PPG Imaging Awards

 
1000% Better

1000% Better

PPG Imaging Awards

 April 2020   

Canterbury and Otago drainlaying contractor Grant Wooster’s first truck was a classic tradie’s unit – a 10-year-old 4x2 Hino Ranger….painted white. With strictly-no-frills black signwriting.

When it came to buying that first truck, “I wasn’t too worried about what it looked like really,” he says now, with a chuckle.

“It was like, get some work first, you know.” 

That was 13 years ago. Since then, the work has come – and with it has come a growing fleet of trucks. There’s 11 of ‘em now.

Along with the growth of the Dynamic Drainage truck fleet has also come an increasing interest in having them look good – starting about seven years ago, with Grant approaching a Christchurch advertising agency with a design brief.


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Canterbury and Otago drainlaying contractor Grant Wooster’s first truck was a classic tradie’s unit – a 10-year-old 4x2 Hino Ranger….painted white. With strictly-no-frills black signwriting.
When it came to buying that first truck, “I wasn’t too worried about what it looked like really,” he says now, with a chuckle.
“It was like, get some work first, you know.” 
That was 13 years ago. Since then, the work has come – and with it has come a growing fleet of trucks. There’s 11 of ‘em now.
Along with the growth of the Dynamic Drainage truck fleet has also come an increasing interest in having them look good – starting about seven years ago, with Grant approaching a Christchurch advertising agency with a design brief.
The idea, he says, was get them “to do up a design” for a company colour scheme – and come up with a company logo: “I had a few ideas myself so I went….and got them to sort something out for us.
“I just wanted all the trucks to look the same.” And he didn’t mean plain white trucks…nor the company name in basic signwriting.
The agency, Plato Design, duly came up with a hexagon-shaped, silvery/grey shield-like logo, bearing the Dynamic Drainage name under the image of a digger. It was tilted, to tie-in with sloping royal blue and silvery/grey stripes running along the side of the truck cabs. Writ large on the royal blue was also the company’s mobile number.
A wide blue stripe also wrapped around to run across the front of the cabs, between the windscreen and the grille – and carrying the company name in grey.
So, practical…and quite powerful. Grant was impressed: “Yeah, it’s cool. So we did that.”
Initially it went on the company’s five white trucks – and two that happened to have bright blue cabs. It was applied too to a couple of Toyota Hi-Lux utes in a darker blue, plus two Ford utes – one in silver and one in a bright blue. In each case, Grant explains, the vehicles’ base colours were “just how they came at the time.”
While the end-result of this branding upgrade fell short of his desired absolute uniformity in the look of the company’s vehicles, it did make “a big difference….people notice it around the place. And it helps with business as well, I think.”
But the livery has had some issues: The trucks and utes were still a mixture, in terms of their look – even though the signwriting, logo and striping was the same.
Also, says Grant: “When you buy white trucks, it’s not always the same white. And the white ones never look as good.”
Secondly, he discovered that the blue striping “actually fades quite a lot in the sunlight. If you get close up to the stickers – even a couple of years after (it’s applied) it’s started to fade and stuff.”
A fix – and the company’s smart new colour scheme, which earns it the honours as this month’s finalist in the PPG Transport Imaging Awards – came partly by design…..and partly by chance, Grant explains.
It all happened when a new, darker blue (which Grant thinks was a Plato Design idea) was first applied to signage on the company’s Christchurch offices and on a new truck. It was a darker blue than what they’d been using.
When it went on the building, initially “I didn’t notice at all, because it was a pretty busy time…
“And then we bought another little truck and we were getting some signwriting put on it, and it came back with the new colour on the stickers….and then we were like: ‘Oh, that’s not right!’ But then we just stood back and went ‘oh, it doesn’t look too bad though.’
“And then that was basically it really. We were too busy to change it straight away – so we left it – and it just grew on us.”
The next step in the evolution of the current standout livery was deciding to not only go with the darker blue as the background for the silver/grey signwriting and the logo….
But to paint the entire vehicles in the darker blue (which is pretty much a navy blue) – and use vinyl stickers only for the grey stripes, company logo and the company name.
The first truck got this treatment about a year ago – Grant settling on the idea of launching the navy blue trucks to mark Dynamic Drainage’s expansion into the Southern Lakes District in Central Otago.
“I wanted to make an impression down there. So I got a truck and a ute and two diggers done in that colour. And when we saw the finish it was like, ‘shit yeah! We should carry on with this.’ ”
He had Wilcock Truck Painters in Christchurch carry out the work and he’s proud of the result: “Looks alright eh. We stumbled across that colour really. It was more of a mistake than anything.”
But the result of that happy mistake is that he’s now setting out to repaint all of the company’s trucks – four rigid 4x2s fitted with racks to carry drainage pipes and seven tippers – plus the working utes in his five-ute lineup.
So far the livery has gone onto another two 500 Series Hino 4x2s, with a fourth scheduled for painting soon. 
“We’re going to go through and paint the whole lot (in the new colours)….we’ll have the whole fleet done by probably this time next year,” says Grant. 
And yes, that even includes the little Hino Ranger that he started out with 13 years ago: There’s a sentimental attachment to that…so he reckons it deserves to be kept and repainted.
He personally loves the dark blue paint job: The base colour, now called Dynamic Drainage Blue, “looks navy blue on an overcast day….on a bright, sunny day it looks quite green. And that’s quite cool.”
And yes, “absolutely, we do get comment on it. I reckon it’s about a thousand times better (than the company’s old look), to be fair.”  

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