A Drive Down Victory Lane

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AQUA's Truck & Van Contest has made its return, and we are thrilled to announce this year's winners.

This contest not only celebrates well-designed wraps, but also the importance vehicles serve on everyday routes, from brand visibility β€” as a moving billboard, the constant exposure can help company recognition and recall β€” to safe transportation for employees. They also provide a convenient and organized mobile workspace to store tools, equipment, the occasional microwave for lunch and more, allowing pool and spa professionals to work efficiently while on the jobsite.

After an abundance of submissions, we've handpicked a number of exceptional vehicles for some exciting categories. The Grand Prize Winner, Runner-Up and the coveted Reader's Choice Award β€” as well as a Sponsor's Choice, selected by Tara β€” are back for another year, but we also created some new categories including Best View From Above, Most Meaningful and more.

A heartfelt thank you to all participants, whether your vehicle secured a category win or not. If this year didn't bring you the win you hoped for, there's nothing stopping you from submitting again next spring when the contest reopens. Who knows? You might just win the next lap around.

Now, join us as we celebrate the truck and vans who stood out from the rest, and drove their way to victory... 

Sponsored by: 

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Penguin Pools | Waukesha, Wis.

This past March at AQUA Live Spring Training β€” a Midwest pool and spa event that took place in Oak Brook, Ill. β€” I noticed a work vehicle in the parking lot. During one of the evening events, I joked with

Matt Rozeski, president and CEO of Penguin Pools, about the vehicle, complimenting the uniqueness of the wrap and urged him to submit to this year's Truck & Van Contest. Fast forward a few months to when the vehicle garnered enough votes to walk (or rather, drive) away as this year's Grand Prize winner.

The vehicle is simple and sleek, featuring a gray background paired with the company's name, slogan and website β€” but what really caught our attention was the Penguin mascot, which of course, goes hand in hand with the company name, Penguin Pools. We felt the wrap design provides just enough information, and enough visual appeal, to catch the attention of potential customers.

"When designing the vehicles, we wanted something that used our logo and was easy to read," explains Rozeski. "Oftentimes, people only have a glance to read your vehicle, so two things have to be easy and clear: who you are and what you do.

"As we surveyed our employees, it was unanimous that no one likes it when you have to tailgate someone just to read what's on their truck or van. Clean, simple and easy to read are qualities people look for. We don't even put our phone number on our vehicles β€” just our website."

The vehicles have received a number of positive comments. "People like seeing them driving down the road," says Rozeski. "Our workers get stopped at gas stations by people sharing how much they like them and how cute our logo is β€” I was admittedly a little put off by the cute comment years ago, but I've since learned to love and embrace the notable recognition. We even have people asking for a t-shirt."




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Spa Country Craig, Colo.  

Austin Nelson, owner of Spa Country located in Craig, Colo., wanted a truck wrap that screamed "Hot Tubs!" 

This vehicle, between the jet and bubbles, combined with the orange logo and blue background, does just that. The logo speaks eloquently of a wellness way of life in the Rockies. "Spa Country" β€” a place to slow down, unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of a hot tub.

"Our wrap guy already had the water design from a water restoration company he had previously worked on in another state," says Nelson. "We then gave him a picture of the Turbo/Euphoria Jet, and he was able to incorporate that into the design, too."

Nelson says the vehicle features heated seats and a heated steering wheel, which comes in handy during colder temperatures. "Working on hot tubs in the cold is brutal. We recently added a topper for tools and parts, making the seasonal weather work more efficient."

"Since launching the wraps, we constantly hear, 'We see your guys everywhere!'" says Nelson. "As an owner, I've gotten calls from customers stating they just saw me in their neighborhood when I'm not even remotely close to their neighborhood. But because of the truck's unique graphics, it stays in people's minds long after I drive away." 




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All Around Pools | Sterling Heights, Mich.

For the third year in a row, we asked all of you, our readers, to vote in the Reader's Choice Award survey. After almost 600 votes, All Around Pools of Sterling Heights, Mich., came out victorious.

Thank you to all who voted for the 11 different companies listed β€” it was a close race all the way up to the finish line!

"The design process for our wrap was both creative and strategic," says Todd Nicholson, who co-founded All Around Pools in 1993 with his brother, Rick Nicholson, after growing up in the pool construction business.

"We worked closely with a talented graphic designer to bring our vision to life: to create a visually appealing design that effectively communicated our brand identity and services to potential customers, and for the truck to be easily recognizable, showcase our professionalism, and convey the fun and refreshing nature of pools. We also ensured the design was durable and weather-resistant to withstand the elements and maintain its visual appeal over time."

