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Around the Industry

March 27, 2014
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Stories of goodwill

Free carwashes for cancer research

HAYWARDS HEATH, England — Scaynes Hill Service Station offered free washes with a donation to cancer research on Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day, something it has done for years, according to the Mid Suxxex Times

“Some people pay a little, others pay a lot, but together we have raised a large sum of money to make someone else’s life better — that’s my aim,” Jay Patel, who runs the station, said in the story.

Last year the business raised £345, which is around $600 in U.S. dollars.

This year, more than 230 vehicles went through the wash on Feb. 13 for the charity, raising £1,500, which is equivalent to around $2,500 in U.S. dollars.

Detailing company supports local charities and Rugby Union

BRISBANE, Australia — Philip Coates started Brisbane Mobile Car Detailing Specialists in 2010, and as the business has grown, so has his ability to donate to local charities, according to a press release.

“Many of our customers are local and we live in Redlands too, so supporting the local community in any way we can is very important to us,” Coates stated in the press release. He added that the detailing company supports numerous charity events and also sponsors a local rugby club.

The company has come up with some unique giveaways, such as vouchers for detailing service. “The vouchers range from mini detailing all the way up to a full detailing service,” he said. Being a mobile detailing shop has its advantages when it comes to giving away prizes, according to Coates: “Because we are mobile we were able to visit the prize winners at their own address."

Coates has also worked with charities that support MS research, and groups working to help women in the field of business.

One of his favorite groups to support is the Rugby Union. “It is a burning desire of mine to support the local community and in particular Rugby Union. The sport has been my passion since playing for Bolton RUFC back in the UK.”

As his business expands, he plans to increase donations to local charity groups.

Carwash giving away washes with book donations

FRESNO, Calif. — Great American Car Wash customers were given the chance to receive a free carwash coupon with the donation of used books in good condition for Pyle Elementary, according to the Fresno Bee.

The event took place on March 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The promotion was being used to celebrate Read Across America, a nationwide event that took place on March 3 and is sponsored by the National Education Association.

The wash hoped to receive 300 used books, and according to its Facebook page, they are still counting and have not yet revealed the number of books collected.

Carwash fundraiser for boy who needs medical equipment

CREWE, England — Kleenacar carwash hosted a fundraiser for Tyler Ouldcott on Feb. 23. The 4-year-old has severe disabilities, and is in need of medical equipment to assist him in his daily life, according to the Crew Chronicle.

His mother Gemma said, “he needs postural equipment, so that he can sit properly without breathing restrictions." She said that despite the difficulties the boy lives with, he is cheerful, and has great day-to-day care.

The family also needs “sensory equipment to help with brain development and coordination.” She said these types of products are just too expensive without help.

Success stories

Mike’s Carwash makes “best employers in Ohio” list

CINCINNATI — Mike’s Carwash isn’t just known for getting your car squeaky clean, but also for the way that the company treats its employees, according to a press release.

Mike’s was one of 40 companies on the annual list of Best Employers in Ohio. The award, given by the Ohio Society for Human Resource Management State Council and Best Companies Group, honors the companies in the state that provide the best employee experience.

Companies were evaluated for this award on, “workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics, along with an employee survey to measure the employee experience.”

Mike’s owns six locations in the Cincinnati-area, and has a total of 85 employees.

IDA Mobile Detailer of the Year award given out

ORLANDO, Fla. — The International Detailing Association has named Lou Spellos of Squeeky Clean Mobile Car Wash as its 2014 Mobile Detailer of the Year.

“Winning this award is just humbling," Spellos told Professional Carwashing & Detailing. "My passion and spirit is being part of the IDA ... a solid foundation leading us in the best direction for our industry."

Spellos was also named Professional Carwashing & Detailing’s Most Valuable Carwash in 2013.

Gold cars turn into profits for carwashes

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — There’s nothing wrong with a yellow car, except when it's that color because of pollen buildup, according to station WJGH.

One wash customer, John Hudson, explained how the pollen made him need a carwash. “There was a lot of pollen, and my car turns from white to gold if I don’t keep it washed during pollen season.”

There are a percentage of people who are allergic to pollen, around 13 percent, so that can play a role in people’s need to get it off of cars, Dr. Randall Humphreys explained in the article.

“We get the cars coming in and they will be covered in yellow pollen,” Wash Me Now owner, Aaron Jurena, said in the story. “They have to get their cars cleaned more often with the pollen in the air.”

The peak of pollen season in Florida is during the month of February, according to various forecasters.

Detailers help in restoring aircrafts

ASHLAND, Ore. — Pristine Detailing was part of a group of 42 detailers that recently restored two historical aircrafts, according to a Pristine Detailing Service video blog.

One was a rare WWII B-29 Bomber named “T-Square 54.” The other was an Air Force One aircraft.

In the video blog, there are before and after photos of the aircrafts.

Marketing feats

Red cars receive free wash at Rain Tunnel Express

ST. LOUIS — Red cars received free washes at least at Rain Tunnel Express on Valentine’s Day, according to a press release in St. Louis Today.

“Valentine’s Day is just the first holiday of the year when we offer free washes like this,” said Scott Knight, the owner of Rain Tunnel. “We do the same kind of thing throughout the year, offering free washes to green cars on St. Patrick’s Day, hybrid cars on Earth Day, orange and black cars on Halloween.”

There were no other qualifying factors and a red car just had to drive to the wash on Feb. 14 and it was giving a free MONSOON premium wash.

The promotion was honored by all six locations in and around the St. Louis area.

Zips Car Wash expanding and implementing membership club

WICHITA, Kan. — Zips Car Wash, based out of Jonesboro, Ark., has rebranded two Legends Express Car Washes, according to the Wichita Business Journal.

