WANT TO BE A POWER WASHER - HELP!

Jeff Fletcher

New Member
It's taken me a week to get the courage up but here I am. I currently am in the Navy and 8 months from retirement (20yrs). I think I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. . . a POWER WASHER!
To talk with people, work outdoors, work hard and then look back at a great job would be great satisfaction for me.
I would like to start my own business.

PROBLEM: Where do I start? I know business but have no clue as a power washer.
1. Are ther any schools near Virginia to attend?
2. Books to purchase?
3. What type and how much will a good "rig" run me?
4. . . .and many more questions. . .
Can someone push me in the correct direction?


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AranServices

New Member
Hello Jeff!

I'm Randy with Aran Services in the Raleigh area of North Carolina.
If I can help - let me know!

As for your list of questions
As for your question "Are ther any schools near Virginia to attend?"
2 suggestions:
1) This board is by far the best school anyone can ask for! These folks are straight shooters and we have many people who have a lot of years in this industry!
2) When you determine which area of pressure washing you want to be in, ask the board - someone may have a training video they would sell you. That will at least help you gain some insight into that particular area of the industry.


As for the question "What type and how much will a good "rig" run me?"

One thing most everyone will probably agree with me on is that you should have a BELT DRIVE unit.

There are many other factors to look at - Gallons Per Minute, PSI, to or not to have a generator, getting one with or without a temperature control. Do you want a skid mount unit or one with wheels... and the list goes on from there!

Personally speaking; We have 3 different units.
One has a temperature control & a generator It pumps about 4.8 GPM at 3,000 PSI
The second has no temp control, no generator. It pumps 5.3 GPM at 3,000 PSI
The third is a cold water unit (I think) It pumps 4.3 GPM at 2,400 PSI (that is mainly for decks & fencing)

ALL 3 of mine are belt drive!

A few more things to think about are:
Hose Reels (some are better than others)
Hoses - there are 1-wire and 2-wire, and there are also non-marking hoses also.
Water Tanks - personally I find that a 200 to 250 gal. tank is just fine for what we need in the field.
Truck Mounted or Trailer Mounted (open or enclosed trailer?)
Sprayers - Pump Sprayers? Electric or Manual? Hand Sprayers?
Wands? Short? Long? Extension Wands?

Basically - expect to spend about $15,000.00 to around $30,000.00 for a trailer set up right!
(this does NOT include a truck to pull it with!)

If you need help putting together a trailer let me know! We will get you fixed up with no problem!
Feel free to contact me for an help that you may need!

Good Luck!
Randy



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Cleaning America - One Job At A Time!
Once this shell of a body is vacated, may the Great God above know that I have tried to do better than I did the day before!

E-MAIL: aran@bellsouth.net
Our URL: http://easypath.to/pressurewashing
 
P

Pressure Washer Zone Man

Guest


Jeff,
Congratulations on your decision to Go For It!

My name is Mark, I am one of the BB sponsors I have been involved with the pressure washer industry for better than 20 years. I started many moons ago as a "Contract Cleaner".

(See: Pressure Washer Zone Man?)
http://www.powerwash.net/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001029.html

Keep plugged in to this Bulletin Board there is a WEALTH of information available here from a Great Bunch Of Guys"

( And Gals too)


Jeff,
Set your goals, make a plan, then go for it!

Do not be to shy to ask for help.

Most people just talk about going in to business for themselves, while people like the professionals who are members of this board, have made that dream a reality!

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Call or e-mail me if I can be of assistance!

Mark McIntyre: AKA: Pressure Washer Zone Man.
http://www.pressurewasherzone.com
Mark@easycleansystems.com

916 638-0828

[This message has been edited by Pressure Washer Zone Man (edited November 26, 2000).]
 

Mike Taylor

New Member
<FONT face="Comic Sans MS">hello Jeff, as far as startup cost goes, it varies. I personally started on my own over a year ago and mt startup was around 4,000 dollars. I couldnt afford to get all the fancy extras, but still have an awesome rig. I got licensed,insured. Got a small trailer that I pull behind my buick, Bought a belt drive unit. My machine is a 20 horse Onan Motor, electric start, with a pump that does 8.5 gpm @ 2500 psi. It is awesome. I started with about 200 feet of hose, and a couple of different wands. It was very basic, but now I have got another machine and alot more accesories to make life easier. You really have to decide what part of the industry you want to be in as there are quite a few diffent areas. I do alot of roof and house cleaning and also have 18 commercial accts. I have 10 Amoco gas stations and 8 Checkers rest. Its not an easy road but its satisfiying to be my own boss and make some good money. Good Luck, Mike</FONT f>


