The Pros and Cons of Contracting an Onsite Truck Wash Service
Posted on 7/16/2015 by Dustin Kirkpatrick
As a fleet owner, your time and resources are valuable. Since the appearance of your fleet is face of your company, business and livelihood, you should always maintain a spotless appearance. Getting your trucks washed and detailed on a regular basis has never been easier with Grit Detail and fleet wash services. Our team is equipped to handle every type and size of truck at any location on a schedule that fits your business.

But on site fleet washing services are not for everyone, so we have put together a list of reasons to either choose to or not to use on site truck wash services.


Truck after cleaning Team Working

1. Convenient — On site wash services offer flexibility to service schedule. You can schedule an appointment anytime day or night depending on when your trucks are not in operation. Most truck wash companies will work 24/7. Yes, it is more expensive to have an onsite contractor come in to clean your vehicles but if you add up all the additional cost of taking it on in house, or using one of the many drive through truck wash bays you’re not only saving time, your also not paying a driver an hourly wage to wash his own truck, you’re not paying the driver to sit and wait at the long lines at your local wash bay. You’re not paying the fuel or wear and tear that the truck will consume on the trip back and forth from the wash bay. And most important of all, if your truck is not moving and on the road while generating revenue, you also decrease the chance of damage occurring to the truck.
2. Reduced Liability — We have all heard of the EPA, if you are a fleet owner that washed their own trucks, or hires an outside company, you should know about the clean water act and how it impacts your operations and ramifications if not followed. You as a land owner will be liable for fines along with your provider if your truck wash company doesn’t abide by the laws when it comes to collecting and processing waste wash water. Every mobile truck wash company should be equipped with a way to collect and reclaim and re-use water, so absolutely no waste water will be allowed to enter any storm drain. Even if you wash your own trucks on your own land, the laws still apply, and the potential fines are no joke. Our team takes pride in doing the right thing when it comes to keeping you compliant, we collect and recycle water in our wash system, for first and 2nd part of our wash process, we have a secondary tank dedicated solely to the final rinse process. This tank only holds clean water used for rinsing. In the end we are able to re-use 60% of our water cutting down total water usage by 70%. The less water used, the less water to be cleaned and processed disposed of.
3. No crazy high water bills — Most mobile truck wash services will use only the minimum amount of water necessary to get the job done right. The mobile truck wash industry is tightly watched in terms of water usage and the handling of the wash water that comes off the trucks. The more water put on the truck the more water that will need to be collected, cleaned, filtered, and properly disposed of. While the chances of water wastage is greater if you decide to clean your truck by yourself.
3. Protect the environment — By Federal EPA law, all mobile truck washes need to be equipped with a way to reclaim and collect all waste water, so there will be no waste water running down the storm drains into your local rivers and streams. Again, this is not the case if you wash your truck or have your drivers wash their own truck at home or at your businesses facility if you do not have and expensive wash bay and water collection system.
4. Granular costing ability — If you contract a fleet washing company, you will be able easily track your costs for your fleet cleaning, and build this cost into your charges to your customers. Every week you will get a bill with a set amount for each vehicle. This not only will give you forecastable cost, for financial projections. It also allows you to provide the DOT with proof showing you are taking every necessary step possible to keep your vehicle safe, clean and road worthy.
Engine needing cleaning Engine after cleaning


Cons of Using a Mobile Truck Wash Service


1. Doing it correctly is not cheap — Hiring a company that offers quality service and keeps you and your business complaint with all EPA laws comes with a price tag – a price that can be a lot higher than your local fly by night company that doesn’t follow all the laws. A quality legit operation will need to incorporate the cost gas, prevailing wage payroll expense, liability insurance, cost of materials and chemical, and the cost of proper water handling. However when you’re doing your cost comparison you need to keep a few things in mind, like any business a legit company will operate under economies of scale, their material and labor costs will be lower than if carry this service in house. If you manage your own cleaning processes you may overlook these hidden costs. Equipment costs, maintaince costs, chemical costs, drivers payroll cost spent either washing the truck, or standing in line at your local blue beacon truck wash, additional fuel costs, additional mileage and wear and tear put on your trucks, and most expensive and difficult of all is the water processing costs, to do this correctly you need to have somebody who knows the laws and systems monitoring the systems to keep them operating efficiently. All these things are expensive and hard track solely to cleaning your equipment.
2. Your trusting quality to an outside vendor — You are trusting the face of your business to an outside company, how do you know they are going to do a good job? Will it be up to your standards? Our advice is to hire a quality company and do the following, 1. Look at the guys who show up to work. Are they clean? Do they look professional? What does their equipment look like? 2. Read the service agreement. Does it say anywhere “clean is defined by what looks clean 15-20’ away? “ if so you need to keep searching. Yes they may provide a inexpensive service, however they will be using harsh chemicals and unskilled labor. Is this how you want to treat your livelihood? Would you send your kids to a un-skilled Dr. or Dentist to save a few bucks? 3. Ask for a contact to some of their other customers, and call them to ask about their service. If you hear good things then you know you are choosing a quality company.
3. Your trusting an outside vendor at your facility after hours — With the convenience of having your vehicles serviced on off hours when your fleet is down, you are more than likely will be trusting them to access your grounds after normal business hours. Yes this can be a liability, however any respectable company will provide you with a COI showing you as the land and fleet owner as additional insured for a minimum of 1 million dollars. Just in case something happens you know you will be covered.


Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint.
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Newberg, OR 97123 • 503.550.0593
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Grit Detail | www.gritdetail.com | 503.550.0593
Newberg, OR 97123
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