View Full Version : Wascomat TD3030 New Stacks - Report
06-12-2002, 05:13 AM
I installed 15 of the new Wascomat TD3030, 5 months ago, in my new laundromat. I thought I'd provide a report on these new models.
I was very hesitant about purchasing these machines, knowing that they were first generation, and the first of the first generation. However, I was very interested in the low fuel consumption and good drying characteristics which were promoted by Wascomat. These burn only 70K BTUs per pocket, about 35% less than the previous wascomat stack.
I'll start with the bad news. The first generation computer board was problematic. About 8 of the machines developed board problems of some kind. In addition, one start relay was incorrectly wired and blew out, one motor went bad (out of 60, 2 per machine), one igniter cracked.
The Good News, - there is lots!
First, Wascomat has been great in warranty parts. They shipped all items promptly. No parts or service manuals were initially available (they are now), but the service techs were great. Finally, they offered and shipped an entire set of new second generation computer boards ( for all machines), which are all working fine.
More good news. I had great trepidation about the drying capabilities of these machines. THEY DRY GREAT! The biggest problem is that even at .25 for 7 minutes, I'm not generating enough dryer income, because the customers need only 3 or 4 quarters for a 30 pound load. I try to keep my dryer income at about 1/3 of my total. Wascomat reduced the initial factory temps to a max of 160, 140, and 120 for high, med, and low. I have had to stop several customers who have started with 50 or 60 minutes of dryer time. Their clothes would have been toasted.
Maintenance is easy. I can change and program a new computer board in about 6 minutes. (Ok, I've had lots of practice!) The drive motors can be changed in about 10 minutes. The igniter took me about 15 minutes, mainly because I couldn't find my stubby screwdriver. Bottom line on maintenance, they made it easy.
OK, the best news. After 5 months of operation, my total utilities are running at 18% of total coin income! I anticipated 25-30%. My gas bills are significantly lower than anticipated, running about 22% of actual dryer income. Yes 22% !! After 5 months of operation from startup, total coin income of about $40K, my total gas bill for the entire 5 month period is just under $3,000. Not average, total. I am averaging currently about $800 month on about 12K of coin income. This also includes the hot water. For hot water I am using dual Hamilton HE270 with a 230 gallon tank. I do charge .25 more for any wash with hot or warm water (the wascomat emerald series supports this). I had a few complaints, but I always explain that hot water is one of the most expensive things a laundromat has to produce, so I only charge those people who want to use it. The bonus is, that since they now have to pay for it, they usually only use it on their whites, if then.
The long term report is still out there. I don't know how these will hold up over time yet.
06-12-2002, 12:25 PM
Glad to hear you are happy with the new Wasco dryers. I do have a few questions though:
1.) While they sound good on the surface, unless you are able to charge more per minute they seem like a loosing proposition. Yes you speed customers through the store, which might help business, but you are loosing dryer revenue which is not good. I rather use more energy and make a better return.
2.) I have ADC-236 dryers, and yes they may use more gas, but my numbers seem better than yours - are you sure you calculated correctly. My total gas as a percentage of coin revenue runs about 6% and that includes the gas for my 45 year old inefficient steam boiler that is an energy hog. If I assume (big guess here) that 50% of the gas goes to hot water, then my dryer gas usage as a percentage of dryer revenue is only about 11%.
Am I missing something here???
06-12-2002, 12:45 PM
Doesn't shorter run times at a lower BTU equate to savings?
I was just sceptical of the dryer's "user interface". Even with my super-simple ADC 530's, people still cannot figure out how to start the dryers. I'm glad to hear that the Wasco dryers are better than what I was thinking.
06-12-2002, 02:02 PM
Shorter run times at lower BTU's equates to less net revenue assuming that one makes money with longer runtimes and higher BTU's. If you charge 25 cents for 7 minutes and it only takes 28 minutes to dry instead of 35 minutes you are decreasing your revenue by 25 cents per customer. The question you must address is what is the cost to run the new dryer that you get $1.00 in revenue versus the cost to run the other dryer that you get $1.25 in revenue.
If we assume that the "other" dryer uses 80,000 btu/hr it will consume 46,666 but in 35 minutes versus the Wasco that will consume 32,667 in 28 minutes - for a difference of roughly 14,000 BTU's consumed. If we assume a deliverd gas price of $0.85 per therm (therm=100,000 btu) then it cost $0.12 more to run the "other" dryer that generates $0.25 more revenue - thus you are ahead by thirteen cents per customer on the other dryer. I know this excludes electric costs, but the dryers don't burn for the full time, they probably only burn gas for 50% of the time they are running.
06-13-2002, 12:51 AM
Go Howard! It is not good to save money if you are making less money!
06-17-2002, 11:16 AM
I can agree that it is possible to create more revenue with a slower dryer, even if it more gas, because the customer ends up paying more. However, I believe that this thought process is not a good one for the long term business owner. It only holds up if you assume that your competition will continue to also use inefficient equipment.
The word has already spread rapidly around my local market that my machines dry very very well and cost considerably less to use. I hear this constantly from my customers. As a result, I am taking a sigificant percentage of business away from other laundromats. I had one customer yesterday who came from 10 miles away and passed numerous stores to get to mine.
