Well, I guess that “Paper or Plastic?” is what they ask you at the grocery store, but when configuring a mobile fleet washing rig you’ll be thinking diamond plate, powder coat or plastic storage containers. Trust me when I tell you Plastic makes the most sense in the long haul. Ever heard of rust? How about corrosion? Look, you can powder coat your equipment, use special metals, fasteners, and hardware, but the weather always wins over time, everything breaks down and goes back to nature. Even you, but that is of course, is a whole different concept and you’ll have to talk to your god about that I suppose.
Now then, let’s say you are building a mobile washing rig. Perhaps you do fleet on-site truck washing, or concrete cleaning, or power washing of restaurant hoods. Whatever you wash – and I’ve washed quite a few different things over the years. Everything from ships to planes to rail cars and we’ve built and modified all sorts of specialty washing and cleaning trucks, trailers and units. I’d like to talk about protecting your equipment from the weather and the chemicals you use by playing it smart and using smart materials. First, here are some of your choices to deal with weather:
1.) Aluminum Diamond Plate
2.) Stainless Steal
3.) Powder Coating
Aluminum Diamond Plate looks great when it is new, but you must use stainless steel screws to fasten it to your flatbed or trailer. It’s hard to get that shiny look once it gets chemicals on it – hydrofluoric acid, H2SO4, or Muriatic Acid, all acids which may be in some of the soaps and cleaners you use. Stainless Steel looks great too, but hard to keep perfect, and you must buy high grade stainless, otherwise you’ll find it doesn’t last, and if you doubt this, look at the stainless on your BBQ made in China in your back yard, not so good over time, and in this business you will put that stainless through its paces.
Powder Coating works nice, but it doesn’t always stay unless you buy the best and most well-built equipment, so you need to trust the manufacturer of the tool boxes, storage boxes, trailers, and equipment. Galvanized won’t look as nice, but it stays about the same as when you buy it when you freeze and thaw it over time, so that’s okay for inclement weather (usually) but nothing again lasts forever (Physics 101) as you know. Wood looks great too, at first, but look at your deck, or the deck of a boat, it takes real work, time and don’t forget those merciless chemicals.
This is why I’ve come to the belief that you should be using plastic early and often unless you are in a very hot climate, in that case make sure it has a high UV rating – it matters. Please consider ALL of this advice and think on it.