A pressure washer trailer is a unit used by a professional to clean large areas in a relatively short time. The advantages of using this type of unit are more mobility, higher security levels, flexibility, attracting customers’ trust, and more possibilities for business expansion.
A pressure washer trailer setup requires the following equipment: commercial-duty engine, Triplex Plunger pump, fuel tanks, water tank, detergent tank, hot water burner, and hose reels.
Pressure washer trailer setup, the differences between trailer and truck setups, and details about the equipment needed are discussed below.
Used, New, or Built Trailer – Which One is Better?
When it comes to pressure washer trailer setups, you have three options: getting a new one, a used one, or building your own. But which one is better?
This all depends on your own preferences, money, and needs. Each type comes with its own set of pros and cons, and in the end, the decision is up to you.
With a new trailer, you get value for money. There are many pressure washer manufacturers that make great trailers. They do it at scale, and they can also get all the equipment at wholesale price. This way, you will be able to save some money.
But what makes it even better is the fact that you will have your product delivered just on time, and it’ll be a high-quality one. Just think about it – a new trailer means that it will be built by an expert. You won’t get one made by some random person who has no idea how a trailer should look. The one creating it has seen and worked with trailers before and knows exactly what piece goes where. Besides, the builder will know how to make it based on your specifications, budget, and when you need to have it delivered.
When you buy a new trailer, you also pay something known as the shiny tax. It’s an extra amount you pay when you buy something new. A new trailer will lose value when you drive it off the lot. So, just know that it may be a little pricey than a used trailer rig, but the extra benefits mentioned above are worth it.
If you cannot pay that much for a new trailer, you have the option to get a used one. It has a much better value for money. At the same time, you have to keep in mind that the “used” aspect also comes with some risks.
The trailer has been used by someone else before, so it’s hard to know if the previous owner took care of the trailer or not. In the end, you might have to spend some money on reparations or improvements if the person who owned it didn’t keep it in an impeccable condition. Unless you know the person you’re getting the trailer from, there’s no way to see whether the owner(s) took proper care of it or left it outside all winter without any care in the world.
Another downside about used trailers is the money you would have to spend to rebrand the trailer in such a way that it suits your needs and your aesthetic preferences. The previous owner might have gone around the city offering pressure washing services and you don’t want to be confused with their business.
Building It Yourself
The third option is building your own trailer. However, this comes with some risks. You would have to buy all the different parts and materials necessary for the trailer and watch plenty of tutorials so that you can build one properly. People who specialize in building trailers usually know everything about the building process, because they’ve been through it before. They’ve seen their mistakes and learned from them. So, unless you built trailers in the past, creating one from scratch will be a challenge, particularly since your construction might end up being faulty in the end.
While you spend time trying to build the trailer, you lose valuable time that you could otherwise use promoting your business, for example. So, you also lose money.
Furthermore, you will have to buy every little part that you need for your pressure washer trailer and that might end up being pricier than buying a new or used trailer.
Trailer vs Truck Setup – Which One Is Better?
Some people who are in the pressure washing industry prefer going around the town with a trailer, while others prefer a truck. Many pros start by having their pressure washing equipment truck mounted. It costs less than a trailer setup.
Later, when they want to grow, though, they end up investing in pressure washer trailers. But which one of these setups is better, and which one should you go for?
1. Truck Setup
A truck-mounted rig is often the route that most pressure washing businesses take. It’s easier, and much cheaper, especially when you’re just getting started and you’re more focused on establishing yourself and your small business.
Despite being cheaper, though, it can get pricier later. On top of that, it’s not that flexible and it may also get risky. Let’s take a better look at the pros and cons that come with a truck-mounted rig.
- It’s Better When You’re Getting Started: When you’re new to the pressure washing industry, a truck will make it easier for you to handle your activity. You don’t have to deal with any hitch hooking and backing up any trailer. Overall, it’s more convenient to get started with a truck.
- It Costs Less at First: It’s just cheaper to have a truck setup at first, especially if you already own the truck and you only need to load the pressure washing equipment in the back.
- It Takes Less Space: A truck is not as big as a trailer, and it needs less space since it also carries less equipment in the back. As a result, it’s more likely to find a space to keep your truck.
- It Is a Risk: Although it’s better at first, a truck setup can be quite risky. The truck may not function properly forever. If you rely solely on your truck, you may wake up one day to regret it, as you’ll have no other way of conducting your business for a while and you’ll lose money.
