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Heavy Equipment Cleaning

Heavy Equipment Cleaning

Construction companies always have problems with their heavy equipment cleaning needs. So why not help them with it?

As part of your detailing business, you have most of the equipment you need to be a highly sought-after heavy equipment cleaning company for local construction companies. It’s highly profitable and most construction companies will pay you onsite. If you aren’t already doing this, you need to start.

Cleaning Heavy Construction Equipment

Construction companies rely on heavy equipment to do their job. It’s difficult to dig, move tons of dirt, and build structures without the use of large construction equipment.

But that equipment gets dirty. Constant daily use means more wear and tear.

High-pressure lines blow and cover engines and radiators in thick mixtures of hydraulic fluid, oil, grease, and caked-on dirt. This build-up restricts airflow through the radiator, causing the engine to overheat.

Radiators can’t cool engines if the airflow is blocked by dirt and grime. Engines run badly when they are covered in similar grime and engine fluids. Oil pans need degreasing after the engine oil is changed. Heavy equipment runs constantly and needs maintenance to do so. But mechanics don’t generally clean the machines, they just work on them.

It’s up to professional heavy equipment cleaners to handle this part of keeping equipment running.

Heavy Equipment Cleaning

You’ve got a pressure washer, degreasers, cleaning chemicals and supplies, even buffers if they want them shiny. It’s a profitable niche business that you will enjoy doing. Now it does benefit you to look into hot water pressure washers or a steam generator that can create enough high-pressure steam to melt grease. Adding these high-end pieces of equipment to your arsenal will make you a powerful competitor in your local heavy equipment cleaning market. Using these will also increase your business many times more than your competition.

Picture of Detailing A Cat Excavator

Profitable Niche Business

Heavy equipment cleaning can be a profitable niche business like pressure washing and similar add-on services. Basically it isn’t your main source of income so you can afford to give some good deals out when you are a little slower. The average price for heavy equipment cleaning varies for different kinds of construction equipment but it averages in the range of $125 to $350 or more per unit. It really just depends on exactly what level of cleaning your customer expects since time is money and you need to complete several of these per job.

The Key to Success is Flexibility and Options

Keep in mind that this level of heavy equipment cleaning isn’t detailing an entire bulldozer or crane. The owner of a construction company generally isn’t concerned if his equipment has some dirt and mud on it. That’s what these things are used for. What does concern them is the machine breaking down because of dirt, mud, grease, and anything else that gets stuck in the radiator, half-tracks, wheels, etc. They want you to arrive at the worksite and clean their equipment when they aren’t working. This is usually at night or early morning. The key to success is flexibility and options when dealing with heavy equipment owners. Every hour that heavy construction equipment is down due to maintenance problems is costing the company owner thousands of dollars.

Maintenance Cleaning

Understand that I’m talking about the “maintenance cleaning” side of heavy equipment cleaning services in this article. Your customer might ask you to fully detail a piece of equipment that they are selling at auction or trading in on another piece of equipment. That is a completely different service and you would charge much more for that. I would do this frequently for several of my clients and charged anywhere from $1500 to $4000 depending on the level of detail that they needed.

This level of heavy equipment cleaning is for the majority of your potential construction company customers who are simply interested in getting their equipment “maintenance cleaned”. The main thing they are looking for when it comes to heavy equipment cleaning is services:

Steam Cleaning the Radiator

“Blowing the rad” aka steam cleaning the radiator is a highly specialized cleaning service. This is where the heated pressure washer if you spent the extra money on it, comes in very handy. You crank up the heat, lower the pressure and douse the radiator with degreaser while spraying it down with superheated water.

Radiators overheat when they are covered with grease and debris from the engine. So this type of cleaning is needed at least every few months or more often for heavily used equipment. The thing to watch when you are cleaning radiators is to keep the pressure low enough so that you aren’t blowing off the “fins” of the radiator. Fins are needed to allow airflow and keep the radiator cool which in turn cools the engine. If you accidentally do blow off the fins, you might end up having to buy the company a new radiator which sometimes can run as much as several grand.

