Paul's Picks
Senior Technical Editor Paul Abelson braved the stifling heat to attend GATS in Dallas in August. There he scoured the aisles of the Dallas Convention Center to bring you highlights of the most innovative and practical new products out there.

By Paul Abelson, senior technical editor

Drivers are always looking to improve seating comfort, so among the many new and innovative products at this year’s GATS, WonderGel seat cushions got my attention. The company is an established supplier to hospitals. They combined memory foam with a honeycomb of blue gel material to virtually eliminate pressure points and distribute weight more evenly. WonderGel seat cushions come in 1-inch, 1.25-inch, 2-inch and a DoubleGel 2.5-inch thickness. All cushions come with washable covers that have a slide-resistant surface to help cushions stay put on your seat (wondergel.com, 801-756-2600).

For those without idle-reduction equipment, there’s a new kiosk-based service at a growing number of rest areas in New England. AireDock units, suitable for rest areas, truck stops and shippers/receivers yards, stand next to your cab. They provide filtered one-way HVAC (no stale smoke) and in-cab electrification. Temperature controls are inside the cab. High-speed Internet service is available. No on-site personnel are needed to operate the self-contained units (airedock.com, 866-771-7446).

Among drivers’ greatest fears are people breaking into cabs, both to commit robberies while you’re at truck stops or to hijack trucks stopped in traffic. SleeperLock keeps drivers safe by securing the two front doors. Made of stainless steel and high-strength polyester webbing, the SleeperLock hooks over both door handles. The web can be tightened to prevent any door movement at night, or kept loose while driving to allow driver movement but to still prevent the doors from being yanked open. SleeperLock adjusts to fit interiors from 47 inches to 97 inches. Fourteen designs are available. Fleets can have custom logos and graphics on the webs, including “Property of … ” to minimize theft (sleeperlock.com, 561-244-9907).

Cobra, best known for CB radio and GPS navigation devices, introduced a full line of universal device mounts. Some use suction mounts for attachment to smooth surfaces like windshields. Others are for use on surfaces where suction won’t hold, such as pebble grain dashboard surfaces. They have a special non-permanent adhesive that holds strongly until you want to remove the mount or the device. The adhesive “renews” with the application of Windex or similar glass cleaners. There’s a cigarette lighter/power point mount that has a flexible arm, adhesive platform for a GPS, smartphone or similar device and a USB port for power or recharging.

A weighted base with a smooth steel mounting plate provides a stable base for any suction mounting, regardless of manufacturer (cobra.com, 773-889-8870).

Tru-Balance, makers of wheel-centering products, developed a wheel stud cleaning tool to power brush threads according to recommended practices for tire changing. It consists of three spiral stainless brushes in a holding device that precisely positions the brushes. As brushes wear, they can be easily repositioned by loosening two set screws per brush. The brushes can be replaced when completely worn. The tool has a 1/4-inch hex mandrel to fit any standard electric drill or a quick-release air chuck. One brush can be removed and used alone on a drill for cleaning wheel holes. (tru-bal.com, 1-866-686-9285). LL