Custom Pressure Washer Trailer vs PreFab
Old Man Wags teaches us what to beware of when considering a pre-fabricated trailer from a big box store..
14 August, 2023 by
Custom Pressure Washer Trailer vs PreFab
Dirt Killer Kranzle USA Atlantic Pressure Washers, Michael Zittel DK

In this video, Josh Wagner (Old Man Wags) discusses each bullet point of a big box store flyer for a prefab pressure washer trailer. In short, beware! What sounds good on paper is not really made for professionals who are serious about their business. Prefabs are built to maximize profit for the big box store, not keep you in the field making money. Our custom rigs are built by professionals and with over 20 collective knowledge.. Our knowledge also includes IN THE FIELD experience which greatly influences how we build custom rigs.


Transcript of Prefab vs Custom pressure washer trailer

Hey guys, it's Old Man Wags here with Atlantic Pressure Washers. Today what we're gonna do is basically be doing a custom rig walkthrough. It's gonna be a little different than our other videos, but the main focus being on why you should go geared towards something customized towards you. On a regular basis. We get sent all these flyers that basically say, can you build us something like this? Do you have something like this off the shelf? Well, what I'm gonna do is basically read through the highlights of this flyer from one of the big box stores who sells a pressure washing trailer. If you're just looking at the advertisement, it sounds okay, but let's actually go through some of the details on it and see how it compares to something that's custom made and designed specifically for you. Alright? I'm not gonna mention any brands in this video, but what we're gonna do is go through the entire title.

First thing, it says, hot water commercial pressure washer trailer with two wands, 4,000 P S I 7.0 gallons per minute, 525 gallon water tank off the start. That sounds great. From the description, it makes the sound liek you have two seven gallon a minute pressure washers. You have two wands that can run and it's commercial grade. Boom, you're outta the box store and you know what you want. However, is that really the case? Let's go ahead and keep on reading through this advertisement. The main thing that it says, and the first bulletin point says Horizontal shaft engines last five times as long as vertical shaft engines, but one that's not even a selling point. Any commercial grade engine that's in this industry is gonna be horizontal shaft. I've only ever seen one vertical shaft pressure washer that was rated for commercial grade use and it was discontinued in the nineties.

Vertical shaft pressure washers are basically something for homeowners. Yes, vertical shafts are used in the lawn and garden industry, but that's not even common, so there's no point even mentioning it there whatsoever is a bulletin point, let alone the first one from this company. The next one that it brings out seven gallons per minute at 4,000 P Ss i from one gun or three and a half gallons a minute at 4,000 p s i from both guns. Well really think about that. You're thinking that you're getting seven gallons a minute, 4,000 P s I and two guns, but this says that if you split it, you're literally cutting the efficiency of your pressure washer in half. If you're in the industry, you know that 4,000 P s I is pretty much useless for doing 90% of the tasks that you're doing on a regular basis.

It's that flow rate that's really gonna pick it up and do the task for you. If you take your seven gallon a minute pressure washer, split it in half and run two guns on it, you're getting the efficiency of a three and a half gallon a minute. What it also doesn't mention in this ad is when you do that and only run those two guns versus the one, you can't run the hot water feature. So what's gonna happen is now you just took this awesome unit that does seven gallons a minute, 4,000 P s I, you made a cold water unit. You cut your efficiency in half and you still can't do as much. Let's keep on reading through it. This next selling point, it says, uses half inch schedule, 80 extra heavy duty P V C pipe. Well, let's start with that. The coils on almost any industry unit is going to be half inch schedule 80 pipe.

The next part of this is there's really no read to deviate from that or again, list it because all that's doing is telling you about the unit. It's not a bragging right because everyone in the industry does that. The next part that it says 525 gallon tank capacity. That is an awesome selling feature. When you run it with an eight gallon a minute, a seven gallon a minute, even a six gallon a minute, the larger tank size is really gonna come in handy, especially if you're doing residential jobs or commercial jobs where you're trying to tow away from the parking lot and really don't have access (to water) on job site. That is a good selling feature. However, what I can tell you from the picture on this, that tank is not actually set up correctly. If you look at the tank behind me, it's set horizontally in line with the trailer.

