New Wash in Newfoundland

By Tania Moffat

Baie Verte is centrally located, along the picturesque northeast coast of Newfoundland. A remote mining community, it is subject to unpredictable Atlantic weather. Locals rely on the Copper Stop as a one-stop shop that remains open regardless of the weather. The Copper Stop is a gas station and convenience store with a restaurant attached, and very recently, Baie Verte Peninsula’s first and only carwash.

When the Copper Stop went up for sale a few years ago, business partners Joy Barker and Brad Watkins saw the potential in the site. “It had a large parcel of land with it which gave us plenty of room for expansion and development. We saw an opportunity to provide a carwash service not only for locals but for the mining and aggregate companies as well,” says Brad.

Barker and Watkins spoke with Petro Service Ltd. who suggested they attend a carwash show in Toronto. The show offered them the opportunity to view some of the many different models and speak with Petro Service Ltd. about which one would best meet their needs.

Choosing the Right Wash

“We chose to work with Petro Service Ltd. for the new build. They were experienced and very accommodating, helping us to figure out exactly what we needed for our climate and our clientele. After viewing several models at the show, we were drawn to the Washworld Razor and High-Velocity Dryer,” Watkins tells us. The Washworld Razor is a solidly built wash and the added features the partners were looking for came standard with the model, saving them the extra costs of add-ons. Features that Brad and Joy were interested in included stainless steel parts, bigger blowers, standard tri-foam, and a wash that was easy to maintain. Because the Baie Verte Peninsula is home to numerous mining operations, the owners needed a carwash that was able to wash most models of cars as well as the large mining trucks in the area. The climate posed another problem, during the winter months excessive amounts of salt are used on the highways requiring a wash with stainless parts to prevent corrosion.

Raising the Roof

The first step was to erect the building that would house the new carwash. Nuform Building Technologies in Vaughan, ON, manufactured and supplied this project with their CONFORM and RELINE products.

“CONFORM wall assembly technology is attractive to carwash owners on many levels, but perhaps the most valued benefit is that our PVC forms and panels provide a superior envelope of protection for the walls and ceiling of a car wash building. The CONFORM wall assembly provides a load bearing, reinforced concrete wall with prefabricated finished faces on both the exterior and interior walls. No further sheathing, cladding, paint or sealer is required on the façade or interior of the building,” says Stephen Harding, regional sales manager for Nuform Building Technologies Inc. The system minimizes the number of different construction trades required on site and shortens the construction schedule allowing for a quicker startup, a feature that is especially attractive given the site’s remote location.

“Carwash buildings are purpose built, to process dirty cars on one end and deliver clean cars on the other. This is, of course, an extremely hostile environment for most conventional building materials. Well informed owners regularly chose CONFORM because they understand this proven wall assembly will provide them with years of service life, without damage or deterioration. We are very proud to have worked with Joy and Brad in Baie Verte, and we wish them years of prosperity in their new building,” adds Harding.

The Nitty Gritty Details

“The isolation of the site had to be taken into account prior to our installers leaving as a return trip to get supplies would be time-consuming and costly. Baie Verte is a seven-hour, one-way drive from St. John’s, the province’s capital, where the carwash technicians were located. Brad and Joy needed a model that was focused on simplicity of use and care, as well as reduced maintenance and improved system longevity and durability. We used the invaluable advice offered from a sister company of ours, JA Robinson, located in Winnipeg, MB. They had a lot of experience with Washworld products, specifically the Razor and provided their knowledge to us before and during the install,” says Heath O’Neill from Petro Service Ltd.

The system the owners chose certainly offered more value for the same cost of other units. The wash is manufactured entirely with stainless steel parts including a stainless steel tank which will withstand salt corrosion. The Razor’s VS2 (vehicle sizing system) is a reliable and straightforward vehicle positioning system ideal for open wash bays like the one at the Copper Stop and does not require guide rails, floor treadles or T-bars. The system consistently measures the front, rear and sides of the vehicles to maintain the optimum cleaning distance. The energy efficient motors save on operating costs while sealed gearboxes eliminate the need for oil changes and reduced rolling resistance improves efficiency.

With the mining vehicles in mind, the Power Tower Wheel Cleaner option with six nozzles per tower was incorporated to provide effective wheel cleaning for mucky vehicles as well as snow and ice buildups on rocker panels and running boards. In addition, the wash and dryers were raised by six inches to accommodate the undercarriages and wheels of the mining trucks.

Ready for Business

The Copper Stop successfully opened their carwash in mid-November. “We are very impressed with how simple and maintenance friendly the system is,” says Watkins. “And, everyone is excited to have an automated carwash on the main highway running through town. Our customers love the convenience and amenities that the Copper Stop is able to offer.”

Petro Service Ltd. and the Washworld team were happy to supply Copper Stop with its’ carwash needs. Washworld’s equipment is designed and built by carwash people, providing a unique insight to supply operators and equipment that is both technologically advanced and durable. 

Tania Moffat is a freelance writer, editor, publisher and photographer. She has worked in the publishing industry for the last 15 years on a wide variety of B2B and consumer publications, both in print and online. You can connect with her through her blog www.chiccountrylife.com or at info@chiccountrylife.com