Building the Ultimate Pressure Washing Trailer on a Budget
A pressure washing trailer is your largest and most important investment, if you’re starting a pressure washing business. A well-built trailer can make all the difference in the success of your business, so it pays to invest in one that’s built to last. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank in the process. In this blog post, we’ll look at the best ways to build an ultimate pressure washing trailer on a budget. We’ll discuss the materials and equipment you’ll need, as well as some tips on how to save money while still getting a quality product.
What is the Ultimate Startup Pressure Washing Trailer?
Whether you are starting a pressure washing business, expanding an existing one, or simply looking to upgrade your existing trailer, there are a few key components you need to consider building the ultimate startup pressure washing trailer.
To begin, it’s important to consider what services you plan to offer. Are you focusing on residential customers, or commercial customers? Depending on the size and scope of your services, this can determine what kind of trailer and equipment you will need.
Next, think about your budget. If you are on a tight budget, it may be worth considering building your trailer yourself to save money. You can find many step-by-step tutorials online to guide you through the process.
When it comes to selecting the equipment for your pressure washing trailer, there are a few key items that you should have: a pressure washer, water buffer tank, hose reel, soap and rinse nozzles, soft wash system, and a hose. A sodium hypochlorite tank and downstream injector may also be necessary for certain services.
Each item should be carefully chosen based on the services you plan to offer and the budget you have. For example, larger water buffer tanks may be more beneficial for commercial jobs, whereas a more compact tank might be suitable for residential use. Also consider purchasing quality materials that are durable and efficient.
Once you have considered all these factors, you can begin to piece together the ultimate pressure washing trailer that meets all your needs. With the right components in place, you can get up and running with your business in no time.
Your Pressure Washer Determines Trailer Size
When selecting the right pressure washer for your business, it’s important to consider the size of the trailer you’ll need to hold it. The pressure washer will dictate the amount of water it needs measured in gallons per minute (GPM). The higher the GPM, the larger the buffer tank you will need, which in turn affects the size and weight capacity of your trailer.
For example, if you are purchasing a pressure washer that uses water at 5 GPM, then you’ll need a smaller tank than if you were buying a pressure washer with a GPM of 10. This means you can get away with a smaller trailer size that is better suited for your needs. However, make sure the trailer you select can handle the weight of the pressure washer plus the buffer tank as well as any additional equipment you plan on carrying.
Water weighs 8.2 pounds per gallon and a 5 GPM pressure washer will need a water buffer tank that holds at least 65 gallons of water. You do the math, 65 x 8.2 = 533 pounds. I know what you’re thinking, “But can’t I just run a hose from the customer’s house to my pressure washer”? Yes, you will do that, but it will feed your buffer tank. What happens if the city water only produces 4 GPM? Your pressure washer will be starved for water which will prematurely wear out the pump.
A buffer tank will provide all the water your pressure washer needs preventing any potential damage. Your tank is only dropping by a gallon per minute while you are using the pressure washer.
Once you know what size pressure washer you need, you’ll be able to decide on the size of your buffer tank and the appropriate trailer size. This is important to keep in mind when creating the perfect pressure washing trailer for your business.
What is the Right Water Buffer Tank Shape / Size?
When selecting the right water buffer tank shape and size for your pressure washing trailer, you’ll want to think about how much water you need to carry and how much deck space is available. A larger tank will give you more volume to work with but may take up more space on the trailer.
A vertical tank will take up less deck space than a horizontal tank, so if you’re limited in space, you may want to consider going with a vertical tank. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the size of the tank will depend on the needs of the pressure washer. Normal operating procedures for a pressure washing company assume you’ll be allowed to tap into the water supply at the customer’s property.
A buffer tank is an insurance policy against a low flow from your customer’s supply. You don’t need a tank large enough to carry all the water necessary to do an entire job. That would make this business cost prohibitive. If you do have a customer that has no water supply, I suggest passing on them when you’re just starting. It’s not worth the hassle of doing part of a job, stopping, wrapping up all your hoses, driving to fill up your buffer tank, and returning to finish. Lastly, make sure to select a tank made of durable material that will last for many years.
Best Budget Hose Reel
When it comes to finding the best budget hose reel for your pressure washing trailer, there are three main types to consider: steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. Steel is the most cost-effective option, but it can rust over time so it might not be a good long-term choice. Aluminum reels are slightly more expensive but are lighter and will not rust. Finally, stainless steel reels are the most durable and expensive option, but they offer superior protection against rust.
When choosing a hose reel for your pressure washing trailer, it’s important to consider the cost, weight, durability, and rust protection that each type of reel offers. Steel is the cheapest option but will rust over time, while aluminum and stainless steel will offer greater longevity but will cost more upfront.
Having said all that, a steel reel hooked up to your pressure washer will last you at least a couple of years which is long enough to get your business off the ground and running. Even if you’re down streaming bleach, which accelerates corrosion inside the manifold it will still last long enough to get cash flowing allowing you to upgrade to a better reel during the winter months.
