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Equipment Suggestions?

7 replies created about 1 year ago
posted by ClassicSaab about 1 year ago

Hello all -
I am new to this industry and am considering renovating a 20+ year old express exterior tunnel. The tunnel has some pretty odd custom built equipment in it, and I can't figure who made it if anyone. At any rate, I am considering renovating and have been doing ample research:

Sonny's: Am drawn to the customer service and abundance of info, but have heard that their wraps can sometimes climb cars depending on configuration and will cause damage. Just a rumor? Also interested in the Banana Peel conveyor and the Omni's - have heard of hose issues with Omnis.

Hanna: Haven't had much experience - equipment looks decent but may be out of the running because I would like electric drive.

AVW: People have said good things about the wraps they produce - however I've noticed that there isn't as much wash material between the car and the hub when compared to the competition.

Peco: The frames look sturdy and it appears that there is a wide variety of equipment available - Don't know about reliability/safety however.

Econocraft: Wouldn't consider them as there is virtually no info on them anywhere aside from an old website.

Macneil: The best in the business, so I've heard. The Mercedes of the car wash industry. Innovative design, safe, soft, effective. What's peoples experience with Macneil? I like the look of the equipment but have heard that maintenance is a bitch.

What do you all recommend?

Looking to augment a tunnel that currently has:

a peculiar dual (side to side and front-back) mitter setup, custom made triple foamers out of drain pipe, broken (and dangerous) flex wraps, moldy rocker brushes, and a rain arch.

I want to keep the mitter as I think it's interesting and can offer some good cleaning action, but everything else goes. Especially the conveyor, which I believe is a 20 year old Sonny's unit. Mitter uses a flat basket side to side followed by a flat basket two basket front to back. Baskets hung by rubber straps. Anyone heard of this?



reply by Earl Weiss about 1 year ago

Both Sonny's and AVW wraps will climb a Car if not rotating and the Car is moving down the conveyor and contacts them.

AVW Wrap Material. Not sure if you are referring to length of material or something else. Older style had larger hubs so Bottom material was 18" length. Newer style has smaller hubs and it's spec'd at 19" I think Sonny's may be 21" I have / had both and really did not notice any difference except bottoms wear faster on all and with AVW having a larger bottom core it's easier jsut to replace those than with Sonny's all one size core. With all it cloth wears about 1.5" down from original you need to replace it. Prime concern is if you have a good local distributor.

What is wrong with the current conveyor.

reply by ClassicSaab about 1 year ago

Conveyor is rusted at the base and is unreliable. I would rather have a modern conveyor than spend time rebuilding/repairing one that has structural rot down in the pit. The wash currently closes several times a month because of conveyor issues.

reply by Earl Weiss about 1 year ago

Structural rot is a good reason to replace:)

reply by AutoWashUSA about 1 year ago

I have just renovated mine, was in a similar situation. Had old conveyor I couldn't tell who was the manufacturer, and other odd equipments inside and a protovest dryer. Removed everything and installed belanger conveyor, correlator and dryer, and everything else is MacNeil except rocker panel brushes (kept the old ones).

So far so good, belanger conveyor is excellent. Super quiet and reliable. MacNeil is top notch and maintenance isn't bad, there are some very high volume washes in my area that use them and their owners can't say anything bad about the MacNeils. I have a pair of top brushes plus the superflex wraps, both are top notch.

A *very* important aspect is to choose your installer well. A well installed conveyor will give you peace of mind for many years. From weld quality on anchor points to leveling on all directions correctly, it pays to keep attention to install details.

reply by Patkelly1336 about 1 year ago

We have mostly new equipment in our wash tunnel. We have MacNeil RS-Series brushes, with wraparound brushes. We also have a MacNeil XR1000 conveyor which we love because it handles extremely wide tires and the call up works great. We use MacNeil Sure Shine for our tire shine. And we use MacNeil Tech 21 driers at the end of our tunnel. MacNeil is the best for any wash tunnel, it lasts longer and works better than most. Just remember to keep up on the maintenance schedules. Our brushes use Envirosoft Foam Brush material, so no scratching and easier to clean and maintain. Our only downside is our RO system, of which we have 3 units in total, which are junk.
We are on a well, so our water pressure drops, but wash quality remains excellent throughout. MacNeil equipment allows us to handle up to 155 cars per hour in our tunnel, and we have met that level before. We use the DRB FastPass system for monthly plans, we have two entrance terminals and one lane into our tunnel. We handle on average about 500 cars a day, but we can handle up to 1100 in one day if needed.
Our location is a 100 foot tunnel attached to the back of a convenience store and gas station. We provide free vacuums and detailing supplies.

I would highly recommend MacNeil equipment, but when you make your decision, go for the electric power units over the hydraulic units if possible. Our conveyor and brushes are hydraulic and if a hose breaks, its a big mess and shuts down the entire tunnel, not to mention a speedy repair while cars sit in the tunnel waiting.

reply by kevinmcf about 1 year ago

155 per hour?? best I've done was 100 (F/S though)! Banana peel thats a surface conveyor isn't it?? If so the assumption is your not doing a lot of cars?? If your going to be over 50-60,000 cars a year you need to bite the bullet and get an over under! And if your not doing a lot of cars then you need to budget your equipment, you should get 20-30% off list in today's market. I have a Belanger XD conveyor (145') lists $43,000 paid $33,000 + install. I have had Belanger, MacNeil, Sonnies and Econocraft (multiple washes) The installer or your service tech is more or/ as important as the equipment. The Conveyor is the most important item on the list we have MacNeil conveyors at other washes, but I like the XD Belanger as the best right now. You can order any width but 13-13.5 is max I'll ever go, I just don't want to deal with the trucks! Macneil uses a lot of plastic bushings (no or low maintenance) but need to replace bushings. Being a former mechanic I like steel bearings that you maintain and grease. Macneil Flex wraps are the best (as far as cleaning front and back goes) but a lot moving parts high maintenance. Never had a gyro wrap but seen them, work OK. I don't like aluminum (stress cracks) and not crazy about powder coat steel (peels and rust). I have 1 wash all SS mitters have over 1.5 million cars same for rockers (over 20 years old)! at one time was only 25% more now over 50% so may not be worth it! With SS replace cloth, bearings, drums and will clean up and always look new! My last SS purchase was a sonnies Spider, 2nd wash has a sonnies SS combo 1/2 moon miter with double jog wrap. I also prefer 10hp blowers and more of them if needed. 15HP very heavy and more expensive. just had to replace a 15 in my Aero blower motor $750 and took 2 days to replace (brother and I with a winch) Also 15hp will generally have more impeller problems.

reply by Earl Weiss about 1 year ago

Pat Kelley. Have you considered a water based hydraulic Fluid for Brushes?

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