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Bridgestone’s wide-base radial
Bridgestone is making its Greatec wide-base radial tires available through authorized Bridgestone dealers, truckstops and original equipment manufacturers. Greatec radials feature a wide-base design with a very high load capacity, enabling a single tire to replace a dual assembly on drive or trailer axles.

Greatec radials are available in the 445/50R22.5 size, equivalent in overall diameter to regular low-profile radials for 22.5-inch wheels. So switching to Greatec radials does not change vehicle height. The footprint of Greatec radials also meets requirements imposed by some state laws regulating footprint pressure as a function of tread width, Bridgestone says.
Depending on the types of tires and wheels converted, Greatec radials could reduce overall vehicle weight by 600 to 1,200 or more pounds.

“In our view, the market niche for wide-base radials is weight-conscious fleets, like bulk haulers, flatbed haulers or fleets that tend to ‘gross out’ before they ‘cube out’, ” says Kurt Danielson, director of truck and bus tire marketing for Bridgestone/ Firestone North American Tire. “Such fleets may be able to convert weight saved into extra revenue-producing payload.”

Vehicle modifications may be needed for trailer installation, Bridgestone says. Greatec radials are designed to directly replace tractor dual assemblies without need to modify axles. On trailers, however, retrofit may be possible using 2-inch offset wheels, if axles and axle end components are of the proper type and in proper condition. Such a change might also require a change in the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) of the axles. Bridgestone strongly recommends that fleet owners consult original equipment manufacturers before retrofitting trailers with any brand of wide-base radials.

Aside from increasing payload, Greatec radials could save about 2 to 5 percent on fuel consumption compared to conventional, non-fuel-efficient dual tire assemblies, Bridgestone says. Actual fuel savings will vary, depending on vehicle configuration, how many axles are converted and what tires were used previously, the company says. The fuel savings alone may not be a reason to switch, however. According to Guy Walenga, engineering manager-North American Commercial Products for Bridgestone/Firestone, if a fleet cannot take advantage of the weight savings produced by Greatec radials, it might achieve similar fuel economy benefits by installing on their existing dual assemblies tires designed specifically for fuel efficiency.

Greatec radials are built using a new casing structure that incorporates what Bridgestone/ Firestone engineers call a Waved Belt design. In addition to conventional radial tire belts, Greatec radials use belts built from steel cords that are not straight, but formed into a gentle “waved” shape. The design balances stiffness and resiliency to provide a strong, stable casing that produces a stable footprint shape, Walenga says.

Greatec radials for drive axles have a 26/32nds tread depth and a pattern that resembles that of the Bridgestone brand M726 and M726 EL drive radials. Greatec trailer axle radials have a 14/32nds tread depth and a pattern similar to the Bridgestone R195F trailer radial.
Maximum load capacity of each Greatec radial is 10,200 pounds at 120 psi, and the tires may be used at a maximum sustained speed of 75 mph. Special 14 inch-wide aluminum wheels are available from several manufacturers.

Leak detection light
Cliplight’s Vector line of UV LED lights accelerates the process of finding leaks and objects to be inspected, the company says. The portable Vector 4, with its wrist strap and patent-pending Vector Focal Technology, provides techs with a spot of UV illumination about the size of the lens. There is virtually no loss in UV illumination; the beam’s power is harnessed and focused to remain tight and intense.

The Vector 4’s aspheric lens provides a brighter, focused beam of light for greater contrast. An amber-colored indicator light indicates when about 10 minutes of fully regulated maximum output power remains.

Driveability diagnostics CD
Ferret Instruments’ new “Smart Spec” driveability diagnostics CD provides data and diagrams on 1990-2001 Ford, Chrysler and GM vehicles. The company says the Smart Spec data is based on field research, which provides tighter specs than manufacturer data. Diagrams on the CD are crisp and readable because each has been redrawn exclusively for the program. OBDII data includes detailed descriptions of what each specific DTC means, possible remedies and a list of other codes that DTC may block. The quick navigation takes three clicks to get to vehicle-specific data.

High-powered battery
East Penn’s Deka Intimidator is a high-powered, non-spillable Group 34/78 sealed AGM battery. The dual-purpose capabilities deliver quick starts and accessory power for stereo systems, hydraulic lifts, winches, onboard electronics and other power demands, the company says. Its spillproof and leakproof design enables many installation options while providing added protection for sensitive electronic equipment. The flat plate design makes full use of the available cube space, which results in more active material.

Brake care system
The new BrakeKare system from Snap-on Tools is designed to provide automotive service shops with a comprehensive solution for hydraulic brake system maintenance and diagnostics. The unit features a combination of pressure and vacuum flushing, while allowing simultaneous fluid refilling of all four wheels in 10 to 12 minutes.

The fully automatic unit flushes and cleans the entire hydraulic braking system. Once the BrakeKare unit is connected to the master cylinder reservoir and all four-wheel cylinder bleeder valves, the system automatically performs the cleaning and diagnostic functions with new brake fluid. The automatic process allows for contamination-free service. An electronic control panel guides the operator through a step-by-step process. Color-coded test strips are included with the unit and enable quick, accurate fluid diagnosis.

The unit operates on standard 110- or 220-volt AC power. Standard hose adapters cover most domestic and import passenger and light trucks. Deluxe adapters are available for select Asian, European and domestic applications.

Pressure washer line
Mac Pressure Washers are available in five categories: electrical-powered cold water models; gas-powered cold water models; electrical-powered oil-fired hot water models; gas-powered oil-fired hot water models and stainless steel vacuums.

Each of the electrical-powered cold water models is equipped with a triplex plunger pump with ceramic plungers and stainless steel valves. Other standard features include: a 35-foot power cord with ground fault interrupt; adjustable pressure; chemical injection; trigger gun; heavy-duty wand with quick-change tips in 0-, 15-, 25- and 40-degree soap tip on MX models; 36-inch, two-piece wand; and a fully enclosed motor.

The gas-powered cold-water models are designed for easy mobility. Each model features a round-shaped handle that extends around its full body length to easily support the weight of the pressure washer and allow it to be comfortably rolled around the work area.

The electric-powered oil-fired hot water models use kerosene or diesel fuel to generate water temperatures up to 200 degrees F for dependable washing. Kerosene or diesel is stored in the rustproof, 5-gallon burner fuel tank. Each model has an adjustable thermostat and pressure pop-off equipped with a 40-foot pressure hose with trigger gun. The motor of the washer is completely enclosed to protect against damage from any unwanted debris, detergent or water.

The gas-powered oil-fired hot water models also use kerosene or diesel fuel to generate temperatures up to 200 degrees F. These models, designed to use unleaded gasoline to develop the pressure and flow of the water, are equipped with an eight-gallon, rustproof poly burner fuel tank and a 12-volt burner.

The stainless steel vacuums feature high-performance seals, filters and float systems to provide dependable service and longevity. Both models have a smooth rolling four-swivel caster design for easy mobility and offer a powerful two-stage 1.2 horsepower motor that delivers 84 inches of water lift for exceptional cleaning. Attachments for the vacuums include a hose with swivel end, a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, two straight extensions and a floor tool housing with carpet, brush and squeegee face attachments.

The company also offers a variety of pressure washer accessories.

Screwdriver with integral bits
Ready Products’ Retract-A-Bit Self-Storing Screwdriver System features bits that can be changed with the push of a button. To use the system, users select the desired bit and slide its button into place. A locking collar ensures its stability during use. To change bits, depress the collar and retract the bit into the handle.

The Retract-A-Bit includes two Phillips head bits, two slotted head bits and two square head bits.

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