Choosing The Right Truck Wash

Autowash has a large range of truck wash systems selected with strict criteria to ensure that we only sell the world's best truck wash equipment to the Australian trucking industry.

We sell truck wash equipment from some of the world's leading heavy vehicle wash manufacturers. Our extensive range of equipment means that we have a truck wash system to suit all fleet shapes and sizes. Most truck wash equipment suppliers in Australia will try and convince you that the one particular product they happen to represent just so happens to be the only option for your business - no matter what your individual requirements. At Autowash our specialty is providing you with the right system from our large range that exactly matches your specific needs. At Autowash we have a truck wash solution for every truck washing requirement.

Which Truck Wash Is Right For My Business?

From our experience there are 9 general questions that need answering before determining which type of truck wash is most suited to your business.

How many trucks are you looking to wash per day?

What type(s) of trucks are you looking to wash?

Do the trucks just travel on sealed roads? Or mainly offroad? Or a combination?

What budget do you have available for this project?

Are you looking to wash the whole vehicle or are the wheels and under-chassis enough?

Is the under-chassis important to you?

Is water recycling important to you?

Do you have an existing bay to put the wash in or would this be a new build?

Would the building allow for drive-through or would the site be drive in and back out?

1. How Many Trucks Are You Looking To Wash Per Day?

Your fleet size is one of the key factors that will determine our truck wash recommendation. Hand washing trucks or using a retail truck wash facility is usually adequate for fleets up to 10 vehicles in size. Having said this, hand washing a typical b-double will take 1 person more than an hour.

For fleets with 1 to 20 trucks we recommend the Iteco range of single brush truck washes. Single brush truck washes range in price from less than $10,000 to approximately $45,000. They can wash a truck in around 10 minutes and are completely mobile requiring no building structure or wash bay. Depending on local trade waste legislation you may need to bund any storm water drains and make sure wash water run-off is pumped onto a garden bed. You'll find however that single brush units generate very little wastewater when you take into account the surface area of the vehicles you are washing, the drip drying of the truck, and evaporation from the surface of the truck.

For fleets with between 15 and 30 trucks we recommend purchasing a roll over truck wash. Roll over truck washes wash trucks while they are stationary. A gantry moves along parallel galvanised rails back and forth over the stationary vehicle. The gantry is equipped with 3 brushes (2 side brushes and 1 roof brush) as well as high pressure water jets and chemical applicators. Roll over truck washes typically wash 6 - 10 trucks per hour. An advantage of roll over truck washes is that if you have limited space on site a vehicle can drive in and back out of them.

Rollover truck washes start from around $100,000 fully installed. This can be a little cheaper if you only need a very basic system or half again as much if you need the full bells and whistles version. Picking the options for your system will be determined by your intended frequency of washing and how dirty your vehicles are (e.g. Do they just travel on sealed roads or offroad?).

Roll over truck washes provide the best wash quality of any automated truck washing process. Having said this if your fleet is larger than 30 trucks it will become increasingly difficult from a logistics perspective to wash your fleet given the time constraints of a roll over truck wash (usually 10 mins per truck plus vehicle movements).

The main advantage of a drive-through truck wash system is that the wash time is only as long as it takes the truck driver to drive slowly through the wash bay.

Drive through systems can take as little as 2 – 3 minutes to wash a vehicle and are the best alternative for larger fleets if you have the space in your yard.

What Type(s) Of Trucks Are You Looking To Wash?

Two aspects of this question are important.

Firstly, certain wash equipment will be better suited to different types of vehicles. Where trucks depart from standard shapes and sizes brush truck washes need to be equipped with increasingly sophisticated photo-cell or sonic detector (vehicle sensing) technology to ensure no damage occurs to the vehicle. Alternatively, problem areas can be washed only by high pressure water using the brushes solely on the trailer.

Secondly, if you want to use your truck wash to wash different types of trucks with varying sizes and lengths then this will effect equipment selection. Usually in this instance we would recommend a touch-free (brushless) system - either a touch-free roll over or a touch-free drive through. Both roll overs and drive throughs can have multiple settings for different types of vehicles.

Do the trucks just travel on sealed roads? Or mainly off-road? Or a combination?

The answer to this question will help us determine how dirty your vehicles are, the frequency that you will need to wash them, and the various additional equipment you might require to ensure a comprehensive clean.