- Less Flexibility: Unlike a trailer, a truck is less flexible. The truck would be a work-only vehicle, as you cannot load and unload the pressure washer and all its parts every time you want to use the truck.
- Higher Theft Risk: With a trailer, it’s less likely that someone would want to steal it. But when it comes to trucks, there are higher chances of someone being tempted to steal the vehicle, along with the $10k pressure washing equipment fitted in the back. The pressure washer is just attached to a gateway vehicle, and theft is more likely to happen. Not to mention that it’ll be easier for a thief to sell the vehicle, compared to selling a trailer specialized for pressure washers.
- You Get Less Space: While it offers mobility, a truck doesn’t have enough space for every type of pressure washing equipment. The back of the truck is not that big, meaning that you will be restricted in terms of how much you can fit in there.
- It Doesn’t Get as Much Attention: When you’re around the town doing business, you want people to see you. It’s beneficial for your services, and it’s a way to promote yourself. But a truck setup would draw fewer leads compared to a trailer, as it has less appeal and it’s just harder to notice.
- Worse Expansion Option: For business expansion, a truck setup would be worse and pricier compared to a trailer one. If you don’t own a truck, you’d have to buy a new one – this will cost you more than $20,000. Then, you have to get insurance and have it mounted in the back. Not to mention that is more difficult to rent out compared to a trailer. It’s harder to upgrade, sell, and it’s more impractical overall. This is why having one truck and multiple trailers aside from that is a preferred option for more businesses.
2. Trailer Setup
A trailer setup is much more convenient from multiple points of view. You are more likely to see a successful pressure washing business going around with trailers rather than trucks. Even though the price is higher at first, it brings more profit and it’s more flexible compared to a truck. But let’s see the pros and cons in more detail.
- More Flexible: As already mentioned, a trailer offers more flexibility than a truck. It can just be hooked to any large vehicle. If the truck fails you, you won’t be able to work for a couple of days or longer. If the vehicle carrying the trailer gets damaged, you can just replace it or rent one for a few days and attach the trailer to it.
- It’s More Mobile: Not only is it more flexible, but it’s also more mobile. For example, the trailer can be mounted at the job site. Also, if you need to go somewhere, but you don’t need the trailer, you can just leave it at the site without having to carry it with you around the town.
- More Chances to Attract Customers: Customers will be more drawn to you if you use a trailer instead of a truck. This is because it makes it more obvious that you’re a pressure washing business, and it just has a better appeal overall. In other words, it makes you look professional.
- Has Better Security: You’ll be less likely to have the trailer stolen from you. After all, what can a thief do with the tailer? It’s not going to be that easy for him/her to sell it. Your business sign and the unique paint job would still be there – this means that someone might notice them if the thief would try to sell it. The thief would not put himself/herself at risk like that. Moreover, the trailer has to be attached to another vehicle to be pulled, so no matter what, the thief would need another vehicle to steal it. Besides, you can add a heavy-duty wheel boot or a cable through the wheels, so it cannot move and go anywhere if someone tries to steal it. A tongue lock can also help secure it.
- More Business Expansion Opportunities: It’ll be easier to build and expand your business with a trailer setup as opposed to a truck. You will not have to buy an entire truck – all you have to do is get the trailer. It doesn’t create any additional costs as it needs no fuel, almost no maintenance and it also costs less to purchase.
- It’s Not a Multi-Purpose Unit: A pressure washing trailer is only specialized in carrying your pressure washer and the rest of the equipment it needs. It isn’t multi-purpose, so you cannot use it for other things.
- It’s Pricier Upfront: The trailer is a pricier acquisition if we’re talking about a scenario where you already own a truck, but not a trailer. If you have a truck then yes, it’ll be more expensive to spend money on a trailer.
- It Takes Up a Lot of Space: While they are great to have, trailers tend to take a lot of space. With a truck, you’d only have the vehicle, with the pressure washing equipment in the back. Trailers will take a little more space because they are pretty large, and they carry bulkier equipment than trucks. Since size is a factor, you will have to make sure you have enough space to store your trailer when not in use. If you have multiple trailers, then it becomes even trickier. So, it’s not the most convenient in this regard, especially for businesses with very limited space.