Cleaning The Pan

The rest of the equipment can be cleaned in the same manner, but it’s much faster cleaning the grease off the engine and the body of the equipment because you don’t have to be quite as careful as you do with the radiator. Cleaning the pan is another specialized service. Advance warning, it’s extremely dirty work. The guys who operate the equipment will unbolt or lower the oil pan underneath the heavy equipment. You then load it up with degreaser and spray it with as much superheated water that you can find. It blows back and covers the guy cleaning it. We always wore big hazmat suits with respirators and masks when we did this work. We usually gave this job to one of our newbies. It was our trial by fire. If they stayed on working with us after cleaning the pan, then we knew they were keepers.

If you don’t have a heated pressure washer available, you can do heavy equipment cleaning work with a standard cold water pressure washing unit.  The only problem you run into is it is definitely harder work without hot water and it takes a lot more degreaser and cleaning chemicals.  More chemicals equal more cost which will cut into your profits on each job.  Keep this in mind before you head out to start getting this kind of work.

Heated or Hot Water Pressure Washers are Worth Every Cent

Heated or hot water pressure washers are worth every cent that they cost. They aren’t cheap, but I made back the cost of my first one in about two weeks. And that was a high-end Landa that I had spent about $5 grand on. Eventually we added several more Hotsy’s and even a few Karcher’s. Up here in Western Pennsylvania, we needed to be able to do work year-round and these hot water pressure washers kept us going year-round. Especially with our commercial and industrial customers.

Additional On-Site Mobile Detailing Services

Heavy equipment cleaning is also a great lead-in for additional on-site mobile detailing services. When you are on the job site doing heavy equipment cleaning work, you simply talk to the owner and other workers about the fact that your business is detailing and cleaning vehicles. They generally already know this but remind them and offer a discount to do some quick washes on their trucks. Construction workers spend an enormous amount of time in their trucks. Showing up once a week to clean the interiors and spray off the outside of their trucks will keep you in front of them for when they need larger heavy equipment cleaning jobs. With most of these companies, it’s unfortunately out of sight, out of mind. You could be their regular guy for any type of cleaning, but until you get them used to frequent visits, they forget about you. So if they only hear from you every few months they feel like they aren’t important enough for you to spend time stopping by. I usually picked a day each week where I would pick up donuts and coffee and drop it off at a few of my regular clients each week. They loved it. I usually got invited to most of my client’s Christmas parties just because they really appreciated me as a vendor.

Your Market is the Smaller Construction Company Not The Big Guys

This is another important thing to remember when it comes to dealing with construction companies.  Your market is the smaller construction company, not the big guys. Landing a 1,000 employee monster company is nice, but there’s absolutely no loyalty towards you as a vendor. The minute another guy shows up and undercuts you, they will go with him.

The companies you need to focus on are the smaller companies with one owner and 5 to 20 employees. These guys are all about the “stop-in” which is essentially just stopping at their job site to say hi. They don’t like email and usually have a wife or somebody back at the office that does those things. It may sound old fashioned, but construction guys are still part of the old school crowd. The first few times you may show up on a job site to talk to them about heavy equipment cleaning, you may hear some jokes or wisecracks about your shiny truck. After a few times though and they see that you are persistent but polite, they will usually give you a shot.

