hello, my name is cameron. I am still in the process of getting my business started and am new to all of this. I have been all over every forum I have been able to find for the last 6 months searching for information, this is the first topic I have ever posted so please bare with me and just correct me if I have done anything wrong. my main focus is going to be residential until I am done with school and once I have more time I’m planning on venturing into commercial. my main question is what am I missing. so far I have a 5’x10’ single axle trailer, 1 cox hose reel with 200’ of commercial supply hose, 1 general pump hose reel with 275’ of high pressure hose, 275 gallon water tank, hudson float valve, small compartment for spare fittings ECT., 3,200 PSI 4 GPM pump (plan on upgrading to a Honda GX690 belt drive general pump 3,500 PSI 8 GPM), cones, gas tank, I welded up a box on the back of the trailer to hold the hose reels up to create storage for chemicals, wands, ECT. am I missing anything that is a must to get started? I am lost on what chemicals I should have on hand. ANY help would be greatly appreciated. I have posted a few photos of what I have going so far. I have made a few minor changes since these pictures so I will try and get an updated picture in the next few days (welded a bracket to hold the cones on the tung, in the next few days I will be adding doors to the front of the box, and I switched the pump to the other side of the trailer so that it is easier to get to the throttle, choke, gas, and starter)
Hello and welcome Cameron
Im a new business as well and know where you’re at right now. I’ll give you a few tips on what I know and have learned.
Trailer: If you plan on doing any kind of flat work then a surface cleaner is needed. One thing
I noticed is your line from your tank to pressure washer looks very small. I would put the biggest pieces of pipe/hose that you can find especially since that’s not a belt driven unit that will suck water. Since your machine is direct drive you will need to watch your water level and make sure that you always have enough water so that it can force the water through the hose to your washer. Also looks like you have no way of draining the tank with out unhooking the washer. Personally i dont want to carry around hundreds of extra lbs of water when i leave a job. I use a “T” with ball valves to let me dump on site or fill buckets up when needed. Hose reels are a personal preference thing but most that do residential prefer the reels to be off the passenger side. That’s is so when rolling up we are not running down the street to straighten the hose up before we start to roll. Also a good idea is to have a spare of everything that can break.
Chemical: Within your 6 months of research I hope you looked up about chemicals. The main thing you need is SH. What you carry on hand is not a generalize thing and depends on what you will be doing and what you find works the best for you. You need to know what you will be washing and try out different chemicals to see what you like. Are you going to treat oil stains, rust stains, hard water, efflorescence, grease, graffiti, ect. Study up on chemical ratios know how to read a nozzle chart. There is a lot to know and learn.
Legal: Your profile states you don’t have a business name, website or phone number. What
are you waiting on? Are you starting a business or a hustle? Are you doing this for beer money or trying to build a company?
Do you have a business plan? Where are you going, how do you plan on getting there? If you’re going to go legal, are you going to be an s copr, llc or something else? Do you have insurance? It’s very easy to damage something with the pressure these machine put out. Do you know about soft washing and how to utilize? Once you go legal, how much do you pay your self and how much goes to the company?
Make sure you know about the laws of the business. Even though it should not be a problem now, you can only carry so much chemical before you need a placard. You need an msds sheet for everything on board at all times. Know about waste water and epa regulations.
Starting a real business is not easy or always fun. Washing in a way is the easy part. It’s the behind the scenes stuff that’s hard.
Marketing: Do you have a marketing plan set up? Do you have marketing money save up? How are you going to get customers? Who’s your target demographic? It takes money to make money. You need a “name” so you can put on all your marketing material and start to brand. You need a website, you can build your own for now, that’s what I have but plan on upgrading. Are you going to have people call your personal line or are you going to get a second phone. What program are you going to use to keep track of everything from bills, money coming in, and customer contact information?
Get a plan together and good luck
He nailed it.
You’ve got a nice rig. Still have a lot of learning to go. (as we all do)
You won’t know exactly how you want it, what you need, and where you want it until you start cleaning. It’ll come to you–don’t expect perfection.
Take care of the business side before you go any further.
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Then worry about the nitty-gritty.
