A wash rack typically consists of an enclosure, mechanics, and plumbing for washing, reclaiming and recycling wash water. With federal, state and local clean water regulations mandating zero discharge or some form of pollution prevention, wash racks are becoming a must-have for most commercial vehicles and industrial operations.

Wash rack, wash pad, wash bay: all industry terms that refer to a partially enclosed platform or concrete area for washing dirt, grime, contaminants, chemicals, and invasive species off vehicles and vehicle parts. Cars, trucks, boats, construction and maintenance equipment, and even aircraft can take advantage of the benefits of wash racks.

Wash racks can be made of plastic, but metal is the standard (steel is preferred). They are often referred to as containment racks or containment pads because the object is to contain not only the solids but also the wash water and prevent it from spilling out onto the ground. Typically, ‘containment pads’ refer to permanent concrete areas, but that is not exclusive.



Across the country and around the world, the need for washing vehicles correctly is becoming an important factor in everyone’s environmental compliance.

Wash bays keep mud and sludge, harmful chemicals, noxious weed seeds, invasive species, and other nasty stuff from draining off in the ground or sewer, polluting our rivers and streams or spreading harmful vegetation. Read about compliance throughout this site.

Wash bays should do a lot more than create a safe zone for vehicle washing. They need to be equipped with powerful water or foam spray systems, including under carriage nozzles, that wash off damaging grime.

They should filter and contain that harmful run-off, and then reuse the filtered wash (waste) water. When it comes to rugged equipment, there are two types of wash racks: semi-permanent steel? Or permanent concrete. Each option is specifically tailored to the kind of equipment and particular needs of your company or organization.


Any endeavor that aims for success needs thorough planning, and developing a strategic approach towards a vehicle wash rack plan is no exception. This isn’t simply about ticking objectives off of a checklist but about laying down the groundwork and infrastructure for an efficient, successful, and environmentally-friendly operation.

In the early discussions around the approach, it’s important to shift the focus to the nitty-gritty of the planning process rather than jumping straight to contacting suppliers. It’s essential to identify all the needs of the project to ensure they are catered for in the plan.

Delving Deep into Pollution Prevention – A Fundamental Aspect

Every excellent wash rack system gives due importance to pollution prevention, making it a chief priority. To do this effectively, start with a simple question: How many vehicles will the wash rack service daily?

This answer helps estimate the potential pollution scale and, thus, establish an effective runoff management strategy. Within the realm of wash racks, pollution prevention isn’t restricted merely to potential waste but also covers future contamination risks. This implies identifying potential contamination sources, such as oil residues and chemical runoff, and formulating strategies to mitigate them. Doing so ensures the wash rack system’s longevity and operational functionality.

Striking the Correct Balance – Solvents and Wash Water Assessment

With pollution prevention laid out, the next immediate concern is the assessment of solvents and wash water. Again, the answer often lies in asking the right question: What type of materials will the wash rack predominantly deal with?

Depending on your answer, various solvents will be necessary to handle mud, clay, HazMat, or other matter effectively. Here, the goal isn’t simply to opt for the most potent solvent but to strike a harmony between cleaning efficiency and eco-friendliness. This implies exploring solvent alternatives that align with sustainability goals while ensuring minimal compromise on cleaning performance.

Choosing between Stationary and Movable Setup – A Crucial Decision

Yet another pivotal decision in the planning process is whether to opt for a stationary or movable setup. The key considerations here revolve around practical logistics:

  • Is there sufficient access to power and water for the facilities?
  • Is there a need to protect the setup from freezing temperatures?

These requirements will significantly influence the most fitting choice between the two options. A wash rack’s setup should be in tune with your operational demands and the nature of your business, considering aspects like stability, adaptability, power, and water accessibility, along with environmental considerations.

Embracing Sustainability – The Importance of Recycling Wash Water

Implementing a sustainable approach is paramount in today’s context. A specific point of interest here is the recycling of wash water. Understanding your recycling needs and which technologies will best meet those needs is crucial for maintaining sustainable practices.

In the broader environmental conservation context, the recycling of wash water isn’t merely a recommended practice – it’s a testament to responsibility towards our environment. Embracing advanced technologies for efficient recycling minimizes waste and effectively communicates your sustainability commitment.

Equipment Selection – The Role of Specific Needs

Understanding the equipment being washed, how frequently the cleaning will occur, and the types of materials that need to be removed from the vehicles will influence your equipment selection. This information will guide you in choosing the right equipment and cleaning processes.

It’s important to remember that different vehicles or machinery might require different cleaning levels. By tailoring the wash rack setup to meet these unique needs, you can guarantee efficient maintenance operations and potentially prolong your equipment’s lifespan.

Enhance Space Efficiency – Optimize Your Area

One common challenge in executing a vehicle wash rack system is effectively utilizing your available space. The area you have accessible for washing operations will significantly influence the optimal layout and space utilization.

Mastering space efficiency includes assessing the available area for washing operations, maximizing space utilization, optimizing workflow, and minimizing environmental impacts – these are all key considerations that play a vital role.

Meeting Legal Requirements – The Importance of Compliance

Lastly, but most certainly crucial, is ensuring that all operations are in compliance with EPA, State, and Municipal regulations. Understanding what specific regulations apply to your area and operation is foundational to achieving legal compliance.

Compliance with laws and regulations is non-negotiable, and your wash rack plan should guarantee you meet all these requirements. Non-compliance can lead to not only regulatory penalties and financial backlash but even damage your reputation, hence the importance of this aspect.

