Do you know how to determine the proper wash bay size for your cleaning needs?  When it comes to the dimensions of a truck wash bay, one size will never fit all.  There are many different truck styles and many different ways to clean a truck.  Will you need a bay for hand washing your trucks?  Are you going to have an Automated Drive-Thru wash installed in your bay?  Or will you want to be able to use it for both?  Once you know what you are going to be dealing with, you can properly determine the appropriate size wash bay.


If you plan on using your wash bay for hand washing your vehicles, the wash bay should be approximately 20’ longer than the longest vehicle you plan to wash and the width should be approximately 24’.  This will give your wash person (or crew) enough room to move around without scratching the vehicle or getting soaked from backspray.



If you plan on installing an Automated Drive Thru Truck Wash, you will need a longer wash bay size.  Automated truck washes rely on the speed of the truck for soaps to work properly.  It is common practice for the vehicle to move very slowly, at about 1 MPH.  This speed ensures that the vehicle is getting an even application of detergent.  Almost as important, the slow speed lets the detergents dwell on the vehicle for optimum performance.  You always want to allow the detergents to have time to work, just like soaking your dishes prior to cleaning them.  We recommend that the length of the wash bay be around 100’L x 20’W.  The length of the wash bay may need to be longer based upon different features of the truck wash.  A typical wash bay height is 20’.  This will allow all of the equipment to fit in the wash bay without heaters, lighting or plumbing interfering.



Perhaps you plan on installing an automated wash system, but you also want to have the option of hand-washing trucks.  Such a wash bay would need to be a combination of the above two wash bay sizes.  The minimum dimensions should be the longer length of 100’, with that extra 24’ width for any hand washing people to move around.

There are many variables that affect what size your wash bay should be.  Having a clear understanding of what you will be using your wash bay for will ultimately determine how much room is necessary to meet your cleaning needs.  Taking the time and thought to build a bay of the proper size the first time will save you money and headaches in the future.

Would you like some consultation on determining the proper size for a wash bay?  We would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you have about automated wash systems.  You can contact our Automated Sales department at 616-531-6420, email us at, or through the contact forms on our website’s sidebars.  We look forward to hearing from you!


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