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green thum
01-11-2006, 11:10 PM
I am getting my co. name and phone # put on my truck next monday.My neighbor down the street says he gets alot of calls from his,do you guys get the same results?Most trucks in my town are not lettered and i think it will make me stand out and look more professional.But(and this is another issue i know)in my homeowners by-laws it's stated there are to be no commercial vehicles parked o'nite in our driveways,but what can they do?

OnMyOwn
01-11-2006, 11:13 PM
I have yet to receive a call because of truck / trailer lettering. I have found it to be a dead expense. Granted, it does increase the professional appearance of the rig, but I do not see it increasing my bottom line. Most of my clients are from cold selling, word of mouth and neighbors of exisiting clients.

Regarding your H.O.A., be up front and ask them. Most of the neighborhoods are trying to keep larger trucks out of the mix, not pick-up trucks.

tiedeman
01-11-2006, 11:36 PM
I personally would letter the truck, BUt do you have a garage to park the truck in overnight for there are no problems? I personally do not think and should not think that you would have any problems with the HOA. I think they might be referring to large commerical equipment and trucks. Dumptrucks, dozers, flatbeds, etc.

befnme
01-11-2006, 11:41 PM
i have yet to even 1 call from lettering .

green thum
01-11-2006, 11:49 PM
Thanks for the input guys,i'm going to go ahead and letter it.I still say it'll look more professional.as far as my hoa i'm not real worried what can thay do?make me move?mytrailer sits on one side of the garage and my mini cooper sits on the other side where the steps going into the house are(because of this the truck won't fit on that side)thanks again for the help!!!

mrusk
01-11-2006, 11:56 PM
I got calls from my truck lettering. One to be exact. And no, it was no a positive call. If your in the right turn lane, make sure you make that right turn!

Rick Danger
01-12-2006, 12:00 AM
Get flexible magnetic signs and you can take them off at night. Actually, make sure you take them off whenever you can, because water gets behind them and rusts the heck out of whatever you stick them to.

tiedeman
01-12-2006, 04:01 AM
I am really surprised at the number of people that say they don't work.

Hack
01-12-2006, 04:28 AM
I got a call from a window sticker today. I do pressure washing and have just started in Lawn Care this year. The guy wants his house washed and I will probably make $300.00 at least off of him just for having my $20.00 sticker on my back window.

stuie
01-12-2006, 05:11 AM
I get alot of calls off my trailer.Most result in work or at least quotes.Need to get my truck done too!

Had one woman ring and abuse me for running her off the road though.Well i did (not on purpose but had no option) but if you are stupid enough to try and pass a fully loaded truck and trailer down a hill with room for 1.5 vehicles then you deserve what you get! The police thought so too!:nono: :nono: :nono: :nono:

Richard Martin
01-12-2006, 05:59 AM
in my homeowners by-laws it's stated there are to be no commercial vehicles parked o'nite in our driveways,but what can they do?

As stated by OnMyOwn ask them first. What can they do? Look in your copy of the covenants and bylaws. Worst case scenario is they can take your house and yes it is legal and yes it does happen.

topsites
01-12-2006, 06:05 AM
I have yet to receive a call because of truck / trailer lettering. I have found it to be a dead expense. Granted, it does increase the professional appearance of the rig, but I do not see it increasing my bottom line. Most of my clients are from cold selling, word of mouth and neighbors of exisiting clients.

Thank you for telling the truth.

I keep telling you guys, it does NOT increase business. I know, I used to deliver pizza back in the 1980's before the car-top sign was even invented, Domino's Pizza was the pioneer of this stupid tactic and we KNOW it did NOT increase the number of calls for sales.
Why do they keep doing it?
Because it's a big corporation that has grown so large it is no longer capable of distinguishing its head from its tail.

