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Survey. Importance of Full Uniforms and Types of Truck Lettering


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Topic was originally created in 2010 by a member that was purged at some point.


The relaunch of the company I bought is just around the corner.  We have to decide on uniforms right now.  Couple of possibilities.

1. Uniform shirt and jeans or pants supplied by driver.

2. Uniform Shirt and Pants

3. Uniform Shirt and Pant with 2 Days of drivers pants by driver.

In the past I have always liked full uniforms.  I have operated companies with just shirts and let the drivers handle pants.

Option 1 saves the company about 44% from uniform company

Option 3 saves about 18%

What do you think?  What do you do?  Have you changed with the economy?

Next we are thinking of staying with a simple cost effective lettering.

1. Plan Jane  =  $85  a truck

2. A Little Bit  Nicer =  $180 a truck

3. Much Nicer = $400 a truck

4. Making a statement = $900 a truck

I know which way i'm leaning but want to hear your thoughts.



OKTOW r55_1559570275.gif said:

Here's the answer. Marketing 101. Spring for the absolute best that you can afford. Always. You will never regret it.



Graciesdad said:

My guys have full uniform service, reflective shirts and jeans, and safety vests paid for by the company. I usually also have reflective gloves on hand......although I need to order more. I go all out on lettering, and have for years. It gets expensive, but I only use quality material and have it professionally installed.......usually cost a grand a truck.I am looking at vinyl wraps for new trucks.

Next to service image is everything in this business.....you give customers the "wow" factor from personal appearance, uniforms, trucks, paperwork....everything, they will remember.

Years ago we had very simple trucks, clean.....but simple. Since I went all out and did some crazy stuff over the years I always get positive feedback. Uniforms solve the dress code problem, plus a new hire may simply not have the funds to "look" the part, may be a GREAT driver....but comes in dressed in torn jeans and a AC/DC shirt......but its all he can afford. This solves that.

Good luck!


roadkillwi said:

Are company pays for the reflective uniforms to make sure the drivers look professional and are safe. I have worked at places that had you put a deposit on the uniforms and pay for half of the cleaning charge also. On our trucks we go little more then basic but we have it done in reflective.



Eds Towing r55_1559570275.gif said:

I'm the same as Jay other then the attack on AC/DC..... Just kidding LoL

I supply full uniforms for everyone, jackets and gloves. I want a certain look and am willing to pay for it. Sometimes I meet in the middle a little...I have guys that complain about the uniform pants so I get Jeans from the uniform company for them. I do get pissed when they don't wear them. I also supply T shirts to everyone when I have them.

Trucks? Well I'm "old school" and appreciate painted lettering, stripping and murals. There is nothing wrong with vinyl but I like the personal touch of a good painter. It's harder to maintain...expensive...and time intensive to put on. The average truck is around a grand and takes 2 days to complete. My new unit will probably be twice that. But I have used the same guy since I started and I love the craftsmanship. I can pick out Magnum's work anywhere. It's an extension of his character. I have had cheaper painters try to get our business but I always find a flaw somewhere. My guy knows if it ain't right I won't be happy. I once had a guy do a full hood mural on a new Ford. He dropped off the hood all proud & shit but I wasn't there. I came in and immediately got pissed because it wasn't what we discussed. Then I could tell the paint wasn't what I requested...It just gave me a general attitude problem. I took thinner and wiped it right back to the white base (we were clear coating it). He comes in later and says "what do you think?" I said it all fell off on the floor...? He walked over and about dropped to the floor. He did it again to my satisfaction the next time...

Anyway, image is everything. I wouldn't skimp on the appearance of either. I have seen some beautiful trucks that looked like they got their lettering at the hardware store. Whatever they had left over they could outfit their mail box with. I know it probably makes the same money as mine but I would rather eat dryer lint then run stuff like that. People know my equipment and I think expect a certain quality based on it's presentation. As long as they are willing to pay for the quality then it's all good for me.

Good luck with your decision.
Do company shirts and mandate X color pants(drivers pay for). Best of both worlds.

