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Printed truck curtains provide a moving message

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For soft-sided curtains on trucks, digital printing can transform a blank canvas into a mobile billboard. Load Covering Solutions Ltd., based in Burlington, Ont., Canada, encourages customers to add value to their deliveries by printing a four-color message on their soft-sided trailers. The company designs the artwork—which could be anything from an image of employees to a mountain vista—then gets customer approval before turning it over to a shop that uses large-format digital printers to print the image on PVC.

Brian Petelka, Load Covering Solutions’ president, prefers to contract with a print shop rather than take the capabilities in-house. “We do not print internally because the equipment is very expensive and the technology changes constantly,” he says. “We cannot get a return on our investment. But outside of the actual printing, we do everything ourselves.”

The company’s standard tarping systems for the soft-side industry will last between five and seven years. “Depending on the environment it’s in, the print will start to look tired after about four years,” Petelka notes. “After five years, somebody is probably going to want to refresh their ad campaign, even though the tarp itself may not be shot.”

Holly O’Dell is a freelance writer based in Pine City, Minn.

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