What it DOES do is it gives the occasional jerk on the road a phone number to call so they can vent their frustration on you.
It also appears to attract folks who have nothing better to do than go talk to a business owner for the sake of wasting time (my guess is doing this excites them). These folk start to pop out of the woods and they walk over and will talk 'business' (their idea of it) with you until their inner urge is satisfied... Far as whether you'll get anything out of them, yes, usually doing 'business' with these folk will mean more time and work than the money it is worth. However, I did find that by NOT going to Home Depot / Lowe's in the rig stops these seemingly innocent attacks.

Additionally, it ensures that you can NOT insure your vehicle under personal insurance.
Put letters on your truck and you HAVE to have commercial insurance.

Why it continues to be touted as the greatest marketing scheme ever created, that much escapes me.

JimLewis
01-12-2006, 06:25 AM
We get a decent amount of calls from our trucks. I wouldn't consider it as a sole means of advertising. That would be stupid. We've definitely got enough calls over the years that it's more than paid for itself (the lettering). But I wouldn't say we get enough calls from truck lettering to keep us busy at all. If that's the only kind of advertising I did, I'd be out of business. But as a supplemental form of advertising it works great.

I've told this story several times here before. But it's quick so I'll repeat it again. When I first got my new truck a few years back, I hesitated getting it lettered up. I loved the way it looked new, without any lettering. It just looked sharp. It still does look sharp with the lettering, by the way. But I was just resisting. When I finally got around to getting it lettered a few months after I bought it, I landed a BIG job that very week, as a result of the lettering. By big, I mean we landed an installation job that was around $5,000-$10,000. I can't remember the exact amount. It's been 3 or 4 years now. But I remember that call and the job we did. At that time, that was a big job for us. And I would have never got it without the lettering.

I could give you dozens of examples like this where we got good clients and jobs from truck lettering.

No, your phone isn't going to start ringing off the hook as soon as you get your truck lettered. In fact, it may be 3 months before you get your first call from the truck. But it does work!

Gumby
01-12-2006, 07:16 AM
I had my truck lettered at the beginning of last season and got no calls from it. I do think it looks more professional though and wouldn't hesitate to do it again just because of that.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
01-12-2006, 07:25 AM
I don't think that a sign on the vehicle is going to generate much biz on its own. However, it does increase your exposure. When people see your flyer at their door then they see your truck on the road, and then they see your doorhanger there will be a better chance that they will remember you. The more they see your name, the better the chance that they will think of you and call when they need your services. The same with car top's for pizza delivery. They are betting on the chance that with the increase exposure. That some time in the future when you get hungry for pizza that you will think of them. If they think of you when they want a particular service or product that is 50% of the battle. This is JMO, but it is also a specific topic in marketing "Name Recognition". Some forms of advertising are not necessarily meant to increase sales. Their intent is to merely increase exposure, so that when you do your canvassing for more sales your chances of conversion are greater. If you do get biz from your vehicle though, than that is awesome.

Precision
01-12-2006, 08:06 AM
I don't think that a sign on the vehicle is going to generate much biz on its own. However, it does increase your exposure. When people see your flyer at their door then they see your truck on the road, and then they see your doorhanger there will be a better chance that they will remember you. The more they see your name, the better the chance that they will think of you and call when they need your services. The same with car top's for pizza delivery. They are betting on the chance that with the increase exposure. That some time in the future when you get hungry for pizza that you will think of them. If they think of you when they want a particular service or product that is 50% of the battle. This is JMO, but it is also a specific topic in marketing "Name Recognition". Some forms of advertising are not necessarily meant to increase sales. Their intent is to merely increase exposure, so that when you do your canvassing for more sales your chances of conversion are greater. If you do get biz from your vehicle though, than that is awesome.


Exactly, it is called branding. The more the potential clients see your name, the more they think you are a "real" company. The more likely your name is the one that pops into their head when they think lawncare. From my old magnetic signs, I got 4 accounts last year. A big influence on clustering.

"yeah, I see your truck at my neighbor's house all the time. You seem to do good work. I got your number from your truck. could you give me an estimate next Tuesday when you mow her lawn."

