Harnessing Hydrogen

Dec. 1, 2011
RER's 2011 Innovative Product Award grand winner offers a ground-breaking, green and genius solution to indoor lighting applications with its elemental alternative energy source. Plus, innovations in 12 other categories offer the rental industry more new,

The RER Innovative Product Award was established in 2003 to honor excellence in new product development in the equipment rental industry. This year the awards showcase the most innovative products introduced between Aug. 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011.

A panel of industry judges narrowed the pool of entries to one winner in each of 13 categories. Then, the judges selected the product they felt displayed the most innovation in respect to the rental business from the 13 products selected as category winners. One product was named the Grand Award winner.

Thank you to all of the companies that entered products in this year's RER Innovative Product Awards competition. Following is the 2011 Grand Award winner, followed by the 12 products that won their respective categories. Honorable mentions will be featured in the January and February 2012 issues of RER.

For additional information on the Innovative Product Award winners and video clips of some of the entries, visit

Light Towers: Category Winner

H2LT Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Light Tower

Multiquip, Carson, Calif.
December 2010Key innovation: Hydrogen fuel powered light tower that is quiet, clean and usle energy.

What better way to power a light tower than with the most abundant element on earth — hydrogen? That was the question a team of Multiquip engineers asked themselves when a large commercial customer approached the company needing a light tower to operate indoors with overhead doors closed, and without the dangerous byproducts of running an engine indoors without ventilation. After initial concept meetings, the Carson, Calif.-based company assembled a team of experts from various fields to discuss the use of a fuel cell, which, other than in industrial products and for standby power units, had never been done.

“We broke a lot of ground with this concept,” says Torsten Erbel, vice president of product management, Multiquip Inc. “This is the only product of its kind currently on the market. All other light towers in rental channels are powered by diesel engines. There are a few solar-powered light towers entering the market, but they do not have the run duration, or the light output, of the Multiquip H2LT.”

Innovative by design, the Multiquip Earth Smart H2LT hydrogen fuel-cell-powered light tower is environmentally friendly and pollution-free, allowing it to be operated indoors for up to 68 hours at a remarkable low noise level of only 43 decibels at 23 feet. The only noise created is from the audible portion of the cooling fan. Because of the load-following feature of the fuel cell, power is only produced as needed providing an unmatched fuel efficiency compared to conventional combustion engines running at full load at all times.

A traditional light tower's generator produces the full rated power when the engine is started, regardless of how many lights are used or if the lights are turned off. “The Multiquip H2LT, with its load-following feature, has the fuel cell only produce as much power as is called for by the amount of lights in use,” explains Erbel. “This does not generate any excess or wasted energy, nor does it require the fuel cell to run at full capacity. The benefit is that we can achieve longer run times and conserve fuel for those periods when not all lights are in use.”

As the first hydrogen fuel-cell-powered light tower, the system features a fuel cell running on pure hydrogen, resulting in zero-emissions electrical power. The fuel cell produces electricity for an advanced, power-saving Light Emitting Plasma lighting system and additional auxiliary power up to 2.5 kW, which allows additional equipment (such as drills, power tools, public address systems, or security metal detectors) to be powered by the unit at the same time the system is providing illumination.

“Most important, there is zero pollution generated, virtually no noise, and there are no dangerous exhaust gases produced,” says Erbel. “The environmental contribution is a savings of 9.1 metric tons per year of CO2 per unit, saving, on average, 900 gallons of diesel fuel. It is a significant savings when you think about how many light towers are out there in daily use. This could really help to clean the air quite a bit.”

Using a process discovered more than 150 years ago, fuel cells began supplying electric power for spacecrafts in the 1960s and were pursued for commercial use in the 1970s. Fuel cells are an alternative to the internal combustion engine with an energy efficiency of 50-plus percent, while, on average, internal combustion engines convert only 20 percent.

Hydrogen is colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic and non-poisonous. When compared to other fuels such as gasoline, propane and natural gas, the advances in hydrogen technology have made its use a safer alternative in nearly all applications. While other fuels stay near to the ground and could ignite, hydrogen disperses almost immediately. Compared to other fuels, hydrogen has a higher flash point, making it much more difficult to ignite. When ignited, however, it burns with a pale blue flame that is nearly invisible in daylight and radiates little infrared heat. For applications that may result in combustion, users must be aware of its presence and take precautions to avoid contact.

