VIDEO: New Van Vault range tackles tool theft and achieves police standard

AS PART of its drive to tackle tool theft crime, Van Vault, the originators of in-vehicle secure storage, has launched a market leading new product range.

Last year saw around 280,000 tool theft crimes across the UK. With the average value of tools left in tradespeople’s vans costing £2,880, Van Vault understands the importance of helping protect tools and deter thieves with effective secure storage solutions.

With a break-in taking as little as 10 seconds, the new range has introduced key enhancements, which will be fundamental in making it much harder to steal valuable power tools and equipment.

Deborah Hunt, Van Vault Marketing Manager, said: “Tool theft is a massive issue facing tradespeople today and it’s on the rise. One in three tradespeople have had tools stolen.

“With our new range, we have reacted to what customers really want: the best security, functionality and quality, which gives them peace of mind.”

The new product launch follows 18 months of development work and features eight new products offering advanced protection, including the traditional box style containers and the easy to use drawer slides, which are unique to the Van Vault brand.

Not only has the product been upgraded, it has also been independently tested and certified by Sold Secure, an independent test house for security products owned by the Master Locksmith Association. All eight Van Vaults were subjected to six different levels of rigorous attack by trained professionals and were all found to be impenetrable.

Van Vault is also the first vehicle storage product on the market to be accredited by Secured by Design - the UK’s Police approved standard. Secured by Design promotes products which prevent crime and it is the only form of police approval for UK products.

All of the key areas of attack have been strengthened including a cross-bar reinforced lid which is next to impossible to prise open. A new highly-effective VaultLock™ locking system has been introduced which sits deep within the body of the box shielded by a hardened steel plate, protecting from drilling, picking and cutting.

The products also now come with an anti-theft fixing kit to ensure they can be properly mounted to the vehicle floor.

Deborah added: “The upgraded vehicle range underwent considerable research and rigorous testing, to ensure it provided customers with a product that helps secure tools and makes the working day of a tradesperson easier.”

Following strong customer demand, Van Vault has also improved its storage space and functionality with the new range, introducing a wide mouth drop front to the storage containers, which provides greater access and visibility of the contents inside.

A recessed lock also protects the key from damage, when left in the lock and an easy-lift gas strut through the body of the box, ensures a soft open and close lid action and maximises storage space.

Celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, Van Vault is a UK-leading brand for storing and securing tools in vehicles. Its range is available in a variety of sizes, each designed for use in different types of vehicles.

Precision made possible: introducing Festool’s new Cordless Oscillator

FESTOOL is expanding its range of cordless tools by adding the new Vecturo OSC 18 cordless oscillator for fitting and assembly work.

The Vecturo OSC 18 includes the innovative StarlockMax tool holder, enabling the user to quickly and conveniently change the tool blade, without the need for additional equipment.

Intelligent system accessories allow for dust-free work, precise cut-outs on the scribe mark and precisely guided plunge cuts.

In addition, the powerful, brushless EC-TEC motor and the large oscillation angle of 2°/2° achieves optimum working progress. Thanks to the clever design and the vibration isolation, the Vecturo OSC 18 makes ergonomic work possible.

Maximum flexibility in everyday work thanks to StarlockMax

The new Vecturo OSC 18 is equipped with the innovative StarlockMax tool holder system, which enables the user to change the required saw blade easily and in just a few seconds.

The patented Starlock tool-holder system covers three performance classes: Starlock, StarlockPlus and StarlockMax.

As the new Vecturo cordless oscillator comes with the StarlockMax tool holder, it falls under the performance class designed for heavy-duty applications.

Particularly practical for everyday use, StarlockMax can accommodate accessories from all of the Starlock performance classes. The new Vecturo therefore shows itself to be extremely flexible to use.

Intelligent system accessories

The versatile system accessories for the new cordless oscillator mean that this newcomer is the perfect all-rounder, and enables the user to work in a way that is healthy, comfortable and – at the same time – precise.

With the new dust extraction device, users can also start sawing without generating dust: this improves safety and provides a clear view of the work area.

The new positioning aid for precisely guided plunge cuts allows for accurate positioning on the marking, and simple orientation on the guide rail. The positioning aid is also equipped with a depth stop, for precisely setting the plunge depth.

