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  • Vehicle graphics. Fitting advice please?

    Posted by Leslie Anderson on January 5, 2023 at 7:56 pm

    Hi everyone
    Happy New Year! 😃 The pest is back. 😇

    I have two vans to be done next week and they will be fitted by a local lad.
    I do not have a place for them to be fitted inside, so he is going to try to find a place for me.

    Moving forward, I would like to be able to tell my customers the reasons why vans should not be fitted outside. Rain is an obvious one, but because this is not my area, i really do not know what the do’s and don’ts are.
    I want to have a short script for me to tell them over the phone or copy and paste by email.
    Any tips or advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    I hope to be able to find a place local that i can use when jobs like this come up.

    Leslie ❤

    RobertLambie replied 1 year, 4 months ago 6 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Mark Johnston

    January 5, 2023 at 11:45 pm

    happy new year Leslie!

    i think the obvious is that the wind and rain plays havoc on the installation for the fitter and the cold stops the vinyl from sticking properly. i know what you mean though, customers think that as long as it is not raining then “what’s the problem?” 😠

  • David Hammond

    January 6, 2023 at 6:38 am

    Happy new year!

    We primarily do vehicle signage, most of it is done at our workshop.

    As already said, weather is an issue, not only wind and rain, but then in summer you find yourself fitting in blazing sunshine, to bodywork as hot as lava.

    In winter, you’re outside cold, wet, and just want to get the job done and leave. If you happen to mess something up you’ve not got the gear with you to re-cut it, meaning another visit (and more down time for the customer)

    You also don’t have your brew gear either!

    Generally sell the benefit to the customer, mostly it’ll be quicker (imply cheaper) for them fitting in a controlled environment, you know where all your tools and equipment is, no return trips if there’s a problem. Most customers don’t give a hoot your cold, wet, and have no idea vinyl doesn’t like sticking in the cold, but will soon complain when it starts coming off.

  • Jeff

    January 9, 2023 at 7:36 am

    as the lads have said already, the wind, cold and rain just causes no end of problems for the install.
    wind can be worse because the graphics flap about and stick together and any dust in the air is blown up and around you and sticks to the vinyl adhesive. then when you do have the job complete the customer walks up and says, “oh you have a few little bubbles there and little dimples, i don’t like that!” and you know fine it is trapped dust. 😠

    Happy New Year to you too! 😎

  • Leslie Anderson

    January 9, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    Mark, David and Jeff, thank you so much for replying with your advice. This really helps me! ❤
    My next question though, is do you provide the customer with a physical item bullet pointing the process of the van having the graphics installed, including why it must be fitted indoors or do you just tell them everything when you are on the phone talking to them?

    sorry if i am overcomplicating this. 🙄

    • David Hammond

      January 10, 2023 at 9:18 pm

      I have a “welcome pack” we attach to our initial reply.

      It explains the process, payment terms, and FAQ’s. Mainly because I get sick of repeating myself, answering the same questions, and having the same conversations.

      I cant hide the fact, so lay the ground rules early on, and I can refer customers back to it, or “it was explained in the welcome pack”

      Amazing the BS it cuts out.

      • RobertLambie

        January 11, 2023 at 11:59 am

        Same here, it is the best way to streamline these repeat processes.
        Standardise everything.

  • RobertLambie

    January 12, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    just a few of the obvious reasons not to install vinyl graphics outside.


    Repels adhesion, and prohibits the adhesive bonding to the vehicle panels, voiding the materials warranty.
    Makes the vinyl brittle making it extremely easy to snap and shatter whilst applying.

    makes proper adhesion impossible.
    wet weather is normally coupled with cold temperatures. (see above)

    Makes handling of the vinyl very difficult, and causes it to flap over and stick together.
    Makes accurate alignment of the graphics on the vehicle very difficult.
    Dust often gets onto the rear of the vinyl, sticking to the adhesive.
    Dust often ends up all over the vehicle, even just after cleaning it.

    Makes the vinyl very soft and stretchy, causes creases and generally makes the application very difficult.
    Heat promotes adhesion. So graphics can stick solid instantly on contact.
    Working on white vehicles in the sun can actually be blinding and difficult to do.

    The above is based on cut vinyl graphics, wrapping is a different ball game altogether. but the bottom line is, to install your graphics indoors whenever possible.

  • Leslie Anderson

    January 23, 2023 at 9:46 am

    David, Robert, thanks for the extra replies and advice. ❤
    i took roberts list and mashed it up a bit and put a pdf together outlining the general process and why things need to be so.
    thank you so much.
    Leslie 😀

    • Hugh Potter

      January 23, 2023 at 5:58 pm

      Other than everything that Rob outlined above, it’s a piece of cake to do van graphics… the computer designs it all, the cutter makes it all and the vinyl just applies itself to the vehicle the moment you turn your back, or so clients would have you believe; when they say they can get it for £8.99 (including vat and delivery) from ebay 🤣

  • David Hammond

    January 24, 2023 at 1:41 pm

    Just as a side note, we primarily do vehicle graphics, and have space to get most vehicles indoors.

    I’ve just installed some 4K IP camera’s in the workshop (and one outside), mostly covering the installation area, the image quality is fantastic. From the moment a vehicle is dropped off with us, it’s on camera, as we clean the van we can point out damage we discover.

    Sounds overkill, but in the past we’ve be stung with claims of damage, and now there’s no argument, as we can provide footage covering the entire vehicle, and the camera’s pick up some great detail.

  • RobertLambie

    January 24, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    I 100% agree, David.
    We got stung about 10 years ago, in the end, it cost the value of about £500 worth of graphics as a settlement. Not that the cameras would have helped in that instance, but our cameras have vetoed attempts at claims on multiple occasions for the past ten years.
    We also have a checking process and any marks or dings etc are photographed and sent directly to the customer before we will lift a finger. Far too many chancers out there!

    The claim made 10 years ago was for micro-scratches in the paint where we had been squeegeeing here and there firm and as the squeegee left the paper and over the paintwork, there were tiny hairline scratches. not many just here and there when you looked at a certain angle and the light hit it. anyway, the customer went into a rant. after much a do, we said we can’t do anything and as a way of apology, there will not be any charge for the graphics. he accepted in the end but was wanting another £500 cash to go towards buffing it out. we declined and said if that’s to happen we will get it buffed out by someone we know.
    The next morning we were discussing it again in front of the office junior girl and she pipes up and says…
    “no, there was a Card keyring attached to the keys when the van was delivered by the Ford garage. On the card was written, [ faulty paintwork, scratches and dulling, £1000 deduction given ]
    So the guy was fully aware of the fault, got his discount and then played us for it too. we called repeatedly after that, but he just blanked all efforts. Lesson learned!

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