Trucks that just travel on sealed roads will require simpler wash systems and less frequent washing to trucks that regularly access mine sites or construction sites. If trucks never leave sealed roads and are frequently washed then a very basic brush system without high pressure may be ample for your needs. Likely a simple roll over or very basic brush drive through will be well suited to your company. If your trucks often go off-road then they will require more frequent washing and more options (like high pressure jets from multiple angles) to properly clean them.

If your fleet regularly goes off-road and is larger than 30 vehicles it is likely that we will recommend an Autowash drive through truck wash. Autowash equipmentto is specifically designed for our customers specific requirements so can include a variety of different components. There are a variety of high pressure wash arches that can be included to wash all hard to reach problem areas on trucks of all shapes, sizes, and uses.

What budget do you have available for this project?

We sell automated truck washing equipment that starts at less than $10,000 with no requirements for building, construction, plumbing and electrical. Roll over and drive through truck washes however need to be installed in a compliant, in-door, wash bay. If you have an existing wash bay then retro-fitting a roll-over truck wash will usually cost between $80,000 and $150,000 depending on the various options and also if you require water recycling. If you want to install a drive through truck wash in an existing building you will require an equipment budget of between $150,000 and $400,000.

If you are starting from scratch and need to build not only a truck wash but also the building to house it in your total project costs will likely be between $300,000 and $1,000,000 depending on your equipment selection and the quality and size of the building you construct.

To supplement the cost of their truck wash, some companies choose to turn it into a revenue stream by trading to the public. We call this a Retail Truck Wash..

Are You Looking To Wash The Whole Vehicle Or Are The Wheels And Under-Chassis Enough?

For many mining, agricultural and construction applications it may only be practical to wash the wheels and under-chassis of a vehicle on a regular basis. And then once a year, usually right before registration, the truck is given a full $500+ detail.

Often it is a Council requirement for trucks to have their wheels and under-chassis's washed when leaving mine or agricultural sites and re-entering the public road ways.

If this is your case you may be looking for a wheel wash system that is either entirely portable, semi-permanent or permanent in nature. We have wheel wash systems starting from a little as $25,000 and even offer the option of hiring them. You can find our wheel wash systems in several sections of our website including Mining Light Vehicle Wash Systems, Quarantine Wash Equipment, Constructions Wash Solutions, and Military Wash Equipment.

Is The Under-Chassis Important To You?

For some people this is a key feature of their wash system - for others it is not very important. There are a large variety of under-chassis wash systems available and if it is important to you it helps us in building our equipment recommendation around this requirement.

The under-chassis is an area of the vehicle that is often overlooked when washing trucks. Including this in your truck wash can reduce service and maintenance costs associated with your fleet thereby extending the useful life of your trucks. These areas are also very difficult to reach when manually hand washing and are rarely done properly by commercial hand truck washing businesses as they are hard to check.

Is Water Recycling Important To You?

Environmental considerations aside, you may additionally consider water recycling because: a) most new builds are required by Council to have water recycling; and b) truck washes will usually as a minimum use 200 litres of water per cycle (and sometimes many multiples of this amount).

We recommend water recycling primarily because of the environmental benefits but also for the operational cost savings. The level of technological improvement in water recycling over the past 10 years has been astounding with most of our systems now recycling 90% of wash water used in an odour free and highly efficient manner.

Do You Have An Existing Bay To Put The Wash In Or Would This Be A New Build?

Roll over truck washes or drive through truck washes need to be constructed in a wash bay enclosed by a building. There are some exceptions for mining and agricultural zoning but for the most part buildings are mandatory. For our moble single brush systems no building is required. For our wheel wash systems we can supply a temporary 'tent like' structure that will see you complying with regulations.

Apart from the obvious budgetary considerations for new builds we will need to work with you on the buildings dimensions to ensure that: a) the building is built to the size needed to match our equipment recommendation; or b) we recommend equipment that fits within the dimensions of the building you are planning.

In the event that you have an existing wash bay within an existing building, the dimensions and services available in your building will have an impact on our product recommendation.

Would The Building Allow For Drive-Through Or Would The Site Be Drive In Back Out?

Irrespective of fleet size if your wash bay is constrained to be drive-in-back-out then the highest volume truck wash equipment available to you is a roll over truck wash with a wash time of approximately 10 minutes per truck (inclusive of vehicle movements).

As per the previous point, it is important for us to also know the exact dimensions of your building and services that are available in it (electrical, plumbing, drainage) so that we can narrow down our equipment recommendation to truck washes that physically fit into your existing building.

If there is a possibility of modifying your existing building please also let us know as this may open up new truck washing possibilities.

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