In an industry first, a specially trained hilmor RETOOL Team is taking the new brand and pioneering line of tools to the streets – literally. The team will begin making its way from coast to coast in six customized vehicles, complete with product demonstration and testing stations, in February.
“Before we launched the hilmor line of products, our researchers spent a lot of time with HVAC/R technicians, gaining many valuable insights about gaps in the tool market,” says Emily Bavaro, director of marketing, hilmor. “We also learned technicians need to touch, test and see new products before making such significant investments, which led to the development of the RETOOL Team,” Bavaro says.
The RETOOL Team, in customized vehicles, will make appearances at HVACR distributors, trade shows, and technical schools, introducing industry professionals to the brand and giving them firsthand experience with the tools.
“Based on our focus group research, we know once technicians have these tools in their hands, they’ll be seeking them out,” Bavaro says. “We’re also excited about the RETOOL Team serving as a resource for technicians and keeping the lines of communication open with them as we get these tools into their hands and continue expanding our line.”
The six premier tools featured on every vehicle are:
Dual Readout Thermometer with Thermocouple Clamps —This thermometer is the only one in the industry that provides two digital readings to help simplify the calculation of superheat and subcool. It can be used with any manifold or as a stand-alone device.
Electronic Gauge with Vacuum Sensor — The industry’s first hybrid gauge offers both analog and digital displays for twice the confidence. Built-in features include pressure/temperature data for 39 refrigerants and color-coding so technicians know right away if they’re working with the correct refrigerant.
Aluminum Manifold (4-Valve and 2-Valve) Built to last, this manifold comes in two and four-valve combinations and features a forged aluminum body and high-impact gauge boots. Other features include replaceable stainless steel valve seats and front-mounted hose positions.
Compact Bender — HVACR technicians work in tight spaces and need tools designed to access every nook and cranny. The Compact Bender fits where other tools can’t, allowing for tube-bending up to 90 degrees with ease. Additional features include a universal crossbar with color-coded mandrels, a quick-release button to free tubes without damage and a spring-loaded ratcheting lever.
Compact Swage Tool — With the ability to be operated single-handedly, the hilmor Compact Swage is ideal. Pistol-shaped, it can handle tight spaces and with its hydraulic mechanism, it takes minimal effort to operate. The handle is spring-loaded to control pressure on swages from 5/16” all the way to 1-5/8”.
Quick-Engage Flare and Swage — A tool that can both flare and swage, this hilmor premier tool also features a clothespin-like clamp to secure tubes, ball detents to easily align the yolk and a comfort grip. The flare height gauge makes using a nickel a thing of the past.
RETOOL Team vehicles feature individual stations that mimic some of the unique challenges technicians face in the field. For example, at the thermocouple clamp test station, copper tubing replicates what might be found on a service call. Technicians can demo the new hilmor thermocouple clamp on the spot and discover how much easier it is to get the job done utilizing the hilmor Dual Readout Thermometer.
The Electronic Gauge with Vacuum Sensor demonstration station replicates some of the dark spaces and poor lighting technicians face on the job. With traditional manifolds, the readings can become virtually impossible to see. The new hilmor Electronic Gauge is backlit, making it easily visible in all types of light. As an added feature, the gauge color automatically changes to match the selected refrigerant.
Besides introducing the new hilmor tools, the vehicle and RETOOL Team also will help technicians evaluate their existing equipment. Manifolds, one of the most used pieces of equipment on the job, are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, causing them to leak. At the thermometer accuracy testing station, technicians are invited to bring in their own manifolds for temperature calibration and can test their own gauges for leaks. Should a hilmor manifold leak in the future, it can be repaired on the spot because the new line is the only one on the market to feature replaceable stainless steel valve seats.
The hilmor RETOOL Team and their vehicles will be equipped and prepared for all types of events, from one-on-one demonstrations with technicians to counter days and special events at branches to industry shows.
Based on feedback received during the initial research process, Bavaro anticipates an enthusiastic response to the hilmor brand. “If the technicians around the country are anything like those we had in our focus groups and field testing, they won’t want to put the tools down once they’ve used them. We believe the hilmor brand is going to help them become more efficient on the job and overcome their jobsite challenges.”
To request an appearance, contact [email protected].
About hilmor: hilmor claims it is revolutionizing the HVACR industry with smarter, more effective tools and equipment. Backed by what is described as one of the largest research investments in the history of the HVACR industry, hilmor is dedicated to making technicians’ jobs easier. Located in East Longmeadow, MA, hilmor is a part of the Newell Rubbermaid global portfolio of leading brands. For more information, visit hilmor.com or follow hilmor on Twitter at @hilmortools and on Facebook at facebook.com/hilmor.