These system accessories can be fitted onto the adapter easily and without the need for additional equipment – depending on requirements.

Technical data: Vecturo OSC 18 cordless oscillator

Battery voltage 18 V
Oscillation 10,000–19,500 rpm
Oscillation angle 2 x 2.0°
Tool holder StarlockMax
Li-ion battery capacity 3.1 Ah
Weight with Li-ion battery 1.6 kg

Maximum power

The new Vecturo is especially suitable for heavy-duty applications. Thanks to the anti-vibration system, the housing and motor are completely decoupled. This reduction in vibrations and running noises leads to optimum comfort while working.

The powerful, brushless EC-TEC motor with variable speed control allows for a large oscillation angle of 2° to the left and 2° to the right, and therefore achieves optimum working progress.

In combination with the powerful and durable 18 V Li-ion compact battery pack, the cordless oscillator achieves maximum freedom of movement without any cables – even for heavy-duty applications.

The new Vecturo OSC 18 cordless oscillator will be available at specialist retailers from April 2019. Festool also offers full investment security for their new Vecturo OSC 18 thanks to Festool Service.

The free-of-charge service package guarantees direct, practical and comprehensive service for the tool throughout its entire service life.

Cyber Essentials accreditation: 1 in 5 businesses unaware of benefits

A WORRYING number of UK businesses are still not aware of the benefits of the Government-backed Cyber Essentials Scheme, according to a recent survey from CyberGuard, part of the OGL Group.

Almost a fifth of IT managers reported that they were unaware of how Cyber Essentials compliance could help their business, with 10% unsure of whether their company even had the certificate.

According to the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, 43% of businesses have experienced cyber security breaches or attacks over the last 12 months.

This is particularly concerning since 56% of businesses hold personal data on customers in the cloud. However, there are methods that can be implemented to reduce the risk of data breaches. One such way is through being Cyber Essentials accredited.

Paul Colwell, Chief Technology Officer at CyberGuard, said: “Here at CyberGuard, we encourage companies to become Cyber Essentials certified since it can help protect against most common cyber-attacks.”

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-supported scheme which launched in June 2014. It aims to help all organisations protect themselves against cyber-attacks. When an organisation is fully compliant, they will receive a certificate to show stakeholders and customers that they have the necessary safety measures in place to reduce the risk of a cyber-attack. Cyber Essentials is a quality standard in many industries, and a necessity for businesses looking to win certain Government contracts.

In a bid to understand how many businesses employ methods to reduce cyber security risks, cyber security company, CyberGuard, surveyed 251 IT managers in UK companies, ranging from small businesses (20-49 employees) to large companies (750 employees or greater). The survey focussed on whether or not the business had achieved the Cyber Essentials certification.

The results revealed that 19% of IT managers were unaware of the benefits of having a Cyber Essentials certification, with 10% unsure of whether or not their business even had the certificate.

Of the businesses without Cyber Essentials accreditation, two thirds (67%) said that a lack of understanding had been the primary barrier to them applying, with 42% citing a lack of funds.

Almost a third (29%) suggested that they did not consider it important.

In terms of small businesses with between 20 and 49 employees, 33% claimed they either were not Cyber Essentials certified or were not sure. This compares to just 6% of larger, enterprise organisations: for example, those with over 750 employees.

This finding is particularly worrying for both consumer and employee privacy; according to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, 42% of SMEs had experienced at least one cyber-attack in the past year. SMEs are at a higher risk of data breaches when compared to large organisations, but are less likely to have Cyber Essentials certification in place.

However, while there continues to be a lack of awareness around cyber security, there are some positives. The vast majority of the businesses surveyed (81%) stated they were Cyber Essentials certified, with 69% reporting that they understood the benefits of being so.

There is a clear case for being certified

Of those accredited, 84% claimed it has helped their business to win contracts, with other respondents highlighting the importance of the certificate in reassuring their customers.

Paul concluded: “In 2019, it should be paramount that businesses who rely on technology protect customer and employee information – as well as their own.

“Becoming Cyber Essentials certified is a great start to implementing strong and secure cyber security practices.”