Here are some tips to closing smaller construction companies:

  • They love coffee and donuts. So find out when they arrive in the morning for their safety meetings and show up 10 minutes earlier with coffee and donuts. The owner or foreman is usually the first to arrive and seeing you there before them will make an impression. Also make sure there is more than enough for everybody. Don’t talk about business, just tell them you wanted to stop and say hi and let them know you were in the area so they “didn’t forget about you.”
  • Get special magnet business cards printed. This is important when dealing with heavy equipment cleaning. They don’t keep business cards, but they will put your magnet card inside the cab of the equipment or slap it on the side of a file cabinet. When the front loader is overheating because a hydraulic line blew and they forgot to clean the oil and grease off the radiator, who are they gonna call? Exactly. The owner will yell something like “call that pain-in-the-ass that brings us donuts all the time, his card is stuck to the side of the file cabinet”.
  • Downtime is money to these guys, so be ready when they call. If you tell them you will be their go-to guy for heavy equipment cleaning, you need to be ready to drop everything when they call. They’re reasonable and understand you have other customers, so being there in an hour isn’t what I’m talking about. If it’s 2 pm when they call though, they will appreciate you missing dinner with your family to take care of them at 6 pm that night after you complete your other work. I had a few generators with big spotlights and spent numerous nights taking care of my heavy equipment cleaning customers this way. And they usually always bought me dinner.
  • Be flexible, but fast with your billing. When I was done with a job, I would hand the foreman a bill and say something like “I can fax or email Sally a copy if you need me to.” Most of my clients just walked over to their truck and cut me a check while I was standing there. I was never pushy and never asked for payment while I was waiting there. Leave it up to them and always thank them for their business. Just remember, your $300 to $600 bill is much smaller than the ones they pay other vendors. So it’s usually not a big deal for them to cut you a check while you are still there on site. Leave it up to them but always be ready with a bill so you don’t have to wait for Sally back at the office to cut you a check in a few weeks.

Heavy Equipment Cleaning Customers Will Become Your Favorites

I can tell you from experience that your heavy equipment cleaning customers will become your favorites for all your customers. They are fun to work with and they are just all-around good people. They are also very loyal to the people who take care of them. So do a good job, make sure they are always happy and take care of them AND their employees. There’s always going to be one hard case on a job site who isn’t going to like you, just because he’s like that. Figure out a way to make him happy and you will keep that company as a customer forever. More times than I can remember I have stopped at customer job sites before lunchtime and they have told me to jump in the truck and took me to lunch with them. And they always buy regardless of how many times you try and offer.

You will really enjoy adding heavy equipment cleaning as a profitable add-on service to your business.

Car Engine Cleaning Tips

Car Engine Cleaning Tips

Lavaggio motore

Car engine cleaning tips are important for many reasons. A clean engine runs cooler and helps improve fuel efficiency. It also prolongs the life of your engine. So cleaning the engine properly requires the best practices available.

A Clean Engine will Increase a Vehicle’s Resale Value

Another benefit is when you sell or trade-in a vehicle. A clean engine will increase resale values. This is why car dealers always have their vehicles fully detailed with shiny engines.

Unfortunately, since there are many ways that an engine can be damaged, you need to make sure you follow the procedures.

A Heated Pressure Washer is Preferable

Car engine cleaning is easier when you have the correct chemicals and equipment to do it. A heated pressure washer (aka steam jenny or hot water pressure washer) is preferable but not a necessity to properly clean an engine.

With a heated pressure washer or a steam pressure generator you can use less chemical and degrease the engine faster.

Cold Water Works Too

If you don’t have access to heat, cold water works too. FYI, it is possible to clean an engine without a pressure washer. The trick is to focus on the chemicals and attempt to use the least amount of water as possible.

PRO TIP: A hose from your home will generally push out water flow at approximately 5 to 10 GPM (gallons per minute) at 30 to 50 PSI (pounds per square inch). Most light-duty pressure washers, the kind you buy at any of the big box stores, will pump out 1.5 to 1.7 GPM at 1750 to 1850 PSI. Engines and water don’t work well together. Your goal is to clean the engine with the least amount of water possible. It makes sense to rely on chemical degreasers and a pressure washer with high PSI but low GPM output.

As mentioned above, blasting a bunch of water on your engine for the length of time required to clean it is a bad idea. This is why pressure washers are a detailer’s friend.

