Mike Schubert, Managing Director of Schubert Touristik in Aschersleben, a town northeast of the Harz mountains, opted for WashTec, the world market leader in car wash systems, primarily because he too is a market leader as an operator who prepares and carries out bus tours. Unlike WashTec, Mike Schubert is active in Germany and Europe and has since developed into the leading tour operator in Saxony-Anhalt. "I thought it made sense and fits together perfectly," he says, explaining his most important reason for choosing WashTec and the modern MaxiWash Vario.
The travel company Schubert Touristik basically offers everything that travellers and holiday seekers are looking for and want. First and foremost, this means service at the highest level when people want to travel to nearby or distant destinations in Europe, experience something beautiful and relax. Mike Schubert runs travel agencies in Aschersleben, Hettstedt and Quedlinburg, cooperating with over 30 consulting teams in Saxony-Anhalt and beyond. The relocation of the new company headquarters to Hertzstraße on the outskirts of a town also known as the gateway to the Harz mountains sets new standards for service and convenience. Here he is investing wisely and confidently in the future of travel services. Among his investments was WashTec's robust solution for the thorough cleaning and care of the 24 new coaches that travel across Europe from late March to December. "We travel to virtually all destinations that can be reached by bus and also offer air travel, spa trips and cruises. Schubert Touristik even has its own check-in terminal for this purpose like at the airport in the immediate vicinity of the company headquarters' new location. Unlike the airport, our guests don't get on a plane, they get on a bus."
It goes without saying that all buses are always clean when on tour. "We used to clean them with a mobile washing station. In order to achieve decent results, which meet our high demands, every bus driver not only had to work flat out, but also had to spend a correspondingly long time in the washing area and washing station. When we developed the new site, we also thought about how we could make the job easier for the drivers. We also thought about how we could make a worthwhile contribution to the environment by conserving resources," says Mike Schubert, summarising fundamental considerations for future vehicle washing. He also says: "We really wanted something better for the bus wash."
The hot wire to WashTec was established when travel operator Schubert called Augsburg "without warning" and presented his plan. From there he was immediately put in touch with the responsible sales representative. From then on, "everything took its course. We met and first discussed the precise location of the gantry, for which there was to be no wash bay, as most coaches are not in use in winter anyway". The "absence" of the wash bay saves planning and construction costs as well as bay gates, and it does not have to be cleaned. Both men discussed which technical refinements the MaxiWash Vario should be equipped with. Fully electronic detection of the vehicle outer contours and control of the contact pressure of the side brushes, their double bearing above and below, in order to be able to guide the red-dark grey side brushes, which are about four and a half metres high, more evenly. The equipment includes a frost protection system that activates automatically at around five degrees Celsius. The system then empties all water-carrying pipes and blows out all washer jets after each wash. The silver-grey, grid-like splash guard encloses the five-metre-high washing portal. Mike Schubert and Heiko Blochberger discussed the planning of a high-performance water conditioning system for the MaxiWash Vario in line with environmental considerations. "Environmental thinking is crucial for me and all employees of my company. We're really environmentally conscious and want to do more every day." Investing in a modern water conditioning plant is of course also worthwhile because it saves a great deal in terms of water costs. The washing water can be almost completely recovered. It's extremely efficient. This is due to the heavy-duty MF gravel filter, which physically cleans both coarse and fine gravel.
In order to achieve the best wash results for the coach fleet at all times and to ensure that everything works together perfectly, Schubert Touristik relies on the high-quality cleaning products from WashTec subsidiary AUWA. To ensure that washing operations continue to be trouble-free for the next 20 years, the successful Schubert concluded a maintenance contract with WashTec Cleaning Technology GmbH. This ensures regular and professional servicing directly by the manufacturer. This way, the enterprising managing director also plays it safe here. Torsten Hahn and Adrian Lamprecht take care of the system, replenish washing chemicals if necessary and maintain it daily. The bus drivers operate the system themselves. "It's not rocket science either," says Mike Schubert aptly about WashTec technology in the commercial vehicle wash sector.
In 2002, the then tax assistant Schubert started out in Ermsleben. "At that time there was a relatively old client who had his tax return prepared by us and who was looking for a successor for his business. It was a small company – one coach, five buses and five employees." Only half a year later, Mike Schubert passed the necessary test to be allowed to drive a bus himself. He continued the 16-page travel catalogue that the company published at the time after taking it over and immediately took the first trips on his own as an organiser. He quickly discovered that there is still a market for coach travel when "you do it well. It is also more diverse and interesting, even more risk-resistant, if lots of customers contribute to the successful business." In 2003 Mike Schubert finally published his first own travel catalogue, "which worked quite well. The business then really started to take off after the move to Aschersleben in 2006, because "nobody wanted to come to the small town of Ermsleben to book a trip. With the opening of the travel agency in the historic centre of Aschersleben, the "Reisefreundekreis" (circle of travel friends) expanded quickly and considerably, and the cleanliness of the buses was also noticed.
With the low-maintenance and robust MaxiWash Vario open-air commercial vehicle washing system and the high-quality washing chemicals from WashTec and AUWA, it is now much easier to have a brilliantly clean bus fleet on the starting grid. Thanks to the outstanding washing performance of just seven minutes per bus, the time frame for washing the entire fleet is surprisingly short. "We are already extremely satisfied after just a few days of operation. The feeling of having made the right decision is a really good one," Mike Schubert finally says.
Text/ pictures: Bernd Fiehöfer