THE 2002 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, held November 5-8 in the Las Vegas Convention Center boasted more exhibitors, more square feet, more buyers, more attendees, and more excitement than ever before.
The largest automotive accessories show in the world, SEMA Show 2002 boasted nearly 1,600 exhibitors who used 1.5 million square feet to showcase the hottest new parts and accessories for cars, trucks, and SUVs.
And this year they put the commercial truck accessories in one area.
The record number of exhibiting companies was met by a record number of automotive industry professionals, (86,787). Of the crowd filling the booths and aisles, 39,879 were buyers from more than 100 countries.
The show's exhibits were organized into logical sections according to their market segments, making it easier for buyers to navigate the show and do business with their suppliers.
SEMA's New Products Program boasted nearly 900 entries. While most were auto-related, here is a look at some of the innovations for the truck market:
XtraLift raises and lowers truck bodies and their contents — up to 7,300 pounds. Monarch Hydraulics electro-hydraulic pump provides the power. The steel body can be ordered with a choice of floors, including steel, wood, and aluminum. It is a product of Stellar Industries, Garner IA (www.stellar-industries.com)
Portable truck crane mounts in a holster and can be quickly “drawn” from the truck-mounted holster when not in use. A receiver-hitch mount also is available. The Spitzlift crane is offered with a choice of three- and four-ft booms, weighing 30 and 35 pounds respectively. Maximum capacity is 700 pounds. The crane stores easily behind the seat of a pickup, says Michael Spitzbergen, Spitzlift Inc, Abilene TX. (www.spitzlift.com)
Louisville Lugger is a cargo rack that fits all full-size pickups, including the Toyota Tundra. The reason that one size fits all is the telescoping tubes that allow the rack to be adjusted longitudinally and transversely. It can be assembled in five minutes or disassembled and kept in a storage bag. George Burger and Steve Fairbanks demonstrate for Hillerich & Bradsby Co, Ontario CA. (www.hbtechnologyproducts.com)
Off-road support vehicle combines a Royal Sport service body, Line-X spray-on bedliner, along with Warn front bumper and 15,000-lb winch. Inside the street-side front compartment of the service body is Viar compact air compressor.
New Dodge Sprinter is ready for commercial use with ladder racks from Knaack Manufacturing, Crystal Lake IL. The rotating ladder rack operates from the passenger side of the high-roof van.
A bigger pickup box can be had through the addition of The Gate Keeper. These folding panels store on the tailgate, then can be to used form a box extension when the tailgate is open. The polyurethane panels fold down to store in an area 3.5 inches thick. They are available to fit Hummer, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, and Subaru in addition to full-size Ford, GM, and Dodge pickups. It is available from Worldwide Direct Products, Santa Fe Springs CA. (www.theoriginalgatekeeper.com)
Cargobat storage system mounts below the roof of a pickup cap, claiming storage space that otherwise is wasted. Three models are available — one each for compact pickups, full-size with short boxes, and long-wheelbase vehicles. It has a powder-coated steel frame and diamond-plated aluminum cargo tray. Joshua Krause demonstrates for Cargobat Manufacturing, Kirkland WA. (www.cargobat.com)
Combination toolbox and tonneau cover is one of two new products from Unique Truck Accessories, Sturgis MI, according to Stanley Lake. The Tonneau toolbox is a crossover style box with either gull wing or full-opening lid. The box has a ledge where the tonneau cover attaches. The company also is introducing a “Contractor's Dream” topsider toolbox that mounts on the side rails of the pickup box. Available in 48-in to 96-in lengths, the boxes have single- and upper-level compartments. (www.uniquetruckaccessories.com)