"Since wrapping our truck with the new, vibrant design, it has turned heads in our community," shares Nicholson. "Our trucks have become a mobile advertisement for our company, generating curiosity and inquiries wherever they go, and helping to attract new business.

"We have also had some memorable, funny encounters, too. For instance, people have asked if the baby on the back of the truck is me and sound surprised when I say no. Another mistook our truck for a mobile pool party and asked to join. It just shows we accomplished an engaging truck wrap design and makes us proud of the investment."




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Swim Things | Blue Springs, Mo. 

We asked our friends at Tara β€” who sponsored the Truck & Van Contest for the second year in a row β€” to select their favorite work vehicle out of the many entries we received this year. In doing so, they selected Swim Things out of Blue Springs, Mo.

"We're delighted to select Swim Things for the 2024 Sponsor's Choice Award," says Thomas Kennedy, Tara marketing director. "We chose their van because it really stands out with a wrap that's visually stunning and really jumps out at you. It depicts a full pool scene that is very lifelike. It's as if you could dive right into it.

"This design doesn't just catch your eye, it captures the essence of what every pool owner dreams of, an inviting, refreshing backyard oasis. It's a great example of how effective visual marketing can extend brand visibility and speak to the aspirations of pool owners. We believe this van exemplifies the impact of creative and aspirational branding in our industry." 




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Sonoma Valley Pool & Spa | Sonoma, Calif.

Catch phrases adorned on a work vehicle are always fun to include in your wrap design; however, I would argue that a phrase on a license plate is the icing on the cake. Sonoma Valley Pool & Spa of Sonoma, Calif., customized their license plate to say "POOLBOY," making them this year's "Best License Plate" category winner.

"My wife, Jolie, is a graphic designer, so the wrap design is all thanks to her, and boy do we turn heads in town," says Saul Rozema. "Besides referrals and our website, our truck is our only form of advertisement.

"My wife also relentlessly hunted down the "POOLBOY" California personalized license plate, which was previously taken by the owner of a 1983 Chevy Silverado for nearly 40 years. When it once again became available, we scooped it up and drove off into the California sunset." 




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Ande's Pools | Bakersfield, Calif.

When Tesla launched the Cybertruck, a number of people found it to look futuristic. At least that's exactly what we thought when Ande's Pools of Bakersfield, Calif., submitted this Cybertruck, shown here alongside another vehicle in its fleet, into this year's competition. Between the vehicle's sharp angles, dark windows, and modern features, the vehicle speaks for itself.

"Our Tesla Cybertruck is an amazing billboard on wheels; it's been a great asset to our company," says Ande Dow. "Our vehicles make people want to install a swimming pool. People love seeing our truck driving around town, or parked out in front of their house."

So far, no one has called Ande's Pools to inquire about how much the truck costs and how fast it can go, or asked to take it for a drive, but those calls are probably coming. 




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Precision Pools & Spas | Sandy, Utah

Although loud truck wraps are always eye-catching, sometimes less is truly more, as is the case with Precision Pools & Spas of Sandy, Utah. The company's white background, adorned with a simple blue, wavelike design and logo, call attention in a classy, reserved fashion.

"We did a full rebrand in early 2023 and decided to simplify all of our marketing," says Traci Haslam. "We wanted our look to be simple, clean and professional. As our company grew, we just kept adding to our list of services in our marketing, and it became kind of messy.

"Whether the customer is looking for a new construction, a remodel or a service company, our logo is enough to tell the customer what we do and who to call. We feel like the clean lines are a good representation of the clean work we do."




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Competition Pools | Hemet, Calif. 

July marks the Fourth of July, where Americans proudly show off their patriotism. For Competition Pools of Hemet, Calif., patriotism is celebrated year round. Although the truck wrap is not adorned in the typical red, white and blue of the American flag, it does include a black and white flag on the bed of the truck, showcasing the company's love of country and making it the winner of this year's "Most Patriotic" category.

"The wrap was designed by myself, my wife and Caleb at Rapid Wraps," says Ryan Virgo. "I wanted something that combined the love I have for my country and my business all in one design. The goal was to stand out, and to do something different besides the same old pool company advertising. I'm proud of the result, and I think we hit it out of the American ballpark."




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Waterside Electrical Technologies | Bunnell, Fla. 

Inside the Waterside Electrical Technologies van, everything needed in order to repair or fully install a new pool and/or spa has its designated spot, streamlining efficiency and highlighting the company's professionalism.

