top header
top header
top header

Let’s Talk About Truck Washing – Mobile Versus Fixed Site Production

When deciding to put in a truck wash facility or start a mobile fleet washing business there are so many criteria to consider. Most importantly would be ROI (return on investment), efficiency, and considering the needs of the customer. What type of equipment to use is also an important decision for instance; the type of environmental reclaim device for mobile operators or for a fixed site whether it makes sense to go fully robotic or semi-robotic. Okay so, there is a lot to talk about here, let’s get started shall we?

When it comes to the customer’s needs, let’s consider what those fleet operators with trucks want. You see, everyone still wants mobile, due to driver-hour’s rules, shortage of truck drivers, and keeping the equipment moving to maximize efficient cost operations – also the Utility Fleets, GSA, even military needs onsite work. You can see how government regulation does play a big part in client demand and is part of the equation here on what type of operation one should consider.

Should a truck wash (fixed site) work with a mobile operator or several to serve the needs of their clientele? I was recently, asked this very wise question, here is what I’d say to that; Sure, I cannot imagine anyone running a truck wash who didn’t have a mobile team, still most don’t – it’s like sleeping with the enemy syndrome, not much “co-opetition’ theory there in the industry. It also makes sense for mobile operators to dump their wash water affluent into a robust truck wash environmental reclaim system. A place to discharge waste water collected on-site is very valuable.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about production and efficiency, as that really is the key to any truck wash on-site or fixed facility. You see, it’s all production and you have to think of it like that, assembly line. Mobile is where the assembly line stays put and the apparatus moves. Fixed site is the standard Henry Ford model. It’s just opposite that’s all – it’s like a white background or a black one, reverse negative film.

One should not just assume that they can build a fully robotic truck wash which will clean the vehicles perfectly every time, eliminating labor, and maximizing production costs. Robotic systems use more soap and cleaning chemicals. Now then, with that said of the current technology available, I’d say the time is coming for a fully-robotic perfect system. So, just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean in the near future that game-changer will not occur.

It’s really hard to clean a truck nicely by all machine, but you give a few newly MIT or Carnegie Mellon grad students a crack at it. Fully automated “perfect truck washes” are coming. Read these articles;

1. Wall Street Journal “Baxter Robot Heads to Work – Designed Factories, $22,000 Machine Can Be Taught” by James R. Hagerty, September 19, 2012.

2. Wall Street Journal “Robots That Work for the Little Guy,” by James R. Hagerty, September 14, 2012.

What I am saying is that the writing is on the walls. Having a human to recognize things, then perhaps assist with augmented reality, xBox gaming theory, that ought to be incredible. You know you mix a little AI, robotics, and humans together it’s amazing who good they can do.

So, expect more robotics in the sector, and better quality from automated systems, but it will be difficult to get the job done perfect every time without a human in the loop, simply because at a truck wash, every truck coming in is slightly different, meaning, you still need intelligence and not just a “dumb machine” you’ll need AI or a human coupled with robotics to get that perfect wash every time. Please consider all this and think on it.

Leave a Reply

Request Call Back

You will be contacted within 24-48 business hours or you can contact us on 08102932269, 08183909779 for further clarifications.

CAPTCHA
Please wait...