New tool for placing hard-to-reach edge protectors and more when securing flatbed loads

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The new Gavase Tool is suitable for a variety of applications, including the basic installation of straps and plastic or metal strap/chain corner protectors and V boards or other wood — tie-down chains, too, as shown; it’s also a good assist with “straps, ropes and chains routing through pallets, concrete pipes and difficult places to reach,” designer Epifanio Flores says.The new Gavase Tool is suitable for a variety of applications, including the basic installation of straps and plastic or metal strap/chain corner protectors and V boards or other wood — tie-down chains, too, as shown; it’s also a good assist with “straps, ropes and chains routing through pallets, concrete pipes and difficult places to reach,” designer Epifanio Flores says.

Five months into his tenure hauling flatbed as an owner-operator leased to New Line Transport out of Orlando, Fla., Ricardo Flores well understood the risks associated with load securement. In the flatbed segment, falls and other accidents are too common with all the tarps, straps, chains, strap corner protectors and V boards involved. Flores had plenty of trucking experience with other materials and tariler types, 20 years as an owner-operator both in Puerto Rico and Florida, and the flatbed experience and potential for injury unnerved him.

Particularly problematic was the often-high-in-the-air placement of strap corner protectors — and while he’d seen a lot of drivers using an improvised tool constructed from a PVC tube with a slotted T at one end, it had a very limited utility, being relatively fragile and insecure, and breaking quite often. As Ricardo Flores’ father, Epifanio, tells it, Ricardo came to him with the notion of coming up with a better way.

The end result, Epifanio Flores says, is the Gavase Tool, named after and “dedicated to my grandchildren: Gabriela, Valeria and  Sebastian” and better safety for flatbed haulers securing loads.

The process of building and, ultimately, patenting the tool took some time, and along the way an initial prototype appropriate for installing strap corner protectors morphed into one with multiple functions, Epifanio says. At the instigation of his owner-operator son (now leased to Landstar), Flores designed it to further “handle chains, plastic or metal protectors, plastic or wood V boards,” and more.

The durable steel tool is detailed with photos of a variety of uses (a couple of which are shown below) at the company website.The durable steel tool is detailed with photos of a variety of uses (a couple of which are shown below) at the company website.

While there are a couple other tools out there and available for similar functions but with some moving parts, this tool’s multifunction capabilities and solid steel construction make it unique, Flores says. As noted, he and Ricardo went on to patent it, and it’s available now through the company’s website for $37.95 plus around $8 shipping. (Bulk prices minus shipping charges are also available — they’ve seen some success with prominent flatbed fleets fairly quickly, Flores says.)

Epifanio Flores and company recommend “a heavy-duty, industrial-grade, 12-foot three-section extension pole” to which the Gavase Tool is connected — such poles will be readily accessible “in most hardware and truck parts stores,” he adds. “The tool is female, ACME-standard threaded to fit this pole.”Epifanio Flores and company recommend “a heavy-duty, industrial-grade, 12-foot three-section extension pole” to which the Gavase Tool is connected — such poles will be readily accessible “in most hardware and truck parts stores,” he adds. “The tool is female, ACME-standard threaded to fit this pole.” The tool is here shown in use to lifet a plastic corner protector into place under a four-inch strap high above the trailer.The tool is here shown in use to lifet a plastic corner protector into place under a four-inch strap high above the trailer. Here is shown a typical V board, centered in the tool’s support mechanism.Here is shown a typical V board, centered in the tool’s support mechanism.

Bonus: It can be helpful around the house as well, Epifanio says, for such uses as “the installation of lights on tall Christmas trees, light objects in high places while another person secures them — picture frames, electric wires, beams, lamps and etc. It also facilitates the delivery of tools to another person in high or difficult-to-reach places.”

Find more via the company’s website.

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