Anatomy Of A Race Hauler

In nearly every form of racing, competitors have to find a way to transport all of their necessary equipment to the track. Depending on the sport, this can be quite the logistical challenge. Some folks simply load up the bed of a pickup truck and are on their way. Although they may be considered the “lucky ones”, they don’t reap the benefits of having a sort of ‘garage on wheels’ that any enclosed trailer can provide with the right equipment. With the right systems in place, a racing trailer can provide workstations, test stands, hospitality of all different kinds, and a host of high-tech systems. A trailer’s job isn’t over after it’s parked, in fact, it just begins!

For the larger teams that have to coordinate a multi-trailer caravan to the track, the logistical challenge becomes critical. Without having to mention the fact that large trailers have to meet a legal maximum weight while travelling down the road, let’s take a look at some of the basic functions of a fully-loaded race hauler. One that you might find near or at the top levels of motorsport.

As you can see, this isn’t your average trailer. This particular rig was configured for a larger oval racing team, hosting many team members and plenty of VIPs every race weekend. The cars are usually relegated to storage on the upper level during transport, leaving the entire lower level of the transporter open for configuration. Every team operates slightly differently, thus the lower level must be tailored exclusively to each team. At CTech, we work hand-in-hand with the teams to ensure that literally every piece of equipment and individual part has it’s place in a cabinet or drawer. In many cases, the number of items accounted for is in the tens of thousands. When you’re working in logistics, being this methodical is the only way to ensure that the system will work as a whole. From the racer’s perspective, the less they have to worry about organizing and finding ways to make due, the more effort can be put to the task at hand; winning!

Starting with the basics, lightweight aluminum cabinets and drawer units make up the bulk of the trailer’s interior at the lower level. Cutting weight here is essential. We use exclusively 5052 aluminum panels and extrusions to construct our cabinets, making them roughly 50% lighter than traditional steel counterparts. This brings up a great issue when it comes to mobile storage; the trade-off between cutting weight and not sacrificing strength, longevity, or durability.

As you can imagine, the road can be a very rough place, and travelling down the highway with, potentially, millions of dollars worth of equipment is not the best time to have a drawer or cabinet failure. That’s why we construct our 5052 aluminum storage components with fasteners. Fastener construction allows the storage unit’s frame to ‘flex’ under increased load moments, bumps, and uneven terrain. Where welded components might bend and break, fastened components keep on flexing. As an added bonus, in case of an accident, components that are fastened together are much more easily replaced. This saves money, time, and effort in the bigger picture.

The next biggest hurdle to overcome in a race hauler is customization and technology integration. This is where it’s essential for us to work hand-in-hand with the client and/or trailer manufacturer to ensure that the storage systems and amenities are integrated seamlessly. Without the unmatched level of cabinet system configurability developed by our engineers, creating a fluid and dynamic storage system just for this complex space would be next to impossible.

The culmination of all this engineering and innovation is a multi-functional, mobile headquarters capable of hosting everything from an engine swap to a business meeting. Cabinets of various configurations host component test stands, multiple workstations and worktop areas, appliance integration, electronic/data hosting racks, various wireless technologies, and hospitality services. After all, after a hard day of work at the track, the team needs to eat as well.

Case Study: Ed Carpenter Racing (IndyCar)

When Bret Schmitt (Chief Mechanic at Ed Carpenter Racing) sees an opportunity to optimize, whether it be on the racecar or in the race hauler, he takes it. That’s why he chose to outfit their primary IndyCar race hauler with CTech storage. In the process, he cut rolling weight on the rig an increased storage space simultaneously.

“The biggest thing for us choosing CTech was saving weight in the trailer and being able to customize the cabinets to the exact size we want, which increased our storage area almost 20% over a stock Lista cabinet. That was huge for us because it’s all about maximizing your storage space in the trailer. That space, along with weight savings, was a big bonus for us with CTech. It’s a great product, and a great finish. We really like the handles! Everything is just very user friendly for what we’re doing.”

