The impact of bus washing

Jack Jackson
Posted on June 5, 2014
Jack Jackson is president of Awash Systems Corp.
Jack Jackson is president of Awash Systems Corp.

In what area does washing vehicles in your operation have the biggest impact: image, driver satisfaction, extended equipment life, environmental considerations? A consistent wash system can have a positive impact on all of these areas, yet it is ignored by many companies, with little thought or investment.

There is technology available to meet any of your vehicle washing requirement needs, be they budget or environmentally based. Generally, the most popular automatic machinery to wash vehicles are automated drive-through, rollover and walk-around units. These systems enable a bus to be washed and rinsed in less than five minutes.

Also available are water reclamation and recycle systems to offset environment concerns and save on water costs, and today’s technology allows for water treatment systems at your wash bay. There are many systems that can capture your water, clean it and reuse it for washing. This allows a zero discharge, thus saving money and helping the environment.

For most of us, a municipality supplies our water through pipes to our facility. Washing a vehicle inside your building usually means your operation is tapped into your municipal water sewage system; thus, the gray water is being sent to a local treatment facility. This does help the environment, but there may be big costs involved:

1.    Cost to the municipality to clean this water.
2.    Cost to your company or building to pay for water.
3.    Cost for sewage discharge. Some areas meter water in and out, often charging twice the amount for water discharge.

Water use can be a major hidden cost. Do an analysis to find savings. Examine your water bill and determine the cost per gallon.

After determining the cost of water, capture the cost of labor, chemicals and supplies (brushes, cloths, etc.). This is necessary to determine your wash cost per vehicle.

Jack Jackson is president of Awash Systems Corp. He can be reached at or (800) 265-7405. For more information about Awash Systems Corp., visit

Related Topics: bus wash systems

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