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  • an example of vinyl peeling off curtain lorry side?

    Posted by Robert Lambie on October 20, 2002 at 8:00 pm

    Will you be the next to learn the hard way?
    Well I hope reading this will either remind you or teach you the difference with some vinyls.
    I few months back we received an order to letter the curtain of an 18 wheeled lorry.
    Nice order, good money and a “BIG” customer to get your foot in the door with…
    After completing the artwork, having it approved & been given the go ahead. I told one of the machine operators to
    Run the job in question. After explaining the way I wanted the job prepared and told him the truck should be run in truck vinyl I walked away.
    The job was cut, prepared and given to the fitters. The fitters proceed to travel to the job. Few hours later, job done. One happy customer. Or was it?
    We received a call a few days ago…” hi, you did a job for us a few months ago. A truck.” “Would it be possible to send someone into see us?”
    Yes we said. No problem. In we went. Thinking nice one, another curtain truck to do…
    On arrival the truck past done was sitting in there yard. Parking next to it we quickly realised why we were back!
    Almost all the text was starting to curl off! What had happened? Why had it happened?
    After going through this with the customer who was totally fine about the whole thing and understood things happen… but! Wanted the whole thing striped and re-lettered A.S.A.P.
    Of course we said. Apologised and left.
    So why had this happened…. Why when we have done mountains of this type of work… was it a faulty batch? Was it badly fitted?……….NO, the reason this had happened was simple. The guy that runs the cutter back in the work decided Banner vinyl was the same vinyl as truck vinyl!
    Did YOU know this? Did you know even though it is the same type of material as a banner that is used on the truck for the curtain. the vinyl MUST be TRUCK vinyl not banner vinyl… well if you didn’t like our guy didn’t. Then now you do!
    The life is totally different… the adhesion on truck vinyl is like superglue. The vinyl is extremely soft and very difficult to work with… it is also much more expensive! All these factors must be taken into account when working with this type of material. Expensive it is, and this is the reason for me making this short post. In the hope it may prevent a similar situation.
    I am often asked the question of what vinyl goes onto a truck curtain… and often I explain this to them. However I did not think I would fall victim to this myself…
    I must add… when you call a supplier asking for this material tell the sales person that it is truck vinyl you are looking for not banner. Most reps don’t even know the difference because only a few suppliers actually sell this type of vinyl… keep that in mind… 😉

    here is a picture of a part of the curtain.. not the worst part i may add! 😡

    Martin Cole replied 17 years, 7 months ago 13 Members · 20 Replies
  • 20 Replies
  • Lee Attewell

    October 21, 2002 at 1:45 am

    I feel for you mate. Not only having the embarrasment of having a problem so soon, but then to not only having to re do the job but to remove the other stuff…Makes ya wanna weep.

  • Henry Barker

    October 21, 2002 at 6:00 am

    You see that kind of thing alot on banners up here, that are done with “regular” vinyl. Migration of plasticisers, can leave regular vinyl peeling or wrinkled in appearance.

    I tried Avery’s Banner film 1200 series on regular banners with mixed results.

    I know use screen ink on all banners.

    Have used both Marabou screen ink/ Keeps Softsiders ink on curtainsiders or tilts, and Avery Signflex which is exceptionally good for this type of job…not cheap but very very good.

  • Joe McNamara

    October 21, 2002 at 7:30 am

    shame about that Rob, but I’m sure you’ve explained to the customer what went wrong and hopefully they’ll understand.

  • Steve Broughton

    October 21, 2002 at 7:45 am

    Probably one of the pitfalls of being an employer, employees thinking for themselves 😀 just goes to show you can’t sit back and let everyone else get on with it, you have to keep a grip on everyone all the time.
    Hey Rob remember that old addage “You pay peanuts, You get monkeys” 😆

  • Mike Brown

    October 21, 2002 at 8:41 am

    Horrible when that happens to ya – I know – had a similar experience many years ago when Spandex first brought out their first so-called ‘curtain sider’ vinyl.

    It was a new concept back then and so I applied it exactly as they said, even using a specific application fluid mix which they faxed through. I knew something was wrong when it was having trouble adhering – but I persevered and finished it.

