Safe Shop Tools Inc. has introduced an updated model of the Stepper II portable tire step.
Stepper II fits over most truck tires, the company said, providing a secure platform for working on the engine and windshield.
The Stepper II is neon yellow and has urethane protective strips covering portions of its frame to prevent scratching or marring chrome or aluminum wheels.
The unit's steps have a non-slip surface that is approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The width is adjustable to fit a variety of wheel sizes and the unit can be folded up for easier storage and transportation.
Contact: Safe Shop Tools Inc. Phone: (800) 327-7639. Fax: (406) 721-3545. Internet: www. safeshop.com.
Torque Inc. has introduced Auto-Torque and Truck-Torque to control the amount of torque on air wrenches.
Auto-Torque is designed for shop use and Truck-Torque is a portable unit for use on service trucks or in shops.
Each unit will save tire dealers money, the company said, by eliminating broken studs, warped rotors and reducing rapid wear of brake rims and pads due to excessive torquing. If lug nuts are tightened correctly, customers needing to change a tire will avoid the problem of over-tightening.
Contact: Torque Inc. Phone: (405) 577-2677.
Hunter Engineering Co. has introduced the Inflation Station to its model GSP 9700 vibration control system.
This feature provides convenient, programmable and automatic tire pressure settings by the machine, the company said, to measure road force accurately before and after tire mounting.
The company said the Inflation Station allows the tire technician to set tire pressure with minimal effort and reduces tire mounting time by about 40 percent. The unit also ensures better tire to rim bead seating by removing the inflation procedure from the tire changer and placing it at the GSP 9700.
The GSP 9700 diagnoses wheel-related vibration problems and provides instructions for solving them without removing the wheel from the balancer, Hunter said.
Contact: Hunter Engineering Co. Phone: (314) 731-3020.
Hansen Global Inc. has introduced the Hex/Torx tray (part no. 50000) for storing hex and torx wrench bits. The tough plastic molded tray has storage sockets labeled with an oil- and grease-resistant ink.
The tray measures 9 3/16 inches by 3 1/4 inches and is designed to fit in tool boxes and tool drawers.
Contact: Hansen Global Inc. Phone: (920) 793-5213. Internet: www.hansenglobalinc.com.
Shop Vac Corp. has introduced two heavy duty wet/dry vacuum cleaners designed especially for automotive service de-partments.
The Model 925-19 is intended to be used for vehicle detailing. It features a 12-foot, crush-proof hose with positive-lock swivel, metal nozzle and a 15-inch long crevice tool. The unit also has a convenient drain, Shop Vac said, and a tool basket for storing accessories and cleaners.
Model 925-18 is designed for use in auto shop maintenance and also has a 12-foot crush-proof hose with positive-lock swivel, two interlocking metal extension wands, 14-inch master nozzle, brush insert, rug insert, squeegee insert and a four-wheel heavy-duty cart with a tool basket.
Both models have rust-proof/dent-proof plastic tanks and wet-dry filters, which eliminate the need to change the filter when going from wet to dry vacuuming. The units also feature an automatic float shut-off system to prevent overflow of liquids.
Contact: Shop-Vac Corp. Phone: (570) 321-7059. Fax: (570) 327-8604. Internet: www.shopvac.com.
The International Tire & Rubber Association Foundation Inc. has published a revised edition of "Buffed Radius and Width Guide for Retreading Radial Truck and Light Truck Tires."
This reference book, available in English or Spanish, was originally published in 1994. It is designed to guide retreaders in the proper configuration of steel radial medium and light truck tires for retreading.
The book contains information compiled from new tire manufacturers including buffed radius, buffed rim width and recommended buffed rim width of 25 major brands of radial truck and LT tires.
This guide (item number PB00-410) is available at ITRA member and non-member rates through ITRA's fax-on-demand service.
Contact: International Tire & Rubber Association Foundation Inc. Phone: (800) 426-8835. Fax: (800) 211-1779 or (502) 968-2190, request document number 110. E-mail: [email protected] Internet: www.intraef.com.
Tire Traction Device
Flex-Trax Inc. has introduced Flex-Trax, a traction device that can be placed on tires to provide improved traction in mud and snow.
