for smaller quantities that are a more higher concentrate -- in your bays in particular?


• SUMMER 2017 •

AUDIENCE: Do you have a lot of free vacuums in your area? See, we don’t have any in our area right now.

AUDIENCE: Is running a credit card on the vacuum worth it and do you have spend a minimum on the vacuum?

Just give it away: Free vacuums and the self serve market

Chemicals in 55-gallon drums or smaller, higherconcentrate?

are just so many express washes in Phoenix, Arizona. Every one of my car washes is surrounded by a carwash that’s a mile on either side of it that’s $3 with free vacuums. So, if you’re an express -- we did it to try to compete with the express washes. Mind you, we’re a $6 basic wash -- but we will hand dry your car. And we do give you that little token, you can buy a towel or an Armor All. But we still get a tremendous amount of self serve business. There’s still a segment of our society that wants to do it themself. At least for right now. If that’s gonna phase away, I don’t know. But for right now, they still want to vacuum their car themselves, too. Our vacuum revenue has come down, but it’s not bad. Like he did -- he put in free vacuums, so you make no money now, right? Yeah. We don’t want to go to free vacuums. We won’t have any revenue then.

JERRY: I have free vacuums at two of my exterior expresses and it’s just killed the vacuums at my self serves. It just killed them. There isn’t a self serve wash in our area that’s gone to free vacuums. There is one that’s gone to giving out a token if you buy the most expensive rollover wash he’s got, but other than that… We’re thinking about a remodel where we might put free vacuums in with our self serve also. AUDIENCE: We have free vacuums with our express wash, but we give them a different token. It only works on our vacuums. It doesn’t work anywhere else -- our bays or our accessories. I don’t think we’ve lost that much income or from our self service customers that are using the vacuums. It’s worked out okay. I was against it for quite a while. I think it helped our express washes and brought in some income there. AUDIENCE: We were forced to do it. I mean, there

KRISTY: So free vacuums for the marketing purposes. Hmm. I see we have a question over there.

Fencing in to branch out: Gated self serves AUDIENCE: I was wondering if anyone here has tried the gated self serve concept? *Crickets* KRISTY: Anyone? Anyone out in the audience have a gated self serve? *Crickets* SYDNEY: Well, I talked to a guy last night who was telling me about his. He was ready to tear his self serve down, but he sort of thought about it again and then put a gate around it and for a one-time $10 fee you can drive in and wash and vacuum and do whatever you want to do and it’s a huge, thriving business now. Umm. I’ve never heard of the concept. It’s not something we’ve done in the Utah market at all, but it was an interesting concept. KRISTY: Well, I just wanted to thank all of you for being here today. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t take the time to make a plug for Western Carwash Association right now. We realize and understand that self serve operators have a unique business and we really do our best to try to provide an avenue for education for you. Part of your membership with the WCA is we provide self serve education specific to you through our webinars, through our newsletter, through our road shows. We always include self serve. I would encourage you all to please take a look at the Association if you’re not already members. We’d love to have you as part of the WCA family. And thank you, also, to our panelists today. Thank you.

• SUMMER 2017 •


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• SUMMER 2017 66 NRCC1961_042417.indd 1

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Self Serve Carwash News Summer 2017 Word count: 4,600 Heading: Credit Card Matrix Sub-heading: Microchips. ApplePay. Hackers. RFID. The future of payment is WEIRD. Author: Kate Carr Photos: Generic credit card photos again In July of this year, a River Falls, WI, company made headlines when it said more than 50 employees were planning to take them up on their offer to implant tiny radio-frequency chips in the workers’ hands to allow them to “make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, [and] use the copy machine.” The offer was simply that -- an offer, not a mandate -- but the fact that more than four dozen employees were willing to take a chance on the controversial technology speaks volumes. Workers who don’t have the chip inserted between their thumb and forefinger will instead be given a ring or wristband with the technology.

Three Square Market is believed to be the first U.S. company to use the implantable microchips -- which have had FDA approval for more than 12 years. CEO Todd Westby got the idea after working with BioHax International, a Swedish company which has been chipping their staff for two years now and has 150 workers chipped currently. He believes the technology will eventually become commonplace -- and explained that workers will be able to use their chips to pay for things even out of the office if the technology is accepted there. (Three Square Market, for example, aims to be a participant. The company actually produces and sells mini market “self serve” stores for a variety of uses and has them all over the globe.) “We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market … unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals. Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.”

