2015 Article

A tractor trailer is more than just a large piece of on-road equipment. It’s a major investment, foundation to a livelihood and a home away from home. Collectively, big rigs are the engine that keep industries and economies in motion. But none of that comes cheap. A new truck and trailer can cost well over Read More

A tractor trailer is more than just a large piece of on-road equipment. It’s a major investment, foundation to a livelihood and a home away from home. Collectively, big rigs are the engine that keep industries and economies in motion.

But none of that comes cheap. A new truck and trailer can cost well over a quarter-million dollars, and that’s not including a lot of chrome and aftermarket equipment so often added to personalize vehicles. After all, plenty of truckers find ways to make their million-mile rolling office as comfortable as possible.

The miles are a given, so long as the truck is properly maintained, and clean. The challenge of removing snow, ice, mud and salt gave rise to the modern, roadside truck wash.

Washing big rigs – from over-the-highway trucks to off-road energy industry trucks – is infinitely more involved than washing cars. They’re bigger, sure, but they also come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

 

Water, the lifeblood of everything

“Whether you’re washing an oil field truck covered in 5,000 pounds of mud or you’re cleaning a chromed-out road truck, water is a huge consideration,” said Jyrki Koro, president of Truck Wash Technologies, Inc., in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. “It takes a lot of water, and it needs to be processed accordingly.”

With 21 years in the truck wash industry, Koro started the company in 1999, with a vision to develop the commercial, for-profit truck wash that has eluded other manufacturers to date. Designing superior automation and water treatment technology that can adapt to a very diverse trucking industry was key, but equally important is minimizing capital costs related to building and land, and developing a service and operational standard which allows the business model to work.

“Until recently, little has changed in the truck wash industry in the past 40 years or so,” said Koro. “We aim to provide a fast and affordable public wash that offers value and consistency while delivering what every owner wants: a clean and shiny truck.”

Their unique, innovative wash system provides an automated cleaning rivalled only by a long, labor-intensive manual wash, but utilizing advanced technology that delivers high wash quality with minimal labor costs.

For the portion of the wash when cleaning chemicals are used and also on the final, spot-free rinse, conditioned fresh water is used. For all other facets of the washing process, large amounts of recycled water are used. The fresh water portion of the system includes filtration, scale prevention and reverse osmosis for uncompromising purity.

“During the design of our truck wash systems, we researched the trucking industry to determine the needs of the end user and tailored a system using innovative designs and vendors to complement the application with quality components,” said Koro. Though he’s been designing truck wash systems for 16 years, the current model has been seven years in the making.

 

Two types of fresh water

As fresh water comes into the facility from a well or municipal supplies, it’s treated for scale prevention either by TAC (template-assisted crystallization) technology or traditional water softener with brine tank. Using both technologies provides a more cost effective approach to treating all incoming water to a degree that suits its application in the wash process.

If used for high-pressure rinsing applications, water first goes through a 100 GPM Watts OneFlow anti-scale system to treat water before entering a large storage tank for use. This chemical-free, TAC anti-scale technology bonds calcium ions together so that they’re inert, and won’t build up on surfaces downstream. It’s used chiefly to reduce the negative effects of water hardness (calcium carbonate) in plumbing systems, appliances, valves and other components.

After TAC treatment, water is used in the high-pressure, fresh water rinsing of the vehicle. For fresh water used during the chemical application process, a different anti-scale approach is used.

“Because calcium and magnesium rapidly absorb the cleaning chemicals and render them less effective, we need to be absolutely sure that all minerals are removed from the water stream for chemical application. TAC reduces scale buildup, but the ions are still in the water. So, a commercial Watts water softener conditions the water used in the chemical application. This amounts to roughly 30 gallons per truck wash.”

Fresh water supplied to the softener passes first through a large Watts carbon filter that features automatic backwashing. The activated carbon media in the large tank is generally used for dechlorination, removal of tastes, odors and as pretreatment for reverse osmosis systems. Chlorine causes destruction of reverse osmosis membranes and polymer based ion exchange resins used in water softeners.

A spot-free, final rinse is the very last phase of a truck wash. For this, water is treated by a large reverse osmosis system. A 4,400 GPD (gallon per day) reverse osmosis system provides ample water volume. The RO removes any remnant of minerals that could otherwise create powdery looking spots on the vehicle surface after drying.

