August 22, 2022
By Blake Marchand
For the new Bending Table for Greenlee® 881 Series Benders, Greenlee Tools, Inc. set out to improve ergonomics and product security. Previously, contractors usually had to disassemble their bender unit for relocation off the jobsite due to it being harder to secure on the jobsite. New anti-theft features incorporated into the bending table product design allowed the cart and its accessories to be more fully locked. This increases contractor productivity by helping reduce the need for tedious setup and tear down of the bender due to off-jobsite storage.
Greenlee wanted to make the Mobile Bending Table as versatile as possible and intentionally designed it to fit through most 32” wide doors. This allows for improved navigation, so the cart does not have to be disassembled on the jobsite to relocate from room to room.
“It really comes down to our customers. When developing new products, Greenlee incorporates new technologies and ideas based on direct feedback from our customers,” said Katey Earley, product manager, Greenlee. “Greenlee’s hydraulic benders have been around for decades, but we found there were ways to make the job easier while providing an extra layer of security for contractors, starting with the cart itself.”
Ergonomics is another key feature of the redesign. “In the new Mobile Bending Table, all bender components can now be stored more ergonomically, in the same position as they are installed on the bender, for easier more intuitive setup and change over.” One of the key features of the Mobile Bending Table is a dedicated place for all the necessary parts, labeled with visual instructions, showing you where and how to store the components,” which Earley said was added for efficiency and ease of storage when using the cart.
“The features we’ve built into this new Mobile Bending Table allow users to not only bend anywhere with added security from theft, but to also use the bender in a more ergonomic way so there is less strain on the body and work projects can be completed in less time or in greater volume.”
See the Greenlee Mobile Bending Table product overview video here:
Along with the new Mobile Bending Table, Greenlee has released a few other tool updates recently. Greenlee launched REEL-X™ Fish Tapes in 2020 and added a new steel tape option earlier this year.
REEL-X began as an ergonomics project in consultation with electricians. Greenlee discovered too much energy was being wasted unjamming the fish tape before work even got started. They also identified that electricians were experiencing wrist and shoulder strain while fishing, as well as the tape jamming and binding during use, taking time away from the job. Greenlee’s new design removed the fish tape handle so that it was easier to tuck under the arm when fishing. They also changed the way the wire sits in the wheel, removing the hub so there isn’t a chance for it to bind.
“REEL-X was designed to make using a fish tape easier,” said Adele Hendrix, product manager, Greenlee. “After talking with customers, we learned that making it easier for them meant addressing problems with current fish tape designs. The top issue is the tape would bind or jam during use which would impact productivity and may damage the fish tape.”
The new steel fish tapes include laser-etched measurement markings every foot, allowing the operator to measure and fish in one step. It’s available in 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch sizes and come in various lengths from 65 to 240-feet and are suitable for general fishing or when measurement is required during the installation process. There is also a stainless-steel option that protects against corrosion, suitable for wet environments.
In line with their ergonomic theme, last year Greenlee introduced Pull Assist, a new puller accessory that increases the ease of completing pulls and helps by giving trade professionals the option to make their pull hands-free and consistent. This allows users to stay out of the ‘danger zone’ while increasing productivity and decreasing strain and fatigue. The Pull Assist provides up to 85 pounds of tailing force and enables users to set up in challenging locations while still standing 6 feet away from the capstan.
“Pulling is one of the most dangerous parts of cable installation. Greenlee’s new Pull Assist lets users stand farther back, keeping them out of the danger zone,” said Adele Hendrix, Product Manager, Greenlee. “Traditionally, pulling is a labor intensive, time-consuming job that puts extensive strain on the body. Hands-free pulling minimizes strain and fatigue on the body, so you can feel better and get more done.”
When it comes to developing new products, Greenlee is continuously focused on utilizing customer feedback, while also actively looking for ways to improve ergonomics on existing tools to help reduce strain for trade professionals to make their work more efficient and profitable.