Page 1

TOP TEN PET PEEVES


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CONTENTS Looking Back: Fall 2000 ........................6

Selfie Notes BY DEBRA GORGOS, EDITOR

OSHA Report ..............................................8 Fun & Games .......................................... 12 Self-Serve Snapshot............................... 14

“The worst tempered people I have met were those who knew they were wrong” David Letterman

Quick Tips................................................ 19 Cover Story .............................................. 24 Let’s Talk About Tools Association Calendar & News......... 26 Around the Wash..................................... 30 Signs that Win Industry Dirt............................................ 32 Extra! Extra!............................................. 36 Open for Business................................. 36 Fill in the Blank...................................... 38 Innovations............................................... 40 Tricks of the Trade................................ 46 Litter Laws from .................................... 54 Coast to Coast Cover Story............................................... 62 Darwin at the Carwash........................ 75

VOL. 46, NO. 1, WINTER 2019 Publisher Jackson Vahaly Editor Debra Gorgos 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 www.sscwn.com. All inquiries should be directed to:

Self Serve Car Wash News 110 Childs Ln., Franklin, TN 37067 jacksonv@sscwn.com Copyright 2019. 2 Dollar Enterprises/SSCWN. All Rights Reserved

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Right now, I am sitting in a cold kitchen, listening to the weather report in the background (it’s not great, I will just leave it at that). Our basement flooded over the weekend. Two out of the four people in our household were sick (I didn’t make the cut) and our beloved golden doodle just completely destroyed a stuffed animal. And, now, for the bad news… just kidding. As for the good news, the flooded basement forced me to get rid of things that didn’t spark joy (anyone into Marie Kondo?) and it taught me that after lifting 30+ drums of a wet/dry vac, I am definitely still strong despite being 40+ and having not exercised since Murder, She Wrote was on primetime tv. I also, having recovered from a bout of whatever-the-flu-shotdid-not-cover, am so grateful to be up and back at it, and at my computer. Why? Because, I absolutely love this job. You, the readers, advertisers, contributors, are worth getting out of bed for. And, I am so glad that any energy I have for thinking and typing is spent on all of you. When each new year starts, I try start out with gratefulness of what was and positivity of what will be. I am so grateful for this magazine. It makes me smile, it challenges me. In 2019, I hope to meet even more of you and tell your stories. I want each inch of copy to be worthy of the pulp and ink. I hope you’re all excited for this issue you are holding in your hands right now, and for upcoming issues, which, will hopefully, knock the socks right off your feet. In other news, I had the great pleasure of attending the 2018 Kleen-Rite Expo in Columbia, Pennsylvania. Now, this area of Pennsylvania is special to me. My grandmother grew up in Shamokin and we have often vacationed near the Knoebel’s Amusement Park. Also, Kleen-Rite is one of those companies that has always made me feel included and appreciated. Whether at other tradeshows, or when they contribute articles or tips for this magazine, there is a friendliness and homespun energy to each interaction. And, there Expo was no different. From the food, to the warehouse, to the Kleen-Rite employees, I felt like I was visiting family. And, to top it off, I got to hang out with two other Hungarians. My grandfather was 100% Hungarian and it is rare that three people with the last names: Gorgos, Kuczik and Revesz, are within 20 square feet of each other. But, there we were, in the middle of Lancaster County. Bob Kuczik and his Wheel-eez booth was next to the one for Self Serve Car Wash News and Zoltan Revesz was in attendance. Szia, my friends! Here is our selfie (I think we all look alike):

“Three Hungarians walk into an Expo…..” Speaking of Expos, who is attending the 2019 Car Wash Show in Nashville? Jackson Vahaly and I will be there. Please look for us and say “hello.” I am excited to see Nashville for the first time. And, as always, if you have any comments, suggestions or articles to share, you can reach me at debrag@sscwn.com. If you have any complaints or suggestive edits, please contact, theeasterbunny@sscwn.com. No, it’s okay, send them to me, I can handle it!

Until next time,

Debra


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Fall 2007

PRESENTING SOME OF THE BEST, AND MOST NOTEWORTHY HEADLINES AND EXCERPTS FROM THE SELF SERVE CAR WASH NEWS ARCHIVES. HERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS...

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INSERT COINS or TOKENS

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Exclusions Apply. See Details Below Tanks, pipe, sprayers and other large equipment are not included m this program. Applies to Continental U.S. ground shipments only.

WINTER 2019 •

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OH NO… OSHA REPORT It’s OSHA News! It’s not all bad, but if you don’t already know, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor (OSHA) has announced the following… 2019 FEDERAL CIVIL PENALTIES ANNOUNCED On January 15, 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor (OSHA) released the following statement: Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act) requires the Department to annually adjust its civil monetary penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. Adjustments are made by issuing a final rule that is effective on its date of publication in the Federal Register. Due to a lapse in appropriations funding for certain government agencies, including the Office of the Federal Register, publication of the Department of Labor Final Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Annual Adjustment for 2019 Final Rule has been delayed. The Department of Labor is making the prepublished version of the Final Rule available on its website for informational purposes only until the official version is published in the Federal Register. The unofficial version of the Final Rule is subject to review and revision by the Office of the Federal Register. The Final Rule will not go into effect until it is published in the Federal Register. The effective date will be the date of publication, and the increased penalty levels will apply to any penalties assessed after the effective date of the increase. After publication, the Final Rule can be accessed through the Federal Register website at www.federalregister.gov. To the extent that there are discrepancies between this unofficial version and the official version published in the Federal Register, the latter version controls. Below are the adjusted maximum penalty amounts that will take effect in 2019 upon pub-

FEWER FATALITIES REPORTED, OSHA STATES It’s not all bad news from the government agency! A December 18, 2018, OSHA press release states that there were 43 fewer workplace fatalities in 2017 than the previous year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2017 (CFOI) report. The December report determined that is a 3.5 percent decrease from the previous year. “While today’s report shows a decline in the number of workplace fatalities, the loss of even one worker is too many,” Loren Sweatt, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), stated in a press release. “Through comprehensive enforcement and compliance assistance that includes educating job creators about their responsibilities under the law, and providing robust education opportunities to workers, OSHA is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the American workforce.” However, it’s not all good as the number of unintentional overdoses due to the nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol while at work increased by 25 percent. That means that this is now the fifth consecutive year overdose deaths rose by at least 25 percent. “The scourge of opioid addiction unfortunately continues to take its toll on workers across the country, demonstrating the importance of this Administration’s efforts to tackle this crisis,” stated Sweatt. OSHA wants employers to know that if they need assistance in meeting their safety obligations they can take advantage of OSHA’s no-cost and confidential On-Site Consultation Program (www. osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html). OSHA Training Institute Education Centers (OTIs) also provide training to workers, employers, and other safety professionals across the nation.

lication in the Federal Register.

TYPE OF VIOLATION

PENALTY

Serious $13,260 Other-Than-Serious Posting Requirments Failure to Abate $13,260 per day beyond the abatement date Willful or Repeated

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$132,598 per violation

BUSINESSES HONORED FOR HIRING VETERANS When hiring, SSCWN believes a good pool of applicants to consider are veterans. Not only do they most likely understand the value of hard work, they also put their lives on the line to protect us. And, OSHA, and President Donald Trump

agree. And, wherever your party affiliations lie, or if you loathe or love our current leader of the free world, it should be noted that in 2017 he signed into law the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing (HIRE) American Military Veterans Act, creating the HIRE Vets Medallion Program. Last year was a trial-run of the program and in 2019 in went into full implementation. Back in November 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor announced recipients of the 2018 HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration Award, “recognizing job creators for their leadership in recruiting, employing, and retaining America’s veterans.” Honorees include small businesses, community-based nonprofits, and national companies. “America’s veterans are proven leaders who bring skills, dedication, and determination to our nation’s workforce,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “To earn a HIRE Vets Medallion Award, job creators must demonstrate a solid commitment to providing veterans with the opportunity to build a meaningful career. This program recognizes a standard for excellence in veterans hiring, and helps veterans identify employers who are committed to advancing veterans in the workplace.” Recipients of the 2018 HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration Award were evaluated based on a range of criteria, including: •

Veteran hiring and retention

Availability of veteran-specific resources

Leadership programming for veterans

Dedicated human resources

Compensation and tuition assistance programs for veterans

Applications for the 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Program became available to employers on January 31, 2019. Now, I, Debra Gorgos, personally read through the pages and pages listing the award recipients and didn’t notice a single car wash. Maybe that will change in 2019?


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FUN&GAMES

Think these two pictures taken at a self serve car wash are the same? Think again! There are six differences. Can you spot them all? 3. Yellow line is white 4. Hose is lower

5. Utility pole is missing 6. Canopy line is missing

Brush

Nozzle

Vacuum

Pressure

Hose

Boiler

Changer

Manifold

Boom

Meter

Rinse Swivel

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Answers: 1. Block line is missing 2. Garbage can is shorter

WORD SEARCH

WHAT’S DIFFERENT?


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From coast to coast, we are profiling different self serve car washes and will showcase photos, business information, methods of advertising and what sets them apart from the competition.

SNAP SHOT MONROE STREET POWERWASH NAME OF CAR WASH:

During the slow time due to the road construction, we worked with Tim Clark from Northstar Clean Concepts in Spokane to spruce up the entrance to the automatic wash. Purchased a new canopy and menu board sign.

Monroe Street Powerwash

LOCATION:

3121 North Monroe Str., Spokane, Washington

NAME OF OWNER(S):

K&J Properties C, LLC (John Hilzendeger)

TYPE OF CAR WASH:

At the beginning of April is when the road construction started in front of the car wash.

Self Service and Inbay Automatic

NUMBER OF SELF SERVE BAYS: 5 YEAR IT OPENED: 1985 HOURS/DAYS OPEN:

24 hours, 7 days a week. I close the IBA when temp is below 20. 14

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As of August 1st, the road work in front of the wash has been completed, however it will be another 6 weeks or so until the entire road is opened again. 6 months with the road closed.


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From coast to coast, we are profiling different self serve car washes and will showcase photos, business information, methods of advertising and what sets them apart from the competition.

METHODS OF ADVERTISING: Street Sign, electronic reader boards, and word of mouth.

TOKENS ACCEPTED? With each inbay automatic wash a vacuum token is available to be dispensed. The vacuum token is accepted in all vacuums, coleman vending, self serve bays and as a dollar off for a cash purchase for an automatic wash.

HOW MANY VACUUMS? 6 total (2 shampoo vacs, 1 stand alone shampoo, 2 fragrance vacs, and there are 2 of the 3 motor Power Vacs.

HOW MANY VENDING MACHINES? Shurvend IG4 in front of wash and a 10 drop shelf Coleman vendor in the back of the wash.

WHAT DO YOU VEND? There are 30 different items with the Little Trees and towels selling the most.

DO YOU OFFER ANYTHING SPECIAL IN THE BAYS DURING CERTAIN SEASONS ( I.E. SALT REMOVER, ETC.)? In the self service bays we switch the chemicals between bug and desalt during the winter months. Additionally, we have recently added the air shamme, tire shine and underbody wash to the self service bays.

ANY COMPETITION NEARBY? 1 mile away is another self service wash, 2 miles away is a new express tunnel. 16

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QUICK TIPS PROPERTY TIP

Got Graffiti? The following Tip was provided by the Cambridge, Massachusetts, Department of Public Works. The following are some suggestions for a graffiti fighter’s tool kit: 1. Aerosol solvent 2. Clean cotton painters’ rags 3. Trash bags 4. Inexpensive paint brushes, rollers and paint containers 5. Paint matching various surfaces around your neighborhood 6. Paint scraper 7. Dust mask 8. Safety glasses 9. Kitchen cleaner and water in spray bottle

Solvents and Cleaners There are a number of graffiti removal products on the market. It can help to become familiar with each one. Learn about safe use and safe handling. Some of the better known solvents available at major hardware stores can be hazardous to your health. Using a respirator is probably safer than using a dust mask. Breathing this stuff is obnoxious and NOT healthy. You need to be aware of wind conditions. You need eye and breathing protection when you use

it. Rags used with solvent should be discarded properly. DO NOT KEEP FLAMMABLE RAGS in containers in your vehicle or garage. Know the product you are using and HOW TO HANDLE AN ACCIDENTAL INJURY when using the product. Some of the markers the vandals are using are not permanent. We’ve been able to clean some signs with soap and water.

Safety Glasses Safety glasses keep paints, solvents, and dust from entering the eyes. Always use caution. Never compromise eye safety.

Cleaning Smooth Surfaces Test an inconspicuous area of the surface with your cleaning material. Most modern signs clean quickly. Start by cleaning with soap and water first then proceed to solvents.

Cleaning from Rough Surfaces

Many times paint on a rough surface causes permanent damage. The character of the surface will change because, in some cases, it is virtually impossible to remove all of the paint from a porous surface. A perfect example is a cinder block wall. You may be forced to paint the wall---the entire wall. Simply framing the damaged area leaves you (and the vandal) with an ugly blotch. We have found that pressure washers, using sand, can actually etch a cinder block wall, further hastening the wall’s demise. A wire brush is somewhat limited in effectiveness as well. Our city, instead, uses a power washer with a biodegradable emulsifier approved by our sewer department. In most cases, we have been able to completely remove the vandalism. However, in some cases, because of the porous surfaces involved, a slight

MARKETING TIP Lights! Camera! Soap! There are people out there who are confused on how a self serve car wash works. From not understanding which settings to use, to how to properly use the tools. One way to attract customers, and gain Internet attention, is to post a how-to video. Most smartphones can film high-enough quality videos that you can post to your Facebook page (be sure to pin it to the top of the page) and you can also upload them to your regular Yelp (if you have claimed your business), Google My Business and website pages. You can also upload it

to YouTube for free. Just be sure to use the proper SEO (search engine optimization) words when titling and describing your video so that you get the traffic (and free publicity). Be sure to put your business address along with the YouTube video. If you need help on how to properly shoot a video, visit Wipster.com and search for “How to Shoot a Professional Video” or type in the website address: https://wipster.io/blog/simple-tips-professional-

quality-video-for-marketers. The website offers up tips on the rule of thirds to how to set the proper lighting. Also, for editing the video, most computers offer up built in movie making programs. You can also download free editing programs, just be sure to read the reviews first or go with a reputable program recommended through established computer bloggers, etc.

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QUICK TIPS

EQUIPMENT TIP

PROPERTY TIP

Winter Weep Warning

hazy remnant of the graffiti still remains.

By Joe Anish of Vilco Supply

Elbow Grease and the Wire Brush An inexpensive wire brush is excellent for removing paint from many surfaces. The surface will look like someone has wire brushed it but the vandal’s message will be history. Any surface where you use a wire brush should be a surface, that will over time, weather back to the original color or texture. Every graffiti fighter needs a wire brush in his or her tool kit.

Use the wire brush on: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Telephone poles Street curbs Some rough metals Smooth stone surfaces Decorative rocks Wood fences Concrete

TIPS ON REMOVAL 1. When you engage in graffiti removal, you become very aware of how much more

difficult it is to remove it than it is to apply it. This is especially true in the case of rough, unpainted brick surfaces. Painted surfaces are probably best repainted, though it would be wise to have a supply of graffiti removal solvent ready for rapid response. This is also true because recent graffiti seems to be easier to remove than old graffiti. 2. For surfaces like mailboxes, utility boxes, steel roll-up doors, lampposts, etc., liquid graffiti

removal solvent (Savogram) is the way to go. This graffiti should be removed as soon as it appears. This requires only some light duty steel wool, a small spray bottle of solvent, and a cleaner like TSP to wash the area down after removing the graffiti. Very little solvent should be used if the graffiti is recent. Just spray on some solvent, lightly rub with steel wool (or even heavy duty paper towels) and then wipe clean. You’ll want to use rubber gloves and lightly wash the affected area after removing the graffiti. Spray solvent such as Jasco, is not recommended for mailboxes or other painted surfaces since it will cause so much paint to bubble up that the “cleaned” area may look worse than it did with the graffiti. 3. For a brick surface, especially red brick, we recommend a professional cleanup, using

a biodegradable emulsifier. This method minimizes the toll on the surface. It is generally too difficult to tackle a very rough surface with wire brushes and solvents, and the finished job will still bear a fair amount of the evidence of the graffiti. 4. For routinely painted surfaces like fences and some wall, it would be wise to have

plenty of matching paint available for immediate cover-up within a day or two of the appearance of graffiti. In a business district, we recommend that some standard colors be employed in locations that are graffiti-prone and that an understanding be developed among property owners and business managers to allow for painting over graffiti quickly without having to secure permission from all affected parties. Rapid response is the key and this is only possible if the job is made as easy and automatic as possible. Graffiti removal is not always a simple “spray it on, wipe it off” affair, especially when it involves brick or other rough surfaces or when paint has been there for a long time. You should expect to encounter examples where the best you can do is reduce the graffiti to an unrecognizable fade, even if it is not possible to completely remove it. Try both solvents if one doesn’t seem to do the trick. Don’t give up too soon. Sometimes, several applications of solvent or allowing to sit for a longer time will take care of things.