If you wanna balance this over the axles so that it basically has the best footprint sitting on top of it, and if you look the bands are running from back to front, what's the reason for this? When you're going down the road, the water is sloshing this way while you're driving. It's not sloshing from side to side. When you take that same tank and move from this position, which is correct to this position, you've taken those bands and made them structurally stable this direction. It doesn't do anything unless you're cornering and turning, which you shouldn't be doing at high speeds anyway with a trailer, let alone with a tank of water. So what's happening here, they did that to save you some space on this trailer, and as such, it actually makes that trailer a little less safe for you because it's not banded properly.

It's not strapped down. It's really a safety hazard going down the road because it's improperly secured. Our next bulletin point, it says industrial belt drive pump brass manifold, ceramic plunders safety relief for extreme long life condition. Let's break this bulletin point down one by one. Industrial belt-driven pump. Almost all commercial grade pumps, specifically ones that are skid mount or ones that are gonna be bolted down to a trailer anyway, they're probably gonna be gear driven or belt driven. That's a great selling feature, but it's not really anything special to this company. Once again, they're just labeling it there for the bells and whistles. The next part has a brass manifold. Once again, anything commercial grade, even the lighter duty residential ones, they're gonna have a brass manifold. There's nothing special about that. That's the industry standard. So what are you actually getting here? Ceramic plungers.

Okay, that's great. Once again, anything commercial grade should have that feature. Now let's talk about the next part where it says safety relief for long life extreme conditions. What that safety relief does if the machine over pressurizes, it'll dump. In some cases, if it gets too hot, it'll overflow, it'll dump, it'll relieve itself. If it gets too pressurized. Again, exact same thing, and some cases that'll even break for freeze damage, saving you a $20 part versus a, we'll say $800 coil. Making up numbers for that reference, but you get the idea. Does that actually do anything for you? Absolutely, but what this doesn't say is that it doesn't take it another step further because these things are built by box store guys and people that don't really know the industry or fine tune it to are we'll say commercial aspect. What they don't do is they take that bypass and they run it back into the inlet, which is the standard for right out the door.

However, when you're running on a unit like this, you really need to be running that bypass back to your tank. When you let go of the trigger, what it's gonna do is allow that water to freely flow through the pump, dump and discharge back into the tank so that your pump can never heat up. Ideally, it's never gonna get to those conditions where it's so hot that it blows that valve or it can't relieve itself. So it blows that valve because it's constantly dumping the water that it's moving. Your pump's constantly moving fresh water, keeping itself cool, and all the selling features of this just went out the door with what is basically a 10 minute fix by just running that line back to your tank. Let's go ahead and move on to our next point. It says, adjustable temperature. One. This is a great selling feature, but again, this is pretty standard on all of them.

You look at almost every industry thermostat, unless it has a high limit switch, it's going to have that feature. This allows you to control it by depending on how hot you want to get it or maintain a specific temperature. The next part of this, it says, let's see, we got adjustable pressure for job versatility. What they want you to do in this case is basically take the unloader and turn that down, crank it down, and what that's gonna do is give you the side effect of less pressure. What that doesn't tell you is that you're affecting how much flow is actually leaving the pump at any given time. So instead of sending all that water to you like your seven gallons a minute, you start adjusting this pressure knob and it's going to make an adjustment to the end unloader, adjust the pressure spike.

It's gonna send water to the tank, and you're constantly gonna be squeezing the trigger, and instead of that seven gallons a minute at 4,000 P s I, you might not only be getting 6 5, 4 gallons a minute at roughly 1500 p s. I really think about what that's doing. If you're moving the exact same amount of fluid, it's gonna sit there, but you're bypassing half of it. This puts extra wear and tear on your own loader. This also doesn't give you any advantage of having a seven gallon a minute machine because you're losing almost half the flow in what you're doing. Let's go ahead and look at that next point. It says, Jack and aluminum truck box storage. This is a great selling feature on any open trailer. You really wanna have something like this. You need a box to put all your little things, your O-rings, your picks, your quick disconnects, your X jet, your soap injectors, all those spare things that can be lost on the open rails of this trailer.

Once again, great selling point, but really that should be a part of your trailer anyway because you just need something like that. The last point that I'm gonna pick on, it says 22 millimeter quick disconnections. Make it easy for multiple attachments. I'm gonna flat out say that that's a lie. There is no scenario where a 22 millimeter connection is any easier than a push or pull style connection where you have the industry standard quick disconnects where you pull the sleeve back and pop it in. In addition to that, 22 millimeter connections are not rated for the same amount of flow or pressure rating that any of these are gonna get you when you have different attachments for what you're doing. So by using those, it's a little cheaper from a manufacturing standpoint, but once again, you don't get the same kind of bang for your buck because it's not really doing anything for you.

