Tips on how to deal with those difficult vehicles.
By Jared Smith
Just when you think your shop has what it takes to really knock out a great wrap, a vehicle comes along that presents a whole new set of challenges. I certainly wish we only got to wrap box trucks and cargo vans-but it just seems that, sometimes, people buy the most difficult vehicle to wrap and then immediately call our company.
Yes, we appreciate every project we get at bluemedia, but some vehicles can really make you scratch your head or pull your hair out. If you come across one of the vehicles below, be prepared to spend a little extra time and effort to get them all wrapped up.
I know they look easy, but ask any installer about a Dodge Sprinter and he will tell you a different story.
Sprinters were designed to be configured in many different ways: with rows of seats or as a cargo van, with windows or without. But this universal approach presents one very "deep" challenge: The sides and/or rear of this vehicle have indentations where windows would typically go, much like are seen on the back of a cargo van. These channels, however, are very deep. To correctly install in these channels takes a very high-performance material and great install technique.
We have tried magnetic strips to bridge the gap and wrap over, and I've heard that a company may have even manufactured an insert of some type to help fill the gap. Our favorite technique for this particular problem is to use 3M’s new IJ380 vinyl, which is made with a more aggressive adhesive to stay put in the deep channels. I understand this product has been available for a while in Europe and is now available in the US. We've had great results with it so far.
If you've ever stood close to an H1, the challenges are obvious: Big steel hinges, bolt heads, steel cladding, rivets, brackets, vents, and latches are just some of the fun things to figure out how to deal with.