Getting Charged Up
Road Rage Designs takes on world's first electric box truck with its Mimaki JV3-130 printer.
The Client Chicago International Trucks
The Players Road Rage Designs (www.roadragedesigns.com)
Tools & Supplies Mimaki JV3-130, Avery MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS, Avery DOL 1360 overlaminate, GBC Arctic Titan laminator
The Job The revolutionary Navistar eStar – billed as the world’s first electric box truck – boasts the ability to carry a 4000-pound payload while holding a 100-mile charge. Proud of its latest green-inventory addition, Chicago International Trucks sought to beautify the aesthetically plain ride to promote its eco-friendly qualities: “100% Electric–Zero Emissions.” And because the truck has a maximum speed of 50 miles-per-hour, the vehicle supplier also wanted to ease the frustration of drivers who might get stuck behind the eStar on a freeway by letting them know, “I may be slow, but I’m green,” on its rear panel.
Road Rage Designs in Spring Grove, Illinois, was contracted to come up with graphics for the box truck. With limited funds, Chicago International sought the most budget-friendly option. “To cut costs, we presented the idea to only wrap the back and sides of the box and use lettering on the cab area instead of a typical full-coverage vinyl wrap,” says Road Rage’s Kris Harris. In highlighting the energy efficiency of the all-electric eStar, Chicago International called for a fresh-air themed design, which they left to the Road Rage team to create.
Production Designed by Harris using Adobe Illustrator, all of the graphics were vectored, including the eStar and Chicago International logos. Because the small logo graphics were only available in GIF format, they had to be completely redrawn. The client approved the environmentally themed sky-and-grass design via a soft proof, and the graphics were readied for print.
Road Rage output the 334-square feet of graphics onto 53-inch sections of Avery MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS using a Mimaki JV3-130 with Mimaki HS ink. For finishing, Road Rage relied on its GBC Arctic Titan laminator with Avery DOL 1360 overlaminate and then trimmed the panels to size. Altogether, the job took only two hours.
Although Road Rage specializes in fleet vehicle and boat wraps, no one on the team had ever worked with an eStar before – after all, only about 100 are currently on the road at this point – which presented an installation challenge. And, to add to the pressure, Chicago International called for an almost immediate turnaround.
The installation for the green machine took two installers about seven hours to complete at the Road Rage Design studio. Ultimately, the team met the tight deadline and Chicago International plans to flaunt the eStar’s graphics for the next two years.