Best of luck!
thank you both for all your information and time. since i posted i have corrected some stuff that was said. i bought a surface cleaner, 1" line to feed pump, 2" tank dump/bucket filler, and advertisement on trailer. its a little late to move the hose reels as i already drilled the box but i am planning to get a 150’ hose reel on the side for quick driveway/sidewalk jobs. i will still keep the other hose reel on the rear for extra hose storage/big jobs. i also have a small tool box with 1 of every fitting on the trailer as well as a few wrenches, teflon, nozzles and hose repair kits.
chemicals: as for the chemicals i am still reading on them everyday but it is very confusing to me. what i need, when to use it, what to be careful of, what can/can’t be mixed together, how strong, downstream or chemical sprayer, ECT. I’m having trouble finding straight forward information. usually i am all about getting out there and learning for my self but with the chemicals i feel thats not the right thing to do and the risk of property damage or injury is to great to be “experimenting”
legal: i have came up with a business name. i am going to use my personal line for now but will eventually get a company phone, i do have insurance, i have been looking into soft washing a lot but then the whole chemical issue comes back into play.
marketing: i have signs on the trailer, business cards, yard signs, door hangers, t-shirts and am working on a website, and Facebook page.
if you guys have any basic knowledge on chemicals PLEASE just help me with the basics to get started.
please feel free to correct me on anything or let me know if you have any more advise. once again i really appreciate your guys input, advise, experience, and most importantly your time! you have both helped me out tremendously!
The reason you wont get a straight forward answer on chemicals is because there are too many variable to just say this mix will work on that. The gpm of your machine, surface to be cleaned, temperature, strength of ingredients, how dirty, will all affect your mix ratios. With down streaming, if your using a fixed injector the draw rate will be the same no matter the size of the machine. So with that in mind a 8gpm machines final ratio hitting the wall will be lower than a 4 gpm if they where both drawing from the same chem tank. The reason im telling you that is so if you do find someone saying they used “X” mix for something you will know to also look for what gpm they are using so you can dilute/strengthen for your machine.
For a house wash mix a starting point in a 5 gallon bucket is 3gal SH to 2 gal Water or 2gal SH to 3 Water and then also add in a few oz of your preferred surfactant. Again that’s a starting point and you have to determine what your ratio needs to be with the strength of Sh you will be using. For House washing the percent hitting the wall should be about 1%, and more porous materials may need a stronger mix or longer dwell time.
Start with a weaker mix and go stronger and do a test spot before your start spraying the whole area.
Im new my self and am still working on my ratios. Its very can be very complicated but thats business.
He nailed it
thank you guys for your help. after getting a new 8gpm 3,500psi machine and messing with chemicals around my house and property i think i am starting to get the BASICS down.
@cameronwalsh this is an older thread but I love your trailer set up …I am going to be starting professionally this coming year …one thing that is helping me is studying and taking a ton of notes …I know the target services I want to focus on and a list of things that might work…
How has the buisness been for you ??
Being an up and coming company who invested in everything from the best washer, to a roof system, to a surface cleaner, our best investment has been a 8 gpm @ 3500 washer and the surface cleaner. Both have paid for themselves 10 fold. The roof system: it’s paid for itself but hasn’t been a huge money maker. Invest every cent possible into marketing. That’s my best advice…
i haven’t been on here in awhile but just thought i would post the completed setup! 3,500 psi 8 GPM honda 3,200 psi 4 GPM honda whisper wash classic with 4 nozzle bar and a soft wash bandit system!
Nice clean setup there.
Looks real sharp and clean, man. Good job!
Super slick man.
Looks great!! Where did you keep your chemical tank at just curious I don’t see it in the picture.
slicker than owl sh*t.
Clean and simple, I have a long ways to go
Those ladder’s are awesome. My brother-n-law led me onto them and I haven’t used another since.
I’m wondering how does the trailer ride? I’ve got the majority of my weight (motor, storage box) up front because I like to keep as much weight as possible on the tongue. Does yours sway when you get up to speed? I have the same size trailer and water tote. Your storage box on the front is massive so it may offset some of the weight. I also only travel with my buffer empty. Just curious. Yours looks so clean it makes me want to redo mine especially with the back storage area and raised hose reels.
the chem tank is in the tool box on the front. the trailer rides good. you want as much weight as you can on top of the axle. all the weight on the tongue will cause it to sway. i just centered the water tank and always keep at least 150 gallons in the tank. the trailer has breaks as well so i don’t have any problems with water surge.