From the other side of the Atlantic I have been lurking here for a time now. The Netherlands to be precise. I am a 37 yr old father and husband who works fulltime at Hollands national railway company. I’ve been working there for almost 7 years but since Covid I have been thinking about doing something different. I am very much into car detailing and cleaning in general. But since this market is saturated I didn’t want to put to much effort to start doing it as a pro. Instead I do it for friends and family.
So I stumbled upon this beautiful thing they call softwash. I watched numerous YouTube vids on softwashing and got very excited. Although the technique is used for awhile in the US, here in Holland it hasn’t set foot yet. Well it has but after research I came across a couple companies but I am talking about maybe 7 who are dedicated in this field. Some are general cleaning companies who saw the opportunity to add it to their services. So you can tell it ain’t much who do it for an18mil residents country. And with the cold and wet climate you would think differently.
So I literaly just bought my domain and plan to do the website myself. Did a couple of them already and I’m not to worried about it not looking professional. Next thing I did was calling companies to check their pricing and check what I need to setup a rig.
I am planning to buy a trailer and put some nice stickers on it so it can also serve as a marketing tool since I can park it next to a busy road in my town. I btw live in a area with a lot of expats and wealthy people live. It’s called Wassenaar.
Next thing is to buy the basics that will allow me to do the job well and leave the customers with a smile on their face and a good word ofcourse. I am planning to buy this belt driven high-pressure cleaner that can do 15.14lpm/ 4gpm at 275bar which is 4000psi. It’s runs on a Honda gx360. This is for my downstream setup and for bigger jobs that might come up here and there. For roofs I am planning to build something which consists of an air driven 5gpm pump which probably is going to be a Flojet. I haven’t come across a 10gpm Flojet pump jet but I may source it abroad. Mixing valves from GF are available here so I want to go with those. I want to build something that looks like what Doug sells on his website, he calls it the kingslinger I think. It’s going to be very hard to buy and ship from abroad. Not to forget about warranty issues. So I’m really dependent on what’s available here. And it isn’t much I can you that!
I must be honest guys, I have set a goal for next week to sort out everything I need and I am very fortunate to have a neighbour who’s very good with plants and irrigation so he is going to help me plump everything. And ofcourse I am lucky I found this community.
I have planned to put somewhere close to 10k euro into all this. A trailer will set me back 4k so I will have 6k left for equipment. I am the type of guy that wants to get the best of the best normally but I need to be cautious and smart. Start small and grow.
Guys, feel free to add any type of advise whether it’s negative or positive. I can learn from both. Thanks for reading and hope to speak to yall soon. Happy holidays
Peace and blessings,
6k euro should be enough to get a confident setup. you should get something like 5.5gpm 3500psi instead of 4gpm 4000psi. it will do you good for surface cleaning and rinsing, 4gpm is a little slow on surface cleaning if you plan on doing any of that. if you get a 5.5 you can run a 20” surface cleaner efficiently while a 4gpm should be on a 16”
Thanks for your reply buddy. These 5.5gpm pressure washers seems to be non existent here somehow. I have been searching for 2 days now and nothing comes up unfortunately.
Welcome to the board, I’m on my 4th year PW.
I think we need some clarification, in the USA we have the Honda GX390, you mentioned the 360. It appears to be electric start water cooled 13hp, is this it?
Typically you can swap out the pump for something with more liters per minute, just less PSI.
That’s a k1 series, they came in Honda ride on mowers years ago. Surprised they still make them.
It looks like my neighbor’s Civic sounds.
High-pressure wassers that provide 4gpm at 4000psi are more available here. They run with a Honda gx360 engine. It’s this machine:
It is belt driven and it’ll cost me somewhere between 3 to 4k euro. I did found the 5.5gpm washers that run with Honda gx390 but while they cost 3.8k $ in the US these bastards in Germany ask 8.5k euro. They do sell them in the UK too for 3.8k £ so maybe I’ll head over there. I am not planning to go over my budget so if you guys have advice on this. I will keep doing research. Maybe I’ll find one here…
Your best bet might be getting a Honda iGX700 or 800 and pair it with an imported Udor gear driven pump (Udor GKC (or CKC) 30/24-GR). It all bolts together pretty easily, and a couple of people have even uploaded their build process on YouTube.
Sounds like the pressure washing supply place in your country has a rather large markup on their machines. Here in the US, a professional 4@4000 belt drive runs around $1300-$1700 USD
Building my own iGX700 & Udor machine with additional parts and fiddling cost me about $3500USD, and 6-8 hours of labor (I got fancy with it and built my own skid mount).
The pump might run you double what I paid with additional shipping, import, and VAT. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you could do the whole build for around 5-6k EURO, and you’d have a machine that could wash circles around anything else. (That’s assuming you can source a power/outdoor equipment supplier with access to the larger Honda motors).
