Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Cement Truck Vinyl Type and Pricing

Discussion in 'Vehicle Graphics' started by ALgal, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. ALgal

    ALgal New Member

    2
    0
    1
    Dec 29, 2020
    Alabama
    We are just getting started with vehicle graphics and are looking for some guidance. We are quoting putting letters on the barrell of a cement truck.

    Pricing: We are looking for a good pricing strategy for vehicle graphics. This is not a full vehicle wrap. I am not sure if quoting based on square foot of vinyl is the best way.

    Vinyl: If there is a color the customer likes, I know a cut vinyl would be better than printing. OraCal 651 was mentioned as well as 3M IJ180cv3 with a laminate. The OraCal is a calendared vinyl and much cheaper. The OraCal is 2.5 mil vs 4 mil (IJ180cv3 + laminate). I am not sure which is a better option for this application. Will the OraCal work, but just have a shorter lifespan?

    Thanks,
     
  2. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Printing and cutting is a dumb way to put cut lettering on a truck, unless there is something absolutely necessary like gradient colors or photos in the logo.
    There are two types of cut-vinyl that you can consider for lettering a job like this. The best is a cast vinyl, which will give a 7-9 year life, but of course costs a lot more. The other choice is a high quality intermediate (calendared) vinyl. For mostly flat or only slightly curved surfaces, like this job, this can work. However you have to make sure you are getting vinyl that will last 4-5 years, not the ones that will only last 1-2 years. Even then, you have to make a judgment as to which is the appropriate vinyl to use. We usually default to the cast vinyl, but we do have customers who turn their vehicles over fast enough (in 2-3 years) that they prefer to use the less expensive option.

    Pricing-wise, I learned several decades ago to price it about the same as you would a sign of the same size and complexity. The reasoning was that it was a sign on a vehicle, and you spent just as long designing and preparing the vinyl for it as you would a sign, and even though you didn't have to buy the substrate, you had to have a bigger space to apply the vinyl or had to travel to apply it, and the application on a vehicle was more hassle than working on a table in the shop. This has worked out well over the years.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    33,960
    2,509
    113
    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    Lettering the barrel as you call it, the mixer is not fun to letter. Try not to print and apply..... it just won't last long. Use the best cast you can get. These trucks are literally abused and washed with high pressure constantly in all kinds of extreme conditions.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

    1,260
    343
    83
    Feb 20, 2020
    Florida
    All of the concrete trucks that we do have print/cut logos. I haven't seen any standard vinyl used. We use IJ40C with 8518 laminate, not a cast vinyl but works fine.
    As gino said, they are a PITA, at least for me they are. Been doing them for about 10 years and everyone seems like the first.
     
  5. signheremd

    signheremd Member

    43
    7
    8
    May 3, 2016
    x
    These trucks are washed frequently with a pressure washer in our area. We would use a 9yr cast vinyl. For printed logos, we would use a cast as well - either Arlon SLX Cast Wrap with Arlon 3270 laminate or Oracal 3951RA (rapid air) with Oraguard 290 gloss laminate (make sure your vinyl and laminate are good for your ink type - we use ecosilvent inks, Roland printer). The round shape makes them fun to letter - we charge a bit more than for a similar sized graphic on a box truck. You may also need to rotate mixer...
     
  6. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    7,521
    660
    113
    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    We use the best cast vinyl for these jobs and print cut only if absolutely necessary. Sometimes we use the Gerber Edge for these with a liquid laminate and it holds up pretty well.
    Like others have said, they are a PITA to work on, if you haven't done them before add 50% to the time you think it will take.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

    1,260
    343
    83
    Feb 20, 2020
    Florida
    It's more like a funnel than a tank
     
  8. Stacey K

    Stacey K I like making signs

    799
    361
    63
    Jun 20, 2018
    Wisconsin
    Get a subscription to Signcraft and they have a nice pricing book (and an online version). Of course you need to adjust things but it gives you a good idea of what things to consider when pricing. Adding a 3' logo on a trailer is less time than the logo and a 12' tag line. These things are broken down for you in the book and give you a starting point. Track your time for these types of jobs and make a note in the book. The next time you have a similar job, you have a solid idea of the price. There are 4 pricing groups according to shop rate and jobs are broken down by basic, intermediate, complex. It's a good model to start with. Also, if there's no obvious level line, it will take a little longer because you have to make your own. Lots of rivets or screws...much longer than smooth panels. A 12' trailer could be considered similar to a cement truck, plus extra time because of the shape - again, it's a starting point, add/subtract labor/materials per the job.

    I ALWAYS use cut vinyl when possible.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    10,609
    269
    83
    Oct 5, 2005
    Penn
    Signcraft is now only online subscription.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. mfatty500

    mfatty500 Active Member

    813
    94
    28
    May 10, 2010
    Sugar Grove, Ill
    Don't forget the muriatic acid that these trucks get washed with occasionally..
     
  11. ALgal

    ALgal New Member

    2
    0
    1
    Dec 29, 2020
    Alabama
    Thanks everyone for the responses. It looks like the 3M 7125 would be a good cast cut vinyl for this application. One person said they take the cost of the vinyl x2, then add labor cost. Another person charges $8-$10 per sq ft to cover cost and labor.

    Thanks!
     
  12. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    You gotta charge way more than twice the vinyl cost. You have to include cutting, weeding, application tape, mistakes...
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    33,960
    2,509
    113
    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    Hahahaaaa........ no, you don't gotta do anything of the sorts. The only thing you gotta do is pay taxes and die.

    When lettering a truck, a sign or decorating a window treatment all ya need to consider are :
    • Time spent with the customer.
    • Design/creation time on computer.
    • Time converting files into cut files.
    • Materials and supplies needed to furnish said job.
    • Fabrication/production time.
    • Overhead and insurances.
    • Your time invested from start to finish, including prep and removal.
    • Waste factor.
    • Profit

    There are probably more that I might've missed, but it's gonna add up to a lot more than just doubling your material cost and going off half-cocked.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  14. wildside

    wildside Very Active Member

    1,468
    20
    38
    Aug 28, 2005
    Kansas
    What someone else charges wil not pay your bills, only theirs.

    What is your overhead?
    What do you have to get at a minimum to turn a profit?
    What are your material costs? Remember people get it for different rates.

    We do a lot of mixers and like already said the acid they use will attack vinyl quick. Even high quality materials aren't going to last like they say, but still longer than the cheap stuff.

    Since you sound new in the business, make sure you know what you are charging and why. Going for a cheaper material to save a buck will always cost more in the long run. Vehicles are always and only cast material.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...