“While there are many myths about hydrogen, it is a very safe gas for industrial applications,” Erbel explains. “The Multiquip H2LT stores hydrogen in four, 2-kg carbon-fiber-wrapped metal and polymer-lined tanks that are DOT certified.”

And it's not just the fuel-cell power source that makes the H2LT innovative. Using the most advanced light technologies, the light-emitting plasma, or LEP, lighting system consists of eight plasma lights that provide an average bulb life expectancy of 50,000 hours and consume just 249 W per bulb. Unlike a traditional light bulb that uses filament, which can easily break, LEP bulbs are the size of a TicTac candy, and produce 23,000 Lumens per light.

“Light is generated in a ceramic resonant cavity through high-frequency and the use of gases and precious metals,” explains Erbel. “The result is a very efficiently generated light with high CCT and CRI output that is very close to daylight.”

CCT refers to color temperature, or the warmth of the lamp itself. The H2LT produces a CCT of 5750K, a rating that doesn't cause a red or bluish effect, making the unit well suited for use with cameras as in the entertainment industry. CRI refers to the color rendering index, which on the H2LT is 74 out of a possible 100 — a very high rating Erbel notes. CRI compares the light output to the ideal of natural light sources, another important rating when film or television cameras are in use because it helps those operators determine which filters to use.

Though not yet offered for sale, the H2LT light tower demonstration units have found themselves in some pretty special applications — the space shuttle launch, the Academy Awards red carpet, and on highway tunnel construction jobsites where ventilation would be a serious concern with traditional light towers.

“While we see this product suitable for the general rental market, we do not expect to see it in the majority of rental stores, due to its initial higher cost,” says Erbel. “Our target markets have been specialty rental companies, the entertainment industry, government bodies and transportation agencies.”

Multiquip expects to offer the first H2LT units for sale in the first quarter of 2012, but initially anticipates the higher cost to be prohibitive to most general equipment rental companies. Erbel estimates the cost of the hydrogen-fuel-cell powered light towers to be about two and a half times that of traditional light towers, but says the return on investment and capital return is difficult to quantify. Buyers are eligible for a 30-percent tax credit from the federal government and, depending on which state they live in, could qualify for an additional 10 to 12 percent state tax credit. Add to that the fuel cost savings — hydrogen is about $10 per kg, which would amount to $70 to $80 per fill-up, while diesel fuel, at $3.93 per gallon would amount to more than $100 for a 27-plus gallon fuel tank fill-up — on comparable 50-hour run times and the user reaches a savings in operating costs of 21 percent at 2,000 hours and 90 percent at 10,000 hours.

“The feedback has been more than positive,” Erbel says. “Most users cannot believe the quiet operation and ease of use. We have adopted hydrogen as a technology platform and will develop other products in the future. We do believe that hydrogen will be one of the fuels of the future. As the U.S. builds the ‘hydrogen highway’ fuel availability will steadily increase. In a few years, fueling with hydrogen will be as common as pulling into a gas station is today.”

As with all new technology, cost often starts high and comes down as the innovation matures and gains widespread acceptance. And with worldwide attention to the necessity of alternative energy solutions gaining steam and a mounting acquiescence of the importance of clean energy sources, Multiquip's ground-breaking hydrogen-powered H2LT light tower is one to watch. The company is committed to exploring hydrogen-fuel-cell technology as a power source in other products and the concept is sure to grow legs and take off running.

Compressors/Air tools: Category Winner

Zoneair XATS 1020

Atlas Copco Specialty Rental, Humble, TexasIntroduced: June 10, 2011Key innovation: The ZoneAir XATS 1020 containerized portable compressor features a 15-foot DNV container that is ATEX 94/9/EC certified for Zone 2 hazardous area operation.

Atlas Copco Specialty Rental introduces the ZoneAir XATS 1020, an ATEX-certified containerized portable compressor designed for the oil and gas industry. With a capacity of 1,020 cfm at 150 psi (10.3 bar), the ZoneAir XATS 1020 provides energy-efficient performance in numerous applications. The ZoneAir XATS 1020 is designed for work on offshore platforms and vessels, and is suitable for painting and sandblasting, gas flaring, well testing, and enhanced oil recovery.

