Green Tractor Talk banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I am new to the site. I have a 1025R and live in Northwest Illinois. I have just started a side mobile power washing business to spend more time outdoors and be around tractors and farms. I want to cater to cleaning and detailing tractors, semi's, farm equipment as well as the normal cars and trucks.

My question to all of you is would you pay to have someone come and clean your tractor and farm equipment for you?

Thank you for your time

Dave

Dirty Work Detailing
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,468 Posts
I know some folks will occasionally pay for someone to come and do a "hot water" pressure wash on a piece of equipment that is particularly greasy and grimy but otherwise, most folks do their own cleaning as pressure washers are too inexpensive and useful not to have one around.

For myself.... NO.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
850 Posts
Me? No but then I enjoy giving my rig a nice bath a couple times a year. I am pretty intense about it too. I always pull the tires/wheels off to get the backside of the wheels good and to get the hubs and rear wheel wells as well. Engine and undercarriage are all given the once over and this is when I touch up any chips or nicks in the green or yellow (wheels). It can easily take all day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the feedback. I did expect to get more of the "No" responses since the folks that have the equipment are used to putting in the work and caring for it themselves but wanted to open up another option to be around heavy equipment and tractors as more of a passion hobby.

Thank you gentlemen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,041 Posts
Welcome to GTT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,414 Posts
Hello All,

I am new to the site. I have a 1025R and live in Northwest Illinois. I have just started a side mobile power washing business to spend more time outdoors and be around tractors and farms. I want to cater to cleaning and detailing tractors, semi's, farm equipment as well as the normal cars and trucks.

My question to all of you is would you pay to have someone come and clean your tractor and farm equipment for you?

Thank you for your time

Dave

Dirty Work Detailing
if i were considering your business i would market to people with a lot of equipment that is away from the shop a lot.......like construction companies...custom farmers etc

i would have a trailer setup that had onboard water to where i could go to the tractor where ever it is and clean it without hooking up to utilities .....i would offer services when the tractors are not in use ....nights n wkends etc....offer on call services for wash downs when a tractor breaks down to clean it up to make repairs easier...etc..make sure i was using environmentally friendly cleaning solutions etc.

marketing to mom n pop that hand washes and waxes their glorified lawn mower is probably not a money making process

just my opinion
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
if i were considering your business i would market to people with a lot of equipment that is away from the shop a lot.......like construction companies...custom farmers etc

i would have a trailer setup that had onboard water to where i could go to the tractor where ever it is and clean it without hooking up to utilities .....i would offer services when the tractors are not in use ....nights n wkends etc....offer on call services for wash downs when a tractor breaks down to clean it up to make repairs easier...etc..make sure i was using environmentally friendly cleaning solutions etc.

marketing to mom n pop that hand washes and waxes their glorified lawn mower is probably not a money making process

just my opinion
You're absolutely right and that's more where I want to go with this any way is the large fleet and heavily used machines. I have a trailer with 300 gal tank and water filter. I think to get started I will go around to the local farms and offer free washes to get the conversation started. Everyone does car detailing but wanted to offer something different and to a different group of people.

Thank you for your input.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
21,597 Posts
I don't like "pressure" washing equipment. Unless great care is taken, its to easy to remove decals and paint, get electrical components wet (like gauges and connectors), and get water intrusion into hydraulics past seals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,785 Posts
Look into washing grain dryers for farmers
 
  • Like
Reactions: GreenBlood

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,673 Posts
Welcome to GTT and good luck with your business. I always admire those willing to give self employment a try and provide a service which fills a need in the lives of others.
I would also look into fleet washing of vehicles which are concerned about their public appearance, like Amazon Delivery trucks, UPS, Fed Ex. DHL. etc. maybe even the USPS, although dealing with them might mean jumping through more government hoops than you want to bother with.

I would also make sure to have a good commercial surface cleaner for flat surfaces like driveways and decks, etc. as those are not effectively and efficiently cleaned with a wand as you know. The benefit of a good surface cleaner for concrete and decks is it dramatically reduces the need for chemicals and soap.........and instead, is treated to get deal with any mold, etc. on the surface. .

I actually have a guy who hand washes and details my tractor. He operates a detailing business for vehicles and also washes tractors, etc. and cleans the cab, etc. His is more along the lines of auto detailing than power washing, as he only uses a power washer on really dirty or grimy things as a part of his wash. He gets $200 for a complete wash and detail with hand waxing on all painted surfaces with all glass and surfaces polished, but it also takes him about 3 hours to really clean and detail a SCUT with a cab, etc. with tire shine, etc. It looks like day one it arrived from the dealer when he is done.

