Mike Snow, president and co-owner of Plastix Plus in Cypress, Texas has been a volunteer fireman for 26 years and uses just about every type of emergency equipment carried on fire trucks and SUVs. That’s where he got the brainstorm to translate some of the heavy-use truck compartments, consoles and equipment racks to his own fabrication business by customizing them out of a tougher, higher performance material. He has found that Vycom’s Hitec® HDPE ½ inch matte finish black works best for these applications, because it is chemical and abrasion –resistant, easy to weld and fabricate and has a texture that prevents tools from sliding around.
“When you have a $7,000 item like a Jaws of Life tool, metal on metal is not a good combination when you are carrying it in the truck and deploying it,” said Snow. “The tool gets destroyed by the metal bracket designed to hold it. Plus, you have high moisture situations with fire fighting, so you need to worry about rust. The Hitec® material is moisture-resistant and very forgiving for emergency tool transport.”
As Plastix Plus has branched out nationally, in addition to local fire and emergency medical departments, the company is now making weapons/gear storage solutions for vehicles for the U.S. Marshals Service, Homeland Security, ATF, DEA, FBI and numerous other local law enforcement agencies nationwide. They have also supplied the U.S. Army with weapons racks for barracks and armory’s in Afghanistan. “Since I’ve been using Hitec® for these applications, my business has quadrupled and continues to grow,” said Snow.
With a limited lifetime warranty against warping, rotting or fading, Snow says the toughness and durability of Hitec® HDPE also eliminates the degradation and rot that wood compartments and racks go through. For the same reason, Hitec® is the same material being used at the World Trade Center Memorial Site in New York City for below-surface tree boxes and soil erosion barriers.
Plastix Plus fabricates the custom consoles and compartments with CNC (computer numerical controlled) machines, and by using a thermal welding process. “I know from experience that fire departments like to build their own storage and transport items and if they build it with wood they have to build it again in a year or so,” said Snow. “With Hitec®, they can have exactly what they need for the application and not have to worry about it.” For more information about Plastix Plus, visit www.pptexas.com.
Hitec® is a member of Vycom’s Corrtec® family of chemical and corrosion resistant materials. A downloadable Corrtec® brochure is available on the Vycom website at http://www.vycomplastics.com.