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Learning Some New Ropes
Cattle and car washes – words not commonly found in the same sentence. In Tyler Platt’s case, however, those words describe his current interests and future plans. Tyler, who resides in Madison, Florida, just graduated from high school – as salutatorian, by the way. Though he kept busy during his high school years as a trumpet player in the Madison County High School marching band, band captain and jazz band member, his work didn’t end when the school bell sounded.
“Cattle ranching has been our family business for several generations,” Tyler explains. “We raise only grass forage-fed beef, and I’ve been working with cattle since I can remember.”
Then in 2018, the Platt family took on a new endeavor, Hotties Super Shine Car Wash. “The car wash was up for sale in Madison, and my grandma (Cheri Platt) bought it,” Tyler recalls. “It’s a family-run car wash. My father (Troy Platt) manages it and my brother and I help out. I take care of the technology side – using the portal, purging the chemicals or moving the machine. I’ve written out a step-by-step process manual so anyone can do it when I’m not there.”
The wash was equipped with a Mark VII GT 300 when the Platts took over, but an unfortunate encounter with a dually pickup necessitated an upgrade in August 2020. The Platts chose a ChoiceWash XT®.
“We’re pleased that we decided on the ChoiceWash XT,” Tyler notes. “The brushes do an excellent job, and those customers who want a touch-free wash still have that option. We were down for a while after the previous machine was damaged, but business is doing great now.”
Tyler is also learning the business side of the car wash and says that there are some similarities to the world of cattle ranching and marketing – and some differences. “Leaning about passive income is one of the differences,” he states. “You don’t always need to be at the wash, but you do need to be available. That’s why we have a phone number there so customer can reach us if they have an issue. Just like the meat business, you have to build and maintain your customer relationships.”
As to his post-high-school future, Tyler has a game plan laid out. “I’m a dual-enrolled student in high school, so I’ve been taking college classes already,” he explains. “The plan at this point is to finish my associate’s degree at North Florida College, then go to the University of Florida to get an agricultural operations management degree. That degree should equip with the business skills to do the ranching or carwash business – or any other business I might consider in the future. I’m keeping my options open.”
Just one last note: What’s up with the name of the carwash?
Tyler laughs. “When we changed the name, people were wondering what exactly we were washing at the car wash. The name is actually in honor of my grandfather, Harold, who passed away a few years ago. His nickname was Hotshot, so that’s where the Hotties idea came from. It did get people talking about the wash.”