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Dale Salamacha

Revising a Repeat Wrap Job for Higher Profits

Greater control of two vital variables landed this job safely in the black.

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The “Wrap This” team prepped and wrapped 10 toll booths on the Central Florida Expressway much more profitably than on an earlier job. The “Wrap This” team prepped and wrapped 10 toll booths on the Central Florida Expressway much more profitably than on an earlier job.

IN 2020, WE HAD the privilege of doing a really cool project for the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX). We were tasked with wrapping 14 stainless steel toll booths at major entrance/exit plazas on two of our main highways here in Greater Orlando: the 408 and 417 expressways. All of the booths were wrapped in a University of Central Florida theme, promoting our local, rapidly-growing college (see ST, September 2020).

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CFX is an independent toll agency responsible for 118 miles of highway in Central Florida, with over 1 million toll transactions occurring every single day! Hundreds of toll booths are scattered across those miles and CFX fell in love with our wraps, excited about the prospect of wrapping all of them. But Covid had different plans for the planet, and CFX didn’t call us back to do any more booths…

That is, until December 2023, three full years later! Although we both were eager to do more right away, the elapsed time actually worked in our favor, providing concrete proof that our 3M wraps were a viable, durable solution for the client, as the UCF wraps still look amazing.

The client this time? None other than the City of Orlando itself! We would be wrapping 10 (five eastbound and five westbound lanes) on the 408 at the Conway Rd. plaza. While the UCF wraps sported school colors in yellow, gold and black, the new City design called for bright and colorful graphic elements, sure to make a bold, noticeable statement.

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Each toll booth takes approximately 300 sq. ft. of 3M IJ180mC-10SLS (specialized film for stainless steel applications), and 44 sq. ft. of 3M IJ67 perforated window film. All the printed vinyl gets finished in 3M Scotchcal Gloss Overlaminate 8518.

But this time around, we were wiser and made some corrective changes to the proposal. On the UCF booths we asked CFX to pressure wash each booth a day or two before we came to install. They hadn’t done such a great job, so our wrappers had to “re-clean” grease, road grime and spiderwebs before installation, racking up labor hours. And they asked us to install at nighttime, as traffic was lighter, which effectively killed our wrap guys (and our other projects) for the next day(s).

So, this time we offered to do the scrubbing, as well as wrapping during regular, daylight business hours, and they gladly accepted both.

After completing a couple site surveys and the artwork was approved, production guys Jason Wissig, Scott Schmierer and Jayden Thompson fired up our two brand new HP 800 Latex inkjets and fed five full rolls of 54-in. 3M vinyl through them, while the wrap crew was on site cleaning to their satisfaction. This involved spraying each toll booth down with Xtreme Clean degreaser, followed with a sudsy car wash brushing, then a pressure-wash rinse. We had all 10 booths sparkly clean after three full days.

Wrappers extraordinaire Pete Dow, Jon Louree and Anton Johnson managed to wrap 1.5 toll booths per day, all while dodging 50-mph traffic in the adjoining lanes. Talk about a stressful install! Start to finish, we spent just over a month on the project, as there were rain delays and busy days CFX could not close lanes for us.

CFX was delighted with the finished project, and per our SquareCoil software, we made over 50% net profit when all was said and done! Perfection!

Word on the street is that the eight toll booths at 408 and Hiawassee Rd. are the next ones up. Let’s go!

PHOTO GALLERY (9 IMAGES)

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