Craig Baxter, president of Milwaukee Tool Canada, stands in front of his fully restored 1956 Ford F100 Big Back Window Milwaukee Tool truck while showing off a collection of cordless tools available to automotive service providers.
Cost savings, greater ease of doing the job, and increased safety, are three of the many benefits automotive service providers experience when using cordless solutions from Milwaukee Tool.
Gone are the days when technicians must don ear protection, dip and dodge cords around the shop and set aside time to maintain equipment. Such was the life with pneumatic tools — a technology that is antiquated and has provided decades of frustrations.
Today, Milwaukee Tool is the leader in cordless technology, allowing automotive service providers to work more efficiently while providing a safer work environment for everyone in the shop.
Milwaukee has been an iconic brand in the tool segment since 1924. In the last decade and a half, it has committed itself to re-thinking how professionals work, particularly around the tools they use.
The company has brought disruptive innovation to the space by being a grassroots type of company. They do not innovate without first talking to the end-user through its team of sales representatives. It speaks with professionals and technicians across North America to understand their pain points and what the company can do to make their lives easier.
“We obsess about the end-user. There is nothing even close to the importance of listening to the end-user and understanding what we can do to delight them in terms of solutions,” said Craig Baxter, president of Milwaukee Tool Canada.
The company does not launch products without rigorous in-field testing and product feedback from its users, ensuring the solutions produced are innovative, safe and efficient. User feedback is an integral part of the innovation process at Milwaukee.
“Users can’t wait for the next product because they know that we’ve done our homework and they know the product that we’re launching is of the highest quality and is solving a problem that they’ve had forever,” Baxter said.
The area where Milwaukee is standing out from the competition is with its lineup of cordless tools. It has been a focus of the company to replace traditional sources of power with lithium-ion batteries. That means no longer relying on plugging a tool into an outlet or a compressor — or using fuel to give a tool power.
Milwaukee’s vision is a cordless shop for everyone.
A tool like the M18FUEL™ half-inch Ext. Anvil Controlled Torque Impact Wrench with One-Key™ Kit is a perfect example of making that happen. Without a cord, its four pre-set fastening modes get users closer to the target torque of the job at hand. With up to 1,100 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque, it provides more breakaway torque than pneumatic impact wrenches in all pre-set modes for easy removal of rusted lug nuts. That means getting through more vehicles faster.
And then there is the M18 FUEL™ 15mm Random Orbital Polisher Kit. It comes with the power to correct heavy defects. Its POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor delivers 2,650-5,100 RPM with an 8-position speed dial and maintains speed under load. When paired with M18™ REDLITHIUM™ HIGH OUTPUT™ XC 6.0Ah batteries, pros get the runtime they need to be productive. Being freed from cord management, maintenance, and the fear of surface damage, it provides best-in-class clearance of more than two inches from the battery to the work surface.
“The reality of it is: We’re replacing hoses; we’re replacing gas,” Baxter said.
M18 Fuel™ 15mm Random Orbital Polisher
And it is not just drill drivers and impact wrenches that are benefitting from the battery revolution. Milwaukee has brought battery power to tools that do not traditionally have any power attached to them.
Take the M12 FUEL™ Low Speed Tire Buffer Kit for instance. It is meant to be a direct replacement for low-speed pneumatic options. It provides two modes for consistent flat repairs — a drilling mode with 1,200 RPM and a buffing mode at 2,500 RPM. Users can count on unmatched performance with the runtime to complete up to 30 flat repairs on a single XC4.0Ah battery.
“In every way, shape and form, these are new-to-world solutions that are customized for the space that we are going after,” Baxter explained.
It also allows for standardization in the world of technician tools. Most shops have a mix of pneumatic, gas, and battery-powered tools, creating un-standardized processes for each job. Milwaukee is driving change by providing a full repertoire of cordless solutions for technicians, enabling a cleaner, safer, and more productive shop for technicians everywhere.
“This makes the job easier for the tech in the shop,” Baxter said. “By having one battery that they can apply all their different tools to and just simply exchange it when that one’s dead, it certainly makes it a bit more efficient through the day.”
For those worried about the lifespan of the battery, Milwaukee found that a single charge can last up to a full workweek for automotive professionals. Coupled with fast charges, minimal down times and cross over versatility, Milwaukee battery systems alleviate the hassle of maintaining and repairing pneumatic products.
Not to mention, Milwaukee’s goal with every battery tool is to meet or exceed the performance of its pneumatic option.
“If we cannot replace the current solution with a cordless option that is at least as effective or productive as what they’re using today, it’s not a solution,” Baxter said. “That’s why we work intensively with our user base to understand exactly their expectations.”
M12 Fuel™ Low-Speed Tire Buffer
Health, Safety, & Money
Going cordless greatly eliminates work hazards within the shops. Technicians — or anyone walking through the shop floor, from the service advisor to a customer — never have to worry about tripping over a cord.
“You immediately clean up the site; you clean up the environment when you’re just carrying the product around. You don’t have to worry about tripping, you don’t have to worry about dragging and pulling and maneuvering,” Baxter said. “From a productivity standpoint, and a safety standpoint, the benefit is obvious.”
And when getting into tight spaces, the technician does not have to worry about a cord getting in the way.
Furthermore, pneumatic tools require oiling — that is not necessary with battery tools.
And having a few batteries means you can work with hundreds of different tools. The M18™ platform, Milwaukee’s biggest battery system, has over two hundred solutions at the shop’s fingertips.
“A shop that has half a dozen to 10 batteries can just buy the bare tools and add on to their system,” Baxter said. “Whether it’s a polisher or a grinder, it’s all off the same battery.”
Ultimately, Milwaukee continues to build on its legacy of innovation by researching, connecting and engaging with technicians and end-users, to invest and develop cordless solutions, which will continue to impact and elevate the industry.