Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Sorting the sorters

October 11, 2010

When life was simple and quarters ruled the carwash business, there was but one solution for coin counting. A simple rugged machine made by Klopp that could count wet coins was the only, and therefore, best solution. Bagging or wrapping in either electric or manual versions may have been delegated to a willing family member who spent hours processing coins and preparing deposits.

Life has changed. The introduction of tokens, dollar coins and mixed coins from vending machines has created profit, and headaches, for the designated coin processor. Coin processing rooms have been established. Cash flow now impacts profitability. Sorting coins and tokens to be recycled to the bill changers or readied for bank deposits needs to be swift and accurate.

What options does the operator have to solve these costly and time-consuming issues?

Single pass coin counter sorters
These sorters, which count and sort mixed coins and tokens in one pass, are the tool-of-choice for volume operators. Such sorters, which can bag the coins for deposit in “Fed-ready” bags and process tokens into vault volume containers, are an investment, but an investment well worth the time and convenience for your operation.

Until recently, the equipment which could process and multi-mixed coins was either very, very expensive or was what is known as a multi-pass machine. Machines today are more affordable and more neccesary for large carwash chains.

Multi-Pass Coin Counter/Sorters
The multi-pass counter/sorter is the choice of the operator with one to four locations.

Multi-pass means the machine separates coins by collecting the largest coin by diameter and rejecting all smaller coins. That process is repeated, going to the next largest coin, until the operator has processed the entire mix.

While costing less, this type of machine wastes a great deal of time when coin sizes do not match the volume-to-diameter ratio.

In other words, if the operator has just a few 1.125 tokens and lots of quarters, the tokens will be counted off first in a multi-pass machine, while the higher volume of quarters is just passed off. The quarters then need to be lifted and recycled through the machine to be counted on a second pass. The result is double handling of the off-sorted coins.

This brings us to the last point of this topic. Selection of your token and sorting machine should be driven by the anticipated volumes to be processed. The ideal formula is to have the largest diameter coin also be the highest volume coin in the mix. This will allow you to purchase and effectively use a less expensive multi-pass coin counter/sorter.

Careful selection of tokens by size and coin ratios should be the criteria when making the initial investment decision on what coin mechanism will be used at each of your locations.


Sharon and her husband Jim own ABC Coin in Frisco, TX. ABC Coin attends at least three carwash shows each year where they demonstrate all types of coin and currency counting equipment for the carwash operators. For more information, call Sharon at 800-752-7277.