What Do Your Vehicles "Say" About Your Company?

Advances in vinyl technologies provide greater printability, durability, ease of installation.

Long-term durability is good and these wraps, unlike standard vehicle wraps, can have graffiti cleaned off very simply with acetone. This is a substantial cost savings over traditional wraps that have to be replaced.

As alluded to before, flexible vinyl can be cost-effective. For example, many box and reefer trucks can have a flexible vinyl installed for much less than a wrap. On used vehicles with existing decals, dents, etc., the existing graphics don’t need to be removed and the dents don’t need to be fixed as flexible vinyl can be stretched right over them, saving more time and money. Quick installations also make for reduced costs for graphic removals.

Another significant cost savings is the fact that the frames and graphics can be re-used. To reduce costs even further, some companies install their flexible vinyl systems on their own.

That is not to say that there are not some limitations to flexible vinyls. There are certain surfaces that lend themselves to traditional wraps. This includes smaller areas or curved surfaces like the cab itself and the rear doors.

For example, Kwik Zip can be used on rear roll-up doors because of modifications in its frame, but Epic admits some swing doors lend themselves to a traditional wrap due to the locking mechanism and door designs that exist.


The choice of whether to begin or adapt one’s fleet for marketing reasons is a rather simple one: do the benefits outweigh the costs? The answer to this question depends upon the goal a given company is trying to achieve.

Some companies want to brand their own company while others want to sell ad space to other corporations. When the latter is the case, return on investment is pretty easy to figure out and is probably a matter of months before the ads turn a profit. Return on investment can be affected by the amount of trucks, the hours in which they operate and where they operate.

Return on investment aside, it is important to consider the costs of downtime for installing the wraps and ultimately, de-identifying the fleet. Traditional wraps tend to cost more in both categories. They take days to install rather than hours or even minutes. Furthermore, the cost of removal can be in the thousands as opposed to hundreds of dollars per truck.

Companies such as 3M make solvents that remove any wrap adhesive that may remain on the vehicle, but a flexible vinyl does not need any such chemicals. It can simply be removed from the vehicle.

In this way, flexible vinyls often can improve the resale of a vehicle. The cost of removal is less of an issue and often the vinyl helps preserve the original condition of the vehicle because it was not exposed to the elements. Dirt and dings are often not visible, simply because the vinyl repelled road debris, often increasing the resale of the vehicle.


Regardless of whether you choose a traditional wrap or flexible vinyl, you will need to determine the best wa y to generate the graphic artwork. Often the fleet will do this, but professional ad agencies and often the wrap-providers themselves can render the same service.

The cost of art can vary in price widely. A wrap design which includes a simple logo, may cost as little as $500. The price goes up with a more complicated image or when the graphic artist has to create the ad. When this is the case, the cost can be in the thousands of dollars.

To save money, it is best for a fleet to come up with a high-resolution image made to fit the dimensions of the vehicle itself.

Graphic art created by the fleet will generally need to be modified for use as a wrap. Often the challenge with wraps is applying a smaller image for use on the side of a large object like a truck or a trailer. No matter how high the resolution of the smaller image is, when it is enlarged so substantially, it may not be at high enough resolution when stretched over the side of an entire vehicle.

The graphics artist of the wrap company usually needs to airbrush out the pixels in an image so a smooth looking picture can be achieved.

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