Westmatic Corp.’s Multiwash system includes programmable logic controller technology that monitors and adjusts brush pressures to provide a consistent wash.
Gantry systems eliminate driver judgment
According to Evans of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Westmatic, gantry-style wash units, where the vehicle remains stationary and the brushes move around the vehicle, are a good option for school bus fleets. “With the mirror configuration on buses, you have a more reliable and consistent wash result with a gantry style system,” Evans says. “No judgment is left up to the driver.”
Westmatic’s Multiwash system has two vertical brushes and one horizontal brush for cleaning all bus sections. Programmable logic controller technology constantly monitors and adjusts brush pressures to provide a consistent wash, and a Westmatic-standard Mirror Protection Program washes around mirrors to prevent damage.
What makes Westmatic’s gantry system different is its low maintenance factor despite the wet environment, Evans says. “We use belts instead of chains and wagons instead of air cylinders, which greatly reduces the maintenance on the system.”
Each wash with the system takes about five minutes. Its cost is approximately $100,000.
Touchless, brushless systems
Northville, Mich.-based Belanger Inc. offers its V-Max touchless wash system, which “gives operators the ability to safely and effectively wash a variety of vehicle shapes and sizes while easily accommodating vehicle attachments,” says Marcus McLaughlin of the company’s marketing team.
The V-Max (also available in a drive-through option) is built on an overhead gantry platform that keeps wash gear off the floor, leading to greater system reliability, lower maintenance costs and longer working life than floor-mounted rollover washes, McLaughlin says.
Touchless wash systems are available in drive-through styles for agencies with limited wash bay space. Belanger also manufactures friction washes with retractable side brushes to protect mirrors and hybrid systems.
Basic systems start at $60,000, and Belanger works with each fleet to design the wash system that meets the agency’s needs.
OilTrap Environmental Products' Water Treatment System recycles water for reuse by diverting drain water from the wash cycle and electrifying it.
All that water
What happens to the dirty water that accumulates from washing so many buses? Many companies offer water recycling systems, and water can be purified before it drains to sewers.
OilTrap Environmental Products' Water Treatment System recycles water for reuse by diverting drain water from the wash cycle and electrifying it, which separates water from contaminants and makes contaminants non-hazardous. Clean water is recycled to the holding tank for use in both wash and rinse cycles. This treatment system recycles 95 percent of water, and a 24/7 monitoring system allows the manufacturer’s technicians to dial into the treatment system to handle issues for no extra charge.
Westmatic offers the Renaren water purification system. Europe’s strict environmental regulations mandate purification, and although American laws don’t, “It’s just the environmentally right thing to do,” Evans says. The system removes all the heavy metals, oils, carbons and harmful contaminants from water so that it goes to the sewer uncontaminated. Although many agencies recycle water for the wash process, Evans estimates that 20 percent of water eventually heads to the sewer.
NS Wash also offers an above-ground water clarifier that separates water from contaminants before it goes to the sewer. An above-ground system eliminates the need to install a more labor-intensive and expensive underground system for new facilities.