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June 22 - 24 3 President’s Message 6 Special Expo Coverage 8 Spring Cleaning 11 The ACA and Workers’ Comp 13 Selecting Cloth for Your Wash

Phone: 800-610-4512 Email: 120 N. Washington Square Suite 110A Lansing, MI 48933


PAUL COFFMAN Breton Auto Wash




MCA is a membership organization that promotes the interests of Midwest Carwash Operators through interaction, education and information. The Finish Line is a quarterly newsletter published by the MCA. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect views of the MCA. Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement or approval of the product or service advertised. All articles submitted with be considered for publication and accepted at the approval of the editor and MCA Board. The MCA reserves the right to edit submissions for accuracy, clarity and length. Please send address changes, membership inquiries, and advertising requests to the address listed above.

Advertising Index Diamond Shine......................................................................9 DRB Systems, Inc................................................................4 Extrutech Plastics, Inc......................................................3 Major Brands Oil................................................................12 Michigan Cleaning Fund...................................................11 PDQ..................................................................................10 Warsaw Chemical Company..........................................12

LYNNETTE PEPPLER Mr. P’s Wash World, Inc.


Midwest Carwash Association 120 N. Washington Square, Suite 110A Lansing, MI 48933 Phone: 800.610.4512 Fax: 517.371.1170

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First Quarter 2015

FROM THE PRESIDENT By Paul Coffman Breton Auto Wash

Think Spring


his winter has brought a new word to car washes in the midwest, extreme. Most specifically, extreme cold, in addition to the annual snow fall and salting products used to rid the roads from ice and snow. All bring customers to our businesses wanting our expertise to make things shiny and clean again. Spring is now upon us and it’s time to review those emergency repairs and actions we had made during the winter months and plan ahead for the next winter’s preventative calendar. It’s also time to take action for the spring and summer to come.

First Quarter 2015

One way to get great business and product information is to attend the annual MCA Expo at FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek. New venue, new seminars, new contacts. There are more details on page 6. I’m excited about the changes and I’m looking forward to seeing you there to know what you think too.


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A Message from 2.4 Million Car Wash Customers:

“We Like to Save Time with FastPass from DRB Systems” ®

FastPass gives busy customers the quick, convenient and simple buying experience they want at a car wash. That’s why 2.4 million customers already have FastPass windshield stickers on their vehicles. It’s also why car washes that have installed the FastPass RFID system have grown nearly three times faster than those that haven’t.*


Without FastPassss

• The easiest and fastest way to identify monthly

used with the SiteWatch Automatic Recharge Module® (ARM®) for monthly passes and the Xpress Pay Terminal® (XPT®) self-pay station.



in less than two seconds by reading windshield tags without even requiring customers to lower their windows.

• Provides the most seamless buying experience when

National Average 2011-2014


• A wireless acceptance system that clears transactions

pass customers.

Car Wash Volume Increase 20%

FastPass RFID

Learn more about how you can offer your customers a better buying experience with SiteWatch FastPass from DRB Systems. Contact DRB Systems at 1-800-336-6338, or visit for more information.

With FastPass

* Comparison figure based on blind StatWatch reports from over 600 anonymous car washes.


800-336-6338 Green, Ohio / © Copyright 2014. All rights reserved DRB Systems

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First Quarter 2015


EXPO 2015 June 22 - 24

FireKeepers Casino Hotel

Register at

First Quarter 2015

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EXPO 2015

June 23 - 24

FireKeepers Casino Hotel



9:30 - 10:30 AM

Round Table Forum

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Trade Show Expo Open

JOiN US Association Expo!

for the 2015 Midwest Carwash

6:00 - 6:30 PM

Dinner Cocktails

6:30 - 8:00 PM

Dinner and Awards

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24TH 9:00 - 10:00 AM

This year the show moves to West Michigan and the FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek. FireKeepers offers 2,900 slots, 70 table games and more. Our show floor has space for over 60 vendor booths so you’ll get a chance to check out all the latest products and services. Drawings for free FireKeepers game play will also be given away throughout the show. This year our educational session switch to the popular Round Table format. Grab breakfast and rotate around the room to collaborate with colleagues on current topics affecting your business. We encourage you to stay Tuesday night and enjoy dinner with us. Dinner and hotel details are below.


