A lot of beginning detailers do just fine using their customer’s electricity and water. In fact, a lot of businesses have been around for 10 years, and never needed to provide their own water and electricity.
But there are HUGE benefits if you make the approximately $1k investment. Consider:
1. Gas-powered pressure washers generate a higher output of water and won’t break your customer’s circuit breakers. When you’re detailing engines, or blasting moss and dirt out of window seams, panel gaps, plastic mouldings, door jambs, and trunk jambs, it’s major plus to have a strong pressure washer; it cuts down on time and water use. Gas power pressure washers have superior output versus electric pressure washers. Secondly, if you’ve ever had an electric pressure washer get plugged, you’ll get a power surge and your customer’s circuit will break. It takes 5-10 minutes to find the customer, find the panel, and restart your pressure washer. That is…if he’s even home at the time.
2. Generators ensure that you won’t trip your customers’ circuit breakers. Ever run 2 vacuum cleaners at once, then add a buffer and…”click!” away goes your electricity? Where’s the customer? Where’s the circuit? How many pieces of equipment can I run simultaneously without tripping his breakers? When you have your own electricity, there’s no worries of delays or guesswork about tripping breakers. You can also permanently afix self-retracting power cords to your generator that speed up the break down/pack up process. Time your set up and break down procedure. You probably spend 10 minutes on unwinding and packing up electrical cords.
3. Bringing a water tank speeds up set up and break down times. Sometimes a customer’s water source is too far from your work spot. Sometimes it’s occupied by a complicated hose device or splitter. Sometimes, their water source isn’t even live! On average, you may spend 10 minutes just connecting your hose, then later unconnecting and winding up your hose. That adds up, day after day. With an on-board tank in your van or trailer, your set up time is virtually nil. And…you can do details in business parks or apartment complexes where there is no water source nearby.
Make it a goal to upgrade to a gas-powered pressure washer and supply your own water and electricity. You can shorten each job by up to 20 minutes and take on jobs you couldn’t previously service.