IT'S A FACT OF BUILDER LIFE—COOL tools (such as circular saws, power drills, and nailers) get all the attention and the accolades. But just think where you would be without the blue-collar jobsite equipment that doesn't compete for attention yet performs day in and day out?
The new generation of jobsite equipment does deserve attention. Many new products perform even better than their predecessors and feature eye-grabbing designs as well.
One example is the new line of on-site storage chests from Elyria, Ohio–based Ridgid. The products feature fully arc-welded construction and a baked enamel finish for weather resistance. More than just a box, the chests have permanently retained locks and recessed shackles that prevent access by saws, pry bars, and cutters, the company says.
Another product that is a step up over previous models is the line of Jeep wheelbarrows by Detroit-based DaimlerChrysler Corp. These aren't your grandfathers' wheelbarrows. The four products have 16-gauge steel handles with matte finished grips that are 2 inches longer than a traditional wheelbarrow and 3 inches higher so they are easier on your back, the company says. In addition, a roll bumper allows you to dump the wheelbarrow on soft surfaces without damage.
Some jobs call for a cement truck, while others call for something smaller. The Por-toMix from Carson, Calif.–based Stow is a 3-cubic-foot mixer that can handle small jobs such as footings, bases, brick work, or concrete patching. It can run on standard household power, the company says.
Of course, no one needs a jobsite product that looks good but can't handle the abuse of a typical construction site. On the other hand, if the product has a hip design and a tough exterior, it could elevate jobsite equipment to cool-tool status.