View Full Version : Lettering on Trucks, Pro or Con
02-02-2001, 10:38 AM
I've talked to a couple of other guys here about their decision to add their logo and phone # to the doors of their trucks. About half say it's great to have, good advertising. The other half say NEVER letter your truck, it invites fake lawsuits. I dunno. What do you'all think?
02-02-2001, 11:20 AM
I think that it looks more professional in my opinion. Plus if you keep your truck nice and clean it looks like a nice shiny billboard....
02-02-2001, 11:23 AM
I think it goes about 50/50. Some see the lettering as good advertising, others see it as a bother because they are not looking to pick up new customers.
Personally I think it depends on the area you live in.
Where we live, a good portion of the people do not have any lettering. Taking a closer inspection upon them, they do not appear to look very professional. Messy appearances, beat up trucks, junky equipment thrown in their bed of their trucks, etc. Those type of people we feel might not even be on the books. We did NOT want to look like them.
These types of people are in our area.
The real competition did have their trucks lettered, and that's what we did too. We feel we set ourselves apart from the pack.
[Edited by 1MajorTom on 02-02-2001 at 11:05 AM]
02-02-2001, 11:25 AM
lettering: I've had my truck lettered for about two years now i can't say anyones came up to me and said i saw your truck the other day and i want you to do this job for me. but i do think its a suttle way to get your name out its something everyone sees. setting at a stop light people look at the back of your truck. So i chose to have most of the lettering on the back. with small lettering by the mirrors.
hope this helps.
02-02-2001, 11:30 AM
Might I recommendt a door magnet?. I paid $39.95 for 2 10X18 Two color magnets for a a sign I designed myself. Shipped in 2 days. Most I found on the internet were $55 plus. Honestly I really could not believe the service given the quality abd speed. Link is
02-02-2001, 11:31 AM
I had lettering on my trucks when starting out. Now none, it's good for residential work. We do mostly commercial now, feel it would be a liability, invisiable rocks ect. hitting cars ect. I supposedly also got in I think three accidents last year, funny when I asked for a description of the truck, I don't own that year or color.
I resent the fact that some of you think it looks un-professional, or that if your trucks aren't letter they must be hunks of junk. For the record I have a 99 K3500, toting a matching 2000 indigo blue 20' enclosed pace shadow.
02-02-2001, 12:39 PM
I'm looking at it from an advertising standpoint here. Mike that 20' trailer all lettered up would be like a big billboard rolling down the road. Not to say that you are not a professional but I think it "looks" more professional with a truck lettered. From experience, to me it seems that if you have lettered trucks then you appear in the public eyes as being a professional. Not an ordinary Joe who hooks up his trailer to his everyday driving truck and goes and cuts some grass...
Magnets are also an option...
02-02-2001, 01:06 PM
02-02-2001, 02:05 PM
IMO Perception means something to many, but not all. I also feel that the truck & trailer is the most cost efficient form of advertising you will find. Basically comes down to the bottom line, If you don't have the number of customers you need/want then take a look at the operation and do something to improve it. Make yourself more marketable. Liability is part of the business. I pay my insurance and sleep well without the fears of Mr & Mrs Lawsuit.
02-02-2001, 02:23 PM
Might be a good idea to check with your local police or the registry of motor vehicles. Around here commercial vehicles are required by law to have a minimum of business name and phone number on both sides of the vehicle.
I was just curious because I am planning on putting lettering on my truck this spring. On the door? The Extended cab window? the tail-gate? bug deflector?
02-02-2001, 03:17 PM
I'm getting ready to name my truck, and I decided magnets was the way to go for me. The placement may depend on your truck, I have a '00 Dodge 2500 and the body curves on the door interfere with signs. I'm going with magnets on the quad doors.
A local sign quoted me a price of around $80.00 !
Gary, thanks for that link, I'm going to check it out.
02-02-2001, 03:29 PM
When someone asks about our name on the truck, I just say "It's right there in white letters." Then they usually say, "But the truck is white??"
The appearance of our jobsites sell enough work, and those are the customers we want. If someone is interested enough to stop their car, get out and chase one of us down, then that is the person who will appreciate and pay for our detail. If you need more work, lettering the truck would be useful, but it can be a nuisance, too.
