Driven to Invention
“The company is finally paying its own bills. In January, we did really well because of good press in Entrepreneur magazine,” Brand says.
Some buyers use the product for its original purpose – to keep things from rolling around in their cars. The panels are also being used for shelving, barriers and stools.
“Some of the truckers I know put them under their bunks and put coveralls and shoes in there,” Brand says. “It fits perfectly under most bunks.”
His company is also accepting ideas for new uses. Every six months, the company gives away $100 to someone coming up with an original, practical use for the panels. The newest use for Brand’s product is as a wine rack.
Currently, the panels are only available online. Twelve panels sell for $44.95 on Brand’s website.
Driver/inventor George Muth has installed his blow-by oil catcher on several trucks.
Blow-by Oil Catcher
George Muth, a flatbed trucker from Chester, Ohio, works on trucks in his spare time. He used to hate trying to find oil leaks because blow-by oil would always be covering the engine.
“I was overhauling a truck and had this sludge clean up to my shoulders when the owner asked me to check and see if the transmission was leaking,” Muth says. “I told him we wouldn’t even be able to tell if it was because there was so much oil.”
Muth began thinking about other drawbacks to blow-by oil. It made the roads slick when it first began to rain. The runoff could get into ground water. Pets would play in it and then lick their paws, getting the oil into their systems.
He decided to create a device that would catch and reuse the blow-by oil.
“I made the first one and never even tried it before I went back and remodeled it. I experimented over a period of two and a half years,” he says.
Because of the changes he kept making to his device, Muth had to get two patents.
The mechanism he is currently manufacturing attaches to the breather tube of the engine. It catches the blow-by oil and separates it from the air. The oil is then recycled back into the engine, while the air is blown out.
“Our ultimate goal is to return the air back into the air intake and re-burn it, but we’ve got to make sure we get the oil out,” he says.
The device as it presently works catches between 98 and 99 percent of all the blow-by oil in a truck. It has a float in it that holds about one quart of oil safely before a light in the dash will go off. The one Muth uses in his truck catches about four ounces between oil changes.
“You figure four ounces between each oil change, 10 oil changes a year, that’s 40 ounces. Even if you drop it back to a quart a year, if you figure that times how many truckers there are, we’re saving a whole lot of oil,” he says.
To find out more about Muth’s invention, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a fax to (740) 591-4229. His business phone number is (740) 985-3605.