Tips cleaning tractor trailers and tow trucks etc

Hey guys,

New to pressure cleaning. I have a job tomorrow washing a few tractor trailers and tow trucks. I have a ryobi 3000 psi pressure washer and I bought a foam cannon with some soap. How long do you leave the soap on before washing off, how much should I charge per trailer/vehicle? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

All things you should of known before considering the job. It’s not tips you need it’s weeks of study. And vendors that can help with application and ratios of there products for the job


If you use the search feature there is some info on truck and trailer washing here. A better resource might be the fleet wash group on Facebook. Good luck.

You should invest in a good brush with a 6’-8’ handle, and a ladder, if these are nice trucks, you WONT be foaming them and spraying them off, you will be brushing every inch. Also Dont use any type of caustic soap, acid, or fleetwash on any polished aluminum!!! The last thing you want is a Peterbilt owner with fuzzy white fuel tanks and wheels…


Do you have any soap suggestions you could get from a local store?

I’m just going to lay it out for you. You’re not ready to clean tractor/trailers with your machine. It doesn’t matter what you charge, you won’t be making any money with that machine. I cannot imagine that you’ll be able to get the bugs off without heat or more gpm, and god forbid that you run into oil or dirt build-up. You can’t buy any decent truck washing soap at a local store. You have to order them online or find a local chemical company. Truck washing soaps need to be rinsed within a few minutes or they’ll dry and streak. I won’t tell you what I charge but I pull $200+/hr easily washing tractor/trailers. I doubt you’ll be able to eek out a tenth of that with your machine. Also, truck washing is usually at least a 2 man job. You really need a guy brushing the problem areas (bugs, heavy road film) so you’re never taking your finger off the trigger.

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Preach Brother! And Howdy from a Texas fleet washer

Hello I’m just curious do you guys make money in the winter? Or it gets slow in the winter?

Trucks don’t stop running in the winter. I’ll be taking the weekend before Christmas off but will be working every other weekend this month.

what state are you located in?

north Mississippi

Call them and tell them you realize you are not properly prepared to do the job. They will appreciate your honesty and might give you another chance down the road. From what the others have said you could end up in deep shit and it is simply not worth the risk. Like “Dirty Harry” Callahan says, “A mans got to know his limitations”. Good luck.

We wash everyday, all day, all night, up until two hours prior to freezing. If you freeze the doors and locks and shut down a company’s daily operation well ummmmmm I have no advice for you. I prefer washing in the 30’s as opposed to the 90’s-100’s.

I shut down the Garner, NC post office delivery for a few hours a long time ago washing below freezing one night. They don’t take kindly to frozen door and door locks when they come in to load jeeps in the morning lol

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Is azenn00 your user name? I have noticed a lot of weird user names lately. If not, try logging out and logging back in again.

Be careful jacking with the gooberment lol

We are in North east Arkansas and we wash all our customers every week. We wash tractor trailers only. Try not to wash if it’s going to be freezing before the truck drys. Be careful about freezing up brakes,slack adjusters ,wipers etc. In my experience we use more soap,acid and diesel fuel to run the burner during winter around here. Keep you soaps and acid from freezing ,as they will separate. It’s a challenge. But can be done. B safe

Hey there, i’ve been here a while planing on starting my own pressure wash business in a cold country, I’ve watched a few youtube videos but haven’t been getting what i want, yes i might need insulation to run over my plumbings but what is the best heating unit to go for in this business when starting out? Something that is inexpensive and will give me some time. If any help that would be great thanks.