Back in my youth, the mention of the word “belt” was usually used in the same sentence as, “Wait till your father gets home.” Back then, belts had a couple of purposes: one was to hold up your pants; the other was to teach me a lesson to never disrespect my mother’s rules.
In my teen years, we used the term again, but with a different meaning. “Getting belted” was code for having a few too many with our buddies.
Over the years and aside from these belt references, I never really gave much thought to belts. That is, until now! It seems there is a battle raging in the carwash industry between the belt believers and the anti-belters.
The war on words taking place on our industry online forums is both entertaining and representative. Mostly, it’s a lot of friendly banter back and forth between the two factions. It goes something like this:
Believer: “I can wash a dually.”
Anti-Belter: “Who cares? I get a cleaner wheel.”
Believer: “My customers are less intimidated by loading on a belt.”
Anti-Belter: “How do you plan to dress the tires properly if they’re not turning?”
Believer: “I can load cars faster.”
Anti-Belter: “I’ll take that bet.”
It’s Coke versus Pepsi. Chevy versus Ford. Good versus evil. You get the idea. But the real question is, who is right? Is it the belt-believers or the conveyor-believers? Is it possible they are both right or both wrong? The simple answer to all of these questions is: yes!
If I’ve learned anything in all my years in the carwash industry, it’s that there’s more than one way to cook an egg. In other words, there is more than one way to get a car from point A to point B in a tunnel.
If you’re delivering a great customer experience and a clean, dry, shiny car on a belt — and making money doing it — that’s awesome. If you’re doing the same on a conveyor — equally as awesome.
One side will never convince the other that their way is the right way and the only way. As the belt versus conveyor controversy rages on, I can’t help but think “getting belted” sounds like the best idea of all.
Here’s an even better idea: I propose that instead of arguing about belts and conveyors, we talk about a topic we can all agree on. Like, say, mitters versus top brushes!
Bob Fox has over 30 years of industry experience and is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at [email protected]. For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit CarWash College or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.
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