Innovative Armorgard van storage system TrekDror for the trade professional

OVER the years, Armorgard has designed and built some of the toughest tool safes, from Strongbank to TuffBank, to create a range of secure storage solutions used by skilled tradespeople around the world.

Now, the company has taken a step further with the introduction of what is being billed as “the most sophisticated system of its kind for van fleets.”

Designed specifically for cargo vans, Armorgard’s TrekDror van storage solution, is a lightweight, ultra-strong, customisable system consisting of stackable, secure modules to maximise the interior load space and keep everything organised in vehicles, from small cargo vans and pickup trucks to large panel vans.

TrekDror is available in three different sizes and multiple configurations, has a removable drawer with +80% extension, and can hold over 1,000kg weight on top of it.

For details Call 023 9238 0280

Innovative aerosol range from PlastiKote for the professional builder and decorator

UNTIL now, no spray paint brand has ever targeted the professional builder and decorator with a complete range of easy-to-use, quick drying aerosol products.

PlastiKote, the UK’s leading spray paint brand, has launched PlastiKote Trade, a comprehensive collection of practical aerosols aimed at making life easier for professional tradespeople.

PlastiKote Trade is a collection of competitively-priced paints, functional and technical products that are user-friendly and meet the quality demand of the trade.

The cans have been designed to make choosing a product easy. Colour-coded labels with a clear description of use, finish (where necessary) and drying times guarantee a quick visit in-store.

Colour differentiation

Orange labelled cans denote the primers, acrylic paints and clear lacquers. These are quick drying, give excellent coverage and can be used indoors or outside.

The primers and clear lacquers come in gloss, satin and matt finishes, while the acrylic paints are available in several colours and finishes. The paint selection is completed with a white high gloss and a white satinwood paint, ideal for window sills and wood trim.

The functional sprays in the blue cans are a full range of products that every professional tradesperson should have in their toolbox: from radiator paint, damp seal and anti-slip paint to stain block, one coat tile paint and metal paint, these aerosols are easy to use and give excellent results.

The last group in the PlastiKote Trade range are the technical products in the green-labelled cans. These include a degreaser, a leak detector, paint remover, a PTFE spray and two adhesives, permanent and repositional – useful additions to any tool kit.

PlastiKote Trade aerosols have an RRP of £6.99 to £7.49 and are available from Wickes, My Tool Shed, Crown Decorators Centres, Stax, Toolbank – and all good trade retailers.

Call 0031 561 694400.

The Preparation Group's 250SP grinds and polishes up to edges

THE Preparation Group, a leading expert in environmentally friendly solutions for surface preparation, polishing, cleaning and dust containment, has launched the new 110v 250SP Single-Head Grinder.

Of steel construction with a powerful motor, yet light and compact, it offers optimum grinding and polishing performance combined with simplicity and ergonomic design.

Developed specifically for the hire market for small commercial and domestic projects, the 250SP has a wide range of interchangeable diamond accessories for cleaning and keying all types of surfaces, removing concrete laitance, smoothing and levelling, de-scaling and removing glue, bitumous adhesives and paint.

The guard has a removeable section to enable the disc to prepare and polish right up to vertical edges that are usually inaccessible.

A unique feature is that the 250SP is also ideal for economical wet polishing of hard, previously ground surfaces such as concrete, with a water pipe port to feed water onto the surface and a range of resin polishing pads.

An adjustment lever lifts and lowers the wheel height and along with the built-in spirit level, allows the operator a level, even connection with the surface.

The adjustable handle enables a comfortable operating position and folds down for compact transportation and storage.

Says Kate Walshaw, Group Hire Manager, said: "The 250SP Grinder was very well received at the EHS with visitors remarking on its ease of use and portability.

"It’s versatility, low operating costs and low maintenance yields impressive ROI and hire potential."

For further information or a demonstration call The Preparation Group on 01522 561460.

Zero Emissions, Zero Noise: the EcoSmart ZERO welfare unit from AJC EasyCabin

THE London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory have stated that construction sites are responsible for approximately 7.5% of damaging nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, 8% of large particle emissions (PM10) and 14.5% of emissions of the most dangerous fine particles (PM2.5).