    The very next day the customer rang and asked me to come down to the yard. about one-third of all the vinyl had come off! The driver even remarked how he saw a couple of pieces actually peel away on the motorway and fly across the carraigeway! I felt so embarrased, down there in the yard with all the people looking out of the offices – I felt like they were all pointing and laughing and like I was about two foot tall!

    Anyway, I persuaded a signwriting friend of mine to come in and paint it over the weekend and when I called Spandex, they calmly said mine was not the first complaint they had received about the stuff, refunded me in full and suggested we all say no more about it! :wink:!!! If I’d have known then what I know now, I would have had them pay for all the signwriting too…but when you’re new to the game and something like this happens you just want it all to go-away 😳 ….

    good luck with re-dressing this one Rob…

    more soon

  • Robert Lambie

    October 21, 2002 at 9:37 am

    cheers leeroy 😉

    yep your right henry… to be honest mate when we can and if we have the time i try and do large curtains in ink.. it takes longer and isnt as easy but when you walk away you know its staying put…

    joe, the guy was brand new about it.. infact i recken he is wanting a second one done. i think he just wanted reassurance we were not some shoddy outfit or dont back our garuantees before giving us more work..

    quote :

    Probably one of the pitfalls of being an employer, employees thinking for themselves

    couldnt agree more steve 😉 but to be honest when you pay someone for doing work day in day out you expect them to start thinking for themselves. but in your favour of course. you cant constantly run a business if you have to take the employee by the hand every minute of the day.

    quote :

    “You pay peanuts, You get monkeys”

    again i know what you mean mate. but! this guy gets more than the going rate for a sign maker of his ability.
    paying more does not mean you will get better staff!
    it just doesnt work that way. yeh you may get somone with more experience, but doesnt mean they are particularly good. your only as good as your teacher. im self taught well mostly.. i want to be good at what i do. and i hope that i am.. we have paid top dollar for staff. staff that ran other sign companies for years. one in particular didnt last a week!
    why? he was bone lazy & didnt do exactly as we asked. the jobs that did get done were not to my standard. even though on his CV he says on a scale 1-10 for vinyl fitting he rated himself “20” and thats not a joke he did.
    his first van i would rate -20 😆
    so you see… a few extra pounds an hour maybe keep staff happy but not necessarily the employer. this guy had 12 years experience and was foreman in his last job.. 🙄 you cant win mate.. trust me!
    im not saying there is not good, or great staff out there. theres plenty. but its a case of trial and error before you get one.
    the guy that messed the curtain is still with us. he does his work very well and is turning out some excellent designs himself. so there is light at the end of the tunnel 😀 “but not for my spelling” 😆 😆

    mike, bad one mate 😉 ive got the t-shirts mate.. 😆
    it is down to experience in our part…
    we had a graphix 4B FROM SPANDEX…it stopped working and we thought oh sh….
    called them and they said ok we will send somone into see you.. call out charge £250 thats going back 15 years. 😮
    out he came… played around with it… ah yes mister lambie.. thats it sorted..
    “really”” what was up?”
    the fuse in the plug had gone… 😮 😮 😮 😮
    yes mike! we do live and learn mate 😉 👿 👿

  • Martin C

    October 21, 2002 at 11:51 am

    Have I misunderstood this. Is there Banner Vinyl….i.e.the soft superglue stuff that is still not suitable for Lorry Curtains? I know traditional vinyl won’t work but always thought proper Banner stuff would?

    A tip I learnt some while back following a similar experience with Screen Printed banners is to rub them over with Acetone (Nail Varnish Remover). A bit of overkill but some Banners have a residue on them that reacts with ink even before the plasticizers start working overtime!

  • Robert Lambie

    October 21, 2002 at 12:04 pm



  • Martin Pearson

    October 23, 2002 at 10:35 pm

    I quoted a guy for a small curtain a couple of weeks ago, I explained that the material needed ie truck vinyl was quite dear but the only stuff to use. He has now told me he has had a much cheaper quote and would I like to re-quote, the price he mentioned would barely cover the cost of the vinyl so if he has had a cheaper quote it wont be with the proper materials.
    I have refused to requote the job and will now sit back and watch out for a small curtainside van with graphics falling off the side. Some customers dont seem to want to listen to good advice.