GreenMonster
01-12-2006, 08:28 AM
I think what Jim says is true -- it supplements your advertising. No one means of distributing your name will likely give you enough business, but you'll sure pass a lot of other vehicles each day. Therefore, it's important to have lettering big enough so that it can be read, including the phone number. If your truck is on the road a lot without a trailer, I would definately get the tailgate done too.

Here's a quick story on my lettering. I did a wall on a very busy street, where my site sign was hard to see, as you can't really slow down or stop. Guy liked what I had done, but couldn't make out the sign. Saw me in town a while later and saw the "www.gmlandscapes" that is on the hood, checked out the website, and gave me a call. We're potentially looking at irrigation, SRW, and other landscape work at his place in the spring. So, between the site signs, truck lettering and website, we had our name out there in enough places to be seen in a difficult location.

Plus, a lettered truck is most definately more professional

stumper1620
01-12-2006, 09:15 AM
As stated by OnMyOwn ask them first. What can they do? Look in your copy of the covenants and bylaws. Worst case scenario is they can take your house and yes it is legal and yes it does happen.
Exactly! or they can fine monthly and just put a lien on it without you even being aware of the lien.
They WILL collect at closing when/if you sell and over a period of a few years that could really add up.
Go to the board and get written permission FIRST!

Green-Pro
01-12-2006, 09:51 AM
I wouldn't be so wrapped up in getting calls from truck lettering or not, its pure and simple just being seen. One of my goals as a business owner is to put my company name out in front of customers and potential customers as often as possible, I want them to think of and associate my company with lawn and landscape every single time they see or hear of me.
This is the reason for periodic letters strategically spaced out over the winter months, like lettering your truck this is designed to keep the company name "visible" and in front of the customer.
It's really not rocket science here, just common sense, take a look around you at the advertising all successful business's do, large and small. The one common denominator you will notice is getting the name out to the customer. Do a search on the web, take a business class (marketing and or advertising) you will find a lot of good information regarding branding.

gqnine44
01-12-2006, 12:27 PM
As stated by OnMyOwn ask them first. What can they do? Look in your copy of the covenants and bylaws. Worst case scenario is they can take your house and yes it is legal and yes it does happen.


They can do whatever they want but HOAs usaully loose in court. IMO HOAs suck and I have purosely avoided living within their grasp.

For me, truck advertising has only generated calls for people trying to sell me stuff. No customers that I can think of.

Remsen1
01-12-2006, 12:59 PM
I don't think that a sign on the vehicle is going to generate much biz on its own. However, it does increase your exposure. When people see your flyer at their door then they see your truck on the road, and then they see your doorhanger there will be a better chance that they will remember you. The more they see your name, the better the chance that they will think of you and call when they need your services. The same with car top's for pizza delivery. They are betting on the chance that with the increase exposure. That some time in the future when you get hungry for pizza that you will think of them. If they think of you when they want a particular service or product that is 50% of the battle. This is JMO, but it is also a specific topic in marketing "Name Recognition". Some forms of advertising are not necessarily meant to increase sales. Their intent is to merely increase exposure, so that when you do your canvassing for more sales your chances of conversion are greater. If you do get biz from your vehicle though, than that is awesome.

BINGO! Ding!Ding!Ding!Ding!Ding!Ding!Ding!

This is the main reason.


Like others have said, if it was your only means of advertising you would be in trouble. I feel that it enhances the effectiveness of the exposure we try to gain through advertising. I have gotten a couple calls just because of the lettering. I also wonder how many of the neighbors would have called me if my truck weren't lettered? Would they bother getting the phone number from their neighbor, would they remember to get the phone number 30 minutes after I am gone? Who knows, but I bet a % of my calls from neighbors would not have happened if my phone number wasn't plainly visible.

hoskm01
01-12-2006, 02:00 PM
Exactly! or they can fine monthly and just put a lien on it without you even being aware of the lien.
They WILL collect at closing when/if you sell and over a period of a few years that could really add up.
Go to the board and get written permission FIRST!


They can't fine you without informing you. It would say if they are going to put a lien on your house, and therefore you should know. Lien amount will never change, just hang around forever until you are forced to pay it off when you sell the house or refinance.

Make it simple... Get magnets made, take them off when you go home...

Branchland
01-12-2006, 02:17 PM
I'm planning on getting my enclosed trailer lettered up in about a month. Hope it brings in some work but if nothing else, like everybody else has said, it will give a more professional image.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
01-12-2006, 02:24 PM
Absolutely, that will be a traveling billboard. I know of a company that spent a great deal of money doing billboards. They said that they never got any biz from it. They may have received more work from it then they know. Think about it how many people passed by that sign on any giving day. If it is on a road that is heavily traveled by people then how many times did the same people pass that sign. Eventually, that company is in their mind whether they realize it or not. Have you ever noticed the really short commercials. They aren't trying to sell you anything. They are just keeping their brand in front of you.

Branchland
01-12-2006, 02:45 PM
Name recognition means alot.

kc2006
01-12-2006, 03:21 PM
Name recognition means alot.

Thats why I do it. I haven't gotten one customer from my truck signs. But when I get a customer from other forms of advertising they will usually comment that they've seen the name on the truck in the neighborhood alot so thats why they called me. Name recognition is key for a newer business.

stumper1620
01-12-2006, 05:04 PM
They can't fine you without informing you. It would say if they are going to put a lien on your house, and therefore you should know. Lien amount will never change, just hang around forever until you are forced to pay it off when you sell the house or refinance.

Make it simple... Get magnets made, take them off when you go home...
they assess a monthly fine for as many months as they determine you are in violation and you may or may not be informed of a lien until closing, Most HOAs send a rep. to all closings to stop the sale until the fine is paid.

befnme
01-12-2006, 08:18 PM
imo magnetic signs are the sign of a non -professional person . now yall dont get mad at this but the way i figure if a person is willing to get a permanent sign put on their vehicle that shows dedication and professionalism .i dont know but i would almost bet that a permanent lettered truck would get a higher call % than a truck with magnets .jmo.

tiedeman
01-12-2006, 08:22 PM
I don't want to hurt any feelings either, but I agree with you James

kc2006
01-12-2006, 08:27 PM
Theres no doubt that an actual lettered vehicle is going to look more professional then magnets. For me, I use magnets because I do use my truck for other reasons so if I want to take the signs off, I can. But my signs match the truck perfectly so from 5 feet away, you can't tell they're signs. So I feel magnetic signs "can" be professional when done correct. Theres the other person on the board BDS or BSD can't remember his name, he has a nice newer ford with magnetic signs (and a tailgate sign) that match his truck very nicely. It looks very professional IMO.

Precision
01-12-2006, 08:30 PM
Exactly! or they can fine monthly and just put a lien on it without you even being aware of the lien.
They WILL collect at closing when/if you sell and over a period of a few years that could really add up.
Go to the board and get written permission FIRST!

Partly true. they cannot fine or lein without notification. At least not in Florida. Certified letter, whether accepted or not counts as notification.

indy2tall
01-12-2006, 08:39 PM
But(and this is another issue i know)in my homeowners by-laws it's stated there are to be no commercial vehicles parked o'nite in our driveways,but what can they do?

The penalty may already be spelled out for you in the Homeowners Association Bylaws which, as a homeowner, you should have received a copy of when you bought your home. Also whether anything happens depends on the mentality of your immediate neighbors and of the people on your homeowners association board. Are they anal Nazi's or decent folk? Another thing to think of is that if your truck is lettered and you pi$$ someone off they may call the city to report that your in violation of the area zoning. A mowing business is almost never considered a home occupation even when all your gear is inside the garage and out of view. Lettering your truck may bring you extra business but it also might bring additional hassles. Only you can say if it is worth it, good luck on what ever you decide.

Soupy
01-13-2006, 01:36 AM
When I had cheap magnetic signs I didn't get many calls. Now that I went full lettering I get calls and I have had a few compliment me on the truck while signing the agreement. To be honest I use to get frowns when I would ask for a signed agreement back when I looked like joe mow. Now I get no questions because they know this is common for professional service. Point is...Look professional and you will get treated professional.

