News, Views & How-To's

Tricked Out Trucks Rule the Road

According to the American Trucking Association, more than 3.1 million professional truck drivers log close to 398 billion miles each year nationwide, delivering life’s essentials to consumers across the U.S. Interestingly, most commercial vehicles sport very little in the way of designed and printed graphics. This dynamic truly represents a missed opportunity for marketers and vehicle graphics shops alike.

To help drive this point home for some of the nation’s largest trucking companies, Roland is partnering with renowned big rig customization shop Outcast Kustoms of Mooresville, N.C., in a meeting of the Fleet Maintenance Council, a group of approximately 40 to 50 top fleet managers from companies like Ryder, Penske, Salem Leasing, Estes, Budget and Freightliner.

April and Kelvin Locklear are owners of Outcast Kustoms, which is both an all-Roland shop and the setting for a unique reality TV series on Discovery Channel’s Velocity Network titled “Outcast Kustoms.”

“We wrap trucks for so many different companies, and each has its own specific marketing objectives and design challenges,” April said. “For example, for our restaurant and grocery chains, the food has to look both realistic and delicious. Skin tones also have to be right on the money. And images have to be color matched across every truck in a fleet to ensure branding consistency. In the end, marketing is all about communication, and what better way to get the message out than with a big, bold and beautifully printed image?”

Roland Product Manager Eric Zimmerman echoes that sentiment. “For the marketer, vehicle graphics stand out as one of the few relatively unregulated forms of outdoor advertising,” he said. “And when you are on the road with a sizeable presentation like the side of an 18-wheeler, you often have a very captive audience. For vehicle graphics shops, the market is often a natural fit for both their equipment and skill set.”

At the event, Eric will present on this topic, showcasing just how well suited Roland Pro 4 printing technology is for fleet graphics, offering the size, speed, color management capabilities and exceptional ink durability required for the application.

And he has some design tips to share as well. As with billboard advertising, clean, impactful graphics are the best way to communicate a brand message. When it comes to copy, less is definitely more. And anyone is this business should be prepared to handle some unusual jobs.

“We’ve wrapped everything from flatbed and box trucks to fleets of 18-wheelers, promotional buses and emergency vehicles,” April said. “Our next really unique project will be to wrap the barrels of some 300 cement trucks.”

Why not? They will be out there on the road, so they might as well advertise something. Besides, just think how fantastic they will look when they are all tricked out!

For more information on fleet customization by Outcast Kustoms, visit