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What is an appropriate job description for a self-serve maintenance person?

October 11, 2010
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Summary: In this installment, Professional Carwashing & Detailing asked Gary Pendleton, senior advisor at Pro Wash Consulting, to answer a question posted on PC&D's online bulletin board by Jerry Bearden, owner of five self-serve carwashes in CA, concerning a self-serve maintenance person's job description.

Q: Could anyone provide a job description for a self-serve maintenance person?

Gary Pendleton: A job description for a self-serve attendant/maintenance person should first be comprised of guidelines for employee conduct.

Addressing behavior prior to hiring an employee will ensure that every candidate understands what the owner will not tolerate. Provide a list that states:

  • No smoking while on duty;
  • No eating while working or in customer view.

For safety reasons, a self-serve owner should instruct the attendant/maintenance person as to what footwear is approved.

Maintenance check-list

When hiring a self-serve att-endant/maintenance person, provide the applicant with a list of all the facility and equipment maintenance they will be required to perform.

It also helps to break the list up into, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly schedules.

1. Section one: This section should begin with facility maintenance and appearance items such as:

  • Pick up all trash;
  • Maintain landscaping;
  • Wash down bays and spray bay walls clean;
  • Clean vacuums; and
  • Clean vending areas and stock.
2. Section two: Address coin-op vacuums and self-serve equipment, such as:
  • Check bay hoses for breaks and leaks;
  • Keep guns and hoses clean — wiped off of mud and grease;
  • Check wash selections for proper operation such as water pressure, chemical output for foam, and desired color and thickness; and
  • Check that change machines are clean and operational.
3. Section three: Address the operation and maintenance of your automatic equipment and related bays.

Your equipment manufacturer will be able to supply you with the recommended daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance schedules for all your equipment.

Most distributors have a maintenance program as part of their service and sales contracts, consider taking advantage of these if you're an absentee owner operator.


Construct a list of everything done at the wash and break the schedule up appropriately.

An example list might look like the following:

Maintenance List


  • Inspect for vandalism;
  • Inspect and fill as needed — vending, quarters, vacuum vac islands and other areas;
  • Wipe vacs and clean islands as needed;
  • Check water heaters;
  • Check that spot-free tank is not below normal;
  • Check chemical drums; and
  • Check that the freeze system is on in the winter.
  • Sweep entire lot and wash down as needed;
  • Inspect all hoses for wear;
  • Inspect coin boxes, wands, switches, knobs, decals, vac hoses, signage, and replace as needed;
  • Fill soda machine and vending unit; and
  • Clean vacs and islands completely.
  • Chemically clean all bay walls;
  • Repair any and all leaks;
  • Check belt tension;
  • Lubricate locks;
  • Check all pH levels of chemicals;
  • Replace micron filter on RO unit every 90 days;
  • Replace carbon filter on RO unit every 60 days; and
  • Straighten and sweep out pump room.

Once the information and guidelines have been provided there is no reason why the work should not be completed to the owner's satisfaction.

Gary Pendleton is the senior advisor for Pro Wash Consulting, a firm that specializes in effectively managing carwash sites. He was named Most Valuable Carwasher by PC&D in 2003.