10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Trade Show Expo Open 1:00 PM

Membership Meeting

DiNNER & AWARDS RECEPTiON Stay for a fabulous evening of dinner, awards and networking on June 23rd following the first day of the show. Dinner, including a hosted bar, is $55 per person. Bring your staff, co-workers and customers for a fabulous meal and networking.


• MIOSHA Updates

FireKeepers Casino Hotel 11177 East Michigan Avenue Battle Creek, MI 49014

• Security for Your Wash

For Reservations Call: 877.FKC.8777

• What can Social Media do for You?

Reserve a room by June 7th, 2015 to receive the discounted rate of $109 per night (plus taxes). Use Group code 062315MWCA when making your reservation. (Subject to availability).

Round Table Topics

• Extra Service Upgrades Finish Line

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First Quarter 2015

2015 EXPO ATTENDEE REGISTRATION June 23 - 24 FireKeepers Casino Hotel

Company Name _________________________________________________________ q Member

q Non-Member

Other Business Name (if applicable) ____________________________________________________________________ Business Type (check all that apply)

q q q q q

q q q q

Conveyor In-Bay Automatic Oil-Lube Chemical Distributor

Detail Shop Self-Serve Credit Card Processor Insurance Provider

q q q q

Carwash Mfr. Soap Mfr. Equipment Mfr. POS

Other _____________________________________

Address ___________________________________________________________________________________________ City __________________________________________ State _________________________ Zip _________________ Contact Person _____________________________________________________________________________________ Phone ________________________________________

Fax ______________________________________________

Email _____________________________________________________________________________________________ (Please provide an up-to-date email to ensure that you receive all MCA communications)

Names of Attendees (attach list of names to this form if more space is needed) _______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ EVENT Expo Show Floor & Educational Round Tables Tuesday, June 23rd & Wednesday, June 24th





Awards Reception & Dinner




Tuesday, June 23rd (must RSVP by June 15th) 2015 Midwest Carwash Association Membership SHOW SPECIAL



$110 TOTAL _______________

PAYMENT METHOD q Check payable to MCA

Check # _________



q MasterCard

q Discover

Credit Card Number: ________________________________________ Expiration: ___________________ Code: _________________ Name: ___________________________________________ Signature: __________________________________________________ MAIL FORM AND PAYMENT TO : Midwest Carwash Association 120 N. Washington Square Suite 110A Lansing, MI 48933 Or Fax to 517.371.1170

First Quarter 2015

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QUESTIONS? Please visit or contact Hillary Walilko at 1.800.610.4512 or

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Time for Some Spring Cleaning

(and Maintenance)


inally, after another brutal winter, spring is in the air. If your customers are anything like me, they have tried to keep the exterior of their vehicle clean during the cold weather, but the interior has been pretty well neglected. Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time for some attention to be paid to the interior of the vehicle, and that starts with a good vacuum job. Regardless of whether you operate a full-service wash, an express exterior wash, or a selfservice wash, your customers are going to want the interior of their vehicle to be thoroughly cleaned… Is your vacuum equipment up to the task? We have all been to “that” wash where the vacuums just don’t suck – and by the way, we tend to avoid “that” wash (and others like it) because of our poor experience. A poorly maintained vacuum…that’s all it takes to lose a potential customer that would utilize your facility over and over again. Instead, that person now goes to another wash…your competitor’s wash, because his equipment is clean, well maintained, fully operational, and meets or exceeds the customer’s expectations. Bottom line, you need to keep your vacuums up and running, and looking good, if they are going to make you any money (directly or indirectly). Obviously, the best thing you can do for your business is to keep all of your equipment up and running with the highest level of performance and reliability possible. When it comes to your vacuums, it’s time for some spring cleaning to get your vacuums ready for your customers to use. The following are some simple suggestions as to how you can spend a little time and a little money to keep your vacuums operating at their peak: 1. Empty out the dirt. Simple enough, but you would be amazed at how many people neglect their vacuums in this way. Remember that every time the vacuum turns on, the turbulent air Finish Line