Wipe the car engine

When Cleaning an Engine, Less is More

I have already mentioned this a few times, but I’m going to repeat it, yet again. With regards to water and engine cleaning, pressure (PSI) is good as long as gallons (GPM) is low.

Forcing water into an engine is something you don’t want to deal with. Especially since it’s probably a customer vehicle. So use less water and more pressure. And rely on the cleaning chemicals. Let the chemicals and degreaser do the work for you. Anywhere from 1,000 PSI on up to 2,000 PSI is more than sufficient when used with lower GPM and degreasers. Any more than that and you run the risk of injecting water into places you don’t want water in your engine.

Engine Running or Not?

This topic alone could fill several blog posts. For now, let’s just say that the great debate among car detailers for many decades has been whether to keep a car engine running while cleaning it. This is one of those areas that we need to add our standard disclaimer about how we take no responsibility for any damage that you do to an engine. We can only tell you how we’ve done this and you use this information at your own risk.

PRO TIP: If you want to get better at anything, practice. A few years after I started my detail shop, I was always trying to give my new detailers more hands-on experience. Unfortunately, when you put a new detailer on a customer car, you run the risk of something being damaged. So I bought a clunker. See the ‘Shop Dart’ section below to learn more about our lovely practice car.

We Started Out Leaving the Engine Running

At our shops, our process changed over the years. At first, we started out leaving the engine running. I ran the car engine for about 15 minutes to warm it up. Then I would cover up air intakes, electrical boxes, wiring harnesses, and spark plugs.

A generous amount of cleaner/degreaser solution was applied and allowed to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. After the soak, the engine was started. A heated pressure washer on the high heat/steam setting is used to spray the engine clean. We never had an issue with any of the thousands of cars that were cleaning in this way.

Process Changed as Degreasers Got Stronger

Even in industries as slow-moving and stale as auto detailing, car chemical companies still attempt to make better products. This is what happened that caused me to rethink our engine cleaning process. I started noticing that the degreasers we were buying were showing improved results over the course of a few years. Our engine cleaning process changed as degreasers improved. It made sense since we no longer had to apply so much water and steam to engines to clean them. We were still careful to cover delicate electronics and wiring harnesses, but we were able to use a lot less water. 

Your car engine cleaning chemicals make a world of difference. Don’t just buy a cheap degreaser. If you are doing this professionally, then set yourself apart from every Joe Schmo who can buy cheap cleaners for their engines and do it at home.

The Shop Dart

A friend of mine asked if I knew anyone that wanted an extremely old Dodge Dart with a few hundred thousand miles on it. I asked him how much. He said a few hundred bucks. So I gave him $300 and became the proud owner of an incredibly ugly Dart. We eventually named her our ‘Shop Dart’.

Car Engine Cleaning is a Skill

Over the next few years, our team high speed buffed the paint straight down to the metal. We removed dents, did bumper repairs, and scratch removal. And the car was painted and repainted so many times that none of us could remember the original color. All the upholstery was ripped and repaired hundreds of times. Two of my guys even wanted to learn how to rewire a car. So they practiced on the Dart.

Like anything, car engine cleaning is a skill. And skills need to be learned through practice. Our Shop Dart had an engine that was cleaned so often, it shined like it was in a classic car cruise.

If you want to get better, it’s all about practice. If you want to know what happens when you fill fuel injectors with water, then do it on purpose to your junker car. Then learn how to fix it.

Curious about what happened to the infamous Dodge Dart? There’s a cool story about it. My team tore down and rebuilt that car so many times that it looked better than it did when it was brand new. Then one day, my shop manager asked if we could get a few different clunker cars to practice on. I told him we could look around and find some.

Then I had a somewhat brilliant idea. During our morning meeting the next day, I announced that we could put the Shop Dart out in front of our building and sell it. And if the guys wanted to make it perfect, they could all split whatever we sold it for between them. So they repainted it, again, made sure it was running perfect, and detailed it like it was a Lamborghini. It was fantastic.

