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Washing Trucks in Winter

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by MSL INC., Jan 20, 2004.

  1. MSL INC.

    MSL INC. Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Alright, we all know ya need to get the salt and grime off your truck in winter, question is, whats harder on the vehicle getting it wet and possibly having frozen locks or other stuff or just leaving it dirty? During our last event I did alot of salting and the truck saw enough road travel, it got real dirty. I wanted to wash it except for the super cold temps at nite. Ended up just leaving it for a couple of weeks until temps straightened out-didn't like it though.
  2. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    last saturday in my area it finally got to freezing after a week of subzero temps. Had a few small snows but enough to plow and salt the main roads. Everyones cars were COVERED with salt. On saturday the lines at the carwashes were backed up onto the roads and i ended up waiting an hour and a half to get my truck washed (it was really dirty). I dont even attempt to use the hose at my house in the winter #1 i will get way too cold #2 my hose will freeze and #3 my driveway will become a skating rink. So i just take it to the carwash when its around freezing. come spring i wash it every weekend.
  3. edshipp19

    edshipp19 Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    We have a hot water hose bib mounted right by one of the bay doors. I use that outside then pull the trucks in and let them dry inside the heated shop for a bit. Am i spoiled?
  4. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    yes you are !!! I hate a dirty trucks, I like having a clean one so my customers know what there money is going towards beside clearing there lots.

    I look at it this way, I am going to probably have this truck along time, keeping the salt from accumulating on the under carriage is probably a good thing, so I try to wash it after every plow-able event.

    Just my .02 cents worth :D
  5. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    Spoiled? YES!;) Or maybe, just smart.
  6. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    Same as eyesell, after EVERY event plowable or dry run I wash my truck, plow, & salter at the local carwash. I know what your thinking, why after a dry run? This is because around here they tend to use a lot of liquid salt on the roads and that film always gets on your truck & equipment. I like a clean truck.
  7. roblandscape

    roblandscape Senior Member
    from Phila
    Messages: 185

    ? is how do you do it without freezing your doors shut???
  8. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    I did today, 18 degrees and nice cold wind. I didn't use soap though. I had to get salt washed out of dump body. I can read my name and phone number on truck again. :)
  9. apkole

    apkole Member
    Messages: 75

    Yep, a 70 degree shop, a hose , a brush and some soapy water. Wash it down and let drip dry for a couple of hours while greasing and checking fluid levels. Also works great to get the plows and undercarriage melted off so loose bolts and any other breakage can be found before serious damage is done. But for a well heated shop, I would've thrown in the towel a long time ago.

  10. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I work on an ambulance so I can pull it in and wash it at the station. I let it sit inside for 12 hours and it dries off and warms up. I have a few tricks to keep it from freezing up. Put" armorall" on the door seals and on the door where the seals meet. A LITTLE BIT on the window seals too. I keep a can of WD40 in the bed tool box. If the door locks freeze I just spray them with WD40. Same way with the hood latch if it freezes I spray it too. Keep the windows clean inside, snow on the outside will cause the windows to fog up. I use " rainex" on the outside windows, this keeps the water beading off.
    A clean truck is a happy truck.
  11. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I use silicone spray on the door seals and I don't worry about the locks, KEYLESS ENTRY RULES!!!
  12. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    You guys are crazy. As soon as the truck was clean it would be dirty again with all the salt on the roads. I think it's just a waste of time and money until the season is over. Only way I would wash a truck before the end of the season would be to get salt out of a dump bed, as not to rot it. Road salt isn't going to do any damage for a couple of weeks. :cool:
  13. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176


    You are right again. Washing now is an endless battle. The salt as far as corosion, is only a factor when the temperature rises above 30 degrees farenheit for a sustained period. But I am fussy so I still rinse my truck every second day to only see it dirty again in 15 min. If you think it does good, then it does.

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    Sorry guys...truck stays dirty so I can get in in the morning!:eek:
  15. elite1

    elite1 Senior Member
    Messages: 187

    My Trucks are always clean. I worked a a car wash for 3yrs. part time. I can't live with a dirty truck.

    For now I take them to a "pay and spray" do it your self. We clean the spreaders,plows and snow blowers. Take all the equipment back to the shop, and then go over to a full service car wash. They dry it down for you.

    Edshipp19 - Yes you are spoiled, but nothing wrong with that.

    February 1st. I get my new shop. Floor drain, hot water.

    I will be able to wash in side my heated shop, using hot water. On the list for next year, is a kratcher steam clean- which works better than any thing else. My buddy keeps his mowers looking like new even after 2000 hrs.

    Does that make me spoiled?????? I think so
  16. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I wash my truck and eqipment after EVERY storm regardless of the temp and knowing it's just going to get dirty again. I dry all around the door openings and weatherstripping and I never have frozen doors. Plus keyless entry and remote start is nice also.:nod: I'd rather wash my truck a few times a week than have the salt eat away at it.:nod: :waving:
  17. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Well it's not that east to fit dumps in a car wash. Maybe if you had pick ups it would be more feasable. I don't know how your truck doesn't end up a sheet of ice. I sprayed windex on my windshield, and by the time I turned to wipe it off it was frozen.

    Not worth my time. Everything gets a good power washing and cleanup in the spring. do it once and it's done. :cool:
  18. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    dielectric grease works well on weather stripping

    I dont like my truck looking like crap so I tend to wash it often, keeps salt build up to a min too. And paint gets scratched when dirt gets rubbed into it.......an endless battle yes but oh well. I also spray down my plow after each event and then hose every moving thing with spray lithium grease.

    And after I hit the hose and spray I will blast down the road at a good clip to kinda blow dry the main stuff off.......yes water freezes to the truck but it dont bother me, it will fall off or evaporate away eventualy.
  19. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    First off, there's car washes with wash bays for semis around here. Second, I don't use windex in the cold, just hot soap and water at the car wash. 3rd, I don't want my truck being eatin by rust ahead if it's time beacuse I'm worried about ice forming on it.:rolleyes:
  20. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I wouldn't use a Karcher on a vehicle often maybe at the end of the year to blast all of the salt off but using it regularly is a bad idea. Reason being that hot of water (Karcher's can heat up to around 330 degrees I believe) has the ability to strip the wax off of the finish, so unless you want to wax it everytime you wash it I would use at the most maybe 120-140 degree water for normal washes. Don't get me wrong the Karcher's are great, we have an older 1985 kerosene model and it definitely has its purpose but washing your vehicle with one regularly should not be one of them.