Auto Detailing Trailer: A $2000 BluePrint
Don’t rush out and buy a new trailer full of new equipment. Why? More than half of these get sold within a year (slow business or lack of owner interest) for a 60% loss! Buy used equipment and–should you sell within the year (or even years after that) you could be out nothing, or a small loss of 10-15%. Here’s what you need:
The Professional trailer: 8 foot by 5 foot enclosed. About $1200.
8 by 5 foot is the perfect compromise of size and weight in auto detail trailers: just enough to fit your operation, enough for signage, but not so much that you can’t fit into tight driveways or run up your fuel costs with the weight. Enclosed sides are a must! The signage is critical. People will see your trailer in parking lots, on the job, outside your home etc. and write down your contact info. It needs to be clear what you do and how to reach you, and an open trailer simply can’t accomplish this.
Set aside $200 for vinyl lettering.
Nothing excessive. No full color wraps. Just your auto company name, maybe a logo, and your phone number/website on all three sides of the mobile detail trailer.
3 HP Air Compressor: $100 – $125.
Get an electric compressor with a horizontal (not vertical) tank that won’t tip over during trips.
Gas Pressure Washers: $150 – $250.
Gas…not electric! Much better output, and you won’t be breaking customer’s circuits when using their electricity.
Hoses and Extension Cords: $125.
Buy your pressure washer hose new: $50 for 25 feet of hose (you’ll need the length to move around full size trucsk and SUVs). Get a 50 foot compressed air hose for your compressor…maybe 2. The compressor stays in the Mobile Detailing trailer, so you need this length of hose. Finally, buy A LOT of extension cords. 4 of them @ 25 feet each.
Portable Storage Bins: $50.
Don’t invest in built-in storage shelves. Here’s why: you don’t want to be making trips back and forth to your trailer. Instead, just by $50 of Rubbermaid tubs that you set next to your customer’s car for quick access.
Don’t Buy these Detail Products: Mobile Generator or Water Supply Tanks
Not worth it initially! 98% of your customers will supply their water and electricity to you, so why bring it to them? If, after 6 months, you take on some commercial work where you won’t have water/power, make the investment. But don’t dump $1k into these pieces of equipment in the beginning.
A Little Detail Secret: Buy the WHOLE Business on the Cheap
In the fall, when prime Automotive detailing season ends, you can find 10s of complete mobile detailing trailers, vans, or trucks for sale on Craigslist’s Business for Sale section. The busiest markets for these: Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta. Some of them even include the business name and website.
Make $100s more every day with our equipment.
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