Hybrid Truck


GMC and Chevrolet receive recognition in part for being first. The manufacturers took the initiative–and risk–to innovate how we consume fuel in full-size trucks by introducing hybrid gasoline-electric Sierra and Silverado pickup trucks. While alternative fuel technology is still in its infancy, especially at the full-size–truck level, and improvements seem to be right on the horizon, General Motors had the courage and conviction of vision to try to improve how we operate our trucks in a world whose situation calls for new thinking and dynamic innovation. It's unclear how the combination of gasoline engines and battery technology will change the way we deliver materials (and ourselves) to the jobsite, but it is crystal clear who is getting the truck rolling. Chevrolet Silverado LS/GMC Sierra SLE: $1,500 upgrade. 800-222-1020. www.chevrolet.com/silverado/hybrid; 800-462-8782. www.gmc.com/sierra.

Tile Saw


We almost expect 10-inch wet-cutting tile saws to be impossibly heavy and difficult to use, but DeWalt doesn't see it that way and its new D2400 makes that clear. The saw's huge cut capacity and tricked-out features combine with portability for a saw that sets a new mark for cutting tile. The D2400–which weighs just 69 pounds–is the only portable cart saw on the market to offer 24-inch rip capacity and 18-inch diagonal capacity. Its stainless steel Accu-Trac rail system is integrated into the saw frame, making it accurate, solid, and easy to adjust, according to DeWalt. The D2400 also comes with a plunge-cut capacity, which is terrific for cutouts around AC registers or wall outlets. The unit also has large, detachable water trays that catch spray and spillover, while blade spray is reduced with a three-piece rubber shroud; flow restrictors let you control the amount of water going to the blade. Integrated 45- and 22-1/5-degree bevel features enable you to make miter cuts quickly. The D2400's versatility, smart design, and thoughtful features raise a new standard for the category. DeWalt, D2400 wet tile saw: $899; D24001 stand (sold separately): $99. 800-433-9258. www.dewalt.com.

Tablet PC


Throw your clipboard and PDA into the Dumpster, Field2Base's wireless computer tablet and software may be the biggest breakthrough in jobsite communication and management since the cell phone. Finally, you can work with your company's documents and architect's CAD files, surf the Web, check e-mail, and even shoot and send marked-up digital images all in one device. The tablet is about the size of a legal pad and uses a stylus and handwriting-recognition software to put even the hardest-core, computer-averse superintendent at ease. Not only are you free from your office, you're also free from your truck, given the wireless capabilities that connect either through cell phone dial-up or a high-speed Internet WiFi box in your truck. Your project managers can communicate directly with subs, suppliers, engineers, and your home office, exchanging schedules, purchase orders, detail sketches, and field reports in the field. Documenting work in progress has never been easier or more accurate. Field2Base, wireless computer tablet: Cost varies. 919-462-8500. www.field2base.com.

Jobsite Security


Too many jobsites are a pair of bolt cutters and a bad guy away from losing all their tools. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much you could do about it except buy a thicker chain. DeWalt's Sitelock jobsite security system may change that.

Sitelock operates somewhat like a home alarm system: A main control module monitors sensors around a site; if those sensors are disturbed, the module lights up, blares a siren, and notifies you and/or a monitoring service. But Sitelock was designed specifically with jobsite needs in mind. First, the control module is wireless so it can be moved between sites. Second, in addition to motion sensors similar to a home system (which are ideal for a site trailer), Sitelock also has two types of sensors perfect for monitoring jobsite equipment: A 12-foot-long cable lock for outdoor equipment like generators and ladders, and a container lock for gang boxes, sea cans, etc.

You program Sitelock at the base, and it can be activated and de-activated with key fobs. Sensors can be placed up to 2,000 feet away from the base. The basic system comes with four sensors: door/window, motion detector, container sensor, and cable lock sensor. It costs approximately $1,000 to get started, and additional sensors cost $100–$200. Subscription to Sitelock monitoring service is $30–$40 per month. DeWalt, Sitelock. 800-433-9258. www.dewalt.com.