-Bret Schmitt, Chief Mechanic | Ed Carpenter Racing

Each NASCAR, IndyCar, Pirelli World Challenge, TORC off-road team, you name it, needs to get the most out of their equipment so that they can get the most out of their vehicles. The more capabilities they can carry with them to the track, the better. A dependable, customized storage system makes that possible. Each build is an engineering exercise in organization and space optimization. I’m sure if Formula 1 teams could bring a wind tunnel on the road with them, they would. Hmmm, maybe that’s an idea for the HAAS F1 team to ponder!?

Why Buy American Or Local?

Following up on one of our favorite holidays; Independence Day. Taking pride in our American-made product is just the beginning; there's a wide array of benefits for our customers, local communities, and beyond!

We've compiled 16 of the top benefits associated with buying American from CTech, flip through them all right here! Buying local is one of the most important things you can do on a daily basis to support your community. It may not always be the cheapest option, but the benefits associated with it often transcend the sale!

MotionLatch™ Tool Drawer Ordering & Installation Walk-Through

Upgrading tool storage seems like a massive undertaking, but in reality it’s never been easier! If you’re looking to begin the process of upgrading to MotionLatch tool drawer storage, we’ve put together this comprehensive walkthrough video to help show you what’s in store! From measuring and ordering, to installation, preview the upgrade process right here!

At CTech, we’re here to provide the best product and service to our customers. If there’s anything else you need from us, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Let’s review some of the steps covered in this video:

Measuring + Ordering

  1. Download our RFQ Form.

  2. Start by measuring your basic compartment/opening dimensions (LxWxH).

  3. Adjust your basic measurements by taking obstructions/clearances/modifications into account for each compartment/opening.

  4. Consider which mounting options are available for your available dimensions (don’t forget about the minimum width requirement for telescoping tops).

  5. Decide how many drawers you need and at what size(s).

  6. Complete the RFQ Form with the rest of your necessary information, and submit to your local CTech Tool Drawer Dealer! (Go Here To Find Your Nearest Dealer)


Installation

  1. Begin by clearing and cleaning your compartments/openings destined for installation.

  2. Remove the drawers from your new Tool Drawer Unit (TDU) and place the frame into your compartment/opening.

    1. NOTE: If you’re able to leave in the middle section of drawers in the unit at this time, that will ensure the unit is square and the drawers will operate freely. Your alternative option is to test fit the drawers before tightening all the fasteners

  3. Ensure that the unit fits as desired and no obstructions will impede the drawers once re-installed. (if you have a service body, make sure that the door will close and latch without issue)

  4. With the unit positioned exactly where you want it mounted, mark the locations to drill holes for the installation hardware.

  5. Remove the TDU and drill out the mounting holes.

  6. Place the TDU back in place and hard-mount the unit using hardware (not provided by CTech).

  7. Re-Install drawers, and once again make sure that no obstructions are present.

  8. Enjoy the fruits of superior storage! Snap a picture of your new unit and tag CTech on social media!

Announcing The 'CTech Manufacturing 180'

Everyone here at CTech Manufacturing is thrilled to announce the CTech Manufacturing 180 NASCAR Xfinity Series race to be held at Road America on August 22-24, 2019! Set in the scenic hills of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the 180-mile road race is a spectacle, and driver favorite, on the NASCAR calendar. Joining the weekend festivities once again will be the fan-favorite Stadium Super Truck series, as well as the SCCA Trans Am and Formula 3 series.

As the official Cart, Cabinet, and Drawer supplier for Road America and title sponsor of the world-class motorplex located on-site, CTech has enjoyed a prosperous relationship with Road America, also known as ‘America’s National Park of Speed’. Those who have had the chance to explore the 640+ acres of park-like land on the Road America grounds will uphold its world-class reputation, and for good measure, considering the phenomenal amenities, food, and activities available for both racers and fans alike.

