Need Trucks for C&P Pilot

I need to buy some trucks for my Pilot press so that I can print with a boxcar base. It came with trucks that are supposed to print just fine with type, but I’ve been told they aren’t the right size for printing with polymer. I started out trying to print with the base and the trucks I have and I had to build up a ridiculous amount of tape on the rails to avoid inking my base.
I think I need trucks that are just a few thousandths less than 1.500 so that they’ll be the same diameter as my rollers.
Does anyone have a source other than NA Graphics for trucks?
Any advice is appreciate.

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I am not sure that new trucks would solve your problem. Just how much tape are you having to add to the rails to get your polymer inking properly?

Also: do you know which Boxcar base you are using? There are 2 different sorts of base… one deep relief and one standard relief. You should be using the deep relief on a platen press like the Pilot.

One thing to keep in mind that type high is type high. Your polymer should be the same height as any hot type you are using.


Thanks for your input Brad.
I do have the deep relief base from Boxcar. The gentleman I purchased my press from always printed with type, not polymer. When I began to print with the polymer the entire base was covered with ink. After reading up on the Boxcar site I tried adding tape, but I had to add alot—nearly a 1/4 inch which then starting rippling and caused additional problems.
I think that if the trucks were larger (the same diameter) as the rollers I could eliminate the tape and (hopefully) get consistent printing.
I contacted Fritz at NA in October about the problem and thought that the larger trucks would fix the problem—however it is taking alot longer than I would like to get them and I thought I would look into other places to get some. Hoping to get those holiday cards printed in time!
thanks again,

Type high is indeed type high. If hand-set type gave proper imprint, the plastic plate must as well. If, that is, the latter is type high. Measure the base and plate to ensure .918 is maintained over the entire image.
I suggest removing all that tape (shudder) from the rails, then, taking a metal straight edge, place it across the rails and measure the depth between it and your base. You probably will find adequate depth. Now, run the rollers slowly through their travel and observe/measure their height over the base. The rollers should clear the base, easily. You might also look to the rails themselves as to wear or twist. Also, in locking the forme perhaps it rose or twisted? Having roller and truck equal of dimension will not aid your difficulty. For correct lay, there should be a 2-pt differential between roller and trucks. Morgan trucks helped in cases where that 2-pt needed fine-tuning, but that was rarely the case on table-top presses.
In the interim, to avoid ink smear, simply cut a frisket to conform with the image, then affix it between the grippers. That will see those Chistmas cards neatly printed. In my opinion.

I should add that to check roller/truck height, place a 2-pt lead under each inked roller’s truck, then lay the assembly upon a dead-flat surface. Lift it straight up. Measure the ink track both for width and length. The length dimension should be even - not at all tapered - over its entirety, and the width should be at least 2-pts throughout. Repeat this test at the main compass points. If not even, look to the rollers. The trucks should be miked as well.

Thank you for your suggestions. I will try those tests.
One more question for you—what does ‘the trucks should be miked’ mean?

Use a micrometer (a precision measuring instrument) to determine exact truck size- both inside and outside diameters. . The roller shaft ends should be measured as well. The tool measures in thousands of an inch. (I don’t speak metric.) ;o) Any machine shop or reputable auto garage will have such. An out-of-round truck will present much difficulty in correct ink application. As will off-center rollers. But the aforementioned test to determine their trueness will acertain that condition for you.


You may want to give Fritz at NA Graphics a call and ‘remind’ him about your trucks. They are a small shop and I think things get pretty hectic from time to time. I have heard stories of people waiting a month for something to arrive only to find out it was never shipped… one phone call later and the parts are there in only a few days.