Rooftop Ad Carriers  © Fred Stock 2014 &

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    Let’s explore the subject of Rooftop Advertising Signs – we call them “Ad Carriers”. 

We’ve all seen these signs aboard cabs in New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and many other cities
around the globe. They acquaint visitors with local businesses or services, they have the potential to earn
profits for cab owners, and they can be nightmares if not handled properly.
First, let’s look at the product. We handle them in two basic shapes; two sided like the two carrier pictures
above, and three sided signs like the one on the left. They are lighted with fluorescent tubes that are easily
available at the corner hardware store or chains like home depot.

        The “flo” Tubes are standard 48” or 36” tubes, of the same type used above a shop workbench or in drop ceilings of many small stores. Not at all strange or exotic!

Ballast-002.jpg Ballast is mounted inside the carrier.

Inside the carrier, mounted to the aluminum floor, is a specially designed “ballast” unit, which connects to
the end caps for the fluorescent lamps, and to the vehicle power circuit. Some cities (etc.) require a “TAXI”
sign which is lighted separately from the main sign. A small panel can be added inside the ends of the carrier
where the word “TAXI” is shown on the top right picture. That can be controlled separately from the main
fluorescent, and is lighted by small incandescent bulbs or LED’s.
As we said, carriers come in two basic shapes: two sided shaped like pup tents, or three sided, shaped like
a pie wedge with three equal length sides.

Three sided signs look like an equal-lateral triangle when you see them from a helicopter up above. They are normally positioned so the point of the triangle faces forward on the car, with a panel running right to left across the back. We carry two sizes as our diagram shows, 3-feet wide and 3-1/2 –ft wide.


They are made as an aluminum floor, with protruding bolts pointing upward around the edges. The sign body is a large inverted triangular bowl with a goodly horizontal lip around the bottom. The lip has holes with eyelets through which the bolts pass. Then you secure the top to the base with hex-nuts. The aluminum floor is bolted, screwed or riveted to the roof with special “feet”.



Mounting an advertising carrier to the roof of your vehicle is normally accomplished with special feet, shaped like inch-worms. They have an oval hole at the top, meant for a carriage bolt, used to attach the top shell. Four holes are used to screw or pop-rivet the feet to the car. This is always the most preferred method of mounting a carrier.

       We have an alternate method of mounting which will be explored below. We suggest you consider the wind as an enemy here. This device has a large face size. A high resistance force


can be exerted by wind gusts or passing high-profile vehicles. If not solidly mounted, a carrier can blow off
the vehicle!
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Our Magnet and Strap combination CAN be used to mount your carrier. The round magnets are mounted
near the corners where the feet would go. DO NOT TRY to use only the magnets! You WILL lose your
ad carrier in the first wind gust from a passing truck. The straps work just like the straps on Surf Board or
Ski rack. USE BOTH magnets and straps if you don’t permanently screw down your carrier.
The magnet and strap kits are made so they fit either shape, two or three sided.



     Our two-sided carriers come in three sizes, 57” which presents you a four-foot ad space,  or 42” which gives you three and one half feet of ad space. The smallest size is our 39” model, which allows a three-foot sign area on each side. One 36” or 48” tube is mounted lengthwise on the floor of the carrier, and provides a fairly even amply bright light for the signs. The carriers are furnished plain white, and your local vinyl sign company can make translucent signs as either plain lettering like a toplight, or more commonly, a full color photographic quality  display with your advertiser’s messages.

Our ad carriers can be furnished with “marker lights” which are available in numerous colors. Some
municipalities or regulators require such lights for use as a tattle-tale which announces the meter is on or off,
the cab is available or occupied, or even as a panic light. If this last, you turn on the marker with a hidden
switch, and local cops pull you over with hand-guns drawn.

Amber Marker LightAmber

Clear Marker LightClear

Blue Marker CapBlue

Red Marker CapRed

Green Marker LightGreen

Carriers have a shoulder at each corner, so up to four marker lights can be mounted, and each can be its
own color as required. These are lighted by standard light bulbs or LED’s.

SHIPPING considerations:
Because ad carriers are light in weight, but large in volume, shipping can be expensive. Shippers use a volume
measurement system instead of weight when you pass a certain size. ALWAYS send us an e-mail with your
choice of carriers, your ZIP code, City name, complete shipping address, and whether the address is that of
a commercial or residential building. We will get you an exact quote for the shipping costs to your exact address.
Our websites estimate for those who do not provide that information, but your actual costs are usually lower.
If you are considering several carriers in a reasonable amount of time, consider buying them all at once. That
way, we can nest them together and ship in one or just a few cartons, instead of a carton (with its separate
costs) for each carrier. That can save you a bunch of money.

SIZES from which to choose:
Two Sided Carriers are the choice for MOST taxi cabs. ALL sizes will work on all vehicles, so your choice
is king. Here is our experience:

. . . . . For Vans and Station Wagons, most folks use the 54” two sided ad carrier.
          For Large Vehicles Like Crown Vics and Full Size Cars, most use 42” size.
          For smaller cars, compacts. We often get orders for 39” two sided carriers.

Three Sided Carriers are frequently used for commercial vehicles like Pizza Vehicles, commercial delivery
vehicles for general commerce, or small bus-type vehicles.

Three sided carriers in the smaller 36” size for sedans and jitneys.
Larger 42” three sided carriers for trucks, lorries, and vans.

PizzacarGorgios3.jpg Grandforkstaxi.jpg
The easiest access to these carriers is through use of our newest website,  .   
You are invited to try it, and then contact us with comments or questions;

Thank you!
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We know there are manufacturers producing electronic displays for rooftop mounting. We are not
convinced these are ready for prime time. They are too expensive for most customers, and even illegal
as driver distraction in many cities. We do not carry them at all. If you choose these online,
check local sign laws first.