I began my journey in the cleaning industry in July of 2014. What I didn’t know is that I would actually be the one cleaning. At this time I am 28 years old and I don’t know my wife ( now ex wife ) is about to be pregnant within the next month. I had become disgruntled with my job in law enforcement and my father was disgruntled at his job being an autocad drafter. Over multiple, multiple drinks we had the bright idea to buy a bunch of products online and build a power washer in the garage. We both put in 1500$ to get started. We purchased a Winsun 11 HP diesel air cooled engine, a General Pump TS1021, A VRT3 unloader valve, a set of pulleys, 2 B type belts, 2 tires, 1 axle (that we cut to size), a bulldog coupler, chains, lights, carbon steel, epoxy primer and finally single stage acrylic urethane. What did we do with all of this junk? We put it together. Fred taught me how to use a bandsaw, an abrasive saw, a grinder, a buffing wheel, a drill press, a hand drill and how to weld (my welds are terrible because I never practice). Fred designed this frame on autocad and he would hand me the paper telling me “cut this into these dimensions”. Once I was done cutting I would take it to the buffer wheel and remove all of the metal shavings and “file” the metal down. Then I would hand the pieces to Fred, he would begin welding while I continued cutting. Once the initial frame was done we went to Husky Gulfgate in south Houston to get a single axle (2500 LB), 13 inch tires, a swivel ( I had no idea what this was for ), lights, wiring harness, chains and a bulldog coupler. When we returned to the garage Fred cut the axle in half and welded it back together when it was the length he wanted (which was around 3.5 feet). We attached the leaf springs to the bottom of the square we had built. Once this was done we had the axle set in place with the tires on. I remember taking the bearing out and putting packing grease inside then putting the hubcap back on which protected the bearing from collecting dirt. Well this part is now done. The next thing Fred showed me was how to drill holes. There was a sub assembly he fabricated to make it to where the pump could slide forward or backwards, on a straight railing system. On this rail system there are 2 30mm bolts welded on the bottom and you have a heavy duty nut to hold the threading down when you lock the pump in place. We then made a belt guard with 2 inch C Channel and welded the belt guard together. The place attached was like a BBQ grate welded on to the inside of the C channel belt guard. Then we attached a 2” tubing and made it the “tongue” for this mini trailer. And welded a bulldog coupler at the end of the 2” tubing making it one solid piece. Once this was all put together Fred showed me how to mix epoxy primer that we purchased from Summit Racing. The primer is a gray color when you are done mixing and then we had a spray gun attached to an air compressor. We sprayed the epoxy primer until the entire trailer was a gray color. Once this is done we let it cure for a few hours. Once it was dry we would then apply a metallic gray single stage acrylic urethane coat. The precision my father performed fascinated me in the painting process and I realized my father was an artist by nature. Once the frame was painted we let it cure for a day. Then we were on the assembly stage. Putting on the pump, unloader, engine, taper H bushings, pulleys and finally the B type belts. We then placed a battery on and connected it to the Winsun (Chinese diesel) engine so the key start would function. Once this was done we attached a ⅝ clear vinyl hose and recirculated about 10 feet worth of hose in a loop. This has made it to where the machine can bypass for 10 minutes and the pump doesn’t overheat. So I am giving these details simply because I am at this point 28 years old and have been a police officer for 7 years. I never did any of this. I never welded, cut metal, painted any of this. I literally had no mechanical experience and could barely change my own oil without making a mess! I was able to appreciate my dad's talents more, because my entire life I thought he was just some mechanic. I didn’t realize he treated designing machinery like it was an art assignment. This completely changed my perception on the cleaning industry. I remember my first turbo nozzle was a Suttner ST 357 6 orifice sized turbo nozzle. I was able to turn the machine on for the first time and I used a turbo nozzle to clean my dad’s sidewalk. The power behind this 2500 PSI 5.5 GPM cold water belt drive unit blew my mind! I couldn’t express what it felt like to lose my pressure washing virginity to this machine! And the odd addiction I had to make the next segment of concrete clean. Our whole intention was to try and sell this power washer. But while I was testing this machine people were standing by and asking if I could clean their driveway and they would pay me 200$! This was the beginning of my cleaning journey.
Our first set up:
My first paying job:
Great Narrative !
Thank you for sharing your Story!!