Previously coined the ‘Johnsonville 180’, this special race has a knack for attracting top-tier road racers. In 2018, popular British endurance racer Katherine Legge joined Johnny Davis Racing, while IndyCar driver Conor Daly joined Rousch Fenway Racing, among others. Hall-Of-Fame NASCAR driver Bill Elliot also came out of retirement to suit up for the 2018 race, creating plenty of buzz around the NASCAR paddock. One thing’s for sure when it comes to this challenging 180-mile race, you never know who is going to come out to play, or who’s going to end up in the winner’s circle!

Being a Wisconsin-based company, we’re extremely excited to welcome the NASCAR world back to beautiful Road America. We would like to invite you to come enjoy the best that stock car racing has to offer in August as we get set to wave the green flag for the first ever CTech Manufacturing 180! Stay tuned for exciting details regarding the race weekend! 

2019 NHRA Route 66 Nationals: Fast and Steady

Jim Greenheck, owner and CEO of CTECH Manufacturing hit the drag strip once again this weekend to defend his NHRA Division V championship. This time, he wowed the crowd with a brand new, much hyped paint scheme. Although, he wasn’t the only racer at Route 66 Raceway donning new CTech colors. Kris and Kevin Hool, of K&K Motorsports, were also in attendance to compete for victory in their Top Alcohol Funny Car. After years of solid partnership, CTech stepped up this year to become a title sponsor for the Hool brothers TA/FC effort.

Also in the hunt for a Wally in Joliet last weekend were a number of teams sporting CTech pit carts under their tent, one of which being Elite Motorsports. Their driver, championship winning Pro-Stock driver Erica Enders, ended up coming just short in the Pro Stock finals to Deric Kramer and KB Racing, another CTech-equipped team competing at the very top of NHRA Pro Stock drag racing competition. Looking at both team’s pit areas, CTech carts are helping keep them at the top of their game. Congrats to all involved with the win!

Formula Student USA at the CTech Motorplex

After a full year of preparations, local high school teams and their racing creations descended upon the CTech Manufacturing Motorplex for two full days of non-stop track time! Formula Student USA is the group’s name, dedicated to helping high-school students fulfill their dream of building a real racecar in the name of STEM education. This may seem like a tall order for high-school students, but they’re eager for a challenge!

The Cedarburg High School Formula Student USA Team

Similar to collegiate SAE challenges, each Formula Student team has a set of rules to follow when constructing their vehicle. In general, teams have the choice of constructing an open or closed-wheel chassis, with varying levels of design autonomy associated with each. Safety is paramount in all forms of racing, and Formula Student is no different. Because this event isn’t timed, and wheel-to-wheel racing isn’t allowed, the focus of the rulebook is to guide the teams in making a safe, dependable racecar that can keep going throughout the two-day event at the Motorplex.

Parts for each car are either ordered via catalog, or custom designed and built by the teams themselves with the help of individual sponsors and plenty of information-sharing between schools. CTech is proud to support the teams in this fantastic program. We truly believe that the students in this program are the future of racing, and they’re proving it to us time and time again! Your first racecar is always going to be a special one, and for these students, it’s the one they’ve learned the most from.

VEX Robotics World Championships 2019

Over 25,000 individuals, and hundreds of student robotics teams from around the world recently descended into Louisville, Kentucky for the VEX Robotics World Championship. Students from 40 countries, and ranging from grade school to university-level education qualified for the championship event by performing well at local events. Among them, St. Nicholas School’s middle school robotics team dubbed “Rocket Robots”. We’re proud to have recently become a supporter of this local STEM-based team, and we’re even more proud of the fact that they were able to bring home 2nd place in the overall championship after winning their division!

In each division, teams must construct a robot to complete a very specific set of tasks. Most contests require robots to flip, stack, toss, and otherwise manipulate a set of objects to score points in an allotted time. Sounds easy right? Wrong! The competition here is intense. Every team is on the clock, and their creations are on the spot. The VEX organizers do an incredible job of making sure that the students who compete are having fun. From the sidelines, the contests very much resemble a live-action sport; there is a field of play surrounded by dynamic lighting, plenty of action and fanfare, an engaged audience, and even live announcers!