 

Sediment removal

The freshwater purification components of the truck wash system insure we minimize chemical costs and produce a clean truck with no streaks or spotting. Nonetheless, recycled water does the heavy lifting.

Each Truck Wash Technologies system uses recycled water for the bulk of the washing process. Heavily-soiled trucks can require as much as 12,000 gallons of recycled water, but never less than 2,000.

“We have off-road trucks come in with so much mud that it actually reduces the amount of cargo they can legally haul,” said Koro. “Needless to say, this cuts into their paycheck.”

As the system’s moving gantry makes pass after pass over the vehicle, tons of sediment drains into an in-floor catchment system. A series of screens and settlement tanks strain solids from the liquid.

A cluster of high-volume hydro cyclones manufactured by Bailey-Parks Urethane provides a second level of water filtration, spinning fine dirt out of the stream in a centrifuge. Finally, a liquid polymer is injected into the water. This substance binds any remaining fine solids together so that they settle out more quickly. All sediment is continuously removed from the wash water and dewatered for ease of disposal.

 

On down the road

A Truck Wash Technologies installation will service upwards of 1,000 trucks each month. As drivers wait 15 or 20 minutes for their rig to come out sparkling clean, they’re oblivious to the hi-tech processes going on in the background.

Truck Wash Technologies currently has two truck washes in Canada, and a third under construction in Tacoma, WA. The company is slowly watching trends in the industry shift favorably.

“We have the potential to change the truck washing landscape in North America,” said Koro. “But being the first mover in a large, untapped market, it’s imperative we remain involved in all facets of the truck wash business to maximize the potential for our customers’ success. The superior technologies we’ve developed and assembled speak for themselves.”

 

 

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There was a great deal of activity swirling in the atmosphere in Hollywood, Fla., and fortunately it was all in the form of workforce development solutions, leadership tips, new technologies, and results-oriented strategies geared for PHCC members and their businesses. While Hurricane Joaquin only threatened to interfere with some travel plans home, attendees at PHCC’s Read More

There was a great deal of activity swirling in the atmosphere in Hollywood, Fla., and fortunately it was all in the form of workforce development solutions, leadership tips, new technologies, and results-oriented strategies geared for PHCC members and their businesses. While Hurricane Joaquin only threatened to interfere with some travel plans home, attendees at PHCC’s CONNECT 2015 stayed focused on charting a clear course for success for their businesses and the industry, engaging in valuable educational sessions, Product & Technology Showcase demonstrations, and those always-productive conversations with other contractors.

Some highlights of the week included

  • Two inspiring keynote speeches:

“Digging for Hope: Turning Wine to Water and Other Modern Day Miracles” by Doc Hendley

“Lessons in Leadership” by the U.S. Navy’s first F-14 fighter pilot Carey Lohrenz.

  • The annual changing of the guard of new PHCC officers.
  • A recognition of the many deserving award winners.

 

This year’s top three plumbing apprentice awards went to:

  • 1st Place – James Peterson, John J. Maurer, Inc., Cataumet, Mass. – sponsored by A. O. Smith
  • 2nd Place – Jared Beninati, Evan Hibbs Plumbing, Portsmouth, Va. – sponsored by Milwaukee Tool
  • 3rd Place – David Spaeth, Harty Mechanical, Austin, Minn. – sponsored by Uponor

 

The Foundation’s Plumbing Apprentice and Journeyman Training Committee members were on hand to set up and judge the contest, which was a highlight of the PHCC–National Association’s CONNECT 2015 Product & Technology Showcase.

In 2016, CONNECT heads to the Lone Star Next

They say everything is bigger in Texas!  Make plans to come partner with your peers in San Antonio. Mark your calendars now…Oct. 19-21 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter.

 

Check out more plumbing articles and plumbing news

Living in the 21st century it’s not always easy to keep up with all the innovativeness being thrown around. Everyday the world is introduced to new inventions which throw the old ones under the bus, never to be used again. Due to the fast rate of recent inventiveness, most products tend to be off the Read More

Living in the 21st century it’s not always easy to keep up with all the innovativeness being thrown around. Everyday the world is introduced to new inventions which throw the old ones under the bus, never to be used again. Due to the fast rate of recent inventiveness, most products tend to be off the shelves in no time for their newer bigger brother to reign supreme. It has been this way for a long time, and the only way to stay ahead is to build products that keep their niche within the industry they are sold. One industry has stood out, releasing newer and bolder equipment to their consumers for affordable everyday prices, the plumbing industry. Below is a list of the top 10 plumbing products of yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

 

  1. PEX Pipe – Throughout a half century of pivotal usage in Europe, this tubing has slowly but surely made its way to America. PEX tubing has become the single-most used product in the plumbing industry today, due to its variety of features at a fair cost. Virtually replacing the likes of Copper and CPVC, PEX pipe offers all the same advantages with plenty to spare. At nearly one-quarter the price of Copper pipe, PEX piping offer consumers’ easy installation, freeze-burst resistance, longevity, and most importantly the ability to install without any experience necessary.