The one caveat to upgrading to such a large machine, is that you will need to have it mounted to a vehicle or trailer with an adequate buffer tank.
I find that hard to believe. Karcher is German and uses gx390’s, what does a karcher with a Honda motor cost in Germany?
Man I wish you where right. Kärcher’s top model uses the gx360.
It seems as if there’s no need for these stronger portable washers. They are plenty of aggregators that run on a Honda gx690 but the washers I could find and where payable come from the UK.
Maybe that has to do with the fact house washing isn’t so common here. I don’t know either …
Maybe you could try to find local competitors and get in touch with them to see if they will give you some guidance.
@MuscleMyHustle is in the same country as me and let me know about a really great supplier. Then I met another guy that’s local to me that also recommended them.
There’s more than likely someone local to you that will know who to buy from for good pricing and excellent service.
I built an air diaphragm rig as my roof pump last year and it worked like a champ. I modeled it off of Doug Rucker’s King Slinger design which he shows you how to build on YouTube. Here’s the link:
(BUILD YOUR OWN SOFT WASH SYSTEM [Doug Rucker's KINGSLINGER] - YouTube). It uses a small air compressor and a 10gpm FloJet Pump. You can find the pump at Kleen Rite. Not sure if they ship to Europe. Here’s the link:
(https://www.kleen-ritecorp.com/p-3419-flojet-g257301a-air-operated-dual-diaphragm-pump-10-gpm-1-2-in-ports-viton-seals.aspx) Make sure to get the pump with the Viton seals so it stands up to the SH. Just know you’ll have to replace them every season. I also built my own website which has been bringing me tons of clients. You’re welcome to check out my design. I used the WordPress platform with a Divi theme. Here’s the link to my site: https://www.neptuneclean.com/
Good luck my friend!
Bro website looks bad ■■■ Holy ■■■■. Maybe I need to build my own as well. I was going to go Profesional as I haven’t built a website since a teen using Dreamweaver 4 ? Possibly 3 idk…but if it’s quite easy through their template builder lll gladly pay domain hosting asap…I have no “content” to add for videos only a couple pictures and my logo yet.
I’m a self-taught web designer mostly due to not having the money to spend since I invested everything into my gear. You can use a hosting site like Godaddy that offers WordPress platforms. Once you are in the backend of WordPress, you can use the themes that come with WordPress or purchase a sitebuilder theme like Divi which makes customization easy. If you worked in Dreamweaver years ago you can certainly handle Divi. There are also tons of videos on YouTube that teach you how to do anything with Divi. Check out hosting plans here: https://www.godaddy.com/hosting/wordpress-hosting
Check out Divi All-in-One Theme Builder here: Divi — The Ultimate WordPress Theme & Visual Page Builder
Thanks I’ll check em out brother
Thanks a lot for your response Bill. Your website surely looks great. Simple, understandable visuals and great content. Just how I like it.
I have never touched any website building software in my life and with a little help from YouTube I made my first ever with elementor in just 3 days spending 4hrs a day: taxatievanmijnauto.nl
So for all the starters out there, if you don’t want to spend big bucks for a website, just go on YouTube and find a course and follow all the steps. You can do it!
I am now in the process of buying all the stuff I need so I can begin building my rig. This is the stuff I am going for: 1x 5.5gpm 12v pump. 1x 12gpm 24v pump. Each on one side with their own dedicated GF mixing valves, reels and hoses. 5.5gpm pressure washer with Honda gx360. One 100gallon tank for water, one 50 gallon tank for SH and one 16 gallon for surfactant. Two marine deep cycle batteries with charging system. I am planning to attached the batteries on the pressure washer too so when it runs it’ll charge both batteries. I am going to put this all on a nice aluminium frame which will fit into my trailer. Thanks southeast softwash for the awesome rigs y’all build but don’t ship outside the US😂
Thanks for commenting guys. I really appreciate the helpful mentality. Have a great 2022 fam!!!
Sounds like you have a great neighbor willing to help you get setup. When we started we started small, worked hard, delivered excellent customer service, learned as we grew, and eventually started passing on what we learned to others.
Based on what you describe, I would recommend reading this article on How To Pressure Wash A Truck because it has a complete run down of everything necessary (and items that make things easier) from a practical perspective.
Scroll down to the “Bottom Line” section of the article and you’ll find a list of everything necessary to get started making decent money when starting a pressure washing business.
I hope this helps.
BTW: I have visited the Netherlands several times and love traveling there. Great to have you on the forum. Let me know if you need anything, we’ve been in operation since 2002, next month will be our 20th anniversary. I just want to say, "I think you’re making a great choice choosing this profession. If you enjoy cleaning, this is the best job in the world IMHO.