I was recently approached with, “What should I ask about fleet graphics?” Great question! Below are the questions you should ask before spending your dough on fleet graphics. Asking these questions could save you headaches, time, and money on fleet graphics. 

Fleet Graphics Questions 

1. What methods will be used to de-identify the vehicle?

De-idenification means removing the old adhesive graphics. There are several ways to accomplish this but be careful — some methods use toxic chemicals and may damage the vehicle. Here’s one way to stay safe and environmentally friendly. “If adhesives remain adhered to the surface after the decal has been removed, use a citrus-based cleaner to remove the adhesive.”  — How to Remove Decals from a Vehicle

2. How long is the material guaranteed?

Less expensive materials may be rated for only one or two years, which is not a good thing on a three to five year vehicle lease! “The short answer — it depends on the material, but usually 3 to 7 years. We work with several manufactures of adhesive vinyl who offer hundreds of material choices. One of the best as well as more common materials is 3M’s 18o). However, the warranty on this material may vary based on color and usage.” — FAQ: What is the Warranty on a Vehicle Wrap?

3. How long is the process from start to finish?

You probably can’t have it tomorrow, but it shouldn’t take over a month to begin installation. Completion would depend on the number of vehicles involved. “Typically, it takes two or three weeks to produce custom graphics; however, it depends on the size, quantity, detail, and production method. However, there are conditions that will affect the time of completion.” — How Long Do Vehicle Graphics Take?

4. How do I properly clean and maintain the vehicle graphics?

Don’t be the customer who says, “I didn’t know I couldn’t use a power washer!” You should take the time to understand the limitations of the materials being used. Your graphics provider should supply the correct graphics care information. “The best thing anyone can do to keep adhesive vinyl vehicle graphics looking bright and new is to keep it clean. Road contaminants, solvents, and dirt can damage the surface of any vehicle, paint or graphics. It’s important to remove these particles soon and often. Don’t allow harsh chemicals like road salt to build up and attack the surface of your vehicle. Wash bird droppings, tree sap, and other stains as soon as possible. The number one key to keeping your new vehicle graphic looking new is to keep it clean.” — Caring for Your New Vehicle Graphics

5. When the graphics are removed, how should I prepare the vehicle for resale?

You never want to hear, “What do you mean it needs repainted?” Using lesser-quality materials with permanent adhesives can lead to the scraping and scratching of your vehicle during the removal process. “I was talking with Gary Meunier — one of our national account managers — about a bid we made to remove graphics from a fleet of vehicles, which a company was preparing to return at the end of a lease agreement. We didn’t install the graphics, but we are one of the few companies trained and prepared to properly remove the lowest bid decals they had purchased. The company was surprised it would cost as much to remove the decals as what they paid to have them installed, because a cheaper material with a permanent adhesive had been used. It is difficult, labor intensive, and time consuming to remove such materials.” — The Lowest Bid Mistake

6. How long will my vehicle be out of service?

In business, time is money. Look for a graphics provider that will keep your vehicles on the road by completing the work during your off-hours. “A national lawn care company wanted to de-identify and rebrand over 4,000 vehicles without losing work time. The vehicles were used from 6am to 6pm daily, except Sunday. Adding to the challenge, the vehicles were in over 200 cities throughout North America.” — Case Study: Rebranding 4,000 Vehicles at 200 Locations with Zero Down Time. We completed the job on time, after hours, at 200 locations. Their trucks didn’t experience any down time.

7. What are the advantages and disadvantages of decals versus wraps?

“Every vehicle graphic doesn’t need to be a full wrap. Partial wraps and plotter cut decals are often just as effective as a full wrap, and they’re less expensive. Decals use less materials, print quicker, and take less time to install than a full wrap. Time and material cost dollars.” — 7 Ways to Save Money on Vehicle Graphics

8. What  color vehicle should I order?

Seriously, ordering the optimal color could save you on coverage when ordering graphics. If you want the background of your vehicle wrap to be blue, order a blue vehicle. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve full wrapped a vehicle because the customer wanted the background a different color than what was ordered.

Also, how the color of the vehicle will contrast with the graphics is a critical consideration. — FAQ: What Color Should I Wrap My Business Vehicle?

9. What certifications do the installers possess?

“Bubba done showed ‘em how!”  Don’t let just anyone install your decals or wrap. “There are two primary vehicle graphics installation certification programs. PDAA (Professional Decal Application Alliance), which is administered by SGIA (Specialty Graphics Imaging Association), and UASG (United Application Standards Group), through 3M. Both require extensive training and testing, and there are different levels of certification. For example, PDAA offers both basic and master certification. According to PDAA, “Basic certification accommodates companies that have absolutely no interest in doing vehicle wraps with complex curves.” So be sure you have an application team certified for the type of installation required.” — How to Find the Best Vehicle Graphics Installers

10. Okay, I didn’t have a tenth question, but “10” looks so good in the headline.

Although TKO Graphix is known for excellence in fleet and vehicle graphics, we also provide graphics for retail, trade shows, events, OEM, fulfillment programs, and POP. We design and manufacture yard signs, banners, floor graphics, wall murals, reusable wall graphics, and in-store promotional graphics. We are a full-service provider who can help you from start to finish or with any step of the task along the way. If we can be of any service or answer your questions please feel free to reach out to us, Contact Us.