Technicians use a variety of tools in their jobs every day, from the ones they hold in their hands to fabricate or install or service equipment, to the ones they use to move from one location to the next. Below are a few of the various types of tools available today that are expanding the technician’s literal and figurative toolbox. This product roundup includes GPS, hand tools, instruments, and vehicles that technicians use to perform their jobs daily.


GPS Insight

The new GPS fleet tracking dashboard interface has several system tabs that can be customized to the user’s exact preference, and additional custom tabs can be configured and saved by all users. Tabs along the top of the dashboard allow each saved layout to be retrieved with one click, providing a customized dashboard with the information that particular user needs. The new GPS tracking interface also includes a few initial standard layouts for typical areas: mapping, reports, administration, and custom. There are more than 25 dashlets available, ranging from vehicle lists and maps to graphs, routing tools, Garmin dispatch, and alert monitors.

Service Automation Inc.

SAWIN Professional is the enterprise software solution for the 21st century, said the company. Developed with the principle of integration, SAWIN combines service/dispatch, job costing, inventory, accounting, and other modules for a complete end-to-end solution. According to the company, SAWIN is sophisticated, accurate, and reliable.


The Fleet Director 8.2 gives flexible, at-a-glance dashboards and safety scorecards to help monitor driving behavior and safety performance for individual drivers, user-defined groups of vehicles, and the fleet as a whole. Critical safety indicators include speeding miles, severe speeding miles, harsh braking events, harsh acceleration events, and bad cornering events. According to Teletrac, Fleet Director 8.2 also includes a new community area, giving users easy access to online news, advice, support, and forums that can help them gain full value from Fleet Director and the underlying information captured by the company. A new color terminal features a QWERTY keyboard, which enables drivers to more quickly enter addresses and tap out messages in-cab.

Telogis Inc.

Telogis Fleet 9 integrates with Telogis Route, Telogis Progression, and Telogis Mobile. Ad Hoc Reporting allows users to create reports defined by the specific data elements most applicable to their fleet and work; the strength of the Telogis Cloud allows for massive reports to be built, configured, and run in real time without delays. A new Terminology Module allows users to change terms and wording throughout the system to match their company’s internal nomenclature, and eases localization in international markets. Users can easily locate relevant locations in their company infrastructure that do not appear on standard maps, such as power poles, oil wells, gas and water lines, land use grids, and forestry and parcel data. 

Hand Tools

Core Enterprises Inc.

The AccuTools® BluVac and BluVac LTE are a family of digital vacuum gauges. New, innovative oil sensor detection and self-diagnostics ensure the accuracy and repeatability of readings. The field-calibratable BluVac and BluVac LTE don’t require special equipment for calibration. The BluVac is programmable. Its vacuum leak rate indicator shows both evacuation progress, and assists in determining the presence of leaks or moisture. Also included is a temperature indicator accurate to within 0.2˚F (0.1˚C). Operating for up to 300 hours on a single 9-V alkaline battery, both units have a large ½-inch numeric display and a bright blue backlight. The BluVac measures from 0-25,000 microns with 0.1 micron resolution below 10,000 microns.

Ritchie Engineering Co. Inc.

The deluxe 45-degree flaring tool from YELLOW JACKET® is a full-range ⅛- to ¾-inch O.D. flaring tool for soft copper. Designed with the new R-410A flaring requirement in mind, an automatic tube height gauge helps set the correct tubing height. The self-centering yoke grips without marring or constricting tube, and a multifaceted burnishing cone rolls out a smooth, polished flare seat for a positive seal. According to the company, it’s easy to use with four basic steps.

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp.

Six new snips have been made with corrosion resistant metal to protect the tools from rust. The spring and lock mechanism allows the user to open and close the snips with one hand, while thumb and forefinger slots allow the user to push through sheet metal with ease. The cutter heads feature subflush bolts to prevent the tool from getting hung up on sheet metal while cutting. Available in multiple options for varying applications and user preference, the new offering includes straight-cutting aviation snips (48-22-4030), left-cutting aviation snips (48-22-4010), right-cutting aviation snips (48-22-4020), straight-cutting bulldog snips (48-22-4000), right-cutting right-angle snips (48-22-4021) and left-cutting right-angle snips (48-22-4011).


