Quick Hook Eliminates Tripping Hazards

American made and molded in Mesa, Arizona, Quick Hooks allow for a new and inventive way to store and run cable safely within OSHA regulations. Quick Hooks eliminate tripping hazards by securely fastening cables to overhead structures.

The rugged patented design allows the Quick Hook to hold twice the weight as its competitors while remaining the same cost. Easily mounted and installed, Quick Hooks provide a safer working area for vehicles and pedestrian traffic alike.

Even when running multiple cables, the Quick Hook can still be turned to as a reliable solution. The Quick Hook holds up to 80 pounds of force. In high wattage areas the Quick Hook doesn’t waiver. This product is completely non-conductive. Quick Hook can either be hooked or screwed into place allowing it to fit in almost any overhead environment and moved easily to a different location if needed.

Quick Hooks abide by 15 different cord related OSHA regulations, keeping you well within compliance. Read more about those here.

How to use and optimize the Quick Hook

Quick Hook is a simple, user friendly safety tool. One method for easy installation is to place the Quick Hook up on the place you wish to hang it, then carefully spread the opposite curved end sideways only slightly, enough to twist the wire or cables down inside the hook holding the cable in place.  Once the cable, wire, or hose is already placed inside the hook, you can raise additional items into the air and lay them inside.

It’s wise to use a Quick Hook every 10 to 20 feet as to avoid slack and low hanging cable. Extra hooks should be implemented when going around corners.

Items suspended should be compatible with one another and should not create a hazard. Electric cords carrying greater than 600V, should not be carried with other electric cords, except if allowed due to type of wire covering.

Check out the Quick Hook here.

A Precious Child: Fill a Backpack Corporate Challenge

A Precious Child works closely with schools in Colorado, often communicating about needs children have during the school year. One thing brought to attention was the numerous children attending school without necessary supplies in tow. Thousands of students in the state are unable to perform adequately without pencils, paper, erasers, and other required tools for class.

A Precious Child aims to solve that issue.

Kids happy to receive their brand new backpack and school supplies!

This week marks the beginning of A Precious Child’s, Fill A Backpack program. This campaign gives children from kindergarten to high school adequate school supplies through donations. Last year thousands of kids could return to school ready to face the semester because of the Fill A Backpack program. This year the goal is to provide the same opportunity for more than 15,000 children living in eight Denver Metro Counties.

All school supplies are greatly appreciated. You can follow these links to the Amazon Wish list for each age group, if you are interested in donating:

Full Backpack Grades K-2 Amazon Wish List

Full Backpack Grades 3-5 Amazon Wish List

Full Backpack Grades 6-8 Amazon Wish List

Full Backpack Grades 9-12 Amazon Wish List

A Precious Child has been helping the communities of Colorado for 10 years, providing families with basic essentials such as clothing, shoes, baby products, and coats. For around $50 raised, a child can attend class with the tools to succeed and the confidence to tackle each school day.

Checkers has proudly been working with A Precious Child for 3 years. Checkers will be collecting all donations in both building’s break rooms till July 20th, when the program officially ends. A Precious Child will then distribute the backpacks to children in need through their agency partners that include schools, health and human services, churches, hospitals, safe houses, fire and police departments, at-risk youth centers, homeless shelters, mental health, and foster care organizations.

To participate in any future A Precious Child events you can visit their webpage here.

 

 

Don’t Let Santa Trip!

If you celebrate the season by hanging lights, you’re all too familiar with this holiday hassle: cords. Between strings of lights, extension cords, and power strips, electrical situations can quickly become a disorganized mess. In addition to being ugly, loose cords pose several safety issues. They can cause trips and falls, and improper cord protection can even cause fire hazards. Let’s view a few examples:

Tape is bad for outdoor applications, but the Fastlane cable protector is all-weather.1. Tape: The problem in the photo on the right is that the tape lacks the adhesion necessary to keep the cables in place outdoors. The cables have easily become loose and are now presenting a serious trip hazard, as they cross a direct walkway. Even if the tape was adhering properly, it provides no protection for the cable, meaning that repeated foot traffic can easily damage the internal wiring and possibly destroy your beautiful light display.