inside can cause some of the dirt collected inside the vacuum to become airborne, which in turn, loads up the filters and leads to restricted airflow and suction power. In addition to decreasing the performance of the vacuum, operating this way will put a heavy strain on your vacuum motors and will cause them to fail prematurely. A vacuum that is full of dirt needs to be emptied. 2. Keep your filters clean and in good condition. Whether you have cartridge filters or filter bags, you need to keep them clean and in good condition. If the filters are loaded with dirt, they will restrict the suction of the motors and will reduce the performance of your vacuum. If the filters are damaged or have holes in them, they will allow dirt and debris to be ingested directly into the motor, causing the motor to fail prematurely. Before you empty the dirt out of your vacuums, always knock or shake the dirt from your filters first, and inspect them for signs of damage. Further, from time to time, it is a good idea to remove your filters and thoroughly clean them. You can simply shake them out real well, hose them off, or run them through the washing machine (just be sure they are dry when you put them back in). It’s a good idea to keep one or more spare sets of filters on hand to help facilitate the cleaning process. Dirty vacuum filters need to be cleaned or replaced, and damaged filters must be replaced. 3. Check the dirt door latches and seals. Whenever you are cleaning out the dirt or checking on your filters, inspect the condition of your dirt door latches and seals. When closed, your latches should hold the dirt door tightly shut. Your dirt door gasket should show signs of a distinct impression all around the perimeter, and there should be no foreign material on the surface of the gasket where it makes contact with the tank.

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First Quarter 2015

If your dirt doors seem loose, or your gaskets have become highly compressed, you might want to consider putting on new dirt door gaskets for a better seal. Likewise, if the door latches are damaged, replace them. 4. Inspect your hoses, tools, and cuffs. Inspect the condition of your vacuum hoses, tools and cuffs. Better yet, put on new hoses, cuffs, and tools, especially if your existing ones are old and beat up. Make sure nothing is clogging the hose and that the hose is free of any cracks or holes, which could be robbing from the performance of the vacuum, and make sure the hoses, cuffs, and tools are in good condition. It never hurts to keep a few spare hoses, tools and cuffs on hand for quick replacement when necessary. 5. Replace your vacuum motors. When was the last time you replaced your vacuum motors? If you don’t know, you might just want to replace all of them and start fresh. I always recommend that people change all the motors in a vacuum at the same time – this way, you are most likely to achieve the maximum performance of your machine. Like the weakest link in a chain, with multiple motors, the overall performance of the vacuum will be greatly affected if one motor is not performing up to par. Don’t wait until a motor fails to replace it, replace the motors before they fail, and insure that your vacuums are always performing at their peak. 6. Test your machines. When you are performing your routine maintenance and inspection, be sure to put some money in your machines (or turn them on) and run them through the paces. Be sure the coin acceptor, bill acceptor, card swiper, etc. are working, and that the vacuum is running for the times you have advertised. At the same time, put your hand over the end of the nozzle and do your own subjective “suck test” to be sure the vacuum is performing up to your expectations. If anything needs attention, get it taken care of.

machines, and you will avoid expedited freight charges when you have just got to have that new part by tomorrow. As you know, your vacuums are going to take a lot of abuse, but they can also earn you a lot of money - you just need to follow the simple suggestions outlined above, so you can keep these machines running and making you a profit at all times. This leads us to the final suggestion, one that can have as big of impact on your profitability as all of the others combined, and that is… 8. Keep your machines and work areas clean. You can do all you want to the inside of your machines to keep them operating reliably and at peak efficiency, but if you neglect the appearance factor, you will be cutting your profits. People are ruled by their perceptions, so if they perceive your vacuums to be old and dirty, they will also perceive that they don’t work as well as the shiny new ones down the street. Since you want people to come use your wash and you want them to see how well you maintain your equipment, they need to be able to see it – keep your machines and your site clean, and people will come. Inside and out, a clean, well-maintained vacuum is the best way to insure that you maximize the profits for your business. It does not take a lot of time, and it does not take a lot of money to get your vacuums in shape for the spring cleaning season and beyond. The performance of your vacuums is a key factor in the success of your wash operation, and the costs to keep your machines in peak operating condition are relatively small. Remember, if I (the customer) come to your wash, and your vacuums don’t suck, I will leave with the impression that your wash sucks… and I (the customer) won’t be back! This article was written by David VanGorder, President, Doyle Vacuum Systems, LLC

