For Immediate Release - February 1st, 2006
Young Inventor takes the Strain Out of Lifting
Several years ago 23-year-old college student Thomas E. Dent III was struggling to wrench a massive 400 lb. stainless steel refrigerator up a winding set of stairs.
Those who have been in that nightmarish position understand the pain.
It can be excruciating.
That’s the exact point when Thomas remembers telling himself the old saying that we are all so familiar with, “there just has to be an easier way”.
From that point on Thomas devoted his nights and spare time to developing an easier way of lifting and moving heavy or bulky objects.
He spoke with metal fabricators and spent hours searching the US Patent and Trademark website (www.uspto.gov) learning about how patents are created and studying the formula for writing a strong patent with good market breadth.
Other evenings were spent making sketches and sewing together spare pieces of webbing with fishing line in a small, rented garage.
As the months passed and the work neared an end (or so he thought) Thomas realized that he had developed a revolutionary product that worked extremely well.
Thomas called the new gadget the Shoulder Dolly and set out on his way to a look for a very important factor in any new invention – MONEY.
This search led Thomas a couple of thousand miles away, near a place well known for its venture capitalists and multimillionaires, Aspen, Colorado.
“This does not mean everybody with an idea should move to Aspen!”
Thomas says with a huge smile.
“That was a crazy idea!
Aspen is a very tough valley to start in.
It’s extremely expensive to live there.
I spent my first summer near Aspen camping in the woods because I couldn’t afford the rent!”
It was, however, near Aspen that Thomas found investors.
The investment team included Tom and Jo An Knipping, David Cook and Craig Wilkening.
Tom and Jo An Knipping own a high end appliance company near Aspen and saw the benefit of the Shoulder Dolly immediately with their own delivery crews.
David Cook is the editor of the Aspen Daily News.
Craig Wilkening is an account executive with the manufacturer of Wolf Ranges and Sub-Zero refrigerators – high quality (and very heavy) appliances.
With a modest initial investment, TDT Moving Systems began selling the Shoulder Dolly all over the country.
Over the first few years the company focused on attending trade shows and selling to large buying groups. The Shoulder Dolly sold well with such companies as Best Buy, Dish Network and contractors for Sears and Home Depot.
While the Shoulder Dolly became well known by professionals, Thomas desired a larger customer base so he began developing a less expensive and more user friendly version of the Shoulder Dolly named the Light Duty.
Little did the company know, the Light Duty was to take center stage in the business and catapult sales to an entirely new level.
The Shoulder Dolly brand is growing at a rapid pace, being sold by large catalog companies like Northern Tool and Harbor Freight Tools.
The Shoulder Dolly will be appearing on the Home Shopping Network sometime in early summer 2006.
The Shoulder Dolly has been featured on HGTV’s “I Want That” and is set to appear on HGTV’s special episode of the International Builders Show as well as the DIY networks “DIY To The Rescue!” in the months ahead.
The Shoulder Dolly was given the honor of being inducted into the DIY Hall of Fame – an award presented by samplerewards.com
“The DIY Hall of Fame induction meant a lot to me”, said Thomas.
“I believe it was customers and potential customers that voted us in, which was such a great honor”.
When asked what the future holds for this young inventor, Thomas responded “I can’t keep up with the Shoulder Dolly!
How can I think about anything else?!
No, really there are things on the horizon, but I have to keep them secret.
Who knows, you may see me again with a new way to fry a hamburger or drain pasta” he said with a wink.
When it comes to Thomas and his Shoulder Dolly, we think the future is as bright as it can be for this “heavy lifter” turned entrepreneur.
For more information contact the manufacturer, TDT Moving Systems Inc. at
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Moving on a Budget?
DIY top five tips keep moving expenses to a minimum
As moving season begins, the current economic conditions have many of us tightening our belts when it comes to the expenses associated with moving; for many hiring professional movers is now considered a luxury. However, by following a few Do-It-Yourself tips, getting from point A to point B can fit within your budget.
Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that 34 million people moved between 2007 and 2008. The Census Bureau also says the vast majority of movers in the U.S. make local moves – according to 2006 data, 62 percent of people making a move stayed within the same county, while 20 percent moved to a different county but within the same state, and 14 percent moved state to state, while three percent moved from abroad.
With foreclosures still high and families downsizing, moving is still on many minds – and may very well be a necessity for many Americans. Here are the top five ways to move without spending a fortune:
• Think Outside the Box: There are dozens of companies that can provide you with boxes of every size and shape, but here’s the catch: they’ll charge you for them.
Collect boxes from friends and family and the workplace, or go to local businesses and ask them for the boxes they would have thrown away anyways. Garbage bags can also replace boxes for items such as clothes, pillows, sheets, etc.
• Pack Wisely: Bubble wrap is a great invention, but when moving on a budget it can often be costly. Instead, use newspaper that you can collect from friends and neighbors. Also, packing paper tends to be less expensive than bubble wrap. Consider using clothes such as socks or towels to wrap fragile items; this saves money and gets the job done.
Blankets can often be used instead of traditional moving company pads; use them to wrap mirrors, artwork and electronics.
• Food Frenzy: Box up perishables on move day, but leave frozen food where it is – as long as you don't open the freezer it's the safest place to leave it. If you have a long journey ahead of you, then start emptying the freezer a few weeks before move day. This will ensure that you aren’t wasting food…and money.
• Make Some Dough: Cash, that is. Start evaluating early on what you plan on taking with you and what items you don’t want anymore; this is especially applicable to those people who are downsizing. Have a yard sale or post the items for sale on craigslist.com to try to make a few extra bucks instead of just throwing things away. If you start the process early enough, you’ll have time to find people to buy them.
• Good Company: Having the right tools and friends is essential to any move, whether it’s local or long distance. Ask your friends for help or if they have trucks you can borrow to save money. Make it into a party – they help you move, you provide food and/or beverages. Hand trucks and dollies can be rented, but can often cause damage. For larger, heavier items, use the Shoulder Dolly -- an ergonomically designed, patented harness system that allows users to lift with their legs and safely pick up virtually any heavy or bulky item up to 800 pounds. Using the Shoulder Dolly and other tools can help prevent serious back injuries, which are common during the moving process. Most moving tools can be found at home improvement and moving stores.
For more information on the Shoulder Dolly, please visit www.shoulderdolly.com or call (800) 217-1114.
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