While he prefers to do the work at his shop, he will go to the customers for tractors and other equipment which isn't easily transported to his shop.

Recently, one of my neighbors noticed me cleaning my concrete driveway with a new surface cleaner on my 4 gpm 4,000 psi power washer and now they want theirs washed as does another neighbor, etc. Many homeowners have power washers, but most aren't really up to the task of doing the surface cleaning correctly and efficiently because they aren't in the category of pressure to run a surface cleaner correctly.
Make sure you are offering the surface cleaning as part of your services as that seems to be something which some of those with higher end properties are willing to pay to have done. Once they see the results, they are much more willing to spend the money...........Good luck and best wishes on your new venture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,568 Posts
You may have a great idea for your area but I'd suggest really working through a business plan before spending any money. How many farmers are in the area and what percentage might be willing to use your services? How many paved drives that appear to have HO willing to spend the bucks? Any large equipment operators headquartered in the area? Some of our area loggers keep a pressure washer to blow out radiators on skidders, tree cutters, log loaders etc. but that's one more expense for them. They might be willing to pay someone to come in after the machines are shut down and do the work so they aren't paying a crew to wash.

It's a little different but moss growing on shingle roofs is a problem for many people. The asphalt roofing association recommends a 50/50 mix of bleach and water sprayed on the moss, allowed to stand for 10-15 minutes and then rinsed off. It might take more than one application but it works. You don't need or want a pressure washer for that except to maybe do the rinse from the ground by letting the water fall like rain but it's another legitimate service.

In my area, you could run a pressure washer probably 8-9 months out of the year. I suspect you might have to shut down sooner because after all, you can't have stuff freezing up so that's another consideration.

Remember to talk with an insurance agent and get a quote or two on liability insurance and possibly worker's comp. Many businesses will ask for a certificate of insurance before allowing a contractor to do any work. Potentially some of the equipment you would work on is very expensive. You don't want to be on the hook for a $500,000 piece of equipment that fails after you washed it, even if you did nothing wrong. If you do anything for a homeowner, you definitely want insurance.

Good luck with it. Owning a small business is very challenging but can be rewarding as long as you are smart, willing to work very hard and have a good plan.

Treefarmer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
One note about if you wash construction equipment on the jobsite. As soon as the water hits the equipment it becomes processed water, which has to be "disposed" of through means of collection, treatment, etc. It has become such a hassle that we send our equipment on a lowboy to the semi/truck wash at the truck stop. They are setup to collect and treat water and cost is reasonable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Welcome to GTT and good luck with your business. I always admire those willing to give self employment a try and provide a service which fills a need in the lives of others.
I would also look into fleet washing of vehicles which are concerned about their public appearance, like Amazon Delivery trucks, UPS, Fed Ex. DHL. etc. maybe even the USPS, although dealing with them might mean jumping through more government hoops than you want to bother with.

I would also make sure to have a good commercial surface cleaner for flat surfaces like driveways and decks, etc. as those are not effectively and efficiently cleaned with a wand as you know. The benefit of a good surface cleaner for concrete and decks is it dramatically reduces the need for chemicals and soap.........and instead, is treated to get deal with any mold, etc. on the surface. .

I actually have a guy who hand washes and details my tractor. He operates a detailing business for vehicles and also washes tractors, etc. and cleans the cab, etc. His is more along the lines of auto detailing than power washing, as he only uses a power washer on really dirty or grimy things as a part of his wash. He gets $200 for a complete wash and detail with hand waxing on all painted surfaces with all glass and surfaces polished, but it also takes him about 3 hours to really clean and detail a SCUT with a cab, etc. with tire shine, etc. It looks like day one it arrived from the dealer when he is done.

While he prefers to do the work at his shop, he will go to the customers for tractors and other equipment which isn't easily transported to his shop.

Recently, one of my neighbors noticed me cleaning my concrete driveway with a new surface cleaner on my 4 gpm 4,000 psi power washer and now they want theirs washed as does another neighbor, etc. Many homeowners have power washers, but most aren't really up to the task of doing the surface cleaning correctly and efficiently because they aren't in the category of pressure to run a surface cleaner correctly.
Make sure you are offering the surface cleaning as part of your services as that seems to be something which some of those with higher end properties are willing to pay to have done. Once they see the results, they are much more willing to spend the money...........Good luck and best wishes on your new venture.
Thank you for your feedback!

