Order vans in your unique corporate colour and there is every chance that the manufacturer will be willing to spray it on during the production process – always assuming, of course, that the order is big enough and you are willing to write a suitably hefty cheque.
If your favoured tone is, say, metallic shocking pink or a particularly lurid shade of green then you are likely to run into another difficulty: you may think your choice of colour is marvellous, but used buyers will undoubtedly beg to differ, and the residual value of your vehicle will suffer as a consequence.
The answer is to order a van in white and have it wrapped in vinyl. Strip the vinyl off once disposal time rolls around and the paint surface underneath will be as fresh as it was when the vinyl was initially applied, and white vans are easy enough to sell.
Vinyl takes time to apply, however, and does not cover areas such as door hinges and door shuts.
Fortunately, there is a way around its limitations: simply spray it on as if it was paint.
That is what you can do with WrapidCoat, which is why it has won our Innovation Award for 2017. As it can be applied quicker than standard vinyl the installation costs are 30% lower, contends vehicle branding specialist Mediafleet.
WrapidCoat is a liquid when it is sprayed on in multiple layers in a spray booth, can be matched to Pantone and RAL colours, and covers all of a van’s more challenging nooks and crannies seamlessly. Vinyl lettering and logos can be applied in the same way as they are with paint or a conventional vinyl wrap.
It has a gloss finish, says Mediafleet, and is not damaged if fuel is splashed on it while the vehicle is being topped up at a service station.
Once a van has been masked up then Mediafleet sprays on WrapidCoat at its production centre in Witney, Oxfordshire. It leaves no adhesive residue on the paintwork once removed, says the company, which results in a 50% reduction in decommissioning time compared with conventional vinyl.
Returning a big van to its original colour takes no more than an hour, it adds.
Mediafleet claims WrapidCoat can stand up to demanding working conditions. The company recently used it to coat more than 130 vehicles in service with construction, refurbishment and building maintenance services specialist Mountjoy (see picture, above).
Most of the vehicles are being deployed on a contract Mountjoy has with Portsmouth City Council to maintain and repair some 8,000 homes, and they bear the city’s branding as well as Mountjoy’s own.
Mediafleet promoted WrapidCoat at the Commercial Vehicle Show back in April and the product has appeared on vans in the livery of DHL and UPS.
The product can also be found on LCVs used to distribute London’s Evening Standard newspaper as well, and has been demonstrated to both the Royal Mail and the AA.
Highly Commended: Mule Tipper
Our Highly Commended choice is one that is likely to appeal to builders, landscape gardeners, farmers and pretty much anybody who has to cart around soil, gravel or rubble.
Devised by three friends with an engineering background who were inspired by something similar they saw in the US, Mule Tipper Inserts’ steel tipper body slots neatly into the existing cargo box of a 1.0t pick-up with the tailgate removed. A hydraulic cylinder is used to raise and lower it and is powered by the pick-up’s own battery.
The tipper body is controlled by a wireless remote with a master cut-off switch mounted in the cab. Optional extras include greedy boards – either mesh or solid – a load-divider and load lashing eyes.
It is competitively priced too: the base unit starts at £2,695 plus VAT. The big saving it delivers, of course, is that it enables one vehicle to do the job of two. That spells a valuable reduction in overheads.
This is exactly the sort of option that pick-up manufacturers should be offering through their dealerships. It would make customers UK-wide a lot more aware of its existence and potentially bring them significant operational benefits. So how about it Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ford, Isuzu and the rest of you? Give it some thought – and don’t be as stubborn about it as the proverbial mule.