Building a Truck Wash facility can be done in numerous ways. There are benefits to both steel and concrete buildings used for Truck Wash facilities. A steel car wash building used to be much more affordable to construct than a truck wash made of concrete (tilt up), but that is no longer the case.

As you can see, the price of Truck Wash Steel Buildings has tripled over the past four years as a result of higher steel costs brought on by tariffs, government intervention, and the consolidation of the steel industry. Of course, the price of building a truck wash has increased threefold since 2008, regardless of the materials you choose. This is because of the obvious causes of such problems, including excessive regulation, labor shortages, local municipal permit procedures, and legal costs.

It makes sense to forego building the truck wash altogether if the price of the property, debt service on the loan, and the cost of construction exceed a reasonable return on investment in the first four years. Although the trucking sector is currently not setting any speed records, it is still doing quite well when compared to other sectors, like real estate.

As large corporate trucking companies try to cut costs in the event of a further slowdown in the economy and an increase in diesel fuel prices, the truck washing sector could suffer significantly. Any truck wash facility owner or manager is aware that this will significantly reduce their revenue.

Does it make sense to build a truck wash in 2008, given these risks?

It could take up to a year and a half to get the necessary permits and approvals to build the truck wash, and you might already have spent $100,000 on the project before you even break ground, including the costs of hiring an architect and an attorney. When that happens, you might decide against doing it altogether if the environmental impact reports are causing you problems with the city planning commission where they live.

Unless you have support from the neighborhood city or county where you are building the Truck Wash, if you started planning your Truck Wash today, on January 1, 2008, you probably wouldn’t finish the project until close to the end of 2009. There is no indication that the cost of materials, particularly steel, will decrease any time soon. Concrete prices aren’t going down, either, but if the commercial building sector experiences a downturn, one might be more likely to find a good deal on these materials, creating an opportunity window in the near future.

In the event of another recession similar to the one that struck the US economy fairly hard between 2008 and 2010, the trucking industry would rebound quickly. This would result in excellent sales and a quicker return on investment for a truck wash. In 2008, it’s important to think about whether the risk is worthwhile.

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