Covering cables with rugs can create fire hazards, the Fastlane cable protector will not.2. Carpet: Running your cords underneath carpeting or a rug is tempting because it is easy and convenient, but it is not a good decision for cord protection. Like tape, rugs and carpet do not protect the internal wiring of your cords from foot traffic. As the wiring breaks down due to repeated trampling, the cord loses it’s ability to transmit current properly and begins to overheat, as explained in this article from ProtectAmerica. This heat could potentially lead to a catastrophic fire.

The Fastlane Cable Protector is great for light duty applicationsThe Solution

Linebacker offers several products designed for light duty use. Our Fastlane Drop-Over Cable Protector (pictured on the right) is a lightweight, durable solution that is made from all-weather polyurethane and great for indoor or outdoor use. Its modular design means it can accommodate cord runs of any length, and it’s sturdy construction means it will keep your cords safe for years to come. Another option is our RFD cable protectors. These are built from premium rubber and are designed primarily for indoor applications. Like the Fastlane, the RFD provides protection for cables, while keeping them neatly organized and avoiding any sort of trip hazard.

This year, protect your cables and make sure Santa won’t trip!

Learn more about the Fastlane here. Learn more about the RFD here. Reach us at 800-438-9336 or sales@checkers-safety.com.

Polyurethane Aircraft Chocks vs. Wooden Chocks

Polyurethane Aircraft Chocks vs. Wooden Chocks

Our polyurethane aircraft chocks are the premium chocking solutions for planes, helicopters, and other air vehicles. Compared with wooden competitor products, our polyurethane chocks are much more durable and feature a longer life span. We frequently work with the military to ensure that our service men and women, and their equipment, stays safe. Here is an excerpt from a case study reflecting the substantial savings switching to polyurethane chocks can create:

Monster polyurethane aircraft chocks“In September of 2002, the 121st AWR purchased 80 polyurethane chocks with the “121st ARW OHANG” logo on imprinted on them from Checkers Industrial Products. The total amount of the contract was $15,101.80. At the same time, 80 wooden chocks were also purchased, for a cost of $7,446.40. Forty of both the wooden and polyurethane chocks were used simultaneously on the flight line. The wooden chocks degraded so badly that they required two replacements. They became waterlogged and froze to the ramp during extremely cold weather. In the hangar where aircraft are washed, the wood chocks are replaced every six months due to the extreme weight from being waterlogged. The 121st ARW has weighed one waterlogged wood chock at 47 pounds, 70% heavier than a Monster polyurethane chock, which weighs 33lbs. Additionally, through continued use, the wood chocks chipped and splintered leaving FOD on the flight line. The 121st used 72 wood chocks exclusively indoors and only for TTF configurations. Within a time frame of 4 years 80% of these chocks cracked, and several warped, despite not being exposed to weather. There was also mold discovered growing on the chocks. In accordance with MIL-PRF-32058 (USAF), these chocks are unacceptable for aircraft use. The polyurethane chocks never froze to the ramp, became waterlogged, cracked or warped. Due to their construction, they won’t move on slippery surfaces. They do not require repainting. The 121st ARW purchases twenty gallons of yellow paint per year to paint the wood chocks at a cost of $500.00. Sand paper, paint brushes and barrier paper add up to an additional $325.00. This does not take into account the man hours required to sand, paint and clean up. The 121st originally projected a ten-year time frame to realize cost savings. However, it quickly became apparent that they will realize cost savings on the initial purchase by the end of the fourth year.

These chocks are to be utilized on the TTF packages (72 total) and for each hangar bay where aircraft are washed (20 total). One polyurethane chock is 2.16 times the cost of a wood chock, however, based on research and historical data, the wood chocks will be replaced approximately every three years. Additionally, these chocks will require over $825.00 per year to paint and maintain them. This doesn’t even factor in a conservative estimate of 360 man hours to conduct this maintenance. In a twelve-year period, the 121st will spend approximately $44,860 to purchase, replace and maintain wood chocks for the flight line, TTF configurations and hangar bays. Alternatively, the 121st could spend $18,400 for polyurethane chocks.”