From pollution prevention to compliance, every aspect plays a crucial role in building a comprehensive and efficient vehicle wash rack. By paying attention to detail, asking the right questions, and incorporating the answers into your plan, you can shape an operational model that is rooted in efficiency, effectiveness, and responsibility.


[/vc_row]Oil, mud, grease, heavy metals, soaps, detergents, and other chemicals and particulate matter are all substances that build up on industrial vehicles, trucks and worksites. It’s important to have a system in place that cleans equipment and disposes of wash water and debris properly to prevent these substances from becoming pollutants.

Industrial wash racks should feature water treatment and filtration systems to clean the water recycling systems ensure an eco-friendly operation. These closed-loop systems offer 100% water reclamation systems designed for industrial users who want to clean and degrease parts, large tools and equipment on their shop floor or manufacturing plant?

Look for a low profile 5? High rack with full width ramp for easy and safe access for even unsteady equipment like forklifts, man lifts, dollies and maintenance equipment.

You’re really addressing two issues: creating a movable and enclosed washing area, while also assuring effluent can be adequately processed for proper discharge for sustainable, compliant operations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]



  • The above ground wash racks are ideal in places where the operator must meet track-out requirements without acquiring leasehold improvements.
  • The right wash rack will reduce your material and labor costs to keep your equipment clean.
  • On site wash racks eliminate the need to use commercial car or truck washes.
  • Wash water recycling cuts water usage, detergent and solvent usage
  • Eliminate fines and stop work orders: comply with local, state and federal regulations on proper wash water disposal.
  • Concrete containment pads are designed for heavy or medium mud loads often associated with trenchers, garbage trucks, street sweepers, dump trucks and many other pieces of equipment.
  • No construction required. Above ground wash racks are ideal on properties in which a semi-permanent installation is preferred.


Steel wash racks offer more control over containment during routine maintenance of trucks, oil and gas rigs, street sweepers, forklifts, you name it. The containment rack can support heavy loads without deflection. Wastewater is collected from the drain port to a wash water tank, recycling system, or sump area.

The racks are designed to bear the load of heavy-duty trucks. Customized to any length, width and handling capacity, steel wash racks wash off and contain damaging debris from upstream operations, keeping contaminants where they belong? on the job site and off the roads.

The above ground steel wash racks collect dirty wash water and solids from vehicle and equipment washing, channeling solids for proper disposal. Semi-permanent for short or long term use, above ground racks are ideal for oil and gas exploration; where wash water needs to be contained on field operations.

For heavy mud loads; on more permanent sites, consider concrete containment pads. These are often used for trenchers, garbage trucks, dump trucks and many heavy duty pieces of equipment.

Custom designed concrete pads can include built mud conveyors and skid steer side troughs for settling and automated mud handling.


Protect the Environment 

Wash racks help prevent untreated wash water and oils from entering the environment. This is crucial, especially for rental equipment dealers who regularly wash large pieces of equipment, such as forklifts and steer skids, that are often oiled. Using an environmental-compliant wash rack or wash water recycling system will ensure that any oily residue from washing the equipment is contained and kept out of the environment.

Comply with Regulations

 Local and state regulations prohibit wash water pollution. Rental equipment dealers must take care where they discharge wash water. The best way to stay in compliance with these regulations is to use wash racks or wash water recycling systems. These systems contain containment systems that collect wash water for recycling, keeping pollutants like soil and fuel out of local bodies of water. Using a wash rack or wash water recycling system not only helps keep the environment safe, but also saves rental equipment dealers money by reducing the need for new cleaning products and avoiding fines for non-compliance with environmental laws.

Save Water 

Wash rack systems, equipped with water filtration and oil separation systems, allow for the reuse of wash water. This saves resources and reduces costs associated with freshwater use. Wash water recycling also helps reduce the environmental impact by eliminating wastewater runoff into nearby streams and rivers. In addition, using a wash rack ensures the equipment being cleaned is properly sanitized and safe for rental purposes. It also reduces labor costs associated with manual cleaning methods and demonstrates to customers that your dealership is committed to environmental protection and resource conservation.

Save Money 

Corrosion, water usage, and additional maintenance from dirty equipment all cost money. Wash racks and wash water recycling systems help reduce these costs by preventing dirt and grime from adhering to the equipment, reducing the need for costly repairs and additional maintenance. The use of wash racks also saves money by reducing the need for fresh water and avoiding wastewater discharge costs. Overall, using wash racks and wash water recycling systems saves rental equipment dealers time and money in the long run.

Protect Your Equipment 

Rental equipment undergoes a lot of wear and tear. A wash rack and wash water recycling system can help extend the life of your equipment by degreasing and washing it. Not only do customers appreciate renting clean equipment, but using a wash rack also helps reduce operational costs by filtering the dirty water, separating solids from liquids, reducing pollutants, and recycling the water back into the system for reuse. Investing in a wash rack and wash water recycling system is an environmentally responsible decision that can also benefit your bottom line and increase customer satisfaction.

What To Consider For Your Wash Rack:

  • Transportable: Above-ground racks can be easily moved with a forklift and don’t require site engineering.
  • Have Safety Features: Check for racks that have solid, diamond-tread plate decks coated with grit-impregnated epoxy paint, to ensure traction, even when water and soap are involved.
  • Modular Design For Adaptive Use: Bolt-together system allows for exact sizing to your requirements and can be installed in a matter of hours.
  • Customizable: Your company’s needs are probably not cookie cutter. Buy from a wash rack MANUFACTURER that understands your particular problem or unique requirements to obtain a system that fits perfectly.
  • Proven Performance: Wash racks don’t have to stick out like a sore thumb…choose a low-profile option if you prefer the rack to better blend in.