THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business - February '15

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6 n Performance & Hotrod Business n February 2015 O ne of the coolest stocking stuffers to come my way this holiday season was a credit card-sized 18-tools-in-1 gadget that serves as a bottle opener, box cutter, ruler, screwdriver, cellphone stand, letter opener and plenty more. Though small and kind of silly, somehow my family knew I'd love it. Just like I knew my brother-in-law would love the dual wrench set we wrapped up for him this Christmas—(one of the few times I've actually enjoyed shopping!) Obviously, you don't have to be a professional to enjoy and appreciate a handy or ingenious tool. But if you do happen to make a living working on cars or engines, then having the proper tools is a must. Speaking with manufacturers and technicians over the years, I don't think it's over- stating things to say that the proper tools can make or break an automotive business. From the smallest hand tools to the biggest machines, professional-grade tools ensure the professional-quality work your customers demand. We take some time each year to focus on tools, not in an attempt to list every pos- sible product available, but to remind shops of the importance of proper tool use and maintenance. Tools have a direct impact on the work you do, and how quickly you can do it. Through our articles this month on specialty tools and metal fabrication, here are four tips for shops to keep in mind when it comes to stocking and maintaining your professional toolbox: 1. You get what you pay for. Ray McClelland of Full Throttle Kuztomz sums it up nicely in his discussion with JoAnn Bortles this month: "Right down to the sockets, the ratchets and the wrenches, there's something to be said for buying a name-brand tool. It's the difference between a Chevette and a Cadillac." 2. Show some love. Professional tools are sturdy and well-built. That doesn't mean they should be abused or neglected. "Keeping tools off the floor and cleaning up the work area and cleaning and storing tools for the next job are quality and time-saving practices," notes Michael Janey of Malco Products. 3. Keep them close. That can mean not loaning them out, but also making sure that they are nearby and available when they're needed. "Often, technicians may be tempted to grab the tool that's closest, but it might not be best for the job. With all tools easily accessible, identifying the correct tool for the job becomes easier," says Jim Stewart of GearWrench. 4. Don't forget the user. And finally, Alan Lee of Alan Lee Designs shares this nug- get with JoAnn: "Never forget, the most important element in the fabrication shop is the fabricator." In other words, the greatest tools in the world are useless in the hands of unskilled users. Make sure your employees understand how to fully use all the tools at their disposal. I figure that if I and my family get excited about new tools, then professionals must get really excited, because not only is the new tool fun to use, it's going to help you make money as well. To quote JoAnn: "There's nothing like using a well-made tool for the job, whether it was made last week or 40 years ago. Take the time to carefully research your equip- ment needs, and make time spent in your shop much more enjoyable." Talking Tools n DRiveR's seaT Publisher Kent Bradley – kbradley@nbm.com Associate Publisher Michael Murray – mmurray@nbm.com Executive Editor Jef White – jwhite@nbm.com Managing Editor Eddie Wieber – ewieber@nbm.com __________________________________ Art Director Linda Cranston – linda@nbm.com Graphic Designer Dayne Pillow – dpillow@nbm.com __________________________________ ADVERTISING SALES Michael Murray – mmurray@nbm.com SALES ASSISTANT Becca Corona – rcorona@nbm.com __________________________________ Advertising Production Coordinator Kristina Steiner – ksteiner@nbm.com ___________________________________ TRADE SHOW SALES Laurie Zydonik – laurie@nbm.com Trade Show Sales Coordinator Jackie Horn – jhorn@nbm.com ___________________________________ Technical Contributor Mike Mavrigian – birchwdag@frontier.com Contributing Writers Timothy F. Bednarz, JoAnn Bortles, John Carollo, Regis Finn, Patricia Kaowthumrong, Mike Mavrigian, Jason Sakurai. __________________________________ NATIONAL BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. President & CEO Robert H. Wieber, Jr. Vice President / Integrated Media John Bennett Vice President / Publishing Dave Pomeroy Vice President / Finance Kori Gonzales, CPA Vice President, NBM Events Susan Hueg, CEM, CMP susan@nbm.com Director of Audience Development Lori Farstad Director of IT Wolf Butler Jef White Executive Editor

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