The vast majority of these emissions come from the thousands of diesel engine site equipment. Soon London will introduce a ‘Low Emission Zone’ for non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) as current estimates of emissions show that NRMM is responsible for 7% of NOx emissions, 14% for PM2.5 and 8% of PM10 emissions across the Capital.

In response to these figures, one of the leading manufacturers of mobile and static temporary site cabins, AJC EasyCabin, have designed and built a range of welfare units that emits zero emissions.

Lisa Gillet, sales director of AJC Trailers, said: "According to the Carbon Brief website, the amount of carbon dioxide sent into the atmosphere last year totalled 381 million tonnes.

"For most of the past years we have been driven to reduce the carbon emissions from our products and design the most environmentally sustainable temporary site units. Our recent Green Apple Awards have confirmed our passions in this regard."

The units, all entitled the ‘EcoSmart ZERO’ were officially unveiled at the site equipment exhibition – The Executive Hire Show on 6th February 2019 at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

The EcoSmart ZERO is powered by a combination of a hydrogen gas powered fuel cell and an advanced solar power system. This means the unit operates almost totally silent and emits only pure water vapour.

The Ecosmart ZERO range has been designed to have the same user friendly operation as the standard Ecosmart welfare units, with power to run the heating, sockets, kettle and microwave coming instantly from the battery bank.

The batteries are constantly fed by the built-in hydrogen fuel cell and solar panels.

Lisa added: "Encouraged by our rental partners to push the boundaries of environmental and technological advancement, we believe that in the EcoSmart ZERO range represents the ultimate in carbon emission reduction."

Hydrogen gas is readily available through the Internet or at local gas suppliers. AJC EasyCabin can introduce user of the EcoSmart ZERO to hydrogen gas suppliers and a click and collect service is often available.

The Ecosmart ZERO fuel cell only needs periodical replacement of air filters; there are no moving parts and ground contamination from fuel spills is totally eliminated. 

To produce the EcoSmart ZERO range, AJC EasyCabin engineers worked in close collaboration with Intelligent Energy - a world leading fuel cell engineering company focused on delivering zero emission PEM fuel cell products to the automotive, UAV and stationary power markets.

Following the launch of the EcoSmart ZERO at the Executive Hire Show, AJC EasyCabin will be inviting all environmentally conscious hirers and uses of site temporary accommodation to their factory in Luton to view the features and benefits of the EcoSmart ZERO range, first hand.

Toolbank and partners launch 3 new ranges for the Big Blue Book

WE 'journos' should sit up and take note when the UK’s largest tool wholesaler decides to add some new ranges of quality tools to its Big Blue Book – aka its catalogue, by PETER BRETT.

To mark the occasion and showcase the new additions, Toolbank held a launch event in January. Simon Bicknall, Marketing Director of Toolbank began by giving us some background to the company itself and the decision making behind the inclusions.

It may have all the trappings of a vast corporate business, but Toolbank and its associate companies are still, in fact, a family owned and privately run business which has a history stretching back to 1829. It prides itself on having many longserving and loyal employees who help implement and enact Toolbank’s motto of ‘Service, Support and Integrity’.

Toolbank itself was established in 1972 and currently has around 30,000 products and 250 different manufacturers represented in the catalogue. It serves around 14,000 outlets in the UK both on the high street and online, and by its own estimation serves around 20 different categories of customer, from the casual DIYer to major construction companies.

To man the ship, so to speak, 964 full time employees in 12 different offices throughout the country provide the many services needed to ensure, as far as possible, next-day deliveries, adequate stocking levels and all the hundreds of other functions required to run a modern, customer-facing company. Some statistics might help to give a sense of scale: over 96% of stock is available immediately from the warehouse and the stock is usually worth a cool £18m or so at any one time.

On top of all this, Toolbank also run 10 regional trade shows every year at which dealers can stock up on show deals and get help with merchandising and own brand deals.

Faithfull Tools launch premium trowel range

Faithfull is a well-established brand on the high street with its good basic quality, well priced range of tools. Everything from spades and shovels to saws and chisels is included – over 3,800 different products in all.

