D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — The Hottest New Products at Expo: Three Dealers Offer Their Viewpoints

© 2004 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2004
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 40


The Hottest New Products at Expo
Three Dealers Offer Their Viewpoints

Jay and Claudia Mickelsen
Owners, Mickelsen Overhead Door
Pocatello, Idaho
Years in Business: 28

We really liked Chamberlain's new surge protector for residential openers. Everything is protected by that surge protector … even the photo eyes. It fits all of Chamberlain's openers, and it works on other brands. The surge protector will correct a lot of problems with logic boards getting damaged by power spikes.

We were also impressed with Linear's new line of commercial garage door and gate openers. Their commercial openers use the same control panel and the same logic boards. That lets us stock one residential logic board and one set of electric parts for the commercial opener.

I was very impressed with the Hörmann opener. It has a soft start and a soft stop on both the up and down cycles. It has a 24V DC motor, it's extremely quiet, and it has an automatic belt tensioning system. It's also maintenance free, HomeLink compatible, and UL listed.

The Vermette Machine Company had a great portable lift that was reasonably priced. You can raise up rolling steel doors and grilles into the guides and even take it with you in your truck. It comes on wheels, and it weighs only 238 lbs. We're definitely going to buy one.

Brian Lucas
President, F & L Doors
Hazleton, Pa.
Years in Business: 34

It was amazing to see the across-the-board commitment to carriage-house doors. Every manufacturer is working to come up with some new innovation to distinguish their product from the competitors.

I finally found a residential screen product; it's Gateway's residential Bug Barrier. No tools are necessary; it just connects to the jamb with Velcro and zips up on each side. I already ordered two for my house and one for my showroom. I think we can sell it over the counter.

The Martec Access Products booth had interesting wireless control systems for commercial garage door openers. They had wireless three-button control stations, photo eyes, safety edges, and a HomeLink receiver. Their HomeLink receiver will save people some money. Instead of selling new transmitters and receiver, you can just sell this new receiver. It works with your existing transmitters and your HomeLink button in the car.

I also saw a Dyna-Hoist commercial operator at the Richards-Wilcox display. It's a belt-driven jackshaft operator with reversing capability. I've never seen reversing technology on a jackshaft operator that can be used on a regular headroom door. I picked up some pricing on it, and it appears to be reasonably priced.

Arthur Nolasco
Owner, Art's Martin Door
Daly City, Calif.
Years in Business: 21

Sommer, a German company, had a garage door opener with a motor that runs along the rail. The garage door opener arm is attached directly to the motor. This unique approach would be useful for installations with limited backroom.

General Spring offered color-coded black-coated springs. The spring ends were painted yellow or green or brown, indicating the lifting capacity of the door. I think that will make replacement a lot easier, and the black coating will justify charging more for the spring. If customers are asked to choose between a coated spring and a conventional spring, I think they will certainly choose the coated one.

LiftMaster displayed a backup battery system that will open and close the door up to 20 times in the event of a power failure. This product will be a real convenience for some customers, such as elderly customers who may have a hard time opening the door manually. I'm not sure how many people will buy it, but it's a good idea.

I also saw a lot of steel carriage-house doors. It was clear to me that some models look much better than others. I think certain designs will have a competitive edge over others.