Little more back ground on how this started. My day job is in Chicago and although I like what I do I love the outdoors and have always been the go to guy when my family and friends go offroading to clean and detail the jeeps and razr's. My neighbor has a couple classic cars for car shows that I will work on for him before shows. Getting these things back to showroom especially after working them in the field, beating them up in the mud, or getting them ready to show off to people is gratifying. Thought if I could use the equipment I already have to make a few extra bucks to be outdoors and help some people out in the process would be awesome.

I am also a John Deere nerd and have turned my kids into the same.

Only thing I have purchased so far is a water filter to fill the tank from the garden hose, we will start there and see what other services I can add on if there is the demand in my area of Northwest Chicago.

At this point I am not too worried about making a living off of it but if I can be around farms and tractors it will be worth it.

Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
If you haven't seen it, you should get over on pressurewashingresource.com , it's a forum for professionals. Make sure you register and then search and read, their forum keeps track of threads read, and they will abruptly tell you to go read more if you are asking questions with no threads read. That said, it's a forum of professionals, doing it full-time to put a roof over their heads and food on their tables. A ton of good information there.

Edit: looks like we posted at the same time, from your most recent post, if you do post on the pressure washing forum, do not tell them it is a side job for you. Some of those guys are a little odd, and I've seen a couple of them get ticked off that someone is doing side work, they somehow equate it to that guy taking money out of their pocket. Doesn't make sense to me, but be aware of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One note about if you wash construction equipment on the jobsite. As soon as the water hits the equipment it becomes processed water, which has to be "disposed" of through means of collection, treatment, etc. It has become such a hassle that we send our equipment on a lowboy to the semi/truck wash at the truck stop. They are setup to collect and treat water and cost is reasonable.
Thank you for that. That is something I was not aware of. That does sound like a big hoop to jump through that I am not set up for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you haven't seen it, you should get over on pressurewashingresource.com , it's a forum for professionals. Make sure you register and then search and read, their forum keeps track of threads read, and they will abruptly tell you to go read more if you are asking questions with no threads read. That said, it's a forum of professionals, doing it full-time to put a roof over their heads and food on their tables. A ton of good information there.
Thank you I will check that out as well!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You may have a great idea for your area but I'd suggest really working through a business plan before spending any money. How many farmers are in the area and what percentage might be willing to use your services? How many paved drives that appear to have HO willing to spend the bucks? Any large equipment operators headquartered in the area? Some of our area loggers keep a pressure washer to blow out radiators on skidders, tree cutters, log loaders etc. but that's one more expense for them. They might be willing to pay someone to come in after the machines are shut down and do the work so they aren't paying a crew to wash.

It's a little different but moss growing on shingle roofs is a problem for many people. The asphalt roofing association recommends a 50/50 mix of bleach and water sprayed on the moss, allowed to stand for 10-15 minutes and then rinsed off. It might take more than one application but it works. You don't need or want a pressure washer for that except to maybe do the rinse from the ground by letting the water fall like rain but it's another legitimate service.

In my area, you could run a pressure washer probably 8-9 months out of the year. I suspect you might have to shut down sooner because after all, you can't have stuff freezing up so that's another consideration.

Remember to talk with an insurance agent and get a quote or two on liability insurance and possibly worker's comp. Many businesses will ask for a certificate of insurance before allowing a contractor to do any work. Potentially some of the equipment you would work on is very expensive. You don't want to be on the hook for a $500,000 piece of equipment that fails after you washed it, even if you did nothing wrong. If you do anything for a homeowner, you definitely want insurance.

Good luck with it. Owning a small business is very challenging but can be rewarding as long as you are smart, willing to work very hard and have a good plan.

Treefarmer
Absolutely agree that insurance will be a must have. Being in the midwest you're right about the winter months and freezing of equipment. It is a heavy salt application area which may or may not drive the need for exterior cleaning and I may just cater to detailing, shampooing the interiors for customers vehicles and equipment from the salt, dirt and mud from boots and coffee spills lol.

Thank you for your feedback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
598 Posts
Hello All,

I am new to the site. I have a 1025R and live in Northwest Illinois. I have just started a side mobile power washing business to spend more time outdoors and be around tractors and farms. I want to cater to cleaning and detailing tractors, semi's, farm equipment as well as the normal cars and trucks.

My question to all of you is would you pay to have someone come and clean your tractor and farm equipment for you?

Thank you for your time

Dave

Dirty Work Detailing
No. Most guys who have this type of equipment are more than capable of washing it themselves.

I'd try pressure washing homes, decks, travel trailers....things that people with a few bucks have but aren't necessarily diy types.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,785 Posts
There's a crew that comes out and powerwashes our grain dryers and some other areas around the farm and elevator. I've also seen the same company at one of the feed mills we sell to.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top