Design and print wrap: 6 hours Designing and planning the wrap took two hours. We then printed the graphics before the truck arrived, which took about four hours. Prepping the truck took three hours, then we were ready to start the wrap.
Install the wrap: 16 hours With the design, prep and printing out of the way, we began installing the wrap. At times more than one of us worked on it. It took a total of 16 man hours to complete.
Once the bedsides were wrapped, it was on to the cab and tailgate.
A little heat helps the vinyl conform to irregularities in the body surface.
There are several of us here, so it’s easy to get someone to give you a hand on a wrap.
On this job, we printed and installed the entire side because the customer was on a tight budget.
Again, an extra pair of hands can make application go more smoothly.
We prefer to apply the lettering over the wrap so that we can get the best possible positioning.

What’s it cost to wrap this pickup truck?

Transforming a plain silver pickup into rolling advertising

By Ken Stiffler

Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

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274 sq. ft. of 3M IJ180cv3
film and 274 sq. ft. of 3M
8519 laminate: $1080
Misc. supplies: $100
Total materials: $1180

Design and plan: 2 hours
Prep truck: 3 hours
Print: 4 hours
Cut graphics: 2 hours
Install: 16 hours
Total hours: 27 hours
We do a lot of wraps and find that the more we do, the more we get asked about them. Done well, they can turn a truck lettering job into high-impact advertising.

We generally like to wrap the background of the vehicle first, then place the main wording on as a separate layer of film. For me, this ensures the best possible positioning of the text. At times, when we printed the text as part of the background, a line of text would sometimes not be perfectly level, due to a flair or indention in the surface.

Even a little too much stretching may cause an important part of the name to run into the door handle or some other obstruction, making it tougher to read. Applying the lettering over the wrap background just gives us a lot more control.

I know that there are many readers who can do it perfectly, or say that it adds too much cost, and perhaps that is so. But for me, it’s still a good insurance policy against the occasional issue that results in reprinting part of the wrap and extra time to make the repair.

You may also notice that on this job, we printed and installed the entire side of the pickup. This resulted in us having to splice in the background on the pillars beside the door windows. Normally the bedside, doors and fenders would be printed separately. Since this customer was on a very tight budget, this method saved a little material and still looked fine from the typical viewing distance.

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