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• WINTER 2019

No matter what type of weep system you use be sure your thermostat is reading the exterior temperature correctly. You can do this by locating the bulb or sensor connected to your thermostat or weep control system. The bulb or electronic sensor can be checked by covering it with a bag of Ice for at least 10 minutes. When the temperature reading reaches approximately 34 degrees your weep system should activate. While the ice is covering the bulb or sensor check each spray gun tip to be sure you have enough water flow at the tip. Remove the ice bag after the system runs for at least 10 minutes, giving time to cycle if it is an electronic weep system. If you are using a bulb thermostat system you should allow the system to cycle several times to assure proper operation of your thermostat and solenoid. You can do this by covering and removing the ice bag from the bulb, allowing the temperature to fluctuate below and above 34 degree mark. This technique will activate the thermostat to open and close the solenoid. If your weep system is not coming on or shutting off, you should check your solenoid for  proper electrical current.  Remember a weep solenoid, coil opens when the power is off.  This allows the solenoid to remain open in case of an electrical outage.  If you are getting the proper electric current to your solenoid coil and the solenoid is not allowing water to pass or you cannot stop the water flow, check your solenoid diaphragm, piston and disc assembly, depending on what type of solenoid you are currently using. Typically, a diaphragm type solenoid is used in a weep system. Often the rubber diaphragm inside the solenoid valve can become non-pliable or crack allowing water to pass through the diaphragm, no matter if the power is on or off. Replacing the diaphragm or a diaphragm kit is necessary and can be ordered from your parts supplier simply by giving the solenoid brand, model number and pipe size. 


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Carwash Boom Assembly MODEL 203 Zierco’s Original Swivel and Boom Assembly, with New Rebuildable Cartridge

MODEL 203 FEATURES • Feather light rotating action • Twin compression springs are tension-adjustable for a variety of hose and gun weights • Swivel rotates 360˚ - 12 ft. diameter

• Temperatures to 280˚ max., pressure to 2000 psi • Longer hose life as spring prevents kinks • Ruggedly built, satisfaction guaranteed

• Proven performance with over 50 years service in the field (Since 1962)

OPTIONAL

107C CARTRIDGE

FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION CALL

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Carwash Boom Assemblies

MODEL 204 and 206 FEATURES • Twin compression springs are tension-adjustable for a variety of hose and gun weights • Swivel rotates 360˚ - 12 ft. diameter • Temperatures to 280˚ max., pressure to 2000 psi • Longer hose life as spring prevents kinks • Ruggedly built, satisfaction guaranteed • Optional stainless steel components

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Mounts directly to the ceiling or beam.

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STYLE C Swivel Base

Easy to Use -"Feather Light" rotating action

Mounts directly to the ceiling.

OFFSET Overhead Carwash Boom STYLE D Wall Bracket

Mounts to wall and is adjustable so boom swings to wall when not in use.

MODEL 206

Allows for TWO Center Boom Installation

Ideal for foaming brushes.

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To Convert Model 203 to a 204 Assembly

Remove boom body from hinge plate

Rotate hinge plate counter clockwise to remove seal elbow

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Replace O-Rings

DISTRIBUTOR INQUIRIES INVITED VISA and Master Card accepted

QUALITY PRODUCTS SINCE 1937 WINTER 2019 •

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Cwguy.com’s

‘Random Thoughts’

Let’s Talk About Tools There are fire aspects that are important when it comes to car wash maintenance and preparation. The first thing every car wash owner should have is a couple extra parts on hand. I have talked to a lot of car wash owners and I am always shocked when an owner does not have any crucial parts on hand. When you cannot fix equipment, it costs you money. Time and money. Personally, if you use it at your car wash, I have an extra. I have a couple extra vacuums, timers, controllers for changers, an entry unit... I could basically build a new car wash. I even have an extra Cat 3535 and a couple extra 25 hp motors. I am also constantly purchasing nice used equipment and am constantly selling equipment. An operator should also know their equipment, for normal operators you must have certain equipment. The following five steps outline how to properly assess, access and use your ideal tool supply.

1. TAKE A LOOK AROUND Start by taking a look inside your self serve bay. All of that equipment has to work for you to make money. You need, at minimum, one bay’s worth of parts: A timer, wire, relay, rotary switch, booms, guns, hoses, pumps, solenoids, all fittings.... everything. I have extra booms also. (And I have sold booms locally to operators that had problems at their washes.)

2. DETERMINE YOUR NEED Next, what do you do with all these parts? How many car washes do you have? If you only have one wash you could leave your parts in the equipment room, but for operators with multiple locations what do you carry around? You need to carry the small frequently used parts with you. You can then leave other parts in a central location where they are easily accessible from the other locations.

3. YOUR IDEAL SET Third, think about your tools. I have purchased cheap tools and I have purchased more expensive tools. If you are not going to use your tools, cheap tools are great and you can hardly tell the difference. If you are going to use your tools all the time, I believe that more expensive tools are worth the extra money. Also, some specialty tools will really help around the car wash. For example: • A terminal block screwdriver. This tool has a small head to unscrew small screws. These small screws are everywhere when you do not have the correct screwdriver. Also having a screwdriver with a normal handle size helps with finding and handling the screwdriver with gloves and in your bag. (Like adjusting coin acceptors or rotary switches.) • A large chisel driver screwdriver. This type of screwdriver can be beaten with a hammer which is always nice. They have the screwdriver blade all the way through the screwdriver (allowing you to hit it with a hammer). • A small Phillips screwdriver PH #0. This is used in the same way as the terminal screwdriver and it comes in very handy. Stainless steel electrician scissors. Also, some stainless steel electrician scissors are super helpful and I use them a lot more than I thought I would. Choosing the right brand of screwdrivers depends on how you like them to feel in your hand. I have a set of stainless steel Phillips and a set with the blade through the handle to hit with a hammer (yellow and black). I also like the Klein and use their long nut drivers... which is an essential item to have in your bag. For adjustable pliers, I love Knipex Cobra pliers and have some alligator type. Also, and for about everything else, like cut-

ters and strippers I use Klein. I have never really gotten into combination wrenches, but I have some ratcheting Tekton combination, ratcheting and socket sets, along with old random socket wrenches which are mostly by Sears.

4. GET ORGANIZED And, now, let’s talk about organization. It has taken me a very long time, but I figured out after accumulating a collection of four of the same Crescent wrenches, it is very important. You should get a really nice tool bag that allows you to display your tools all at one time. An example is the Veto Pro Tech XL (this is just the bag I purchased). I have talked to HVAC techs which have showed me Klein backpack’s which are basically the same idea. The point it to have all your tool displayed where you can see and find them. But you also have to put them back where they belong... otherwise you will be buying new tools over and over.

5. KNOW THY BATTERIES Number five is to stay in the same power tool family and stick with the same battery. I purchased Bosch power tools because they came with a case (just like Dewalt used to come with a hard case). A friend convinced me to purchase a bunch of these Milwaukee M12 tools (they use small batteries) and I really love their electric ratchet. This electric ratchet is probably the best tool I have purchased in a long time. Everyone should check it out as it is a great time saver. But, you should also purchase a small 3/8” socket set for your bag. But now I have another battery charger and batteries to add to my collection. Just what I wanted! Let me know what is in your tool bag. Also any tools that you think I cannot live without. I am always looking for more tools to stuff in my bag.

Eric Wilson is a self-serve car wash owner who also blogs online on the popular and very funny website, cwguy.com. 24

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Association News 2019 CALENDAR OF EVENTS ICA hosts Women’s Leadership Summit

FEB

SCWA CONVENTION & EXPO

APR

2019 HCA’S ANNUAL PRODUCT SHOW

24-26 16-17

MAY

13-15

JUN

10-12

SEP 9

SEP

23-25

OCT 10

26

Arlington Convention Center, Arlington, Texas https://swcarwash.org

Des Moines, Iowa heartlandcarwash.org

CAR WASH SHOW™

Music City Center Nashville, Tennessee www.carwash.org

CAR WASH EXCELLENCE SUMMIT Park City, Utah, www.carwash.org

NECA GOLF OUTING

Brookmeadow Country Club Canton, Massachusetts www.newenglandcarwash.org

NORTHEAST REGIONAL CARWASH CONVENTION

Atlantic City Convention Center Atlantic City, New Jersey www.nrccshow.com

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Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas www.carwash.org

• WINTER 2019

The International Carwash Association’s hosted a Women’s Leadership Experience event last November 14-15, 2018, at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel in downtown Chicago. The two-day event was designed to help women in building their individual talents and offered up lots of networking opportunities. “Nearly 100 of the car wash industry’s high-performing and high-potential women and the people who support them gathered for the first ICA Women’s Leadership Experience,” the ICA reported. “We all experience very similar things,” Danni Reeves, Multi-Site Manager for Breeze Thru Car Wash, stated in an ICA press release. “To have those open conversations and meet others in the

industry is a great opportunity. I’ve had more of a learning opportunity here than I have at a lot of shows I’ve attended.” Educational sessions included, “Attracting and Retaining Women in the Car Wash Industry,” “Differences in Gender Communication Styles,” and there was also a facilitated panel of female leaders in the industry. According to the ICA, this event was just a starting point. “Based on the feedback we’re already receiving, we’re already looking at ways to extend the experience,” ICA Chief Operating Officer Claire Moore stated in the press release. “We’re excited for the opportunity to bring this segment of the industry together.”

Now, that’s a success! Attendee numbers up for 2018 Australian Car Wash Show In the first year of the partnership between the International Carwash Association (ICA) and the Australian Car Wash Association (ACWA) the hard work by both groups is already paying dividends, according to a report by the Australian Car Wash Association. “This is an important partnership as we continue to work toward connecting the global car wash community,” ICA CEO Eric Wulf said in a statement. “This partnership builds on the success we’ve achieved with the Automotive Oil Change Association, BOVAG (the Dutch car wash association) and Western Carwash Association.” The 2018 show, which was held at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, took place October 30 to November 1, 2018, and according to the ACWA, the main exhibit hall was sold out. “We’ve never had so many new exhibitors or international exhibitors,” said Fiona Tointon, Events & Member-

ship Manager for ACWA. “We’ve heard nothing but great things from exhibitors about the quality of attendees who were actively looking to buy and invest in their sites.” According to the ACWA, this year’s show featured a local car wash bus tour, as well as a new investor seminar. “One of the best things an association can do is get people of like minds together get people new to industry together with education opportunities,” ACWA President Craig Campbell said in the press release. “You get to pick everyone’s brain and really we’re looking for just one thing to come across and for our attendees to come away with and make their own.” Taking place every two years, the 2020 Australian Car Wash Show will be held from September 20-22, 2020, in Gold Coast, Queensland.

NRCC announces 2019 keynote speaker The 2019 Northeast Regional Carwash Convention will have John Rouse, CEO of Express Wash Concepts, the parent company of Moo Moo Express, Flying Ace Express and the upcoming CLEAN Express brand, as its keynote speaker. According to a statement, Roush got into the car wash business after his favorite car wash in Ohio shut down. “After doing his due diligence he also decided that the wash he would build would have character, a recognizable brand and an unparalleled level of customer service.” Roush soon founded Moo Moo Express Car Wash of Ohio. “Under his leadership, Moo Moo has grown to 16+ central Ohio locations since opening his first wash in 2008. In 2018, he washed

more than 2.5 million cars,” the statement reported. “In April of 2018, Roush facilitated a private equity firm investment with Wildcat Capital Management which has enabled Moo Moo and Flying Ace to continue to build on their success and expansion.” This year’s convention, which will mark the event’s 30th anniversary, will take place September 23-25, 2019, and once again at the Atlantic City Convention Center. As for last year’s Convention, which was held October 1-3, 2018, in Atlantic City, it was declared a success by show organizers. According to the NRCC Facebook page, the event featured 320 booths and more than 1500 attendees.


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Association News SCWA Convention & EXPO keynote speaker announced

NECA’s golf event a success; 2019 scholarships now available

The Southwest Carwash Association Convention & EXPO, which will take place February 24-26, 2019, will have FOX News’s Dana Perino as its keynote speaker. According to an Association press release, Perino is a co-host of the hit FOX News show, The Five. The Five has won its time slot every day since it started in July 2011 and last year finished as the third most-watched program in cable news. She also appears weekly on The O’Reilly Factor and The Kelly File and during special election coverage. Before joining Fox, Perino served as the voice of the White House, first Republican woman to be press secretary of the United States. She spent more than seven years as part of the administration of President George W. Bush. As press secretary, she handled interactions with the White House press corps and advised the president on communications. Perino also published And the Good News Is…Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side, a No. 1 New York Times best-seller. In 2010, President Obama appointed her to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors advocating for individual and economic freedom, especially for women in Africa, the SCWA reported. Perino also founded Minute Mentoring, a program for young woman that connections mentors and mentees. She also serves on the board of Companions for Heroes, which matches rescue animals with first-responders and veterans managing post-traumatic stress. The 2019 Convention & EXPO will take place at the Arlington Convention Center, in Arlington, Texas. Last year’s event, which also took place at the Arlington Convention Center, had almost 2,000 attendees.

The New England Carwash Association (NECA) held its annual Golf Outing back in September and even though the skies called for rain, it was still a success, according to a press release by Sherri Oken. “NECA golfers are real troupers,” wrote Oken. “On Monday, September 25th, they answered the call to arrive on the course several hours earlier to avoid golfing 18 holes in the rain. Around noon, the skies opened yet most golfed at least 9 holes and some, the full 18. They were wet but happy.” The event, which also raises money for a local charity, included a raffle as well as a putting contest. Many entered the putting contest, but only Scott Baeton of JBS, Norm Veroneau of Simoniz, and Ian Paisner of ScrubaDub succeeded. “Paul Vercollone, in fine stand-up comic form, was our auctioneer, raising an additional $2,150 from bids on Bruins tickets donated by Peter Silk of JP Car Wash, the ever popular sailing cruise donated by Bob Paisner, red hot Red Sox tickets donated by Paul Vercollone, Cuban cigars donated by Bob Katseff, and a basket of wine donated by Paul Vercollone, enhanced with an extra golfer trophy,” according to Oken.

CWONJ addresses state’s new paid sick leave law The Car Wash Operators of New Jersey’s (CWONJ) Fall Membership Meeting, which took place November 12, 2018, at the Holiday Inn in Clark, New Jersey, attracted nearly 50 attendees, and addressed New Jersey’s new Paid Six Leave Law. Alvaro Hasani, labor lawyer with Fisher Phillips, who authored “New Jersey’s Paid-SickLeave Law: What Employers Need to Know,” spoke on the topic. According to the CWONJ website, Hasani, stated that the new law is certainly not “employer friendly.” “This law is meant to protect employees, not employers,” he said. “It’s complicated and you really need to become familiar with it and have a xxx in place at your wash.” According to the website, Hasani provided the CWONJ with, “information and guidance on complying with the law that can be found on the association’s website, cwonj.com.” The CWONJ also recently named its carwash of the year. CWONJ President, Doug Rieck, presented Craig Stem of Shammy Shine with the Association’s 2018 Carwash of the Year award. The award recognizes an outstanding operation that embodies professionalism, innovation and the high standards of today’s professional carwash facility. According to the CWONJ website, in 1975, Craig and Dave Stem of Stem Brothers, Inc., opened their first automatic carwash on Route 12 in Flemington. Forty-three years later, they now operate 15 washes and employ nearly 200 at their locations in western New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Their locations include express and self-service washes, quick lubes and detailing services.