As a rental option, the ZoneAir XATS 1020 is designed for seasonal or temporary oil and gas applications. Its containerized housing and forklift slots make it easier to transport and stack for flexibility and versatility on site. Rental customers benefit from the latest Zone-2 (Class 1, Div. 2) compressor technology and reduced downtime with optional 24/7 service support from Atlas Copco's Specialty Rental division. The ZoneAir XATS 1020 is driven by a Cummins QSM 11 Tier 3 compliant engine and includes the new C190 screw element from Atlas Copco. The engine features flameproof Pyroban components such as an inlet shutdown valve, inlet flame trap, explosion-proof alternator and battery system, water-cooled exhaust gas cooler, spark arrestor and engine safety control system. An 800-liter fuel tank ensures 8 hours full-load operation, resulting in increased uptime.

“Atlas Copco Rental's Zone Air XATS 1020 portable compressor is robustly built into a specially designed DNV offshore container and includes the latest ATEX technologies for safe operation in Zone 2 hazardous areas (Class I, Div. II),” says Pragnesh Desai, application development manager at Atlas Copco Specialty Rental. “Built with maximum safety in mind, this unique package provides energy-efficient performance with minimum footprint for well tests, gas flaring or maintenance jobs in the offshore environment.”

The ZoneAir XATS 1020 also includes Pyroban's 3GP gas-detection system — a proactive system designed to guarantee safe operation in hazardous areas. In addition, there is a single service side for easy accessibility.

Computer Software: Category Winner

Dispatch Center with GPS Integration

Point-of-Rental SystemsIntroduced: February 2011Key innovation: Delivery vehicle tracking with real-time order status updates, accurate arrival and departure notifications, turn-by-turn in-cab directions and real-time reporting within POR software.

The GPS integration in the latest version of Point-of-Rental Systems' Dispatch Center puts the rental company's dispatcher in the driver's seat, giving drivers tools for success, and allowing the whole team to provide superior customer service. The new GPS integration features computer-aided routing, GPS vehicle tracking, in-cab directions and stop details, arrival and departure updates that allow for proactive route adjustments and customer notifications — all to help actively manage the rental operation and stand out among the competition.

Using GPS devices from TSO Mobile and the Point-of-Rental Dispatch Center, the dispatcher can send stop-by-stop instructions or messages directly to delivery vehicles. The driver can view the stops on the in-cab display, hear turn-by-turn directions, and receive messages on the unit. The GPS unit transmits the arrival and departure time displaying real-time stop statuses and on-time reporting as well as estimated arrival times based on workflow and traffic conditions.

“What makes the Dispatch Center with GPS different from other dispatching software is the full integration into the rental software and two-way communication with the trucks,” says Jason Albus, Point-of-Rental systems engineer. “Our software seamlessly gathers and updates contract information from the rental software, allowing the customer service reps, drivers and the dispatchers to view the same real-time data. Some other systems require users to enter the addresses into a third-party program in order to dispatch and track the routes with no updating of the rental software data. Our software transmits contact and jobsite information directly to the truck and tracks the vehicle's progress in real time. Our system monitors the progress of each vehicle and records arrival and departure times along with estimated time to the next stop. This allows managers to take action when a stop will be late.”

Counter personnel are able to inform the customer of their order's status in real-time. Management can isolate drivers that spend time in non-authorized locations and can even be alerted when a driver enters such locations. Dispatchers can quickly find the nearest truck to pick up items that are called off rent or that require service. Users will be able to determine how often the driver is on time and how good onsite time estimations are. Benefits include more efficient driving, eliminating out-of-sight goofing off, not having to refund delivery fees caused by late arrivals, and accurately pre-planning weeks in advance, all making the ROI on these features attractive.

“This system makes good dispatchers better and helps inexperienced ones avoid costly mistakes,” says Jason Campisi, whose company South Jersey Party Rentals has adopted the software. “It creates another level of employee accountability with drive times and onsite times. It also gives the sales team good estimated times of arrival for clients without having to talk to the dispatcher 20 times a day.”

Concrete-Working Equipment: Category Winner

Lavina 30g Pro

Superabrasive Inc., Hoschton, Ga.Introduced: June 1, 2011Key innovation: Propane-driven planetary-grinding, polishing and burnishing machine all in one, featuring three new 13.5-inch heads for a 30-inch working area, and a unique low-profile base that can easily reach underneath shelving, cabinets, and other hard-to-reach places.