So, it was with some confidence that the company embarked on what turned out to be a six-year long project to develop a premium range of trowels aimed at the trades and discerning DIYers – in other words those users who would appreciate and notice the difference in quality, but who are also looking to get the best value on the tools that they buy.

John Connick from Faithfull Tools explained the original thinking behind the project which was to look at the competition and consult end users to find out how their products were perceived and then to see if they could do better.

Some elements were found to be key markers for users. For example, what trades want in a brick trowel is a bit of flex in the blade (but not too much), a one-piece forging for strength, a high lift handle and a strong end cap for tapping bricks into position.

The trowel had to be made from high quality materials with features to limit the amount of mortar that inevitably sticks to it during its working life.

When it came to pointing trowels, it turns out that the standard curved edge, small pointing trowel is not really fit for purpose.

Users liked the Faithfull version with its straight edges, one-piece construction and soft grip handle.

Plastering trowels are another problem entirely because plasterers can be fussy people with very individual styles and requirements depending on their technique and the difficulties of the job in hand.

The Faithfull solution was to design a plastering trowel that has a 301-grade stainless steel blade with an ultra-smooth finish and a two-way curve – side to side and top to bottom.

The riveting for the tang fixing had to be almost invisible and the soft-grip handle itself shaped comfortably and smooth enough not to attract sticky plaster particles.

There were similar design features picked out for a range of 25 edging and tiling trowels with concentration on the best materials for an average price point.

But trowel users like to try before they buy so Faithfull designed a hard-wearing packaging sleeve made from PVC/vinyl that could be slipped on and off many times so that potential buyers can examine the trowels closely and feel the all-important surfaces and edges. With information about the tool itself and the other tools in the range printed on the packaging, end users can make a savvy and informed purchase.

Faithfull is justifiably proud of its research and outcomes in this Prestige project – the start of February saw the new ranges hit the retailers’ shelves. End users too will be pleased to note that the pricing of on a typical Faithfull brickie’s trowel is around £31 – half the price of a ‘best’ trowel from other leading brands. Dealers and end users will want to keep an eye out for the new ‘Prestige’ branding of these trowels.

ToughBuilt – Built tough for a tough market

The ToughBuilt brand has been around for a while on the high streets and, having used a few of their products, I can confirm they do live up to the name. Largely aimed at trade users, the ranges are comprehensive and aimed at complementing each other.

Take the ClipTech range of pouches and belts, for example. ToughBuilt’s designers have created a range of trade-specific pouches that can be easily attached to the ToughBuilt belt using its ClipTech system.

Many of the pouches can stand up via a small kickstand so can be removed, stood and replaced quite easily to suit the job being done. Because they are not only customisable by trade but also by job, they offer end users a very flexible and modern way of working.

The ClipTech system also means that pouches can be hung in a van, workshop or even on a worksite, by simply purchasing a few more clips.

Supplementing this system is a range of totes and bags. Again, these are made in tough 1200 denier nylon with reinforced joints and solid bases in some cases.

The bags might be used to hold a set of ToughBuilt kneepads. Some of these are simply lightweight for light duty use but others are designed for the everyday user who needs kneepads that are exible, comfortable, non-marking, hardwearing and, most importantly, do not fall down when you stand up.

Similarly, a range of gloves provides users with a choice of grades of hand protection.

An absolute necessity on many worksites is a few trestles that can be employed in a number of ways. The adjustable legs on the ToughBuilt trestles take care of uneven ground and even steps. With the addition of a couple of 2x4s and a top, two trestles can be formed into a workbench – and at the end of the working day they can be folded and loaded into the back of the van.

I didn’t get much of a chance to try out the new spring loaded mitre saw stand, but its big wheels and 3m crosscutting support capacity will certainly be of use on some jobsites.

Milwaukee Hand Tools – Added to the power tool mix

In my view, Milwaukee is a company that has barely put a foot wrong in bringing a range of desirable (and therefore successful) power tools to market in the last few years. It is the fastest growing professional tool brand with over £69m in sales in the UK in 2018.

Milwaukee users are often the most loyal in my experience, so it seems like a nobrainer for the company to launch a range of hand tools that is now being exclusively marketed by Toolbank.

