What Is Road Film?
It’s the result of a build-up of road dirt, diesel smoke, & other foreign contaminants emitted from the vehicle’s engine or picked up in the atmosphere. As a vehicle moves at a high speed, it generates friction & static electricity, forming an electrostatic bond to the pollutants. These pollutants actually bond to your vehicle’s surface like steel shavings to a magnet, which is why they are so difficult to get clean over time.
How Do You Remove Road Film?
There are only two ways of removing road film. You can use a high pH alkaline soap and create friction with a brush to release the electrostatic charge, or you can use Hydro-Chem Systems’ 2-step touchless process.
Why Can't I Just Use 1 Step?
High pressure & high temperature water is commonly needed to apply 1-step soaps, both of which can damage your trucks.
1-step soaps must typically be highly caustic to remove road film, which risks damage to your fleet, especially shiny surfaces.
A 1-step soap has to be customized to individual dirt and weather conditions. If your fleet travels through different environments, one soap might not work for all kinds of road film.
Complete road film removal is not possible without either brushing or using HCS’s 2-step washing process. Brushing risks damage to the surfaces of your vehicles, especially if you have decals.
Aluminum surfaces are not cleaned well by a 1-step process.
Repeated 1-step washing results in a fleet still having a charged surface after the wash. The truck will attract film even more quickly and be more difficult to clean with each subsequent wash.
Why Should I 2-Step Instead?
Requires less physical labor. 2-step can be applied quickly by an individual or a small team.
Produces a neutralized, film-free surface that guards against new film buildup longer.
Results in a cleaner vehicle surface. It also effectively cleans and brightens aluminum surfaces, leaving your customers with the “wow” factor.
Cleans road film resulting from all weather conditions and dirt types, giving 2-step a universal application nationwide with very reliable results.
Easily and efficiently cleans irregular surfaces such as tankers, livestock haulers, gravel trains, refuge vehicles, etc.
Eliminating brushing means no micro-abrasions on your painted surfaces.
Is 2-Step Washing Safe For The Environment?
With HCS’s 2-step touchless fleet washing process, you will provide your customers with the most environmentally friendly way of washing fleets. Because you are applying a low pH 1st step soap, followed by a high pH 2nd step soap and also adding water to the process, the wash off water from your fleets will be near neutral on the pH scale.
All of our soaps are biodegradable and phosphate free–this is another huge environmental advantage of using the HCS 2-step wash process. With 1-step washing, the runoff from the high pH alkaline soap is an environmental hazard, even with water added.
Does Pressure Matter When Soap Is Applied?
Many mobile fleet washers start off in the business applying soap through a downstream injector. This means that you are dropping the pressure creating a Venturi (or Vacuum Effect), meaning that you draw or “suck” the soap through.
Your injector is on the outlet of the pump, so you are not injecting chemical through the pump. With downstream injection (Low Pressure Soap Application), you are only applying the soap at roughly 40-50 PSI.
High pressure soap application will allow you to apply the optimal level of pressure while maximizing your cleaning ability. We recommend using 1800-2400 PSI for high pressure soap application. Applying high pressure soap will allow you to save ⅓ on your chemical usage versus low pressure soap.