 

pex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.canarsee.com/pex/pipe

 

 

  1. Tankless Water heater – Tankless water heaters have securely positioned themselves among this list, through sheer science and overall production. These water heater units are able to fit inside confined spaces; where they are connected to either a natural gas or electrical supply, to convert cold water to any temperature pre-determined by the consumer. The tankless water heater provides instant never ending hot water supply to any fixture it is installed to. Tankless offers all the advantages of a conventional water heater, minus all the necessary space to install one.

 

 

tankless

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.takagi.com/products/tankless-water-heaters

 

 

  1. Push-Fit Fittings – Fitting are installation products used too connect different plumbing pipes to form one solid piece of piping. They can be used to connect two different types, and usually require a professional to solder, glue, or use another connection method for proper installation. With the invention of push-fit fittings, the professional aspect of connecting two pipes has flown out the window. A simple push of the piping into its corresponding size on a push-fit fitting allows for a tight, secure, and properly connected component. This method of connecting a system has grown quite popular in the industry today, attaining interest from not only plumbers, but Do It Yourselfers (DIY) as well.

 

 

fittings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.johnguest.com/speedfit/plumbing-heating-2/

 

 

  1. Anti-Siphon Freeze-Proof Sillcocks- Sillcocks used to be re-installed annually due to frigid weather conditions causing breaks and cracks in the equipments. This faltering eventually led to the invention of the Frost Proof Anti-siphon Sillcock faucets we are endowed with today. These Sillcocks are used to prevent the water line from freezing in the winter cold, along with restricting unsanitary water from contaminating the system. These advantages are the key to avoiding costly home repairs, and that’s why these Sillcocks made the cut.

 

silcocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.americanvalve.com/plumbing/sillcocks/m72as.html

 

 

  1. Automatic Sump Pumps with Back-Up Battery – Sump Pumps are electronically functioning pumps used to remove excess water from a designated area. Their utilization is necessary to get rid of leaks, floods, and many other water related incidents. In some instances harsh weather conditions can cause a residence to not only flood, but lose power in the process. That’s when this little piece of equipments shines brightest. Equipped with a back up battery, this device is the perfect for accommodating its consumer regardless of the circumstances. This capability earns it a spot on the top 10 roster.

 

sump pumps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.libertypumps.com/Products/Category/SubCategory/?s=23&c=14

 

 

  1. Macerating toilet – A Macerating toilets is available at all fixture depots where regular toilets are being sold. What makes them special is their ability to degrade any waste sent through the toilet, allowing the consumer to never have the need for a plunger in the residence. Most macerating units function by using a blade to chop down all human waste and toilet paper, in return attaining a smooth comfortable flush every time. A clogged toilet can cost hundreds of dollars to be fixed by a professional. Installing a macerating unit allows many advantages over a long period of time, making it fit perfectly into the 21st century plumbing products.

 

 

toilets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.saniflo.com/homeowners/sfa-product-line/adaptable-grinders-and-compact-grinders-for-toilets/

 

 

  1. Repair clamp – Repair clamps are specifically designed to lock in and hold the pressure and components of a broken or leaking pipe. These clamps are pulled around the pipe and securely tightened using various methods usually utilizing bolts. This allows for easy and quick adjustments to the problem, as opposed to having to re-pipe the damaged area. Considered extremely cost and time effective when compared to other methods, the repair clamp is constantly being utilized by professionals and DIY enthusiasts.

 

clamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.romac.com/clamps/

 

 

  1. Kinetic water Ram – A Kinetic Water Ram is exactly what the 21st century has expected from plumbing innovators. Through the utilization of kinetic energy, this device sends compressed air through the system to break the stoppage. This device can be used with sinks, toilet, and even tubs to quickly and cleanly get rid of clogs and build up. Pump, place, and snap the trigger to release a force of kinetic energy to unclog numerous fixtures? That’s why this product will continue to make the cut for our 21st century plumbing products.