According to Westby, the $300 chip is not GPS trackable and “only contains information you choose to associate with it” in an encrypted manner. But as Alessandro Acquisti, a professor of information technology and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, told the New York Times, encrypted is “a pretty vague term ... which could include anything from a truly secure product to something that is easily hackable.” The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Speaking of hacks -- that brings us to the real focus of our story: Is there any such thing as a secure payment in the carwash industry? And is there any way to “future proof” your payment technology? And what the heck are people doing inserting MICROCHIPS INTO THEIR BODIES?! Sure, microchips may represent a rather extreme idea of the future of payment technology, but it’s not that far off from what’s happening now. RFIDs and mobile phone payments are becoming more popular at carwashes around the country. At the same time, plastic has become a staple: More than 60 percent of self serves answering the 2016 Auto • SUMMER 2017 •



Laundry News survey reported accepting credit cards. (Just under half of the respondents accept tokens.) The reason for the ever-increasing use of credit card payments seems to be predicated on the matter of convenience for the consumer. For the operator, it can be comforting to know that Americans using plastic will out-spend their cash or check counterparts by 12-18 percent, according to Dun and Bradstreet, a business data provider. Need further proof? McDonald’s reports its average ticket is $7 when people use credit cards versus $4.50 for cash. Give the customer what they want, and they’ll spend more. A pretty simple formula, huh? (In one study at M.I.T. MBA students were willing to


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spend twice as much for sports tickets when using a credit card than they would pay using cash.) Of course, the risk of having to replace a dollar that was stuck in the bill changer or some tokens that never registered in your drop is a lot less worrisome than a hack on your point-of-sale system that might jeopardize the credit card information of 40 percent of your customers. And that concern is a well-justified one as of late... Hackin’ at the carwash, oh yeah In our last issue we speculated that a few reports of credit card data theft at carwashes Denver, CO, and in several California cities were probably connected and that more cases would be brought to light… Well, folks, it’s not fun being right about something so depressing, but here are the facts:

Nearly 40 car washes reported security breaches and potentially 200 were involved in the nationwide security breach which happened in February and March of this year and compromised tens of thousands of carwash customers. According to Booz Allen Cyber4Sight, a threat intelligence solutions service, the at-risk systems all seemed to involve POS terminals from DRB Systems. (Cyber4Sight operates a blog which has a complete run-down of all the involved carwashes: Marty Dew, a co-owner of one of the affected washes, Whatta Wash in Spartanburg, SC, found out about the malware on his system after being notified by his systems provider at the end of March. Dew told his local TV station WSPA, “We’re a small business, so we didn’t have any way of knowing this was happening, and in a way, we’re sort of victimized too without even knowing it,” Dew explained. “Integrity, honesty, respect are the business values that we have, so when we found out about it, we wanted to make sure that our customers knew about it.” He added, “Even though our providers are using the latest technology to try to protect our systems, the thieves are finding ways to get around these things and are constantly they’re improving their technology as well.” How did the breach happen? According to quotes from several of the carwashes involved, “[T] he investigation indicates that the intruder placed malware on the point-of-sale system, and by doing so gained access to our customers’ payment card data, including the cardholder’s first and last name, payment card number, and security code.” Free your mind; secure your POS If you find yourself a victim of one of these hacks, at least you’re in good company. Wendy’s, Eddie Bauer and Kimpton Hotels were all hacked in 2016 -- and in the same manner as those carwashes, too: At the point-of-sale system. According to a recent article in PC World, pointof-sale malware can strike in a number ways -- and in the worst cases, it sneaks past antivirus programs and traditional firewalls, taking data slowly and passing it off as normal traffic for months on end. The article referenced John Christly, CISO of Netsurion, a security provider, who noted hackers spread malicious code by breaching the remote access services designed to maintain the payment processing systems. “These remote access services can be poorly configured with guessable passwords, enabling the hackers to break in and distribute the malware to hundreds or thousands of point-of-sale machines,” the article noted. According to Christly, a carwash, especially one that has remote access to their POS, could better protect itself by installing “two-factor authentication” -- that way the business doesn’t rely on password logins. Two-factor authentication means the user is granted access only after successfully presenting separate pieces of evidence to an authen-