While this information is eye opening, putting it into table form really illustrates the point:

Costs for 92 Aviation ChocksPolyurethane ChocksWood Chocks
Cost of chocks$200.00/chock$95.00/chock
Cost of painting and repairs$0.00/year$825.00/chock
Frequency of replacement10+ years3 years
Cost over twelve year period$18,400.00$44,860.00

As the table indicates, switching to polyurethane can be very cost effective, in addition to being a safer solution that avoids FOD. There are many other details and reasons to consider polyurethane chocks, and they can be found by clicking on the case study link below.

Click here to see the full case study. Click here to view our line of aircraft chocks.

Manufacturing Jobs in the United States

Checkers provides manufacturing jobsIn a recent interview with Cheddar TV, CEO of Thomas Publishing Company Tony Uphoff discussed the challenges facing manufacturing companies in the United States. The manufacturing industry has long been a stalwart of economic development in the US and revitalizing it will be critical to continued success as a nation. According to Deloitte, “Every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the U.S. economy, and every 100 jobs in a manufacturing facility creates an additional 250 jobs in other sectors.” Clearly, manufacturing jobs are important for economic growth. However, as a country, we face several problems in our manufacturing sector. The skill gap is substantial and continues to widen. Deloitte estimates that “Over the next decade nearly 3 ½ million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled. The skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled.” That’s where the federal government comes in. Back in June, the president signed an executive order that increased funding for apprenticeships, increasing the budget from $90 million to $200 million. As Uphoff mentions, it is not immediately clear where this additional funding will be coming from. In The president’s own words, the apprenticeship program is designed to provide “…great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees.”

Uphoff also references another force working upon the manufacturing industry: technology. As technology advances and improves, its increased presence in the manufacturing industry becomes inevitable. Automation is being utilized more and more to fill the skill gap and keep business producing at a high level. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As Uphoff alludes to, automation creates new job opportunities. Not to mention that not all technological improvements are designed to replace humans. Some, such as Google Glass 2.0, are designed to be used as a tool for better worker efficiency. We here at Checkers are excited by the prospect of technology entering our workspace. Currently, we utilize 3D printing technology to reduce prototyping costs, but perhaps some day we’ll be able to 3D print a cable protector. In the mean time, we manufacture all of our cable protectors and wheel chocks the old fashioned way: on a manufacturing floor in Broomfield, Colorado, USA. To learn more about Checkers’ history and manufacturing processes, click here. To learn about career opportunities at Checkers, click here.

Gaffer Tape vs. Cable Protectors: Part 2

Gaffer Tape vs. Cable Protectors: Part Two

The Firefly Cable Protector is the only illuminated cable protection solution on the marketA few weeks back, we examined the cost of choosing gaffer tape over a Yellow Jacket Cable Protector. Today, we’ll revisit that analysis with another variable added in: The Firefly Cable Protector. The Firefly is a unique cable protector, in that it is the only illuminated cable protection solution on the market. This makes it the perfect safety solution for the entertainment industry, in particular, concert venues. Loyal readers of the blog will recall that when we discussed the gaffer tape vs. Yellow Jacket scenario, we used a hypothetical situation involving a local Colorado venue.

Being based in Colorado, everyone knows that Red Rocks Amphitheater is the best place for live entertainment during the spring and summer months. Typically, they will average over 100 shows per season. For the sake of this exercise, we’ll round that number to 100 even. Let’s also say, hypothetically, that Red Rocks has a cable run which is 100 feet long and includes five different AV cables. In scenario one, the venue manager will choose to use gaffer tape. In scenario two, the venue manager will opt for Linebacker Yellow Jacket Series Cable Protectors.

For this exercise, we will be adding scenario three: the venue manager will opt for Linebacker Firefly Series Cable Protectors.