 

ram

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.drainbrain.com/pro/waterram.html

 

 

 

  1. Leak-Seal Tape – Tape is used on a global scale for quick fixes on a variety of different products. Probably the handiest tape to have around is leak-seal tape, which can provide a moisture and chemical resistance barrier to the product while adding corrosion protection. This tape is perfect for everyday fixes such as leaking pipes, faltered hoses, and even exposed electrical wires. For the price it’s being sold, and the abundance of applications it can be applied to Leak-seal tape that proven its value over and over again.

 

 

tape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everbuild-EVB2SOSBK-Pipe-Repair-Tape/dp/B004GKSSF4

 

 

  1. Electric Pipe heating cables – Electric Pipe heating cables are only utilized during the cold months of the winter, where the piping in a system is expected to freeze. These cables are wrapped around a pipe and turned on using basic electricity to provide the piping with a freeze-proof resistance. If these safety precautions aren’t taken, the piping could freeze, eventually bursting and causing the owner to shell out big bucks on hefty repairs.

 

cables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.canarsee.com/12-ft-electric-pipe-heating-cable-110v-120v-66-watt

 

 

 

This article is provided as an “online special” and the views of the author are their own and not the expressed views of Plumbing Perspective.

 

 

 

Have you ever had the experience of someone telling you news that just leaves you in a state of shock? Something that makes you wonder, what really matters? Whether it relates to family, life, or even your job or business. For instance, my wife and I were at dinner a few weeks ago when I Read More

Have you ever had the experience of someone telling you news that just leaves you in a state of shock? Something that makes you wonder, what really matters? Whether it relates to family, life, or even your job or business.

For instance, my wife and I were at dinner a few weeks ago when I received a call. It was from a friend letting me know that a mutual friend of ours had lost their son due to a pulmonary embolism. He was only 30 years old and was simply waiting at their home to have a nice family meal. The mother came into the room and found him on the floor, already passed from this life. We quickly made plans to head south to be with our friends to comfort them in their time of need.

When we arrived, we heard the whole story. Two days earlier their son had called their pastor and asked to have a lunch meeting because he had some questions about life and what happens when we die. Their discussion lasted for a good 90 minutes. Later that week at the eulogy the pastor said he was glad he took the meeting and believed their son got some things straightened out which gave the family some peace, even though he had passed from this life.

At the funeral service at their church, every pew was filled and overflowed. At the reception at their home later on, people had parked 5 blocks away with people lined up outside waiting to get in to share their love for this family. At one point a local restaurant brought over a large amount of food: shrimp, crab, and several desserts. The just left them at the door and said they cared and were thinking of the family.

You may wonder what all of this has to do with you and your livelihood. Perhaps quite a bit more than you know. We all get so busy with our own circumstances but may have no idea what others are going through and how can we show our support and love for someone going through difficulties in their life. This not only relates to friends but to co-workers, employees, boss’s, and customers.

Most of us never forget the people who have comforted us, shared in our sorrows, and encouraged us during difficult times and sometimes, even through tragedy. In most cases, you would esteem this person and care for them as well. Perhaps a boss would have greater respect for that employee, an employee may perform better to honor their manager or boss. Or a customer may become a customer for life and tell everyone they know to use your services and why they should trust you. All because you cared and comforted them during their time of need. We can all testify that we all prefer to by from people we like and people that are like us.

My message is this; be sensitive to your employees, co-workers, and yes, even your customers. We occasionally get a reaction from others that seems over the top. Perhaps an employee will be frustrated, a customer will immediately go off on a rant about how you are taking advantage of them, etc. Realize that it may not even be anything you have done. They may just be feeling the pressure of life and may feel overwhelmed.

So keep your composure and don’t react out of passion, slow down your speech, and discuss the matter. Or calmly clarify your position with compassion if they have misunderstood you. If they have overreacted, in most cases they know and aren’t sure of how to handle their current emotions. Ask them if there is anything they need to share or if they would be willing to allow you to offer any support for them. We do not know what tomorrow brings. If we live like it, we may have a happier boss, hard-working and trusted employees, and even more business with life-long customers who can provide the type of advertising money simply can’t buy.