"Our van was put into service to allow our technicians to quickly assess, repair and install a pool and spa," says Christopher Hall. "We had used a trailer for a few years, but we decided to downsize to a van because it was just easier to get around in; subdivisions are getting smaller and smaller.

"The only modifications done to the van was the petition and installation of our shelving system, consisting of Craftsman tool boxes. It allows all of our materials to be transported safely, and it's extremely organized and thus, very efficient. When we arrive on site, most of our customers comment on how organized and professional our van looks both inside and out."





Company mascots are always a fun way to grab a potential customer's attention when you're driving down the road. Not only can they stick with people long after you drive away, they help companies create captivating business stories and bring their brands to life.

We had a number of entries that incorporated their company mascots into their work vehicle wrap designs; however, the two that stood out to us the most were Purple Frog Pools of Aledo, Texas, and Grey Shark Pool Services of Oak Island, N.C. 



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Purple Frog Pools | Aledo, Texas

"As you can probably tell, we are HUGE TCU fans [the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs]," explains Taylor Brantley, founder of Purple Frog Pools. "I went to school there, as did my dad, my twin sisters, my brother-in-law and my aunt. Purple runs DEEP in our family.

"Our service area is West of Fort Worth to Aledo/Weatherford and beyond, so it made sense to us to have our mascot and trucks bleed purple, too! It also was a strategic choice as Fort Worth is a big TCU town, and we decided that having a localized mascot on our wrap would be beneficial."

The logo was done by Manny Felix with TX Fire Designs. "I was a volunteer firefighter for a very short time, but I fell in love with the firehouse style of logos," says Brantley. "Manny knocked it out of the park. We then had BrandSmith Co. in Phoenix, Ariz., take it from there. At the time, we actually heard about them on an episode of the Pool Chasers podcast. They were great to work with and did a fantastic job incorporating Manny's design into what we envisioned for our trucks."



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Grey Shark Pool Services | Oak Island, N.C.

Similar to that of a great white shark hunting for its prey in the ocean, Grey Shark Pool Services hunts for its next customer while driving on the North Carolina roads with their captivating truck wrap design.

"The goal was to create a memorable character for marketing and local events here in Oak Island," says Rob Breault. "The overall wrap design ensured we were completely different from all other pool companies, or other contractors in general, in the area β€” and most importantly, it's fun. The graphic design of the truck was our starting point, and the graphics team at King Tutt Graphics did not disappoint." 




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Pool Professors | Mooresville, N.C.

At first glance, we thought the male figure on the roof of this vehicle from Pool Professors of Mooresville, N.C., looked a whole lot like Albert Einstein. Upon further inquiry, we confirmed that was in fact the case, as Einstein was the inspiration behind the design of our "Best View From Above" category winner.

"One of the original partners behind Pool Professors happened to be a retired mechanical engineer," says Amanda White. "When his partner proposed forming the company, he delved into pool expertise and saw an opportunity for clients to tap into his wealth of knowledge.

"Embracing a touch of whimsy, he decided to incorporate a playful homage to himself in the logo, featuring the likeness of Einstein as the professor figure. To further engage audiences, he envisioned dressing the iconic figure in swimming trunks, aiming to appeal to children who might enthusiastically recommend the service to their parents.

"We often get calls from prospective clients who saw the professor in the neighborhood or driving down the road; it's been a great advertising tool for us to say the least."




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M5 Pools | Ozark, Mo. 

Every year, we get a submission that stands out amongst all the others not just for its truck wrap, but for the meaningful reason behind the design. For 2024, we awarded M5 Pools of Ozard, Mo., the "Most Meaningful" category in light of a homage to the owner's family.

"I started my company two years ago after being a construction foreman for a pool company for over 10 years," says David McAllister. "The meaning behind M5 Pools is the M stands for my last name, McAllister, and the 5 stands for each member of my family: me, my wife and our three kids.

"The design process was pretty easy. I wanted it to look like our company logo. We spend a lot of time in Florida, so of course, we love the beach. I wanted to create that relaxing feeling for homeowners β€” that backyard paradise feeling. No one in my area brings that vibe, and since a lot of our customers are snow birds, it resonates well with them.

"We put a rack on the van, so I can carry pipe on one side and my poles on the other, as well as step boards for liner installation on top and a hitch to carry the riptide. One thing is for sure, it turns heads! My kids started getting pictures from their friends every time they saw us in traffic or out and about working. I even picked up one of their teachers as a customer because they heard them talking about the pool company and saw the van." 

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