Then we sold the Shop Dart… for $5 grand. No kidding. $5 thousand dollars. It looked amazing and it ran great. The guy that bought it loved the look. And my team was beyond excited when I handed them the money.

So that’s how we got great at detailing, reconditioning, and cleaning car engines. Hands-on practicing every day on an old clunker car.

We can only tell you how we did it for years and you decide how to proceed from there.

Have fun and enjoy the process. You shouldn’t have any problems as long as you follow the tips outlined above and use common sense along with a good safety regimen.

We hope you enjoyed this how-to on Car Engine Cleaning Tips. Access more tips, training, and insight by subscribing to the E-Newsletter.

Suggested Pages to Check Out

Detail Shop Liability Insurance Page with Info on Garage Keepers Liability Coverage

1099 Contractors and Other Detail Shop Tax Issues

Mobile Services

Mobile Services

Mobile Services for Auto Detailing

When I think back about how I started my detailing businesses, I did it the old fashioned way.

By old fashioned I mean I opened my own fixed location shop with a bunch of overhead. Those ‘hard’ costs that are difficult to adjust or eliminate because you need them.

I’m talking about things like building rent and utilities.

When you have an auto detail shop, you need the fixed location shop part to actually do business. And all the utilities are a cost you incur while doing the work.

Things like electricity to run the tools and lights. Water for basically everything.

And gas… Can’t forget about the damn natural gas bill. Pittsburgh winters are brutal. And heating garage bays and offices are expensive in winter.

Overhead Can Kill a New Business

Overhead can kill a new business. And building rent and utilities is second only to employee payroll as far as the largest numbers in the expense column of your P&L (profit and loss) statement.

They say hindsight is 20/20, but if I had to do it all over again I would skip the fixed the shop location and go straight to offering mobile detailing services.

The obvious place to start in this industry is by offering mobile detailing just based on the lower cost of equipment and easier training.

You really need to consider some of the other mobile services that the auto reconditioning industry has available though.  Going from simple detailing and car washing to high-end auto reconditioning services will amaze you when you see the difference in profits.

I’m talking about the really profitable mobile services such as:

Mobile Detailing Services – the obvious first place to start

Commercial Fleet Cleaning – when you are ready for higher volume and more profits

Heavy Equipment Cleaning – a fantastic niche business that some do exclusively

Pressure Washing Services – expand your services using your existing equipment

Specialty Cleaning Services – another way to profit from your existing skills and tools

These mobile services are a great place to start.  This is also a great way to add profitable mobile services to your existing detailing business if you already have one.  Either way, reconditioning mobile services is a fantastic way to add profits and expand your skills in your community.

Mobile Detailing Equipment

Mobile Detailing Equipment

Your mobile detailing truck and trailer along with your mobile detailing equipment is referred to as your “Mobile Rig” or simply a “Rig”.

The mobile rig is the single most important part of the mobile detailing business. If you don’t have the equipment to get the job done, then you can’t do the work.

So naturally, mobile detailing equipment is going to be a subject that you focus on frequently if you are offering these services.

Some mobile detailing equipment companies promote the open trailers with the water buffalo, pressure washer and other equipment out in the open.

If you live anywhere cold or near any areas that aren’t exactly secure, then this will end up being a real pain for you.

In the cold weather, open trailers need anti-freeze dumped into the water supply and the pressure washer needs anti-freeze in all the plumbing just to keep from freezing. If you park your truck somewhere in a city or near a construction site the chances of something turning up missing when you get back are very high.

When we first added mobile detailing equipment to our detail shop business as an add-on service, we went the open trailer route because of the cost savings and we already had a pickup truck and a box-type mini-van that were both large enough to pull the trailer with water.

Closed trailers are another option for this type of work, but not the best choice.  You still have to drag a trailer around with you everywhere you go.

