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Speed up wrap installation

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Signed Out, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Signed Out

    Signed Out Active Member

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    Getting more into fleet graphics and wanting to cut down on installation time. Specifically, large trailers and box trucks. I'd like to share our procedure and hope to hear what others are doing and gain some efficiency. For the example, you have (20) 27' box trucks sitting in your lot, they all get the same graphics, you have 1 install bay that you can get all the way around the trailer with plenty of space, 2 installers. (in our situation, 1 installer isn't as proficient as the other)

    Our procedure:
    Both installers start cleaning, prepping. Once enough of 1 side has been prepped to allow 2 panels to be installed, both installers align the graphics on first panel, double check measurements and squareness (we print alignment marks in the bleed area to help speed this up). Once aligned, lead installer starts laying vinyl as other installer continues cleaning. Lead installer is able to continue on wrapping, when other installer is finished cleaning, he then follows the lead installer doing rivets and trimming. Lead installer will finish laying down all the vinyl before the rivets and trimming is done, so now both installers rivet and trim until finished.

    Other info: Wraps are printed on oracal 3751RA/ 290 laminate, we do not tape our panels. We use 4" geek wrap and similar squeegees (would like to try the bill collector 7"). We use a rolling scafold, rolling staircase and ladders(considering the purchase of scissor lift(s)). For rivets we leave a channel, torch and rolle pro.

    For reference a 27' box truck takes us 10-12 hours with 2 people, 20-24 total hours. I'd like to get this cut down to 16 total hours or less so we can bang 1 out a day, I think it's reasonable.

    Anybody see any time savings, tips, better tools, etc?? How does your procedure differ?
     
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  2. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    your wasting your wrappers time having them clean and prep, get cheaper labor for that....
     
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  3. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    26 ft boxes, we have 1 guy do that in 6-8 hrs. He actually pre-seams the entire side, takes about 20 min or so. He does have a helping hand hanging it, and starting it, but does 98% of it alone. On box trucks we use rollers, not squeegees, most of the time(depends on installer). We leave channels for rivets, and do them in 1 pass with a roller as well.

    best video i could find to show this is this one
     
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  4. Signed Out

    Signed Out Active Member

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Damn that's fast. Few questions if you don't mind. Are you laying the rivets down first like in the video, or leaving a channel still and doing the rivets after the panel is rolled down? What material are you using, is it "slideable" I'm wondering if tacking the bottom down after the top 6" would work well without "slideability" We primarily use 3751 ra which isn't slideable and fairly aggressive. Do you think this method would work well with 3751RA? Last question, if you were doing 48' trailers, would you still pre-seam your panels?
     
  5. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Prepping and rivit / finishing work can be done with unskilled labor you pull off the street.
     
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  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Are we talking boxes all 4 sides and/or cabs ??
     
  7. Signed Out

    Signed Out Active Member

    987
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    Upstate NY
    Boxes or trailers, typically for us both sides and rear. No cabs.
     
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  8. Signed Out

    Signed Out Active Member

    987
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    Aug 6, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Good points. For us right now we are getting waves of these fleet jobs. So one month we could do 0-5 units, and another month we could be doing 20+. But we could probably find someone on a part time basis.. more I think on this I like it, could train them up as time goes on too.
     
  9. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Buy a decent 15 or 19' scissor lift if you're going to continue on doing large vehicles. It is so much easier and safer to work from.
     
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  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Not me, but I know of a company who does 2.5 - 53' trailers in a long day. That includes them cleaning, too. I watched them one time. It was amazing. One guy on the top and one on a rolling ladder. What a team.
     
  11. BUCKY

    BUCKY Member

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    They must just roll over the rivets like most do to have that kind of speed? We go back after a trailer is wrapped and get all the air out around every rivet
    with a squeegee and post heat. Probably should just give in and skip that like the rest of the industry does huh?
    Problem is down the road those Blue Beacon Truck Wash boys blow holes thru the vinyl where all the air gaps are around the rivets when not tucked tight.
     
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  12. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Ya know, I see these trucks all the time. It's been about 4 or 5 years and they still look great. No tenting or lifting or anything wrong I can see. For this particular customer, we tend to do the majority of their interior work and another company does their exterior work and this truck work came from someone else. In fact, they aren't from around here at all. They come in for a week or so, do a buncha trucks, then onto their next job. They're in a different city/town almost every week. No home life to speak of, according to them. And they do post heat the whole thing. Not to mention, they did it outside, under a huge tent or canopy.
     
