Freightliner's Sprinter is reinventing the work van. Starting with their unique shape, Sprinters are designed purely for commercial use. The aerodynamic design has a higher ceiling than typical vans and is available in two heights: 64 or 73 inches. The 73-inch model allows someone just under 6 feet tall to stand straight up and move around comfortably inside. The full-width rear doors open 270 degrees and fold back flat. There also are optional sliding side doors. More details that streamline the interior are tapered rear wheel housings and nearly vertical sidewalls. Also, there are three wheel base options: 118, 140, and 158 inches. Combined with the different roof heights, this provides from 247 to 473 cubic feet of interior space -- more than 50 percent more room than the largest standard cargo van. This all adds up to more efficient storage space and easier access to equipment.
The diesel engine gets about 22 miles per gallon, oil changes are recommended at 10,000 miles, and standard service intervals are set at 30,000 miles. The potential for efficient, dependable, and affordable operation is hard to ignore. The Sprinter starts at $26,300.
For more information, contact Freightliner, 800-385-4357; www.freightliner.com.
Like many great inventions, the Kwik-Stand portable table saw stand arose from frustration and a belief that there had to be a better way to work. Carpenter Scott Kahle got tired of dragging his portable table saw around from his truck to the jobsite. He also got tired of stands that weren't as tough as they were expensive and difficult to set up. Kahle needed a better way, so he invented it.
The Kwik-Stand is a one-piece, collapsible portable table saw stand on wheels. It's made of welded 1-inch steel square stock and deploys in seconds. One worker can maneuver it in and out of the truck and roll it easily into place. Because the saw sits low and the wheels are big, it rolls over most terrain, including stairs. Once in position, it's got padded feet to help protect finished surfaces. Among the many ingenious features of the Kwik-Stand is the integral outfeed support. Simply opening the stand positions the outfeed support?no adjustments or extra set up required. The Kwik-Stand folds flat just as quickly as it sets up, too. It costs $175.
For more information, contact Kwik-Stand, 518-537-6888; www.kwikstand.info.
Fast, powerful, and tough are a great combination in any tool, but they're particularly impressive when it comes to hard core work like cutting and bending re-bar. Hitachi's cam-and-gear powered VB16Y?the world's first portable, handheld re-bar cutter/bender?is all this and less. At 42 pounds it's 100 to 250 pounds lighter than tabletop machines, which only bend or cut (not both). Plus the VB16Y bends small pieces larger machines or even muscle-powered benders can't handle. For good control over the bend, Hitachi's built-in microprocessor and variable-speed trigger enable you to uniformly bend the steel while controlling your bending speed, up to 180 degrees. The tool has enough power to bend three pieces of #3 (3/8-inch) re-bar or two pieces of #4 (1/2-inch) at once. It bends #5 (5/8-inch) singly. The reference marks on the bending plate are easy to read, too, and provide for accurate, repeatable bends, according to Hitachi.
Now add to this that it cuts #3, #4, and #5 Grade 60 re-bar. You can even gang two pieces of #3 and cut them at the same time. The tool cuts in 3.1 seconds and bends in 5 seconds. Hitachi says that the VB16Y's simplicity, precision, and portability can dramatically reduce the cost of on-site re-bar installation. It costs $2,400.
For more information, contact Hitachi Power Tools, 800-829-4752; www.hitachi.com.