What's new

Best Pit Cleaner

JamboWash

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
74
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Location
alexandria,LA
i would like to get the opinion on carwash owners that have a Clam Style Pit cleaner or Vacuum style the pro and cons of each one .
 

soonermajic

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
2,339
Reaction score
298
Points
83
Location
texas
I honestly think RingOmatic is the only maker. I also think the clam style is better, cause sometimes mud is just too cmopacted for the vacuum style.
 

mjwalsh

6 bay SS w/laundromat
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
2,766
Reaction score
99
Points
48
Location
North Dakota
JamboWash,

I used to shovel by hand into a custom made dump trailer. Based on that & experience & observing the local pit pumper contractors ... I would say that a vacuum style is more thorough. Some of the contractors have better vacuum tanks than others. It seems like septic tank vacuums are not as powerful to be able to draw with less intervention with loosening like soonermajic suggested.

I notice that some car washes have much deeper & larger pits that we have at ours that was built back in 1968. I am thinking that they would have the mud get harder on them considering not being pumped as often. Not sure.
 

swampdonkey

Active member
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
422
Reaction score
52
Points
28
Location
Montana
Jambowash

I'm on my 2nd model 750 ring-o-matic vacuum pit cleaner.The 1st one went with the sale of a ss wash. The best way to pump out really compacted mud is to use a long wand and constantly agitate while pumping.I can pump out 500 gallons in 20 to 30 minutes this way. As far as maintenance I wash out the tank from the top port as the mud sticks against rear wall and will start to rust there.I wash after each pump out and never let it sit over night. The back door seal is expensive to replace and the special glue cost more than the seal.I sand blast the door as I've found the only sure way to get rid of the rust to seal better. I like the fact that I can pump after hours & not block a bay. I paid off my first pumper in 2 1/2 years with the savings,2nd pumper was double the price and took longer for ROI. Never had an issue with Masport pump other than @ 450 sumps I rebuilt the pump with new vanes.
 

water guy

Active member
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
478
Reaction score
89
Points
28
Location
Texas
I have a sub compact front end loader - back hole and was trying to find someone to manufacture me a clam shell bucket for my backhole tryed Ringomatic they wouldn't do it. Has anyone ever made one?
 

mjwalsh

6 bay SS w/laundromat
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
2,766
Reaction score
99
Points
48
Location
North Dakota
water guy,

I have heard of someone ... it seems like it was a forum member who might still be around ... not sure. He was very innovative. I believe he designed his pits so they actually could be cleaned out with the bucket of his front end loader. Hopefully, someone remembers more details about him & the process than me.

Below is a link to an article by WR Zuraff who passed away I believe some time ago ... if I remember correctly. It is about his approach to pit cleaning. It seems to have more to do with the pit mud drying requirement in Nevada though.

https://www.autocareforum.com/Articles/howto/pitcleaning.html
 

Car_Wash_Guy

Active member
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
912
Reaction score
136
Points
43
Location
out west
I have a sub compact front end loader - back hole and was trying to find someone to manufacture me a clam shell bucket for my backhole tryed Ringomatic they wouldn't do it. Has anyone ever made one?
I bought mine used from a guy that had a spare clam shell that he made "extenders" from angle iron to go deeper. It's in great condition. Where are you located?
 

APW

Active member
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Messages
673
Reaction score
125
Points
43
Location
South
I bought a mini excavator and use a dump trailer to clean mine out. I can clean 5 pits in about 2 hours.
 

soapy

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
2,528
Reaction score
374
Points
83
Location
Rocky Mountains
I have a 1970 ringomatic that a bought in 1995 used. It does a pretty good job except.When I get a lot of black sand built up then I have to rent a small track how and trailer. Gator is the forum member who built a extension for his front bucket on a small tractor. It is the best way I have ever seen to clean a pit.
 

Car_Wash_Guy

Active member
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
912
Reaction score
136
Points
43
Location
out west
water guy,

I have heard of someone ... it seems like it was a forum member who might still be around ... not sure. He was very innovative. I believe he designed his pits so they actually could be cleaned out with the bucket of his front end loader. Hopefully, someone remembers more details about him & the process than me.

Below is a link to an article by WR Zuraff who passed away I believe some time ago ... if I remember correctly. It is about his approach to pit cleaning. It seems to have more to do with the pit mud drying requirement in Nevada though.

https://www.autocareforum.com/Articles/howto/pitcleaning.html
Good read - Thanks for sharing that article.

My wash was built with a drying area about 3x that size next to the dumpster. The previous owner would dump the mud on his adjacent parcel which he owned, but for some reason they built this drying area.

I started using it after I sold my rental property on acreage where I was dumping it. My only issue is I let it build up to a point where I couldn't catch up to dumping it in the dumpster but found a local guy to take the dirt away for $375. From here on out I'll try to stay on top of it and have my manager/attendants dispose of it weekly into the dumpster.
 
Etowah

swampdonkey

Active member
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
422
Reaction score
52
Points
28
Location
Montana
I dry my mud on site then haul away in the fall,last fall was 12 loads in a 10 yrd dump truck.that is every fall.
 

mjwalsh

6 bay SS w/laundromat
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
2,766
Reaction score
99
Points
48
Location
North Dakota
I dry my mud on site then haul away in the fall,last fall was 12 loads in a 10 yrd dump truck.that is every fall.
swampdonkey & others,

There is somewhat of a monopoly when it comes to dumpster trash pickup in our area & they told me firmly upfront that absolutely no dirt should go into the dumpster. They do monitor it because if we temporarily leave it unlocked & a vehicle tire is disposed unknown to us by a customer or passerby we get hit by an add'l charge depending on the size of the rubber tire.
 

SLEDGE

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Location
Arkansas
When we opened in 1997, we bought a ring o matic. Our pits are 4 ft deep, 4ft wide, and 6ft long. In other words a lot of mud!! The ring o matic would wear me out just doing one pit. My father "gabriel" on this site, had a local fabricator make an extention for our small tractor that works great! I can do a pit in 30 minutes. I have a guy that hauls it off after it dries for a few days.
 

SLEDGE

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
42
Reaction score
2
Points
8
Location
Arkansas
Soapy, He is doing well. Had a couple of health scares this last year. I will tell him to give you a shout soon. Thanks for asking.
 

soonermajic

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
2,339
Reaction score
298
Points
83
Location
texas
Sledge where are you in Arkansas? I'm close to Foreman. Would luv to see this apparatus. I'm in Dallas @ SWCA for a couple days...
 
Etowah
Top