Five Ways the Totally Tommy Car Wash Design Reduces Car Wash Labor


Ask most car wash managers, or retail business managers in general, what the hardest part of running the business is, and they’ll likely to tell you that it’s not the equipment, the materials, or the customers – it’s managing the people. Even with a fantastic team, balancing everyone’s schedules, hiring, and training requires a huge amount of time and energy.


At Tommy Car Wash Systems we are proud of our car wash system, which allows for extremely high car wash production with the lowest labor possible, keeping teams small and making it easier than ever for managers and operators to focus on the team members they have and give them the flexibility, training, support, and communication they need to be truly excellent in their role.


Specifically, our system reduces labor by:


Eliminating Manual Prep with the Triple Presoak

Manually prepping cars with a sprayer wand is labor-intensive, monotonous, and inefficient. Car washes that still rely on this approach waste an entire team member in an unnecessary role and end up expending far more water and car wash detergent for a less standardized presoak result.


The Triple Presoak Arch by Tommy Car Wash Systems, also called the Bug, Body, and Backend Autoprep Arch, automates this process with ranks of highly-targeted high pressure nozzles and a thorough application of Tommy 360-C. This process speeds loading times compared to a manual prep system, delivers a highly standardized and precise result, and is able to maintain performance under high volume conditions. In fact, the system operates best in non-stop busy tunnels and tightly-loaded conditions, as it efficiently applies product to the back of one vehicle and the front of the next continuously.


Streamlining loading with the Tommy Transporter Dual Belt Conveyor and Self-Loading Entrance Module

Dual belt conveyors have been demonstrated to improve loading times and reduce customer anxiety, as they provide a wider target and eliminate all roller-related loading errors. This reduces downtime and allows vehicles to load closer, faster, and with more confidence over time.


In the same way, the Self-Loading Entrance Module offers very clear instruction with both audio and visual cues for customers. During low volume periods, established washes using the Tommy Transporter and Self-Loading Entrance Module generally do not use a loader unless a customer needs assistance.


Incorporating the Wash Club License Plate Recognition System

Memberships, no matter the format, increase wash production by eliminating the payment step – or rather converting that payment process to an automatic monthly one that happens in the background. The Wash Club LPR system takes this concept one step farther, however, by allowing customers to purchase and modify memberships directly from their smartphones by using their vehicle’s license plate number.


When the new member arrives at the car wash for the first time the system is already ready to immediately read and accept their vehicle into the wash bay without any input or time spent at the cashier window entering data or applying a radio tag. Over the life of the wash this system saves countless hours of energy and delay and increases a customers’ control over their account as well as the convenience and flexibility the membership offers them.


Incorporating the Flight Deck Design

The Flight Deck Design principle takes the cashier station and enhances it until it becomes a central control hub for the entire car wash, providing lines of sight as well as immediate physical access to the pay queue, cashier station, loading area, and the entire car wash bay. Touchscreens put the entire wash under instant control of any single employee, and security cameras and glass man doors effectively shrink the site, allowing fewer workers to do more and to do it more efficiently.


Extensively Automating Wash Systems

Powered by Guardian Wash Command, Tommy Car Wash Systems offers one of the most automated and advanced wash control suites available in the industry today – including the Tommy Premium Advantage. In essence, the TPA is a relay system which connects the wash controller and a series of iPads and allows the tablets to be used, essentially, as remote controls. Staff can use these tools to monitor wash functions in real-time, troubleshoot errors, and adjust settings from any location on-site. They are also used for routine hourly walkthroughs and checklists.


For more information on any of this equipment, or the Totally Tommy car wash site design as a whole, visit our site-models page or the various listings in our car wash webstore. If you have questions, please use our contact page.


Tommy Car Wash Systems



Taking Advantage of Blue Water Markets


Location is critical for the success of any business, and car washes in particular rely on the strength of their site to drive traffic and customer awareness. This makes site selection one of, if not the single most important step when founding a new car wash. But even an ideal location with good traffic count, size, layout, and proximity to desirable destinations like shopping malls or grocery stores, can be undone by a single, often overlooked factor: competition.