7. Keep some spare parts on hand. In addition to the spare filters, hoses, tools, and cuffs mentioned earlier, you should have some other spare parts on hand for your vacuums at all times. Keep a couple extra motors, sets of motor brushes, a timer, and a spare coin mechanism on hand at all times. Having a small reserve inventory of spare parts can make you a lot of money in the long term – you will minimize any downtime with your First Quarter 2015

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Diamond Shine Car Wash Solutions Grand Blanc, MI Office: 810.406.3300 Cell: 810.624.3069 @stevecwchemical

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First Quarter 2015

Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Workers’ Compensation


he Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010. Since that time the ACA has been the topic of much scrutiny and intense debate. The ACA does not directly apply to workers’ compensation, but it will dramatically change the healthcare system as we currently know it. While most employers are focused on compliance with the ACA in regards to the health benefit requirements, it is also important to consider the potential impact of the ACA on your workers’ compensation program. In 1950 the healthcare industry represented 4% of our national economy. Currently, healthcare represents almost 20% of the U.S. economy. (It is no wonder that unpaid medical bills are the #1 cause of bankruptcy). This medical inflation has impacted workers’ compensation as well. Historically, wage loss benefits represented the lion’s share of paid claims. Currently medical payments average 60% of total workers’ compensation payments, and it is estimated that by 2020 medical payments will represent 67%.

existing condition exclusion. Historically, workers nearing their lifetime medical cap limit, or suffering from a pre-existing condition may have attempted to steer these costs toward workers compensation. Possible Negative Side-Effects With increased access to healthcare there will be an increase in the demand for healthcare. This increased demand may lead to a shortage of medical providers, delaying medical care and making it a challenge to properly care for workers. This can increase claim costs particularly if the employee is waiting to see a specialist, such as an orthopedist or neurosurgeon. As more employers are required to provide health benefits to employees, some are utilizing higher copayments and deductibles to offset the increase in costs. Also, workers’ compensation reimbursement rates to medical providers are higher. The combination of higher reimbursement rates to providers, and lack

While it remains uncertain exactly how the ACA will impact workers’ compensation, we’ll examine some of the potential side-effects—both positive and negative—as well as provide some recommendations on how to prepare for any potential impact.

Your Industry’s Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund

Possible Positive Side-Effects Reportedly, the main purpose of the ACA is to provide greater access to healthcare. With more American workers having access to health care, it may eliminate incentives for them to pursue questionable conditions as being work-related. Some also argue that the increased access to healthcare will result in an overall improvement in worker health. Presumably, healthier workers have fewer comorbidities. A comorbidity is the presence of one or more medical disorder in addition to the work injury (i.e.: diabetes or heart disease). Comorbidities are associated with poorer medical outcomes and, consequently, increased claim duration and cost. Healthier workers tend to heal more quickly. Also, the ACA mandates the removal of the lifetime medical expense cap and the elimination of the preFirst Quarter 2015

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• Workers’ Compensation Insurance with a 50% Average Premium Return • Safety & Loss Prevention Services • Competitive Up-Front Pricing | administered by Regency Group | 800.686.6640

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Affordable Care Act - continued from page 11 of deductibles and copayments for workers, may create an incentive to shift medical care costs toward the workers’ compensation system. How to Prepare for the Effects of the ACA While the impact of the ACA on workers’ compensation is as of yet uncertain, following are some recommendations that should help control costs regardless of the impact.

Regardless of your opinion on the ACA, it appears to be here to stay. Taking a proactive stance can help mitigate any negative side effects. This article was provided by Regency Group Administrators, Administrators for the Michigan Cleaning Fund.

• An emphasis on employee Wellness Programs can reduce costs on both the health and workers’ compensation areas. • Seek out and identify quality medical providers. Develop relationships with these providers and invite them to your facility. • Keep focused on Loss Control efforts. Be ever vigilant in ways to heighten awareness and cultivate a safe culture in the workplace. • Monitor claim activity for any potential migration towards workers’ compensation.