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tication mechanism – usually two of the following categories: knowledge (something they know), possession (something they have), and inherence (something they are) Of course, Christly is also an advocate of businesses who use a monitoring service or sool which can go “beyond basic antivirus and firewalls.” His company, Netsurion, has tools specifically for small and medium-size businesses that do just that. Do not bend the spoon….encrypt it End-to-end encryption is another defense mechanism (and a tactic you may be familiar with if you use Cryptopay or have considered their equipment). The PC World article cited George Rice, a senior director of payments at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Security, who said this type of encryption prevents POS malware from getting useful payment data when the card is swiped. (Typically, point-of-sale malware works by reading payment data the moment the card is swiped through the retail checkout machine. It does this by scraping the RAM memory of the point-of-sale terminal, where the payment data can be unencrypted, the article pointed out.) “The malware techniques are evolving all the time,” Rice said. Criminals also understand that retailers are continually updating their point-of-sale machines for pricing or inventory reasons. “So they (the hackers) are using a variety of vulnerabilities to insert the malware into the system,” he added. But if your POS offers end-to-end encryption, then the system does not read the customer’s data when it is swiped -- it immediately encrypts it. “This technique can help close any loopholes and vulnerabilities within the system,” Rice said. This can also be accomplished via tokenization,


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a process of replacing the processed payment card data with digital placeholders, known as tokens. Both this and encryption can be used in combination to reduce the risk of data theft, Rice told PC World. Ask the hard questions now Perhaps one of the greatest risks to your security is the most preventable: Not asking questions up front. According to Charles Henderson, the head of X-Force Red, a security testing team at IBM, who spoke to PC World, too many businesses skip this step. “Most companies assume when they buy a point-of-sale system, they’re buying something secure,” Henderson said, adding just because a product complies to industry standards, it doesn’t necessarily equate to security. Henderson advised businesses to hire a security specialist who would be able to test the POS system for vulnerabilities and offer solutions for improving security. And “although encryption and other malware-fighting tools can prevent data breaches in point-of-sale systems, they’re practically useless if they aren’t properly installed,” Henderson said. “They’re not bulletproof. The devil is in the implementation,” he said. Never send a machine to do a human’s job In our industry, the most prevalent kind of credit card data theft is done via hacking, but skimming has been a major concern for bank ATMs and gas stations in recent years. In a skimming attack, the thief actually puts a device on the card swipe mechanism that steals the credit card information from the magnetic stripe. Typically, the skimmer

will also place a video camera at the site in order to record the victim typing in their pin number, as well. If they don’t use a video camera, they might place a false keypad over top the real one that can record the numbers. While this type of threat isn’t common to carwashes, it’s worth knowing how to protect yourself as a consumer -- and doubly important for operators who have ATMs on site. For starters, try giving swipers a shake to see if a device is obvious. If you need to type in your pin, use your other hand to cover your movements. You can check out an excellent article with photographs of skimming devices and advice for spotting them here: www.krebsonsecurity. com/2010/01/would-you-have-spotted-thefraud/. The red pill or the blue pill? Putting aside the issue of POS security for a moment, let’s consider how payment technology is likely to develop in the next decade and how that might impact your business. The experts we consulted for this article were in agreement that carwash operators should look into one specific device: The smartphone. According to Amy Olson, graphics and marketing generalist at WashCard Systems, mobile-based technology -- also referred to as NFC for Near Field Communication -- is gaining speed in the conveyor and IBA markets -- although even some of those operators seem to share the concern of most of the self serve segment: “They don’t believe their customers want to use their phones,” Olson said. “But the numbers show there’s a ton of money to be made there,” Olson stressed, citing data which shows $235 billion of business was done through mobile payments in 2014 -- and projected numbers for 2019 surpass $1 trillion. “The customer has control over how they’re making that payment, they can manage their account, they can see everything that they’re doing at the touch of their phone,” Olson explained. Mobile phone payments -- which you might also recognize as ApplePay or GooglePay -- are still a credit card payment, it’s only that you don’t need the credit card on hand. Instead, the mobile phone stores the credit card information and is able to wirelessly transmit that to the NFC device. “The trend we’re seeing is: You might forget your credit card at home, but if you forget your phone, you’re turning back immediately. So it’s starting to pick up speed because people realize there are some people who aren’t carrying credit cards, but they have their phone on them all the time. And if they can make a payment through that without the frustration of a card reader not working or a bill acceptor not working or their coin not going in properly, or whatever it is, then having that mobile activation for a carwash makes life a lot easier.” Mike Oliver, general manager with IDX, Inc., a provider of electronic controls for the car wash,