Predictably, most of the range of about 400 tools features the distinctive red and black Milwaukee livery and the range covers about 17 out of 20 of the most commonly used categories of trade tools: think knives, levels, pliers and wrenches, for example.

Since quality and design are key features of Milwaukee power tools, the hand tools have to reflect this philosophy too.

Therefore, the company spends a lot of time on research finding out what end users want, as well as discovering the best partners to manufacture the tools to the required standards.

I explored a few of the range of tape measures where it was clear that quality and ease of use made them stand out from the competition and an easy buy for a Milwaukee user.

The Milwaukee Packout tool boxes showed very clearly that the designers might have actually tested the problem of moving a range of tools around a city environment - safely and securely too.

The trolley has big 228mm diameter wheels for easy movement on pavements and stairs – or even getting onto an underground train. The boxes slot together firmly and are held to the trolley frame so that they can be individually removed in any order. With an IP65 rating they protect tools from dust and water too. I think I can feel a movement away from my current box system coming on.

I want a secure method of holding the boxes on the trolley, not just a nylon strap.

So, three new ranges to the Toolbank stocklist, and every one a winner on the face of it. I will be keeping my eyes open for them in my local independent tool shops.

JCB Workwear release two new products to enhance protection

PEOPLE skidding and falling as they walk down the street, the sound of sniffling around the office and people complaining about standstill traffic can only mean one thing: the winter months are setting in.

Safety is paramount around this time of year, especially for tradespeople, and the best way to minimise danger is through wearing the latest protective equipment.

JCB Workwear’s new products are designed to meet the high requirements and demands for a wide number of industries, including the tool sector.


JCB Workwear’s newly released XSERIES Black Boots provide ultimate protection for workers’ feet with their inner aluminium toe cap and outer heavy-duty scuff cap and heel protection, all the while delivering the latest in comfort and durability.

Additionally, the sleek, heavy-duty XSERIES is lightweight and features a water-repellent design through its material of black leather, to protect against the cold, wet and damp months.

Within the construction industry, sharp objects on the floor pose a significant and all-too-common threat for both outdoor and indoor workplaces.

The XSERIES boots have been tested against EN ISO 20345:2011 safety standards, which means the Kevlar midsole protection will resist a penetration force of 1100N, as well as providing thermal insulation. In addition, the aluminium toe cap will withstand a 200-joule impact.

The new XSERIES footwear is also a product that is SRC slip-resistance tested. This means it has been SRA tested on ceramic tile wetted with dilute soap solution; and SRB tested on smooth steel with glycerol.

The XSERIES Black Boots provide a 5-loop fasten with black and gold round lace, and as an added benefit for those working in high temperatures, is a heat resistant to 300˚C.

The Baselayer: D+SA and D+SB

JCB Workwear’s Baselayer is made up of the D+SA top and the D+SB bottoms, which are made up of 100% polyester and come in sizes medium, large and extra-large.

It is easy to wash and dry, and keeps its colour and shape before and after wear.

The D+SA and D+SB both provide high performance antimicrobial fabric ACTIO:PRO™: a fabric which wicks away moisture from the skin.

This is beneficial as it provides a body climate-controlling aspect to suit its user in both hot and cold weather. Both items also have SPF50+ UV Protection, blocking 99% of UV radiation.

Snickers Workwear Baselayers to boost productivity during the winter months

DRESSING for the cold is like building a house – start with a good foundation.

Snickers Workwear Baselayer clothing uses high-tech breathable fabrics for ventilation and body moisture transport for consistent warmth and comfort.

The seamless designs are available in 37.5® ventilating technology as well as polyester and merino wool to cold weather conditions.

The cutting-edge FLEXIWork and LITEwork designs and fabrics will keep users warm and dry – so they will not get cold, wet and shiver. All the garments are made from quick drying, lightweight fabrics that come with special ventilation features to control and regulate the heat from the wearer’s body.

All in all, Snickers Workwear Baselayer clothing will provide the kind of warm, dry and fresh working comfort that users would not have thought possible. That is why Snickers Workwear is the brand of choice for working outside in the winter.

To get the more information on Snickers Workwear Baselayer Clothing, call the Snickers Helpline on: 01484 854788



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