Direct Drive and Buffer Tank

Good people…is there someone in here who have used or still using Direct Drive Machine with a Built-in Unloder fed from a Buffer Tank.?

I would like to hear your experience on that as I’m thinking to step on Buffer. Thank You.

There are no good I repeat good options other than getting rid of the direct drive


The pump determines wheather it pulls water from a buffer tank.

Having said this, 99% of the time DD dont have that pump, unless u special order it. … and if you do u are better biying a BD one.

That is why u gravity feed DD.

BD are better

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I tried to gravity feed my 4/4 DD machine and while it worked it did make weird noises after a couple weeks and I soon bought a belt drive.

Then what if i get Gear Drive Pump taking out this one and install GD…I heard it has the ability of pulling water because at the moment I’m not fit enough financially for a belt driv…

How do you have enough cash for a gear drive. And not a belt drive.

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Boggles the mind. Folks starting business without equipment, years salary put aside for employees, credit line etc.

Okay, maybe lack of info/knowledge in the field as im new in this.

I thought Belt Drive would require multiple things…coz I’m planning on using same Engine if that possible.

Yea i believe we start differently but having same vision. Others starts having support on their back while others its front their savings and so on…the fact that we are not the same, it won’t change…:blush:

…and the info we get from the older guys in the field helps us grow and that’s why I’m here seeking for help from the older in the game.

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Hi Luhman - I have been running a direct drive machine for the past two years. My machine didn’t have a pump with an unloader that would allow me to bypass, so I purchased another pump with an external unloader. I have a 30 gallon plastic buffer tank now and use equipment ramps to load and unload my pressure washer from the truck. I run the machine with enough height between the tank and the washer to provide water flow for the pump.
I’m in the process of upgrading a lot of my equipment in preparation for moving to an 8 GPM washer which will most likely happen next spring. My new buffer tank is 330 gal to support the 8gpm machine but that required me to upgrade my truck which is what I’m currently working on. I’m fairly confident that I will be able to mount my washer directly on my truck with the larger buffer tank due to the water pressure of having 100 gallons in the tank.

Here are a couple of pics of my gear with the red f150 and the new (used but new to me) f350 with the 330 gal tank.

The blue tanks on the red truck are for bleach (I usually carry just the larger tank, but had a large roof wash this past week so carried an extra 15 gals) there are two white tanks - a 30 gal buffer tank and a 15 gal batch mix tank.

With the original pump and the integral unloader, I found that the pump ran pretty hot even though I tried to never stay off the gun for more than 30 seconds or so. With the new pump / unloader / buffer tank, I don’t have that problem and have been running like that for almost 2 years.

I’m not as experienced as many on here, however I have done about 75 washes now with about 5 roofs in there. I will answer anything I can for you about my experience- happy to share.

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Thank you for your time & i see you getting there slowly😄.

I have a 4gpm, 4200psi and i want to get Gear Drive Pump like a replacement pump and retrofitting it. Basically use the Engine that I have for a Direct Drive Pump.

I want to use Buffer Tank coz i don’t have enough GPM to supply my Direct Drive. I heard that Gear Driven Pumps are able to pull water from the Tank.

Then i was asking, is that possible…?.
Yes some guys suggest that i should go for Belt Drive of that is my wish. I think for a Belt Drive i should buy a complete unit & even if i buy Pump alone it still gonna needs some construction where as Gear Drive looks like/similar to Direct Drive when installing…Thank you.

I also looked at the gear reduction boxes (Pressure Washer Gear Boxes) but ended up thinking it would be better to make some money and just use what I would spend (gear box + pump + effort to design a compatible solution) to save up for a better solution.
This was for two reasons;

-being fairly new to pressure washing meant it still could be something I don’t like so why not put the time in with my current investment and really be sure that I enjoyed the work. If I didn’t, cutting my losses would be less painful from a money perspective.

-if you do decide to dedicate yourself to this full time (which is what I did) you need to have something that is somewhat reliable. The gear reduction box paired up with a pump didn’t give me the impression that I would have something that would last if the business took off.

I think that the responses from some of the senior members are helpful because if you do grow your business by learning with what you have, the experience will lead you to where you will benefit most while you grow your funding and upgrade your equipment. I think the biggest lessons I learned are all tied to efficiency and how to do a job well, but still make money at it. When I finally upgrade my washer, I will be able to take on multiple jobs in a day and grow my business that way. There is a lot to learn that equipment doesn’t solve for you and In my opinion the least of your worries. Until you have a very steady flow of jobs there are other things that need focus such as marketing. As an engineer, I’m all to familiar with how shiny a new tool looks, but that new tool won’t feed mouths or pay bills if I don’t have the jobs lined up to use it.

Changing the pump out for a pump that allowed for an external unloader, at least in my case, was only a couple hundred bucks. Once I do upgrade, I’ll keep the 4gpm machine for a backup in the event my newer machine runs into problems. The difference though is that I definitely understand how to use that older configuration because I’ve been using it for the past couple of seasons.

You don’t need a 300 gallon buffer tank for an 8 gpm. 100 gallons is enough. That’s what i use and the only time i wish the tank was bigger is on a low output well.

Doesnt that depend on how much gpm you get from the spicket?
I use 2 hoses to fill my buffer tank

With my setup I’ve never had issues with water spigots in the city, just on some wells. But yes it depends on output from the spigot. I assumed in cities they typically give enough flow.
Keep in mind though we don’t do any flatwork, as driveways are asphalt in my area, this i’m sure makes a difference.

Here in the city is about 4 to 5, in general.
But older neighborhoods, have less than 4.
And is a headache waiting too long.
By the lake some have good wells/pump.
Last driveway i did i used 2 hoses and it over fille my buffer tank.
Had to turn one off and it kelt with my 8gm.

The reason behind for me to want to go for a buffer tank is that my machine is starving of water, it does not get enough water from spigot.

Yes i understand that. I did not say you don’t need a buffer tank. I said you can likely use a 100 g instead of the 300 gallon. More compact but more importantly way lighter to haul around. Think brakes, breaking distance, suspension, wear and tear, price of fuel…

Also i was actually responding to “jaycrop”.

Oh! Oryt, cool maan, i get you.:+1::smile:

The above does really makes sense and you are right, those are the facts since I’m new too in the game…but in my case i feel like i have to get pump that pulls water since water from spigot in my area is around 3.4gpm hence I’ll be feeding a 4gpm pump…or you are saying i should push it until it dies…:blush: