Contractormag 9991 Vehicle Interior

10 tips for trucks and drivers

Nov. 13, 2017
Nothing builds a contractor brand better than a well wrapped truck. It’s a mobile billboard, generating advertising exposures everywhere it travels.

Nothing builds a contractor brand better than a well wrapped truck. It’s a mobile billboard, generating advertising exposures everywhere it travels. Having your brand out there is good, but the way your plumbers operate the trucks can enhance or detract from the brand image. Here are 10 tips to make sure your billboards help, not hurt your brand.

1. Drive Courteously

If your plumber speeds, cuts someone off, or generally displays aggressive driving, this tarnishes your brand. Instruct everyone to slow down. Slowing from an average of 55 MPH to 40 MPH over a 15 mile trip only takes an extra three minutes and 45 seconds.

2. Help Stranded Motorists

Encourage everyone driving branded vehicles to pull over and offer assistance when coming across a stranded motorist. Granted, judgment must be used based on the neighborhood and vehicle condition. However, performing these good deeds is something that leads to social media posts from passing motorists. You cannot buy the goodwill these acts generate.

3. Park to be Visible

Coming up in the industry, I was taught to park parallel on the street, in front of the customer’s house, so the truck is visible over the shoulder when the homeowner comes to the door. Wrong! And, it’s dangerous. Park at the end of the driveway, perpendicular to the street so your billboard is visible to everyone up and down the street.

Tell the homeowner that you parked in the driveway for safety reasons, but you would be happy to move the van to the street. The homeowner will either give you permission to park in the driveway or ask you to move. If asked to move, move.

Oh, and that potential for an oil leak staining the driveway? Inspect for oil fluid leaks daily and get them fixed when they pop up.

4. Wash Weekly

A dirty vehicle screams to homeowners that this is a dirty company. It’s a company that will not be careful and conscientious in the home. Require trucks to be washed weekly and more often when necessary.

5. Conduct Random Inspections

Create a 20-point inspection checklist for your plumbers. Every week or two, select one truck at random to inspect. Hand the driver 20 one-dollar bills. Let your other plumbers perform the inspection. For every inspection item missed, the driver must hand the other plumbers back a dollar bill. He gets to keep what’s left.

6. Add Magnets

Place your refrigerator magnets on the back of your truck. It’s unusual, so it gets noticed.  Plus, people will take them when you park.

7. Add Scrolling License Plate Holders

Scrolling license plate holders can be ordered online. A short message scrolls across the digital display when the brakes are on. These are compelling. People must read the message when stuck behind a vehicle with one of these in traffic.

8. Trim Your Trucks for the Holidays

Consider trimming your trucks out for different holidays, such as the holiday wreath in December, flying antenna flags the first week in July, and so on. It makes your company look fun. People prefer fun.

9. Ban Smoking

Fewer people smoke today than in the past. This is a recognition of the health consequences, but also the impact of a societal shift. Smoking is no longer accepted. It is only grudgingly tolerated.

Smoking is seen by non-smokers as a dirty, nasty habit. When motorists look over at your branded truck and see a driver sucking down a cancer stick, it’s worse than driving a dirty vehicle.

If your plumbers must smoke, ask them to take a smoke break outside the vehicle. Smoking in the open will result in less tobacco odors becoming infused in their clothes, compared to smoking in the confines of a truck cab, even with the window open.

10.  Ban Texting

Texting behind the wheel is illegal in most states, yet, many people still do it. If your plumbers text while driving, they drive poorly and can easily appear discourteous. If they text while driving and get into an accident where someone gets hurt and hires a litigious attorney, guess who Mr. Litigator is going to go after? It’s not your plumber. He doesn’t have any assets.

Make sure texting while driving is banned in your policy manual. Require your plumbers to download apps that block sending or receiving texts when the phone is in motion.

For a free white paper on how to wrap a truck and a case study of a company that used vehicle wraps to help dominate its market, visit and click on the Free Stuff tab at the top.

Matt Michel is CEO of the Service Roundtable. For help making your plumbing company more professional, visit

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Contractor, create an account today!