TOOLS OF THE TRADE and THE JOURNAL OF LIGHT CONSTRUCTION (JLC) deliver hands-on tool test results and reviews to construction professionals nationwide. Luckily, the publications are also sister magazines of PUBLIC WORKS. Below are a few hand tools chosen by TOOLS Executive Editor/JLC Products Editor Michael Springer.
Long, heavy building materials can be difficult to lift and maneuver around jobsites, especially by hand. The Blue Ox easily hauls up to 600 lbs. while keeping the suspended load low and stable. The attached log tongs will grab logs, poles, timbers, and wood beams, or they can be replaced with a chain (included) to handle steel I-beams or bundles of pipe or rebar. To lift the load, stand the Blue Ox up on end, attach the chain or tongs at the load's midpoint, then pull the handle down. Action Manufacturing Systems. www.actionequip.net.
Bullet Mole makes easy work of boring utility access holes under sidewalks or driveways. Using a sledgehammer or demo hammer, pound the ground-boring probe through the dirt; its hardened steel tip breaks through rocks and roots, leaving a smooth hole for small-diameter conduit or pipe. Dimension Tools LLC. www.bulletmole.com.
The DURAdjust brick trowel has a dial that lets the user adjust the handle's diameter throughout its length, from just below the smallest on the market to just about the largest, for personalized comfort. Changing the diameter throughout a day of use helps decrease arm and hand fatigue. It is available on 19 different trowels, and is made with the same high-quality bumper material as the standard DuraSoft handle. Marshalltown Co. www.marshalltown.com.
Putting a temporary fence around your jobsite can mean pounding in a lot of T-posts. Big Bob T-Post Driver/Puller makes the job easier and safer. One part of the two-piece design stays securely on the post while you hammer down the 16-lb. sliding handle, driving the post into the ground. To remove the post, tighten the attached clamping bolt and pound up. Lobo Products LLC. www.loboproducts.com.
The Total Control Elite Demolition Hammer is a sledgehammer with a difference: One of the striking faces tapers down to about 3/8 inch thick for rough prying — or for concentrating the striking force along a line to break concrete more easily. The fiberglass- reinforced handle has a soft rubberized grip surface and a flared end for greater control. Jackson Professional Tools. www.jacksonprofessional.com.
|Earmuffs reduce low-frequency noises|
Noisebuster safety earmuffs reduce low-frequency noise — from engines, generators, blowers, vacuums, fans, pumps — that conventional passive earmuffs can't handle. These active noise reduction (ANR) earmuffs combine ANSI-rated 26NRR passive earmuff protection with ANR electronics that deliver 20 dB of low-frequency noise attenuation. Features include soft, pliable ear cushions, an adjustable headband, and an audio input jack and audio cable that can be used with a portable audio player for listening at a safer, A 10% discount is offered for Web-based orders through November using Coupon Code CON010PR. Pro Tech Technologies Inc. www.noisebuster.net.
The TUFF line of personal air-sampling pumps protects users against dangerous airborne particulates such as lead, mold, and asbestos. The pumps incorporate a double-acting diaphragm pump mechanism with precise control that enables real-time flow control and stability across a wide range of sampling media. An intuitive user interface displays real-time flow, samples volume and run duration, battery gauge, and an alarm for flow or battery fault conditions. Casella USA. www.casellausa.com.
Ideal for confined workspaces, the GP8/GP8H portable gasoline air ventilation blower removes toxic and noxious atmospheres around construction sites. It aids in detecting sewer line leaks and provides fresh air for personnel inside tanks and vaults. Its cast-aluminum housing offers superior resistance to external field damage. Manual speed control allows the operator to vary blower volume as needed. General Equipment Co. www.generalequip.com.
|Online safety courses|
Caterpillar equipment users can access low-cost online environmental health and safety training. Categories include construction/heavy equipment training; OSHA essentials; and driver safety. The site also provides free OMM excerpts, multimedia pieces, and toolbox talks on various safety topics. Caterpillar Inc. www.safety.cat.com.
|Dipped gloves for extra grip|
Combining the comfort of a nylon or a poly/cotton base material with the functionality of a dipped glove, PosiGrip gloves provide extra grip on wet or oily materials and better surface adhesion on dry applications. They're available in sizes from XS to XXL. West Chester Holdings. www.west-chester.net.
Snow insurance for municipalities helps protect against unbudgeted costs due to unexpected snowfall. Seasonal snow accumulation, snow event, and unique snow coverage policies (i.e., weekends/holidays) are available. Vortex Insurance Agency LLC. www.vortexinsuranceagency.com.
|Rubberized traffic calming — bolts to roads|
Traffic Logix Interlocking Traffic Calming units connect to each other and bolt to the road surface. Simple removal and reinstallation is available. The rubber, modular units can be used to construct speed humps, speed tables, and speed cushions. Traffic Logix. www.trafficlogix.com.
|High-flow sand media filter|
The 36-3 high-flow, high-efficiency sand media filter — for general filtration applications in which sediment removal is the primary goal — filters up to 425 gpm while operating at pressures up to 100 psi. The AC- and DC-powered automatic filter backwash controller allows for timed pressure differential or manual backwash intervals. It may be used as a standalone filtration system for dewatering and can clean water prior to offsite discharge. Rain For Rent. www.rainforrent.com.