Lavina 30G Pro by Superabrasive Inc. is a new propane-driven 30-inch planetary-grinding, polishing and burnishing machine all in one. It features three new 13.5-inch heads for a 30-inch working area of productivity and a unique low-profile base designed to easily reach underneath shelving, cabinets and other hard-to-reach places. This gives the contractor a distinct advantage underneath racking and shelves, and allows for less edge work.

The machine is driven by a Kawasaki 18-hp propane-converted engine, and eliminates the need for generators and cables. It can be used for both wet and dry applications, and like all other Lavina machines, should be accompanied by Superabrasive's standard line of recommended tooling (QuickChange, NATO, V-HARR, Calibra, etc.). Lavina 30G Pro is well suited for big box store projects where an efficient, high-speed, large-area concrete-polishing solution is needed.

“No other machine on the market is that fast and easy to operate,” says Len Sniegowski, sales manager at Superabrasive. “Just one Lavina 30G Pro is capable of completing 1,500 square feet per hour, start to finish, using Superabrasive's three-step big box store system, and unlike other propane machines, it actually does go very easily underneath racking and cabinets to virtually eliminate the need for edge work. If the contractor needs to do a heavy grind or coatings removal, Lavina 30G Pro will obliterate any other propane machine for productivity.”

Cutting/Drilling: Category Winner

MAB 1300 Magnetic Drill

CS Unitec, Norwalk, Conn.
May 2011Key innovation: The MAB 1300 features a unique 4-gear, variable-speed, 20-amp motor that is reversible for tapping applications. It has the largest drilling and tapping capacity for a portable magnetic drill (drills up to 5-1/8-inch diameter, taps up to 1-5/8-inch diameter).

CS Unitec's new magnetic drilling machine, the MAB 1300, is designed for continuous use in heavy-duty drilling applications. The drill's powerful 20-amp/110-volt double-insulated, reversible motor is designed for drilling structural steel and other metals. The versatility of the 4-speed oil-bath gearbox (30-80, 50-120, 130-350 and 210-550 rpm) allows drilling of holes from 7/16-inch up to 5 1/8-inch diameter with annular cutters and twist drilling up to 1 3/4 inch. Capabilities include large-hole tapping up to 1 5/8-inch diameter and reaming up to 2 inches. The MAB 1300 has a Morse Taper No. 4 spindle with a 1 1/4-inch arbor with an adapter for ¾ inch. The drill can also be used with a special-purpose cutting tool. The unit includes an integrated automatic cooling/lubrication system to increase the life of the annular cutters by reducing friction and wear.

The high-density, three-coil magnet has a holding strength of up to 23,600 pounds, providing the pulling power required for heavy-duty drilling. The Electronic Safety Shutoff Sensor automatically shuts down the drill motor if the magnet loses contact with the material. An internal cable routing system helps protect the motor power cord from external damage. The drill weighs 112 pounds and is equipped with an eye-hook for lifting with a hoist. Standard equipment includes a steel carrying case, safety chain, drift key and hexagon socket screw key.

Earthmoving Equipment

JCB New Generation Skid Steers

JCB, Savannah, Ga.
Nov. 8, 2010
Key innovation: These skid steers utilize a “PowerBoom” design that eliminates the need for a rear torque tube, greatly increasing operator safety by offering unmatched visibility and a side-entry door. As a result, operators can enter and exit the machine without stepping over the attachment and loader arm.

In 1993, JCB introduced the industry's first mono-boom skid steer, a machine based upon the same principles as a telescopic handler. Today, the company's New Generation Skid Steers embody this same innovative spirit while taking performance and safety to a higher level. Available in a range of models featuring radial or vertical lift and compatible with more than 30 attachment families, these skid steers are safe, durable, comfortable and simple to use for operators at all skill levels.

JCB's “PowerBoom” design provides an unobstructed rear view and best-in-class visibility. This design also gives skid-steer operators access via a side-entry door, clear of the attachment and loader arm. Redesigned control panels are located in the panels at the top of the cab within the operator's line of sight. A 17-percent larger cab, multifunction joystick controls and an optional heated air-suspension seat improve operator comfort.

“JCB dares to be different,” says George Chaney, international sales manager - skid steers and compact track loaders. “We have provided skid-steer operators with a truly unique jobsite solution. It's all about the mono-boom design. This machine is the world's safest skid steer for a number of reasons — it is the only machine with a side-entry door, which eliminates the need to climb in and out the cab from the front over cumbersome attachments, and it has a 60-percent visibility advantage over competitive machines (independently verified).”

