Various products exist to assist a worker at the jobsite. They make work faster, more efficient, and, in some cases, safer. Below are a few products that can help a technician get the job done.


Ridgid® customized contractor-grade Dell laptops: Ridgid® has a family of rugged laptops and convertible tablet PCs based on the Dell Latitude E-Family and customized by Dell OEM Solutions to meet the specific needs of OEMs.

Pre-configured with customized software access to Ridgid informational resources and diagnostic tools, the contractor-grade laptops are designed to work with the manufacturer’s inspection systems and withstand the harshest of conditions encountered on jobsites, including pounding rain, blowing dust and dirt, extreme temperatures, and accidental drops up to 4 feet.

“The need to process and share information on the jobsite is becoming increasingly important to many of our loyal customers who are contractors and service professionals,” said Fred Pond, president of Ridgid. “Working with Dell’s OEM division, we can now make a laptop recommendation based on the needs of a particular end user, and these laptops can be linked with our diagnostic tools, like the Ridgid SeeSnake® LT1000 laptop interface, and online business tool, RidgidConnect™.”

The Dell laptops, which are Ridgid-branded, are offered in four configurations: a military/contractor-grade rugged laptop, a fully rugged multitouch tablet PC, a business-rugged laptop, and a laptop that provides all-day battery life.

Each model will come pre-configured with a customized software image that provides access to various informational resources and diagnostic tools to make customers more efficient and productive. A full suite of powerful monitoring, recording, and data management tools will be ready to use right out of the box, saving customers time.

“The military spec laptop is nearly bulletproof,” said Patrick Grogan of Pat the Plumber, Topeka, Kan. “I can upload all digital media such as .jpgs and video straight from the field and be able to share it immediately with our customers. They can remote in to our website anytime to view their job progress, reports, and quotes online from any computer (with an Internet connection).”

The Latitude™ E6400 XFR features include:

• Dell’s exclusive Ballistic Armor™ Protection System enables excellent protection and a high drop specification (up to 4 feet).

• The QuadCool™ thermal management system allows the XFR to operate in temperature extremes.

• The PrimoSeal™ technology has high combined level of ingress protection rating (IP65).

The Latitude XT2 XFR features include:

• A multitouch screen with its 12.1-inch-wide aspect outdoor views.

• Can withstand challenging conditions, including drops of up to 3 feet.

• Quick conversion from a thin and easy-to-carry tablet PC to traditional laptop with a full-size keyboard.

Dell Latitude E6410 ATG features include:

• High-durability textured paint for additional protection from physical wear and spill-resistant input surface offers protection in a variety of field environments.

• Fast-response free-fall sensor on the motherboard along with a Dell StrikeZone™ shock absorber protects systems against drops.

Dell Latitude E6410 All Day features include:

• Premium magnesium alloy construction, longer-lasting paint finishes, and robust metal hinges, and

• Long, reliable battery life.

For more information on the LT1000 laptop interface and RidgidConnect, visit and


Dremel Multi-Max Universal Adapter: Dremel is introducing the Multi-Max universal oscillating adapter to “simplify lives everywhere.” The adapter allows all Dremel Multi-Max™ accessories to be used with all of the current oscillating tools on the market including brands from Fein, Rockwell, Bosch, Craftsman, Rigid, and Masterforce, giving consumers increased functionality from their power tools.

The new adapter allows owners of any type of oscillating tool to utilize the Dremel brand’s patented Quick Fit™ oscillating accessories. This means faster, firmer accessory changes that ensure oscillating users spend less time setting up their tool and more getting things done, the company says.

“Consumers are continually demanding increased functionality from their power tools,” said Andrea Ash, vice president of marketing, Dremel. “As a brand built on versatility, we’re happy to introduce an accessory that will allow users of all oscillating brands to utilize our unique Quick Fit accessories for fast and easy changes and quality results.”

For more information, visit


FireBag® automated gas shut-off devices: The FireBag, made by Assured Automation, is a self-actuated gas shut-off device for all gas-fed appliances, which protects both lives and property. These safety devices have been mandated for all gas appliances that use natural gas, propane, and butane gas in European countries such as Germany for over 17 years.

The FireBag is a passive device that automatically closes the supply of gas in the event of fire, preventing the spread of fire which can lead to gas explosions. Its thermal-activated shut-off device shuts off gas supply when ambient temperatures reach 212°F. The FireBag’s fusible alloy melts when the outside temperature reaches 203-212°, releasing its plug to completely close the flow of gas.

The FireBag does not rely on anyone to find a manual valve or locate a wrench to close the gas supply. It is installed in the gas piping upstream of the gas appliance, and does not require any manual manipulation once installed.

“Gas appliances manufactured in Europe routinely include thermal-actuated gas shut-off safety devices, resulting in a significant decrease in the danger of gas-ignited fires,” said Bill Farrell, president of Assured Automation.

The FireBag is installed in the pipes that supply gas to ranges, ovens, wall heaters, boilers, or any gas appliance. When integrated with gas valves, it can be installed as a manual shut off device as well as eliminating the need for a separate on-off valve. Utilities also install integrated FireBag safety devices, including valves, at gas meters inside buildings.

For more information, visit

HeatTrak portable heated matting products: HeatTrak® has developed a unique product line of heated walkway and stair mats that melt snow on contact to provide a safer work environment all winter long. Made of natural rubber, the mats lie on top of existing outdoor surfaces and may be left outside for the entire winter season. At 40 Watts per square foot, they melt snow at a rate of 2 inches per hour and in temperatures as low as 0°F. The mats come in a variety of standard dimensions that can meet the needs of most businesses or facilities. HeatTrak also manufactures customized heated mats for customers with more specific size requirements.

Hillel Glazer, president and inventor of HeatTrak products, says safety and reducing the danger of slip-and-fall injuries during the winter are the main benefits of HeatTrak® heated matting products, but that HeatTrak mats also offer a better, more environmentally friendly alternative to calcium chloride for melting snow and ice.

“Salted entranceways lead to messy floors and can discolor surfaces as foot traffic tracks the calcium chloride inside,” he said. “Calcium chloride disintegrates all types of material over time and can damage the environment and surrounding vegetation. HeatTrak mats help preserve all walkway surfaces, especially expensive pavers.”

Also, by using HeatTrak mats in trouble locations such as emergency exits, back entrances, and loading docks, maintenance crews can spend more time at other problem areas. “And when used in conjunction with automated snow sensors, the HeatTrak mats will turn on automatically at the first sign of snow, so you never have to worry about that particular area again,” Glazer said.

Walkway mats are available in widths of 24, 36, and 48 inches; lengths are in increments of 5 feet. HeatTrak mats are built and tested to UL standard 499. Mats are most commonly used for walkways and stairs, but can also be used for roofs and handicap ramps.

For more information, visit

Publication date: 01/17/2011