Try backing up a closed trailer in a parking garage without hitting anything. The only nice feature about the close trailer is if you use your pickup truck for personal business then you simply unhitched from the trailer and go. In the overall big picture a closed trailer is a good choice, but the best one. Your mobile detailing equipment will be enclosed and protected and it is easier to keep everything from freezing in the winter this way, but you still have the other issues I’ve mentioned above.

By far the best choice for hauling mobile detailing equipment and making the perfect mobile rig is a cargo van.  Preferably a 1-ton cargo van.  Our shop really loved the 1 Ton Chevy Express Cargo Van.  It was large enough to haul everything and had the power we needed to haul the ever-important water buffalo.  A measurement that will become very important to you when you start mobile detailing and cleaning is 8.34 lbs per gallon.  That is the weight of a gallon of water.  So when you are shopping around for mobile detailing equipment and you add your water buffalo, you need to keep this figure in mind.  It is very easy to exceed your max weight capacity on your 1 Ton Cargo Van if you aren’t careful.  Here are some things to consider when thinking about weight issues with your Mobile Detailing Equipment:

Mobile Detailing Equipment Weight Capacity Issues and Ways To Calculate

When it comes to mobile detailing equipment, weight is something that you worry about every day.  If you are adding a 200-gallon water buffalo, then you need to figure that weight when full which would be 200 gals multiplied by 8.34 lbs per gallon for a total weight of 1,668 lbs.

The water buffalo itself doesn’t weigh much, but for easy math let’s figure about 32 lbs for the actual water buffalo to set our total water weight at 1,700 lbs.

One ton equals 2,000 lbs, but this is not your safe hauling weight.  That would be a newbie mistake to just take 2,000 lbs and subtract your mobile detailing equipment and water weight from that.

What you need is the GVWR from the door jamb of the cargo van, truck or whatever you are using to haul EVERYTHING.  GVWR is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. The thing about the figures from the manufacturer is that they are figuring on an empty van. So according to Chevy here’s how they calculate maximum hauling capacity:

8,600 GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)

5,291 Subtract Curb Weight also referred to as GVCW (Gross Vehicle Curb Weight) – be careful here though, this doesn’t include you or anything else but the empty van

3,309 Max Payload Capacity – According to Chevy this is what you should be able to haul safely.

A more accurate calculation includes you, your equipment and your water weight, then add that to the GVCW (Gross Vehicle Curb Weight) and that will give you the real number.  As long as you don’t exceed the GVWR number, then you are within your safe hauling capacity.

Another way to do this is trying to stay within these numbers and then call a nearby weigh station and ask if it is possible to take your fully-loaded vehicle to their weigh station to check it and make sure it is within safe hauling weight.

We did this with all of our vehicles and made sure the driver and the one or two additional workers that were on that job were included in the trucks when they were weighed.

The officers at the weigh station were more than happy to help with this and the supervisor at the station that I brought our trucks to each year complimented me on being proactive with my vehicle safety program.

We never ran into any issues on the road, but I’m sure developing a relationship with these state officers would have helped us prove that we were proactive in our safety and maintenance program if we ever had any problems while out in the field.

Another consideration when looking at Cargo Vans to haul your mobile detailing equipment is simple things like being able to lock your equipment inside.

If you park your van in your driveway when you’re at home during the winter you can run an extension cord to the van from your garage and plug-in a small electric heater to keep everything from freezing.

Plus, and this is a very big plus if you have ever returned home after doing a ton of fleet cars you know how tired you are. Imagine how excited you’ll be to have to unload the entire pickup truck or open trailer when you’re that tired.

With vans, you don’t have to do any of that. Vans work great. Plus, if you go to lunch on the worksite, simply throw everything inside the van and lock it up.

There’s a “ton” of different mobile detailing equipment you can get for your mobile rig.

Right off the bat, you’ll be excited to get everything you can afford, but don’t waste money at this point. You need all the operating capital you can get.

