Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit JoeySlaughter.net for more insightful blogging.
I really shouldn’t complain as I live in the mild climate of southern Virginia. I have friends who laugh when I talk about getting snow or the temperature around here dropping to the teens. They come from places like Wisconsin, Maine and Alaska that deal with harsh winters every year and think very little of it.
But unless you operate exclusively in southern Arizona, you probably have evidence of the winter on your truck and trailer in the form of sand, salt or chemicals that are harmful to most metals and paint jobs. Periodic washings are required during the winter just to keep some of the moving parts moving. Now that spring has arrived, we really need to give our trucks and trailers a thorough washing. I usually get my equipment washed though the winter which sometimes seems like an uphill battle, but it makes the end of winter cleaning much easier if you've maintained your equipment throughout the season.
I also apply wax to my truck every other wash. It’s only $10 extra at the truck wash I usually go to, but it’s money well spent. It helps protects the paint job and vinyl lettering from fading in brutal sun. You can tell who doesn't take care of their truck very easily. Their paint will quickly lose the glossy finish and become flat and will soon fade away.
When budgeting money for washes, put it under the maintenance category. That is how important it should be considered. Keeping a clean truck and trailer will extend the life-cycle of the equipment by saving the paint and other protective coatings that protect the non aluminum metals from rust. And once the rust starts, your maintenance costs will rise greatly as you have to continually fight off that beast!