PM's Best-looking Plumbing Contractor trucks of 2017
This year, PM asked some of its columnists, as well as industry organizations and truck-wrapping companies.
Last year, Plumbing & Mechanical shared an article about what makes the best truck wrap (“Look the part,” November 2016).
This year, PM asked some of its columnists, as well as industry organizations and truck-wrapping companies, to vote on their favorite Truck of the Month wrap from the last 12 months’ winners. Here is what they have to say about their favorites and why they’ve picked them.
Hover over the image to view each winner!
Top trucks of 2017
“I have to go with Zoom,” PM columnist and hydronics guru Dan Holohan says. “I scrolled through all the pics and pretended I was in traffic — quick glances from side to side. Zoom won me by having such clean graphics and vibrant colors.
“I also really like the way they limit the amount of information on the wrap,” Holohan continues. “That made me feel they cared about my safety as a driver, which made me think they’d also care about my safety when I hire them. It’s subtle, but it’s there. Overall, their message is easy to grasp, and their phone number and website tie in beautifully with the name. Easy to remember and very effective.”
“It’s clean, simple, with bright colors, and just the right amount of information,” agrees Nicole Compton, director of communications at Revolution Wraps in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska.
Truck tips from the pros
For those business owners who do not yet wrap their service vehicles, or who may be looking at re-doing their wraps, industry leaders first suggest keeping the message simple and easy to understand.
“Think of a billboard that catches your eye,” Ballanco says. “Follow the concept of that billboard on your truck. Also, research the size lettering and the distance to read that lettering. Small letters can only be read from a short distance away — if you are parked downtown, that might work well, but if you are in an area where most people will see the truck from a distance on the road, small letters are bad.
“Make it easy to either find or remember your phone number,” Ballanco adds. “Sometimes, it is by including that information on a clever website. Then, the website becomes the important connection.”
As these are mobile billboards, it is important that people know what you do in the first few seconds of reviewing the vehicle, Compton says.
“It needs to catch the eye, so simple art with color and not a lot of info should do the trick,” she adds. “You only want someone to reach out — not learn everything about you. Detailed information can be found online or by talking with a salesperson.”
The key to any effective truck wrap design starts with a great brand, notes Dan Antonelli, president and chief creative officer of KickCharge Creative (formerly Graphic D-Signs), who has two truck wrap designs featured in the past twelve months and therefore abstained from voting.
“Without that solid foundation, any truck wrap is going to be marginalized,” he says. “Brands that work well for vehicles have very specific parameters that need to be adhered to in order to make them work the best for that medium. Concepts like distance legibility, brand promise and memorability need to be considered for any brand before it gets integrated into a wrap design and applied to a vehicle.
“One of the reasons most vehicle wraps on the road do not function well and deliver a poor return on investment is largely due to the failings of the branding used on the wrap,” Antonelli continues. “The most important thing to consider is what the impression of the business should be after viewing the wrap. What does it say about your business? A polka-dot truck wrap would surely be noticeable, but what it says about the business is an entirely different story.”
Industry leaders agree that aside from giving details about the services a business provides as well as its contact information, an effective vehicle wrap also provides clients and potential clients with a feel for the plumbing company behind the wrap. And, as it is often the first thing customers notice when a service tech pulls into their driveway, these vehicles have the ability to make a valuable and long-lasting positive impression.
Do you have a truck you think we should see? Send high-res photos and a description of your vehicle to Editor@PMmag.com. Please include your name, company and phone number.
Cabrillo Plumbing, Heating and Air, December 2016
“My runner-up would be Cabrillo,” PM columnist and Blue Collar Coach Kenny Chapman says. “Graphics exude trust, easy to read. My tips are to keep it simple, bold and easy to read. Less is more; keep it client-focused.”
“It is eye-catching and features nice colors,” Compton notes of her runner-up pick. “Also, the name is big, and the art is memorable.”
Burton and Sons Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, June 2017
“This wrap is subtle but clever,” PM columnist Julius Ballanco notes of his runner-up pick. “I like the use of red, white and blue, which gives a patriotic feel without being overt. I also like the ‘dad-tested and mom-approved’ slogan. The name is simple, the phone number is easily remembered, and the website is readily identifiable.
“I also like the reference to social media on the back door,” he adds.
Splash Plumbing, July 2017
“I’m choosing Splash Plumbing for the wrap of the year,” Chapman says. “I like that it is easy to read and has a good graphic, and the phone number is big, bold and easy to remember.”
Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, March 2017
“A pipe wrench says plumbing to just about everyone right away,” Ballanco says. “One, you don’t have to figure out that the truck is a plumbing truck. Two, the phone number couldn’t be simpler — 1-800-plumbing. Three, it is easy to remember the message on the truck.
“Also, the message is enticing in that the visit is free if it is not the same day,” he adds.
Budget Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, September 2017
“My vote is for Budget,” Service Nation Senior Vice President David Heimer says. “For one, the bright contrasting colors draw attention without being garish. Also, there is a proper hierarchy of information — name, services provided, contact. It is clear, easy to remember and professional-looking. Plus, happy colors reinforced with the happy face just equal a smile.”
“I like the bright colors,” PM columnist Ray Wohlfarth says of his runner-up pick. “They definitely catch your eye, which is important.”
The PAR Group, October 2017
“The PAR Group trucks are my favorite,” Wohlfarth says. “Having a finger in the leaking pipe visually shows what they do.”