BedMizer slide-out storage modules hold 12.5 cu ft of cargo per module. The rack on which they are mounted can hold 400 pounds when fully extended, says John Robison. Installation is achieved with hand clamps — no drilling is required. The Bedmizer mounts on top of the pickup box, allowing full sheets of building material to still fit on the floor below. TSCO Industries, Troutdale OR. (www.tubespecialties.com)
Sliding toolbox rolls on tracks to the rear of the pickup box for easier access. It is a product of Slide Systems, Canastota NY. (www.sldiesystems.com)
Aluminum tonneau cover uses a high-strength alloy, enabling it to support a 220-lb load. Built in rails along the sides can serve as tie-downs. The tonneau cover also can accommodate an optional cargo rack. It is a product of Mountain Top Industries, Morrow GA. (www.mounttop.com)
Grill guards for 2003 Dodge, GM, and Chevrolet pickups are ready from Mr Pickup, Moore OK. They are finished in either bright chrome or black powder coat, says Steve McIntyre. (www.mrpickup.net)
Stainless steel tailgate replaces the OEM version. Center section of the tailgate is removable to provide extra clearance when towing gooseneck trailers. The Victory tailgate can be personalized with the customer's logo, says Jodie Smith with J & J Enterprises, Ontario CA. (www.j-jent.com)
Turbo Tail pickup aerostabilizer is a molded ABS aerodynamic device designed to improve fuel economy by smoothing air drag over the tailgate of a pickup box. It is available from the factory in black or silver, but it can be painted to match the color of the truck. It is a product of Turbo Tail Inc, Miami FL. (www.turbotail.com)
Transfer tank provides additional fuel capacity while also offering (because of its L shape) a place to store a rectangular toolbox. The long-bed version has a 95-gallon capacity. The L-transfer tank for short bed trucks holds 75 gallons. Representing Better Built Industrial, Pensacola FL, is Clint Daws. (www.dawsbetterbuilt.com)
Wireless Tow Lights do exactly what the name implies — provide trailer lighting without a hard-wired connection. Instead, a transmitter towing vehicle transmits a signal to the trailer whenever the lights need to come on. The product comes with a transmitter (including magnetic base and standard male four-prong flat plug and six-ft harness), and right and left tail lights with two 30-inch mounting straps each. Joe Tarver demonstrates for Wireless Tow Lights, Lubbock TX. (www.wirelesstowlights.com)
A talking backup alarm literally tells the driver how close the rear of the vehicle is to an object. Poron USA, Gardena CA, has offered alarms for automobiles but unveiled a model for commercial trucks at the SEMA show. The version for commercial trucks has four sensors to cover the added width of the vehicle and 18 inches beyond the sides — a total of 138 inches. It sounds when the rear of the vehicle is eight, five, three, two, and one foot away. The alarm comes with four sensors, speaker, and processor. (www.poronusa.com)
New bumpers for GM and Dodge trucks are now available from Ranch Hand Truck Accessories, Shiner TX. Shown is the GM version, with black pearl powder coat, fully welded design, and installation that requires no drilling, says John Lessor. (www.ranchhand.com)
Let the bedbugs bite. They lock into the corrugations of most major brands of bedliners to hold cargo in place. They are a product of DZN Inc, Irvine CA. (www.getbedbugs.com)
Manual locking hubs for the Ford Ranger and Explorer are now available from Superwinch Inc, Putnam CT, says Tim Zurowski.
Telescopic tow mirrors extend when extra visibility is needed to see past trailers as wide as 102 inches. Available for most full-size pickups, the mirrors can be ordered with LED turn signal lights, clearance lamps, and either paintable or chrome covers. They are a product of Schefenacker Vision Systems Australia Pty Ltd, with US distribution handled by Monroe Truck Equipment, Monroe WI. (www.ttt-mirror.com)
Rack system can be expanded to include this aluminum vise. The new TracVise is secured to an aluminum extrusion mounted to the tailgate, allowing the tailgate to serve as a workbench, says Tom Derecktor. It is a product of TracRac Inc, Fall River MA, manufacturer of a sliding pickup rack system that includes cargo rack, toolboxes, window guard, and movable bulkhead. (www.tracrac.com)