ScCo
01-13-2006, 01:49 AM
I recently had a guy that runs a crew for me give a lady the finger for an incident that happened going through town....the lettering did indeed result in a phone call :)

justanotherlawnguy
01-13-2006, 02:15 AM
I get calls all the time from people that say they saw my truck in their neighborhood. WHen in fact, they actually got it out of the phone book and say the ad matches the truck.

Thats crazy, because my truck/trailer is not lettered, but I dont have the heart to tell them that over the phone......pretty funny though.

JimLewis
01-13-2006, 01:25 PM
When I had cheap magnetic signs I didn't get many calls. Now that I went full lettering I get calls and I have had a few compliment me on the truck while signing the agreement. To be honest I use to get frowns when I would ask for a signed agreement back when I looked like joe mow. Now I get no questions because they know this is common for professional service. Point is...Look professional and you will get treated professional.

Soup Dawg is right. I've noticed that I get away with a lot of stuff that most mow-joes have problems with for the same reasons Soupy mentions here. I can't agree more. When you look the part, people treat you as a professional.

JimLewis
01-13-2006, 01:34 PM
I recently had a guy that runs a crew for me give a lady the finger for an incident that happened going through town....the lettering did indeed result in a phone call :)

LOL. Yes, that happens too. I have 7 trucks on the road during the middle of the summer. And occasionally we do get a call from someone my workers cut-off or from some concerned citizen telling us we have a trailer light out or something. I haven't had any of my guys give anyone "the bird" yet. LOL. I hope that don't happen. But this is true. You will get calls like this sometimes.

I even had a phone call about my driving before. Nothing dangerous. But this guy in front of me decided to slow down to 15 mph in a 20 mph in a school zone even though the sign clearly said "during school hours" Outside of school hours, this was a 35 mph zone. And this was in the middle of last summer, when school was totally out for the summer. No kids had been at that school for weeks. And yet he wanted to make sure everyone slowed down to 15. So I just said to myself, "screw this. I have an appointment to get to." and I passed him up, on a residential street. No oncoming traffic. I didn't think anything of it and I just went on with my day. I wasn't angry at him. I just wasn't going to wait for his stupid azz. So 2 minutes later my phone rings and he was furious at me! LOL. I just acted calm and collected while he yelled and yelled. Finally, I had to hang up on him. But he kept calling back over and over. This kept on for 20 minutes. But I finally convinced him it was in his best interest to stop calling me.

But yah, you'll get calls like this occasionally. That's the one draw-back to having your truck lettered up. You are on display every time you leave the house. So you have to watch yourself all the time. There are so many times when I have to resist the urge to do something because I realize I am driving the company truck and it's the company image at stake.

RedWingsDet
01-13-2006, 01:51 PM
I am really surprised at the number of people that say they don't work.

Troy, I think they work, but they just work Indirectly, and people dont realize it.

I had an incident like JimLewis had. I just picked up the phone like normal, and acted like it was an employee and that I would talk to him about it and told her it wouldnt happen again. Haha

1MajorTom
01-13-2006, 01:55 PM
Name recognition, that's why both of our trucks have vinyl lettering on it. When you are in a neighborhood working and people drive by, rubberneckers always look to see who is doing the work. They see the name on the truck, it sticks in their mind... until one day they just may need a service, and the name they think of is the name they constantly saw working in the neighborhood.

Tvov
01-13-2006, 02:11 PM
I've gotten plenty of work from my trucks being lettered. I don't know exactly how much, but enough calls along the lines of "I saw your truck yesterday..." that I remember them. Especially during fall leaf season, our leaf vacuum truck always brings in numerous calls from the phone number on the side. A lot of those "one time" jobs turn into regular work.

I think magnetic signs are fine if they are well made and good looking. Custom sign shops can make nice ones, and they aren't much more expensive than the ones you order over the internet or cataloges.

