Off the Beaten Path: World's Largest Truck Wash - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Off the Beaten Path: World's Largest Truck Wash

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Big oil runs on thousands of big rigs. Semi's move millions of gallons of water for fracking, tons and tons of gravel to pave well site roads, and 18-wheelers also haul all the heavy equipment that goes into assembling hundreds of drilling and pumping stations that operate in the Bakken.

"It gets pretty muddy out there," says driver, Tom Morowiec.

Borowiec says 99 percent of the time he spends behind the wheel of his rig is on dirt roads. 
When Borowiec's vehicle became caked with hundreds of pounds of mud and dirt he took it to the Kwik n Kleen Truck Wash for a super sized scrubbing. 450 gallons of water a minute clubs the crud off of every inch of a truck's chrome, steel and rubber. A full semi and trailer are pummeled with a more than of 30,000 gallons of water. 

Every bit of water we use on the trucks gets recycled," says Kwik n Kleen assistant manager Chris Grieve. 

Grieve claims his facility is the largest truck wash in the world because on any given day this facility can go through 250,000 gallons of water.

"On this side the solids from the truck wash bay come in, settle to the bottom of the pit," says Grieve. "The water flows between the two walls and when it gets above the wall level it flows over to the other side."

Then it's pumped back into holding tanks and reused to wash other trucks. The inside of this facility looks like a water treatment plant.   
Some customers who weighed their vehicles before and after a wash say half a ton of mud is blasted off their rigs and the 18-tires these rigs run on.

"You're trying to get the mud out of the wheel wells, inside the wells, because they throw them out of balance, once they are out of balance they shake the truck and they wear tires fast," says Rick Pellinen of Niemi Trucking Inc.

Going through the wash is anything but fast, it can take up to 45 minutes to move through the 200-foot-long firing line of high pressure nozzles and under carriage sprayers. 

"They do a pretty good job, so we'll be coming back here more often," says Borowiec.

Drivers aren't the only oil patch employees showering this business with praise.

"The mechanics are ecstatic about this, some of these mechanics haven't been able to reach grease fittings for a long period of time," says Grieve. "There's obviously a need for regular maintenance on these vehicles and when they get under the vehicle and they're caked full of mud it makes their job a lot harder."

Even though Kwik n Kleen got these semis squeaky clean, it won't take long for them to get dirty again.

"First rain, then they'll be filthy again," says Borowiec.

But now thanks to this new truck wash, it takes only 30,000 gallons of recycled water to make a rig glow as brightly as a well site gas flare.


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