A simple, but safe, strap called the Juglugger allows easy toting of a refrigerant canister while still freeing up both hands for climbing ladders, carrying tools, or holding onto that all important first cup of coffee of the day.

It’s one of the most basic challenges faced in the HVACR industry. The 30-pound canister of refrigerant is in the service van and the mechanical equipment is on the roof of a building - with only a ladder as the means to get from Point A to Point B.

If the theory is that it takes at least one hand to carry the canister and two hands gripping the ladder to safely go up it, then mathematically minded contractors and technicians will quickly realize that the climber is one hand short.

“There has to be a better way,” was the comment from Nick Strickland, a commercial product manager in the HVACR industry, when challenged by a contractor friend of his to carry a full cylinder of R-404A from a truck to a condensing unit.

Strickland’s solution is a product he has trademarked JugLugger™. The refrigerant carrying strap was developed in conjunction with contractors who provided feedback to various prototypes as well as other carrying devices.

“Our product was designed to solve this industry challenge of coming up with a device that reduces the ‘fiddle factor,’” said Strickland. “Any product that requires extra fiddle time on each job is a very tough sell to contractors hustling from service call to service call.”

The product has a cross-linked foam shoulder pad covered with denier nylon that has 1/2-inch steel connection clips and 2-inch steel pivot jaws for adjusting the length.

According to Strickland, a technician attaches both clips to the top of a cylinder’s integral handle, and then slings the strap over his shoulder and heads up the ladder using both hands for the climbing. Even on level ground, Strickland said there is value in the product because it allows the technician to use both hands to haul more tools from a vehicle to the HVACR equipment in one trip.” It’s safer and it frees up my hands,” said John Baul, a technician with Calvert Heating & Cooling, Wilmington, Del.

Strickland said the product has been on the market for about a year and interest continues to grow.

“Saving a trip back to the truck can easily save five to 10 minutes per service call,” he said. “Given this added productivity, the JugLugger carrying device pays for itself in less than a month.”

For more information, visit www.juglugger.com.

Publication Date:11/12/2007