  13. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

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    Has anyone else on here seen (2.5) 53' trailers get done in a long day? That's insanely fast! I've never even heard of something like that getting done that quickly, seems physically impossible for a 2 person team. We run a 24' box truck in 2-3 days, one guy no assistance, no cab. Or we do 53' medical coaches/trailers in about 4-5 days, two sides and back, but they don't have rivets, just a few easy to trim around doors/windows/panels/etc. And again that's one guy, no assistance. Not doubting you at all Gino but trying to figure out if that specific team is wildly talented or if this is common in the industry. And wondering if that pace is sustainable 40 hours a week, year round? In my market we get fleets of 53' trailers for national even international companies and they have no problem waiting a week or two for us to install it, and they shop it all over the country and don't complain about pricing. And I've never heard anybody else say they've seen (2) 53' trailers get done in a day unless it's a significantly bigger team, much less (2.5). That's insane, those guys could get paid really well at the right sign shop and have great home lives! Hook me up with their number, I'll outsource every damn wrap to 'em haha! Makes me wonder if my guys are milking me, that's for sure a joke. I'm very happy with the attitudes and talent we are lucky to have them!
     
  14. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

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    I've heard of 2 guys banging out 2+ buses in a day, doing 90% of them with a roller and torch. Mind you the quality of the bus wraps around here isn't great but it works for how often they get changed.
     
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  15. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    When you do the same thing over and over
    Totally doable. You just saw a video of a lady doing the front of a box truck in 15 minutes so that's 2 1/2 hours for the whole thing. That doesn't mean that they would be good at anything else or some killer asset to a regular sign shop. Its a repetitive task, pretty much mindless doing the same exact thing day in a day out. No different than hanging sheetrock.
     
  16. signman315

    signman315 Signmaker

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    I have no doubt it's possible in a pinch, but is it industry standard? or just physically possible? Is this common? Are a lot of people seeing this pace of install? Do guys burn out after doing it 40-60 hours a week year after year? Not trying to sound like I'm mocking anybody, I've just never heard of that pace anywhere but Signs101 in the past 12 years of doing it. And want to see if we should be stepping up our game at our shop in that regard? We aren't struggling with our system which is significantly slower, but if this is industry standard we have little choice to but to join the party...always room for improvement.
     
  17. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    It's not that they're working at break neck speed, they just have a system down and there is rarely a need to stop and think things through. Another example would be cutting lawns. These guys go go go, 2 man crew is in and out of a regular house in 20 mins. If the employees can not produce that, then you are not going to be competitive. I'm sure they burn out and turn over all of the time but that's par for the course. Doing what Gino is talking about is a different business in itself so its not fair to compare it to a shop that does everything. With that being said, I think a lot of employees milk things and others just don't know that things can be done more efficiently. That is where you come in to set the expectations and work with your crew to meet them. You cant just say here ya go, tell me when youre done.
     
  18. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    All I can say is.... I watched them for about an hour or so some years ago. They really had it down pat. The company if I remember correctly is an all-around company featuring any kinda wraps, but fleet wrapping is their thing. I was so impressed, it made me not wanna do wraps, as we couldn't hold a torch to them. So, I googled them and found out they have many crews that travel all around the country and Canada. This particular company was from Canada. I don't think Justin Pate could go as fast as these guys.
     
  19. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    By myself I can do a 20' box truck in 5-6 hours. Average 2.5 day. I've done probably 100+ trucks over the last 4 or 5 years for the customer. I traveled all around TX doing them, being gone for a week at a time.

    If you do it over and over again you'll get fast. I have a finely tuned system down to minimize seconds of time spent. I have a certain way I lay my tools out, the way I prep the rolls, the way I place the ladder. Laying out and starting panels wastes the most time so I really found some shortcuts in doing that part that saved a lot of time. When you do truck after truck after truck and all you want to do is get done so you can drive home at the end of the week, you really think about how to save time during the whole process... it's really boring. I would play games in my head where I would set a timer on my phone and try to get a panel done in 13 minutes, (placement, apply and finish) I could time a truck down to the minute. I haven't done any this year but I have two coming up next month.

    I can say, the first truck I did probably took me 14 hours, second one 10, third one 8 and then so on and so on. It's wasn't great $$ per truck, but when I was nailing down 2.5+ a day, day after day that really added up!
     
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  20. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    All this time I thought I was the only anal retentive a-hole around here. There is only 1 right way and its integral to doing an efficient job.
     
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