Speedy Clean Car Wash Operator Spotlight

Todd Peters purchased his first car wash around 2020, and now owns four facilities in Wisconsin and Michigan. Two of them currently boast the Speedy Clean name, with plans to rebrand the other two and bring them all together under the same name and have a membership pass usable at all four locations. We visited Peters at his Plover, Wisconsin Speedy Clean location to learn a little bit about his industry experience. Like many car wash folks, Peters has a very interesting path to how he became an owner.

todd peters, owner of speedy clean car wash

Aerospace Engineering a Foundation for Speedy Clean Car Wash Success

Peters has a background in aerospace engineering and was at one point primarily working as a consultant in the aerospace industry. As an investment, he bought some real estate properties, but quickly realized that he did not want to continue dealing with tenants and had to change course a bit. He bought a car wash, and that life seemed much more suited to his personality and strengths. He said, laughing, “I like the mechanical problems better than the people problems.”

Handling Issues at Speedy Clean Car Wash

If you can remember, think back to your first days owning a car wash. At some point, something went down and there’s a good chance your first reaction was to take a look at the equipment room and feel overwhelmed. It’s pretty much a rite of passage for owners and operators, and a natural part of gaining wisdom and truly understanding the challenges of running a successful wash.

Peters is uniquely equipped to handle the stress of down equipment, as he previously dealt with much larger and more intimidating machines. Most recently, he worked on KC-390, KC-46, and V-22, which are all large, complex military aircrafts. So, as you can tell, the stakes were a quite high in his previous occupation and prepared him with a more than capable demeanor and mindset for handling the demands of running a car wash.

automatic bay at speedy clean car wash

Said Peters, “There was a bit of a learning curve. The first [car wash] I bought, the first day the spot-free rinse didn’t work on the automatic. I immediately had a problem to solve. My background is pretty mechanical, so it wasn’t too tough. But I wasn’t familiar with any of the equipment, so there was a learning curve on that.” He continued, “With my engineering background, I like the mechanical side. The customer side is usually pretty pleasant. When there is an issue, it’s usually pretty readily resolved. For me, it’s the right blend of the mechanical aspect and a manageable customer service aspect.” He even noted that he’s only made two or three outside service calls his entire time in the business.

vacuum islands at speedy clean car wash

Participating in CarWashForum.Com and Becoming a Kleen-Rite Customer

Peters is also a frequent user of carwashforum.com to read what other operators are saying and pick up valuable advice from the conversations on the site. He mentioned that Kleen-Rite often shows up in those conversations, and believes that is how he first learned about us and became a regular customer. “You guys have almost everything. I primarily use Kleen-Rite and a local machine distributor. Obviously, I can’t get some of the proprietary PDQ and Razor parts. But some of the parts aren’t proprietary and I find them on your site.”

speedy clean paystation

We always ask owners what they would say to somebody who is considering getting into the car wash industry. His response?

“Be ready to get your hands dirty. There’s more maintenance involved than appears at first glance. One thing we’ve done is gone to a regular, monthly maintenance schedule. It’s written down, and it’s somebody’s job to hit everything on the list and inspect. So, hopefully, we hit the major stuff before it breaks.”

vending machines at speedy clean

Speedy Clean aims high for its locations. While Peters is satisfied with their current equipment, that means perfecting appearance and visual aspects. “Cosmetically, we’re constantly trying to improve and make them on par with newer sites.” By joining impeccable mechanical ability with projects like installing Extrutech wall panels, new lighting, advanced paystations, and fresh signage, it’s clear that Speedy Clean serves customers very well.

Thanks to Todd Peters for the visit. We enjoy seeing your prosperity and appreciate being a small part of that success!

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