NEW PRODUCTS FEATURED AT SEMA 2001
By: Mike Kowdley
Last Edited: 2001-Nov-26 18:00
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Each year the SEMA show has provided the automotive world a peak at new
parts and accessories that could become the "next big thing" in vehicle
customization, and the 2001 show was no exception. Vendors large and
small from all over the world show off their new products to drum up
consumer enthusiasm as well as to get the attention of manufacturers and
distributers. While there's no chance of covering each of the hundreds
of booths at the SEMA show, here's a quick sampling of products I saw.
CounterAct : Protect Your Vehicle From Rust
Targeted towards industrial vehicles, consumer vehicles, and even
stationary equipment, the CounterAct Eletrostatic Corrosion Control
product uses patented state of the art corrosion control technology to
reduce corrosion migration around stone chips, small dents, and
scratches. The process is called "capacitive coupling", and
essentially creates an electric charge over your entire vehicle body,
thus reducing the ability of oxygen to attack exposed iron in the
vehicle. (Click here for technical info on the rusting process at
CounterAct's benefits are best realized in corrosive environment,
such as any coastal area or region where road salt is used. You
don't hear much about problems with body rust here in San Jose but
CounterAct says they've had incredible success in coastal areas such
as Australia, where the majority of folks live close to the ocean
and deal with rusting vehicles as a recurrent problem.
The CounterAct system connects with your vehicle electrical system
and therefore drains your battery over time. I was told it has
the intelligence to disconnect from your vehicle battery and shut
itself off before the battery charge gets too low to start the
engine. Using about as much electricity as an LED clock, it can
protect a unused vehicle for several weeks before shutting off. Solar
cells are available for unlimited protection.
Two things impressed me about CounterAct. First, the technology,
covers every part of your vehicle that's grounded electrically to
the body, including all metal body panels, any bolts and nuts that
contact the body, as well as your exhaust system, powertrain, etc.
Contrast this with a spray-on solution, which could miss spots or wear
off over time. With CounterAct you're assured continuous coverage
of all parts of the vehicle. Second, I was impressed by the depth of
testing that had been done by independent laboratories on the
product and the number of positive experiences CounterAct customers
have had. I was told about an industrial application that increased
the life of its equipment from 18 months to 43 months with the use
of CounterAct. Sounds like this product is a lot more than just
CounterAct can be reached online at
http://www.counteractrust.com, at their
(more complete) Australian website http://counteract.com.au,
or by phone at 1-800-603-8451.
Plywood and Surfboards : Three Racks For Your Truck
There was no shortage of folks offering rack solutions for consumer
and industrial trucks. These racks allow you to easily transport
items much longer than the bed of your truck, be it PVC pipe,
sheets of plywood, or your longboard, and they provide plenty of
spots to tie down your gear.
QuickRack - Drilling Free and Easy to Handle
The first thing you'll notice about the QuickRack is that the uprights
aren't made of metal, they are a high strength composite. Using these
lightweight parts, the entire shipping weight of the product is a mere
34 pounds. But the QuickRack is guaranteed to support 500 pounds and has
been tested to over 1500 pounds.
The QuickRack ships with six uprights and three anodized alumninum
cross beams. The most popular American trucks have pre-sized
cross beams, other applications will have to cut the cross beam to
length and drill bolt holes in the alumnium using easy to follow
instructions. The uprights clamp to the rails of your bed using
a common hex-head bolt with an alumnium spacer on the bottom and a
rubber spacer on top to protect the vehicle's paint.
QuickRack is based in Phoenix. Their products can be purchased online
from www.onestoptruckshop.com or www.pickuptruckaccessories.com.
|Attachment bracket for the QuickRack (shown without the alumium space and rubber spacer)|
ProRack - Theft Resistant and Drilling Free
The more traditional ProRack rack also features bolt-free
installation. No cutting is required, the cross beams adjust using
basic tools. With a shipping weight of 95 pounds, the ProRack
is significantly heavier that the QuickRack because it features an
all metal construction and beams running the length of your bed
(in addition to the uprights and cross beams).
The ProRack attaches to your vehicle in a similar way as the
QuickRack -- a rubber pad sitting on the rail is clamped against a
bolt underneath the rail. Instead of a standard hex head bolt,
QuickRack uses a square bolt that is recessed into the frame, this
makes it easy to use the supplied tool to remove but inaccessible to
a thief's hex socket or crescent wrench.
ProRack produces two different styles of overhead rack as well as
a motorcycle rack to brace two bikes in the bed of your truck. Check
their site for details.
ProRack is manufactured in California and can be reached online at
http://www.prorack.com or by phone at
Slide-In - Sturdy and Versatile
For those that prefer the confidence of a bolt-on solution, Slide-In
racks provide just that. Each upright fits into a base with a metal
plate that is bolted directly to the bed of your truck.
One of the most interesting features of Slide-In racks is that the
cross beams can be removed and the uprights rotated 90° in the
base. With a little creativty, these L-shaped uprights can then form
the support for a lean-to, a picnic-shade, tailgate party rain-cover,
or a perch for your camping lantern.
Slide-In racks are currently sold locally in Sacramento, although a
wider distribution is in the works. Customer service can be reached at