28

• WINTER 2019

GOLFER PRIZE WINNERS INCLUDED: Longest Drive: Robert DeSorcy of ScrubaDub and Diane Shalbey of RoJo Closest to Pin: Patrick Mosesso of Auto Bright Car Care Center 1st Place Team: Scrub-It consisting of Tony Lombardo, Kevin Ashworth, Jeff Hill and Kris Maloney 2nd Place Team: Simoniz consisting of Ryan Gough, Barry Smith, Norm Veroneau and Dennis Smith 3rd Place Team: Simoniz/RoJo consisting of Del Hodgkins, Dianne Shalbey, Al West and Jon Shalbey

The event raised $10,000 in total. A majority of the money was donated to the Lovin’ Spoonfuls food rescue and $3,000 went to the NECA Scholarship Program. SPONSORS OF THE EVENT INCLUDED: Presenting Sponsor: AutoShine of New England Golf Cart Sponsor: Simoniz USA GOLF Ball Cannon: Harrell’s Car Wash Services Putt for Prize: Autowash Maintenance Corporation NECA Passport Sponsor: Washify Prize Hole and Beverage Cart Sponsor: JBS Industries Lunch Sponsor: Rhode Island Chemical Corporation Rules Sheet Sponsor: Innovative Control Systems Hole Sponsors: Atlas High Purity Solutions, Balise Car Wash (2), Car Wash Insurance Program by McNeil & Co., Inc., DRB Systems, ERC Wiping Products, Inc., National Ticket, Wheel-eez - Removes Ugly In-Kind Donation of Towels: ERC Wiping Products

In other NECA news, the 2019 NECA scholarship applications are now available. In 2011, recognizing the increasing cost of post secondary education, NECA developed a scholarship program to assist its members. The program is self-funding through money raised at dinner meetings and the golf outing. Since then, it has awarded 17, $1,000 scholarships for a total of $17,000. In 2018, in recognition of Tom Rando’s contributions to the industry and NECA, and the many monetary contributions to the program made in his memory, we will award one of the $1,000 scholarships in his honor each year. Recipients are evaluated by a panel of NECA members who carefully consider the following: high school/academic standing, leadership capabilities, community involvement, strength of character, personal achievement, plan of study and future goals. Financial need also may be considered. To be eligible, an applicant must: • Be an employee, full or part time for at least 1 year, or immediate family member of an employee, of any NECA member company • Have graduated high school or the equivalent • Be enrolled, or plan to enroll, at an accredited post-secondary educational institution full or part time (not limited to traditional academic programs - a trade school, a community college, etc.) • Not have won a scholarship from NECA in the last year

For more information, email info@newenglandcarwash.org or download the application posted on the members only page of the NECA website: www.newenglandcarwash.org. The deadline is April 30, 2019.


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29


Around the Wash

Spring Insurance Coverage … and the surprises that affect wash owners By Dan Tharp, CIC, RWCS As the temperatures begin to rise and the last of the cold weather melts away, springtime may reveal damage from winter while also exposing your wash to spring storms, hail, tornados, and wind damage. With severe storms becoming more frequent, and more intense, it becomes of great importance to truly understand your commercial insurance policy. Before we discuss the exciting world of insurance coverage’s (sarcasm intentional), let’s take a quick look at some “natural catastrophe” facts. My intention is not to spark a debate about climate change, but just provide some basic facts. 2017 proved to be a devastating year for damages from natural catastrophes with insured losses to property across the globe exceeding $130 billion (actual losses were over $300 billion). Even more concerning to U.S. insurers is the fact that three major hurricanes hit the U.S. in a span of about a month (Harvey, Irma & Maria), that coupled with a devastating wildfire season made the United States insured losses account for almost 50% of the world losses. “A key point is that some of the catastrophic events, such as the series of three extremely damaging hurricanes, or the very severe flooding in South Asia after extraordinarily heavy monsoon rains, are giving us a foretaste of what is to come,” said Torsten Jeworrek, Munich Re board member, in a press release. “Because even though individual events cannot be directly traced to climate change, our experts expect such extreme weather to occur more often in future.” Since 1980, the number of loss events have been slowly rising. The insurance industry tallied more than 700 world events in 2017. For comparison over the last 30 years, that number has hovered around 500. All of this simply points to the fact that wash owners need to understand their commercial insurance policies more than ever before, as the likelihood of an owner experiencing weather-related damage increases every year. In addition, if you have simply renewed your coverage every 30

• WINTER 2019

year without discussing coverage changes that may have been endorsed to your policy, you likely will be in for a big surprise when you do file that claim. Following are two major coverage changes that most insurance carriers are now relying on to minimize their exposure to loss payouts.

The Wind/Hail Deductable One endorsement that we have seen most insurance carriers moving to as they attempt to minimize their exposure is a Wind/Hail deductible. This endorsement changes your standard property deductible when damage is caused by wind or hail. The Wind/Hail deductible comes in one of two forms and is utilized in replacement of your standard property deductible. When implemented the replacement deductible will be indicated as a flat stated dollar amount or a percentage deductible. There is an enormous difference in these two options and every wash owner should be aware of those differences. •

Option 1: Flat Deductible: If you have a “flat dollar deductible” it will be listed in the Wind/Hail endorsement as a dollar amount

generally from $500 to $5,000. Should your property suffer damage from a wind/ hail related event the amount listed as your Wind/Hail deductible would be subtracted from the paid claim amount. Let’s assume that your wash has roof damage from a hail storm that results in a covered claim for $18,000. Your Wind/Hail deductible is listed as $1,500 – in this case the amount of the claim paid would be $16,500. •

Option 2: Percentage Deductible: The trend, since hurricane Katrina struck, has been the usage of percentage deductibles. Instead of a dollar amount listed as the Wind/Hail deductible a percentage is listed. Generally ranging from 1% to 15%. Percentage deductibles are calculated very differently from Flat Deductibles. The percentage deductible is based upon your wash’s insured building value. Let’s assume your building is insured for $750,000 and you suffer the same roof damage as the above example. Your Wind/ Hail deductible is listed as 3% – in this case you would not receive any assistance from your policy with this claim. $750,000 x 3% = $22,500 – since this amount exceeds the amount of the claim, $18,000; there would be no payout from your policy.


The Roof - Cosmetic Damage Exclusion The second and more recent endorsement, in this case it is an exclusion of coverage, that insurance carriers have begun attaching to new and renewal policies is the Roof - Cosmetic Damage Exclusion. Commercial property insurance coverage is “triggered” by a covered peril (hail, wind, etc.) having a damaging effect on insured property. This is generally called “physical damage” by insurers; however, the term “physical damage” or “damage” is not specifically defined in most insurance policies. This means that ANY physical alteration to the property, no matter how slight, can be considered damage, thus triggering a claim being paid. To limit coverage for “non-functional damage”, insurers have begun to include the “cosmetic damage” exclusion. Cosmetic damage is usually defined as marring, pitting or other superficial damage from hail or wind that alters the appearance of the roof, but does not prohibit it from functioning as a moisture barrier. What this means to the wash owner is that if a Roof - Cosmetic Damage Exclusion is attached to your commercial property insurance policy and your roof is damaged by hail…unless your roof is leaking, you most likely will not be able to file a claim against your insurer, regardless of how ugly the roof looks.

Three Important Steps So, the bottom line here is that if you own a wash in a storm susceptible area, which seems to be encompassing more and more of the country lately, that you take the time to review your property policy closely. If your policy contains an endorsement for Wind/Hail deductibles or a Roof – Cosmetic Damage Exclusion take these three steps to properly manage your coverage. 1. Read your policy – make certain that you fully understand the deductible placed on your policy. 2. Talk to your agent – make sure your agent fully explains all the requirements and nuances of your policy. Ask if there are alternatives available through your current insurer or other carriers. 3. Be prepared - catastrophes happen. No matter where you live in the United States, you’re just a couple of years away from some major catastrophic event. If your policy has implemented a Wind/Hail deductible, make sure you have the money saved up so you’ll be able to pay it when that inevitable storm strikes. Dan is licensed in all states (except Alaska & Hawaii) and has been assisting business owners protect their operations, assets, customers and employees for over 25 years. For questions regarding this article or other insurance matters he can be reached at carwashinsuranceguru@gmail.com

WHAT THE HAIL? • Hail usually strikes the hardest in the spring months, but can last throughout the summer. • The largest hailstone recorded measured in at 8” in diameter, 18.5” in circumference, and weighed 1.94 pounds was found on July 23, 2010, near Vivian, South Dakota, according to Weather Underground Historian Chris Burt. • The heaviest hail recorded was found in Gopalganj District, Bangladesh, on April 14, 1986, and weighed 2.25 pounds • On July 30, 1979, in Fort Collins, Colorado, a hailstorm, produced pellets the size of grapefruits. • On April 20-21, 2006, in San Marcos, Texas, a hailstorm produced hail that was 3.9 inches in diameter. • On April 14, 1999, in Sydney, Australia, 40,000 vehicles were damaged during a hailstorm which produced hail that was 3.7 inches in diameter.

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INDUSTRY HAPPENINGS IN & AROUND SELF SERVE CARWASHING

DIRT

Gary Campbell Named PDQ’s New General Manager

In other Dover news, in a November 1, 2018, press release, Gary Campbell was named as the new General Manager of PDQ Vehicle Wash Systems. Prior to joining PDQ, Campbell was Dover’s Vice President of Integration for global mergers and acquisitions. Before embarking on his career with Dover, Campbell held a variety of roles at GE Capital, United Technologies, and Deloitte – mostly focused on developing and leading strategy and M&A activities. “OPW’s objective is to continue to grow the PDQ business, and Gary’s extensive background in strategy and business development makes him a great fit to lead the PDQ team,” Kevin Long, President of OPW, stated in a press release. “I’m excited to be joining PDQ,” Campbell said. “It’s a great business with a proud history of bringing to market innovative solutions for the vehicle wash industry.”

Bo Bowditch Joins Lock America as Security Consultant. Lock America is pleased to announce that veteran security consultant Bo Bowditch has joined its sales team. With more than 30 years serving clients in the OEM market and for industries such as petroleum marketing, EMS and vending, Bo adds an experienced and proven performer to Lock America’s sales team as the Corona, CA based company grows and expands its markets. Lock America’s CEO Frank Minnella expects Bo to be a key contributor to Lock America’s ongoing growth: “Bo will be an important member of our team as we continue to move into new markets and expand our product line in our current markets.” For over 30 years, Lock America of Corona, CA has developed and marketed a wide range of locks and security products for the amusement, fuel distribution, gaming, information management and self-storage industries. Bo will be responsible for accounts in the western states and Canada.

Numbers are in for 2018 Grace for Vets program The numbers just keep going up concerning the Grace for Vets program which offers a free car wash to veterans on Veterans Day. The number of locations, companies, and even countries has grown tremendously since the program’s inception in 2003. According to the Grace for Vets website, the results for 2018 are as follows: • Number of Countries Participating: 4 • Number of Companies Participating: 1,489 • Number of Car Wash Locations Participating: 3,948 • Number of Cars Washed: 309,316 The program was started by Mike Mountz. As for the total number of free washes given away since 2003, that number is a whopping 2,332,977.

32

• WINTER 2019

Belanger acquired by Dover On January 25, 2019, it was officially announced that Dover, of Downers Grove, Illinois, acquired Belanger of Northville, Michigan. On January 16, 2019, in a move that shocked some and sent buzz throughout the car washing universe, Dover announced its plans to acquire car washing superpower Belanger. In a press release, Belanger is described as a, “leading full-line car wash equipment manufacturer. Following the close of the transaction, Belanger will become part of the OPW business unit, a global leader in fluid handling solutions, in Dover’s Fluids segment.” Having served the industry for almost 50 years, Belanger has employed more than 150 people in and generated approximately $55 million in sales in 2018. The press release stated: The addition of Belanger strengthens OPW’s position as one of the largest car wash equipment and systems suppliers with strong brands in both conveyor tunnel and in-bay automatic segments, as well as large vehicle wash solutions. Dover expects the acquisition to be accretive to margins and Adjusted EPS in Year 1 and to achieve double-digit return on capital in three years, consistent with Dover’s M&A criteria. The transaction price implies a multiple of 2018 EBITDA below 10x, prior to synergies but after the benefit of asset value step-up. Richard J. Tobin, Dover’s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated in the press release, “With the increasing popularity of commercial car washes, the vehicle wash solutions market is an attractive space where we intend to grow OPW. We look forward to welcoming the talented team from Belanger. When combined with our PDQ business, one of our OPW brands, we will be able to offer customers a full breadth of products in this attractive market. This transaction reflects Dover’s commitment to deploying capital strategically in close-to-core markets that offer potential for sustainable, profitable growth, and where our team can create value for shareholders.” Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in early 2019. We are excited to welcome the Belanger team to the OPW family. Together with the existing offerings of our PDQ business, we will be able to provide our customers with a full-line of vehicle wash solutions,” said Kevin Long, President of OPW. Dover is a diversified global manufacturer with annual revenues of approximately $7 billion. It delivers innovative equipment and components, specialty systems, consumable supplies, software and digital solutions, and support services through three operating segments: Engineered Systems, Fluids, and Refrigeration & Food Equipment. Dover combines global scale with operational agility to lead the markets we serve. Recognized for our entrepreneurial approach for over 60 years, the team of over 24,000 employees takes an ownership mindset, collaborating with customers to redefine what’s possible. For 125 years, OPW has led the way in designing and manufacturing world-class retail fueling and fluid handling solutions for the safe and efficient handling and distribution of fuels and critical fluids. OPW makes above ground and below ground products for both conventional, vapor recovery and clean energy applications in the retail and commercial markets. Additionally, OPW supplies loading arms, valves and dry-break couplings, tank truck equipment, rail car valves and equipment, and car wash systems. OPW has manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific, with sales offices around the world. OPW is part of Dover Corporation.


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INDUSTRY DIRT Kleen-Rite loses beloved employee It goes without saying that Kleen-Rite, being a company that truly feels like a family, suffered a major loss with the passing of Tom Allen, KleenRite’s senior technician and dedicated employee for 35 years. According to a Facebook statement, “For many car wash operators, Tom’s name is synonymous with problem solving. He was the first person many customers and employees turned to for information and guidance on all things car washing. Everyone who met Tom had a story about how he assisted them. Helping others was simply Tom’s way.” According to the obituary, Allen, 65, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on January 7, 2019. He was the husband of Derotha “Dee” Ellison Allen with whom he was married 42 years, and he was a graduate of Michigan State University where in received his degree in metallurgy. After working in several foundries, he was employed for the past 35 years as a technical supervisor for the Kleen Rite Corporation in Mount Joy. Allen shared with Dee his children, Thomas, Amanda fiancée and Tyler Faus and his grandchildren, Karli, Oxzonna, Cassie, Bryan, and Ryan.

Another successful Kleen-Rite Expo And, in other Kleen-Rite news, the 2018 Kleen-Rite Learn More, Earn More Expo, which took November 13-14, at the Columbia, Pennsylvania, headquarters, was a huge success. The event invited car wash operators and detailers and included exhibits and seminars, a free buffet lunch, a tour of the Kleen-Rite warehouse, and door prizes. The Car Wash Experience, which was held on November 13, included a tour of three central Pennsylvania car washes and included roundtable discussions with a networking lunch. The date for the next Expo, which is held every two years, has not yet been announced. 34

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Forbes: Self serves are a great way to make money!

Forbes: Self serves are a great way to make money!

