Wow! What a show we had at the 2017 American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) Convention and Traffic Expo in Phoenix, Arizona! The showroom floor was filled with excitement and Waterblasting Technologies was there to highlight the latest advancements with not only the Stripe Hog but the Rumble Hog – Grinder, Groover, Rumbler…and the Thermo Hog thermoplastic longline truck.
The gathering started off with the 26th Annual Foundation Golf Classic which raises funds for the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation. The Foundation is ATSSA’s charitable organization, which exists to promote roadway safety through charitable giving and public awareness programs. The Foundation’s annual Golf Classic Tournament helps support The Foundation’s “Toward Zero Deaths” initiative. You just can’t beat the winter temps in Phoenix this time of year, and Waterblasting Technologies enjoyed the warm weather and sunny skies of the fairways with a foursome that included Dave Friday, Michael Lettengarver, Tom Flaherty of ORAFOL Americas and Jim Marshall of TrafFix Devices.
Waterblasting Technologies was at the forefront of supporting The Foundation, not only by participating in the golf classic but by sponsoring our own VIP Casino Night at the Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails in downtown Phoenix. The evening was shared by more than 150 of our specially invited industry friends who enjoyed food, adult beverages, a rockin’ DJ and table play that kept the house (and our own James Crocker) on its heels. Beyond the games, food and fun was a real purpose…to raise funds for The Foundation. Bragging rights went to our top contributors, Stripe-a-Zone, Waterblasting Technologies, and Guidemark, Inc. with honorable mentions and significant contributions to Parking Lot Painting, Valesco, Griffin Pavement Striping, Innovative Marking Systems, Statewide Stripes, American Waterblasting Inc, and Keystone Engineering. We also enjoyed the presence of one of the college scholarship recipients from Missouri, Brianna Lizotte, accompanied by Foundation Manager Lori Diaz and Director, Neil Mullanaphy. Along with many other contributions we raised nearly $21,000 for The Foundation. You can find out more about The Foundation activities here: http://www.atssa.com/TheFoundation
As much fun as we had playing golf and doubling down at the tables…the real business of ATSSA 2017 was spread out on the Phoenix Convention Center floor. As always, we had several of our removal machines on display to include the flagship Stripe Hog SH8000 and the SH7500. The Hog Rider and Ground Hog were also available to give visitors a hands-on experience.
With the Stripe Hog family of machines found in more than 50 countries worldwide, the water blasting rubber and paint removal systems on hand at the show continued to be a big hit with both the domestic and international crowd. After all…we proudly sell more Stripe Hog products than our top 5 competitors combined. With our dedicated team of sales, service and maintenance departments focused on a positive customer experience, it becomes apparent why our trucks were the #1 magnet for the event!
But the biggest draw centered around our new and exciting additions to the Stripe Hog family. First up was the Rumble Hog – Grinder, Groover, Rumbler. This baby is so much more than a tool to cut rumble strips along the roadway. Yes, it cuts those in a variety of patterns of your choosing. But it also triples the usual machine capability as it can convert to a grinder and a groover for both asphalt and concrete. With the addition of the Automagic laser guidance system, cyclonic vacuum recovery and boom auger for unloading debris, this is the dream machine that keeps it cut and clean!
The star of the show had to be the Thermo Hog – Thermoplastic System. Unlike competitor models, this is not just a thermoplastic application truck, this is a thermoplastic processing plant. It may not look much different from the outside, but understanding the inside of the melting system is what makes this thermoplastic line truck a true Phenom!
We’ve talked about the technology of the Thermo Hog over the past year and shared with our professional colleagues how we were transforming the melting method from the normal process of heating a large kettle of material from the bottom of the barrel, to an oil-based heat exchange system which continually moves the heated oil through the kettle in three stages to heat the thermoplastic material faster and more consistently without the problems associated with incorporating glass beads that can lead to lava build up and reduced efficiency. We’ve moved from a standard 38.7 ft2 of heated surface area to a whopping 292.3 ft2. That’s a massive increase of 655%!
Words truly fail to express just how different this mobile melting plant operation is…so I’ll just show you the same video that we displayed at ATSSA to help do so in a much simpler fashion.
I think the video truly explains the simplicity and unique method of heating the thermoplastic material like we’ve never seen before. Just as you can pass your hand over a candle’s flame without being burned, the oil being heated is moving fast enough that the temperature is high enough to melt the thermoplastic without the concern of burning it with a direct flame. The bonus is the ability to do so using a much lower temperature than a traditional melter which, once again, translates into an economic savings in both time and money.
At last year’s ATSSA in New Orleans we were talking about theory, R&D and possibilities with the new Thermo Hog. But after 3-years of research, development and testing, the Thermo Hog is no longer a possibility…IT’S A REALITY! And we’re proud of the fact that the first production model is in the build stage right now. Stripe-A-Zone based in Texas has stepped up to be our first customer for the new Thermo Hog, and we can’t wait to see it in operation.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our founder’s book signing extravaganza. For those who don’t know, Waterblasting Technologies President James Crocker is much more than a waterblasting wizard…he’s also an awesome author. Even more amazing, he’s an author of children’s books. Three of those books were available to anyone for the asking, and James was thrilled to sign each and every one of them. They included, “Attitude Stew”, “Senor Can & the Clan of I Can’s”, and “Just a Swingin’ – The Wonderful Blunderful Game of Golf”. If you’ve never experienced James’ passion for little people and poetry…then you’ve missed out on a treat of a lifetime. Find out more here: http://jamespcrocker.com and check out a sample of his poetic prose here:
What an incredible time we had at this year’s event! Here’s just a few things we learned along the way.
- The members of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) have a passion for people, products, and possibilities.
- ATSSA’s charitable organization, The Foundation, has some pretty incredible programs to highlight roadway safety and to help care for the children of men and women who are roadway work zone accident victims.
- Our customers are #1 in the industry! They continue to show their loyalty and support of Waterblasting Technologies time and time again. As always, thank you for your business!
- Our team members are #1 in the industry! We have the best-of-the-best when it comes to top-notch teams that work hard behind the scenes every day to take care of our customers. With our rapid growth comes opportunity. If you know anyone that is looking for an exciting new career you can always track the latest openings here.
- People from all over the world can come together for a common purpose, work together, play together, and make memories together that will last a lifetime.
- As an industry leader…we CAN make a difference! Where some may see the impossible, we at Waterblasting Technologies look at the possibilities, dream dreams, and turn them into realities.
The 48th Annual ATSSA Convention & Traffic Expo will be in San Antonio, Texas…January 26-30, 2018. We’re sure to have more surprises in store for you then. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about any of the products we’ve mentioned in our blog…simply make a request for more information. Better yet…come on down to Stuart, Florida and let us show you the difference that Waterblasting Technologies can make for you and your business.