And really it's just an extra headache because there's 22 millimeter connections tend to seize together. It's very rare that they're made out of stainless unless they're Dirt Killers because we designed this ourselves for this exact reason. Let's go ahead and pick on one more point that I forgot about. It says hose length own the reels 150 feet. If you're a contractor, I want you to really think about what 150 feet is gonna give you. That can't even get you from the driveway to the back of the house. In most cases, if you're talking about doing a row home or something like that, you're definitely not gonna be able to work in the center and get anywheres near the back, let alone park on the side and run all the way to the back 150 feet. That's absolutely nothing. The only place that benefits you is if you're doing a storefront like this and you really only need that because you can park right next to your job. By difference.

A commercial grade storage system is gonna have a real capacity that starts at probably 200 feet of high pressure on this particular unit, which we built to basically out spec this entire thing. The unit itself has 300 feet of high pressure hose just on the one system, and then it actually has the capacity to go up to 500 feet. If you ever needed to add more hose. What are the advantages of that? 300 feet of high pressure hose means you don't have to move your trailer as much. If you can park in one position and do all of your job from one task, that's way less downtime than if you had to stop what you're doing. Wind up your hoses, wrap up the trailer, roll to the other end of the shop and basically keep on working instead. By contrast, you have all this on one roll, it's easy to move.

You pull one line, boom, you're good to go. You start working and you're done working. Let's talk about one thing that these trailers never actually seem to include. I've never seen a prefab trailer that has a garden hose reel. I don't know what the reasoning is behind that. You always need a way to fill up your water tank. You have a 525 gallon water tank, but if you have no way to fill it, that means that you're either taking the lid off on a regular basis, dumping in with a fire hydrant, or you're filling up with a garden hose straight to the top. Well, what are the problems with that? Well, one, you need somewhere to store either that hydrant hose or you need somewhere to store that garden hose. Where are you gonna do that? If you don't have a tongue box like this or you don't have any room on your trailer for it, that means that's go in your truck.

I can assure you, you don't wanna put a fire hydrant hose in your truck 'cause it's gonna wreak after the first week of sitting there just from the nasty water that's coming out. Garden hose you can get away with. 'cause It's not gonna be that dirty. However, it is gonna be a mess. If you've ever had to wind up a hundred feet of garden hose by yourself, it's not a fun job. Let's talk about the next point. All of these trailers are designed from a manufacturing standpoint to be efficient and basically ready to go out the door. Unfortunately, what that means for you, the buyer means you don't have a whole lot of versatility. You don't have a whole lot of extra room to grow, and you really don't have a whole lot of, we'll say rooms for any add-ons. If you look at the trailer itself that's in these ads, you'll notice that the space is completely maxed out.

If we zoom out on this trailer, you have all kinds of pockets where you can put stuff. What's this mean? Well, your five gallon buckets of chemical and detergent, you actually have space for them to go. All of your extra add-ons, like your surface cleaner, your extra lances, the extra random tools that you need for different jobs you might be doing, you have space for them. Additionally, let's take a look at the back of this trailer. You actually have room to add a soft wash system. If you ever wanted to, you have room to add chemical tanks if you ever wanted to. When you buy a prefab trailer, I guarantee you're not gonna find any room to do any of that stuff, and that's one of the biggest complaints that we get in our service department is after the fact hindsight, 2020, people ask us to modify something to fit a different need.

Well, the problem with that is I don't always have the room. I don't always have the ability to just fabricate something for it, and there's really not a whole lot of versatility that you can do for that. So the point of this video is to really look at that advertisement, see what it is that you're getting, and really compare it to, we'll say an actual industry professional's trailer, right? Atlantic pressure Washers. We build stuff all day long. We build them to suit your needs and ideally, we're gonna give you more bang for your buck than any of these prebuilt things because this is designed specific for you, specific for your jobs, and more importantly, it's gonna help you make money in the long run. If you like what you see, don't forget to like and subscribe this is Atlantic Pressure Washers, don't forget to turn the water on. 

Custom Pressure Washer Trailer vs PreFab
Dirt Killer Kranzle USA Atlantic Pressure Washers, Michael Zittel DK 14 August, 2023
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