It’s tempting to only build in your own backyard, setting up a marvelous car wash with down-the-street convenience in your own community and accepting moderate success as a result. But first take an honest look at the area and the car washes already established there.


If your local market is already claimed (much less saturated) by entrenched older car washes with established customer bases, you’ll soon find yourself locked in a fierce marketing and price battle for the attention of a set population. While it is possible to win these competitions (particularly with high quality equipment and a service model that boasts faster, better results) the fallout will drag down all players, with the advantage going to the wash with the bigger reserves and membership pool.


The best bet is to avoid the issue altogether and search for an ideal site in a local area with no express car wash competition whatsoever. These locations, ironically, are often found in smaller communities, home to low-power car wash solutions like in-bay automatics and populations who will immediately notice the new facility and the difference a real car wash can make.


Admittedly, this investment-minded strategy may add to your commute. But a blue-ocean site selection approach can yield a far larger, undivided customer pool and open up high quality car wash service to communities which have never experienced it before, with raving customers and higher wash counts as a result.



As always, if you are currently in the process of developing your own car wash, consider the Totally Tommy wash design by Tommy Car Wash Systems, featuring a cohesive car wash layout, architecture, high-end wash equipment, and labor-saving automation technology. Learn more HERE!


Tommy Car Wash Systems


Tommy’s Express San Antonio Operating with LEED Certification


From building material selection to interior air quality, low energy use, and water efficiency, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings represent a considerable commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible practices.


Under the leadership of Nicolaas Blom of Windmeer Enterprises, Tommy’s Express Car Wash of San Antonio, a Totally Tommy car wash and Tommy’s Express Car Wash franchise, has been operating as the first and only LEED Certified car wash in the state of Texas since the car wash’s grand opening event earlier this year.


Each LEED certified site has been designed to leave a particularly low impact on the environment during both construction and daily operations while maintaining good air quality and minimizing energy consumption.


The Tommy’s Express site earned its Silver certification with a highly energy efficient design, dramatic reduction in water use, responsible materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.  Of particular note, the car wash uses a water reclamation system with Rotating Bed Biofilm Reactor (RBBR) technology to minimize its overall water consumption without sacrificing performance or wash quality. In fact, the technology allows the wash to reclaim and re-use up to 90% of the water used to wash each car—up to 40% more than industry standard.


This system pairs well with Tommy Car Wash Systems’ highly efficient and targeted wash equipment, and the Tommy’s Express Car Wash franchise’s partnership the nonprofit organization Water Mission, which promotes access to clean water in disadvantaged communities globally.


Tommy Car Wash Systems


VisionQuest Family of Companies Celebrates Growth


The Michigan-based VisionQuest Inc. family of companies celebrated another year of growth and camaraderie at the Summer 2018 corporate rally in Holland, MI. Team members from sister companies including car wash developer Tommy Car Wash Systems, the Tommy’s Express Car Wash franchise corporate office, beloved West Michigan car wash brand Quality Car Wash, Tommy’s Express Car Wash corporate locations, corporately-owned Tim Horton’s franchises, and professional marketing group Navigate all gathered to share the year’s accomplishments and reinvest in a shared identity of service, value, and mission.


Highlights included Tommy Car Wash Systems’ dramatic growth in number of yearly projects scheduled, explosive Tommy’s Express Car Wash franchisee growth, national recognition for Tim Horton’s quality of operations, Navigate’s acquisition into the VisionQuest family of companies, and record sales and expansion across the Tommy’s Express and Quality Car Wash locations.


Teams also took time to recognize the various philanthropic priorities held by the assembled companies. These include support of Water Mission, which provides clean drinking water to communities in need worldwide, and Hand2Hand, which offers nutritious free food to thousands of meal-unstable school-aged children during school days and weekends. The VisionQuest team members even took time during the event to package over 2000 meal packs for school-aged children with a small, personal note card placed in each.


VisionQuest is currently recruiting to fill a variety of positions, with competitive benefits and pay available for qualified applicants. Visit for more information.


