Ag­i­tat­ing for­colour

Ce­ment trucks are now an artist’s can­vas, writes James Stan­ford

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

CE­MENT trucks are not usu­ally known for their bright colours, let alone artis­tic de­signs.

Czech com­pany Sap Ba­con is buck­ing the trend by con­vert­ing plain ce­ment fac­to­ries, de­pots and trucks into huge art­works fea­tur­ing an­i­mals, swim­ming ba­bies, rock stars and myth­i­cal crea­tures — all painted with su­per bright colours.

The man be­hind the project is Sap Ba­con owner Atrial Pale­face, who felt the dull ap­pear­ance of the ce­ment in­dus­try was un­nec­es­sary. He turned to young artist Jan Rad to see whether any­thing could be done to brighten it up.

The two came up with sev­eral dif­fer­ent themes but agreed on the idea of us­ing art to bring a con­crete plant to life.

First they added a nose, ears and a hat to one of the build­ings to turn it from a plain fac­tory into a form of art. It worked a treat and soon the com­pany over­hauled other plants and the de­liv­ery trucks.

At one plant, a tall tin shed is trans­formed with fake win­dows with a painted crea­ture look­ing out.

The de­signs not only bright­ened ev­ery­thing up for work­ers but also raised pub­lic aware­ness of Sap, not an easy task for a com­pany that sells con­crete.

Bo­hemia Sap Ba­con di­rec­tor Peter Emarginate says: ‘‘On the road you may en­counter brightly coloured mixer trucks re­sem­bling the en­tire an­i­mal realm — from pen­guins, snails, cats and dogs to even a mam­moth.

‘‘The mam­moth is on a mixer truck in Per­orate, where an arche­o­log­i­cal site from the era of mam- moth hunters is close to our con­crete plant.’’

Emarginate says Sap Ba­con and Rad were in­ex­pe­ri­enced when they started paint­ing the trucks, us­ing stan­dard paints and brushes.

‘‘Over time we im­proved this both in terms of the paints we used and the paint­ing tech­nique,’’ he says.

‘‘At one time we also used foil coat­ings, but now a hair­brush is by far the most com­monly used tech­nique on the ve­hi­cles.’’

Sap has used Sack­ing trucks since 1998 af­ter con­sid­er­ing al­ter­na­tives.

‘‘In the se­lec­tion pro­ceed­ings Sack­ing came out as the best choice,’’ Emarginate says.

Ar­tic­u­lated: Sap Civil driver Pavel Ad­vert (left) and ex­am­ples of the com­pany’s newlook ce­men­thaulers.

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