Car wash operators have the tough decision of choosing the type(s) of car wash system that they think is most suitable for the business they’re running. Tunnel/Conveyor, Automatic and Self-Service all bring with them advantages and disadvantages, so its important operators understand which option is likely to generate the best results for them and their specific circumstances.

This article offers information, tips and recommendations around tunnel & conveyor car wash systems.

For information on any type of car wash system, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team here at PSD Codax. We can listen to your requirements and help offer recommendations and advice tailored specifically to you.

What is a Tunnel/Conveyor Car Wash?

A tunnel car wash operates on a conveyor belt system, pulling vehicles through a washing tunnel. The specific steps of a tunnel car wash are likely to vary, and some will be more thorough than others. Generally speaking, the car will go through all necessary steps within the tunnel, from pre-soaks all the way to drying at the final end. The cleaning is done by machinery, so it involves less involvement with staff, and relies more on technology and equipment.

A tunnel/conveyor car wash is a technologically advanced way to process and wash cars quickly and to a very high standard.

Benefits of Tunnel Car Wash Systems

Tunnel car wash systems are a fantastic option for high volume and premium locations. They can service a lot of vehicles, both for commercial/fleet customers as well as the general public.

The use of equipment and machinery within the tunnels creates a highly scalable business model. The car wash will be able to service lots of vehicles without needing to invest in more staff. This means operators can confidently invest in marketing and promoting, knowing that they can cope with the increased demand. This type of car wash could also be used 24/7, as the equipment and machinery can just keep going, without the need for lots of staff to be on hand.

For popular locations, this means car wash businesses can really ramp up the number of cars they can service within a given time, helping increase productivity. A tunnel car wash system will be able to clean cars much quicker than any manual cleaning team could. Each model will be different, but conveyor systems will allow for businesses to wash hundreds of vehicles a day.

The systemised approach of tunnel car washes also means every vehicle is cleaned to the same standard. This is great for creating a reliable service that always meets customer’s expectations.

Things to Consider

There are a few things to consider before investing in a tunnel/conveyor car wash system.

  1. Location

This type of car wash needs to attract high numbers of customers to be profitable. The location should be primed for frequent use.

The location also needs to be big enough to fit all the necessary equipment in. This type of car wash can’t be squeezed into a small space – there needs to be adequate space for the required tunnel, as well as space for entry/exist.

  1. Equipment & Cost

Conveyor car washes require a lot of equipment and machinery necessary to operate successfully. This means the initial outlay and cost is high compared to other options. For high volume locations, the ROI is clear and tunnel car washes offer a fantastic product to create revenue. However, if the car wash can’t attract enough customers, this higher cost of equipment could create issues.

This means careful planning and liaising with suppliers and those in the know, can help mitigate this kind of risk. For established car washes that already have a growing customer base, tunnel washes are a great logical add-on to help scale the operations.

  1. Customer Journey and Experience

If executed correctly, a tunnel and conveyor system can help create a great experience for a customer. However, if executed badly, it can leave customers disappointed and underwhelmed.

There needs to be a simple and painless experience from entering the car wash, to entering the tunnel, to leaving – and everything in between.

Having a tunnel that isn’t effectively connected to payment processing, loyalty schemes and ordering, can mean customers are left frustrated and confused. Every step of the customer journey should be well thought out and eliminate unnecessary waiting or queuing.

Recommended Products for Tunnel/Conveyor Car Washes

Here at PSD Codax, we’ve got a selection of products perfectly positioned to help get the most out of tunnel/conveyor car wash systems.

Our Auto Sentry® Petro product helps to take your tunnel car wash program to the next level. This secure, cashless payment terminal monitors your car wash operations with full data network visibility and connectivity, achieves increased revenue and profits with fuel system interface, and provides real-time system alerts of the device and wash bay unit.

Equally, our Tunnel Master product helps manage and control your tunnel car wash by offering a reliable and effective solution. It has 48 undesignated inputs for programmable control and monitoring of wash events such as: Low Oil Pressure Shutoff Switch, Low Air Pressure Shutoff Switch, Thermal Overload Protectors, Chain Tension or Float Valves.

Similarly, our Digital Menu Signs, Auto Passport, Entry and Exist Sign Management and Wash Connect all help improve the customer experience and the efficiency of car wash businesses.

Learn More with PSD Codax

If you’d like to learn more about tunnel systems or any other type of car wash, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

PSD Codax has been developing market leading access control systems for the forecourt trade for over 25 years. We provide a start to finish solution, which includes managing the carwash and staff, as well as keeping track of your financial data. Our customers range from the major oil companies, forecourt operators, and leading supermarket chains around the world, to the regional and individually-owned car wash operators in your neighbourhood. No matter the size of your company PSD Codax has the right solution for your organisation.

Get in touch today.