  • Gaffer Tape
  • Price per foot
  • Price per show
  • Price per season
  • Price over 10 seasons
  • Gaffer Tape
  • $0.07
  • $35.00
  • $3,500
  • $35,000
  • Yellow Jacket
  • $85.00
  • $8,500
  • $8,500
  • $8,500
  • Firefly
  • $145.00
  • $14,620
  • $14,620
  • $14,620

There is, of course, one other expense not calculated in this chart: batteries. Each Firefly can run for 1,000 hours off of two AA batteries, which means 200 batteries will have to be replaced every 1,000 hours. If the average concert is 5 hours in length, then the batteries will have to be replaced every 200 shows. A package of 24 batteries typically costs between $12 and $15, so each total battery replacement will cost between $100 and $125. Depending on the frequency of shows at each individual venue, the cost of batteries can fluctuate further. Red Rocks typically hosts around 150 concerts per year, which brings their estimated battery costs for a 10 year period to $750.

In Part One of this exercise, we discussed how Yellow Jacket Cable Protectors provide additional value by ensuring cables cannot be damaged. Firefly Cable Protectors are made from the same high-quality polyurethane material that we use to manufacture our Yellow Jackets, and we even utilize the same manufacturing process. That means you can expect the same durability from a Firefly that you would from a Yellow Jacket, with the addition of extra visibility from the ultra-bright LED side ramps.

What is not indicated in the table is the added safety benefit of illumination. Illuminated cable protectors are highly visible, especially in dark areas, where traditional cable protectors are not as easily seen. Certainly, the Firefly is a premium cable protection solution, but it can prevent expensive lawsuits by avoiding slips, trips, and falls for both employees and patrons. More important than the money is the value of safety. Providing a safe working environment for employees and save venue for patrons is paramount and cannot be assigned a monetary value.

For more information about Firefly Cable Protectors, click here. To view the brochure, click here.

Chocking Procedures: A Step-by-Step Guide for Maximizing Safety

Monster chocks comply with chocking procedures for maximum safety.In 2016, the U.S. mining industry saw fatal accidents claim the lives of 20 workers, according to this MSHA report. These tragedies highlight the need for mining safety equipment, such as wheel chocks. Wheel chocks are effective safety devices when used properly. However, wheel chocking procedures are not always as straightforward as they may seem. There are several key aspects of proper chocking that may not be obvious to every user. We’ve outlined the most important things to take note of while using our wheel chocks, to ensure maximum safety for both workers and equipment. It is the responsibility of the end user to make the final determination about proper chocking of a vehicle under the circumstances presented. You cannot simply test a pair of wheel chocks with a specific vehicle on a specified grade and broadly assume that the wheel chocks will hold the same truck every time.  Countless combinations of conditions exist and this must be considered when selecting the most appropriate wheel chock for each application. Thorough testing must be completed at each location to ensure that specific wheel chocks will meet their specific chocking requirements.

Here are the combinations of conditions must be considered for safe, proper chocking procedures:

  • Tire size
    • Smaller tires require smaller chocks, while larger tires require larger chocks. To determine which chock your vehicle needs, click here to view our chock reference guide.
  • Gross vehicle weight
    • Heavier vehicles require larger chocks than lighter vehicles. Gross vehicle weight can be found along the Y-axis of the chock reference guide.
  • Level or grade of the ground surface
    • Chocks need to be positioned in different ways depending on if the ground is level or not. Ensuring that the chocking configuration is correct based on surface grade is paramount for proper chocking. To view a diagram detailing the different chocking configurations, click here.
  • Radial Tires vs. Bias-Ply Tires
    • Radial tires by design deflect more than bias-ply tires. While this flexibility allows the vehicle to move more smoothly, it also allows the tire to wrap around the wheel chock, which reduces the chocks effectiveness. To combat this, vehicles with radial tires should be chocked with wheel chocks that are larger than what the reference guide recommends.
  • Tire pressure variance due to environment
    • It is important to monitor tire pressure, especially in harsh environments. Improperly inflated tires can lead to chocking failures.
  • Condition of the ground
    • Whether the ground is firm, soft, wet, dry, icy, or frozen is a key determination in the type of chock to use. For frozen or icy terrain, choose a chock with a cleated bottom. For severely wet or muddy terrain, multiple chocks may be necessary to ensure safe chocking.