Your first mobile detailing equipment purchases should include the following:

  • 2000 PSI Pressure Washer
  • Hose – 3/4″ industrial garden hose – 100′
  • Hose reel with 3/8″ high-pressure hose – 100′
  • High-speed buffer – Makita 9227C, the most reliable and lightest
  • High-speed orbital buffer – Porter Cable 7424 is the best
  • Generator – at least 5,000 watts

That’s a good start to your mobile detailing equipment needs. Please check back and I’ll be updating this page with more specifics as to smaller things you need to carry with you to job sites to get work completed faster.

Good luck with your Mobile Detailing Equipment setup and we look forward to hearing about your success on our Auto Detailing Guide Community Forum page.

Mobile Detailing Services

Mobile Detailing Services

Mobile Detailing Services

When I think back about how I started my own detailing company I can’t imagine not setting up with mobile detailing services first.

No fixed facility shop, low overhead, no utilities, no property/building insurance, etc.

There are just so many positives that I can’t figure out why people get the idea to start an auto detail shop and don’t consider the mobile detailing services as an option.

Yes, you do have some drawbacks like being controlled by the weather. You can fix that with an inflatable mobile workshop or mobile garage much like the one we use. Initially setting up a mobile detailing service costs some money, but using these tools like inflatable mobile garages, you can control those variables better.

These tools give you the ability to work year-round in any kind of weather environment which in itself will pay for the cost of the tent many times over.

When you begin offering mobile detailing services, you need the basics of any detailing business:

  • mobile detailing van – best option is a Chevy Express 1500 Cargo Van, we tried several vans and trucks and this worked the best.
  • mobile detailing equipment – pressure washer, generator, portable water buffalo, a Makita variable high-speed wheel buffer (0 to 6K) and a Porter Cable variable high-speed orbital buffer (0 to 6K)
  • detailing supplies
  • detailing business insurance
  • detailing business forms for your transactions. Being organized doesn’t just benefit a business offering mobile detailing services, it’s a great idea with any business.
  • credit card merchant account – the most inexpensive way to do this is to set up a free PayPal Business account online
  • uniforms, mainly a professionally produced t-shirt with your company logo on it and khaki shorts or clean jeans with no holes.

As I asked you in another section of the site, do you have garage keepers liability insurance? See our Detailing Business Insurance page for more information on the types of insurance you need for your business. General liability alone won’t cut it, you need garage keepers liability to cover the vehicle while in your care, custody, and control. Ask your insurance agent about this.

After insurance, mobile detailing equipment, and other miscellaneous detailing supplies, you need to make sure your business has its own checking account separate from your personal account.

This is to make sure your business funds are separated from your personal money. This will definitely benefit you when it comes to tax time and you give your receipts and bank account statements to your accountant.

When you first start out with a mobile detailing services business, you may think your costs are high but you will quickly see how profitable you become as you begin to see more customers.

The other thing you need to determine with any mobile detailing services business is the legal structure.  Do you start as a sole proprietor or incorporate it?

You can also set up an LLC, which is a limited liability company but many tax professionals will tell you there’s not a lot of differences between that and a small business corporation or Sub-S Corp.

You need to talk to your CPA and your attorney about this as they will be able to advise you as to which structure is the most beneficial to you.

Mobile Detailing Services don’t have an enormous amount of liability as long as you are properly insured. You always want to be protected as much as possible though.

Offering Mobile Detailing Services is a very profitable business but you need to make sure you are organized on the back office side before you can make money on the service side.

You can make a ton of money performing services for people, but if you don’t know where your money is going for expenses like supplies, equipment, insurance, payroll, and other business costs, you won’t end the year with much money in the bank.

I have talked to guys who thought they were doing great and they now say the worst part of it all was that they were basically bankrupting themselves with all their expenses, but they didn’t discover that they were broke until several months after because they were too busy trying to make money.

Don’t let that happen to you. Mobile Detailing Services are profitable, but it is still hard work and it is still a business. Run it well and it will reward you well.