Truck Wash Savings Guide for
|When researching how to save money on a truck wash, it was disappointing to us to find that most of the savings were directed to the businesses, not to the drivers. However, money saving tips are available.|
Depending on the freight you are hauling, you may be required to clean your vehicle -- inside, outside or both –- on a regular basis. Since we have hauled primarily dry vans, we have no experience whatsoever with refrigerated van wash outs or tanker wash outs. In fact, we have never had any of the trailers we hauled washed at all, just the tractors.
|We fully realize that
different drivers have different makes and styles of trucks. For the
purposes of this page, we have written generically from the standpoint
of a driver with a high profile, "condo-style" tractor, because those
have a lot of vertical surface area to clean.
At left is shown a purple Kenworth tractor covered in road dirt and road salt, badly in need of a truck wash.
When it comes to truck washes, there are five basic approaches:
In the photos below, professional driver Mike Simons is washing the truck that he once drove for his trucking company at home using his own water, soap and equipment.
Folks who run a commercial truck wash have to be concerned about such matters as detergent, water run-off and environmental issues. You may need to check on these issues for cleaning your truck at home or in a parking lot somewhere.
We have never paid to have our vehicle hand-dried following a truck wash. However, the advantages of drying your vehicle include no water spots and not attracting road dirt on the droplets. Windows may need to be cleaned on the inside to match how clean they are outside.
Whenever Mike has paid to have his truck washed, he has always requested the aluminum brighteners for the wheels. This does a magnificent job of sprucing up the look of the tractor.
Clean Truck Advantages
The advantages of having a clean truck are:
If a trucking company does not think highly enough of itself to pay for a truck wash for each truck in its fleet at least once every quarter, what does that say about
Think about it: What are all of the ramifications of having a dirty truck? Among them are
Theoretically, a shipper could come to the conclusion that if a trucking company is unwilling to take care of its own equipment, it won't take care of the freight being shipped by its trucks either. It could result in a loss of business. (Disclaimer: We haven't heard of this happening; but in a tight economy, having a good, clean company image can make the difference between getting and keeping business and losing it.)
|When we were at the headquarters of the trucking company that Mike drives for in December 2009, he learned from one of the guys operating a mobile truck wash unit that the company had not paid for any fleet tractors to be washed for the last 13 months (that is, since November 2008). The only cleaning that they were doing was on trucks being assigned to new hires. We personally disagree with this philosophy, but this is their choice, not ours.|
|Trailers can also be badly in need of a wash.|
Budgeting Time for a Truck Wash
Among your concerns should be timing. A mobile truck washing service might be able to wash tractors at trucking companies while they are parked at a terminal. If you go to a commercial facility, you may have to wait in line for the service, and then wait while the service is performed on your truck. One expert estimates that it should take between 20-30 minutes to properly wash a truck.*
|Mike says that he is aware
that Blue Beacon accepts:
Based on everything we've read about this subject, it is foolhardy not to practice good external truck cleanliness as a means of protecting one's investment in trucking equipment. Leaving a truck unwashed for months and months at a time may seem to be a direct cost savings, but in the end it could end up leading to even greater indirect cost outlays.
Money saving tip: If you're looking for ways to save money on truck washes, consider the following:
Please note that independently owned truck washes are not required to accept driver reward points in exchange for services. In fact, we've never seen any advertisements to the effect that a commercial facility on the grounds of a truckstop would accept driver rewards points. However, it is possible that given enough driver requests, such a set-up can be made sometime in the future.
* Reference: http://ezinearticles.com/?How-Long-Should-It-Take-To-Wash-A-Truck&id=448313
Vicki Simons is pleased to
be part of this initiative:
(Click the image to go
to the Facebook page.)
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