Energy Conservatory

The improved version of the Minneapolis Blower Door™ can be used to measure the airtightness level of building envelopes, diagnose and demonstrate air leakage problems in buildings, estimate natural infiltration rates, estimate efficiency losses from building air leakage, and certify construction integrity. The system comes standard with a precision-engineered calibrated fan, DG-700 digital pressure and flow gauge with both serial and USB connectivity, lightweight durable door frame and panel, fan speed controller, and automated testing control. For airtightness testing in larger buildings, the Minneapolis Blower Door System can be configured with two or three fans in a single doorway. The TECLOG™2 software is designed for multifan and multigauge testing in large buildings.

Fluke Corp.

The Fluke® 430 Series II three-phase power quality analyzers use a patented algorithm to measure energy waste and quantify its cost. According to the manufacturer, it helps facilities reduce electrical power consumption and improve the performance and lifespan of electro-mechanical equipment by providing the ROI justification to mitigate power quality distortion. The power analyzer allows facilities to assess the impact of new energy-efficient, electronically driven systems from lighting to motor controls to HVAC. The updated models feature three new measurement functions as well as other improvements. New models have up to 32 GB memory, a swappable SD memory card, and USB connectivity. Both models can monitor systems with up to 10 power quality parameters on one screen and can record up to 150 parameters on four phases simultaneously.

General Tools & Instruments

The new 12:1 wide-range IR thermometer (IRT657) is perfect for testing and troubleshooting HVACR systems and components, said the company. The point-and-shoot, gun-style IR thermometer can easily measure the temperature of a surface — including hot or inaccessible equipment — from a safe distance. It has a 1.6-inch diagonal backlit LCD and is powered by a single 9-V battery (included). The unit features a broad measurement range of -40˚ to 1,076˚F (-40˚ to 580˚C), accuracy of ±3˚F (2˚C) above 32°F (0˚C) and ±5°F (3˚C) below 32˚F (0˚C). It features IRT657 fixed emissivity of 0.95, and a front-panel ˚F/˚C selection switch. It comes with a carrying case and a user’s manual.

Sensit Technologies

The SENSIT® HXG-2d combustible gas leak detector has a true digital display. Its new patent-pending electronic tick control is ideal for detecting and locating natural gas, propane gas and butane gas leaks quickly. It has a direct 0-990 ppm readout and direct 0-100 percent LEL readout. According to the company, the digital tick control finds leaks faster. Standard features on the HXG-2d include push-button operation, field calibration; backlit display; adjustable alarms; and long-life, low-cost sensor.

testo Inc.

Designed with the HVAC/IAQ and weatherization professional in mind, the testo 875 thermal imager has a thermal sensitivity of <80mK, a full-sized 160x120 focal plane array, and a large 3.5-inch display. The thermal imager has a measuring range from -4° to 232°F. The testo 875 allows the user to easily identify problem spots quickly and accurately. The 875 includes 2 GB of image storage and meets BPI/RESNET Infrared Imaging System Performance Standards. All imager kits include a rugged case, standard lens 32° x 24° and two-day battery charger.


Chrysler Group LLC

The Ram Tradesman has a standard Hemi engine with five-speed automatic transmission. The Tradesman package includes a standard Class IV trailer hitch and can tow 10,450 pounds. The Tradesman is available in regular cab short-bed and long-bed models, with a choice of 4x2 or 4x4 powertrains. Other standard equipment includes 17-inch steel spare wheel and full-size spare tire, 26-gallon or 32-gallon fuel tank, 3.55 rear axle ratio, 700-A maintenance-free battery, front and rear stabilizer bars, locking tailgate, rack and pinion steering, rear dome lamp and sentry key theft-deterrent system. Standard interior features include a/c, a media center with CD and MP3 player, audio jack for mobile devices, air bags, and tire-pressure monitoring.

Publication date: 11/07/2011