Cleaning Garbage Trucks

Christopher

Moderator
Having washed the solid waste trucks, trash trucks and garbage trucks (many different names depending on who you talk to) for over 3 years now, it is another animal to wash.

Regular tractors are one thing but it is amazing how trash and dirt can get into every little crevice there is.

It is nice to get the garbage trucks looking nice again, clean and shiny like almost new again, it is amazing on some of the trucks how they were and now they are clean and shiny.

Some of the fleets are washed weekly, some are every 2 weeks and some are monthly. I have a fleet that is washed every 10 weeks or so, so it takes me a little bit longer than if they were washed more often but we also wash under the cab, box and degrease the frame rails, engine, etc....almost a detail wash but not totally.

If you are looking to get into trash truck, garbage truck or solid waste truck washing, you will need hot water, a good degreaser, good soaps, aluminum brightener, good brushes, poles, rags, etc...... to get the job done.

These kind of trucks are different to wash when you are washing under the box and cab, that will take a lot longer than a regular exterior wash.
 

Johnson

New member
We have around 130 of these we do every 2 weeks. Cabs, beds, frames and engines all get done. On the front loaders we have to raise the bed and get the transmissions to. Most of the time their not that bad, sometimes they are.
 

Christopher

Moderator
That is a lot of trash trucks to wash every 2 weeks, cool.

Sounds like you have a good routine on washing them.

Are you taking care of the windows and floors with the washing?
 

Johnson

New member
Thanks Chris. It took a couple of trips to get a good rythym down but we have it worked out now.
We don't do windows and floors, the driver is responsible for the inside.
 

Christopher

Moderator
That is good, the winows and floors add about 10-15 minutes to each truck but they pay us good for doing it.

I am working on the bid for the new contract which includes more trucks but unfortunately they are done every 10 weeks so the buildup on the frames for the trucks with holes in the box can be like 5-gallon buckets full all over the place but I have a new way to clean them faster than the regular wand which works good.

That is great that you have a good rythm.

Do you have to move them to wash them? We have to move them onto the wash pad, wash them then move them over to the parking area about 150' away.
 

Johnson

New member
10 weeks is too long.
Yes there's a wash bay.
2 guys, 2 machines + 1 driver to pull them in and out of the wash bay. Park one bring another back etc. Average 4-7/hr depending on how bad they are. Thinking about adding a 3rd machine as the driver sometimes has to wait.

Trucks are funny. We have other accounts that we average 10/hr.
 

Christopher

Moderator
Sounds like a great system.

I will be training my helper in more aspects of the job later on and looking for another helper to have them both be able to do the job without me, that will be nice!

I know another guy that does almost the same thing, 2 guys downstreaming/2 stepping the truck then rinsing with one guy moving the trucks, they get a lot done in a day but they wash every 2 weeks. I wish this account would wash more often so the buildup would not be as bad but it is how they want it.

It is nice getting the trash trucks so clean after they have been so dirty for a while, as long as the trucks keep getting washed, they are happy and I keep on making money, that is what it is all about. hahahahaha
 

Dan Dykstra

New member
As we are just getting into the cleaning of garbage trucks here in the Grand Rapids, MI area, I appreciate all the info you experienced fleet cleaners pass on to those of us who have so much to learn in this type of cleaning.
 
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