Fleet washing Setup


I’m about to start my first fleet washing business and thought I’d run some stuff by you guys before I make any mistakes.

I am Building everything on a flatbed truck with two tanks totaling 500ga and a 1290 series Hotsey (5.6 GPM 3000PSI). Hotsey isnt cheap I know, anyboy have any comparable alternatives?

I’m planning on using a RO unit at my shop that will produce 300 gal per day for one of my tanks in order to do a final spot free rinse. I run off of a well and figured hard water wasnt going to be acceptable… am I correct in thinking this or am I off?

I like the two step application process but I have no idea which chemicals chemicals exactly to use, where to buy them from and thedilution rates. Any Suggestions?

Any help would be greatly appreciated



Give Bob a call he’ll getcha set up

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If you’re main thing is fleet washing then I’d go higher on the gpm and lower on the psi. 3000 psi will clean concrete. Definitely over kill for glossy painted aluminum. Not that you need any more gpms but you can definitely save money on the psi. Youd be fine with a 4 gpm machine. Hotsy is a great company and makes a good machine but you could do the same work with a good pressure pro. I just bought a new hot 8 gpm and did quite a bit of shopping around and found the big name brands ( Hotsy, landa, hydrogen, etc…) To be extremely expensive compared to what’s available online.

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Two step process for chemicals. Typically you will start with an HF based acid cleaner, and the HF makes the Aluminum VERY shiny, then follow that with a caustic based brown cleaner. Both are common, should be easy to find.

A word of warning about the acid. HF is BEYOND dangerous, but it is what works best so it is what many people still use. Some may try to sell you a “safer” Ammonium Bifluoride" acid cleaner…don’t let that fool you, it’s still HF but in powder form. If you are going to deal at all with HF you may as well deal with the real thing.


Yea HF sounds like an accident waiting to happen. What is a good recommended substitute?

Technically there are acid substitutes such as a Phosphoric acid/Sulfuric blend…or for the super safe conscious people there are citric acid (which is in coca cola) based formulas.

However, HF is the best performer out there. The “substitutes”…it’s like, okay, well it’s almost Easter so let’s go with; you know those super cheap off brand Easter bunnies that are hollow and say they are milk chocolate, but they leave a nasty taste in your mouth? Those are the substitutes to Godiva chocolate. In other words…there is no real comparison on the brightening HF can do to make a truck shine like new. However, yes, it is HIGHLY dangerous to use. Double edged sword really.


sooooo… how common is HF used? is it something that people inject downstream for every truck wash?

I’m a chemist, not a user. However, HF is very commonly used. You can’t wash it downstream though because the pH is not suitable for any locality. The people who run the sewer system would not be happy to have a bunch of acid dumped in the sewer. Especially this very strong acid. Sorry, wish I could be more help. If you go online and look up fleet wash chemicals it seems everyone has one called aluma-brite, aluminium brightener…etc. Those are the HF chemicals.


P.S. This is a HUGE reason why I joined this forum. I know how to make the chemicals, but I don’t know how they are used, and I’d like to.

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thank you very much for your input

You might want to look into reclamation system.

I’ve never really understood why everybody wants to 2 step fleets. i’d love to race a two stepper! I brush maybe once every 4-6 weeks. I may build a system to deliver it in the future but my chemical costs would only go up and my time would increase. I currently upstream a high PH soap at about 155 degrees.

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I used to but I ended up pulling all the roots blowers and filtration tanks off the trucks

Whatever works for you. Where I’m at you can’t do much more than wash a house without reclaiming.

If recovery absolutely has to be done it’s as simple as saying thank you for the opportunity but we just can not get you in the schedule this year. The number one problem is when I give someone a price with recovery I’m actually going to recover where as others have shown they will not and they can give a more competitive price.

Understandable. I wish you the best either way.

Thanks bud, you too!

What is your best recommendation if i use a 4.3 gpm 4000 psi cold water and have no access to 2 step process?. I live in mexico and you cannot find those things here. I clean some trucks every two weeks and i downstream from a 5 gallon bucket with soap and degreaser and then scrub and the use the green or yellow tip… whats your advice?
By the way , indont use a buffer tank, i use their water with a hose connected to my machine

I’m sorry, I don’t have any advice to offer. It seems you circumstances necessitate the need to do it the hardest possible way known to man. I wish you the best of luck. Please just focus on not using the ladder and nothing else. If you fall from that height you could die but you’re more likely to get hurt really bad and be laid out not making any money for weeks or months. You can cut your pressure in half as well but tip size up so you don’t loose gpm by doing it using the unloader.

@dperez what soap are you using if you don’t mind me asking?