Need Help Vinyl Graphics on Tanker Truck

FPWPP_21

New Member
Definitely this. Shouldn't really get any wrinkles in it with this process as it isn't that tough of a curve. I would personally hinge it in the middle horizontally and pull the backing back until there is about 1 foot left and stop there to maintain the shape while heating. Take a torch or heat gun and heat it slightly in the center section that has been peeled and lay as much as possible with a wrap glove or squeegee. Work methodically toward the edges shifting the wrinkles away from the center toward the edges. I would use Avery1105ezrs or slx+ in this case.
Great feedback. I am going to at least sample some other materials for situations like this. Especially since I have a lot of these trucks to do.
 

ActionGraphics

New Member
ActionGraphics Thank you! Thats's good advice and that's part of what I've been trying to get across to management. Of course the vehicle can't be off the road for long and we are short-staffed like most places. One quick clarification; the squeegee strokes should be vertical but also pushing out from the hinge seam, towards the edges. Maintaining the "smile" as you work towards the side, correct?
That's the idea, but without seeing or feeling how the curves compound, I can't be any more specific. You have to improvise, adapt and overcome.
 

truckgraphics

New Member
JBurton -No, I'm able to remove the ladder so that's out of the way. Thanks for the good advice- I like the pizza idea. I'm worried about printing and leaving extra material to be trimmed down to the shape due to the complex nature of the shape on the contoured surface. We even talked about applying a big square and having knifeless tape underneath in the exact hexagon shape, but it seems to me that making an exact paper template, taping it in place, getting the knifeless tape perfectly around it, then registering the "T" of the logo within that area would all be more trouble than it's worth and still may not work.
If you can remove the ladder, I'd say that's half the battle.

If it were our job, my first go would be to mask the top (curve or hex) and the bottom hex as well, leaving the center unmasked. Cut the mask and backing close to the decal. Probably don't need to be super precise, but you don't want to have a lot of excess paper flapping about.

I would want to treat it like a big rectangle.

Gravity is your friend.

I'd put the hinge right below the mask at top. Peel back the top under the mask. Squeegee down most of the center....Might see how it goes at the sides.

Then I'd climb under the logo and peel back, fold over, but don't cut it. Pull the backing down not a little bit or a lot. You have to be the vinyl whisperer on this one. Maybe a couple feet to start. Try and "glass it," at least in the center. Not sure what the outer curve will do but work from the center out and see what happens. You might wind up tacking the sides as you move down. But I think the key is to treat the vinyl like you were hanging it from the top of a box truck and go with the flow at the sides of the panel.

I'm not a fan of heat. You might need it, but it's your last resort.

Also, like some other folks, I'm am a big fan of Arlon SLX+. It's a little tacky, but repositions easily.

That's my two cents on how I would attack it. No guarantees.
 
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Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
If all else fails, you could print a big block of blue background, lay down some cut tape and apply the blue, stretching and heating as needed without worrying about distortion. Pull the cut tape up and that would give you the hexagon. Then apply the orange as cut vinyl on top.
 

Notarealsignguy

Very Big Member
If all else fails, you could print a big block of blue background, lay down some cut tape and apply the blue, stretching and heating as needed without worrying about distortion. Pull the cut tape up and that would give you the hexagon. Then apply the orange as cut vinyl on top.
This is how I'd do it. I'd spend a bunch of time making a good template on the first one for the knifeless tape layout. Then every one after would be fast.
 

FPWPP_21

New Member
If you can remove the ladder, I'd say that's half the battle.

If it were our job, my first go would be to mask the top (curve or hex) and the bottom hex as well, leaving the center unmasked. Cut the mask and backing close to the decal. Probably don't need to be super precise, but you don't want to have a lot of excess paper flapping about.

I would want to treat it like a big rectangle.

Gravity is your friend.

I'd put the hinge right below the mask at top. Peel back the top under the mask. Squeegee down most of the center....Might see how it goes at the sides.

Then I'd climb under the logo and peel back, fold over, but don't cut it. Pull the backing down not a little bit or a lot. You have to be the vinyl whisperer on this one. Maybe a couple feet to start. Try and "glass it," at least in the center. Not sure what the outer curve will do but work from the center out and see what happens. You might wind up tacking the sides as you move down. But I think the key is to treat the vinyl like you were hanging it from the top of a box truck and go with the flow at the sides of the panel.

I'm not a fan of heat. You might need it, but it's your last resort.

Also, like some other folks, I'm am a big fan of Arlon SLX+. It's a little tacky, but repositions easily.

That's my two cents on how I would attack it. No guarantees.
truckgraphics Thanks for the detailed instructions. This is similar to the approach we've taken so far, but I feel like I've started in the middle and always worked out to the edges whether it be vertically or horizontally for fear of those areas gathering a bunch of material and getting "left behind" until it's too late. Sounds like form your suggestion and other's that I need to trust that middle-out process a little more. Thanks again!
 

FPWPP_21

New Member
This is how I'd do it. I'd spend a bunch of time making a good template on the first one for the knifeless tape layout. Then every one after would be fast.
Yeah, as I've said before, we've been considering this approach. We're doing a test of this theory on smaller "model" today.
 

JBurton

Signtologist
You could get some polyethylene (I think that's right, whatever the DIY folks use on hula hoops) tubing from a hardware store, and one fitting, roll it into a circle that is bigger than your logo, leave excess material on your print (4' logo, print 5' circle around, cut the tube for a 5' or 4'10" circle) lay vinyl upside down, pull backing, line up and tack it to the circle, then you can either heat and mash it on there quickly, or find a way to hold it still while you work it all down slowly, with even tension all the way around! Only problem is going to be centering it and getting it level...
 

jasonx

New Member
As others have suggested. Knifeless tape and wrap over it and trim. Apply orange over the top.
 
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