Should I be unhappy that I don't create as much income from drying as I had hoped? Industries and businesses must constantly innovate to provide better service and quality at even lower pricing, if we hope to succeed. If I can provide better service at a lower cost to the customer, I will. And they will leave "your" business to come!
I believe that in business we must never leave our "backdoor" open. What I mean, is that we must always continue to offer the best possible quality, service, and pricing to our customers, even if we have no effective competition, or we will leave ourselves open to losing our business to newer, more innovative competitors.
If you were considering building a new 'mat, wouldn't you think twice if the nearest competitor was very well run, with great equipment, competitively priced, clean, and attractive?
BTW, this is a 5 month old store, about 2800 square feet, with 12 Wascomat 125ES 35 lb machines at $3, 16 W75ES 18 lb at $1.75, 3 W185 50 lb at $4.50, and one W245 75 lb machine at $6.50. All are .25 higher if you use any hot water (hot, warm, permanent press). 32 washers, with 32 dryers. Total build out cost, converting an old concrete block building, was about $260K. Fully attended, my normal break even monthly expense is about $13K, with loan payments included. I hit $13K in my 4th month of operation, will not be break even until my 6th, due to large initial advertising of about $4K per month. I will reduce that to 500 - 600 per month ongoing.
06-18-2002, 03:17 AM
Your point is correct, you want to provide value. BUT and this is an important BUT, you can go bankrupt very fast providing 100% customer satisfaction. Everything in life is a trade-off, you must find the balance point between providing enough value to get business but not so much that you hurt your bottom line. If hot fast dryers with less revenue does it for you, that is great. For me its exceptional service and machines that are 99.9% in working order. Plus my "inefficient" dryers are the best in the area.
Your point further proves how stupid our customer base is. If customers drive 10 miles out of their way (thats 20 miles round trip) to come to you, then they are spending an extra $7.40 to save a few quarters. That number is based on the IRS current estimates which I think is 37 cents per mile as the cost to operate the average motor vehicle. Its unfortunate that those that can least afford to waste money do so without even thinking.
06-23-2002, 03:10 AM
The way to run a good business is to have the best equiptment avaliable. I took several loads of laundry to 6 different laundries in san diego to test the dryers, the wasco. stack was the fastest and had the lowest btu. How often do you hear how long vs how much. I market the best service i can and in return i make good money.
That sead my wasco dryers are a real pain in the rear to maintain. Multiple failers on the coin unit and computer boards. They have not replacet all of my boards.
I have not gotten a service manual or parts manual and to program is a real pain.
The lint is another problem. The lint screens require a crall on the floor to clean. The basket rail clogs with lint and you have to use a pick to clean then, not fun.
Wascomat stack dryers -great for the customers not great for owners at this time
Do not buy the emerald washer, 6 units and the best was 3 weeks with out a problem this is in 5 mo.
p/s i can do much better with tools than i can do with a keyboard.
06-23-2002, 05:09 PM
I can't see why everybody's harping Charlie said that his gas bill is running at 22% of the dryer income and his total utilities is 18 % of revenue, seems to me thoses numbers are as good as it can get.
06-27-2002, 03:43 AM
My main purpose in this post was simply to report on my experience with some new style equipment. I will keep that focus. PTdivers comments are also correct. The lint baskets do take some effort to clean, although I can do all 30 in about 10 minutes. Once every 2-4 weeks, I take a vacuum cleaner to the secondary screens, which takes about 30 or 40 minutes and a belly crawl.
However, unlike PTDiver, I am happy with the Emerald series washers (Gen5). I have been running 32 washers for 5 months, and have had no significant problems. These were all 3 year old machines when I purchased them. I do have to clean the drains every couple of months, and get occasional coin jams. I think this is pretty normal for any machine. Programming was a pain, taking about 2 hours to do all of them.
Overall, dryer income is about 31% of total coin revenue, and I have the highest prices in town on my washers. I am not abnormally low in my dryer income, just not at the 33% I wanted. However, my other store also runs at 30- 31%, with totally different equipment.
Since my other store runs on propane, I can't compare my gas pricing and don't have other data to use.
06-28-2002, 12:39 PM
I took a look at my numbers last year and this year for the last 5 months. Last year my gas bill was 38% of my dryer revenue. This year it is 19%. Last year my utilities were 23% of vend income from washers and dryers, this year it is 17%. So my numbers are very similar to yours. Last year of course was high gas pricing. I am using Jan to May, my peak season as well.
I have Dexter stack dryers, about 2 years old now. Last May I took out 5 tops and replaced them with IPSO HF-55 12# fronts.
I have 6 other tops, 4 40#, 3 25#, 4 18#;s and 2 tankless heaters. I use t-8 lighting and am open 24hrs a day. I have just remodeled a mat that had very old dryers and to many tops, plus to many 4 bulb t-12 fixtures. I expect similar results from that one. Having just finished, the results from that store do not include the new stuff. Last year gas was a wopping 58% of dryer income, total utilites was 36% of vend rev, while this year gas was 31% of dry rev, and total was 27% utlilities to total vend. I am really hoping I get the same numbers as my other store when I compare next year at this time!! I am sure it paid to update, I am a beliver in new machines means new customers, less repairs, and lower utilities.