Tommy’s Express Car Wash


West Michigan Car Wash Innovator named a Best and Brightest Company

Tommy Car Wash Systems’ corporate parent VisionQuest Inc. has been named to the list of ‘West Michigan’s ‘101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For’ by the National Association for Business Resources. VisionQuest Inc. is also the corporate parent of local car wash chain Quality Car Wash, national car wash franchise Tommy’s Express Car Wash, and West Michigan-based marketing group Navigate.


According to the National Association for Business Resources, “Companies that excel at employee relations, use innovation to motivate employees, and implement creative compensation programs will be recognized.” By evaluating factors including compensation, benefits, employee enrichment, and shared vision, an independent research firm evaluates each company for inclusion in the appropriate regional list.


Tommy Car Wash Systems and VisionQuest Inc. are proud to be included and recognized alongside so many long-standing, innovative, and distinctive West Michigan businesses.


Tommy Car Wash Systems


The Tommy Car Wash Systems All-In-One High Pressure Pump Station


Car wash backrooms are a mixed bag, and you’ll seldom find one that’s really clean, orderly, and presentable. There’s just too much equipment mounted in too small a space, leading to haphazard layouts, tangles of tubing and plumbing lines, and a general feeling of clutter and disorganization.


But today there is as solution, one functioning in dozens of high performance express automatic car washes around the world.


The Tommy Car Wash Systems All-In-One High Pressure Pump Station is exactly what it sounds like: a compact arrangement of the main pump units present in the car wash, all stacked inside a durable stainless steel framework with a footprint of a mere four feet by four feet. With all connections included, and featuring a wide selection of pumps and plumbing routes, the unit drastically reduces the space demand of the car wash backroom while simplifying layout and pluming decisions and cost. It’s a compact, modular solution that improves wash function and organization—and it’s available now.


Additional information on the unit is available here. You can also reach out to our sales department at (616) 494-0411.


Tommy Car Wash Systems


Pollen Season for Car Wash Operators


Pollen season is in full swing across much of the United States, and as painful and inconvenient as it may be for the driving public this season is a boon for car wash operators who typically enjoy more and more frequent customers as a result.

What is Pollen Season?

The reason is fairly obvious. Pollen is an extremely fine powder released by flowers and trees as part of their reproductive cycle, and during pollen season it gets just about everywhere—including on vehicles. This powder triggers allergies in a large percent of the population and if it is allowed to continue adhering to a car the high acidity in the pollen grain can oxidize and cause fading and discoloration over time.

Why Car Washes?

Professional automatic car washes are the ideal solution. Customers, especially club members, can visit every day if needed, the undercarriage rinse removes pollen that would otherwise be missed, and the detergents, high pressure, and scrubbing action of the car wash foam help encapsulate the pollen for easy removal.

Marketing and Advertising

Saving time, preserving customer vehicles, and making allergy sufferers more comfortable are fantastic selling points for local car washes to advertise, and a campaign crafted around pollen season is a perfect pair for a variety of promotions or club specials. Be sure to emphasize:


~ How regular washing strips the pollen away before the acidity can work

~ How controlling the buildup and vacuuming the interior may reduce allergy symptoms

~ How certain services (especially regular applications of hot wax) provides a barrier that makes it more difficult for the pollen to stick to the pores in the clear coat

~ How the car wash offers better results than hose washing at a fraction of the time and with less water use

~ Any Wash Club programs or Memberships that can save customers money – everyone loves a deal!


Ultimately, pollen season is an opportunity for car wash operators to help their customers with a highly effective solution to a very specific problem. Be proactive, craft your message, and market across many different channels. Good luck!


Tommy Car Wash Systems


“Blue Ocean Vs. Red Ocean Site Selection” Presented by Ryan Essenburg at THE CAR WASH SHOW 2018

Today we’re highlighting Ryan Essenburg’s recent presentation “Fundamentals of Express Car Wash Success… Blue Ocean Vs. Red Ocean Site Selection.” This session was originally presented to an overflow crowd at The Car Wash Show 2018 in Las Vegas, NV. Ryan Essenburg serves as the president of Tommy Car Wash Systems.



Tommy Car Wash Systems