$500 ish truck for lettering is about right for me.
annettemcd said:
We have coveralls with company name and driver's name embroidered on the chest and reflective vests. The coveralls and reflective vests are paid for by us (the company). The coveralls are the same color as the trucks. Regular clothes worn under the coveralls and jackets are the employees responsibility. My husband is always recognized as "the tow truck guy" because he is always in his coveralls. People call him by name because they can read it on his chest. He now wears coveralls with reflective strips and just bought a new reflective winter jacket. If our employee wanted a reflective jacket, we would probably pay 1/2.

On our trucks, the lettering is fairly plain-Jane with reflective yellow lettering and a black shadow in a basic serif font (Windsor) with the company name as big as we can get it on blue trucks. Along the side of the bed and on the doors is our toll-free phone number, again, as big as will fit. City, State, and DOT # and an outline map of the state with our location marked complete the lettering. On regular tow trucks, I hate lettering which is illegible because it is too small, too fancy, or not in a contrasting color. There are a few local companies which have small black letters on red; there is no way to read it unless you are standing next to the truck. Our trucks are rolling advertisements, so, in my mind, they should look great, but also be clearly identifiable as ours. I want our phone number and company name out there for all to see.
Kenny Miracle said:
With the fact employees and equipment is considered a extension of your company and the very first visual impression that people get, I believe in sparing no expense...I supply all drivers with any equipment,clothing,(even work boots) Basically anything that they need to ensure my company is thought of in a positive light by my customers Past, Present and future...And it's all tax deductible......I do prefer a basic looking clean truck....Kenny
In Memory of PlanBTransport who said:
We've always had Custom T-shirts and Sweat shirts for our employees to wear letting them choose there own pants.

About a month ago we went with a uniform company for both shirts and pants and I can see a significant difference in appearance. We went with the reflective shirts and grey pants, Our company name and drivers name are clearly visible leaving no mistake who he is and who he represents. As an owner I feel that it sets the company apart from the others and gives off a sense of pride. Our lettering on the trucks all match so why shouldn't our drivers? We have custom reflective hats that we had done, now everyone matches from top to bottom.
unknown member said:
I can’t speak for the other operators here but for me if I went to apply for a job and the owner/manager told me I was going to be in jeans and T-shirt and not in a full professional uniform I would turn around and walk out I’m a professional operator and I will look like one at all times. I’m willing to even pay for the cleaning of them my self but there has to be a uniform service or I will go find a job somewhere else as for the trucks as long as the have the equipment to do the job and the are clean and well kept how they are lettered is not important to me as long as it has the name and the number because with my professional appearance and attitude they are going to remember me and not the truck I was driving
Towing U said:
I love that feeling. people seem to use us than the another guy for the same reason. it takes money to make money.  
We supply uniforms, hats, jackets and etc. rollbacks we tend to spend around 500 -600 bigger units well over a grand.

Whatever you can afford and be the best you be be and you will be fine.  
GraciesDad said:
I forgot to mention reflective jackets also....

Id love to find a person here to do it by hand.......think they have all passed on or got out of it because of Vinyl......we used to have them all hand done and you can tell the difference, and like stated, you cant beat the look of someone who knows their stuff.

Those were the good old days when a new truck was 30 grand or so and throw a guy a hundred and he's paint any lettering you wanted........
capptow said:
uniform shirt and jeans. shirts are reflective striping. IN the winter; black bib overalls, reflective green jackets. rain bibs and jackets also provided. not the pvc kind either! I offer to buy steel toe boots once a year.
As for trucks, some look good with wild paint and lettering. some look good plain. A nice combination is all you need.

PS:i cant stand for someone to complain about ruining THEIR clothes while on the job.. If your driver is comfortable he will perform.
Standard uniforms with reflective striping, option of uniform pants and/or blue jeans thru Cintas. Boots and gloves also supplied. You can look real nice in your uniform, and have crappy shoes and look stupid. Lettering varies, but simple works just fine. Bold lettering and a uniform appearance seem to do the trick.
Dicks911 said:
I have reflective green button up shirts, pants supplied by Cintas. Boss pays the rental bill. I had to buy my own coats, gloves, and hats. I buy my own boots. Have two sets of Winter coveralls for the long days spent winching in the freezing cold, all embroidered up with company logo.

