Advice on my first big boy pressure washer

Ok, soooo…I’m a window cleaner first, and quickly becoming a pressure washer/house washer second. More and more house wash and patio wash requests are coming in and my 2.3GPM isn’t pushing the house wash mix up the wall with the X-Jet very far, plus sometimes its more mist than solution. I ordered a 2-3gpm JROD today to use while I am deciding on a new PW.

I am leaning towards this one: with the CAT pump for an extra $145

Here are my requirements:

Belt driven
2 Wheels (Not Skid)
No buffer tank
Able to lift fairly easily, as it needs to go into the back of my Mazda B3000/Ford Ranger
GX390 or higher
Able to drive my Landa Water Jet very well (at least way better than my 2.3GPM current unit does, anyway)
Able to expand into roof soft washing at some point (I know I’ll need to buy extra equipment to do this; I am just talking about the GPM/PSI to reach roofs I guess)

I am expecting to spend about $1200-1700 or so. If there is any features I have left out or I don’t know that I need, I’d love to hear them. I’d also like to hear about who people would recommend based on customer service, follow through after the sale, time to ship…

Thanks in advance!

Don’t waste your money on anything with a cat pump. This is a far better choice for $1700.


Ok, that one looks good, but its 1.5GPM over the 4GPM I was looking for, and my only issue with that is that from what I have read here, anything that’s over 4GPM almost requires a buffer tank…true? false?

When is a buffer tank actually needed?

a small buffer tank will cover you on the rare chance you need it with a 5.5 gpm. 35-50 gallons. But if that’s a regular concern in your area stick with the 4 gpm with a general pump or better build one with a honda 390 key start and an udor gear drive pump. Works the same as a belt drive except you only need to know how to tighten 4 bolts to install it.>%20Honda%20Horizontal%20Engines%20>%20121Cc%20-%20240Cc%20Honda%20Horizontal%20Engines&utm_campaign=Honda%20Engines&utm_content=60591&gclid=CjwKCAjw1ZbaBRBUEiwA4VQCIQpdgT0ueUd9s-UEyOUqz9Vo01Xd8YgnE_SYkPTIBXlbxC_5FwFdyBoCcgoQAvD_BwE

Honda 390 - $500
Udor gear drive 4gpm/3500 psi pump from dultmeier - $800
An actually good unloader $120

You can find the rolling skids through other vendors, but this will cost you less than having one of the prebuilt jobbers dropshipped from whichever vendor you choose and you’ll have a better machine.


All the ones you can find through vendors are going to come with a plastic top cheap unloader so they can cut cost and it’ll be attached to the pump where it shouldn’t really be anyway.

Explain what an unloader does. I know I can look for it in the search, but I’d rather someone explain it to me like I’m since my current washer doesn’t have one.

Why did I think cat pumps were the best when I got started??? Are they just that good at marketing?

Relieves the pressure off the pump when you’re not on the trigger and keeps filling the pump with cool water and pushing the hot water back to a tank or the ground.

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It’s actually more satisfying to spend the 7 seconds to search on your own, but here you go


That’s it. Cat, comet, AAA, and AR are junk pumps. Udor, Legacy, and Landa pumps are the best you can buy, but plenty of folks make plenty of money with General pumps. All my old machines had General pumps and they’re still kicking, but the Udors want and love abuse and what Udor wants… Udor gets.


And yet I had never heard of General Pumps. Ran into a local veteran and got to check out his gear a couple of weeks ago. Nothing but honda engines and General pumps.

I am still on my bertolini pump and really happy with it so far. Another example of zero need to advertise I guess?

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Ok, a bit confused…the Honda engine in that link is only a 163cc engine…only putting out about 5hp. Why don’t I need a GX390?

I don’t know anything about Bertolini, but essentially yeah. When you mention Udor or Legacy or Landa to anyone that hasn’t done this for a couple months or more they’ve never even heard of them, but the only problem I’ve ever had with the udor is when I didn’t winterize it properly and cracked a piston. I sent a pic of the piston to @Innocentbystander and he told me the udor parts make the General parts look like toys although I’ve yet to open up a general pump myself. I’ve run the Udor dry more than a couple times on accident, run it 10 hours a day 6 days a week… you name it.

And this pump is still making money.

Disregard it then. I linked the wrong one. It was the first to show up in search when I searched for the 390. You need the 390.

I know many on here hate CAT pumps…but I have a back up Northern Tool 3k psi 2.5gpm CAT pump I use for cleaning hood vents once a month with degreaser and a turbo nozzle. I’ve run hot water (from faucet) through the pump for 6 years on this job and sometimes let it run in bypass 2-3 min at a time and it won’t die. Before that I used it once a week to clean a dumpster pad at a restaurant running hot water through it. I know this is a sin running hot water through a pump but it’s taken this abuse for years and still runs great. I definitely don’t recommend that to anyone…I just think it’s funny that it won’t die and I don’t want to buy a burner just for one small job a month. I won’t dare run hot water through my GP 5.5 that I use for house washing but I’m pressed with the little CAT pump I’ve had for 8 years now with hot water

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a joke.

Glad to hear its working for you!

You may have gotten one of the good ones. A lot can change in 8 years. I wouldn’t buy a cat pump today, but I’m glad it’s making you money!

If a pump is making you money consistently without headache that’s a good pump.


Lol…no payment here. Most seem to think CAT pumps aren’t great and I don’t have enough experience with them to know how they work commercially. But this one is crazy it won’t die. I’m with the other guys here that build machines with Udor pumps…that will be my next machine instead of buying one already out together. I’ve run GP pumps about 4-6 hours a day 4 days a week and I’ve had success with them so far…but they’re not the best according to the pros on here. It seems the larger CAT pumps have more problems than the smaller one like I have.


model/part number for the Udor pump? and for the preferred unloader?

Am I to gather that you’re telling me to piece a unit together myself as opposed to buying a pre-built one? I mean I have faith that I could, I just hadn’t considered it. So I need an engine, a pump, and unloader, a frame, and a hose and a gun.

Is it really as simple as mount it all together, fill it, prime it, run it, done?

I am no lightweight. But, if you want a pw that does not need a buffer tank, and you want to lift it in and out, to be honest you might throw out your back. I did a micro trailer build, it’s not any where near the setups of the big boys on this forum, but it makes me money without breaking my back. Let me find a link…Micro Trailer Build: 4GPM, 4,000PSI 3.5 x 4ft

Just once you get to the point of needing more than a consumer grade machine. Either figure out a fixed setup in the bed of your truck, or a small trailer to start. It is far better to invest in supply and pressure hose.

You will need the length at some point, and look a lot better pulling up to a job and just pulling out line.

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