Servicing these skid steers is designed to be fast and easy, for less time spent in the shop and more on the jobsite. A simplified design has decreased the total number of parts by 38 percent. A tilting cab provides better access to the machine's power train and hydraulic components. The machines also include a rear service door for fast access to the engine and daily checkpoints. Operators can quickly switch attachments with a standard universal mechanical hitch or optional hydraulic quick hitch.

JCB's New Generation Skid Steers are engineered with value in mind. Not only do owners benefit from increased productivity and serviceability, but these machines also use 16-percent less fuel for significant savings. For more information, visit:


EB6500 Generator

Honda Power Equipment, Alpharetta, Ga.
January 2011Key innovation: The Honda EB6500 generator features CycloConverter technology that results in power equal in quality to automatic voltage regulator generators but dramatically lighter weight than other units producing the same amount of power. It also includes iAVR, a Honda generator exclusive system that realizes a 50-percent reduction in voltage fluctuation over current AVR systems.

The new Honda EB6500 generator is the flagship model of the Honda Industrial Series — an offering that incorporates advanced innovative technologies, and premium features and benefits for the construction and rental industries. CycloConverter technology results in power equal in quality to automatic voltage regulator generators but dramatically lighter weight than other units producing the same amount of power. This lighter weight is achieved by reducing the number of traditional parts with a central processing unit that conditions the raw power produced by the generator and eliminates the need for a bulky alternator. Honda CycloConverter technology offers the best pound-per-watt ratio available anywhere, the company says.

The Honda EB6500 also includes the all-new Honda iAVR Power advantage. iAVR is a Honda Generator exclusive system that realizes a 50-percent reduction in voltage fluctuation over current AVR systems. For up to 10 seconds, the Honda exclusive iAVR allows for increased wattage above the maximum rating to start high-amp load applications.

“Honda's new EB6500 allows for easy operation, great fuel economy and offers smooth power with the industry-exclusive iAVR power system,” says Gary Childress, Honda Generator product planner. “This new EB Series lineup is GFCI protected and ready for industrial/commercial use.”

Powering the Honda EB6500 generator is the newly designed iGX390 engine — a revolutionary, intelligent, computer-controlled general-purpose engine that sets an even higher standard for ease of use, fuel efficiency, and quiet operation for complex applications. The engine incorporates an electronic self-tuning regulator governor and features an integrated electronic control unit that delivers remote control capability and controls key aspects of engine operation. Benefiting both consumers and the environment, iGX technology results in lower fuel consumption and lower noise through reduced total engine running time and engine speed that can be lowered based on power demands. This intelligent technology works in conjunction with the new engine's V-type valve layout and sparkplug-center combustion chamber to yield a fuel economy increase of approximately 15 percent compared to a similar conventional engine.

Lawn & Garden Equipment: Category Winner

Eco Drive Powered Carts

Granite Industries, Archbold, Ohio
August 2010Key innovation: Along with being completely electric, omitting fumes and resulting in virtually no noise, the ECO Drive Powered Carts feature one chassis with multiple quick attachments.

The ECO Power cart by American Cart and Equipment, a division of Granite Industries, is designed to help the user work more efficiently and with less stress. The innovative ECO Power cart is built to operate both indoors and outdoors, and is completely electric, so it omits no fumes and virtually no noise.

The ECO Power cart offers a range of attachments such a 7-foot cubic hopper, 7-foot cubic dump tray, and several sizes of flat platform for optimal hauling. Other features include a speed range of 0 to 24 mph; static braking, allowing the user to start and stop on ramps and hills without additional breaks; a battery life of 300 to 500 charge/discharge cycles; an operating time of 5 to 7 ½ hours of continuous running; and 7 ½ to 11 ¼ hours of start/stop.

The unit also includes a 2-amp charger connected to the chassis. The drive system is an open differential that allows the machine to turn efficiently without tire skids. The ECO Drive requires no extra maintenance beyond recharging after a day of work. The drive system is sealed for life, thus no lubrication is required.

Lifts: Category Winner


JLG Industries, McConnellsburg, Pa.
Jan. 10, 2011Key innovation: The 1500SJ is the first boomlift that elevates operators 150 feet requiring only a weight permit.