Warmest Regards,

 

Jim Hinshaw

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” css=”.vc_custom_1452405561304{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]At this point, almost everyone has used Yelp, or another online review site to look up information for places like restaurants and auto shops. Consumer-driven reviews have become a powerful tool for businesses to show demonstrate their worth to potential customers without having to spend any extra money on advertising Read More

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” css=”.vc_custom_1452405561304{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]At this point, almost everyone has used Yelp, or another online review site to look up information for places like restaurants and auto shops. Consumer-driven reviews have become a powerful tool for businesses to show demonstrate their worth to potential customers without having to spend any extra money on advertising. But for plumbing contractors, are prospective clients using these types of sites to get details on plumbing businesses before picking up the phone to get a quote?

Plumbing Perspective Magazine talked with Justin Guinn, a market researcher at Software Advice, an online resource that offers comparisons on field service software to plumbers and other service providers. We asked Justin to discuss the findings of his recent study that looked into this exact topic.

 

Most plumbers probably don’t focus or understand the “online” reputation of their business. Are online reviews on sites like Yelp really that important to their bottom line?

“In short, absolutely! Online reviews sites can definitely have direct impacts on the bottom line of a plumbing business. Our recent survey looked at how consumers use online reviews and found that 86% of customers will pay more for a service provider with higher reviews and ratings on these sites. The work needed to just get a basic profile established on Yelp or another one of these sites is minimal. So using these online review sites as a revenue driver is invaluable for a plumbing business, not to mention the exposure that can come from properly managing their online reviews profile.”

 

If online reviews have the ability to bring in more revenue, what are the kinds of things current and potential customers might want to read when researching plumbers online?

“It’s clear that online reviews sites have the potential to increase revenue for plumbing businesses. Thus, it’s important to optimize profiles on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List or Google+ Local. And again, if you don’t have one yet, they don’t take long to set up. Once that’s in place, plumbers need to ensure their profile contains the information that consumers are looking for most: our study found that quality of service provided (87%) and service costs (78%) are the top requested pieces of information that people look for. If your profile doesn’t have this type of info, you might get passed over by prospective clients.”

 

You just mentioned a few online review sites… Did you discover which site(s) might be best for plumbing contractors to focus on to build up an online review profile?

“In terms of what review sites plumbing contractors should focus on, Yelp is the overall leader. In all, 74% of respondents consulting online review sites for general service businesses consulted Yelp. Specifically for plumbing businesses though, the numbers drop a little bit, but Yelp still comes out on top with 55% of consumers consulting Yelp for information on plumbers. Not too far behind Yelp is Angie’s List with 46% of customers using this service when researching plumbers. These are two great places to set up your online profile. It’s worth keeping in mind that customers must pay to subscribe and see profiles on Angie’s List, where Yelp is free for the public to access.”

 

​Realistically, would you say that devoting time and energy to this is a big undertaking? Perhaps one that the average plumbing business owner doesn’t have time for?

“As more and more consumers turn to online reviews sites for information on service businesses, I don’t think companies can afford not to be represented there. It’s just not an option anymore. These online review sites feature an impactful platform for consumers to review, compare and choose businesses that provide a service. In terms of the time and energy needed for getting one of these up and running, it can simply be taken care of in one afternoon. The revenue return is potentially so great that time must be made (or even hired) to manage, at least, a Yelp profile. Our study found that 96% of consumers find online review sites for service businesses “moderately,” “very” or “extremely” valuable. Aside from the potential increases in revenue, plumbing business owners have to take advantage of such meaningful tools that consumers find so valuable in deciding which plumbing contractor they will use. Iyou’re delivering consistently positive customer experiences, you’ll have a much greater chance of seeing positive reviews being posted for your business, with typically brings in more business and revenue.”

For plumbers who have a profile set up with an online review site, what is the one big tip you would give on how plumbers can get positive online reviews?

The best way to get positive reviews and increase rankings on review sites is to consistently deliver positive customer experiences and encourage customers to leave a review. It’s that simple. But without doing both consistently, your rankings are unlikely to move up.”

 

Special note: Our research also found that another key way to make the job easier for a plumber or technician in the field is through field service software. By simplifying mundane business processes, these types of solutions can actually give a plumber the time to focus more on the customer experience. We talk to many plumbing businesses who are struggling to keep everything organized because they’re doing all their accounting and work orders manually or in endless spreadsheets. Field service management software provides the tools necessary to keep track of workers, optimize back office workflows, and free up their people in the field. It’s just another step in the process of building a better business experience for your customers. And a better customer experience brings better online reviews, more business and more revenue”

 

 

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