Each team travels down a long road to make it to the VEX World Championship event. In order to qualify, a given team has to prove themselves at local, regional, and nationwide events. For younger teams, the dedication that they’ve demonstrated is incredible, and all in the name of STEM competition! We’re extremely proud of the St. Nicholas School “Rocket Robots” team for their efforts this year, you’ve made everyone at CTech proud!

Special Financing Now Available!

Starting this week, we’re rolling out an exciting new program for some of our standard products; financing! Thanks to our new credit partners, we can now offer 1-3 year financing terms with low rates. Put the power of superior organization to work in your garage, shop, trailer, or anywhere else the job needs to get done!

Details:

  • 1-3 Year Terms

  • Same Day Credit Checks

Our BadAss Mechanic Carts are the first product to be made eligible for this credit opportunity. Each week, more will be added. If you’ve had your eyes on a particular CTech product, now is your time to invest in high performance storage! Give us a call today or inquire online for more details! Be sure to follow our social media channels to find out when additional products are added to the program!

Pit Carts of NASCAR

Pit Carts of NASCAR

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            NASCAR’s ‘Speedweeks’ is in full swing once again; with the CLASH kicking off side-by-side racing action at Daytona in headline-busting fashion. Among the usual noise, speed, glitz, and glamour that comes along with The Great American Race, happenings behind pit wall aren’t going unnoticed. In the past quarter-century, the humble pit cart has largely gone unnoticed in the eyes of the general viewing audience of major motorsports sanctions such as NASCAR, among others. Indeed, pit carts have evolved over the years to resemble something like a mobile headquarters, as opposed to simply a big toolbox.

            In general, NASCAR teams utilize two main pit boxes at the racetrack; one located in the garage, and one deployed on pit lane. The ‘garage pit box’ much more closely resembles something found in the service bay of your local master mechanic, however, it’s packed with technology designed to display race data on built-in TV screens, provide electrical distribution, and even a worktop with specialized compartments to accommodate aerosols, lubrication products, and much more. CTech’s Garage Box, aptly named, has provided a turn-key garage pit box solution for some of the industry’s top competitors, such as Team Penske, Richard Childress Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Stewart – Haas Racing, and many more. The Garage Box is designed to simply roll off the transporter and go to work with minimal setup.

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Pit carts found along pit lane are decidedly larger and more complex than those found in the garage, and for good measure. With all the efforts of competing in a NASCAR race culminating at the drop of the green flag, carts behind pit wall must support “all hands on deck” and more. Even if pit lane is closed, it’s a very busy place. Engineers are crunching numbers and adjusting race strategies, crewmembers are preparing tires, fuel, and equipment for upcoming pit stops, media is swarming, and sponsors and other special guests are looking over the entire operation. If you’re going to have a pit cart behind the wall at a time like that, it has to serve all of those purposes.

The original ULTRA Cart, developed by CTech in the early 2000’s, was the first pit cart of its kind to incorporate an expandable observation deck. With the addition of dedicated workspace for engineers, crew chiefs, and owners, pit carts completed a fundamental leap in evolution. Additional sponsorship representation was also made available to track-facing panels of the cart. Just like that, pit carts were no longer monstrous toolboxes, but well-equipped workstations packed with technology. As the years went on, more technology was packed into the cart chassis, and the use of pit carts as a marketing platform became ever more important.

As the business of motorsport has evolved, pit carts have become larger and more complex than anyone could have imagined, and for good measure. With the age of information transforming racing itself, pit carts are now responsible for not only storing tools and equipment, but also to:

·        Support a growing team of engineers AND their data

·        Provide hospitality to special guests, owners, and sponsors

·        Boost promotional space

·        Distribute liquid, electrical, networking, and pneumatic systems

Indeed, the ‘team’ aspect of racing is more important than ever and having the right equipment to manage those physical and digital assets on pit lane is the difference between finishing in the front of the pack and finishing at the back. CTech’s original ULTRA Cart, the first pit cart with an expandable observation deck, sparked a revolution in pit lane storage. Now, the ULTRA Cart Dual-Deck is here to revolutionize and re-imagine pit lane once again. The single largest, most complex pit cart ever constructed is making its stock car racing debut at the hands of Premium Motorsports; who’s intending to embark on a strong Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series campaign with driver Ross Chastain.