JLG added a new model to its line of Ultra Series boomlifts. The 1500SJ is the largest self-propelled telescopic boomlift available with a platform height of 150 feet that delivers greater work envelope flexibility and superior reach at elevated heights. As the first 150-foot boomlift that requires only a weight permit, the 1500SJ serves a previously unmet need for customers looking for both greater reach and flexibility.

“The telescopic jib on the JLG Model 1500SJ reaches out 25 feet for unequaled reach, maneuverability and access at full elevation,” says William Dovey, product manager at JLG Industries.

In addition, the 1500SJ delivers industry-leading terrainability and access to more work with the industry's best work envelope, the company says.

Standard steel hoods provide improved durability, reduced cost of ownership and greater long-term value. In addition, operators receive key information with new graphic LCD displays in the platform to further increase ease of operation. As with all Ultra Booms, the 1500SJ delivers dual 1,000-/500-pound capacity, three steering modes and advanced systems to assist in safely positioning the platform. The 1500SJ is designed for general contractors, glaziers, window cleaners and welders, among many others.

Material Handling: Category Winner

Cat TH514 Telehandler

Caterpillar, Peoria, Ill.
Introduced: December 2010Key innovation: Designed to lift and place, load and carry, the TH514 gives workers 4990 kg (11,000 pounds) capacity and 13.7 meters (45 feet) of lift height. It features an upgraded cab and improved LCD display for added user visibility and access to information.

With a capacity of 4,990 kg (11,000 pounds) and a lift height of 13.7 meters (45 feet), the Cat TH514 telehandler is designed for construction, oil rigging and wind farming applications. A limited slip differential in the front axle provides added traction and allows the machine to work effectively in harsh terrain.

“This model fills the market need for a larger capacity, low-boom-pivot telehandler where lift capacity and all-around visibility are necessary,” says Andrew Yapp, Caterpillar product manager. “The machine, with its all-cylinder boom design, is meant to meet the pick, carry, lift-and-place needs of a variety of construction and industrial market segments such as power generation, utilities, wind farms, oil and gas, heavy and highway, and general construction.”

The TH514 telehandler reduces both fuel consumption and heat generation with a load-sensing variable displacement piston pump that delivers flow on demand. The side-mounted, turbo-charged Cat C4.4 DITAAC mechanical control engine with 74.5kW (101 hp) reduces emissions and runs cleaner. A transmission disconnect button on the joystick delivers full engine power to the hydraulics without manually disconnecting the drive.

The machine features an all-cylinder extension/retraction system boom and non-metallic wear pads; faster boom cycle times and proportional control of all three boom cycles allow loads to be placed with greater accuracy. A Cat powersynchro transmission delivers high power and torque levels that result in lower RPM operation with decreased sound levels. Low-boom-pivot design and an enlarged window surface provide outstanding visibility of the jobsite. An interactive LCD display helps diagnose equipment, monitor speed, view operating hours and check the boom angle. The keypad functions include steering modes, bucket mode and hydraulic system lock-out.

Miscellaneous: Category Winner

EQ Systems

EcoQuip Inc., Virginia Beach, Va.
Introduced: January 12, 2011Key innovation: A wet abrasive blast system that produces no dust, is safe, versatile and environmentally friendly.

EcoQuip, a manufacturer that designs and builds environmentally friendly and highly effective wet abrasive blast equipment, introduces its EQ Systems series of blasting systems, designed to achieve minimal blast media consumption between 50 to100 pounds per hour and lower water usage to less than 1 quart per minute. Dust suppression of more than 97 percent can be accomplished in open-air blasting without the need of full containment. EcoQuip's new design helps achieve a powerful, cost-efficient answer to many of today's surface-coating removal and preparation challenges.

“EcoQuip has designed and implemented the first truly mobile, industrial rental-ready surface-preparation and coating-removal system on the market today with proven success,” says Keith Eliason, vice president, EcoQuip Inc. “One EQ System can take the place of a multitude of equipment because of its versatility to blast as low as 30 psi to a high of 130 psi. This gives the rental company multiple markets in which this system can be rented.”

EcoQuip's series of blasting systems are successfully being used in a variety of industries for a wide-range of applications. The EQ200T and EQ400T represent advanced, mobile, self-contained surface-preparation systems. The EQ300C and EQ600C are high-production, high-performance, economical blast systems that utilize the customer's on-site air supply.