Diagram of correcting chocking procedures.The second key to proper chocking is the actual positioning of the chocks themselves. When chocking a vehicle, always follow these simple rules to ensure maximum efficiency and safety.

  1. Always ensure the chock is centered and squared with the tire.
  2. Position the chock snuggly against the tire tread.
  3. Always use wheel chocks in pairs.
  4. Wheel chocks must be positioned downhill and below the vehicle’s center of gravity.
  5. On a downhill grade, position the chocks in front of the front wheels.
  6. On an uphill grade, position the chocks behind the rear wheels.
  7. On a level grade, position the chocks on the front and back of a single wheel.

For a detailed diagram of how to properly position a chock, click here. In addition to the following proper chocking procedures, it is important to consider the material of the chock. For more information on different chock materials, click here.

Monster Motion Safety offers a wide range of wheel chocks, ranging from small to large models. Whether you drive a pickup truck or a haul truck, proper chocking is important and safety cannot be a compromise. To view our full line of high-quality chocking solutions, click here.

Top 3 Reasons to Choose Firefly

The Firefly is the only cable protector on the market that is designed specifically as an entertainment cable protector. If you are a member of the entertainment industry and several reasons to choose a Firefly entertainment cable protector over a standard cable protector.

1. The Firefly entertainment cable protector is more visible in dark areas

The Firefly is the best entertainment cable protectorWhile we utilize high visibility colors like orange and yellow for the lids on our standard cable protectors, we offer the Firefly with light green and light blue lids, as these colors are more easily seen in low-light situations. We also mold LED strips directly into the ramps of our Firefly cable protectors, which makes them virtually impossible not to see. The battery life is a spectacular 500 hours off only two AA batteries, ensuring that battery maintenance and costs won’t be a burden to Firefly owners.

2. Firefly entertainment cable protectors don’t sacrifice toughness

Many of the cable management solutions we build for the entertainment industry are designed for pedestrian load capacities, but not necessarily vehicles or heavy equipment. Not the Firefly. We manufacture the Firefly with the same hand-cast method we use for the Yellow Jacket, one of the most durable cable protectors in the industry. The Firefly has a load capacity of 21,000 lbs./axle, meaning it can easily handle forklifts, which typically weigh around 9,000 lbs. Trucks and vehicles typically weigh around 3,000 lbs., so the Firefly will hold up under vehicle and equipment traffic as well as pedestrian traffic.

3. Firefly entertainment cable protectors feature heavy customization options

In the entertainment industry, presentation is paramount. The Firefly cable protector offers more customization than your average cable protector, allowing venue managers to tweak the presentation to be absolutely perfect. As mentioned in reason #1, we offer several stock colors of the Firefly lid, including blue and green, which are both visible in low light situations. However we also offer the Firefly with yellow, and orange lids, allowing venue managers to beautifully integrate them into existing Guard Dog and Yellow Jacket cable protection systems. Additionally, we also offer custom color combinations for larger orders, and two choices of LED colors: red or blue. Need to give your branding a boost? Ask your Checkers sales rep about our custom logo capacities, and get your very own logo molded into the lids of your cable protectors. This variety of customization choices give customers the options they need to take entertainment venue aesthetics to the next level.

Click here to learn more about the Firefly or download the Firefly brochure.

What is the Best Wheel Chock Material?

When shopping for wheel chocks, material construction the most important factor to consider. Several common chock materials include wood, rubber, aluminum, steel, and urethane. Each option has benefits and costs. Here at Checkers, we believe that polyurethane offers the most benefits at the fewest costs, which is why we manufacture our chocks from high-grade polyurethane. Wood, rubber, and aluminum are more bottom-line driven solutions, while steel and urethane are more expensive. Let’s break down each wheel chock material option:

Urethane

Urethane is the ideal wheel chock material.The ideal wheel chock material, urethane isn’t heavy, but still boasts more strength than the other chock material options. Since urethane is so light, shipping costs are much less than other options. Urethane chocks are also easier to position correctly, reducing the chances of chocking failures. Urethane is also much more weather resistant than other materials, as it will not rot, rust, or crack in the presence of heat, cold, or moisture. The price point for urethane chocks is typically higher than other materials, but with a much longer lifespan, urethane chocks create savings over long periods of time.

