When it comes to establishing a robust marketing strategy for your company, investing in fleet wraps and graphics is a pivotal decision. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a well-established company, updating your fleet’s appearance can significantly enhance your brand visibility at a fraction of the cost of other advertising methods. While maintaining vehicle wraps might seem like a daunting task, it’s akin to caring for your vehicle’s paint, and with the right knowledge, it can be simpler than you think.
A vehicle wrap or graphic serves as a moving advertisement, not a permanent fixture. Properly installed vehicle-grade vinyl generally has a lifespan of 5-7 years if well-maintained. However, if the vehicle is expected to be sold after use, the graphic must be removed. The condition of the wrap at removal significantly influences the costs involved. Wraps in poor condition can become a liability for the companies they represent.
What Can Damage Your Wrap?
1. The Sun: Sun exposure can be particularly damaging to vehicle graphics. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause graphics to fade and the vinyl to shrink, leading to issues like cracking. If left unchecked, sun damage can complicate the removal process, incurring additional costs. Storing vehicles in a garage when not in use is highly recommended.
2. Dirt and Grime: While some dirt from regular driving is normal, regular washing is crucial to prevent grime from embedding into the vinyl. Automatic car washes, which may be suitable for vehicle paint, can damage wraps irreparably. Hand washing or low-pressure power washing once or twice a week is recommended to maintain a presentable condition.
3. Road Debris: While vinyl is durable, road conditions can pose hazards. Despite using high-quality vinyl, wear and tear issues are almost inevitable by the end of a wrap’s lifespan. Minor issues like peeling can often be fixed, but major damage, such as a rip caused by a rock, might be challenging to repair. If a wrap cannot be maintained, seeking professional advice on salvage options is recommended.
What Do We Recommend?
1. Develop a Maintenance Plan: For companies with larger fleets, having a systematic plan for vehicle maintenance is crucial. Consistency and habit-building are key. This might involve regular trips to the shop for cleaning or providing employees with vehicle covers if garages are unavailable.
2. Keep Vehicles Covered or Indoors: Reducing sun exposure by storing vehicles in covered areas is highly effective in extending the lifespan of graphics and preventing high removal costs. Sun damage is the most common and detrimental form of damage to vinyl graphics.
3. Wash Vehicles Regularly: Regular washing is a fundamental task for maintaining presentable graphics. Washing prevents dirt and grime from becoming permanent. Whether done by hand or with a low-pressure power washer, it’s crucial to avoid automatic car washes.
4. Recognize the Non-Permanent Nature of Wraps: Understanding that wraps are not permanent is essential. Despite meticulous maintenance, wraps have a natural lifespan of around 5-7 years. Removal before significant deterioration is advisable to avoid skyrocketing removal costs. Managing the risk of deterioration is part of the wrap maintenance process.
In conclusion, maintaining fleet graphics is not just about preserving appearances but safeguarding your brand identity. By following a structured maintenance plan, minimizing sun exposure, regular washing, and recognizing the non-permanent nature of wraps, you can ensure your fleet remains a powerful advertising tool for years to come.