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COVER STORY laundry and water/wastewater industries, agreed. “What we’re seeing is that the cell phone is taking over in Europe and is going to do what the chip-and-pin never did,” Oliver said, adding that his company closely monitors the European markets for trends that might impact the U.S. “The European market came out with and pushed the chip card because of security. Well now they’re starting -- and they’re doing it much quicker than the U.S. -- with the NFC. They’re finding it is more secure than and more customer friendly than the chip card is. Because now you have to put a security number on your cell phone to turn it on -- you activate it -- and that encryption between the cell phone and the reader changes because it’s encrypted data back and forth. It’s swapping. It’s never the same encryption data. But if you take an EMV card, it’s always the same encryption data. They’ve already hacked the EMV card in Europe. They figured it out a few years back, and it’s more prevalent now. That’s why the cell phone is coming on there. I know that in emerging markets -Africa, India -- they’re looking at bluetooth on a cell phone for that communication. That’s all tied to the wallet on the cell phone. It’s still coming back to the cell phone as the device.” As for mobile pay at self serves right now, Olson said WashCard has a few customers in Canada, where the technology is more prevalent in retail stores, who are making $100-200 in monthly revenues from mobile payments. “That number isn’t huge, but it’s the infancy of this program still so in the coming months that number could climb,” she added. In the future, carwash operators might not even need to have an Internet connection on site -- the customer’s phone will. “We’re also looking even closer at bluetooth technology -- our customers won’t even have to have internet on site because the consumer will have it with them,” Olson explained. “They’ll be carrying around the Internet that will then be able to send the signals where they need to go to initiate the wash. Both Olson and Oliver agreed that mobile phones may provider a more secure payment method than current credit card acceptance technology. “What’s good about the NFC and those systems -- like the Wickets NTS we have at IDX -- it’s a unique transaction each time. Our Wickets card is tied to a Wicket account, but it’s not tied to any credit card number. When it’s tied to our Wicked card with those prepaid washes or our loyalty program, the card and the reader talk to each other and do an encrypted handshake back and forth, and then if our reader is a wireless reader, it sends a different encrypted handshake between the reader and the gateway and that says, this is approved, turn on. But it changes the encryption between the reader and the collection point or the gateway in the equipment room. So it’s not something

that’s repeating that we could say, “Oh let’s match it up and copy it.” It’s not repeated -- it’s an always changing encryption,” Oliver explained. But about those microchips… The microchipped employees at 32 Square Market will be relying on NFC technology just like the ApplePay user and the consumer waving around his contactless credit card -- although we in the carwash industry might be more familiar with the term “RFID.” RFID -- or radio frequency identification -- has become popular in the conveyor markets for its capability to offer monthly “unlimited wash” programs. In fact, DRB Systems has issued over 7 million of these RFID tags as part of its FastPass® program, used by hundreds of carwashes across the country. RFID means you’re using radio waves to read, capture, and interact with information stored on a tag. Tags are usually attached to objects -- in our case, the car windshield -- and can be read from several feet away. RFID isn’t used in the self serve segment currently, although it could theoretically become a more viable option if the gated self serve concept takes off. It’s also attractive for those operators who want to improve revenues at an in-bay automatic through loyalty rewards or monthly pass programming. And if that were the case, it might be entirely plausible to have a 32 Square Market employee pull up to the gate, wave his hand around, and drive into the carwash bay to start sudsing up. No wallet or phone required.

SIDEBAR 10 Things You Need to Do If Your Business Gets Hacked By: Jeremy Quittner, Fortune Magazine, Sep 29, 2016 What’s worse than a massive data breach? Not reporting it. Yahoo is learning that lesson the hard way. The Internet giant is coming under intense scrutiny for only just revealing that at least 500 million of its user accounts were stolen back in 2014. It now faces multiple class action lawsuits and its sale to Verizon could be in danger. The lessons learned don’t apply just to big corporations: any small business that collects customer information also has important obligations to its customers. In fact, 47 states and the District of Columbia each have their own data breach laws. (Only Alabama, New Mexico, and South Dakota do not.) Increasingly, hackers are turning their attention to entrepreneurs. Forty-three percent of hack attacks in 2015 were against small businesses, according to Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report. This is a 9% increase compared to 2014. Here’s what small-business owners are required to do in the event of a data breach: 1. Inform customers immediately: Once you know a breach has occurred, by law you are required to inform customers whose data has been compromised. State laws may vary on how quickly you need to get the word out. Generally speaking, however, “speed is of the essence,” says Thomas Brown, managing director in charge of the cy-

