Keep it simple, that was also the plan for Andreas Schütz when building his car wash in the Stockstadt am Main business park. And that starts with the four washing programmes. There is a basic, normal, good and best wash in the car wash centre that his daughter Nadine Schütz runs. Schütz deliberately avoids designations such as Premium, Senator and Business wash. "The customers often do not know what services are involved," says the operator. The 60 metre long two-track conveyor belts from Hohmeier were also designed exclusively with customer convenience in mind. At Schütz, they are being used for the first time in a WashTec tunnel car wash system.
"Things should be as simple as possible for our customers," says Schütz, explaining the higher investment. And the high belt speed allows us to wash 60 vehicles per hour over 60 metres. Customers can remain seated during the washing and drying phase, turn off the engine and enjoy the show. This includes the pre-rinse arc, which adjusts the outside temperature of the car to that of the car wash. This is a big plus for the paintwork, especially in extreme temperatures. The SofTecs washing material cleans the paintwork gently. Extra long, electronically controlled filaments leave no traces of abrasion and clean grooves and joints even more thoroughly. Last but not least, FoamSensation provides the corresponding show effect. The vehicle is covered with a closed, colourfully illuminated foam curtain, which of course also cleans perfectly.
"Customers are often overwhelmed with their cars," says WashTec Area Sales Manager Achim Schneider, explaining the two-track conveyors. He advised the company Schütz on the selection and construction of the car wash. "When they go to the car wash once a month, they don't know what to press. If the pre-washer shouts 'switch to automatic', it can happen that the customer steps on the gas and drives through the car wash ... as evidenced by the recent increase in damage." The two plastic conveyor belts are to protect customers from getting stressed out. "This allows customers to do almost what they want without anything happening," explains Schneider. On the one hand, the belts are installed so flat that neither aluminium drop-centre rims, spoilers nor sports suspensions come into contact with them, and on the other hand, the risk of accidents for operators and customers is also considerably reduced, as no open-running carrier rollers and chain strands are used.
The washing technology is based on WashTec's SoftLine² Xpress Pro car wash conveyor tunnel concept. It offers a high belt speed combined with excellent washing performance. The modular design helps to deliver perfect car washes thanks to the proven linear technology and an adapted conveyor speed. The above-ground water conditioning plant from Nais helps save water in an environmentally friendly way. Schütz attaches great importance to optimum wheel rim cleaning. "The most important thing for us when washing is that the wheels are clean and the car is dry, because that's what the customers are looking for." The wheel washers massage in the wheel cleaner without water so that it can work optimally, only then does water rinse off the dirt with high pressure. Customer Peter Henrich is pleased: "I'm really impressed with the wheel washing, because they were really dirty before. And now they look like new."
The operator is also completely satisfied with the performance of the dryer, which works relatively quietly. The last drops that remain can be easily removed by customers after washing in the indoor vacuum cleaner bay. Here they have 16 free, particularly powerful Carrera suction nozzles with sufficient hose length as well as compressed air blow guns at their disposal for interior cleaning, with which, for example, the last drops of water can be blown out of the mirror housing and other areas. Customer Rainer Körbel also praises this, saying: ... I also think it's great that the vacuum cleaners are indoors. Especially now in the cold season, there is no alternative to the car wash centre for me.
Operator Nadine Schütz can be delighted about such customer reviews, because after all there are four competitors in the local area. Schütz benefits from the fact the company has plenty of experience, after all, it operates three Aral service stations in Elsenfeld, Niedernberg and Stockstadt and knows what matters to customers. With the car wash centre, Schütz has set herself the task of washing cars, and Total's Access petrol station on the site is designed to generate footfall. "We want to get the customers looking to buy fuel to the car washes and for this we need a petrol station with a shop, where few staff are needed and the main focus is on car washing. Eight employees, four young ladies for the shop and four lads for the car wash, look after the customers, every working day from eight in the morning to seven in the evening," says Schütz.
There is a car wash event on Mondays and Wednesdays, and those who fill up with fuel get a car wash at a reduced price. Top priority – the shop assistant at the pay desk should sell the "good car wash" if possible, and never list all the washes or give detailed explanations, because this is too much for most customers, the operator knows. The businesswoman considers an average gross car wash price of 12.99 euros to be ideal. But to achieve this, the quality must be right. For this reason, Schütz checks the washing process and the washing performance time and again using recordings from cameras in the wash bay. In order to attract even more customers to the car wash centre, large-scale multimedia LED displays will be used to advertise it in the outdoor area in future.
Text/ pictures: Hans Rongisch, tankstellenWelt 12/2019
Pictures: Waschfabrik Stockstadt