Black Beauty 5x10 - 2021 Layoff Edition™

Hello all,

I’ve posted in a few places on the forum that my trailer build was coming soon, I’ve completed a fair bit and am finally posting some of it.

I was laid off from my aerospace job last week after our site was sold to another group. I was told layoffs were over and I would transition to the new company but it looks like they are taking much deeper cuts and very few staff will survive. Alas, here I am now. I decided to begin planning my business as a side venture early in the year and with some feedback from @Jake_Lambert in the new member introduction thread he encouraged me to launch before spring rather than later this year. Being where I am now that advice really payed off. @TexasPressureWashing reached out to me earlier this year and I spent two days in Houston working along side of him doing house washes and surface cleaning. I was able to connect much of the info I learned here to real experience.

Shortly after I bought all the equipment at once and had it delivered which I’m glad I did as it would be hard to spend that money on my startup business after losing my job. I will be applying for full time jobs but if my business takes off while I am unemployed I may become a full time washer.

As I have said in the new member forum I’m completing the final class of a graduate program I started a few years back this spring and my wife and I have our first child due this summer. There is a lot weighing on whatever I do to be successful. I am in the DFW, Texas area and open to opportunities to work as free or cheap day labor with anyone to gain extra experience and knowledge in the trade. I’m located south of Fort Worth if anyone is worried about me being directly in your competitive area and want to help mentor me.

My next few posts will be a build up to where I am currently. I’m finishing up my trailer fab and am about to start bolting down equipment and starting plumbing.

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Step 1 - The trailer

I went with a 5x10 I found locally with a 3500 lbs axel. I plan on eventually adding some brakes but for the time being it will not have them. I settled on a 125 gallon tank due to the availability of my local tank depot and I wanted to have enough to possibly add a second pressure washing to my trailer some day. For now it will be driving the planned 5.5 gpm envirospec pump.

To treat the wood and protect against SH I looked at different products and settled on a gallon of bed liner from Harbor Freight. It took to the wood fairly well and I’m happy with it. We will see how it performs over time. Application was easy and I as able to build it up to a decent thickness.

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I decided on a 420cc Predator build. I added a drainzit and followed the 3 hour break in period. I still need to mount the skid, change the oil and mount the pump. Everything ran well and I was happy with it.

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My Hannay reels came in, I ordered a 12in and an 18in manual reel. These have still yet to be installed

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I hadn’t welded in about 10 years and It wasn’t more than a day or two of practice with a friend. I went ahead and decided I was going to fabricate my own ladder rack and reel mounts. I went with a cheap DC flux machine from Harbor Freight. I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t been able to fab and wants to learn.

I had a rough idea of what I was looking to build and made tweaks along the way. Eventually my rack started to take shape. I still need to add a post in the middle of my 10 ft span lengthwise to help strengthen it. I’m going to wait until I have some of the equipment secured so I know where best to put it.


I started fabricating my reel mount and in this photo they are sitting and I am checking spacing and location but they are not bolted down. I am going to build a small back gate with expanded metal/angle and have it slide into a piece of angle I’m going to weld to the back. Like the gates you see on some trailers with wood that can be cut and slid the width of the trailer.

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I made a trip to the local scrap yard and picked up some square tubing I found that was cut in even lengths. My plan is to use it to build a platform to mount my motor skid off of the wood deck and more at the height of the side rails. The battery for the starter will go under the skid. I’m still trying to plan on where to place it and what direction and side I want it on. Open to feedback on motor location and layout.

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Looks good! I’m not positive why people like to put wood down, but i simply put a 3/16 diamond plate sheet down instead.

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Part 2 - Plumbing

I understand the basics of all of the plumbing necessary but need to figure out the details of my layout and best practices. Questions I have and am unsure what the group consciences is.

Questions -

  1. A large diameter 2 way garden hose splitter coming off the fresh water reel for feeding the buffer and having an output for a smaller hose for rinsing your hands or wetting a rag, filling a bucket etc. Is this the most common way of plumbing?

  2. Buffer tank drain - for draining a buffer tank or having a valve to empty it for transportation if it is too full. Is this a valve off of the main bulkhead fitting that is plumbed in the leg tank and feeds the pressure washer? Or is this a separate bulkhead fitting? Does anyone use their drain with a separate bulkhead fitting and use it like I described using a garden hose splitter?

  3. Pressure hoses - I’ve seen back and forth on securing and sealing pressure fittings. Using locktight type products to teflon tape. What is the recommended way to seal my pressure fittings whiplines etc.

@Redjess Does the diamond plate handle the corrosion of the SH well?

I looked at the MSDS for SH and found some plastics online that are resistant and came in sheeting. I can’t remember at the moment what the formula was but it was out of my price range for this build.

Its the same thickness as the trailer frame, but you do want to coat it. I have yet to coat it with anything, but I will. RAPTOR liner is my choice of liner. The plate should last as long as the trailer.

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Great startup man. Happy you learned from Heath and also the rest of advice on this forum.

I took this idea from racer’s post and I’m sure a lot do it. I personally love having the splitter on the reel. It helps fill buckets and do so many other things. Just make sure you get the Full Flow splitter. I got mine from westlake. You can see in the pic one goes to the tank for filling and the other goes to a 10 ft hose which is just wrapped up and hangs on a hook

I chose to use a 2 inch 3 way banjo valve. One end reduces to 1 inch for my 8 gpm feed line and the other goes into the 2 inch dump. The 2 inch discharge hose isn’t working as well as I thought it would so I plan to change that to a simple PVC pipe with a 90 to dump out on the ground. You can do a second bulkhead if you really want to for dumping water but it’s honestly just another hole in the tank, more parts, and you still need a valve to keep it closed anyways. Might as well just do the 3 way.

This is the only tape and dope I use. Father in law is a master plumber and he only uses monster brand. It also holds up to heat very well which is important for if you plan to use a heater.

I do 3 wraps of tape, then dope on top of tape. Screw on tight, and wipe off the excess around the threads. I promise you will never have a leak again.

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Unless you like to carry excess water, maybe you would consider adding a bulkhead right at the water level in your supply tank that you drive around with, and that will be where you draw your water from as it wont interfere with pump supply and you can release the excess water once your ready to roll out to next job.
I have yet to do this because I havent put my big tank to use yet, so. I’m still using the 35gal tank. The 35gal sees no problem as of yet while fully getting on the 5.5gpm, with adequate supply from spigot…
I see you may not have a place to mount a bulkhead anywhere else higher since you have a round leg tank. My big tank is cubish.

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Love the build! Great thread for anyone starting out. As always reach out anytime you need anything!

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I hope you are pre heating your joints with 90amps at 30% she’s a little underpowered for something as critical as a ladder rack.

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@TexasPressureWashing Thanks, I’m sure I will most definitely be reaching out at some point.

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@MuscleMyHustle I haven’t been preheating the joints so far. The uprights are bolted to the trailer frame with grade 8 7/16th hardware so I know that they are secure. I haven’t seemed to have any issue with penetration or cold welds but I’m not a fabricator so I’m not 100%. I will definitely be keeping my eye on it. I have a constraint of being in an apartment at the moment and not having access to 220v. If push comes to shove and I’m having issues I will buy another welder (110v/220v) and find 220v and/or get a friend or family member to help weld it with their machine.

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@DJPWS Thank you, I now have a banjo V200SL on order for pick up at Grainger this week and am planning to work on plumbing with weekend and will take your advice on the PVC drain.

I ended up putting pvc in. Much happier with it.

Looks good I just picked up my banjo valve and will be plumbing it soon.

Looking great! I have a 5x10 also that will be getting built soon. Inspiring!