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Simple Invention Turned Into 80,000 Sales
Carmen Fedele, Sr. worked in a truck maintenance shop back in the mid 1990’s keeping a fleet of trucks in good repair, which often required repairing or replacing wheel seals. “Back then we didn’t have a tool other than a sledge and pry bar to knock the seal out,” Fedele says. “Eventually the seal came out, but it was difficult and the bearing could easily be damaged.”

    One evening Fedele went home and started thinking there had to be a better way. “I had a couple pieces of 1/2 by 1-in. scrap metal in my shop and I used a hacksaw to cut a piece about 4 in. long, sharpened one edge and bent it slightly so it would hook behind the seal.” Fedele then welded a metal bar perpendicular to the hook for a handle. He tried the puller on a few seals the next day and it worked exactly as he thought it would.

    Fedele’s invention was so simple and effective that he had the idea patented in 1995. In 2 years he made more than 1,500 in his shop and sold them himself. “I had a band saw set up with jigs to cut the parts, and I bought the handles 100 at time,” Fedele says.

    Fedele eventually sold the manufacturing rights to a company that’s now owned by SKF Tools. “They still make the tool nearly 20 years later the same way I designed it,” says Fedele. “The tool works on most tractor, truck, dolly or trailer wheel seals. I guess the idea was a good one, because about 80,000 have been sold over the years.”

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Carman Fedele, Sr., 1 Main Street, Tidioute, Penn. 16351 (ph 814 730-9377).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #1