What's new

Newbie, dealing with snow and ice

MDrost1

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
558
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Grand Haven, MI
Hello,

I am a newbie to the business, and entering into a west Michigan winter. I am wondering if you have any tips for a new CW with regard to snow and ice removal. I have a Silverado with a Boss Sport-Duty plow. A 5 bay with one IBA LW 4000. Radiant heat in all bays. We had our first single digit day, and I am interested in how the seasoned pros deal with snow.

Any tricks? Preventative maintenance used to keep the lot and bays up to snuff? Do you plow the SS bays?

Thanks!
 

MDrost1

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
558
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Grand Haven, MI
I do not. The guy who has been mentoring me is of the mindset that doors are just one more thing to break down. What doors do you recommend for crazy west Michigan weather?
 

Waxman

Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
4,909
Reaction score
216
Points
63
Location
Hampshire County, MA
nah; you gotta get doors! i use the insulated metal ones. for the touchfree, mount the operators inside the equipment room and couple the shaft (jack shaft style) to the operator. this greatly eliminates problems caused by the water/soap/cold in the bays.
 

Mr. Clean

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
208
Reaction score
1
Points
18
I agree, doors are absolutely necessary! They will lower your floor heating costs, make the bays much more reliable, comfortable and welcoming to the customer and increase revenues. We had no doors our first year and it was a constant battle with the elements.
 

MDrost1

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
558
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Grand Haven, MI
Do you have doors on all of the bays? Or just the IBA? I have had a few estimates for my LW4000 bay. Pretty pricey. I am intrigued. I have minimal space in the front of the bay because of dryers. Any door manufactures to look into?
 

mjwalsh

6 bay SS w/laundromat
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
2,600
Reaction score
67
Points
48
Location
North Dakota
Do you have doors on all of the bays? Or just the IBA? I have had a few estimates for my LW4000 bay. Pretty pricey. I am intrigued. I have minimal space in the front of the bay because of dryers. Any door manufactures to look into?
MDrost1,

We like our strapeze counterweight Airlift doors. Airlift is in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area & has been a good supplier & company to work with to make sure any & all issues are resolved if & when needed.

mike walsh http://kingkoin.com/USA_Deficit_Reduction.html
 

Robert2181

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
272
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
Midwest
As far as snow and ice removal. We shovel or push the ice chunks out of the bays over on the snow pile(lawn). And/or plow and salt in the front and back of the bays. (as needed).

We have always plowed and salted our own lot. That way it can be cleared and plowed when and how the way we want it. Also we are always the first lot cleaned and dry after a snow. Car wash lots are not always high on the list of hired out snow removal companies.
 

gearhead

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2010
Messages
212
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Ohio
A carwash in Michigan w/o doors? Ouch! I started with no doors. All it took was 2 Ohio winters and the doors started going in. Expensive but worth every dime. Saves on everything. Take care of them in the fall and they will take care of you in the winter.
 

Ric

Cantree Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
965
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
West Michigan
I am about 40 miles due south of you. I have operated 3 self serve washes for 30 years with no doors. I have no desire to add doors. Probably due to the same reasons your mentor has given you. I do have doors on my iba's. Even just one door on an iba is very helpful.
 

Jeff_L

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
1,246
Reaction score
27
Points
48
Location
Missouri
...Car wash lots are not always high on the list of hired out snow removal companies.
You're exactly right. My first couple years I hired out my snow removal. I found car washes were always last on the list to get plowed because they wanted to wash their truck and go home. By then I already had a bunch of customers driving over the lot, packing down the snow, making it tough, if not impossible to remove.

I bought my own plow and attack the lot right away now.
 

ICEMAN

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2013
Messages
32
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
EAST COAST
doors are a must have. The reason most people have problems with doors in self serve is they let the public work them. When my doors are down they are locked down. Customers back out. I am located in pa and could never justify the expense of having a plow truck to do my washes, I tried it for a couple of years and it was just not worth it. Extra insurance, wear and tear on the truck, and my time. I never spent that much on snow removal anyway because guys are low balling each other to death around me. If I were to plow now, i would get an old truck and just leave it on the lot, no tags , no insurance etc.... Wyndstar doors are great for automatics because they are electric, no problems that air doors have. I have had air doors , never again. Yes carwashes are low on the list for most plow guys, but i dont wash cars until the snow clears anyhow.
 

mmurra

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
191
Reaction score
2
Points
18
Location
Adrian, Michigan
Michigan operator 30 years 6+2, no doors anywhere anymore Got rid of the Automatic doors a few years ago. I close when it gets 15 or below (just closed now for a couple days). Used to bother me to close. Doesn't any more. It took me decades to realize that is it not worth being open under certian circumstances. Each operator must make their own determination.
 

Robert2181

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
272
Reaction score
3
Points
18
Location
Midwest
I agree. (mmurra). Looked into getting doors for bays. But @ $3,00.00 per bay (6 bays) the pay back doesn't work. We can turn down our floor heat and the purge system does the rest. No ice.
 

WikiWash

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
285
Reaction score
1
Points
16
Location
Merica!!
Stay away from air operated doors we have had American air operated doors. Too many components to fail in an air operated system. That is why we use Airlifts electric motor driven tarp doors with the counter-balance strapeze to allow for emergency exits if there would ever be a power failure.
 

Stuart

Member
Joined
May 24, 2008
Messages
255
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Tornado Alley
I plow my own snow. Use a snow blower around the building and vac islands. From there I use calcium chloride and sprinkle in the possible slick areas where overspray and dripoff happens. I apply at least 2x a day as needed.
Ice chunks in the bay from cars gets put in the pit.
this is a little late but hope it helps.
 
Top