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Tunnel Car Wash Systems

Tunnel car wash systems are defined principally by the use of a conveyor by which the vehicles are pulled through a series of stationary wash components. Tunnel systems come in many configurations: Full-Service, Flex-Serve, Express Exterior, and Mini-Tunnels. Vehicle throughput and capacity are greatly enhanced by the use of a conveyorized system. The demographics, market area, and land will determine the best model for a specific location. Additionally, the willingness to deal with employees will play a significant role in the model best suited for a particular owner/operator.

Express Exterior Tunnel Car Wash System

An express exterior tunnel wash location features a conveyorized tunnel package where the primary service is an exterior vehicle wash often accompanied by free self-serve vacuums. At an express exterior tunnel no interior cleaning services are offered by the wash staff. This model relies heavily on speed, convenience, and price and is normally located on a high traffic, highly visible parcel of land. While these sites are attended, the sales process is entirely automated and handled through an entry station (autocashier/pay station). Throughout the entire wash, customers remain in their vehicles and actual ride through the tunnel wash. Approximately a third the number of employees are needed for the express exterior tunnel was as compared to the full-service tunnel model.

Flex-Serve Tunnel Car Wash System

Flex-serve tunnel locations feature a conveyorized tunnel equipment package combining the elements of the full-service tunnel car wash and the express exterior tunnel car wash. A flex-serve tunnel allows an owner/operator to maximize profitability by offering a complete package of interior and exterior services found at the full-service tunnel car wash but also the speed and value associated with an express exterior tunnel car wash. Centralization and cross-training of employees is a key benefit to this model if properly designed.

Full-Service Tunnel Car Wash System

A full-service tunnel wash location features a conveyorized tunnel equipment package with the primary service being an exterior vehicle wash with interior cleaning services (vacuuming and window cleaning). Full-service tunnel car washes are always attended and require the greatest number of employees to properly operate. Employees handle the loading and unloading of the customer's vehicle after the wash package has been selected. Full-service tunnels are often complimented by a lobby, detailing service, quick lube and oil change.

Hybrid Tunnel Car Wash System

A location featuring a conveyorized tunnel equipment package combining the processes of friction washing with the use of high-pressure applications. Most tunnel car washes today feature elements of the Hybrid Tunnel Car Wash System.

Mini-Tunnel Car Wash System

A location typically operating a 70' or shorter conveyorized tunnel package. This type of wash can be found at Convenience Store / Petroleum sites or where the property is at a premium. This type of facility competes well with the automatic market but will be limited in its offerings as compared to the longer tunnel locations.