School Bus Fleet

September 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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46 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 4 Many don't pay attention to the maintenance of the ma- chinery, or they use the least amount of chemical or a less expensive chemical to achieve results that are believed to be as good as the original setup from the manufacturer. Many times the wash bay is out of sight, out of mind, and it gets little attention until it breaks. That is most unfortunate, be- cause these breakdowns are costly on both fronts: the emer- gency call to fx the machine and the loss of washing vehi- cles for the downtime period. Visit your wash bay periodically to see what is happen- ing with the machinery. You will be surprised at the results when you ensure that there is proper setup, maintenance and chemicals. Until the day that all vehicles are "fat only" and "exact same size," it will be impossible to provide the perfect clean in every nook and cranny of the vehicles. To compromise on minor cleaning is acceptable, but to pay for excessive dirt residue left on the vehicle with streaks due to neglect is not. And it is not the way to run a business. Jack Jackson is president of vehicle wash solutions supplier Awash Systems Corp. For more information, e-mail jjackson@awashsystems.com, call (800) 265-7405 or go to www.awashsystems.com. Q uestions still continue in the industry on what is the best method to wash a bus. Two thoughts prevail: brushes scratch and a touch- less wash doesn't clean the flm off the vehicle. Both are somewhat true when you are not optimizing the equipment or using the proper methods to maximize the results. It is continuous neglect by owners of the machinery that keeps these thoughts alive. Let's discuss brushes frst. Soft touch brushing of vehicles through the proper method in today's world is not an issue. Brushes have come a long way from the old days. Lamb skin, foam and cruciform polyethylene are a few of the ma- terials today that have taken the old myth out of washing vehicles with brushes. Utilizing a proper brush on an automatic spinning or jig- ging cylinder will reduce the amount of chemicals required to wash a vehicle. Most people don't realize the importance of the proper soap to ensure maximum performance. Not only does it assist in the removal of dirt from vehicles, but it actually keeps the brushes clean as well. Also, most machine brushes must be replaced regularly to ensure the structure and length are correct for the maximum cleaning. Another typical oversight by most operators is al- lowing worn-out brushes to clean vehicles. Once the struc- ture or length of the brush is compromised, there can be is- sues in cleaning by the brushes. It's the same as trying to sweep with a worn-out broom — there will be streaks and lines of dirt left behind. We have been selling brush machines for 20 years and have heard of every issue there could be in brush problems. It always comes down to the same two issues: worn-out brushes and improper use of chemicals/soap. We sell both polyethylene and foam brushes. To give you an example, our polyethylene brushes will last 20,000 wash- es, and our foam brushes will last 40,000 washes. It is also dependent on what you are washing. If you wash fat sur- faces, your brushes can last even longer. Using the proper soap will add time to your brushes by increasing the lubric- ity and removing the grime. Touchless washing of vehicles is much more complicated. There is a reliance on proper spraying of water, temperature, positioning of vehicle, positioning of water nozzles, chemi- cal composition and dwell time to achieve optimum results. Negligence of one of these, in whole or part, will result in poor quality washing. Bus washing: soft touch or touchless? ( BY JACK JACKSON ) shop talk When operators have problems with brush machines, they typically stem from the same two issues: worn-out brushes and improper use of chemicals/soap. Photo courtesy Awash Systems Corp.

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