The device is made of "durable space age materials" that prevent damage to tires and vehicles caused by tire chains, the company said.
The device is easily installed, Flex-Trax said, even on a vehicle that is stuck. It doesn't cause road damage and is self-tensioning.
Flex-Trax is available in five sizes to fit tires for vehicles ranging in size from compact cars up to large trucks.
Contact: Flex-Trax Inc. Phone: (886) 872-2846. Fax: (423) 473-1926. Internet: www.flextrax.com.
OTC, a division of SPX Corp., has introduced a line of "Stinger" floor jacks in two sizes.
Model No. 1503 has a 2.5-ton capacity, weighs 80 pounds and has a 26-inch frame. It provides a lift height of 20 inches.
Model No. 1504 has a 3-ton capacity, weighs 90 pounds with a 27-inch frame and will lift to a height of 20.5 inches.
Contact: OTC division of SPX Corp. Phone: (800) 533-6127. Fax: (507) 455-7106.
Snap-on Tools Co. has introduced two midrise platform lifts: an electric lift (model EELR338A) and a pneumatic lift (model EELR339A).
The units feature a scissor design, one-piece deck and a lift capacity of 6,000 pounds to a height of four feet.
These units have four standard lift blocks for pad style lifting and revolving arms that rotate 360 degrees for adjustable-frame contact lifting at recommended lift points.
Each of the units also has five mechanical safety locks that engage at four-inch intervals beginning at the 27-inch height level. These locks can be set or released only with an operator-controlled foot pedal.
Contact: Snap-on Tools Co. Phone: (262) 656-5200. Fax: (262) 656-5577. Internet: www. snapon.com.
Motorola Inc. has introduced the Telario communications system which features wireless telephone units that double as two-way radios. Employees can carry the phone unit and make or take outside phone calls or communicate with other employees who have one of the units.
Because this is a cordless phone system that is connected to existing phone lines, there are no additional cost-per-minute charges above those for a regular telephone system, Motorola said.
The system consists of the TS3000 control station, two handsets, the TC3000 communicator and TR3000 radio. The remainder of the staff can be equipped with full-featured TR3000 radios that work with the TC3000.
Contact: Motorola Inc. Phone: (877) 878-8055. Internet: www.motorola.com/telario.
S.K Hand Tool Corp. has introduced two additional Facom-brand ball hex T-handle sets in both fractional and metric sizes.
The sets include: number 84TZS1PB, a six-piece fractional ball hex key set and number 84TZSPB, a six-piece metric ball handle hex key set.
The T-handle with two ends allows either end of the key to be used effectively to generate maximum torque with less hand fatigue, the company said.
The long handle provides up to a 30-degree angle for greater access to hard-to-reach fasteners.
Contact: S.K Hand Tool Corp. Phone: (773) 523-1300. Fax: (773) 523-2103. Internet: www.skhandtool.com.
Permatex Inc. has introduced the Counterman's Choice line of single-use chemicals for auto repair jobs.
The line includes: anti-seize lubricant, battery protector, ultra disc brake caliper lube, two strengths of threadlockers and spark plug boot and electric connector dielectric grease.
Contact: Permatex Inc. Phone: (877) PERMATEX (737-6289). Internet: www. permatex.com.
Tire balancing material
Equipment Supply Co. has introduced Easy Balance, a material poured directly into the tire as it is being mounted on the wheel.
The material absorbs moisture without forming lumps, provides permanent balancing and constantly adjusts to changing load effects, ESCO said.
The company also said use of this product extends tire life and provides a more stable ride.
Contact: Equipment Supply Co. Phone: (800) 352-9852. Fax: (352) 754-4508. E-mail: [email protected]
Ken-Tool has introduced a tire-demounting bar designed to remove most heavy-duty tires from their rims in minutes.
The new Serpent T2001 is forged from high-alloy steel and heat-treated for extra strength and durability, the company said.
The tool is portable and lightweight, weighing 6 1/2 pounds, and is 39 inches long. No hydraulics, electricity or heavy lifting is required with the tool because it is made so that an operator doesn't have to lift the tire/wheel assembly off the ground.
Contact: Ken-Tool. Phone:(330) 535-7177. Fax: (800) 872-4929. Internet: www.kentool.com.