Aluminum and Steel

Metal is not an ideal wheel chock material, as it rusts and develops sharp edges.The primary issue with metal chocks is that when damaged, they can develop sharp edges, potentially damaging tires or injuring employees. This problem is found with both aluminum and steel chocks. Aluminum chocks are lighter than steel options, however they are less durable. Another problem is the scrap value of the material. Aluminum and steel chocks are both susceptible to theft as they can be scrapped, a problem that isn’t present with rubber, wood, or urethane. Metal is also conductive, making metal chocks a poor choice for transmission projects.

Wood

Wood is not a good wheel chock material option as it splinters easily.Wood chocks are often used for aviation applications. However, urethane is much better option for this industry. Wood will quickly become waterlogged, which drastically increases its weight and makes it much more difficult to handle. Wood also rots in the presence of water, which greatly reduces its lifespan. Another problem with wood chocks, particularly in the aviation industry, is the presence of foreign object damage. When wood chocks splinter and break apart, as the inevitably do, they can cause costly FOD to aircraft. Painting and repainting is required with wood as well.

Rubber

Rubber is not a good wheel chock material option, as it cracks easily.While rubber is one of more cost-effective options, it’s durability pales in comparison to other wheel chock material options. Weather, either extreme heat or cold, can lead to the degradation of rubber. The heat can cause rubber to become brittle while freezing conditions can break and crack rubber. Another issue with rubber chocks is their weight. Rubber is a heavy material, raising shipping costs and making rubber chocks more difficult to transport and position correctly. Despite its weight, rubber is not particularly strong, in comparison with other options. Rubber can also be damaged by fuels, oils, and lubricants, making it a poor choice for mechanic and repair shops.

To learn more about high-quality polyurethane Monster chocks, click here. To view our products, click here.

What Sets Firefly Apart?

The Firefly is the only lighted cable protector on the market.It’s summer time and that means concerts and music festivals are in full swing. In the entertainment industry, cable protection is paramount; particularly for temporary venues that don’t have permanent cable and cable protection installations in place. The Firefly is our custom-made cable protection solution for the entertainment industry. The Firefly has many great features, but the most striking are the illuminated ramps.

Firefly: the Only Lighted Cable Protector

Why is this important? In darkened areas, cable protectors can be difficult to see. Ironically, this can cause trip hazards, the very problem cable protectors are designed to eliminate. Our ultra-bright LEDs are molded directly into the ramps of the Firefly, which protects them from any sort of damage. They are incredibly efficient and can run for 500 hours off of just two AA batteries. In the entertainment business, presentation is everything, which is why our LEDs are available in either blue or red, allowing venue managers to select the color that best matches their aesthetic. Additionally, we offer four different lid colors: green, blue, yellow, and orange.

Guard Dog and Yellow Jacket Compatibility

Another exciting benefit of the Firefly is the Dog Bone Connector. These are the same modular connectors that we use on our Guard Dog and Yellow Jacket cable protectors. This, of course, means that Firefly Illuminated Cable Protectors can be integrated into any existing Guard Dog or Yellow Jacket cable protector system. This gives venue managers the ability to highlight certain cable run sections, such as designated walkways or sections that pass through dark areas.

Premium Cable Protection with Firefly

In addition to preventing slips, trips, and falls, the Firefly performs another key function: protecting cables. With a load capacity of 21,000 lbs. per axle, the Firefly can easily handle both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. This ensures that cables will remain protected during the setup, the performance, and the tear down of any event. At a mere 17 lbs., the Firefly can be transported and assembled easily, making setup and tear down quicker and more efficient. With its modular design, it’s easy to configure a Firefly cable run to any area. It is a must-have cable protection solution for any entertainment venue.

Click here to learn more about the Firefly. Click here to read the Firefly brochure.