Major Brands Oil Company is pleased to provide our customers with the Simoniz line of car wash products. Liquid High Foam Detergents

Drying Agents

Whitewall and Wheel Cleaners

Rust Inhibitor

Polishes, Sealants & Glass Treatment Major Brands Oil Company is also an Oil and Lubricant distributor of Quaker State, Shell, Pennzoil and other major brands. For any questions or inquiries please call Major Brands Oil Company.

462 West 23rd Street Holland, MI 49423 1.800.968.9000 616.392.5936

Get Your Shine On! New Wave Shield Step Four TM

New Wave ShieldTM Formula 704

The new addition to the Wave ShieldTM online premium protection process. HOT CARnauba SHINE™ combines the latest polymer technology with the durability of real carnauba to deliver a superior, hand-polished look and feel. Real carnauba = a better customer experience = more per-car revenue for you. A true premium upsell.

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Works great in all foaming wax arches. Fresh citrus scent too. New Formula 704 delivers your customers a real WOW foam show. And more revenue for you. Find out more at today.

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Warsaw Chemical Co., Inc. P.O. Box 858, Warsaw, IN 46581 Phone: 800-548-3396 Fax: 574-267-3884

Car Choice ®. “If your car could choose.”

First Quarter 2015

Six Important Considerations for Selecting Cloth Materials Successful operators like Mister Car Wash build their successes on careful cloth choices


n the car wash industry, the “rubber meets the road” at the point where the cloth touches the vehicle. Taking shortcuts on quality or choosing the wrong type of material can quickly drive your business into the ground. You might save money initially, but the cloth will clean poorly, fray, and fall apart quickly. Quality cloth pays for itself in durability and repeat customers. “While cleaning is really a combination of cloths and soap, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to change soap than cloth if something isn’t working, so you have to make the right choices in cloth in the first place,” says Tim Biagi, Manager of a Boise, Idaho Mister Carwash— the largest full-service car wash chain in the United States. While a whole book could be written on the subtleties of various cloths and fabrics, a few quick pointers can serve to remind car wash operators of the basic, but important, elements to consider when replacing their cloths.

1. Cleaning Ability In the carwash business, this is “job number one.” For general surface cleaning, non-woven fabrics like polyester, nylon or polypropylene strike a balance of absorbing sufficient water/soap solution to clean the vehicle without getting too heavy. For example, the inherent stiffness of polypropylene sometimes prevents access to small nooks and crannies such as those found around trim pieces. For reaching into tight quarters, plush materials, like “cashmere-type” cloth, work better. These take advantage of their tufted surface (like the nap on a rug) to squeeze into tight spots. These “tufts” range anywhere from ¼ inch to one inch—the longer ones reach deeper, of course. Carwash owners still have to be careful with plush materials, cautions Dan Pecora, an expert on cloth First Quarter 2015

For reaching into light quarter, plush materials, like “cashmeretype” cloth, work better. These take advantage of their tufted surface (like the nap on a rug) to squeeze into tight spots.

materials and founder of Erie Cloth Manufacturing in Chicago, IL—a cloth and detailing supplier to the carwash industry since 1948. Spoken in famed Yankee catcher Yogi Berra-fashion, “Too many is too much,” says Pecora. “For example, some owners go overboard and use 100 pieces of cashmere, but should only put on about 50 on any one piece of equipment. Otherwise the nap absorbs a lot of water and gets too heavy.” An over-saturated overhead cloth like cashmere could put too much weight on vehicles and risk damaging the vehicle.

2. Softness We all know that customers want their vehicles pampered like a spoiled cat. No scratching allowed. Cashmere-type material makes for an ideal choice, as its “fleeciness” washes cleaner over metal, glass, plastic, fiberglass and composites making it ideal for curtains and other applications.

