Just getting started - How many machines do I need?

A recent email from an active participant here that is just starting out. The question was, knowing what I know now, what would I advise? …

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Our original thinking was to purchase a 4.8 GPM@ 3000psi PW Setup, with trailer and Truck, one guy.
Then we thought of doing 2 of the above setups.
Another option I am thinking of that I think would be less expensive would be:
8.0 GPM PW, Trailer, 1 Truck and 2 Guys.
I am thinking that we cut expenses and do the same or close to amount of work once we get a system in place
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Of the above choices, I would start with a 4.8 or 5.6 with one trailer and one man. There are a bunch of residential washers that do pretty well with this. I would not even think of setting up two rigs to start out with. You will learn so much from your first rig that you will be able to apply as you grow. Just send one guy so that you don’t both learn bad habits together.

As things pick up for you (and I firmly believe that they will based on the homework I’ve been watching you do) add an 8 gpm to that trailer. Then, add that second man. You will both develop roles that add to speed and efficiency. You will soap with 4 or 5 and rinse man will come behind with that 8 gpm and you’ll be at the next job before you know it. We soap with 8 and rinse with 10 and the amount of vinyl that gets cleaned in an hour is sometimes mind boggling. We also carry 3 to 5 hundred gallons of water so don’t fall for the trap that huge gpm is the only way to go. It can have its down side.

After you two (I think that there is a partner in this gig) get this process nailed, you’ll be poised to add a second trailer with just one 8 gpm when the time comes.

Starting with a 4.8 or 5.6 is a good foundation. Even if you end up with several trailers rolling with 8’s, you always need a spare and the smaller units will fill that bill very nicely.

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Thanks for that, Tim.
That’s going to help a lot of new contractors.

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That’s some great advice.

Stellar Advice As Always Tim!

Whats more important here is having the Business to run 2 crews, just starting out, that (In Most Cases) won’t happen.

Equipment doesn’t make the phone ring, it gets the job done, but won’t make the phone ring… Marketing & Branding does.

It’s a Marathon…Not A Sprint.

Thank you Tim. The information that you have provided is of great value and very much appreciated.

Tim, this is addressed to the guy you been talking to. If it were me I would get Russ at southside to build you a Chonda (a Lifan GX390 knockoff) 5.5 GPM @ 2800PSI gear drive or 5GPM direct drive (it will save you lots). That’s all you need to get started. Get it mounted on a skid and work out of your pickup w/o a trailer with a 100-125 buffer tank. Get you a couple of hose reels and your golden. I’m entering all of my transactions from last year into quickbooks right now and it is mind boggling how much money I spent. I almost put myself out of business by building a custom trailer, buying an 8 GPM and 5 GPM (not a Chonda) not having a solid marketing plan and blah, blah, blan. Make sure you have 2-3K set a side for you spring mailing and door hanger campaign. I found for myself doorhangers only will not do the trick. Also, keep picking Tim’s brain and keep asking questions. Also, if you can afford it, join the PWRA and we will tell you lots of secrets :slight_smile:

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Nice post Tim!! I couldn’t have said that any better and great you post that on the PWRA bulletin board. This bb is just another long list of benefits the PWRA offers to contractors. No politics, no bull shizz, just plain facts which when you think about it, its just what contractors really want anyway. Your a PWRA benefit as well Tim:cool:

Great advice as always, Tim!

Excellent post Guy

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