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ber-security and investigations practice at Berkeley Research Group. Michael Kaiser, the executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, says businesses should inform consumers as quickly as possible, even if they don’t have all the answers. Exceptions may include when an investigation by law enforcement authorities is underway. 2. Send a written notification: You’ll need to send a written notification to every customer, that clearly states a data breach has occurred, when it occurred, and what kind of information was compromised. For example, was it driver’s licenses, credit card numbers, or social security numbers that were stolen? You’ll also need to say what the company is doing to provide a remedy, and what actions customers can take. Remedies may include directing people to a website or a 1- 800 number set up by the company, where they can get additional information. You may also want to supply contact information of the three credit monitoring agencies, Equifax, Experian and Transunion, which can put fraud alerts on consumer accounts. In some cases, if the data breach involved more than 500,000 customers or notification costs would exceed $250,000, many state laws allow you to send electronic communication. (California, whose data breach statute is considered the most stringent in the U.S., includes in its law the exact template that businesses need to follow when communicating with customers about a data breach.) 3. Know the state laws. Currently the only state to do so, Connecticut recently amended its breach statute requiring businesses to offer a minimum of one year of credit monitoring to consumers affected by a data breach. You’ll need to offer it if you


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operate in the state. 4. File a notice of breach. If you notify more than 500 customers about a breach, many states will also require you to file a notice with your state attorney general’s office. 5. Comply with your industry’s regulating bodies. Businesses operating in certain industries, such as healthcare and financial services, may have additional notification requirements for example under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), or through regulating bodies including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Among other things, HIPPA stipulates that if a healthcare business experiences a breach involving more than 500 customers, it must notify a prominent media outlet about the incident. The SEC and FINRA also require financial services businesses to contact them about breaches, as well as any state regulating bodies. 6. Implement an ‘incident response’ plan. Have an “incident response” plan in place. It should be written and updated at least once a year. It should include the telephone numbers for attorneys, IT forensic experts, and vendors who can help with customer outreach. It should also map out what your computer network looks like, so you can easily identify the potential vulnerabilities. That would include any staff regularly working offsite, cloud service providers, or the networks of any company you may have recently acquired. 7. Call in a forensics team. Once a hack attack occurs, you should bring in cybersecurity experts who can test your network to find out what kind of hack attack occurred and in what part of your

network. You should also consider annual testing to find out where your network weaknesses are -- through a process called “penetration testing”, where experts closely scrutinize your network for holes that hackers can exploit. That’s particularly important as the nature of cyber threats changes quickly and continuously, security experts said. 8. Notify local and federal authorities. It’s not a requirement in most instances, but it could be extremely helpful, as the hack attack against your business might be part of a coordinated attack by criminals. “Local police may already be seeing similar kinds of attacks, and collecting evidence against perpetrators,” Kaiser says. 9. Consider cyber insurance. Policies can be purchased from most major insurance carriers for between $5,000 and $10,000 per $1 million in protection, says Mark Greisiger, president of NetDiligence, a cyber risk management firm. Policies will generally cover things like legal and forensic fees, expenses related to customer outreach, costs for providing customer credit monitoring, and court costs related to civil litigation and class actions. Many policies come pre-loaded with access to online portals that let you connect immediately with the experts you’ll need following a breach, Greisiger says. 10. Come up with a contingency plan. Data theft can shut down your business for weeks or months while IT experts work to secure your network again. You’ll need to do serious damage control with your existing customers, and figure out a way to keep sales channels open. That might include having a backup network or reverting to old-fashioned methods of selling, such as taking orders by phone or paper. “You have to get back to operating as quickly as possible,” Kaiser says. *This article originally appeared on SIDEBAR Think we’re moving too fast? Sweden might be cashless in 5 years! According to an article in The Guardian, cash transactions made up barely 2% of the value of all payments made in Sweden last year – a figure some see dropping to 0.5% by 2020. In shops, cash is now used for barely 20% of transactions, half the number five years ago, and way below the global average of 75%. What’s even crazier: More than half of Sweden’s 1,600 bank branches no longer keep cash on hand or take cash deposits – and many, especially in rural areas, no longer have ATMs. Circulation of Swedish krona fell by more than 25 billion from 2009 to 2015. The article quoted Niklas Arvidsson, an associate professor specialising in payment systems innovation at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology, who said “I think, in practice, Sweden will pretty much be a cashless society within about five years.”