The wash company now has five locations in Wichita. Zips President, Jon Gray, told the news outlet that these acquisitions “pretty much [wrap] the market up for us as far as express tunnels."

Zips sees a bright future in the Wichita market. “We’re wanting to be the go-to carwash in Wichita,” he said in the story. “We work hard to try to do everything in our power to work the market pretty good.”

Gray added that Zips may expand more in Kansas; the company has a total of 15 locations, spread across Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Florida and Kansas.

Over the next month, Zips will be introducing a membership club with a monthly rate for unlimited washes. The system will use a windshield sticker that is scanned to allow a wash.

Crime stories

Carwash trash filled with 30 pounds of marijuana

MONROE, Mich. — Tim Ames, owner of Water Works Car Wash, discovered two large trash bags filled with marijuana when he went to empty the trash, according to the Monroe News.

Ames, believing the bags to be filled with pot, called the local police, who confirmed that it was by doing a field test.

Chief David Uhl said in a statement that the bags were filled with a total of 30 pounds of marijuana.

An investigation into the case is ongoing.

Two businesses robbed within minutes of one another

DES MOINES, Iowa — A gas station and a carwash were victim to burglaries on Saturday, according to the Des Moines Register.   

The two businesses were only miles apart, and were robbed within minutes of one another.

The first stop for the criminal was the gas station, where the owner gave the robber money after being threatened with a knife.

The owner of Four Mile Car Wash said that there was money missing from coin boxes and that damage had been done to padlocks.

Surveillance footage captured the suspect at the carwash from 2:30 p.m. to 2:54 p.m. The make and model of the car were also determined from this footage.

No arrests have yet to be made in the case.

Updated: Suspect in carwash armed robbery arrested

WILMINGTON, N.C. — On Feb. 16, Allen Marsh Blackwelder approached an employee at Auto Track carwash with a knife and threatened that he had a gun, according to station WECT.

The employee had noticed Blackwelder coming out of the carwash office and was able to take down Blackwelder’s license number.

He was arrested and placed under a $30,000 bond.

Blackwelder broke into the wash, caused damage and robbed it, before leaving with an amount of money that has not been disclosed.

He was charged with breaking and entering, robbery, larceny and other charges.

Carwash burglars leave with handful of cash and cause thousands in damage

WICHITA, Kan. — Spiffy Car Wash was not only burglarized, it was also damaged, according to station KWCH.

Owner Jim Volk was optimistic, but saddened by the theft. “I’m going to lick my wounds, peel off some more money and hope for a good carwash weekend,” he said in the story. “I’m going to go out and spend another $1,000 to $3,000 next week just to try to get back to where I was…”

The estimates on the damage done are around $10,000, according to Volk, which is a much bigger financial burden than the money that was stolen.

Volk said the burglars apparently hooked onto the automatic carwash machines and yanked the coin boxes out of the brick mold.

The wash does have a surveillance system, but has yet to record any evidence to lead to an arrest.

Police raid upsets carwash employees

DETROIT — Mike’s Auto Spa was the target of a narcotics drug raid on March 4, but the police did not find what they were looking for, according to My Fox Detroit.

“I was shocked,” Owner Mike Burton said in the story. “We have been here six months already, had no problems up until today.”

Surveillance footage captured the raid. Men were filmed leaving the wash in a silver Tahoe, and were handcuffed and taken into custody. The officers discovered guns, and around $4,000 in cash.

Burton said doors were knocked and kicked down and employees and customers had to get down on the floor.

One employee claimed an officer put his knee to his back hard enough that he couldn’t breathe, and was also verbally insulted by the officer.

Police told the newspaper they had a warrant, and a tip that drugs were being sold out of the carwash. The only thing found during the search was a small bag of marijuana.

Burton said he has filed a complaint with internal affairs, and added that what the police did was unacceptable. The carwash is still under investigation.

Environmental News

Eco-friendly upgrading being done at Clean Planet Car Wash

WOODINVILLE, Wash. — Clean Planet is upgrading its wash with a new ChoiceWash XT that will use as little as 15 gallons of water per vehicle, which is around 25 gallons less than the company’s previous machine, a press release reported.

Another advantage of the new machine is the fact that it “uses a state of the art water reclamation system in combination with the advances in new equipment,” the release stated. The wash system is computer-controlled, has high-pressure nozzles and can minimize the cost of electricity along with the cost of water.

Clean Planet also has a detailing department that will appreciate the SoftTec brush technology, which “field-testing shows that after 300 washes, there is no sign of fine scratches,” according to the release.

Why Sacramento is limiting at-home carwashing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Home carwashers are interested in knowing why they’re only allowed to wash their vehicles on Saturday or Sunday, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The rule is part of Sacramento’s emergency measures in order to conserve water during a drought. The reason carwashes are limited to weekends is a matter of practicality.

“The City Council thought it would be easier for enforcement (to limit carwashing to Saturday or Sunday),” William Granger, the water conservation administrator in Sacramento, stated in the story.

The rule went into effect on Jan. 14, and on March 9 it switched to an odd-even address number system.

Granger said in the story that there is a superior alternative to at-home washing. “Even better, use a commercial carwash. These businesses recycle their water.” He added that there are no restrictions on “water days” for commercial washes either.  

Dryness in Arizona creates concerns for the future

PHOENIX — The state of Arizona will not go dry in 2014, but there are concerns about the future water supply, AZcentral.com reported.

It was reported during early February by the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center that Arizona’s watersheds received around half of the normal January precipitation.

The Southwest has been experiencing the biggest dry spell in 400 years, according to a tree-ring analysis.

Arizona, however, is not in the same position as California which has enough water stored to carry them through at least another year without there being shortages.

“Huge difference between us and California,” Kathleen Ferris, executive director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, stated in the story.

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