The new ULTRA Cart Dual-Deck (UCDD) makes several fundamental improvements to the original ULTRA Cart design; the first and most obvious is the addition of a second expandable deck. This allows for more engineer workspaces, and more hospitality space for visiting sponsors and guests. More promotional space is also made available across the front of the cart, thanks to easily interchangeable display panels that are attached to the front railing. The second and less obvious design tweak is the orientation of the cart. All pit carts to date have been positioned parallel to the pit wall. The UCDD chassis has been spun 90-degrees to sit perpendicular to pit lane. This has been done for two main reasons:

·        To provide clearer, faster, and safer access between the rear of the pit box and pit wall, and vice-versa, for crewmembers

·        To facilitate space for the additional deck

Mounted on the lower level of the UCDD chassis is a wider array of monitors and TV screens, expanded worktop areas, and more storage than ever before. On previous ULTRA carts, a portion of the cart’s body was inevitably reserved for workstation space. With the new design, the observation deck doesn’t utilize any prospective storage space in the chassis. This new pit cart isn’t just a revision of the original ULTRA cart, it’s a re-imagination of pit lane. It cements the notion that pit carts aren’t just big toolboxes anymore, but well-equipped mobile headquarters. IMSA has already seen this exciting new cart in action, now it’s NASCAR’s turn! Be on the lookout during this weekend’s Daytona events, you wont be able to miss the new cart on pit lane!

NTEA The Work Truck Show 2019 Preview

The biggest show in the work/service truck industry is only one month away! We’ve got a host of exciting things going on in the booth this year; from interactive technology, special guests, and of course the latest developments in mobile storage technology!

               The NTEA Work Truck Show is North America’s largest work truck event, with over 500 exhibitors and 13,000 attendees descending upon the Indianapolis Convention Center to learn about the industry’s latest advancements. Truck and van manufacturers commonly take the center stage, as newer, more capable, and more efficient models inevitably roll out. As an industry leader in drawer manufacturing, The Work Truck Show is a great opportunity for CTech Manufacturing to show working professionals how to take their vehicle’s storage systems to the next level. Tool drawers and mobile cabinets will represent the bulk of our display models, equipped with the newest innovations in storage technology.

Palfinger Lift Body Equipped With CTech Tool Drawer Units

Our recent 80,000 square foot expansion and new R&D center enable us to provide a better product, with quicker lead times, alongside better service than anyone in the industry. The show is the perfect place for us to showcase those developments as well. Aside from demonstration products, we will also have an interactive catalog experience, utilizing state-of-the-art touchscreen TVs. We will also have quick, easy, and accessible quoting tablets loaded with our full catalog of over 175 pre-configured tool drawer units, designed to provide turn-key drawer solutions for owners of popular service bodies such as Knapheide, Palfinger, IMT, Auto Crane, BrandFx, Norstar, and Royal.

               To headline our booth activities at this years’ show; we’re extremely thankful to be welcoming back Juan Ibarra, from Discovery Channel’s hit show ‘Gold Rush’! Juan has been with us in the booth in years past, and as a CTech Tool Drawer user himself, he knows the value of well-built tool drawers. A little bit about this Gold Rush star; he’s a Heavy Equipment Mechanic and Expert Welder/Fabricator from Reno, Nevada best known for his roll as Hoffman’s mechanic in the beloved Discovery Channel show. For those of you unfamiliar with Gold Rush, it follows a selection of mining companies through the rough business of gold mining. Juan is one of the most hardworking folks we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and we’re thrilled to have him back with us this year. He will be making appearances at the CTech booth during the times and dates posted below. Juan will be available to sign autographs and meet with show-goers at those times:

CTech Manufacturing Booth #319

March 6 (Wednesday): 10AM - Noon

March 7 (Thursday): 10AM – Noon