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SIDEBAR Do not try to bend the spoon: EMV fails All that hemming and hawing over EMV was for naught, it seems. The self serve industry has taken a big pass on the accepting the chip and pin cards, which were sent out with much fanfare and doomsday reporting last year. Oliver from IDX, Inc. said their card readers are EMV-compliant (and also NFC and mag stripe capable), although they do not include the pin pad which most other retailers need. For charges under $50, the U.S. market does not require the consumer to type in their pin, making it a nearly obsolete requirement for self serve washes. While most operators continue to accept credit cards via mag stripe technology, Oliver said having the EMV card acceptance improves security and liability concerns through PCI compliance. “There’s still one issue that has not been resolved -- in the self serve market with EMV chip,” he pointed out. “Is that in a chip card, the transaction has to be completed and then the card is removed. The issue is that with a count up in self service bays -- meaning you start the bay with a card swipe or insertion -- okay it’s approved -- but with a chip card in it, depending on which bank you’re talking to, there’s some debate as to if that card can be removed or if it has to stay until the transaction is completed. So, right at the moment, that’s an issue for anybody doing count up if they want to use the EMV chip readers. Most of the issuing banks require it to stay. Olson said WashCard has looked heavily into


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EMV reader technology, but the company balked at the expense of the equipment which would be a deterrent to most operators. “The cost is so high we don’t want to pass that on to our customers,” she explained. “That’s kind of why we’ve moved to this whole mobile thing. There’s no added hardware, there’s no added software - everything is built into this whole mobile thing.” SIDEBAR How do I add mobile pay to my self seve? According to WashCard’s Olson, adding mobile pay at a self serve carwash isn’t a very involved process: You add a QR code decal to your POS and a small piece of hardware to your equipment room. “This means no more card readers being broken, no major hardware to install, and no more things for customers to break,” Olson explained. As for security, it’s similar to online bill pay options. “[You’re] processing a payment through a secure web page or application. The payment is being directed toward the same business, server, processor, etc. The only thing changing is the method in which the user proceeds with their payment.” This means it’s important that your vendor offers PCI validation to keep you and your customers secure.

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You’ve gotta see it to believe it. The investment in security cameras pays off for carwash operators (and the readers of SSCWN) with these mostly frustrating, sometimes entertaining -- and always cautionary -stories of Darwins Caught on Camera. You can find links to all of the videos mentioned here by visiting and searching the sticky post at the top of “Crime Reports” discussion board.

In Elm Grove, WI, surveillance cameras captured the moment a carwash worker narrowly escaped serious harm after a driver accidentally shifted his truck into reverse and accelerated back through the tunnel. According to a news report about the near-miss, the driver was “ reaching for a dropped cleaning wipe on the passenger side floor of his vehicle” when “his body hit the gear shifter into reverse and his foot accidentally hit the gas.” The truck then thrust backwards, over a carwash roller, and straight into an SUV on the conveyor line behind it. The employee missed being hit by just inches.

Rob me once? Shame on you. Rob me twice? Shame on me. Rob me 14 times in 10 days? Well, time to check the tapes… A carwash owner in Jacksonville, FL, is distraught after his businesses, which include several locations in Jacksonville, as well as a few in Clay County, have been robbed 14 times in the past 10 days. The owner, who wanted to remain anonymous for his safety, showed News4Jax security video of a man prying open the control box at one of his carwash locations with a pair of bolt cutters. He also has surveillance video of the thief ransacking the equipment room of a second location, taking $50,000 in cash and equipment and finding the keys to unlock each of the coin boxes on the property, where he got thousands of dollars in quarters. The owner feels the same man is responsible for both those burglaries. He also said a light-colored older-model Toyota 4 Runner continues to appear on different surveillance shots. The car wash owner filed police reports on each

incident and was in touch with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday. The Orange Park Police Department is also looking into the burglaries.

Security cameras “Down Under” found an Australian Darwin attempting a motorcycle donut inside a self serve carwash bay. “The video shows two bays at the car wash, with our intrepid hero on the right side. It appears he’s just finished washing his sportbike and simply can’t resist trying to lay down a donut on that wet, soapy floor,” write Kyle Cheromcha of The Drive. “Maybe he’d previously tried (and failed) on dry pavement, and figured the slippery conditions would help him out. Oh, if only.” “The secret star of the video is the guy washing his Holden Commodore in the left bay, who immediately peeks around the dividing wall when he hears the bike’s engine rev to watch the spectacle. He’s justly rewarded when the bike’s back tire catches a bit of dry ground about a third of the way through the donut, launching man and motorcycle into the wall with gusto. The unfortunate biker struggles to get up and right the ship before limping off into the night. Someone must have forgot there are security cameras everywhere nowadays! #fail”