That’s right, folks. According to Forbes magazine, the self-proclaimed leading source for reliable business news and financial information, stated in a January 27 story, that owning a self serve car wash is a passive way of making more money! To quote the magazine directly, “To be clear, these are not zero effort undertakings. Still, you can earn some cash outside of your small business or regular gig and you won’t have to put in nearly the same amount of work as you do pursuing your more active sources of income. If you’re interested in boosting your bottom line 2019, check out these 13 passive income streams.” Along with owning a self serve car wash, the list of the 13 revenue streams also includes, publishing an ebook, selling stock photos online, vehicle wrapping and creating an app. As for owning a self serve, the article states: If you have some money to invest upfront and want to start a more traditional business, there are some passive options for you as well. Coin laundromats, vending machines and self-service car washes are three examples of businesses that earn money without the owner being present. Do you agree with Forbes? Write in to Self Serve Car Wash News at debrag@sscwn.com to share your opinion on this story.

That’s right, folks. According to Forbes magazine, the self-proclaimed leading source for reliable business news and financial information, stated in a January 27 story, that owning a self serve car wash is a passive way of making more money! To quote the magazine directly, “To be clear, these are not zero effort undertakings. Still, you can earn some cash outside of your small business or regular gig and you won’t have to put in nearly the same amount of work as you do pursuing your more active sources of income. If you’re interested in boosting your bottom line 2019, check out these 13 passive income streams.” Along with owning a self serve car wash, the list of the 13 revenue streams also includes, publishing an ebook, selling stock photos online, vehicle wrapping and creating an app. As for owning a self serve, the article states: If you have some money to invest upfront and want to start a more traditional business, there are some passive options for you as well. Coin laundromats, vending machines and self-service car washes are three examples of businesses that earn money without the owner being present. Do you agree with Forbes? Write in to Self Serve Car Wash News at debrag@sscwn.com to share your opinion on this story.


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EXTRA! EXTRA! Self serves are here to stay! says the Sentinel And, another periodical is jumping on the go, go, self serve bandwagon! This time, it’s the Sentinel out of Denver, Colorado. In a piece that was published January 12, 2019, columnist Qunicy Snowdon, states, “Self-service is here to stay, industry officials say. Years ago, nation’s hotels and apartments caused an uproar with the first self-service elevators. Now, be prepared to rent a car without ever seeing a human or maneuver airports in ways you never dreamed you could. Here are a few self-serve situations we think need special attention as local businesses move ahead with sending you out on your own.” Snowdon goes on to state that only about 8 percent of American car washes were full service as of 2017, according to an industry report from Focused Car Wash Solutions, a Parker-based carwash consulting firm. “More than half of the car washes analyzed in the report were in-bay automatic operations, involving programmed hoses and dancing octopus tentacles, er, cleaning devices. Even with the increasing prevalence of automated car washes, businesses designated ‘cleaners of vehicles and equipment’ employed 6,500 people in Colorado as of May 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About two thirds of those workers were employed in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Presenting the news stories featuring self serves car washes

Goose calls carwash its home Only in Canada… A goose has been making a car wash in Winnipeg its home, and he refuses to leave. According to the Canadian Press, staff and volunteers with the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre in Winnipeg have been trying for weeks to catch a Canada goose that has made a car wash its home for the winter. “Animal care coordinator Tiffany Lui suspects the bird has an injured wing and was unable to fly south with its feathered friends. The centre started receiving calls in October, when the season’s first snow blanketed the city, about an out-of-place goose in an area on the south side of the city,” the story said. Lui told The Canadian Press that the goose seems to be doing fine. “It gets water from puddles, as well as blasts of warm air, when vehicles exit the car wash. People who have heard about the bird have also left it seeds, corn and bread crumbs.” If the bird is captured, it will join four ducks and two pelicans, that are also staying at the centre.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS MORGANTON, NORTH CAROLINA The Cloer family, which has owned the Bonnie Mist Car Wash chain, in Caldwell County, North Carolina, for 50 years, is expanding to Morganton. The family is opening a six-bay car wash, which will include self serve bays, in early March. According to The News Herald, Vice President and General Manager David Cloer, Jr. said things are on track, but the weather has complicated things a bit. “Progress has been going pretty well except for the rain,” Cloer Jr. said. “That’s really set us back with all the concrete work and everything around here. We’re hoping to get open sometime in March. That’s what we’re shooting for right now. We were hoping to get open a lot earlier than that, but the rain has turned it into a mud pit over here.” The third-generation family business has washes in Lenoir, Whitnel & Cajah’s Mountain. “We’re excited to start doing some new things over here in Morganton,” he said. “We’re looking forward to serving this community. …We always wanted to be in the market and come over here and give y’all a nice quality product in a car wash, especially in a self-serve and in-bay automatic environment. We want to be able to give y’all something to work with in this community. …We wanted to try to be able make it so that our self-services are equally accessible to people who have mobility issues,” he said. The new wash’s automatic packages will range from $8-12 and the self serve will cost $2 for four minutes, and vacuuming will cost $1.25.

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MORGANTON, N, CAROLINA

LITHIA, FLORIDA

LITHIA, FLORIDA Now open in Lithia, Florida, is the new FishHawk Finish Line Car Wash. According to the Osprey Observer, “Strong water pressure and top of the line hogs hair brushes are in the self service bays along with the best in class soap products. Reverse osmosis technology offers a spot-free rinse. ”The self serve bays are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Detailing services are also available upon appointment. According to the FishHawk Finish Line website, “FishHawk Finish Line was formerly named ‘Famous Dave’s Car Wash.’ The previous owner, Dave Schoewe, was a FishHawk Trails’ resident and opened the car wash in May of 2004. David Hoffman and his family moved from Michigan in 2015 and noticed a shortage of quality, self-serve car washes in the area. He also discovered that there were no car detailing companies nearby with a permanent location, and mobile detailers were booked out months in advance … Hoffman takes pride in his work as he is also an avid antique car collector. He and his father have restored and built antique cars for many years. He noticed Famous Dave’s Car Wash was for sale for over a year and decided to make it his own.” “We desperately needed a good community car wash in the FishHawk area. Car enthusiasts always prefer a self-serve or touchless automatic. This ensures no scratches on the paint caused by dirty brushes on friction automatic car washes.”


Pull money out of thin air • Keep 100% of revenue • Eliminates theft and collection • Real-time on-line reporting • Credit / debit – cashless transactions • Wireless – no wires, no mess • Free air check attracts more customers • 25’ coil or wire braid hose • Wall, pedestal or vault mount • 1.25 HP high-output, continuous use (HOCU) industrial compressor

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FILL BLANK IN THE

I AM BETTER THAN MY COMPETITION BECAUSE ...

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS ... ... Warm Weekends and Icy, Salty Weekdays!

...

CITYVIEW

... To see a big red “SOLD” sign across the front of the “For Sale” sign. RANDY

... Up here in North Dakota .... a mild enough winter so the overhead doors on both ends can be used as infrequently as possible. That along with both my regular & new customers wisely dressing for the weather so that they are not shivering! Let me & my employees get our numerous projects behind us as soon as possible ... without sacrificing quality! Not just one present .... no not little old me ... I want a bunch of worthwhile presents & gifts! more ... more ... more!!! More people honestly telling me what a perfectly wonderful website & facebook page I have at www.kingkoin.com & my king koin laundry, car n dog wash facebook page! MJWALSH

... I just want a day off. Life has thrown me a couple of curveballs this fall, resulting in me having to get my butt in gear and carry a lot more weight than I have been. Today will be my 59th day in a row, without a day off...I’m tired :( I.B. WASHINCARS

... As a self serve car wash owner all I want for Christmas is to win the Montana millionarie lottery! SWAMPDONKEY

... A ‘No Dumb People’ sign that can tap people on their shoulder.

...I actually care and take pride in my washes. “Vacation” is when we drag our families through car washes in far away towns. I.B. WASHINCARS

... “What’s this “vacation” word you speak of? I can’t find it amongst the “Life of a Car Wash Owner Contract” anywhere LOL.” It’s in there, in the fine print, right after the words “Forget about ever taking a...”. MEP001

... some time off as well. 3 carwashes, Ice business w/ 3 restaurants, full time teaching & coaching (for @ least 6 more years). If my new SoftGloss will kick some A$$, I will retire early. During basketball season I am typically up @ 4:50 am go to bed early on Wed & Sun nights (10 pm). The other 5 nights typically to bed around 11 pm-1 am (if away games). So 80 & 90 to 100 hour work weeks October through March. Wearing me out at age 50!!! SOONERMAJIC

... “What’s this “vacation” word you speak of? I can’t find it amongst the “Life of a Car Wash Owner Contract” anywhere LOL.” You guys aren’t living right. That’s why we have “employees” so we can take a minimum of 2 vacations a year. I refuse to be a slave to the car wash, life is to short. KEVIN JAMES

JGINTHER

... A buyer.

...“I just want a day off. Life has thrown me a couple of curveballs this fall, resulting in me having to get my butt in gear and carry a lot more weight than I have been. Today will be my 59th day in a row, without a day off...I’m tired.” I was going to post something like that - I had a one week vacation in 1990, and that was my last one. I’ve also had to go from being semi-retired at 50 working a couple hours a day back to 60 hours a week at 53.

WASHNVAC

... Sunshine, sunshine SOAPY

... Snow, ice, or rain Mon, Tues, Wed, and being from Texas where it can go from below freezing one day and be sunny low 60’s the next $unshine $unshine $unshine Fri, $at, & $un.......and I’ll be good!

SLASH007

...I am attended 7 days a week. I offer detailing. I sell used cars. I offer a towel dry station free of charge. WAXMAN

...I check every bay every day. I give better product, both in show and cleaning. I keep it cleaner. I replace worn vacuum hoses instead of duct-taping over the holes. I can’t give more time per coin or a lower startup price because they come and check so they can match it. MEP001

...My

closest SS Competitor is top notch. He may be better than me. (He is also an a better traveled street with better exposure.) I watch and copy him so he doesn’t get too far ahead. He was ahead of me on Bay Bill and Credit Card Acceptors as well as Vacuum Dualers and hand held blowers. 2 of 3 of the next closest SS competitors demolished buildings and converted to a EE. The third has property listed for sale. Real Estate Value may have outstripped value as a wash.

- EARL WEISS

...Because most of my competition have their car wash as a sideline business and not their primary source of income. They tend to follow trends and not set them. They focus on the “show” portion of a wash and not in the results of a clean car. SOAPY

RFREEMAN

MEP001

... What’s this “vacation” word you speak of? I can’t find it amongst the “Life of a Car Wash Owner Contract” anywhere LOL. DIAMONDWASH

... To arrive at the wash in the morning ... for one week straight ... and not have to ask the 3 W’s: Why the ___? Who the_____? What the____? BEDDATTERY

...I’m better than my competition because all equipment works and the business is clean, tidy and attended. SWAMPDONKEY

If you would like to contribute your own answer, visit AutoCareForum.com and do a keyword search of “fill in the blank.” 38

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Microcoin QL ®

The MICROCOIN ® QL is a high speed, multi-coin, field programmable electronic coin acceptor that can be used in many applications in your car wash including your: WASH BAYS AUTOCASHIERS VACUUMS FRAGRANCE MACHINES CHANGE MACHINES Its features are many. Here are just a few: Quick Learn™ On Board Programming Single and multi-coin programming Programmable for Multiple Currencies Programmable for up to 12 different coins Universal size - one size fits all High speed, multi-coin acceptance up to 10 cps New, revolutionary coin discrimination techniques Highly critical and unique coin path design which virtually eliminates the possibility of coin jams. Maximum fraud coin rejection For more information on the MICROCOIN® QL contact Hi-Performance Wash Systems or one of the distributors listed below. Advanced Car Wash Systems – GA JE Adams – IA National Pride Equipment – OH Auto Wash Concepts – CA Jim Coleman Company – TX Ryko – IA Dultmeier – NE Kleen-Rite – PA U-Wash Equipment – IL Etowah Valley – NC Laurel Metal Products, Inc. – IL Water Conservation Services – CA Fragramatics – AR Mark VII – CO Windtrax - KS

3901 East 41st Avenue 800.922.1313 (Toll Free) Denver, CO 80237 303.322.2232 (Local) www.hpws.com WINTER 2019 •

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INNOVATIONS INTRODUCING NEW AND IMPROVED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR SELF SERVE CAR WASHES

Illumination System from PDQ PDQ Manufacturing, Inc. is pleased to announce the launch and availability of its new BayGlow Wash Bay Illumination System. Designed to be an eye-catching addition to any vehicle wash, as well as a possible replacement for traditional bay lighting, the Bay Glow’s ultimate goal is to increase the entertainment value of the wash experience, along with wash revenue. The key design feature of the BayGlow is its multi-color light bars that are able to display numerous color combinations, flashing patterns or constant illumination that matches the wash’s brand image. The BayGlow lights can also be used to illuminate the wash bay even when it is not actively washing vehicles, which can serve as a way to attract customers to the wash. The BayGlow light bars, which are available in eight-foot sections, utilize an integrated mounting system that enables them to be installed in multiple configurations on the wash bay’s walls, ceiling or rails. The BayGlow lights can integrate seamlessly into PDQ’s existing LaserWash® 360 Plus In-Bay Automatic and Tandem® Surfline Soft-Touch In-Bay Automatic vehicle-wash systems.

Water-powered Tool from Brush Hero Brush Hero is a water-powered cleaning and detailing tool designed for easy, shop-quality DIY car care. It’s perfect for rims, tight wheel spokes, the engine bay and all the nooks and crannies on a motorcycle. It easily cuts through brake dust, grease and road muck. No batteries or electricity required, Brush Hero simply hooks up to any standard garden hose and scrubs with an impressive amount of torque. As avid cyclists and car guys, founders Glenn Archer and Kevin Williams were looking for a way to get at those wheel spokes without jammed up, scraped up knuckles. With a soft brush, a stiff brush and now an entire line of specialty brushes, soaps and accessories, the Brush Hero brand offers a fun, fast and efficient way to clean just about anything. While our mainstay is the automotive aisle, we’re delighted to see that customers are using Brush Hero to clean just about everything — boats, grills, garden tools, pottery, pumpkins, potatoes, koi ponds, lawnmowers, golf clubs, rain gutters, and vinyl siding. 42

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Automatic Ice Vending Maching from Ice Drop This fully automatic ice vending machine works 2 4/7 and produces fresh ice cubes and packs and seals. SPECIFICATIONS INCLUDE: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Power Supply AC220V-50hz/220V-60hz(single) Consumption 4KW Rated Current 18.2A Capacity Of Ice 450KG/24H (with in Ambient Temperature 20°C) Size Of The Ice-Cube 2.2cm×2.2cm×2.2cm Capacity Of Ice Mould Space 540 space Spec Of Compressor 3P Refrigerant R404a Cooling Method Air/fan cooling Making ice Method Circulating Spray Ice storage tank capacity About 110KG Material Of Ice Tank Stainless Steel 304 Raw water source Municipal tap water Raw water pressure More≥0.2MPa≥0.4mpa Inlet water flow ≥200L/H Purification stem RO system (additional item option) Sales Method Induction IC Card/Coin Dispensing Ice Bulk Ice/Bag Ice Bag Ice Auto Output Ice,Divide Bag, Measure Bag Ice, Seal Bag Size 300*560mm Bag Thickness 0.05mm*Single Layer) Range Of Bag Ice 1KG To 4KG Capacity Of Inside Storage Bag About 250Pcs 24 Size Of Bulk Ice Tank W45cm×D35cm×50cm (Incubator Within the Size) Machine Size Width 1100 (front door)*Depth 1200(side )*height 2230mm


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WE ARE THE BILL ACCEPTOR EXPERTS ! Etowah Valley is the largest stocking retailer of acceptors in the Car Wash Industry ! 2 Year Warranty, Expert Technical Support r e We Off and Repair Service should the need arise. Bill Acceptors I E Coin Mechs M MEI

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sales@etowahmfg.com 888 920 2646 WINTER 2019 •

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TRICKS

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Presenting some of the best discussions from the Self Serve, IBA and General Discussions sections of Auto Care Forum. To view more posts discussing some interesting and common problems, as well as some of the best and brightest solutions, visit AutoCareForum.com

(Note: Some posts feature minor edits for readability.)