Lawnmasters
01-13-2006, 05:12 PM
Any "Real" Company will have lettering, decent looking equipment, doesn't have to be new, decent looking trucks, again don't have to be new, I have a couple 84 and 86 model's, I painted them, lettered, they look good. Look at any large company, they have commercial vehicles, tags, lettered, etc. It's just part of running a business right. I have calls all the time from the trucks. How do I know? Because EVERY time I get a call from a new quote request, I always ask, How did you find us. I hear all the time, I see your trucks running around town. I have been sitting at a light before and look over at someone writing down the number. As far as people complaining about your driving......well

cantoo
01-13-2006, 08:23 PM
Our cube van is lettered up and we do get calls that refer to it. It also has our logo of the Walker on it so it's noticable. Our leaf pick up isn't lettered but it's orange and we live in a small community so lots of people know who we are. Our leaf vac is front bumper mounted so most people really notice the truck then ask someone if they know who it is. This ends up being a referral type of call and we usually get the new client because they have worked a bit to find our name. We also have enough leaf jobs so we don't go looking for any more business. When possible we do park our cube van where it can be seen it's easier to turn down jobs that to wish we had more.

Precision
01-14-2006, 11:21 AM
Got 3 calls this week because of my new lettering.

All two (unprompted) stated that they saw my truck working and called. Another actually stopped me while I was getting gas. Giving them an estimate later today.

LawnGuy73
01-16-2006, 08:57 AM
In the nearly seven years I've been doing this, I think I have got maybe 2-3 call from my decals. I would say save your money.

thelemite
03-02-2008, 09:25 AM
I agree with the point about the lettering quality. This goes for all advertising as well. When I first started in business I asked a few people if flyers worked. I now realise that the ones that said no were sending black and white pieces of paper with no logo, printed on their ink jet printers. I send full color postcards with a professional logo and get great response. Same goes for the truck lettering. If you use just a small magnet without a logo and it's barelly readable then it may not bring lots of business. If you have a full wrap with your number well exposed and a recognisable logo you'll get calls from it.
Marketting is one of my strong points and it always baffles me that I see truck lettering sometimes while waiting at the drive thru and after reading in full the very small lettering on the truck I still have no idea what they do cause they don't say it. Only two things are important on a car sign. What you do and How to reach you. People can't read a novel in small letters while driving. Do yourselves a favor and read these two books they will change forever how you look at advertising: The End of Marketing as We Know It by zyman and Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping By Paco Underhill. They cover what makes advertising work or not.

thelemite
03-02-2008, 09:34 AM
I did some quick math when I did my lettering and came up with this. I do above 1000$ postcard runs and out of it only expect a few phone calls. The life expectancy of my postcards is very short. I have to do other runs often to keep it working. Now lets assume I spend 1000$ on my truck lettering. I'll get a very full, well designed product for that much.. Now since the vinyl has a life expectancy of about 4-5 years then I figure if a get only a few calls over the course of 5 years It's still just as effective as my other marketting.
That also does not account for the fact that if my business is local, when they see my flyer they will remember seeing my truck around and it will improve my return.

kootoomootoo
03-02-2008, 12:13 PM
I bet some of you guys can't spell marketing let alone track it.

thelemite
03-02-2008, 12:16 PM
Ya that's a typical problem on the net...It's an international medium and the ones of us who have another mother tongue then english alway get rained on by ignorance because of our spelling.

Frue
03-02-2008, 02:42 PM
What it does is makes you appear bigger than you are People will remember seeing your truck on all sides of town... As far as work one or 2 jobs a year nothing great but one job could pay from the lettering.....

Lawn-Sharks
03-02-2008, 02:53 PM
To date i have gotton no calls from the lettering off my truck & trailer. But i have had people complement me on the graphics and say they have seen me around and i can say i have got more work by word of mouth, Business cards & door hangers then anything yet so far.

JimLewis
03-02-2008, 07:13 PM
Wow. This threat is older than Lazarus. Who brought it back from the dead?

thelemite
03-02-2008, 10:00 PM
Guess that would be me. Didn't even notice the dates..