In Broward County, FL, security video shows the moment a man snatched a woman’s purse out of her car as she was walking towards the vacuum hose at Sparkle Clean Car Wash in Oakland Park, FL. The video shows the woman washing her car and then stopping to use her phone for a moment before putting it back inside of her purse and leaving the car door slightly open. The surveillance tape also captured a man who pulled up next to the woman in a Volkswagon Passat and appears to be vacuuming his vehicle -- before he walks over to the woman’s car and grabs her purse! Local detectives have now released the surveillance footage hoping the public might help them in identifying the man.

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Antonio Gomez had an additional warrant from California that was not serviceable in Oregon. He was lodged at the Lane County Jail on three counts of Burglary 2, one count of Criminal Mischief 2, two counts of Theft 2 and one count of Theft 3.

Mt. Carmel Car Wash in Mount Carmel, PA, is celebrating after their on-site photographs of “customers” dumping trash resulted in not only in some entertaining Facebook commentary, but also the successful prosecution/ identification/arrest/charges(???) of the two suspects. As user lilb93 posted about the incident: “We found 4 big bags of garbage in bay two today. Looked back on the camera and my son posted it on Facebook. 4 hrs later we had 38,000 views and now we know who they are. Local police, who are handling it said every bag is a separate offence. Enjoy, and if you have time read all the posts. That made my day…”

This Darwin couldn’t make a clean getaway -- so he attempted a dirty one. Police detectives in Springfield, OR, found the Darwin responsible for burglarizing Thurston Car Wash hiding in a dumpster after receiving a tip from someone in the public who had seen the man’s picture from surveillance images of the theft. Antonio Gomez was found hiding in a garbage dumpster shortly after the tip and detectives were able to recover some of the stolen property at that time and are still in the process of looking for additional property taken in the burglary.


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Security cameras payoff -- and so do alarm systems. Police in Chesterfield Township, MI, were able to arrest and charge three men after responding to an alarm at the Chesterfield Auto Wash in the early morning hours of a Thursday this July. As they arrived, police found one suspect, Gage Bernier, in one of the car wash bays, spraying water onto an unoccupied cargo van.

According to a local news article, officers asked Bernier for identification, “but he couldn’t produce any, and he started shaking and sweating while he spoke to the police.” An officer inspecting the car wash’s perimeter then saw a large hole in the concrete block wall that led into a maintenance/equipment room, just as police dispatchers radioed and informed them they were on the phone with the carwash’s owner who was watching the business in real time through surveillance cameras. The owner told police he could see two more men inside the equipment room. Police ordered the two men to exit the room through the hole in the wall and they were arrested. Officers then looked inside the cargo van and found a sledge hammer, bolt cutters, a pry bar and a hacksaw.

Security cameras payoff -- and so do alarm systems. Police in Chesterfield Township, MI, were able to arrest and charge three men after responding to an alarm at the Chesterfield Auto Wash in the early morning hours of a Thursday this July. As they arrived, police found one suspect, Gage Bernier, in one of the car wash bays, spraying water onto an unoccupied cargo van. According to a local news article, officers asked Bernier for identification, “but he couldn’t produce any, and he started shaking and sweating while he spoke to the police.” An officer inspecting the car wash’s perimeter then saw a large hole in the concrete block wall that led into a maintenance/equipment room, just as police dispatchers radioed and informed them they were on the phone with the carwash’s owner who was watching the business in real time through surveillance cameras. The owner told police he could see two more men inside the equipment room. Police ordered the two men to exit the room through the hole in the wall and they were arrested. Officers then looked inside the cargo van and found a sledge hammer, bolt cutters, a pry bar and a hacksaw. The three men were charged with breaking and entering a building, a 10year felony, possession of burglary tools, also a 10-year felony and breaking and entering a coin box, a 6-month misdemeanor.

Whipkey (Photo: Chesterfield Township Police)

Brookins (Photo: Chesterfield Township Police)

Bernier (Chesterfield Township Police) 1-888-439-5740


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The three men were charged with breaking and entering a building, a 10-year felony, possession of burglary tools, also a 10-year felony and breaking and entering a coin box, a 6-month misdemeanor.