Not so funny money How confident are you in your changer’s ability to reject counterfeit bills? Reason I ask is that in our area (Rocky Mtns) there has been a big upswing in $20s circulating around. During our deposits in the past weeks we’ve had several bills pulled from our deposits by the bank as counterfeit. Don’t know if they went through the changers or were simply passed to our attendants for change or wash purchases. The last deposit had a $20 that [seemed legitimate], but it was determined counterfeit by a counterfeit pen and after being closely examined in direct sunlight by myself and two bankers. - Copperglobe

EARL WEISS: So far no current issues here. Some years ago they had old style $10 counterfeits that worked in the changers, but nothing since. The software was updated to reject old 10s completely. ...Perpetrators were later caught because someone had good cameras by their changers. Instruct attendants to use the pen on all bills given to them. That way you know any counterfeit without the pen mark came thru the changer. PAULLOVESJAMIE: [A] possibility that I dont want to mention is they came from your attendants - hope not, but dont completely ignore the possibility. COOPERGLOBE: Yeah, that’s that problem. Once the bank thinks they’re counterfeit they have to pass them along to the Feds- they won’t give them back to you. I’ve tried. And you’re out the $20 or whatever it’s worth. RANDY: The last counterfeit $20 bill we got was a real bill, it was the new style bill. The printing/color on it was perfect, but the paper feel of it was off. It wouldn’t work in the Mars AE2631 or the Hamilton XE validators that I tried it in. Get yourself a counterfeit pen and check your $20s or large bills. JEFF_L: Turn off the ability to take 20s, and give your attendants counterfeit pen checkers so that customers are forced to come to them. Maybe do this for a month or so? That way the hacks will go elsewhere. I.B. WASHINCARS: I want them to go through the changer. I have a lot more faith in Mars rejecting them than an attendant that may be rushing around. In the event that they get past the validator, the alarm will go off on the third one, sending them scurrying to an easier target. 46

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SSCWN EDITOR CHIMES IN: DO NOT try and use any counterfeit money or pass it along to someone else. You could be charged with a crime. Even if you just suspect it is counterfeit, turn it in to the police so that they get the money out of circulation and you are then absolved of any wrongdoing.

CHAZ: I’m gonna go with NO! I have all MEI acceptors in all equipment. Unless me or my clean up guy are on sight....all bills go through MEI. In 10 plus year...I’ve never had a bill rejected by my bank. So I guess that would be no? RANDY: No, not in the last 10 years or so. I.B. WASHINCARS: Same with me. When you dispense dollar coins you don’t have to deal with manually breaking the large bills. MEI checks them for us. OURTOWN: We have never had a bill rejected at the

MJWALSH: Before we rely too heavily on the “pen” ... keep in mind that counterfeiters for over 5 years now commonly use an easily available hair spray that will defeat the counterfeit pen check. It is common knowledge in our area ... not sure in other areas of the country.

bank. MJWALSH: In over 30 years with Standard ChangeMaker’s non MEI verifier version we have not had a single counterfeit accepted. Unless the bank missed one from us .... not likely. We were always careful to update the firmware as recommended which possi-

OURTOWN: Does anyone use a UV counterfeit detector?

bly has some bearing along with not going to low on the security setting.

MEP001: There are plenty of ways to check for counterfeit bills that there’s no reason to rely on just a pen or buying a UV detector. Do you guys know about the watermark? That can’t be faked. The color-changing ink, the band with $20 printed down it, all almost impossible to copy. They can’t fake the paper, but they’re washing $1 bills and printing old $20’s on them. Just don’t take old $20 bills.

I have a friend who in his laundromat in NYC said that his Standard was setup to change $50 bills. It might have a bill to bill breaker though not sure. I know if we could successfully lobby for higher denomination coins ... changing $50s would probably be more common. Just a thought. That would take the right kind of spunk though IMHO.

OURTOWN: After seeing your post I searched Youtube for checking for counterfeit bills and there are a ton of them. Some do show the pen and UV light but as you say there are lots of other ways to check without those items.

CAR_WASH_GUY: Never seen one in my Rowe 1400 or American Bill changer.

JMMUSTANG: You might want to turn off the button so you don’t accept $20s for a while.


t a h T s b u l C h s a W ! e u l a V Scream Wash Club Memberships: • Automatic Wash • Self Serve • Pet Wash • Vacuums

! l l A m e h Include T

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No trashcan for you! I finally pulled the trigger and got rid of the trash cans at my two car washes. Best thing I ever did. I get a [few] people just throwing trash on the ground, but [that’s it]. No more POS minivans that pull up and block the entrance to the bays for 40 minutes at a time just dumping trash and not spending a dime. No more filling the entire can and spend $1 on a vacuum. ...This is becoming a trend in my area. I know of 2 other washes in neighboring towns that have also pulled their trash cans with similar results. - sparkey

CHAZ: I agree it can be frustrating.....if I’m on site, I’ll say something to the “customers.” At this point I’m keeping my cans… I feel like it’s part of doing business. I have plenty of people who spend time AND money at my place and I’m not ready to inconvenience them. I did raise my vacs from $1 = 4 min, to $2 = 6 min....did that over a year ago.... that helped a ton with trash issues, and makes the cleaning of the vacs a bit less miserable as I’m gettIng a lot more income from my vacs. MAC: Good idea Sparkey. I used to have a customer with a six bay plus 2 autos. He was, and still is, an idiot. He insisted on having two, yes two, trash cans by every vacuum. Not only was he the city dump, it just plain made the place look, well trashy. OURTOWN: We ran off a lot of these types of customers and now rarely have a trash problem. I do notice that when we are busy there’s not as much trash. On really slow weekdays that’s when shenanigans are more likely to happen. MEP001: Sparkey, do you have any signage about it? Hopefully you won’t end up with people bringing their own garbage bags, filling them up and leaving them by your dumpster (seen it many times) or just sweeping it out on the ground. Might not hurt having a sign stating there is a fine for dumping or littering, I assume there’s an ordinance against it. I used to come in every Wednesday and would find one or two bays full of litter, finally on a Tuesday evening I was there and caught the guys. They were buying cars at a vehicle auction around the corner, and they’d come in, open the doors and use the high pressure to just blow all the garbage out in the bay. RANDY: We have 2 garbage cans at the car wash. We tried removing them once and it was a total disaster. The customers would toss their trash where the garbage can was, toss it on the ground or set their trash on the vac island. The birds and the animals would get into it and spread it around. After 2 weeks we gave up on the disaster. WAXMAN: I have 2 cans at my wash. I empty them daily+. I feel that this is a necessary service that I must provide the customer. After all, they are coming to the wash to clean their car. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes; your car interior needs cleaning. If you are like me, there

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SSCWN EDITOR CHIMES IN: Do you know your state’s law on littering? Some have harsh punishments (for instance, in the state of Idaho, under code §18-7031, littering on public or private property is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1000, with the possibility of eight to 40 hours litter cleanup). To see where your state stands on litterers, turn to page 54.

are a few pieces of trash in the interior that are in the way of completing a nice vac job. You pull up to the vac island, grab the trash off your floor, and there are no trash cans anywhere! I feel that by eliminating trash cans, you are providing below-average service. The self service car wash business is about helping the customer achieve their goal: a clean car. It is the reason they visit your business. Think about it: only half of car owners wash the car. The ones that do wash only come 3 x per year! I know I need to always be washing MORE, not LESS! I know the trash is a pain in the (bleep). I know people abuse it. But not every customer does. In my experience, the majority of customers do not abuse the garbage or bays. I think you are punishing all the customers based on the actions of a few. Is that good business practice? JGINTHER: If you want to get rid of your problems at the car wash, you just have to get rid of your customers. Pretty simple really. i would think that getting rid of trash service would be a good first step toward that. Receiving a small payment for trash would be ideal, but pretty unrealistic considering throwing away trash is free everytime. MEP001: Ok, I’ll put myself in the customer’s shoes. I don’t let trash pile up in my car. If I were to go to a car wash to clean and vacuum, there would be no trash in it to throw away. No one I know personally allows for a week’s or month’s worth of

garbage pile up and expects someone to provide a facility for them to dump it in, whether as part of washing their car, or for the purposes of one vac cycle, or especially for free. I can’t see myself ever pulling out the cans, but I fully understand and sympathize with the problem sparkey was facing. ROZ: I changed from traditional trash cans I used to need to dump into the 6 yard bin. The large trash bin was being used by people to dispose of large household items so I moved to 110 gal bins from the trash haul company that get lifted by the trash truck each week. No more large bin, no more small trash cans, no more headaches, no more need for someone to empty the trash cans. Trash company handles everything! We still get a few customers who abuse the service, but overall everyone is happier with the system. SWAMPDONKEY: Once I gated my wash @ 10 pm I cut down on the trash. I have 20 30 gallon cans on site for a 3 bay ss. That equals 3 at each vaccum stand and in the bays. Yes, I get those that only come to empty their trash and I see them out my office window and wander out there to talk to them. The trade off is my vacs do 18% of what my bays do. There was a wash in town where the new owner decided not to let muddy pick ups use the bays. In a rural community that is a no no. He was out of business in 2 years. Trash is money most of the time, and mud is money all the time. 2BIZ: I agree with Swampdonkey….Even though it infuriates me to see someone pull in and dump car trash without spending a dime. At least they know where I’m at and hopefully a large percentage will be back when they do want to spend some money, even if only at the pop machines. I used to have domed cans that were screwed down to the concrete and I had to use garbage bags. Ever since I found hypodermic needles in the cans and on the ground, I refuse to ever touch garbage again. To remedy, I purchased 1/2 yd heavy duty totes (with wheels) from our local Rumpke and also have a 2 yd dumpster. When the totes get half full or a little more, I upend them in the dumpster without ever touching the garbage. And people actually close the lids probably 99% of the time! More win wins, no more garbage bags saving sevcontinued ...


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TRICKS

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Who gets a lot of ATVs? Hey all, I’m sure many of you will never have to allow this but where my wash is in a part of the country that is very depressed and if I needed to depend on local traffic only it would close. We cater to ATV and SXS toys and we’re in West Virginia in coal country. Things like car fresheners would only apply to a small percentage of the customers that come in. My question since I’m new to this is what else would you suggest to offer for added income and does anyone else cater to this customer base? - Mothgrey MEP001: An extra-high pressure selection with a reduced time per coin comes to mind. PAULLOVESJAMIE: undercarriage wash for their trailers? SOAPY: On my own atvs and SXS I always use tire shine after I clean them. Just spray it on when wet and let it dry. It makes it much easier to clean the next time. A silicone after wash spray makes them look new and easier to clean the next time. SWAMPDONKEY: Interesting question, I get a lot of atv and sxs plus the 4x4 that pull them. Never had any requests for additional services. They don’t spend any time wiping down either. So give good pressure, hot water & soap. Say over &

over in your head “mud is money.” PAULLOVESJAMIE: In WV coal country, yes. In Montana, yes - I spent some time in the breaks in September chasing elk, I STILL can’t get that dang gumbo off my boots! Mud is NOT money where I am though, definitely depends on your market. MOTHGREY: Oh we love mud and coal dust - it’s our bread and butter. I wasn’t sure if anyone offered anything else for them. As an off roader myself the under spray would be nice. Curious Swampdonkey, what you charge and how long they get. SWAMPDONKEY: I’m $3.25 for 4 minutes & $2.00 for 4 minutes on combo’s. My location is Havre, Montana, the heart of the Hi-line. Lots of elk hunters go thru my wash.

No trashcan for you! continued....

eral hundred $$$ a year and the totes hold more garbage so I don’t have to dump as often...I never fill the 2yd dumpster that is dumped once a week, so I’m good for the time being! CHAZ: At least at my wash folks dumping a ton of crap is not the normal. But with all do respect... it sounds like you are putting your feet into shoes of a perfect customer...I would imagine even you accumulate some daily litter that you’d expect to be able to discard when using pay vacs....and not have to hang onto the litter until getting home?! At my wash, trash and litter on the ground - just like C/C fees - are considered part of the cost of doing business. I too have Rumpke Collection (great company) just wondering if they’d simply empty the toters and eliminate the dumpster? I currently have an 8 yard that’s typically about ¾ full each week. 2BIZ: My wash is in town and I am charged for local collection on my utility bill, same as residential. I pay for the dumpster directly to Rumpke. I pur50

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SSCWN EDITOR CHIMES IN: The ATV market is expected to grow in upcoming years, therefore, it might payoff to market your wash towards ATV drivers. According to a MarketWatch report, the “All-Terrain Vehicle Market is growing rapidly across the world according to a recent study report published by the Market Research Future on Global All-Terrain Vehicle Market. Global All-Terrain Vehicle industry to witness steady growth from 2018 to 2023.” Why? Well, for starters, the economy is doing well, which allows for more purchases of ‘leisure’ and ‘hobbybased’ luxuries. Next, there are many more ATV-based competitions taking place, driving the market and driving popularity. And, lastly, ATVs are marketed to those with disabilities more and more and becoming popular amongst people who want to explore the outdoors, but are limited due to a physical setbacks.

chased the 2 cu yd dumpster outright for $500 from Rumpke, It’s mine. What it did was lower my monthly charge from $95 down to $52.50, a no brainer. They won’t offer up that option, you have to ask for it. That was 8 years ago.... So what I did was purchase 6 totes for $75 each planning on doing the same as what you are wanting to do. I set 4 totes out the first week only to get cited (they put a sticker on the cans) that they will only pick up two totes with the in town contract. So now I have some spare totes and just dump the totes in the dumpster. I only set one tote out for local collection, it’s the one I shovel mud into. Its never been an issue, but I try not to make it too heavy even though they have the new tote lifts on the garbage trucks. Its really not that hard to dump the garbage totes in the dumpster, but my 2 yd is a lot lower to the ground than your 8 yd. You might have to devise something to help you get the job done if you go that route. MEP001: I really don’t accumulate trash in my car (truck actually, but anyway...). Even before I had the convenience of a whole car wash available to me at work for free, I never let trash accumulate in my vehicle. I used to manage an ugly old wash that was

never abused with trash. I don’t know why, but aside from a very rare mess I just never had people dumping or leaving large messes. Now I find the occasional pair of cans completely full overnight and video shows they either didn’t vac or just spent maybe one cycle, but it’s not a problem that I’d ever consider removing the cans. I doubt I’d do that no matter how bad it got unless I was the only wash in town, and if I did I’d have signs and cameras and involve the cops in prosecuting. RANDY: I love the ones who come into the car wash park by the vac island, get out, they weigh in at around 350lbs plus, open all 4 doors and start scooping the garbage out of their car with their big fat (bleep) up in the air, looks kind of like a badger digging a hole. When they are done they close the car doors and drive away or the one last week who came in and dropped off a big black garbage bag full of (bleep) adult diapers. These kind of things really reinforce my love for humanity. For those of you who don’t get dumped on you should consider yourselves very fortunate, because it can be very frustrating. When you do call the police and they decide that they will cite the individual you’re the “A” hole for calling the police. It never seems to end!!!


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Litter Laws from Coast to Coast

LAYING DOWN THE LITTERING LAWS Know where your state stands on littering and let the litterbugs know you’re not messing around. It helps to have the law on your side. Sometimes simply asking a customer, or worse, a non-customer, to not dump their trash on your lot or at your bays might not be enough. A sign will help, but what about the warning that you will press charges or post footage of their littering on social media? Back in December 2017,

a video of a woman littering in a parking lot went viral via Facebook. The video showed her littering in the Applejack Wine and Spirts parking lot in Woodland Park, Colorado. Within just two days, the video was shared more than 19,000 times. Police were eventually able to track her down and issue her a summons. So,

there is one way to catch, and embarrass litterers and hopefully discourage those who are thinking of littering. But, before doing this, it would help to know where your state stands on the laws of littering. Below is a breakdown of each state and its littering penalties.

ALABAMA Class C misdemeanor. First conviction: $250 minimum fine. Subsequent convictions: $500 fine

ALASKA Up to $1,000 fine, with possibility of litter cleanup. $50 fine for citations issued by peace officer.

ARIZONA Class 6 felony for amounts of litter exceeding 300 pounds or 100 cubic feet or any quantity for commercial gain. Class 1 misdemeanor for amounts of litter exceeding 100 pounds but less than 300 pounds, and not for commercial gain. Also applies for littering within 50 feet of a highway, public beach or shoreline. Fines up to $2,500.

