CAMBRIDGE SUCCESS STORY

Fuller Car Wash - Chicago, IL

For over 60 years, Fuller's has been Chicagoland's finest carwash. Their mantra — “We protect your investment so it can give you the long life you expect. From our automated express wash to the Full-Service Ultimate Wash, we guarantee you will drive home happy” —is the reason they have loyal, repeat customers who return to Fuller’s for their carwash needs. Starting with just one location over 60 years ago, Fuller’s has grown to 20 tunnel carwash facilities in northern and central Illinois. 

But, in order to be profitable in northern climates, the company has to have the ability to keep the doors open.

“But, keeping your doors open for your carwash customers is not some easy feat when you have to deal with the harsh Chicago winters,” said Doug Fuller, president of Fuller’s Carwash.

For Fuller’s Carwash, making sure their facilities are properly heated allows them to service their customers even on the coldest Chicago winter days. That’s where Cambridge helps play a part in their business success. Fuller’s has been using Cambridge Engineering’s High Temperature Heating & Ventilation (HTHV) equipment to heat their facilities since 1988 and has Cambridge equipment at all 20 of their facilities.

For most carwash organizations, 40% of the yearly revenue is generated during the winter months, so making sure your facility is open for business is critical. And, in the carwash industry, that means your doors are physically open on the coldest of winter days.

“Customers know your open and washing cars when they see your doors open,” said Fuller. And to do that, you must be able to heat your facility such that the equipment doesn’t ice up and the tunnel stays warm.

“That’s why we use Cambridge HTHV equipment. The units heat our entire tunnel, allowing us the benefit of keeping our doors open which lets our customers know we are ready to wash their vehicle. With Cambridge HTHV equipment, we get a constant 160ºF discharge temperature. Combine that with the superior air distribution achieved by the unit’s high-speed blowers, and we get warm air circulating throughout our tunnels. That’s what allows us to achieve maximum throughput. And, it’s all about throughput,” Fuller said. “We want the ability to run as many cars as possible through our tunnels on the coldest of days. That’s when our customers expect us to be open. When you can achieve your maximum throughput, you are also realizing maximum revenue.”

The warm temperatures in the tunnels also prevent ice buildup on the equipment.

“There’s nothing worse than having ice buildup on the brushes that are touching the cars. When that happens, you have to shut down your facility. No cars running through your tunnel means no revenue and even worse, disappointed customers who rely on us to clean their cars,” Fuller explained.

Several of the Fuller facilities also use Cambridge equipment to supply the hot air needed to dry the cars as they are exiting the tunnel. “

The constant 160ºF air temperature is perfect for drying the cars on the coldest of days. It’s an amazing product,” said Fuller. “To think that these units use 100% outside air and are still able to heat our facility is incredible. And, because the units are outside of the warm moist environment of the tunnel, they last longer than other heating solutions available.”