Cut the vinyl: 15 minutes Since this is a simple one color project, all I needed to do was load the dark green film and send the file to the cutter.
Weed and mask the graphics: 15 minutes Once the film was cut, I weeded the material and applied the transfer tape. Then I separated the parts for each side of the truck.
Clean and prep truck: 20 minutes Upon arrival to the lot, I noticed that the truck was filthy with dust from the lot and some road grime. I always bring a few cleaning supplies when working on site: spray bottles of Simple Green cleaner, water and denatured alcohol. I first wet the door down with water then with Simple Green. Wiping in a circular motion with a clean rag, I clean the entire area. I rinse and wipe the door with water and a new clean soft cloth. Finally, I give the door a quick spray of denatured alcohol and wipe with a new clean soft cloth to cut any residue still on the surface.
Install graphics: 30 minutes On this truck, I used a simple top hinge of tape and dry-applied the graphics. Once the job is complete, I do a quick inspection of all areas that the graphics were applied, looking for any imperfections.
After checking the job over, I contacted my client to let him know the truck was done and ready to get on the road.

What’s it cost to letter this semi cab?

Knocking out a routine one-color vinyl lettering job

By Rob Estes

Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2019

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6 sq. ft. of Dark Green Oracal 751 vinyl film: $12
Application tape: $3
Miscellaneous supplies: $2
Total materials: $17

Design/sales: 1 hour
Cut/weed/mask film: 30 minutes
Clean/prep vehicle: 20 minutes
Install lettering: 30 minutes
Total labor: 2 hours, 20 minutes
A new client called and explained that he had eight new semi trucks arriving at their facility during the next few weeks. He said he would receive four sleeper cabs and four day cabs and would need them lettered on site at their facility.

That afternoon I drove over to their truck lot to get some measurements and to color match the vinyl that was previously being used. A few days later I received a call from my client telling me that he had a new sleeper cab on site and was ready to have it lettered.

This project was more a matter of identification than advertising. It was one of those routine jobs that most of us handle on a daily basis. The client provided the layout files on a USB drive to match the rest of their fleet—nothing fancy, just clean basic lettering to let people know who they are.

Such clients often prefer that I do their vehicle graphics on site. It saves them dropping it off and picking it up, and since a one-color application like this goes fairly quickly, it’s not much of an inconvenience for me. Plus this client was within 5 minutes of my shop, making it even easier.

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