Finishing strong: PPG
For trucks that compete in competitive shows to finish first they first need to have the finish. All State Truck Repairs aligns itself with PPG paints and uses PPG Delfleet Evolution paint system, to turn workhorse prime movers into show-stoppers.
Truck shows dotted across the country are proof that for some, a truck is more than simply a tool to get a job done. Indeed, many owners happily spend time, effort and money blinging and pampering their rig in order to chase prestigious show truck awards. All State Truck Repairs and PPG paints have, at these events, often been enlisted to help impress the judges.
Located in Campbellfield, on Melbourne’s northern outskirts, All State does its fair share of regular fleet jobs, but a certain group of customers has recognised its dedication to award winning paintwork, says owner Wayne Hoffman.
“I’m very fussy about paintwork. I’m of the opinion that, if you are paying for a truck to be painted, it should get the best finish. Having said that, customers come to us looking for something even better – that ‘show truck finish’ – and some of them do actually show their trucks,” he says. “Over the past 18 months, every truck done by us which has gone to a truck show has won a ‘best truck’ award and that includes at the three biggest truck shows in the country. It’s a pretty long list – ‘Truck of the show’, ‘Best new truck’, ‘Best Kenworth’, ‘Best old truck.’”
With a team of five staff, All State operates from modern premises, featuring two large spray booths. One of the keys to a high-quality finish, says Wayne, is always using quality products, such as PPG paints from start to finish. Although All State has partnered with PPG for the two and a half years it has been in operation, Wayne’s connection goes back much further.
“I have been in this game for 32 years and, for most of that, I have used PPG. It’s not just the quality of work I’m able to produce using PPG products, it’s also the backup service,” he says. “If I need anything, I just ring PPG Commercial Transport Manager VIC /TAS Steven Jackson and it gets sorted straight away.”
Although Kenworth is the most popular make for show truck jobs, All State has also worked across a variety of brands. Typically, these are for owner-drivers or a small fleet of up to a dozen trucks looking for a standout rig to grab the attention of potential customers. While some arrive with definite ideas about colour and design, others need a little guidance.
“We work hand-in-hand with customers to pick the best colours to suit their particular vehicle. I’m fussy about ensuring we get colours right before laying down any paint because, by then, it’s too late,” he says. “We do a lot of stripes as part of the design – it’s mostly traditional style but you need to get those colours right, too. To do that, we will mark out the design on the truck or use a drawing of the truck to visualise it. Once it’s close, we make any small tweaks with the owner and get them to sign off on it.”
Because finish quality is already a prime focus on regular All State jobs, show truck finishes tend to use virtually the same processes, with just a few refining touches. It’s the same for products, including PPG’s Delfleet Evolution paint system, which was specifically designed for commercial transport applications, along with PPG’s Deltron paint system for metallic colours.
“At the end of the day, these are still working trucks and using PPG means they have the paint durability, as well as the looks,” Wayne says. “They might go through mud, dirt and dust but you just wash it off and take them to a show.”
When looking to achieve a show truck look, one of All State’s specialties is the final ‘flowcoating’ stage, explains Wayne.
“Generally, every truck that has a metallic finish or stripes will get flowcoated. When applying as many as four or five stripes, you end up with paint film-build which leads to noticeable edges you can see after the clearcoat layer has been applied. We use flowcoating to eliminate them. We apply the initial clearcoat layer but then sand it back until it’s nice and flat on all the edges of the stripes. Then we re-clearcoat the whole job which leaves a deep, flat, glossy finish. For this, we use regular PPG Delfleet Fleetclear – it flows nicely and gives a really good depth.”
In under three years, All State Truck Repairs has carved out a healthy niche, with customers flocking to it from as far away as Queensland and South Australia. Wayne says he has been content to let his team’s work do the advertising.
“Most of our show truck style work comes via word-of-mouth or through Instagram or Facebook. I showcase our top-level stuff on social media and people will contact us and ask if we can do something similar for them,” he says. “From there, you build up a rapport and trust so that they become long term customers.”