ARKANSAS Misdemeanor. First conviction: fine between $100 and $1,000, and eight hours community service. Subsequent convictions within three years: fine between $200 and $2,000, and 24 hours community service. CONNECTICUT Fine of up to $199. If littering on public land, there is a surcharge equal to 50 percent of the fine.

GEORGIA Misdemeanor. Fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year. Violators may also be required to pick up litter over a distance not to exceed one mile. The court may publish the names of persons convicted under the statute.

IDAHO If littering on public or private property, misdemeanor punishable by up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1000, with the possibility of eight to 40 hours litter cleanup.

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CALIFORNIA First conviction: fine between $100 and $1,000, and at least eight hours of litter cleanup. Second conviction: fine between $500 and $1,000, and at least 16 hours of litter cleanup. Subsequent convictions: fine between $750 and $1,000, and at least 24 hours of litter cleanup.

DELAWARE First conviction: minimum fine of $50 and up to eight hours community service. Second conviction within two years: minimum fine of $75 and up to 25 hours community service. If the offense occurred on or along a Delaware byway, an additional penalty of $500 must be imposed for every first, second, and subsequent offense.

HAWAII Petty misdemeanor. Fine between $500 and $1,000. First conviction: four hours community service of litter cleanup. Subsequent convictions: eight hours community service or litter cleanup.

COLORADO Class 2 petty offense. First conviction: fine between $20 and $500. Second conviction: fine between $50 and $1,000. Subsequent convictions: fine between $100 and $1,000.

FLORIDA Noncriminal infraction for litter amounts not exceeding 15 pounds or 27 cubic feet and not for commercial gain. Punishable by a civil penalty of $100. The court may also require litter cleanup. First degree misdemeanor for amounts greater than 15 pounds or 27 cubic feet, but not exceeding 500 pounds or 100 cubic feet in volume and not for commercial purposes. Punishable by imprisonment up to one year and/or fine up to $1,000. The violator will also be required to pick up litter or perform other community service. For convictions involving littering from a motor vehicle, a penalty of three points will be recorded on the violator’s driver’s license.


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Litter Laws from Coast to Coast ILLINOIS First conviction: class B misdemeanor, fine up to $1,500. Second conviction: class A misdemeanor, fine up to $1,500. Subsequent convictions: class 4 felony, fine of $25,000 and imprisonment between one and three years.

KANSAS Misdemeanor. First conviction: fine between $250 and $1,000. Second conviction: fine between $1,000 and $2,000. Third conviction: fine between $2,000 and $4000. In all cases, requirement to pick up litter for a certain length of time.

MICHIGAN Civil Infraction. Litter amounts less than one cubic foot: fine up to $800. Litter amounts greater than one cubic foot but less than three cubic feet: fine up to $1,500. Litter amounts greater than three cubic feet: fine up to $2,500 for first conviction and up to $5,000 for subsequent convictions. In addition to penalties, the court may also require violators to pay for the cost of litter removal and any property damage. Littering of material produced at a health facility is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment up to six months, fine up to $1,000, or both. Litter that involves infectious waste or pathological waste is a felony punishable by imprisonment up to 2 years, fine of up to $5,000, or both. Subsequent convictions punishable by imprisonment between one and five years and fine up to $10,000.

NEBRASKA First conviction is a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to three months imprisonment, $500 fine, or both. Second conviction is a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to six months imprisonment, $1,000 fine, or both. Subsequent conviction is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment, $1,000 fine, or both

NEVADA Misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000, imprisonment up to six months, or both.

NEW MEXICO Petty misdemeanor. Fine up to $500, six months imprisonment, or both. In addition to or in lieu of imprisonment, community service litter cleanup in area littering occurred. 56

• WINTER 2019

INDIANA Class B infraction punishable by a fine up to $1,000. For littering within 100 feet of a body of water, class A infraction punishable by a fine up to $1,000.

KENTUCKY Class A misdemeanor. Fine up to $500.

MARYLAND Misdemeanor. For amounts of litter not exceeding 100 pounds or 27 cubic feet and not for commercial gain: fine up to $1,500, imprisonment up to 30 days, or both. For amounts exceeding 100 pounds or 27 cubic feet, but not exceeding 500 pounds or 216 cubic feet, and not for commercial gain: fine up to $12,500, imprisonment up to one year, or both. For amounts exceeding 500 pounds or 216 cubic feet or in any amount for commercial gain: fine up to $30,000, imprisonment up to five years, or both. The court may also require cleanup, repair or payment of damages, community service, and suspension of driver’s license.

MISSOURI Class A misdemeanor. $1,000 fine and imprisonment up to one year.

NEW HAMPSHIRE Misdemeanor. Imprisonment up to one year and fine up to $2,000; or, at court’s discretion, conviction may require time spent cleaning the area where littering occurred. The court may publish the names of convicted persons.

NEW YORK (Littering on highways and adjacent lands) First conviction: fine up to $350 and/or a requirement to perform services for a public or not-for-profit corporation, association, institution or agency not to exceed 10 hours. Subsequent convictions: fine up to $700 and/or a requirement to perform services for a public or not-for-profit corporation, association, institution or agency not to exceed 15 hours.

IOWA Simple misdemeanor. Fine between $65 and $625 and/or imprisonment up to 30 days. Violators may also be required to perform litter cleanup, in lieu of or in addition to any other sentence imposed. LOUISIANA First conviction of intentional littering: fine between $500 and $1,000, and eight hours community service in a litter abatement program. Second conviction: fine between $1,000 and $2,500, and 24 hours community service. Subsequent convictions: fine between $1,500 and $5,000, and either one year driver’s license suspension, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or 48 to 100 hours in a litter abatement program. First conviction for simple littering: $75 fine or eight hours community service. Subsequent convictions: $500 or 16 hours community service. Those convicted must also pay for or repair any property damage and pay all investigative costs.

MASSACHUSETTS First conviction: fine up to $5,500. Subsequent convictions: fine up to $15,000. The court may also require that the violator remove the litter, at his own expense. 50 percent of any fine imposed is deposited in the conservation trust.

MONTANA Fine up to $200. Not punishable by imprisonment

NEW JERSEY Petty offense. First conviction: fine between $100 and $500, with option of 20 to 40 hours community service. Second conviction within six months: fine between $250 and $1,000, with option of 40 to 80 hours community service or up to 60 days imprisonment.

NORTH CAROLINA Class 3 misdemeanor. For amounts of litter not exceeding 15 pounds and not for commercial gain: fine between $250 and $1,000 for first conviction, with possible eight to 24 hours community service. Subsequent convictions: fine between $500 and $2,000, with possible 16 to 50 hours community service. For amounts exceeding 15 pounds but not exceeding 500 pounds and not for commercial gain: fine between $500 and $2,000, with possible 24 to 100 hours community service.


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Litter Laws from Coast to Coast NORTH DAKOTA Infraction with a minimum fine of $100. If litter amounts to more than one cubic foot in volume or consisted of furniture or a major appliance, the offense is a class B misdemeanor. Maximum penalty of 30 days’ imprisonment, a fine of $1,500, or both, may be imposed.

OREGON Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $6,250, imprisonment up to one year, or both.

SOUTH CAROLINA Misdemeanor. For amounts of litter less than 15 pounds or 27 cubic feet: fine of $200 or up to 30 days imprisonment for first or second conviction. Subsequent convictions: fine of $500 or up to 30 days imprisonment. The court may also impose eight hours of litter cleanup for first conviction, 16 hours for second conviction, and 24 hours for subsequent convictions.

TEXAS Litter weighing five pounds or less is a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500. If between five and 500 pounds, class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500, imprisonment up to 30 days, or both. If between 500 and 1,000 pounds or for a commercial purpose, class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $4,000, imprisonment up to one year, or both. State jail felony if the litter to which the offense applies: (1) weighs 1,000 pounds or more; (2) disposed of for a commercial purpose and weighs 200 pounds or more; or (3) contained in a closed barrel or drum. Punishable by imprisonment up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

VIRGINIA Misdemeanor. Punishable by a fine between $250 and $2,500, imprisonment up to 12 months, or both. In lieu of jail, the court may order community service in litter abatement activities.

WISCONSIN Fine up to $500. For litter involving a large item, such as furniture or an appliance, fine up to $1000.

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OHIO Third degree misdemeanor. The court may, in addition to or in lieu of the penalty provided, require violators to remove litter from any public or private property, or in waters of the state. PENNSYLVANIA First offense: summary offense, fine between $50 and $300, imprisonment up to 90 days, or both. Subsequent offenses: third degree misdemeanor, fine between $300 and $1,000. May also be sentenced to imprisonment or required to perform up to one year community service. Littering from a vehicle is punishable by a fine up to $900, litter cleanup for a certain number of hours, or both.

SOUTH DAKOTA Class 2 misdemeanor. Fine of $500, imprisonment for 30 days, or both. In addition to the penalties provided, litter weighing more than five pounds is punishable by a fine up to $1,000, of which 20 percent must be paid to any person who provides information that leads to the conviction of the offender. In addition, the court must order violators to litter cleanup.

UTAH Class B misdemeanor. Minimum fine of $100.

WASHINGTON Civil infraction for amounts equal to one cubic foot or less. Punishable by a fine of $50. Misdemeanor for amounts between one cubic foot and one cubic yard. Punishable by a fine up to $1,000, imprisonment up to 90 days, or both. Violators must also pay a litter cleanup restitution payment equal to twice the actual cost of cleanup, or $50 per cubic foot of litter, whichever is greater. The court may, in addition to or in lieu of part or all of the payment, order the person to pick up litter. Gross misdemeanor for litter amounts of one cubic yard or more. Punishable by a fine up to $5,000, imprisonment up to one year, or both. Violators must also pay a litter cleanup restitution payment equal to twice the actual cost of cleanup, or $100 per cubic foot of litter, whichever is greater. The court may, in addition to or in lieu of part or all of the payment, order the person to pick up litter. WYOMING Misdemeanor. Imprisonment for up to six months, fine of up to $750, or both. In lieu of this sentence, a court may require up to 40 hours of community service. Littering involving the disposal of a container with bodily fluids along a highway right of way is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment up to nine months, fine up to $1,000, or both. In lieu of this sentence, a court may require up to 40 hours of litter cleanup from public roads, parks or other public areas.

OKLAHOMA Misdemeanor. Fine between $200 and $5,000, imprisonment for up to thirty days, or both. Violators must also pay damages or clean up the property affected.

RHODE ISLAND First conviction: fine between $85 and $500. In addition to or in lieu of the fine, violators may be ordered to pick up litter for two to 25 hours. Subsequent convictions: fine between $300 and $500. In addition to or in lieu of the fine, violators may be ordered to pick up litter for four to 50 hours. Violators are also liable for cleanup costs.

TENNESSEE Litter weighing less than five pounds is a class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $50, imprisonment up to 30 days, or both, and up to 40 hours community service. The court may also require work in a recycling center up to eight hours. Litter weighing between five and 10 pounds is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500, six months imprisonment, or both, and up to 80 hours community service. The court may also require work in a recycling center up to eight hours. Litter weighing more than 10 pounds or for any commercial purpose is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $2,500, imprisonment up to 11 months and 29 days, or both. If third conviction in any amount exceeding 10 pounds or upon the second conviction in any amount exceeding 1,000 pounds or in any amount for any commercial purpose, class E felony. Imprisonment between one year and six years, and possible fine up to $3,000. The court must also require community service litter removal for up to 160 hours.

VERMONT Civil violation. Fine up to $200 or a maximum of 40 hours work collecting trash or litter from roadsides or other public property.

WEST VIRGINIA Misdemeanor. For amounts not exceeding 100 pounds or 27 cubic feet: fine between $100 and $1,000, community service for eight to 16 hours, or both. For amounts greater than 100 pounds or 27 cubic feet, but less than 500 pounds or 216 cubic feet: fine between $1,000 and $2,000, community service for 16 to 32 hours, or both. For amounts greater than 500 pounds or 216 cubic feet or any amount which had been collected for commercial purposes: fine between $2,500 and $25,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both. For subsequent violations: double the authorized range of fines and community service.


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PRESENTING THE

TOP TEN PET PEEVES

One of the greatest confusions the general public has with self serve car washes is that it is a “set it and forget it” type of business. In fact, if you read the Industry Dirt section of this magazine, there is a story from Forbes magazine stating that owing a self serve car wash is a great way to make extra income. Nowhere in the magazine does it expand upon the daily chores, money, gripes, ex-

10.

POOR PUBLIC PERCEPTION

The public thinks poorly of the self serve model. Here are a few of the comments posted on a Facebook post, asking people why they don’t go to a self serve wash: “Although you have more control over the overall clean, you tend to get soaked, especially on windy days.”

haustion, clean up and day-to-day toils involved. For this cover story, we have given you all the opportunity to vent your frustrations and even offer up suggestions to make things a bit easier. After carefully perusing pages and pages of AutoCareForum.com posts under the self serve thread, it is apparent that certain pet peeves stand out. Do you agree with this list? If you have one not had a

Those washes attract criminals!

I FEEL I AM RACING AGAINST A CLOCK! Only poor people use a self serve!

need. I like knowing the full cost up front.” Pulling into a bay, and it not working properly. Not to mention the streaking when it dries.

“The primary hoses get tangled with the foam brush.”

Getting wet, getting dirty when the hoses brush against your clothing, not knowing how long you have, needing quarters, no drying.

“Foam brush is often dirty and has scratched my car.”

Not enough of them around and they are rarely maintained, often elements of them are broken

“So many choices on the dial; hard to know what they are. I only need soap, rinse and wax.” “Sometimes there’s a long delay to switch from soap to rinse.” “Feels like I’m on a game show beating the clock! Which is not fun ]to me. And what if I run out of quarters?” “Vagrants in the neighborhood begging for money” “I would say the uncertain amount of money you

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS Self serves can get a bad rap – some of it is deserved and some of it just comes down to misunderstandings of how the wash works. And while there is nothing you can do to magically change a person’s opinion; your best bet is to be aware of perceptions and address each issue one by one. Start with having a FAQ page on your website and a video showing how to use the dials, wands, etc.

change to air your grievances , feel free to share it all on the forum as there is a whole community of people willing to hear you out, offer up help and also allow you to just plain unleash and vent. And, just remember: When you’re in the thick of it, and cleaning up disgusting trash, sludge, and muck, and dealing with customers who just don’t get it, know that you are not in the least bit alone.

Also, be on hand and walk around to the bays to see if any customers need any help. Next, ask a friend (who isn’t afraid to be honest) to use your wash as a secret shopper and report back every misgiving, problem, confusing tidbit. Is your signage confusing? Should you allow for more time? Is your number clearly posted in case of something going wrong? As for the public’s perception on vagrants hanging out, this all comes down to your security presence, lighting, maintenance etc. (see Pet Peeve #1). The bottom line is that you might be missing out on potential customers due to them just not feeling comfortable using the self serve format.

9.

CLUELESS, RUDE CUSTOMERS

“Rude customers… We get to the car wash at 5:30 and we are out of there by 8:00 so we don’t have to interact with any of the customers...” “Why is it I feel that I need counseling after dealing with some self serve customers? I mean some of these people have no commonsense and are in dire need of education con-

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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.

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sistently because I hate looking at my cameras and saying, ‘Oh God, What Now!’” “Even surveillance and signs do not help. If people don’t see attendants or live supervision, they feel like they have the right to do anything.” “Sometimes we get people who for some reason love the golden $1 coins, so they come by when we’re not there and deposit a large quantity of bills -- like most recently $240 worth of bills and leave with 240 golden dollar coins sometimes draining a bill changer w/o even using a service. (They like to hand them out to kids or give the coins as gifts, etc.) … It just a great inconvenience to us and a little ‘pet peeve’…“ “I will get customers come into my office open up their hand to show the dollar coins that they got and ask, ‘do these work here?’ I just nod & smile yes. I do get others that want quarters exchanged for dollar coins.”

