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May 17, 2012  |   Comments (3)   |   Post a comment

Bus washing made easy

Today’s systems include features that enable users to maintain a spotless fleet quickly, all while reducing water and energy consumption.

by Brittany-Marie Swanson

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Ross and White Co.’s popular combination brush and touchless system includes a wraparound brush design.

Ross and White Co.’s popular combination brush and touchless system includes a wraparound brush design.

Keeping the school buses in your fleet clean doesn’t have to be a big job. Bus wash systems make it easy for any driver to wash a bus, and they can help cut down on the costs associated with energy and water consumption.

SBF spoke with representatives from four companies specializing in bus wash systems about what features will keep buses clean without any extra hassle. Officials say that such systems should be upgradable, as well as easy to install and use.

Awash Systems Corp.
Awash Systems Corp.’s Powerbrush2O uses only 5 gallons of water per minute — about 12 fewer gallons per minute than the average garden hose, President Jack Jackson says. Additionally, only five minutes are needed to wash a school bus using the system.

“In today’s world, water is becoming such a major cost and having an environmental impact,” he explains. “Because the Powerbrush only uses 5 gallons a minute, it would only take 25 gallons to wash a school bus. If you used a regular hose that whole 30 minutes [it would take to clean a bus], you’re going to use 540 gallons of water.” 

Awash’s Powerbrush2O uses only 5 gallons of water per minute and can wash a bus in only five minutes, according to President Jack Jackson.
<p>Awash’s Powerbrush2O uses only 5 gallons of water per minute and can wash a bus in only five minutes, according to President Jack Jackson.</p>
The Powerbrush2O requires 16 square feet of space, and it can be easily moved and stored following use. That way, “the space becomes versatile. You can use it for anything you want: oil changes, engine repair, etc. It saves space and you don’t need to have a dedicated wash bay,” Jackson adds.

He also points out that using the Powerbrush2O can extend the life expectancy of a bus. The brush removes oxidation from the paint and metal, whereas a touchless wash system can leave behind dirt and grime, according to Jackson.

And, “because you’re using a brush, you need less chemicals,” he says.

Ross and White Co.
Ross and White Co.’s most popular wash system is a combination brush and touchless system, according to President and CEO Jeff Ross.

The system is equipped with two brushes that wash the sides and rear of the bus, as well as a high-pressure wash for the front of the bus and a high-pressure wheel wash system.

The benefits of the system include a “15-year warranty on hot dipped galvanized structural components, 5-horsepower top and bottom supported brushes, wraparound brush design, and stainless steel high- and low-pressure pumps,” Ross explains.

“As budgets drive the engine for most school districts, a system with long life, low maintenance costs and high wash quality is important,” he says.

To cut costs, Ross suggests that operators avoid systems with a chemical contract.

“Many systems are sold with a contract for chemical,” he says. “As most systems incorporate some form of touchless wash, the chemicals for the wash system are not only important, but also the highest ongoing cost of washing. School districts that buy such systems think they are buying the system with the least cost, but in reality wind up paying much more for a system with a chemical contract.”

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I'm writing an article for bus drivers regarding exterior bus care. Will someone provide some tips and quick actions they use to add to the basic care ideas? Thanks!

Dorothy Halligan    |    Jul 21, 2014 08:39 AM

I have alot of gum on the floor of my bus... what the best way to get the gum off?

Zane Thackeray    |    Feb 28, 2013 06:38 PM

In reading June 2012 issue of School Bus Fleet,article Bus washing made easy. Could you send me more ingformation about Awash's Power-brush 20 and what the cost of this unit would be.

Howard James    |    Sep 17, 2012 06:48 AM

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