So, how can you reduce fleet graphics removal expense? Fleet graphics have become more popular in recent years especially large format vehicle and trailer wraps. A lot of thought goes into these projects including concept, design, material specifications, printing, and the installation. There are exceptions, but most companies put little thought into the removal of the graphics once the promotion is over. Some private fleets and carriers turn in hundreds of trailers and/or tractors once the life expectancy of the equipment is reached. Therefore, many require time-consuming and expensive de-identification procedures, much of which could have been avoided. Here’s how to reduce fleet graphics removal expense.
What Affects Graphics Removal?
There are so many different types of materials and printing processes that it’s difficult to predict how the existing graphics will remove. Several factors besides the printed product affect the removability of the graphic including climate, location of graphic on the equipment, condition of the surface, and installation. All can lead to graphics removal challenges and added costs. Considering removal before installing the graphics saves time and money. There are several steps that can be taken to avoid these potential problems before the graphics have been produced.
How to Reduce Fleet Graphics Removal Expense
Know how long you want the graphics to last.Don’t use a two year warranted material on vehicles that will be in the fleet for five years.
Discuss your needs and expectations with your Sales Consultant. An experienced graphics industry adviser can educate and help you choose the proper type of material for your project. Bidding out a project looking for the lowest bidder may get you a good deal at the front-end but using the incorrect material or print process may cost you in the end.
Ask the printer for a warranty that includes the removal of the graphics. Many material manufacturers will do this.
Know the Warranty
Know the warranty of the graphics you are purchasing. Just knowing that the graphics has a warranty of 2/5 years is not enough. There are several types of warranties available, and they are not equal from print provider to print provider; for instance, the 3M MCS Warranty for specified printers or the similar Avery Denison ICS Warranty. If there is a material issue, MCS/ICS warranty holders are covered for the material, the reprinting of the material, and the installation of the new graphic. Non-MCS/ICS warranty holders may only be reimbursed for the raw material. The end-user takes a substantial risk using a non-MCS/ICS provider on large projects.
Understand the Surface Condition of the Vehicle
Analyze the surface condition of the equipment before installing graphics. If you are installing graphics on an older oxidized trailer, the removal of the graphics will be difficult and could be costly.
Make sure the installation company is certified. Industry certifications include: UASG (United Application Standards Group) sponsored by 3M and the PDAA (Professional Decal Applicators Alliance) sponsored by the SGIA.
If you haven’t taken the steps above and have a removal issue, there are ways to reduce the cost.
- Use a certified graphics company or installer to assess the removal project.
- Ask them how they remove graphics. Heat, chemicals, etc.…
- Contact a provider who uses a steam based graphics removal system. Steam de-identification is a cost-effective and environmentally safe way to remove graphics. See contact info below for more information regarding this process.
Pre-planning Removal Saves Time and Money
There are a lot of factors to consider when rebranding a fleet. What type of design? Where will installation take place, and how long will vehicles be out of commission? And these are only a few of many considerations. Although graphics removal may be the last thing anyone wants to think about when they’re gearing up for exciting new fleet graphics, if you don’t think about it in the beginning you may pay for it in the end.