The Pros & Cons of Pressure Washing Your Truck

Cleaning an 18 wheeler is a huge job – cleaning an entire fleet is definitely time-consuming!

When truck drivers want to DIY their fleet washing, most turn to industrial-grade pressure washers to get the job done.

Pressure washing provides speed and convenience, especially for large trucks, but there are some aspects of pressure washing that must be kept in mind such as its impact on the environment.

Alternatively, drivers and business owners can also opt for commercial fleet washing services that ensure the job is done quickly, thoroughly, and through methods that are environmentally friendly.

If you are interested in pressure washing your truck, let’s look at some of the pros and cons:

The Pros of Pressure Washing Your Rig Truck

While there are other truck washing methods out there such as steam cleaning, there are definitely advantages to using a pressure washer:

Quickly Dislodge Road Grime

Pressure washing is a quick truck wash method for 18 wheelers, meaning that you can spend less time cleaning your truck and more time on the road.

A lightweight sprayer directs pressurized jets of water and soap to ensure your truck is clean and safe to drive.

Reduce Manual Labor

When you opt to wash your own truck instead of taking advantage of truck washing services, pressure washing reduces the number of people needed for the job. 

This helps you cut down on labor costs.

Ideal for High-Sided Vehicles

The standard height of an 18 wheeler truck is around 13.5 feet. Imagine the work it would take to climb up to that height to properly wash your dirty trucks.

Instead, pressure washing is ideal because it provides a high-velocity spray of soap and water that will wash these hard-to-reach areas.

You can even use pressure washer accessories such as extension hoses to extend your reach and control.

The Cons of Pressure Washing Your Rig Truck

Despite the advantages of using a pressure washer to clean your truck, there are some disadvantages that need to be taken into consideration:

Excess Water Consumption

Even though modern pressure washing equipment has been improved to increase water efficiency, it still takes a lot of water to wash an 18 wheeler. For example, a pressure washer running at 2100 psi uses around 10 gallons of water per minute!

While pressure washing is a quick way to wash your rig truck, it will take some time and more water to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned. 

Environmental Concerns

Apart from excessive water consumption, the chemicals and cleaning agents you use to pressure wash your dirty trucks can also negatively impact the environment. 

You can reduce this risk to the environment by opting for a hot water pressure washer or choosing detergents that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

Keep in mind that most commercial fleet wash facilities use biodegradable cleaners and follow safe wastewater practices.

Lack of Interior Cleaning

Pressure washing is great for cleaning the exterior of your rig truck but it won’t help you clean its interior. 

In order to clean and sanitize your truck’s carpets, upholstery, dashboard, windows, door hands, and sleeping area, you’ll need to use a separate set of equipment to detail the interior.

When you take your truck to a commercial wash location, you can rest assured that both the interior and exterior will be professionally cleaned.

Tips for Pressure Washing Your Truck

There’s nothing better than making an easier job easier! Here are tips when it comes to pressure washing your truck:

  • Apply detergent from the bottom up to prevent streaking.
  • Hold the spray want 3 feet from the truck, moving closer as needed. This helps to prevent damage.
  • Use a scrub brush attachment to grind off stubborn dirt and insects.
  • Wear protection since debris can get into your eyes.
  • Leave the detergent on for 5 minutes to deep clean the surface.
  • Rinse off the detergent from the top down.
  • Watch out for mirrors and light coverings that could easily become loose and fall off.
  • If you have stickers or decals on your truck, spray them head-on instead of at an angle to prevent peeling.
  • Use a stronger spray nozzle to clean your truck bed/tray.

How Often Should You Wash Your Truck?

They say a clean truck is a safe truck – but not only does it ensure that the driver can operate the vehicle safely, but it also looks better for the business’s image and brand.

You can choose to wash your truck as needed but this will require more time and effort to clean off the excess dirt and grime.

When you schedule your fleet washing on a regular basis with local companies like, you can make sure that your trucks stay clean and that the process takes less time.

Depending on how long and far your trucks travel, you should consider having them washed at least every second week.

Get Your Entire Fleet Clean with Commercial Vehicle Cleaning

While using a pressure washer does cut down on the time it takes to clean your 18 wheeler, you’re still looking at a huge job if you have an entire fleet to clean!

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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