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Selecting Cloth - continued from page 13 “When it comes to softness, it’s hard to beat gentle foam,” says Todd Christopher, whose Classic Auto Wash in Allen Park, Michigan handles as many as 20,000 cars a month. “It doesn’t retain water and it never gets too heavy. The washing dynamics stay consistent and no swirls are left.”

it doesn’t have to be exact, maintaining the same hue helps. Quality counts here, as you want to make sure that the color will not fade through use. “We use blue at three of the Mister Car Washes here in Boise,” says Biagi. “It’s not necessarily a major branding thing for us, but we do want to keep some consistency throughout the entire chain.” Christopher takes a contrasting, but equally valid viewpoint, at his wash. “Anytime I upgrade the cloth, I change the color to make sure people notice,” Christopher explains. “It tells them that I’m constantly improving and keeping my materials fresh.”

5. Quietness

When it comes to softness, it’s hard to beat gentle foam. It doesn’t retain water and it never gets too heavy. The washing dynamics stay consistent and no swirls are left.

3. Durability Operators understandably want their material to last a long time. But you have to strike a fine balance between getting your money’s worth and jeopardizing the finish on your customers’ cars. “Some car wash operators want the toughest cloths they can get their hands on so they don’t have to order new ones for a long time,” notes Pecora. “For example, wide-slit hangdowns last longer, but they don’t clean as well as the thin slit.” Not only does “cleanliness” suffer, but tacky, threadbare, cloths reflect poorly upon your establishment. “One guy had a cloth that lasted 20 years,” recalls Pecora. “I’m sure he was happy about stretching his dollar, but I’m not so sure about his customers.”

Customer perception is everything in marketing any service, and in the carwash business, customers equate “quiet” with “gentle.” A fast moving, heavyladen cloth loaded with solution will hit the vehicle’s surface louder. If the customer is in their vehicle while being drawn through the tunnel, this can be quite disconcerting. “Quietness is a big factor,” admits Christopher. “Even when the customer is not in the car, you don’t want anything loud on the car; it makes people nervous.” “When it comes to stifling the racket, polyester is your better choice in cloth materials,” says Pecora.

6. Cost “Some owners just want the lowest price and they don’t care about quality,” notes Pecora. “Instead, viewing cloths not so much as a consumable, but as a capital asset, gives you a better perspective on getting a good return on your investment.” “I also factor service into the cost equation,” says Biagi in summation. “All other things being equal, I want someone who can answer my cloth questions at six in morning. If I have a problem, I can call Erie and talk to a live person who can help me make a choice, right then. I also expect quick turnaround on an order, but not at the expense of quality.”

4. Color Owners interested in branding opportunities can take advantage of cloths that match their logo. While Finish Line

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First Quarter 2015

Your connection to carwash management professionals.

2015 Advertising Agreement Ad Size

Full Page Half Page


Price Per Issue 1 Year



1 Year

(7 ½” x 10“) Live Area

 $500

 $1,700

Inside Front

 $700

 $2,350

(7 ½” x 5“) Horizontal ONLY

 $300

 $1,050

Inside Back

 $700

 $2,350

(3 ½” x 4“) Vertical ONLY

 $200

 $675

Back Cover

 $850

 $2,850

(3 ½” x 2“) Horizontal ONLY

 $100

 $325

Quarter Page Business Card

Website Advertising

Front Page

Secondary Page

 $166/month

 $80/month

(3 mo. min.)

(3 mo. min.)

Advertisement artwork:

 Use art from 2014

 I will provide new art by due date.

Indicate the issue(s) in which your ad will appear (Mark the box ):  All Four Issues

Artwork due date:

 First Quarter February 13th

Payment Options:

 Second Quarter

 Third Quarter

 Fourth Quarter

May 8th

July 24th

October 23th

 Bill me once for selected issues.

 Bill me quarterly.

Company Contact Person Address





Authorized Signature (required)

THANK YOU FOR ADVERTISING IN FINISH LINE! Return form to: 120 N. Washington Square, Suite 110A Lansing, MI 48933 Fax: 517.371.1170 Email: First Quarter 2015

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120 N. Washington Square Suite 110A Lansing, MI 48933

Not an MCA Member? Join today at

Finish Line 1st Quarter 2015  

Midwest Carwash Association Quarterly Magazine

Finish Line 1st Quarter 2015  

Midwest Carwash Association Quarterly Magazine