After the installation of the SoftCare² Pro gantry car wash in spring 2018, now the sixth WashTec gantry system for the Esso Station in Siegen, Torsten Hermann created the basis for a perfect car wash business at the very highest level for his customers. He deliberately made this decision because innovative and first-class car wash technology from the world market leader puts him in the extremely comfortable position of being able to meet the now very high demands and expectations of customers for cleaning and caring for their vehicles with sparkling, unique experiences. The illuminated StarTrack guide rails not only make it easier to drive in until the car stops correctly directly in front of the gantry in the serious Silverlight design, but also convey a pleasant atmosphere and a good feeling in the snow-white tiled wash bay. Shortly after the starting of the wash programme, the closed white FoamSensation foam curtain descends onto the vehicle, which is backlit by LED lighting in the upper area. The visual experience is even more eye-catching due to the colour changes and also because the bay floor with its light grey paint shows the colour contrast more beautifully than in bays with dark floors. The gantry equipment itself includes Premium – FlexStream, MultiFlex, WheelFlash and WheelJet, grey-black SofTecs® Pur, underbody washer.
"The WashTec sales rep came to us. I told him that I would like to have a new machine for my Tiger wash," says Torsten Hermann. That was a good two and a half years ago today. To make the car wash look even nicer, I also had the wash bay rebuilt." At the same time Torsten Hermann also made inquiries with the competition and decided with a clear conscience for washing technology from Augsburg for an important reason. "I liked the WashTec performance package best and I also knew what I was getting myself into." It is the sixth system that WashTec has installed in the wash bay of the Esso Station. The first gantry was even made by WashTec's predecessor Kleindienst. "We changed the system every six years. In retrospect, the petrol station operator states that he is more than satisfied with WashTec. "You are a good partner, the prices are right and the service is also exemplary. The technicians are good and come out quickly when I call them."
The removal and installation of the gantry system was also quick and easy. The work by the WashTec fitters only took three and a half days to complete. Prior to starting the job, "we discussed the practical procedure for changing machines with WashTec. They suggested that, after dismantling the old system, we first install the new machine and then refurbish the bay." This chosen course of action was designed to prevent the walls and bay floor from being damaged during the installation of the gantry. "Once SoftCare² Pro was standing ready to start washing cars in the bay, "we taped up the gantry, then painted the tiled walls and applied an anti-slip covering to the floor. In order to be able to reach all areas well, we moved the gantry back and forth." Only after this work had been completed did WashTec technicians install the StarTrack guide rails.
Today Torsten Hermann washes with chemicals from AUWA. "I'll admit it wasn't always the case. However, the two predecessor gantries did already wash with AUWA. WashTec technology and AUWA chemicals make a perfect combination. The sales representative advises competently, is very flexible and friendly." The AUWA man comes quickly and finds good solutions for mistakes. "The other day I had a problem with the drying because the salt content in the system was too high after cleaning the bay. I called him and said something was wrong. He came out immediately, checked over the system, found the cause and fixed the problem." Esso Station employees pre-wash each car before it enters the bay. AUWA-Chemie also proves itself as a rim cleaner in the pre-wash area when the customer additionally pays for their rims to be cleaned. Car wash customers can sit in their car whilst the pre-washer goes about his work. They don't have to, though. "The comfort wash, which is in the middle in terms of price, is very popular with customers. The ShineTecs wash programme is also popular in the private sector. Combined with FoamSensation this is a real highlight, the results are superb. After you've used it once or twice, the visible beading effect is sensational."
Torsten Hermann knows almost every customer, because 95% of his customers always come to him. That's why he knows very well that they are very satisfied with the new SoftCare² Pro gantry and generally praise the system. The LED-illuminated gantry is "a highlight with a great show effect, especially for male customers and their children. Some of them come to wash specially in the evening in order to experience the colour-changing lighting effects on the guide rails and foam wall during the washing and drying process."
In addition to automatic vehicle washing, Torsten Hermann offers workshop services, tyre fitting, car care, snack and bistro. Many of his customers enjoy a good cup of coffee while washing their cars, which they buy together with the wash card in the petrol station shop that was completely refurbished a year and a half ago and has a modern interior. "When they get back in their clean car after washing, they drive home very satisfied."
The car wash opens at eight in the morning and closes at seven in the evening. "We can also use the automatic bay entrance control." There's no trouble from the neighbourhood. The residents of the neighbouring houses have long been accustomed to their petrol station with all its services. It has existed since 1961 at the address Effertsufer 4 in Siegen, which has been used for business purposes since as far back as just after the Second World War. "My grandfather started out back then with a fleet of vehicles and a coal business." In 1994, the parents took over the station and all services. "When they quit for personal reasons, I took over all the business by myself," he concludes.
Text / Pictures: Bernd Fiehöfer