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The Most Challenging Vehicles to Wrap

(July 2008) posted on Tue Jul 01, 2008

Tips on how to deal with those difficult vehicles.

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By Jared Smith

You'll need a high-performance material and skilled installation, but the true trick here is to work the stock paint color into the design of the wrap. In the likely event some of the paint is visible (as it should be, because there are painted items on an H1 that you should just flat out not wrap) then the overall presence still will look great. Whatever you do, make it look like you did it on purpose.

Porsche 911, Chevy HHR, Chrysler PT Cruiser, VW Beetle
It's pretty obvious why these curvaceous cars would be tough to wrap, but the solution is not as obvious. The answer is in the amount of time the installer and the designer spend together before the files are dropped to the RIP. If the installer could explain to the designer how these pieces will go together and what can line up-as well as what cannot-the final outcome becomes so much better.

Just as with the other vehicles I mention here, these require great vinyl skill and great install skill, but more importantly they require great communication between the person designing the pieces and the person installing those same pieces. I believe there's a need, industry-wide, for the design and install teams to work together more often and this is a great place to start.

53-foot Trailers
I will admit that we occasionally get a super smooth, brand-new trailer without any rivets and these are a dream. More often than not, however, we'll get a trailer that is slightly oxidized, completely corrugated, has 100,000 rivets, is too tall for our shop's roll-up door, and has rusty doors with hinges that seem to be borrowed from the back of an Abrams tank. Those are the fun ones.

It's never easy to tell a client that their piece-of-junk trailer is in too poor of shape to wrap, but sometimes it's necessary. We have sent many trailers back out to be acid washed to remove the oxidation; we have even sent trailers out to have rust issues solved (by cutting out the rusted metal and welding in new metal). With good scaffolding, good rivet brushes, a good temperature-controlled environment to work in, and good vinyl, you can labor through these big projects.