Putting together a flatwork rig

Hi all,

I just put in about 9 hours today working on a commercial parking lot and sidewalk with my puny little 5.5@2500. Pre and post-treating I did about 11,000 sq. ft. today which puts me at barely over 1,000 sq. ft. an hour. And goddamn it’s back-breaking because I have to move so slow with my 20" hammerhead that’s like I’m standing in place all day.

This business has two more locations in the city and a man stopped by and asked for a card saying he had some more flatwork for me. Literally all but a handful of my jobs have been flatwork and I don’t see that changing. I live in an area where vinyl houses are extremely rare, but houses with driveways in the 8,000 sq.ft.+ range are very common. There’s also giant doctors’ parks and complexes that look like they haven’t been cleaned in a decade. I’m tired of upgrading piece by piece and wiping myself out trying to do these huge swaths of concrete with a toothbrush.

So basically what I’m thinking is this: I want to run at the very least a 49" Whisper Wash Mondo, if not a 60" Sidewalk Solutions surface cleaner at a speed I can walk at, so I want to be pushing at least 10+ if not 16gpm. If I understand correctly, my only two options for getting 10+ are running two machines in tandem (which I’ve seen IBS recommend against) or having a machine built to my spec.

Yes I know it will be expensive, and that flatwork sucks, and that I’m gonna need 1/2" hose and that will suck,
but it seems like this is a market that no one else is taking advantage of and I’d like to try to pin it down.

Can anyone running a heavy flatwork rig give me some pointers? Advice? I really appreciate it.

My idea for the rig is this:

Two 8@3500 merged through 1/2" hose.
Both of these fed from a 225 (325?) gal tank.
Two 200ft garden hoses to feed tank from multiple spigots at commercial locations (will look into hydrant feeds)
22 gal aluminum fuel tank.
60" Sidewalk solutions surface cleaner.
Possibly two aftermarket hot boxes but I’m not too concerned about that right now.
And then chem tanks and all the fixins all sitting on a two axle 10,000 lb rated trailer.

I’m not a flatwork only guy… but what I do know is if I were doing a lot of flatwork I wouldn’t even consider a rig built around cold water. You’re going to get a lot more calls doing more flatwork for people looking to remove oil and grease. Then you’re right back where you started.

Degreaser is okay. Hot water is best.


If you are gonna do a lot of flatwork…it is foolish to not have hot water.


I agree and I certainly envision hot water on the rig, but from a logistical standpoint I can see two cold 8’s with aftermarket hot boxes fitting on a trailer much easier than two 8 hot skids. I could be wrong though.

There’s plenty of pumps that will push more that 10+ gpms. No need to merge machines, I know lots of people do it but personally I would never connect machines together. If you’re doing commercial work you’ll definitely want hot water. Cold will be fine for residential. Unless you’re into working at midnight you’ll probably want a reclamation system too. The biggest issue with the high gpms is that most heaters have a max of 8-10 gpms. Im in the process of building a commercial flat work rig my self. I went with 2 8 gpm hot water machines (for a 2 man crew) and a 28" surface cleaner along with a 19" surface cleaner I already had. That and a reclamation system. As soon as I see a decent roi ill be upgrading to a recycle system instead of just reclaim. Those monster surface cleaners you’re talking about pretty much just go forward and back and are a huge pain when dealing with corners, crevices, etc…

Go to Landa, tell them you want a 16 gpm hot water unit. They make larger than that even I’d bet. You’re going to pay more, but you’ll have the best machine money can buy and support for that machine second to none.

I’d be willing to bet you can even finance it and pay it off over 3-4 jobs if you’re doing that much flatwork. One parking garage would pay for a machine like that if flatwork is the market you want to target.

As an aside, do reclaim because you’re convinced it is the right thing to do, not for fear of getting caught.

The whole “ppl lining their pockets by pushing expensive reclaim equipment” argument that is parroted is dubious. Power washing equipment is expensive too. Ppl just dont want to do reclaim because it doesnt line their own pockets. And yes, it’s a pain in the buttock.

Best wishes with your setup😊

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And it’s probably illegal not to in many places. Or it carries the kind of fines that put small companies out of business.

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Good point Rowdy, and the one that is material.

I should add too that recovery/reclaim has multiple facets besides just extraction - diversion, evaporation, containment, possibly filtration. If the waste water doesnt reach the waters of the U.S. (storm drain), then the CWA hasnt been violated.

Additionally, Simer pumps are sold that can be used but they arent auto shutoff.

Blah blah blah…i could keep going but really…

Definitely illegal. I’m in coastal California. I could buy multiple reclamation units with what it would cost to pay one violation. Not to mention the property owner is liable too. Reclaiming is actually a good way too get jobs at a higher price.

You will want to go with a 12v system for pre and post treatment.

Most of us are adults here. Really no one to impress by issuing vulgarity.


Is that directed at me? Because I said “goddamned”?

Yes indeed.



Yeah…for the most part, we think that those that talk like that don’t have an adequate vocabulary to express themselves without resorting to inappropriate language. Matter of fact, if I had noticed it, I would have called you on it…but IBS had my back and did. Simply put, most of us have no use for gutter language. Now, you can take my post however you like…hopefully you will take it to heart…as you are better than this type talk.


Lol. ok. I was certain a troll had come along, said something actually vulgar and had their post deleted. If I were cursing at someone on the forum I would certainly understand but expressing frustration at a piece of equipment? c’mon. If you’ve never cursed at an inaminate object then good for you, but I view it as neither problematic nor an attempt to impress anyone.

Sometimes I wonder how millennials are the ones labeled as snowflakes.

I think you wernt in the wrong, but keep it professional

I don’t think you are a troll, nor am I a snowflake. You said what I think is about the most offenseive word in the English language and I called you on it. Keep it out of your comments and I would appreciate it. That’s all.