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Starting a Truck Wash off I-81

georgecarwashington

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Hi all! I have a piece of property less than a quarter mile of I-81 in PA that my family and I are debating putting a truckwash on. We are close with several business owners in the region that have expressed the need for it. I own the land, and there is currently a warehouse building on it that could likely fit multiple drive through washes in it, as well as space for a fast food spot/convenience store/showers.

Looking to get any feedback on the idea, particularly on cost of installing a drive through system and potential profitability. Thanks in advance!
 
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Waxman

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There are about 6 million semi trucks on the road in the U.S. and about 300 million passenger cars. So, to begin, you have a relatively small customer base compared to car washes.

Then, you will have the high cost of building improvements, site work and equipment.

To my mind, the market is too small and the investment too great. Trucks are greasy and very dirty. They have bare aluminum all over them which spots and streaks with strong chemicals applied.

I can think of several better ways to put my money to work than a truck wash.

It's one of those ideas that sounds great in theory, but sounds worse and worse as you gather quotes for construction and equipment vs. cash flow projections.
 

Eric H

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You should probably start by making up a list of requirements to get the building “Carwash ready”
Do you have 3-phase power with at least 600 amps available at 240. 800-1200 would be better to run 2 machines.
Do you have a 2” water line with Backflow prevention? If not, how far do you have to go to tap into the city water main?
Do you have a 6” sewer line? You could be able to get by with 4” if it is a short run but you’ll probably have clogging issues with 4”. Do you have a gas/oil separator in the sewer line somewhere? How much trenching and concrete work has to be done in the inside of the building to connect the drains from the wash bays to the existing sewer line?
 
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