Innovation Awards: Techs and shop owners recognize the best new tools

The votes are in and the results have been announced! Beginning on page 24, the PTEN Innovation Awards recognize the most innovative products introduced in the last year to the automotive aftermarket. The purpose of the Innovation Awards, now in its...


The votes are in and the results have been announced! Beginning on page 24, the PTEN Innovation Awards recognize the most innovative products introduced in the last year to the automotive aftermarket.

The purpose of the Innovation Awards, now in its 10th year, is to recognize what veteran techs and shop owners consider the best new tools to make the technician’s job easier and make shops more productive.

Technicians want tools that help them get jobs done right the first time in an efficient manner. The process of gathering nominations, judging the nominees and selecting the winners for the Innovation Awards is a very exciting time for the automotive aftermarket industry. It begins in the spring when nominations are announced and concludes at the fall AAPEX show where the winners are honored on the trade show floor.

Tool and equipment manufacturers submit products every year, hoping to win the recognition from PTEN’s panel of judges.

The judges work tirelessly on these evaluations. PTEN compensates them for their time, but the main reason the judges get involved in this project is their love of tools and the excitement they share finding out how manufacturers are helping them do their jobs better and faster. This much is obvious from the numerous comments the judges make about the tools in the evaluation forms.

Here’s one judge’s comment about Lock Technology’s LT1800 4-piece impact drivers, the winner in the air tool category: “This tool is a great idea. This would surely eliminate the use of heat, which cuts down on possible safety issues.”

A comment on Automotive Electronics Service’s uActivate circuit breakout box, the winner in the diagnostic test equipment category: “I can report first-hand that this tool saves a ton of time and makes it simple to attach test connections and load control circuits.”

A comment on Matco Tools TH209 professional circuit and parasitic drain tester, winner in the electrical systems category: “I really like the idea that it can measure current draw on a circuit without removing the fuse (which can wake up a module, giving false information and requiring a long wait before it goes back to sleep).”

A special thanks is in order to the judges.

If you’re planning to attend this year’s AAPEX show in Las Vegas, be sure to congratulate the winners. They’ll be displaying their trophies in their booths.

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