Choose the Right Hose
When it comes to choosing the right pressure washer hose for your pressure washing trailer, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, you should always choose a non-marking hose to ensure that you do not cause any damage to surfaces or leave marks behind. Secondly, you should make sure that you have at least 150’ of hose on your reel so that you can easily move around as you pressure wash.
A good option is to use two hoses of different lengths: a 100’ hose and a 50’ hose with quick disconnect couplers. That way, if one of the hoses gets damaged, it is easier and less expensive to replace a shorter length of hose than a longer one. I like to keep extra hose wrapped up and hanging on the back of my trailer for jobs that require a longer stretch of hose.
Don’t Forget a Sodium Hypochlorite Tank
Having a Sodium Hypochlorite (SH) tank on your pressure washing trailer is a must for a pressure washing company. SH mixed with a surfactant is the cleaning agent necessary to do efficient house washes. Simply apply the soap mixture to the home, let it dwell for 15-20 minutes and rinse clean.
A 35-gallon tank is the perfect size for a startup trailer, as it can hold enough house wash mix to clean $1500 – $2000 worth of houses a day. The pressure washer pulls the house wash mix into the stream of water by way of a hose from the SH tank to the downstream injector. If you want to add a soft wash system to your trailer, the 35-gallon tank is just fine. Of course, if you want more capacity, then you can go with a 55-gallon vertical tank, just make sure that your trailer can handle the extra weight.
How About Soap and Rinse Nozzles?
When it comes to pressure washing, having the right nozzles is essential for delivering optimal results. To get the job done right, you should include a j-rod with 2 soap nozzles and 2 rinse nozzles. This allows you to switch between soap and rinse by changing the nozzle on your pressure washer wand.
The soap nozzles have larger orifices that are designed to drop the pressure enough to pull the soap solution from the tank. You can purchase them as a set usually with a zero-degree and a fan-tip 25-degree nozzle, depending on the supplier. The rinse nozzles have smaller orifices which won’t drop the pressure enough to draw soap.
Having the right soap and rinse nozzles will ensure that you get the best results when your pressure washing. With a j-rod assembly, you can easily switch between soap and rinse without having to go back to the pressure washing trailer to disconnect the downstream injector.
You’ll Need a Downstream Injector
When it comes to pressure washing, a downstream injector is a must-have accessory for any setup. A downstream injector is essentially a device that mixes water and soap in the same stream. Downstream injectors use a venturi to pull soap into the water stream. It’s used in combination with a soap nozzle to create a drop in pressure activating the venturi effect.
Although downstream injectors may vary, they usually have a mix ratio from 4/1 to 10/1 water to soap. The blended solution is introduced into the pressure washer hose past the injector as one mixture.
This process allows you to mix the right amount of soap and water every time, ensuring that your pressure washing jobs are more effective and efficient. The cost of a downstream injector will usually be supplied with your new pressure washer but if you purchase it separately, they vary depending on the model you choose, but they generally range from $50 – $100.
In short, if you’re setting up a pressure washing trailer, you’ll need a downstream injector. It’s an essential part of creating a more effective cleaning solution and ensures that your pressure washing jobs are more effective and efficient.
Think About a Soft Wash System
If you plan to use your pressure washing trailer for more than just house wash, driveway and sidewalk cleaning, you’ll want to consider a soft wash system. This system is necessary for cleaning roofs since it delivers a higher SH to water mixture which is necessary to kill Gloeocapsa Magma, the type of algae that often grows on roofs. A downstream injector will not deliver enough of the mixture to properly clean a roof, so if this is a service you want to offer, then a soft wash system is a must. Cleaning roofs is lucrative so add it as soon as you can afford to.
A great budget soft wash system includes a 24v electric bleach pump, two 12v marine batteries, an aluminum hose reel, and 200′ of chemical hose with a soft wash gun. This will provide enough power to deliver the necessary cleaning mix for the roof and other exterior surfaces. The marine batteries can also be used to power other equipment on your pressure washing trailer such as lights, and other electronics. If you plan to clean roofs, then a soft wash system should be a part of your budget when putting together your pressure washing trailer.
What’s This Going to Cost?
Starting a pressure washing business is a great way to make extra income, but it does require an initial investment. The cost of building the ultimate pressure washing trailer depends on what type of materials you decide to use. However, based on my experience, you can expect to spend about $10,000 for the materials alone.
Of course, that number can increase if you choose to buy more expensive equipment. To get an exact idea of the cost, you’ll want to create a spreadsheet that outlines all the items you need and their costs. You may also have to pay someone to build the trailer, which will add to the overall cost.
I hope this gives you a rough estimate of what it will take to get your business up and running. With some research and planning, you can find the best options for your budget and start earning extra income with your own pressure washing business.
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