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS Everyone knows that business owners are supposed to appreciate their customers. They’re always right, right? The customer is king? But what if a customer is just plain ‘ol crazy? What if their tired questions, their complaints, their rudeness, entitlement is too much to bear? It is not necessarily a generational thing. Many will says today’s youth is lazy and spoiled, but Google “rude customers” and you’ll find stories of people – from millennials to baby boomers – acting afoul to business owners. If you’re looking for humor, search “customer calls 911” or “crazy customer stories.” There are stories of customers calling 911 after a McDonald’s worker put onions on their Big Mac to a customer pretending to fall to get an insurance check. Aside from laughing at the insanity of it all, there are more structured ways of dealing with the cuckoo, and crazy customers. According to Entrepreneur magazine, there are 12 key ways that successful people deal with those who are toxic. “TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. One of their greatest gifts is the ability to neutralize toxic people. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ to keep toxic people at bay.” As for how to deal, the magazine says it all comes down to setting boundaries. “Toxic people drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it; their behavior truly goes against reason. So why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix? The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally and approach your interactions like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink, if you prefer the analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos--only the facts.”

ADVICE FROM SELF SERVE OWNER(S): “I raised my prices and its eliminated a lot of the people that really ****ed me off on the day to day stuff, and business hasn’t really dropped off. I am going to be making a few more changes and raising prices again to really weed out more creeps. I was so hesitant

on doing it (10 years) now like everyone on here says just do it. Less hassle and more $$$$$$$. Last year was best year in 10 years and I am about 15% ahead of last year to date already…” “With all the express washes popping up giving away cheap washes and free vacs and compressed air, now is not the time to sweat the little things. Simply give great service, chemicals, keep a clean lot, offer lots of vending and make sure all is working well daily. For years I stressed out with and argued with customers over this stuff and it never works. Remember, you get more flies with honey than vinegar. Every now and then, give free bay time, or a little tree, etc. to your good customers and when you instruct someone on the proper way to use the wash do that with them as well. you’d be amazed at how these little things will keep loyal customers and turn bad customers into good ones. Best of all, it costs next to nothing to do this.” “I have learned to just shake my head and give a sarcastic thank you to some of the problem people and save my energy more for the ones that really require it.”

8.

NIGHTTIME/ CRACK-OF-DAWN VULTURES

“We had one guy who’d come every morning between 05:05 and 05:20 and pee on the vac island. When he got caught, he thought it was perfectly OK, saw no problem [with] peeing on the vac island. He didn’t think it was too funny when the police get involved. He thought we were ‘A’ holes for getting the police involved…” “…maybe 5 mornings out of 7 the ‘night lizards’ remove the cotter pins to our vacuums’ lower door to be able to access the basins of vacuumed coin and then don’t care to reinsert the cotter pin, so the next customer gets poor or no suction at all unless we’ve discovered this in time. They do this even though we clean out our basins EVERY night at 8 p.m. so yeah, [this is one of the bigger pet peeves for] me.” “Lately we’ve been getting a lot of homeless people who think they can camp out at the car wash. It’s always fun to call the police to have them do a wakeup call at 5:15 a.m.” “Now that we have cameras, I can’t believe things that go on at the car washes when it’s dark or there’s no one around, it’s disgusting the things that go on.”

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS What is it about a self serve property that attracts people at night? Owners have mentioned the dread they feel when pulling up to their wash in the morning: “What is awaiting me?” they anxiously wonder. Others have watched the security footage, shaking their heads at what others will do, even knowing they are being film. Other than making it known you have cameras watching their every move AND calling the police when appropriate, other things you can try is asking the local police to do drive-bys throughout the night or doing them yourself. Others suggest gating the property.

ADVICE FROM SELF SERVE OWNER(S): “We moved up to food chain a couple notches when we gated the wash (WAUW) and posted ‘no trespassing’ signs. It is private property and it is illegal to en-

ter unless you pay. We attend full time and enforce the trespass rule, with police cooperation. We charge $8 to enter and as a result have lost many of the dirt bags who used to frequent our establishment in the off hours. Much better owning a SS under this model, after running a typical SS for over 25 years.” “I too have full HD cameras recording 24/7 at all my washes and I am amazed at the low life’s that come out at night. the last guy I had arrested would get into the top doors of my vacs and rip out the bags to get to the dirt below in the locked door. I had tons of video and laid awake many a night watching live feeds to catch him. Finally got him and had him arrested. Have not seem him since, but many more have taken his place. All my friends want me to start a YouTube channel with the plethora of videos I have.” “We are 8AM to 10PM ... we still have many of the mind numbing experiences, but I can’t help to think that it is even tougher with the 24/7 format. I am aware of the need for overhead doors & a lock & unlock process…”

7. MUDDERS “Mud digging mud shoveling mud cleaning mud mud mud mud you know more mud!!!!!”

“MUD!!!!! My busiest wash also has the smallest pits and a healthy customer base of college kids that go mudding a LOT!”

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS To eradicate mudders, there are really only two solutions: Ban them or accept the fact that they are paying customers and they also come with the territory. Advice from Self Serve Owner(s): “Although this time of the year is frustrating with all the hunters and mudders, a couple things I notice from it is: They spend $$ in the bays!! I always tell my help that they are job security!” “I always tell them to please go elsewhere as my drains cannot handle all that mud, so they just seem to go late at night when I am not usually there.” “I do plan on posting signs right above the meter boxes so it cannot be claimed they were not seen and also state there will be a cleaning fee billed to vehicle owner and that they have been under video surveillance since entering the property. Maybe that will slow it down.” “I treat it as part of the job. When I’m there and see somebody pull in one of the inside bays with a muddy truck or mower (grass), I politely ask them to use the outside truck bay to keep the inside bays cleaner for the normal customers and explain why. I also tell them the truck bay has higher pressure and that usually gets their attention. I’ve never received an attitude. It just takes some time to train them the way you want them!” “We have banned mudders (defined as 4 wheel drive trucks with big tires and mud on the top of the cab), from the wash. Our sign out front says Mudders are Banned - violators will be prosecuted…” “After tolerating this nonsense for years, we finally came to our senses. First off, we now ban mudders. When they come in, we explain we don’t allow this here. Guess what, our mud cleanups have significantly decreased.”

continued ... WINTER 2019 •

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6.

THE EXHAUSTIVE, MONOTONOUS WORK

“I believe I’ve been living in the movie “Groundhog Day” for quite some time now.”

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS Just about every job out there has its repetitive every day tasks. Some complain that the monotony of it all can be one of the biggest pet peeves. Forbes magazine in the article, How to Deal with A Totally Boring Job, suggests doing things out of your normal order. “Vary your routine. Your brain needs stimulus. Try doing your humdrum tasks in a different way, at a different time…” Anything from taking a different road to work, to stopping at a different place for coffee along the way, will help. Or, if you have a good sense of humor, you could make your self serve work into a BINGO game! Add things such as: Recoiling vacuum hose, to cleaning out mud— insert squares which outline tasks you might not expect every day. But, seriously, while each task can be monotonous, at least they mean you’re still in business. Another approache is using a method such as the Pomodoro Technique. According to lifehack. org, “The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.” The process is simple: For each daily task, you budget out your time into short increments and then take a break after certain amounts of time. “You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes. Each 25-minute work period is called a ‘pomodoro’…Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.” If using the Pomodoro Technique, or mixing up your to-do list order isn’t something that will work for you, then maybe you just have to work on being grateful to having work to do at all.

ADVICE FROM SELF SERVE OWNER(S): “We have our employees rotate the cleanup jobs around, so they don’t get burned out. We repair guys do other jobs every day so we’ll never get burned out.”

5.

THE GARBAGE DUMPERS

“Becoming the local trash disposal location [is my pet peeve]. A few customers take advantage of our garbage bins to dispose of all their household garbage and items they do not want to take to the dump.”  

via your Facebook page. Some self serve owners have also found out where the garbage dumper lives, thanks to their mail being left behind, and have been able to track them down.

ADVICE FROM SELF SERVE OWNER(S): “We removed our 6-yard dumpster and replaced it with 110 gallon wheeled bins and nice signs on the bins asking them to not bring household trash to the car wash. This has greatly reduced the issue.” “[Regarding finding loose change on the ground] I mounted a locked coin box next to the changer machine with a sign that asks that people do not discard coins on the ground, rather place them in the coin box and they will be donated to a local charity at the end of the year.   This simple move has gained us some goodwill and reduced the amount of coins found on the ground.” “I own the only two washes in town. Got rid of my trash cans a couple months ago. Haven’t seen any noticeable drop in sales. I see fewer scum bags blocking my bays which never intended on buying anything anyways. I had trash laying around the first couple weeks, but once they figured out the can is coming back, I rarely find trash laying around anymore. I will never put trash cans back in. I know of two other washes in neighboring towns that have done the same with similar results.” “Today’s lady decided to fill up two trash cans and throw the rest on top of the cans and just onto the parking lot while I’m at the next set of vacuums cleaning them out and doing the nightly wash down. She waits till I pop in the office and off she goes. Too bad the idiot thru all her personal stuff out (doctor’s bills, welfare checks, etc.) … all her info is there including her number. I called her to thank her for the mess she made and to inform her she had an hour to come back and clean up or I would call police for misuse of the trash as there is a sign stating it is for customers only. …She comes back and sends her 5 year old kid to clean up the mess while she sits in the warm car and probably gives me a 1star rating on Yelp…”

4.

THE FREELOADERS AND $1 CUSTOMERS

“Our ‘one dollar customers’ pull in next to a vac, sit there for 15 minutes looking at their phone (I assume), open all doors, spend another 15 minutes emptying their car completely filling a trash can, put a dollar in the vac and vac for four minutes, barely hang the hose (if we are lucky) so the nozzle is on the ground, sit there another 5-10 minutes, then drive off leaving 10-20 tiny pieces of trash on the lot. If we are there, I look at the wife and say ‘Hey! at least we got a dollar out of them!’ *sarcasm*” “People who come in and use services with no expectation to pay. Drop off garbage, use bays to detail, I offer free drying towels and get folks who pull in just to use them.”

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS

Did you know that when it comes to garbage dumpers, you might have the law on your side? Turn to page XX to find out where your state stands on people who litter on your property. If you catch them in the act, or via surveillance cameras, you can tell them directly that what they are doing is illegal, or you can shame them

While a customer is a customer is a customer. A cheap customer is just plain annoying. However, the upside is that maybe their financial situation is temporary, and they will one day spend more at your wash. Another upside is that a car on the property makes your wash look busy.

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ADVICE FROM SELF SERVE OWNER(S): “Raise your vac price to $2 for 6 minutes. That’s what I did...more money per activation and the guy that just wants to spend $1 goes elsewhere. I would have had to lose 1/2 my vac usage for the pricing to have any negative income effect. My vac usage actually went up.” “[For the Foam Brush Free loaders] the Wobblehead/ smart Brush handle is a partial solution.” “I installed 1 wobblebrush a while back just to see if the idea would work and I still get people trying to use the foam brush even though the head wobbles and they haven’t inserted any money or their credit card and when I confront them about it. I ask the following question every time: ‘What does the phrase: Theft of Services mean to you?’ and usually I get this response, ‘when people steal something.’ Winner-winner!”

3. BAY HOGS

“People who pull in and just sit in a bay. It bugs me mostly because so many people do it, I worry that I might offend a legitimate customer who’s just finishing up a phone call or a snack before they wash if I say something. The only thing that might bother me more are the liars, which most habitual bay-parkers do if I ask them if they’re going to wash or why they’re parked in a bay.”

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS This one is tricky. You don’t want to offend paying customers, or ones who are just… slow. If it is busy, you might have to give the awkward, “move it along,” plea. Others have suggested a timer or at least one used on the busier days.

ADVICE FROM SELF SERVE OWNER(S): “I’ve never worried about it unless they’re in a bay. I also don’t approach anyone unless the other bays are full. The exceptions are people I see on a regular basis who pull in to just sit in their car, or get out and smoke a cigarette, or adjust their stereo, or anything similar. I ask them once politely to not park in the bay if they aren’t planning to wash, the next time they’re told I’ll have the police issue a criminal trespass warrant. So far I’ve only had to do that once.” “First thing: Raise your prices. My s/s is $3 for 4min. Vac $2 for 6min. I also have signage: If others are waiting....you must exit bay if timer is not running. I have a few customers that insist on keeping the timer going even if no one is waiting....while they detail. Sometimes I need to invite folks to leave....especially the ones that wash with weep water.” “If it is slow, I let them [stay], but if it is busy, I tell them to move out. ‘Your rent isn’t paid if the meter is not running, I have other customers waiting.’ I do plan on making a list of rules that addresses this among other things and posting it very conspicuously soon.” “There will always be a certain percentage of people who will hang around no matter how many signs you put up. I only hurry them along if we are busy or they are doing something wrong. They usually show up at the busiest of times it seems.” “People who linger in bays will typically move if they are ASKED nicely and someone is waiting or all bays are full. I found out long ago people don’t like to be told what to do. I often phrase it like. ‘Hey, we are really continued ...


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busy today, all bays are full, can you please finish up so someone else can use the bay. Thank you.’” “The ones that really irk me are the bucket and weep washers!! They are the most inconsiderate people that I cannot deal with. During the week if they are in a bay for a while I will always tell them that I don’t really mind it on off hours but if I see a car waiting for a second they gotta go. Most are fine and agree, if I get a bit of lip, I tell them to remove themselves from my property! More lip I will either wait until they suds up the car and put $$ in the bay and I will shut it off…”

2.

CRIME/VANDALISM

“This is what has going this last week, Drug deals, people in digging in the garbage cans or dumping out can looking for that special treasure, household garbage dumpers, carpet cleaners dumping their waste water, guy’s urinating on the back door, a guy puking on the door at 2:45am, a guy on a bicycle breaking into trash doors on the vacuums for loose change at 1:50am. So far this year I’ve had the police at the car wash more often than the Super Walmart down the street has.” “I remember a few years ago an attempted sexual assault occurred at one of the car washes. The news media broadcasted from the car wash and it ruined business for over a year, business dropped 60% overnight.” “The worst crime issue was when a car with three 20ish guys drove through and spotted a woman’s purse on the passenger seat of her car with the door open, so they drove around to

This is what has going this last week, Drug deals, people in digging in the garbage cans or dumping out can looking for that special treasure, household garbage dumpers, carpet cleaners dumping their waste water, guy’s urinating on the back door, a guy puking on the door at 2:45am, a guy on a bicycle breaking into trash doors on the vacuums for loose change at 1:50am. So far this year I’ve had the police at the car wash more often than the Super Walmart down the street has. next door and one of them walked over and grabbed it. A 16-year old girl was with her mother right next to it and grabbed the purse to try to stop him, and he yanked it so hard she fell and sprained her wrist. I saw them driving through and pulled it up for the police on video and they had them arrested within 30 minutes. He was pleading not guilty until they saw my video, at which point they changed it to guilty, and he got summarily sentenced to a minimum of 26 years in prison for injury to a minor in the commission of a felony.” “I have the police on speed dial. Last year I called them 26 times. Everything from burglary, theft, abandoned vehicles, dead animals, (calves, dogs, sheep). Homeless people camping in the bays. I’ve had them cut off the dumpster lids … they’re looking for mail or anything they can use for identifying theft. I’ve seen it all, I think car washes are a magnet for the trash of society…”

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS Anyone who has been a loyal follower of the More Dumb Criminals section of Self Serve Car Wash News

“I remember a few years ago an attempted sexual assault occurred at one of the car washes. The news media broadcasted from the car wash and it ruined business for over a year, business dropped 60% overnight.”

knows that, well, there are a lot of stupid people out there. They cause damages worth thousands to yield a few hundred dollars. They drive onto a property allowing security cameras to catch their plates. They also do weird stuff: Defecate in the bays, spray soap into a meter box, and, also don’t seem to notice signage, surveillance systems, or simply don’t care. So, it really comes down to expecting the worst, catching it all on film, and having no apprehensions about calling the police. According to Lisa Spears, a carwash owner and sales manager with CarWashCameras. com you have to start by making sure your lighting is good around the wash, especially at night time. This will

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help bring the right clientele to the wash and will help them feel safe. “An added bonus is good lighting equates to good video from your cameras.” Second, lists Spears, keep the landscaping around your wash well maintained. It makes the wash more inviting, but, it also cuts down on places where the wrong kind of people can hang out and do all kinds of illicit activity. Drug deals, using drugs, homeless hideouts, people using the bathroom literally ON your property, vandals waiting for good customers to walk by. “I’ve seen footage of all of these things happen. It’s shocking to me still today with how bold people can be when they don’t think they’re being watched. Third, signage. Notify people of your camera / alarm system. Make sure you use overt cameras and sensors so people see them. It will definitely help keep people on the straight and narrow.” Last but certainly not least, Spears says to: Be present. “Go to the wash and different times of the day and evening. Talk to your customers and engage them on how the wash worked for them, the weather, even the fried chicken festival happening in a month. Have fundraisers every once in a while for the cheerleaders in town. If your wash has a “face” local baddies are more likely to leave your place alone. ESPECIALLY if they see cameras around as well. And a lot of customers really like their local wash. It can become a bit of a hang out for them which isn’t always bad. Those are the customers that will keep other people on the straight and narrow because they don’t want to lose their hang out.”