I have had magnetic signs on my truck for about 2 years now. I have picked up SOME business from this. I do agree it looks more professional than no signs.(Not to say you are not professional without them!) I guess it's a matter of personal preference. The magnetic signs are nice also if you buy another truck, you can just transfer them.
02-02-2001, 03:47 PM
Don't go instigating anything now :)
02-02-2001, 04:59 PM
Show people you take pride in your business. I had two magnetics custom made with my company logo, colors, and font. I have a forest green 2001 Dodge Ram and had my website placed on my tailgate in 2" white letters.
My truck draws comments of "Very Professional..." all the time. Of course, I live near a very affluent area. My philosophy is, if you're going to be a professional...look like it.
If you get defensive that someone calls your truck a busted-up hunk or your equipment is dirty and junky, then you are subconsciously agreeing with them.
Take it beyond your equipment, too. We wear white golf shirts with the company logo embroidered on them, dark-green cargo shorts, and steel-toe Adidas walking boots.
Be proud of the work you do and who you are.
02-02-2001, 05:19 PM
I think the benefits associated with the professionalism of having your name on your vehicle far outweighs the negatives of a few who might bawk at the fact I cut them off for being in the wrong lane at the wrong time. As for being sued I have not incurred any due to lettering.
I do find it to be a great form of advertiseing though, because people can always get your number without having to stop you and they usually remember our trucks being in their neighborhoods as well.
Just my .02
02-02-2001, 05:26 PM
I have nice magnetic signs for my truck, and next to word of mouth advertising its the best way to get business.
02-02-2001, 05:58 PM
I think you guys took my previous post the wrong way. I do get LOTS of compliments on my rig, clients, peole at gas station always. All my crew do have embroidered sweat shirts & matching uniforms.
My reasons for not lettering are very well justified in my mind. Besides the ones I listed above heres a couple more:
1. I still work out of my house, if a neighbor complains, in my town commercial is commercial, zoning problem.
2. DOT regulations-look into them, ever go through a commercial truck stop with gas cans, lots of fun I've heard, traler dealer let me in on this one, then so did one of my friends, after a 3-4 hour stop, could have been fined.
3. We do almost all commercial work- bid on by cold calls & property mgrs. Thats our focus were good at it (50% growth a year.)
For the record I do have insurance, 3 million worth in liability alone, I wouldn't mind using it if is somthing I, or my employees did, but where I worked when I got into this business, seemed like more mysterios objects hit things than employees could recall. Everyone is always trying to get somthing free, the bigger, more falshy your rig the easier to get involved. Bottom line on insurance for me CLAIM=HIGER RATES. I got a ticket for running a stopsign,(2pts), my insurance went up $ 800.00/yr.
Those are somemore reasons my truck isnt lettered.
Here's a search http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=4012
02-02-2001, 06:07 PM
yea check with the laws here in Mich. any pesticide application firm (& that includes fert) must have The name Phone Number & address on the vehicle so it makes me alittle mad when i follow the rules and i see people not. We just say there goes another NO_NAME lawn care. Go with the lettering. also magnets are nice if you want to take your wife out to dinner you can take them off! That way you dont have to deal with "hey you own a lawn care......"
02-02-2001, 09:23 PM
Definetally advertise your business, but have them painted on. The magnetic signs look fly by night and cheapo!
02-02-2001, 10:25 PM
Comes right off with a heat gun when you sell the vehicle. All the things you can do on a computer can be generated exactly like you want and it's faster than having it painted on. Looks good and holds up to the sun better. Uniform thickness whereas painted on may fade a little sooner on the edges and where brushstrokes end the paint may be a touch thin. The vinyl will be just a touch more durable. I have seen some very nice vehicles that have had paint, no denying that. Just my 2 cents.
02-03-2001, 04:32 AM
We wear embroidered uniform shirts (golf type- cream color with forest green collars and green around the sleeves) but have no lettering on the truck. While not trying to brag or anything, I run what is been said by several to be THE most prestigious appearing lawn maintenance rig in the entire Genessee County area which is one of the largest counties in Michigan. My fear is, that we have more than enough business coming in already, without the advertising. Most everyone in my area know who we are or atleast know the truck. And yes, I get a little occasional "razzing" now and then by some of my peers. It's always good to see these guys out and about or at shows.
