Lines are blurring for a long-standing division in the car wash industry.
Tunnel car washes have been a fast and reliable option for motorists for decades. Customers want quality and superior cleaning, but the way it is being executed by forward-thinking businesses is shifting in order to maintain productivity while lowering costs.
While operating a tunnel wash has benefits over other models, like being able to handle significantly more cars per hour than in-bay or self-serve sites, friction tunnels do have some drawbacks, including higher labor costs and difficulty reaching every surface of a vehicle without risking damage to the car. To address these concerns, many tunnel operators have begun the shift from being completely friction–based to a hybrid experience. Hybrids deploy equipment that uses a combination of high pressure, touchless equipment and friction material to clean the vehicle.
Why are hybrid tunnel washes becoming so popular?
Better Car Wash Equipment
Tunnel car washes are starting to transition to better equipment that improves productivity and the level of cleaning, while reducing necessary labor.
Advanced equipment, like Petit’s patented Accutrac 360-t, a robotic high-pressure spray arch that can be installed in any conveyor wash system, will transform friction tunnels to hybrid. With its addition in friction tunnel systems, the 360-t can offer a more thorough cleaning while also lowering labor costs without any loss in productivity.
Lower Labor Costs with More Automation
As technology advances, so has the continued reduction of manual labor to make tunnel washes run more efficiently.
One example of increased efficiency is the replacement of cashiers or attendants before entering the tunnel to an automated pay station that displays different car wash packages and accepts payment. While automated pay stations are an investment, the long-term savings and operation opportunities are undeniable.
Equipment like the 360-t can have a similar affect on the tunnel washing process.
Traditionally, when approaching and preparing for a friction car wash, an attendee will prep the vehicle before entering the tunnel with a high-pressure spray wand to remove heavy dirt, bugs, and salt.
The 360-t removes the need for manual hand prepping and the required labor because of its consistent high-pressure and complete coverage capabilities. Over time, the investment in hybrid technology will save an owner on long-term labor costs.
A More Thorough Wash
Along with improving your car wash’s efficiency, a 360-t hybrid equipment set-up delivers a superior wash. Through automatic prepping and touchless high-pressure spray arches.
The Accutrac 360-t is designed to rinse every spot on the car twice including the backs and fronts!
The inclusion of the 360-t as a prepping arch can ensure complete vehicle coverage before it passes through the friction material. Friction washes can miss areas on the vehicle that are difficult to clean, including the front, back, license plates and some taller vehicles and accessories. The 360-t will wash every spot on the car twice due to its high-pressure osculating spray heads.
Touchless arches will only add to the level of cleaning and offer improvements to a hybrid tunnel’s superior car washing process.
Have you considered transforming your friction tunnel car wash into a hybrid system? Contact us or call 330-861-0760 for more information on our industry-leading car wash equipment and its benefits.