Leading HVACR contractors are investing in fleet designs that do more than list a company name and phone number. These contractors want to say something about what their companies have to offer: quality, friendliness, service, products, cleanliness, and professionalism.
“I believe in advertising,” said Carmine Galletta, owner of GallettAir Inc., winner of HVACR Business’ 2007 Truck Design contest. “You have to get your name out there. A lot of companies are good companies with good technical skills, but they have a small burst on their doors, and no one knows who they are.”
HVACR Business sponsored the contest to both recognize contractors with leading practices in truck design and to encourage all contractors to view their fleets as extensions of their businesses.
HVACR Business collected entries in March and April of 2007 and will do the same in 2008. Calls for entry appeared in the magazine and on www.hvacrbusiness.com. A panel of judges including HVACR Business executives, editors, and a graphic designer reviewed the entries and chose a winner and runners-up based on professionalism, uniqueness, clarity of typeface and design, prominence of name and contact information, personality, and overall impression. The judges report that the contest was very close, with many companies receiving points in multiple categories.
West Babylon, Long Island, N.Y.
Carmine Galletta, owner, in business 24 years
Judges’ comments: While vinyl-wrapped designs are all the rage among hvacr contractors and others, they can sometimes use images that have too loose of a connection to the services the company provides.
Not so with GalletAir, which chose a combination of hot and cold symbols. The judges liked the combination of the older logo with the newer design (attracting new customers with a nod to those who like the familiar design) and also were impressed that the company copied the theme on a variety of vehicles.
GallettAir has 30 employees and uses up to 25 trucks on any given day to service 15,000 residential and commercial service accounts. The company provides heating, air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical services, and has a separate division for IAQ work — duct cleaning and sanitizing.
Owner Carmine Galletta credits Phil Danza of G-Dezine, Deer Park, N.Y., for his fleet design, which incorporates the company’s classic logo with a fully wrapped design that carries a simple message with its hot-morphing-into-cold imagery. This design is on half of his fleet. The other half uses a classic lettered design.
Galletta said he mixed elements of new and old in the wrap design because so many people identified with the classic logo. Customers certainly notice the new design, too, though, and frequently compliment it.
The company spent roughly $2,500 to $3,000 per vehicle for the wrap design, but Galletta said the investment was absolutely worth it, not only for the advertising but also for maintaining the resale value of his fleet, which he replaces every five years. With hand lettering, the design needs to be scraped off before the trucks are purchased. But with wrapping, “you pull off the wrap, and it’s like a brand new fleet,” he said.
Another important part of maintaining a good-looking fleet is keeping trucks clean, Galletta said. He has a contract with a local car wash and has his fleet washed twice a week at least.
“I’m passionate about what we do,” Galletta said. “People have to understand that if you are going to be in business, you have to spend money to get your name out there or you are never going to grow. Image is as important as technical ability.”
Stack Heating & Cooling, Avon, Ohio
The judges liked how easy it is to read the back of this van as it is parked in a customer’s driveway — a way to attract new customers while technicians are serving current customers.
Judges’ comments: Nice big, bold and readable company name and phone number. Red, black, and gold graphics are dynamic but do not overwhelm the trucks. Unique color system separates it from competitors.
Dynamic Heating & Air, Las Vegas, Nevada
Although these trucks are totally wrapped in vinyl, the design incorporates small graphic elements, white space and interesting type. The judges liked how the company took the wrap concept and made it their own.
Judges’ comments: Liked the typeface and the colors. A good example of how to use design and type treatment. Also, the phone number is prominent and easy to read.
CroppMetcalfe, Washington, D.C.
Many hvacr contractors say that their competitive advantage comes from their employees. The judges liked CroppMetcalfe’s design because it played up that point by depicting a technician right on the truck and listing his credentials.
Judges’ comments: Nice graphics — clean, well organized and clear. Serviceman image puts a friendly face to their company.
Air Systems AC, Miami, Fla.
Judges’ comments: Good use of color and images to represent hvacr. On the verge of being too busy, but pulls it off with a prominent phone number and name. Clear message on who they are and what they do.
Quality Air, Asheville, N.C.
Judges’ comments: Company name, services and phone number prominent. Colorful and dynamic graphics. Design is flexible yet consistent from vans to trucks.
Also Caught Our Eye
Deiter Bros., Bethlehem, Pa.
Judges’ comments: Good use of showcasing products. Would stand out from other delivery trucks.
Robertson Morrison Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Judges’ comments: Clean, well-organized design; falls under the “less is more” rule.