Customers often want to know,“How long will it take to install the Frame & Vinyl on a truck?”
The amount of time required to install Ackland Frames on a truck will be affected by several things. Below are 8 things you’ll want to carefully consider, to keep your costs in line:
1. LOCATION: Will the job be done at your location or your clients? Big Difference. Install jobs done at customers location have a way of robbing the installation company of control. You know, you’ve got 3 or 4 guys on the clock, at the transportation yard – and all you need is a set of keys to the gate/warehouse/yard, and the guy who has them is MIA! Or, they bring you the wrong trailer, and then they can’t find the right one, because, “It’s not back from a delivery yet, but…maybe you can install the graphics on this one instead, but…” You get the picture…
- Recommendation: Keep control and keep costs down, by performing the work at your own shop, if at all feasible.
- Recommendation: Work indoors, if you have the option.
- Recommendation: Print so that top edge of rectangular artwork = factory edge of vinyl.
4. LADDERS, SCAFFOLDING, or SCISSOR LIFT?
2nd Choice: Scaffolding (on wheels!)
- Recommendation: Base plate of frames are pre-drilled for fasteners every 16”. While self-tapping screws are pretty quick and easy, 2 sides of a semi-trailer will require about 190 base plate screw – so “N-A-R” a LOT of time, maybe 50% or more. It may also be the difference between finishing on the day you start – or the day after. This may negatively impact your operation. Oh, and remember -- for transportation companies, “down-time” is a dirty word.
- Check Vinyl Size! Not what the paper says, but unfurl your vinyl and measure the ACTUAL SIZE. Write it down for reference.
- Go out and measure the actual box/trailer.
- Measure BOTH Driver-side and Curb-side. Believe it or not, some times your usable area may vary.
- If frames have been pre-cut, know the exact size ordered. Write it down for reference.
- Using a small piece of frame locate and mark ALL 4 CORNERS OF EACH SIDE of box/trailer. Be sure frame is sitting flat, avoiding rivet heads, where flat part of frame rests on truck wall.
- Use a chalk line from corner to corner, to outline the perimeter – so the outer edge of the frame will rest on the chalk line.
- If your frames still need to be cut to the exact size, measure from corner-to-corner on each side to determine the lengths of all your cuts. WARNING: Some larger trailers have 2 different vertical dimensions. The height along the front edge of the box may be different than the height at the rear!
- Cut Frames to fit, if not already pre-cut.
Now, when your crew starts installing, they can ROCK! You’ll have far fewer man hours into the installation than if they try to do all this in a group of 3-5. (More PROFIT!)
7. SIZE OF INSTALLATION CREW:
- Recommendation: (2) People for Box trucks up to 28 ft; 3-5 for semi-trailers.
Recommendation: 2 Suggested Methods
a) 2 People ON TOP of the box/trailer, 1 on the scaffolding. Lower vinyl down between scaffolding and truck, so that installer can beging sticking vinyl to frame at top left corner. Assist installer by “feeding” him/her just the right amount of vinyl as he works his way across top edge.
b) Lay vinyl out on clean dry area of ground, FACE UP. Fold “Bottom-to-Top” – twice. Should now be a long strip of vinyl about 2 ft wide. Now fold from Right-to-Left, folding and rolling about every 4 feet, Installer on scaffolding should be able to begin at top left corner, while person on roof of trailer/box assists, by “feeding” him/her just the right amount of vinyl as he works his way across top edge. (See Video) *Refer to Ackland Installation Instructions for next steps.