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Always Under Pressure Inc Mike Taylor Pompano Beach Fla USA
 

Scott Stone

New Member
First off, welcome to the board. I assume that you have been lurking here for a while, and maybe on other boards as well. You asked a bunch of questions and I will try to give you my perspective.
1. There is a school that is based in North Carolina, I think. There is also a program in Fort Worth, Texas and a new one from an experienced distributor in Georgia, and a Kitchen Exhaust cleaning School in Wisconsin. They are all about the same price, it just depends on what you want to learn about. Theyare either done by contractors or Distributors tht have been in the business a while and are willing to share what they know for a price. There are also a few contractors in specialized fields that are willing to help a new guy starting out either by Phone or letting them actually work with a crew to learn a few of the ropes. remember to get started is not rocket science. The rocket science starts coming in when you tackle progressively more challenging jobs. Fortunately there are BBS's that are in place around the web with people that are willing to help out with technical questions. I am basically self taught and have been in business for about ten years. I took the slow and steady growth approach and I know others that have favored the fast growth approach. It all depends on what you and any "significant others" in your family can handle in the way of risk, etc.
2. As far as books there are a few that are out there. Look at the website at www.adpub.com They have a few books that are for sale that might be helpful. they also have a trade magazine that they put out that sometimes has useful helps for the contract cleaner.
3. It all depends on what you are going to do. For cleaning houses and the like most guys start out with a cold water unit. A decent cold water unit is available from Home Depot for about $1900. You can get a decent hot water unit Via the web and mail order for about $3600 plus shipping. There are various types out ther and they have different electrical systems, so you will want to research it out and pick out the one that sounds like something that you can work on. You cold also buy one locally, the advantage is that you will establish a relationship with a distributor, the disadvantage is that you will have to pay more. There are a lot that will promise you the moon and deliver nothing, so you will have to beware, just as if you were buying a used car. There are a few good ones out there. If it was me I would want to find one that used to be a contract cleaner but is not any more, and really seems to like the industry. If they seem lost when you ask them a technical question it is a bad sign.
4. Many more questions. The first thing I would do if i was you is figure out what you want to do. Pressure washing is a big field and the most successful contractors seem to concentrate in one field or type of work. The only exception is if they are in a small market. There is one contractor that frequents these boards that does a little of everything, but, he is the exception rather than the rule, and he is in a small market in Illinois. He has got really nice and really unusual rigs though.
Here are some possibilities to think about.
House washing
Fleet washing
Roof cleaning
Store fronts
Restaurant vent hoods
Concrete cleaning
Awning cleaning
Factory Cleaning
Car lot washing
Auto Detailing
Deck cleaning and sealing
Paint prep
New construction clean up
Equipment cleaning
Airport runway cleaning.(requires special equipment, but is very profitable.)
Dry Dock Cleaning
Aircraft washing
Chicken coop cleaning ( very smelly work)

Plus a myriad of others. Beware of the guys that are offering franchises. Some of them are just con men that will promise you the moon and expect you to make them rich. A few have even been sued by the FTC for making false claims.
I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. My phone number is in my signature at the bottom of the post. My e-mail is The-washer@msn.com
We can grow together or die seperately.



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Any statement that I make about equipment, processes or your hair color is my own personal opinion. I usually base it on personal experience. If you disagree with me you are free to reply on both the BBS and by e-mail. If I am totally off base please explain why on the BBS so that we may all know why;)
Bus. Phone 480-834-3434
Cell Phone 602-509-9741
 

Ron Musgraves

Administrator
Staff member
great advice, I should tune in here more frequently.

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Ron Marshal Phoenix AZ
1-888-fleetwash
 

Mike Hughes

New Member
Originally posted by Scott Stone:
We can grow together or die seperately.




That's a great line, Scott!

Jeff,

You initial questions have been answered in the above posts...but, feel free to email me any questions you may have....I will be happy to help you.

Mike@evclear.com



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Mike Hughes
Everclear
Souderton, PA
 

EDROCK

New Member
WELCOME JEFF, RANDY PRETTY MUCH SUMED IT UP THIS BOARD IS BETTER THAN ANY SCHOOL YOU COULD ATTEND.I STARTED LAST YEAR AND WAS THINKING THE SAME THOUGHTS AS YOU BUT AFTER FINDING THIS BOARD I THOUGHT WELL THIS IS SCHOOL .GOOD LUCK, HAVE ANY QUESTIONS E-MAIL ME I'LL TRY TO HELP. ED

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