We have two trucks. The vulcan wheel lift is clean and very plain. The Flatbed has a wrap of an American flag and diamond plate. We get compliments on both. Older people tend to like the plain wheel lift, while younger people compliment the flatbed more.
Grenadier said:
I agree with 90% of these guys.

Protective clothing and truck marketing are significant upfront costs but I think you will reap great sustainability if you invest wisely and market yourself as a professional. Your clothing on your men and women will say more then words.
Keep us posted.
BTech Emergency Management - CBU - 2012
BBA - UNB - 2007
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The Tow God said:
I believe that a complete uniform (option 2) is the most professional look for your driver. We tow for many police agencies, and I have noticed that all of them wear a complete uniform and look very professional, and since we work for them, we should look the same...professional.

As for the truck, we use a lot of vinyl lettering on our trucks, and we get a lot of compliments even from other tow companies. However you decide to do your trucks, they should all be the same color and have the same graphics, again it looks more professional.

I wish you the best luck in your new venture. Finances play a big role and you should really do what your budget allows, you can always upgrade later.
Brian Bell said:
I say option #2

I'll supply 5 or more Uniform Shirts, 5 pair of Dickies Pants, Boots  for Full-Time Drivers
I wash my own they wash theirs...Gloves, Reflective Vest & Jackets are in all trucks.
Firetow434 just gets a Hat and a couple of Shirts.. Since he don't "work" for me is always willing to lend a
hand I don't think I'll "require" him to wear black pants. I think he does sometimes though.......
He supplies his own glasses too..
I spend about $400 on the little trucks and my H/D is
"Just a Black Truck with $800 worth of stickers on it" ( I tell people that all the time)
rlc4523 said:
Uniform shirt absolutely as for the pants I buy my own black carhart pants my boss likes his black jeans but im alot harder on my pants i guess. It also saves us a little money by not having to replace company pants and I have no problem with that. As for the shirts get set up with a laundering service because they will be able to clean the shirts a lot better than your employee at home and this way they will look cleaner every time they put one on. A uniform is soooooo much more professional and people truely look at the operator differently when they get out of the truck.

Lettering and color scheme, especially in our area, is a huge thing to each tow company. We use a simple yet bold lettering in a bright color with reflective in the vinyl and its clean easy to read and uncluttered but we didnt scrimp on the type of vinyl lettering used. You've got to remeber to keep your truck advertising clear and easy to read as the truck is moving down the road or sitting across the parking lot as your providing service so others can see it.
twinbulls said:
Dress nice weather a truck or a person.....

I like getting the best letters and designs I can afford at the time.. bling is bling today or next week ....
we supply all shirts and jackets... I want to supply pants to ..But have not yet .... I HATE to see rips on the knees or else where....
Blue Stripe said:
We provide full uniforms and laundry service through Cintas. 

The trucks have reflective vinyl graphics, our cost is around $550 per truck
Chris Flynn, WM 091008
Boardman Towing & Recovery
wm050915 said:
I have always had just a plain grey work shirt with a crest for company name and my name on the chest. Clean jeans etc. Always thought this was acceptable. Until recently.Now I am wearing a red uniform shirt with 1 in reflective around chest and sleeves.Our logo embroidered on right chest CAA on left, my name on the right sleave and my WM crest on the left. Navy blue cargo pants with 1 inch reflective down the leg. We also have navy blue hoodies  also embroidered for colder weather and matching bomber jackets with reflective around the chest and sleaves. This new uniform has brought us a ton of attention and customer respect. Cost about The shirt and pants cost around $100 per set. and the jackets were
$85, the hoodies were under $30. All in all a great investment. Sets us apart as professionals compared to the junkyard dog look. As far as the trucks go. keep it reasonable for the bulk of the units. if you get a flagship so to speak do it up right. Keep them all looking good to strt out with . too much of a statement can cause people to think you charge too much to pay for bling and toys. The 1st uniform is on the company(pants and shirt) then employee must buy them there after with the exception of the embroidery.Jackets are used as bonus type things same as hoodies. Toques and hats as well. Laundering is up to the employee.
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