[Edited by Runner on 02-03-2001 at 03:39 AM]
02-03-2001, 08:33 AM
On my truck and trailer I have the same 2x3 foot signs. They are made from corrugated plastic and are held on with 6 stainless screws and I have them mounted to the woood truck racks. Law requires us to put lettering on. I can always remove them if I decide to sell the truck and won't have to repaint or pay for new lettering.
Plus, they are not succeptable to theft as the magnetic signs are.
Picture this : You are sitting at home on a friday night chillin having a bud and watching cops (you know I am describing you! ) and you see a high speed chase involving a car that robbed a gas station with the magnetic signs from your truck on the side of it. Who they gonna call ?
02-03-2001, 01:25 PM
We have the logo and phone # on all of our trucks and all of our employees are required to where there T-shirts with the logo and # on them. We try to do some of the best work around so when we do do good work people notice and then pretty soon we are doing the whole neighborhood. This is why I think that graphics on your vehicles is a necessity if you want to get more business and for the word to go around that you are a good reputable company. Just my two cents.
02-03-2001, 02:29 PM
I have magnetic plates on my truck and they do work. Had some people ask me to do work for them when im in the area and it gives you a professional image. I dont have a business name on it, just a description of the services i have with a free estimate and my license number....try it out.
02-03-2001, 06:18 PM
We use magnetic signs on our trucks,and I dont think they look "cheapo" or "fly by night". We have been in business for over 10 years. Maybe we are fly by decade.
Also lettering is good for a customer to know who just pulled in their drive, or when you are out checking lots at 2 am
We have got alot of calls from people that have seen our trucks at a business and want us at theirs.
02-03-2001, 08:40 PM
My personal pickup is not lettered, but the one ton dump will be lettered before the season starts.
Last truck I had lettered was a L-9000, both doors with logo, name, city&state & phone for $80.00, done in vinyl.
I have always had all the company's trucks lettered in vinyl.
02-04-2001, 12:12 AM
I'm saying this from the perspective of the parking lot sweeping business. But it does somewhat apply to the landscaping business as well.
My trucks are lettered professionally. And I would say that just about all sweepers are lettered. BUT one of my biggest competitors is not. We discussed this in length one day and his reasoning for not lettering is my second point.
First problem is this: The competition sees my truck at a sight and now has a name to "bad mouth". Example: one of my clients (who has since become a good friend)told me one of my competitors called and bad mouthed "my company". He doesn't know me from a hole in the wall and only saw my truck out on the lot one night. BUT with the lettering on it he now has "a name" to attack.
Second is this: I'm not suggesting that you break the law in any way. BUT if you do business in another city in SC you are required to have a business license for each city. SO lets say I pick up an account in Beach City, SC and the business lisc. is $250.00 a year. My account pays $250 a year. Is it worth it? Without lettering on your truck you could go into Beach City, SC sweep and get out without anyone questioning you. WITH lettering someone will take your information eventually and check on your business license. NOW like I said I have lettering on my truck and do comply with all laws in SC. If I pick up business in another city I do apply for a bus. lisc.
With all of the other objections that come to mind (having accidents you never had, imaginary rocks cracking windshields, whatever kind of frivolous junk the public comes up with). I'm just not sure the obvious (advertising) out weighs the negatives of putting lettering on your trucks. If I had it to do over again I would probably not letter my trucks.
NOW saying that I think that someone in the grass maintenance/landscaping business does get a greater advertising benefit from lettering than I do in the parking lot sweeping business. Our markets are just different. Hope this helps....
02-06-2001, 03:45 PM
I am a Fireman by trade and do lawn work on the side. I use my personal truck to do my lawn care & light hauling work. I went with a magnetic sign for each door that matched the color of my truck. Unless you are within 15' you can't even tell it is magnetic. The signs include my business name & phone number in large font, and the main services I provide in a smaller font.
I considered lettering my enclosed trailer and then thought better of it. Depending on where you store your equipment (my trailer is currently my garage) you may not wish to "advertise" the contents. My trailer was used to haul Harley's up and down the East coast prior to my ownership. Needless to say the "Harley-Davidson" insignias were the first thing to go. Sadly, people will steal anything they think they can get money for and appears to be an easy score. Why help them out?
Take care and let us know your decision.
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