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1. Keeney Manufacturing Company
The Plumber’s Third Hand, an innovation from Keeney Manufacturing Company, is designed by a plumber, for plumbers. The design features a threaded shaft with a spin-down locking wingnut that secures against the strainer opening and uses the garbage disposal’s own weight to keep the flange down (i.e., tricks gravity into helping). It turns it into a virtually hands-free job, so the mounting hardware can be installed easily by one person. A company rep says that the tool is designed to work with all standard garbage disposal configurations.
Ram 2500/3500 heavy-duty trucks sport new features for 2018, including an infotainment system with Uconnect 4C NAV; remote exterior switch in truck bed to activate LED bed lights; backup camera standard on all models; and the Fleet Telematics Module for vehicle tracking efficiency. Four cab configurations in two-wheel or four-wheel drive are available. The Ram Heavy-Duty line comes in eight trim levels and 12 exterior colors. (Shown: Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten edition.)
Chevrolet cargo vans have new package options for 2018: Communications Package with SiriusXM Satellite radio, Bluetooth, and MP3-compatible CD player; Safety Package with Rear Park Assist, and Side Blind Zone Alert; Enhanced Convenience Package with remote keyless entry and vehicle start; and Cargo Package with spray-in bedliner. Each package has a 341-horsepower Vortec 6.0L V8 engine and one year of the Commercial Link telematics system. (Shown: Chevy Express Cargo Van)
Leap sales software provides contractors with a single-source, digital solution to the in-home sales process. The mobile application replaces product and pricing manuals and accompanying speadsheets, according to the company. Customers can review and sign digital contracts and credit applications, and reps receive real-time approvals within the software from lenders, so everyone immediately knows what the project’s financing situation is. The app also generates a digital log of what happens from beginning to end on a sales call, and integrates with CRMs such as Salesforce, MarketSharp, improveit360, and others. Admin privileges are available via browser, but the Leap sales app is currently available only on Apple products.
Designed for the construction industry, 3M’s new Post-It Extreme Notes stick to lumber, brick, cement, and steel. Professional Remodeler staff received a sample and tested it on a variety of materials to see if 3M’s claims of superior stickiness were the real thing. Dusty brick, check. Old boards, check. Concrete driveway, check. Random pieces of dirty metal, check. The Extreme Notes didn’t come loose even when it started raining. The Post-Its themselves are quite thin and feel like masking tape, but the material is harder to tear than regular paper and holds ink—especially Sharpies—exceptionally well. The 3-by-3-inch pads come in four colors.
6. My Online Toolbox
MyOnlineToolbox is a marketing and website SEO education series created specifically for contractors. Four educational tracks are available, based on the level of guidance needed. The Basic series, the most popular, provides introductory marketing and website terminology and strategy to generate leads. If users want to take it further, the Advanced series covers topics such as creating testimonials and video for your website, linking to other sources for credibility, and using Facebook for social sharing. All tracks leverage video instruction, quick quizzes, and written materials to ensure users follow along and gain the skills they need. Each series takes only a few hours of time and doesn’t need to be completed in one sitting.
Coffee is a must on the jobsite, but construction sites present myriad dangers to a typical coffee maker, including being smashed or completely infiltrated by dust. The Coffeeboxx by Oxx solves that dilemma. The only IP54-rated coffee maker available, according to the company, the Coffeeboxx can withstand water spray and limited dust ingress. The polymer shell and chassis—which can resist up to 1,500 lbs. and is considered crush-proof by Oxx—envelopes the electrical bits as well as an 85-ounce, spill-proof water tank, the dispenser (one for coffee and another for hot water), and the drip tray. The machine is equipped with a large, sturdy handle; a retractable power cord; and six steel tie-downs. It is fully K-Cup compatible and includes a one-year, full-service warranty.
8. Harbor Freight Tools
A new line of pneumatic nailers is available at Harbor Freight Tools. Designed for roofers, homebuilders, contractors, and carpenters, these nailers provide outstanding drive power, low drive recoil, and exceptional balance at an affordable price. The result is less arm fatigue, fewer jams, and minimal downtime, according to the company. The line includes the Pierce 15-Gauge Coil Roofing Nailer (shown); Pierce 15-Gauge Finish Nailer; Pierce 18-Gauge Brad Nailer; and Pierce Framing Nailer.
Offering three heights, three lengths, two wheelbases, and three engine choices, the 2019 Ford Transit cargo van has the most vehicle configurations in the full-size van class, according to the company. The Transit has a gross vehicle weight rating range from 8,600 lbs. to 10,360 lbs., and payloads go up to 4,640 lbs. Other key features include a rear-view camera with trailer hitch assist; 10 cargo tie-down hooks; and an optional 253-degree backdoor opening for ease of access.