“Until now, general rental companies were extremely limited on their ability to rent blasting equipment because of safety concerns and OSHA regulations, environmental regulations and hazards, containment and disposal dilemmas, and cumbersome ancillary equipment needed for setup,” says Bill Eliason, EcoQuip president. “EcoQuip successfully created a system that eliminated the restrictions the general rental companies encountered in order to capture this multi-million dollar market. EcoQuip also enables rental companies to increase their utilization on existing air compressors and other equipment.”

Power Tools: Category Winner

Hilti TE 3000-AVR Breaker

Hilti Inc., Tulsa, Okla.
Introduced: January 2011Key innovation: The brushless SR motor with advanced electronics allows the tool to work well on generators and makes it less sensitive to voltage drops due to long extension cords on jobsites. The unique brushless Hilti motor eliminates the need to replace carbon brushes, which results in longer intervals between service and twice the expected tool life. Utilizing Active Vibration Reduction, the TE 3000-AVR achieves the lowest vibration in its class.

Designed for heavy breaking applications and demolition work at floor level, Hilti unveils its newest electro pneumatic tool, the TE 3000-AVR Breaker. The Hilti TE 3000-AVR Breaker offers the power of an air tool, at the same weight level, to deliver explosive breaking power in concrete and asphalt with exceptional mobility.

Weighing 65 pounds, the TE 3000-AVR delivers 50 foot-pounds of impact energy to break up to six tons of material per hour, a rate comparable with 60- to 65-pound air tools. This tool offers rental customers easy, flexible operation from anywhere on the jobsite. The TE 3000 features advanced electronics that allow the tool to work well on generators and make it less sensitive to voltage drops caused by long extension cords on jobsites. For maximum versatility, the TE 3000-AVR accepts standard 1-1/8-inch chisels, the same as air-powered tools.

The TE 3000-AVR incorporates Hilti's AVR system designed to dramatically cut the vibration passed along to the operator during operation, reducing fatigue and allowing them to work longer.

“It has also proven it can compete against air tools, at a significantly lower operating cost,” says Dawson Westenskow, product manager, corded drilling and demolition tools for Hilti. “For that reason the TE 3000-AVR is a game changer that can be leveraged by rental companies to help increase their ROI.”

An active cooling system reduces wear and tear on the motor, electronics and hammering mechanism, improving durability. Plus, the TE 3000-AVR features a brushless SR motor that eliminates the need to replace carbon brushes — allowing longer intervals between service and twice the expected motor life.

Technology Enhancements: Category Winner

Point-of-Rental Systems' Mobile Website Hosting

Point-of-Rental Systems, Grand Prairie, Texas
Introduced: March 2, 2011
Key innovation: Point-of-Rental Systems' Mobile Website Hosting enables rental stores to display inventory and allows their customers to make reservations using smartphones and other small-screen devices.

In response to the growing market of mobile users, Point-of-Rental Systems introduces a new generation of smartphone-friendly website designs now available for customers using the company's rental management software. These websites allow customers to efficiently browse online rental inventory and easily request quotes and reservations directly from their smartphones.

With a smartphone-friendly website, frustrated mobile users will no longer need to zoom in and out in order to read small fonts and menu/links on their phones. Instead, Point-of-Rental Systems' smartphone-friendly website designs are optimized for small screens and fully functional with an intuitive touch-screen interface.

“Mobile users who browse our rental stores' websites on their cell phones are automatically redirected to the optimized version specifically designed for small screens and a more intuitive touch-screen interface,” says Andre Farci, Point-of-Rental Systems' web design team lead.

With new Mobile Website Hosting, the rental inventory displayed is always up-to-date, providing customers with current rental information and pricing at all times. Special consideration was also given to reduce the complexity of these website layouts through the use of thumbnail images for accessing rental divisions, categories, and items. Other key features include the ability to dial the rental store's phone number while browsing its online inventory as well as the ability to display directions to the store using integrated Google Maps technology.

“Many of our customers have commented on how easy it is to get hold of us on their smartphones,” says Jim Duke, owner/manager of Colorado-based Target Rental. “They really like the facts that they don't have to enlarge or scroll back and forth to get the information they are looking for. And our phone number is a click away.”

“We are very proud of our software because we know it has the capacity to empower rental businesses in practical ways that directly affect their bottom line,” says Wayne Harris, president, Point-of-Rental Systems. “It is very gratifying when others recognize that as well.”

An example of a Point-of-Rental Systems' smartphone website can be viewed using a smartphone such as iPhone or Android at: