In a new effort to take its professional tool solutions even further into the marketplace and put them in the hands of customers, Festool is hitting the road in a big way this spring — with a customized semitrailer truck that promises to provide a unique, interactive experience.
Billed as the “Roadshow,” the inaugural tour is designed to give craftspeople across the U.S. and Canada a firsthand look at everything that’s currently available from Festool. It also will showcase recently minted tools and even give participants a sneak peek at future products.
“Our new Roadshow truck is an eye-catching 48-foot trailer with dual foldout stages and a 500-square-foot working area,” says Rick Bush, Festool’s marketing product manager. “It allows customers to step onto the truck, see our tools in action and even make a purchase from a hosting dealer.”
Festool kicked off the Roadshow tour earlier this month, with a stop in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 6. Since then, the truck has made five more Roadshow appearances at Festool dealers in South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. The next stop is scheduled to be in Fort Smith, Arkansas, this Friday, April 22. Currently, Festool has 26 stops slated for the tour, with the truck visiting 13 states. Over the remainder of April and continuing throughout May, the Roadshow will travel to select Festool dealers in Louisiana, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California. But, Bush says, this is just the beginning.
“Our Roadshow will be touring coast to coast, north and south, spanning the U.S. and Canada … We’re making two to three stops per week, and we will continue to release new locations and dates frequently.”
The intention is for Roadshow to be a perpetual tour.
Festool’s new truck offers a degree of versatility that allows it to quickly adapt for demos specific to woodworkers, painters or other contractors. The show focuses on Festool’s saws, sanders, dust extractors and cordless offerings, “and several of our highly trained staff will be on board to demonstrate the tools as well as answer any questions an end-user may have,” Bush says.
Customers will have the chance to try out the new TSC Cordless Tracksaw, Conturo Portable Edgebander, ETS EC Brushless Sanders, the PDC QuaDrive Drill, Domino joiners and the entire line of CT HEPA Dust Extractors. There also will be a chance to receive exclusive Roadshow-branded merchandise.
But, a Roadshow event won’t be limited to existing products only. The latest models, and even “yet to be released” tools, will also be on display. For instance, in May, Festool will be launching its first over-the-shoulder, portable CT SYS Dust Extractor. The compact machine is contained entirely within Festool’s stackable, interlocking Systainer tool containers.
“The CT SYS is our most portable dust extractor yet, to get in and out of the jobsite or for small jobs around the shop,” Bush says.
CT SYS is Full Unit HEPA certified, with tool-trigger activation, so it cycles on and off like the rest of Festool’s line of dust extractors when used in tandem with a router, sander or other dust-producing tools. It features a 1.2-gallon tank and develops 106 cubic feet per minute of suction capacity. An antistatic hose fits into a garage storage area on the machine, along with an onboard nozzle, upholstery brush and integrated shoulder strap. The new CT SYS Dust Extractor will be featured among the Roadshow offerings, and it will retail for $375.
Another recent item — Festool’s VAC SYS — launched in March and will be rolling across the country for tour stops. It’s a vacuum pump suction clamping system with expandable modules that take various sizes of vacuum cups.
“(It) provides a non-marring solution for clamping material that speeds up work processes by reducing the need for manipulating manual clamps or occupying larger worksurfaces,” Bush says. “It’s ideal for sanding surfaces and processing edges.”
Even if you don’t have the opportunity to attend one of this year’s Roadshow stops and see the latest gear for yourself, Festool is also hosting its annual Festool Connect event on Saturday, Sept. 10. It’s free of charge and open to the public. Unlike previous years, where Connect has been held on the East Coast in conjunction with a contractor trade show, this year it’s moving to Lebanon, Indiana — the company’s U.S. headquarters.
“We decided to move Connect to Indiana for many reasons,” Bush explains. “Chiefly, we have recently expanded our facility and thought it might be nice to have an open house for the public to tour as well as see our Roadshow truck at the same time.”
Connect will feature product demos and clinics, with food, fun and prizes. An online registration form will be available later this summer at festoolconnect.com.
Bush hints that 2016 promises to be “loaded with new products,” so both Roadshow and Connect events should be well worth the effort to add to your calendar.
“There are many more tools yet to come this year that will offer new ways to do things faster and easier, to boost your efficiency and results,” Bush assures. “We hope that the outreach of our new Roadshow will help customers get the most out of their work.”
To see the current Roadshow schedule and take note of new stops as they are added, click here.