ADVICE FROM SELF SERVE OWNER(S): “Early in my car wash career I came across a guy who had lived off ripping off car washes for over 25 years. He started in Florida and was finally caught after about 20 years there so he migrated to the Northwest. He had several methods of stealing but did not leave evidence of his thefts. My cameras finally identified him and the cops picked him up. He spilled the beans on methods to the cops but also gave the police information of various drug dealers. They did not charge him with anything and let him out so he would continue to reveal drug deals to them. The police actually asked me to let him keep stealing from me since that was how he got his money, and money from many other washes within a 100 mile radius. I added more locks to everything instead. The police eventually arrested him…”

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NO VACATION/ WORKING 24-7

“I’ve been trying for years to get where we can take a day trip during the week so I can be available weekends. At this point I don’t think it’s going to happen without an attendant. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to work just one week a month.” “I’ve been trying for years to get where we can take a day trip during the week so I can be available weekends. At this point I don’t think it’s going to happen without an attendant. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to work just one week a month.” “If you have a coin op with an IBA [you are]

on call all the time 24 hrs. a day 365 days a year and 366 on a leap year…”

SUGGESTIONS & SOLUTIONS When people in other lines of work say they are going on vacation, they usually get the opportunity to unplug, or allow an officemate or assistant to, “hold down the fort.” However, many self serve owner feel as if they can never get away. Some reasons include there isn’t a person out there who can do what they do or whom they can trust. And/or they worry something horrible will happen. With today’s tracking technology, you can check those numbers, get alerts, and get an emergency ping telling you a piece of equipment has malfunctioned? But that doesn’t sound like a relaxing vacation. Experts say to really relax and disconnect, you have to reprogram the way you think about vacations. In fact, a half day vacation could be just as beneficial to an island getaway if you know how to do it right. There is an art to vacationing. Some can plan luxurious, expensive vacations and not feel at all relaxed because their minds are not compartmentalizing their worries, stressors and tasks properly. Therefore, if you haven’t vacationed in a while, it might be time to start out…by slowly tipping your toe in the proverbial hot water. Bottomline is: YOU NEED A BREAK. According to Forbes magazine, Sam Butler, a solo Seattle public relations adviser, says entrepreneurs should remember that running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. “The time you take away is an investment in being able to do high

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quality work when you’re have a great distributor who is always just a phone call back,” Butler says. “A away and willing to talk us through things.” I’ve been trying for years to get where lot of solo business “I can control the IBA remotely if a customer has we can take a day trip during the week people got that way an issue and you can control the SS bays remotely so I can be available weekends. At this point because they wanttoo with simple technology (all via an iPhone) -- even ed to create their the vending machine inventory & sales is monitored I don’t think it’s going to happen without an own reality, be their remotely. The HD cameras cover and record entire attendant. I can’t imagine anyone wanting own boss, and not be location to minimize customer to work just one week a month. tied to someone else’s issues, and I have many schedule. If you can’t even simple Wyze camerI’ve been trying for years to get where take a short vacation every once as (https://www. we can take a day trip during the week so in a while, sorry, but you got to ask yourwyzecam.com) I can be available weekends. At this point I don’t self what you’re doing wrong.” in the equipment think it’s going to happen without an attendant. I room with varthat only he has the ADVICE FROM SELF SERVE OWNER(S): ious alarms procan’t imagine anyone wanting to work just number. Over the “You could hire another person to oversee the self grammed so I can one week a month. years I’ve got good reserve and keep it up and running. Or you could get monitor the chemicals, lationship with a plumber software to remotely manage your wash. Just depends.” the pumps, the changer, and and electrician that know when I’m “It seems that most of my break downs come on Frithe equipment room. I put a simple gone. Employee calls them if there is a problem. Yes, day afternoons, so maybe we do away with Fridays and auto release on the compressor, so it releases the it cost a little more but its peace of mind. My deposits start weekends on Thursdays.” small amount of water that accumulates each hour, one are done by a gal that has a high security clearance “Train your employees or whoever takes over when less check list item that is handled by technology. You with her company. I don’t micro manage my employyou’re not there as to what to do if somethings goes can purchase internet controllable electrical sockets ees and pay them very well… There will be owners wrong when you’re not there. If they can’t figure it out for minimal expense (which allows me to turn on the that say their car wash is different, no its not, they just that why we have orange cones. We go away a couheating tape in the troth if I want to add extra warmth don’t trust their employees. If you can’t trust them ple times a year. I’m not going to stress about anything to the lines in the event that the floor heating system get rid of the person or sell your wash. Enjoy life as it while I’m away, Life’s too short. I know one car wash is not enough for the troth). Garbage can be changed goes by too fast!” operator who has a love shack in Arizona, and he goes from trash cans to refuse bins that the refuse compa“My son finally got out of the Navy where he was a down there a few times a year for weeks at a time, his ny pick up on their truck so a person does not need flight engineer and also airplane mechanic. I finally get crew handle things fine.” to handle. You can move more revenue toward credit to relax now and take off a bit. He knows how to get “When I leave town my cell phone is turned over cards, gift cards, and tokens which reduces the risk too.” hold of me if can’t figure something out and we also to trusted employee and I take another cell phone

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DARWIN CARWASH at the

The investment in security cameras pays off for carwash operators

(and the readers of SSCWN) with these mostly frustrating, sometimes funny -- and always cautionary -- stories of Darwins Caught on Camera. Images of these criminals and/or their vehicles were given to police and the press. Many have been caught thanks to the prowess of security cameras.

Apparently, these guys didn’t go to a good “How to Be a Robber” school because they made two big mistakes: One, was they gave surveillance cameras a good look at their faces, and 2, they ran into an empty field. Now, any good thief would tell you to run into a cultivated field, like Roger Thornhill in North By Northwest. But, this section isn’t called, “Einsteins Caught on Camera,” now is it? So, in Cape Coral, Florida, according to nbc-2, a car thief and his accomplice left a stolen SUV in a self-service car wash bay. And, not only were they caught on camera, the accomplice was caught after the two of them took off into a nearby OPEN field. A lone officer who had spotted the stolen vehicle in the bay and notice the two men chased after them into the OPEN field and was able to catch the accomplice on foot. The other guy got away, and police have released surveillance footage and is asking the public for help.

Between the money under the floormat to the money behind the water tank, this is a story right out of The Godfather. Out of Brookline, Massachusetts, and according to The Brookline Patch, a car customer was robbed while his car was at the Scrub A Dub car wash. Okay, let’s start with the fact that a car wash customer was driving around with an envelope full of $1000 in cash under their floormat. Next, let’s talk about the fact that the driver took their car with the money under the floormat to a car wash. I wonder if the customer was worried at all? “Here, have at it!” “Ignore the envelope full of money under the mat!” What was he thinking? Leave the car, take the money with you, man. I don’t know, folks, I don’t even keep coins in my car, which makes it really awkward when you buy a $1 soda at McDonald’ using a Visa card. Well, to no one’s surprise, when the car owner went to get in their car, they were SHOCKED, shocked I tell ya, to find the envelope was still there! No, just kidding. It was missing. Luckily, Scrub A Dub had great surveillance cameras set up and was able to catch its

employee stealing the envelope. Police went to the wash to talk to the employee, who initially denied taking the money. He eventually caved and showed the police where he had hidden the money: Behind the water tank above the toilet in the employee’s only bathroom.

We really need to give more credit to 9-1-1 dispatchers. From actual emergencies, to people flipping out over getting the wrong food order (Look up: Checkers, Lakeland, Florida, ‘insubordination’) they put up with a lot. Now, this story isn’t about a criminal, but it is still being shared because surveillance cameras saved the day, and the car wash owner’s bread and butter. So, apparently, and according to WHIO TV, a car wash customer was trapped inside the in-bay automatic at the Spin Light Express Wash in Huber Heights, Ohio. The woman called 911 and told dispatchers, “I’m at the Spin Light car wash in Huber and I don’t know what to do. I’m stuck in here… I can’t even think straight right now cause I’m like freaking out.” Firefighters then showed up and rescued the woman from the wash. Surveillance footage shows the woman drive into the wash, and everything seems fine. However, according to the footage, the customer started backing up when the wash was finished. The driver said she did that because she wanted to get every minute of drying time from the air dryers. Car wash owner Sabri Salheih said this was a first. “I’ve been in car wash business for a while, I never have seen these things,” he told WHIO TV. And, although, the car wash incident was not his fault, Salheih installed new signs that show what to do in an emergency.

Thieves really shouldn’t use the movie Barbershop as any source of inspiration. First of all, the movie came out in 2002 and technology has changed immensely since then. And, second, only in

You’re a mean one, Mr. Logan MatthewToomer! In this modern-day version of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas a man (Toomer) robbed a car wash in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Christmas morning. According to 9 abc news, the thieves gained notoriety and the nickname, “The Butt Crack Bandits,” after car wash owner Jason Mettler shared security footage showing one “of the two men repeatedly readjusting his pants as they slipped down, exposing a bare posterior.” KWWL reported that the Butt Crack Bandits caused over $18,000 in damages to coin machines andsteal property and Hollywood would a thief successfully an ATM stole over $500 in coins and took other items, including tools. Surveillance video showed the two men were wearing masks, but police were able to identify Toomer, who was arrested for 3rd Degree Burglary and 1st Degree Criminal Mischief. It is unclear if he was the one who needed suspenders or at least a belt. The second suspect is still at large, but, he apparently looks like this:

and somehow not get in trouble. Back in real life, a pair of thieves in Murray, Utah, used a truck to make off with a car wash’s payment machine. The theft happened at the Sunburst Car Wash and a security camera captured the heist on video, according to KUTV. “It blows my mind that people can do that,” manager Ali Soweidan told 2News. It doesn’t blow my mind, though, because, as anyone who reads this section of SSCWN knows, thieves are willing to try anything for a few bucks. The thieves used their Ford F-150 which has a white cover top on the back. They tied a rope around the car wash payment machine and then drove forward and yanked the machine from the post it was attached to, KUTV reported. “The thieves apparently struggled with the weight of the machine, but eventually loaded it and sped off. The in-bay automatic is now out of commission and the thieves didn’t even end up stealing that much cash,” the story said. Police apparently recovered the coin machine, but the thieves are still at large.

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This woman sure gave it a good try! In Lynnwood, Washington, a woman went to wash her car at the Brown Bear Car Wash on Christmas day. All was going well until, “...a man walks up and gets in her car, quickly locking the door,” reported KOMO News. “He goes, ‘I’m taking your car,’” Tamara Bouillon told KOMO News. “I couldn’t believe it was happening.” So, in a moment of bravery and in a move that would qualify her for The Titan Games,

loud. And, now, I will try and do it justice in print, but if you can, please watch the news footage at www.9news.com.au and look for the story: Hooded man attempts to steal car at Gold Coast carwash. It won’t let you down, I promise. Now, I am struggling to focus as my laughter is taking over my sense of grammar, but here it goes: An attempted robbery at a car wash in Gold Coast , Australia, was thwarted after the thief ASKED the car wash customer for his keys so that he could steal his car. Yes, that’s right. He asked for the customer’s keys! According to the report, footage shows a hood-

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or American Gladiator, she grabbed onto the sunroof and held on tight! “A few seconds later, the carjacker hit the gas and took off, dragging Bouillon several feet before she fell to the ground.” The thief drove off, and Bouillon spent Christmas eve in the hospital. But, there’s good news! Police not only located her car, but also found a man inside of it who appeared to be the carjacker.

ed man wearing sandals dancing around the car waving a screwdriver and telling the customer to give him the keys. “After making multiple threats towards the driver, urging him to hand over his car keys, the sedan owner makes a dash to safety,” reported 9 news. “The now frustrated robber is left to scour the inside of the car through a rolled down window, before fleeing with a mobile phone. He is then seen jumping into a nearby red sedan.” Now, I can personally guarantee you if I had to find my keys in my purse for a hypothetical robber, it would take at least 12 minutes for me to find them. Ask anyone who knows me, it’s a bot-

tomless pit. Well, at least he is a good dog owner… CCTV footage captured a man tying up his dog before breaking into the ARC Car Wash and Valeting Services in Plymouth, England. According to The Plymouth Herald, “Videos show a person attempting to get in the front door accompanied by a dog, which is then tied to a post whilst the criminal attempts to break in. Both the front and back doors were damaged in the incident.” The dog is described as having a black tail with a white tip. However, the color of the rest of the dog, its size, and what it was wearing was not disclosed. I mean, I am no biologist, or zoologist, but that sounds like a fox to me. And, if this guy is going around with a leashed fox, they should be able to track him down. You know what other animal is black with a white tail? A skunk.

One of the unspoken rules of womanhood is that you never mess with another woman’s purse. If anyone stole my purse, they would be in


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Fame and money can’t buy you class, but UFC star Dan Hooker of Auckland, New Zealand has all three. Hooker is offering a free membership to his gym to the man who stole his wallet. Hooker shared security footage of the man who was caught using his stolen card at a car wash ATM. “I’m going to turn the other cheek and give him a free membership to my gym. Martial Arts will teach himself respect and discipline, so he doesn’t go around stealing from hardworking

Kiwis. I just need to track him down to extend the olive branch. #notatrap,” was the message he posted to his Instagram page along with footage of the man at the car wash ATM. If the thief is caught, and he decides to take the free membership, that will make for awkward locker room banter.

for a big surprise and would probably give up on thievery altogether. So, in Lakeport, California, a car wash surveillance camera was able to catch a woman stealing another woman’s purse. According to Lake County News, “Just after 10:30 a.m. Dec. 4, a 71-year-old woman was using the car wash facility at South Forbes Street and Martin Street. At the same time a younger adult female was using the same facility. Police said she was watching the victim’s actions and when she knew the victim was distracted, she entered her car and removed her purse and left the location.” Police have released the security footage to the public in

hopes of someone identifying the thief.

Before sharing our last story, I wanted to state that Self Serve Car Wash News is a nice, well-meaning, sweet magazine. It really isn’t cut out for any kind of international hostility with our Russian friends. Therefore, I will leave details out of this next story. Хорошо? Okay! So, in this story, we have a couple of cops in the Siberian region of Buryatia, who were caught beating a car wash manager. According to Radio Free Europe, on December 14, two officers, whose names were not disclosed, re-

fused to pay after their vehicle was cleaned at the wash. Apparently, they then asked the car wash manager to get into their car, threatened him and demanded he put the car wash under their ‘protection.’ “The [manager] rejected the demand and told the officers that he had recorded their threats and offers on his mobile phone and would post the records online,” Radio Free Europe reported. “The officers then chased the director, caught him, and tried to take the mobile phone from him by force ...The [manager] escaped and ran into the office, but the traffic policemen forced their way in and beat him up while trying to take his mobile phone. They stopped beating him only after they realized that there were CCTV cameras in the office.” Neener neener! That’s right, you got caught, bullies! One of the officers is now under arrest and the other is under investigation. And, before I close, I wanted to say that we here at Self Serve Car Wash News truly love our Russian brothers and sisters and the peace that is between us.

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