What Are the Essentials for a Pressure Washer Trailer?
When you want to settle for a pressure washer trailer, there are some things you have to look for. Some essentials have to be taken into account before you start conducting your business through trailer usage. Here are some features and specifications that should be considered for trailer setups.
1. The Trailer’s Features
You can have a trailer with different features. All available features will make your life easier and improve your pressure washing business. Some of the features you can have include:
- Spare Tire: A spare tire is necessary if you don’t want to deal with a situation where your trailer is being stranded at a job site or in the middle of the road all night.
- Full-Size Wheels: Full-size wheels are the ideal option if you want to do highway driving. They are commonly seen on trailers on highways.
- LED Lights: LED lights will not only make the trailer look fancier but will also keep you safe on the road. They will make other drivers aware of your presence, so no accidents happen. Some LED lights you can use for your trailer include brake lights, taillights, license plate lights, and turn signals.
- Safety Features: Staying safe should be your top priority, especially when you’re out on the road. Implementing safety features will ensure all employees are safe when going around the town for pressure-washing purposes. So, features like breakaway brakes, reflectors, hitch chains, and clearance lights will surely make a difference.
2. The Pressure Washing Equipment
The pressure washing equipment should also be taken into account. Here are some of the options:
- Commercial-duty Engine: If you have a triplex plunger pump, then you need an industrial engine to power it. A higher output will be necessary as a result.
- Triplex Plunger Pump: It’s essential to have a triplex plunger pump. The biggest one provides 4.5 GPM of water and does so at 5,000 PSI.
- Hot Water Capabilities: It should go without saying that a hot water burner is also necessary. After all, if you want your business to be successful, you need hot water to make sure the cleaning capabilities are outstanding. Hot water does a better job at cleaning certain surfaces and removing stubborn dirt and other materials.
- Water Tank: There should be a very large water tank on a mobile power washing rig. The minimum is one-hour worth of water. But if you are using the tank as a buffer for main supply or as the main supply, you need to get a tank that is as big as possible.
- Fuel Tanks: A big quantity of gasoline is burnt by big commercial engines, which means that you will need a fuel tank onboard. Make sure it is added before use, especially if the setup has no large fuel tanks.
- Detergent Tanks: Apart from the hot water, you will also need quality detergent for the cleaning job. Adding detergent tanks to the trailer will make a difference – they will ease your tasks and allow you to mix various chemicals for different surfaces.
- Hose Reels: Hose reels will also be necessary. The options you have available include spring-driven, hand crank, pivoting, and electric driven reels.
You should always make sure that the weight is mostly at the front, close to the trailer hitch. The things that weigh the most in a trailer are the water tank full of water, and the pressure washer equipment such as the support frame, fuel tanks, pump, burner, and engine. As such, you should locate them closer to the hitch on the trailer. If the full water tank accounts for most of the load, then it should be the one closest to the front.
The mobile contractor will drive with an empty water tank and then fill it up with water at a job site using a buffer for high flow rate pumps. The trailer axle should also be located closer to the back, so it keeps the trailer stable, even if the load is further away from the fixed-point hitch.
When you build or buy a new trailer, load distribution is very important to keep in mind. It’s all for safety reasons, so it should not be overlooked.
Pressure Washer Trailers – How Long Do They Last and Maintenance/Reparation
You have to remember that you’re working with something that carries around a very heavy load. Besides, if you’re making a business out of it, then you’re immediately using it more often, meaning wear and tear are very likely to happen. As a result, you must make sure you take proper care of your trailer. Check it often and have it repaired, cleaned, or have some of its faulty parts replaced. Doing so will make sure you get the best value possible from your investment.
Ensure you always inspect the trailer carefully, especially after a long day of pressure washing around the town. Look for any leaks or any other damages to the trailer and take the appropriate actions. Some companies provide tune-ups, so don’t hesitate to contact them and get some help for your pressure washer trailer. Not fixing a problem on time can put you, your employees, and your business at risk, and will be pricier in the long run when the issue will cost more to fix.
Pressure washer trailers can be very useful, and they are much better options than trucks. They are more mobile, flexible, and much cheaper overall. All you have to do is attach yours to a truck and drive it around the town offering your pressure washer services for people who need it.
Pressure washer trailers are more professional and can help you conduct your business properly. We hope that the tips above will help you choose the right trailer and features for you.