This story hurts; no ifs, ands, or butts about it. Three teens have been arrested and charged with attempted murder after a man was shot in the buttocks after a verbal confrontation at a Manteca, CA, carwash. The teens also faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit a felony in connection with the incident, which took place around 12:30 p.m. on a Saturday this June. Four Manteca officers who had responded to the scene interviewed witnesses to the shooting in the neighborhood. They were allowed to search the car wash business by its owner and collect evidence in a large paper bag. The suspects were identified through a line-up at the police department later in the afternoon. The street was closed to through traffic for about three hours after the shooting.

It might be time to check the books: A former car wash employee in Casper, WY, is accused of scamming the company’s computer program for more than $200,000. Travis Wilson pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of larceny by bailee and theft during his arraignment. Court documents show a co-owner of the car wash reported a theft in September, which led to another co-owner telling detectives he believed Wilson did it. The co-owner told the detective Wilson runs the day-to-day operations of the business and is the only person who had full access to the company’s computer system. The co-owner believed that Wilson was editing the amount of car washes purchased every day to a smaller number and then taking the proceeds from those deleted sales.

In a slightly less painful -- but no less cautionary -- report, an attendant at a carwash in Salina, KS, is accused of pocketing cash paid by customers and substituting prepaid tickets in the cash register, a police department spokesman said. Jose Escobedo, 19, who worked at the carwash at Casey’s General Store is accused of stealing the


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prepaid tickets from the manager’s office and pocketing $1,648 in cash between June 26 and July 2.

Remember Pooh’s Car Wash from our last Darwin report? Well, he’s back at it. A second raid at Pooh’s Car Wash turned up more of the same: lots of drugs and guns; no soaps or foam wands. Oh -- and this time owner Kevin “Pooh Bear” Stokes was on hand for the fun. According to an article about the raid and subsequent arrest in The Daytona News-Journal, the business was shut down and the Stokes was arrested on charges of possession of a structure for trafficking and or sale of controlled substances. “We’ve been trying to arrest him on numerous narcotics arrests,” said Daytona Beach Capt. Byron Williams during a public police meeting. “We think we now have a strong case where we think he’ll be prosecuted.” SSCWN previously reported about a raid at Pooh’s carwash in March, when Capt. Williams then referred to the business as a “plague” on the community. During both searches, a total of 28 people were at the business and 26 of them had previous drug arrests, according to the report. Moreover, those 26 men combined to have 224 drug charges on their record, the report stated. During his interview with police, Stokes told detectives he owns a business in which people sell narcotics with his knowledge, detectives said. He also admitted to consuming drugs on the property, according to the report. Williams pointed out that Stokes was cooperative during the investigation. “He told us, ‘I’m not mad at ya’all. You’re just doing your jobs,’ ” Williams said. “He said, ‘I’m mad at everyone who put me in this position.’”

Ruff stuff: That’s no way to treat man’s best friend! A Canadian man has been charged after a pickup truck went into an automatic car wash in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in the Newfoundland-Labrador province of Canada with a dog exposed in the back. The Royal Mounties in Happy Valley-Goose Bay say they were called shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday about the dog, and identified a 41-year-old man from Glovertown, N.L. They say the dog was examined but no injuries were found. The man is facing a charge of causing an animal to be in distress, and one of transporting an animal outside of a passenger compartment without being secured.

The Knoxville Police Department has identified a man responsible for burglarizing a local laundromat and two carwashes, thanks to surveillance images from those businesses. Steven T. Lumley, 24, has been arrested and charged with five counts of burglary to a business, four counts of theft of property, and one count of vandalism after thefts from coin machines at All Washed Up laundromat, Broadway Car Wash, and Sutherland Avenue Car Wash.

She made off with the car -- but forgot her purse. So what’s a Darwinette to do? Why, return to the scene of the crime for her *actual* belongings, of course! Operators of a carwash in Simi Valley, CA, are reviewing their policies after a woman managed to steal a car by posing as its owner and grabbing the keys. Staff realized their mistake after the actual owner turned up asking about her vehicle. The suspect was arrested and charged with the crime after she returned to the carwash looking for her purse -- which she had inadvertently left behind while she was out on her joyride. The actual owner of the vehicle said the suspect went through her things and even enjoyed a snack in the vehicle. The boneheaded criminal was one-upped by the author of a news article about the theft, though. “If you’re worried about a car wash theft, consider washing your car at home,” the reporter wrote, linking the comment to an article which compared five at-home carwash supply kits. How about: Try a self serve wash?!

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