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Loaded Gap/Comb Impact Tool

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Testing device fills a gap in escalator compliance verification.

The Tolar Impact Tool is a dual-purpose product used to verify the stationary loaded gap test as noted in ASME A17.2, 7.17.2 (b) (1)-(8) and the comb-plate impact test A17.2, 7.7.2. The tool checks both the vertical and horizontal forces for setting comb and skirt switches. It also checks distance at proper pressure to the step from the skirt. It has a digital readout and is all aluminum enclosed in a Pelican™ brand impact-resistant case with load cells that can be removed for annual calibration. The tool has an attachment that will allow the test to be performed under escalator skirt brushes so that the removal of the brushes is not necessary.

The product was developed by Dale Tolar of Dale Tolar & Associates Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas. The 57-year veteran of the elevator industry was inspecting a group of 50 new escalators at a new Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport terminal several years ago with a skirt and comb impact tool he found rudimentary and inaccurate. This prompted Tolar and his son (a modernization superintendent for a major company) to begin development of a better tool intended to not only rectify the problems they found in the existing tool, but also be cost effective, simple to use, robust and accurate.

Tolar has been a QEI since 1989 and worked with ESCO and Otis. He owned Tarrant Elevator Service of Fort Worth for several years before selling it to Dover and becoming a full-time inspector, first for Fort Worth and then for Texas, for which he currently inspects.

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