  • Robert Lambie

    October 23, 2002 at 10:43 pm

    here here martin, if you try to help they think your just trying to baffle them with science… to get the price hiked up…you cant win! 🙄

  • Lee Attewell

    October 23, 2002 at 11:26 pm

    Hey Martin, give the customer the link to this page and he’ll see our discussion and know you’re telling the truth.

  • Robert Lambie

    October 23, 2002 at 11:31 pm

    😆 😆 😆 probably would work to, if they actualy looked 😉

  • LOST

    October 19, 2003 at 11:35 am

    steve this is directed to u mate as an employee and not an imployer.
    I would reckon i have saved my company thousands of pounds by[by thinking for myself] it reminds me of another saying . the boss may not always be right but he is the boss. Wonder what that means? 😆

  • Robert Lambie

    October 19, 2003 at 2:28 pm

    Probably means that wrong or right, the cost of the decision comes out of the boss’s pocket and not the employee. So he has the final say, “respectively”. 😉

  • NTC

    October 19, 2003 at 6:18 pm

    Robert my main business is vehicle curtains i supply 6-10 sets a week and 50% may be writen i can tell you that all the major curtain manufactures in the U.K. and Ireland always mask & ink the sign writing . i see lots of curtains that have vinyl letters on them coming off after sometimes only 2/3 years so i would not take on a job if the customer specified vinyl.


    NTC Curtainsiders

  • Robert Lambie

    October 19, 2003 at 7:32 pm

    Hi Norman
    Are you talking from experience mate?
    What I mean is although you do lots of curtains with ink.. Have you tried proper truck vinyl? if so what kind?

    your right, Ink will probably outlast the vinyl’s many times over. it is also far cheaper to letter a truck in ink rather than vinyl.
    I have up until a couple of years ago did curtain siders with sericol ink.

    When suppliers guarantee their “truck” vinyl will do the job.. Just like they did when introducing vinyl in place of traditional hand painted vehicles, then you tend to go along with what they say. Although normally its us that pay the price through trial and error applications finding out who is telling the truth?

    the biggest failure of truck lettering is those that try and use banner vinyl instead of truck. 😕

    I certainly think cut vinyl is the way forward to that of ink though.
    Its faster, cleaner/healthier & more is possible.
    The downside is “like you said” how it will stand up to the constant abuse one of these curtains takes daily.
    If asked what choice lets me sleep at night better, I would say ink!
    Although due to how busy we are and the lack of experience some of our guys have in inking a curtain.. I tend to go down the truck vinyl route.

  • NTC

    October 19, 2003 at 9:13 pm

    Hi Rob

    No Rob i have not used truck vinyl & i did not mean to put it down i am sure there are vinyls well up to the job available now.

    I only use ink for the job as it is well tested and i know it can and will last the life of the curtains you are right when you say they get a hard time a curtain can be on the road 24hrs day in all weathers all year round get blasted by a power wash when its back to base all this puts me off trying vinyl as a replacement to ink.

    I think a general sign business would favour truck vinyl only buying in the vinyl for that job but i think the curtain trade will continue for a long time with ink.

    Norman 😉


  • Christopher Bevan

    September 13, 2006 at 8:54 pm

    Just come across this discussion, the only way true way to write curtains that lasts, use ink Soft side or even H.M.G Paints

  • Les Woods

    September 14, 2006 at 8:42 am
    quote LOST:

    …it reminds me of another saying . the boss may not always be right but he is the boss. Wonder what that means? 😆

    I like a quote which came from Red Adair which sums up customers who don’t want to pay for a good job but at the same time don’t want a shoddy job but still go for whoever gives the lowest price and still expect the best. It went…

    "If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

    This was his response when asked by an executive who balked at the million dollar fee Red wanted for putting out an oil rig fire.

  • Martin Cole

    September 14, 2006 at 11:09 am
    quote Les Woods:

    "If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

    That is oh so true. what a strap line (!)

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