This year, Professional Tool & Equipment News took a major step forward in innovating and updating our Innovation Awards. More than 70 entries across nearly 30 categories for 2008 were judged by an independent panel of shop owners for a myriad of characteristics including ease of use, design, new approach to completing a job, projected time-savings and actually meeting the expectation being promoted. (The winning tools were detailed in the March issue of PTEN; find more about the Innovation Awards online at

Innovation is not new to PTEN. In the 1980s, business-to-business magazine publisher Rudy Wolf was working closely within the automotive industry. The decade was a time of great upheaval in America’s domestic automobile industry. During his appointments with vendors, Wolf found a substantial need for information that focused on “tools and tools only,” he said.

“Publications at that time were focused on ‘how to fix’ the cars, ignoring tools or the idea of ‘what with,’

Since the 1980s, the evolution of automotive repair tools has been significant. Cars were changing.”

— Rudy Wolf
PTEN Founder

In 1990, Wolf launched Professional Tool & Equipment News to serve specifically as a “Wish Book for Tool Junkies.” It was the first-of-its-kind and remains the category leader into the 21st century.

“The average auto tech has $20,000 or more invested in tools. Techs now use three times more tools on automobiles than they did 15 years ago,” Wolf said.

Having the right tool for a job means profitability. The proper tool means shaving labor hours, sometimes by more than 90 percent.

Professional Tool & Equipment News’ mission has never wavered: serving the automotive repair market by providing information on tools and equipment to increase the bottom line. It has also been that one-to-one relationship with the magazine’s audience that has ensured a lifelong partnership.

“The tech or shop owner is facing more complicated vehicles every day,” said Wolf. “More and more repair jobs are diagnostically driven. Professional Tool & Equipment News offers solutions to those problems.”

Wolf is often greeted with, “I’m so happy you’re here. Someone took off with my copy of Professional Tool & Equipment News,” or “I’ve been looking for a tool like that for 20 years.”

“We understand the excitement within the market that techs feel about tools. We’ve built our brand on it,” said Wolf.

Because of Rudy Wolf’s innovative thinking and his continued involvement with the magazine, I am honored to announce that the Innovation Awards statue that we will be handing out will be called the “Rudy.” The Rudy is in recognition of true innovation for tools and equipment in the aftermarket, and in recognition of the magnificent job Rudy Wolf has done in helping PTEN remain the magazine shop owners and technicians depend on for the latest and best tool and equipment information.

Larry M. Greenberger