Range of options grows as more fleets bring cleaning in-house. With the price of a combination-vehicle wash at a truck stop or commercial washing facility ranging from $39.95 to $120, depending on service level and location, many fleet managers find it pays to invest in in-house cleaning equipment. Here's a sample of what's available, from portable, hand-held models to large, self-contained truck-wash systems.
Alkota Cleaning Systems manufactures equipment ranging from cold high-pressure washers to wastewater recycling systems. New products include the "Cleaning Crew," a big-job pressure washer delivering between 2.1 and 4.8 gpm at 1,000-4,000 psi smaller gas/electric cold pressure washers delivering between 2 and 5 gpm at 1,000-6,000 psi.
Americas Wash Systems manufactures walk-around, drive-through, and rollover units that use brushes to clean most vehicles, plus options including high-pressure side blasters. Using polyethylene/polypropylene filament brushes that are flushed clean prior to application, the systems are recommended for tough jobs too dirty for some brushless systems to handle without resorting to chemicals that damage paint and decals.
Clean Concepts manufactures Gold Line, Carlson Maxi-Wash, and Carlson 2000 RW automated truck-washing systems, and specializes in custom-designed fleet washing facilities. The Maxi-Wash, which can be integrated into an existing facility, is said to clean vehicles efficiently while conserving water.
Drive-on pad mobile wash units with wastewater capture and containment systems for most types of vehicles are made by Environmental Cleaning Systems (ECS). According to ECS, many jurisdictions are targeting washwater effluent from fixed and mobile vehicle wash facilities, with fines of up to $25,000 per incident not uncommon.
Hotsy has launched three new electric-powered and one gas-powered mobile pressure washer. The electric units deliver 2.2 gpm at 1,000 psi, 3 gpm at 1,000 psi, and 4 gpm at 2,000 psi. The gas-powered unit has an 11-hp. gas engine and delivers 3.5 gpm at 3,000 psi.
Alfred Karcher's HDS 1000 BE is a new cold/hot-steam gasoline-powered high-pressure washer with an electric start, delivering 2-4 gpm at 750-3,300 psi, with infinitely variable operating pressure, water volume, temperature control, and chemical metering. The HDS 900 Ci is a portable and lightweight direct-drive unit developing 1.4-3 gpm at 450-2,000 psi.
Landa, which manufactures pressure washers and water cleaning systems, has two new truck-wash products. Model CL-304 is a clarifier system for treating truck washwater so it can be discharged to the sanitary sewer or recycled, with a flow rate up to 5 gpm. Model VHW4-3000 is an electric-driven, oil-fired hot-water pressure truck washer with a soap-injection twist handle on the wand that delivers up to 3,000 psi.
Niagara National, the preferred nationwide vendor for Ryder Truck, manufactures a range of drive-through and heavy-duty pressure washers, plus water treatment, discharge, and reclamation systems.
Ryko has introduced Atlantis, a new generation of touch-free automatic truck washes. The permanent installation system uses a multiple sensing mechanism to detect, measure, wash, and rinse any vehicle placed in its bay. The unit is multi-programmable to apply chemicals to the front and rear of each vehicle, while additional chemicals are applied to the top and sides. A rocker panel/wheel blaster removes dirt and grime from the rocker panel while pausing at each wheel to clean with high-impact water.
Sioux Steam Cleaner has introduced a line of hot and cold pressure washers rated at 120-1,320 gph at 500-3,000 psi. The units are suited for degreasing engines, cleaning reefers, and removing tar, mud, and dirt from truck bodies. Oil, LPG, and CNG units are available.
Washtronics has developed a fully automated, self-serve, frictionless wash system to clean virtually every large vehicle, including tractor-trailers, buses, medium- and light-duty trucks. The system has an electronic guidance system that reportedly cleans the entire surface of any vehicle, including front and rear exposures, and accomplishes this regardless of vehicle size and configuration. The entire presoak/scan, wash, and rinse-cycle series takes about 10 min. for a tractor-trailer.