Reinventing the wheel

On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, 2011, as exhibitors finished assembling their booths in the usual mad dash to opening day, a sharp-eyed security guard noticed flashes of light coming from under the Barkow truck in the 800 aisle of the GlassBuild America show floor. As he approached, two men ran off, one from under the truck where he was apparently taking pictures.

Given the anniversary of the infamous date, this event brought in the Georgia police, who scanned the truck's chassis with mirrors. They quickly concluded that it was a botched job of glass truck espionage by two local yahoos.

Why the interest? For 2011, General Motors widened its truck body. Barkow's solution: "Super single" rear tires that buy enough room between the body and the outside of the tires. With President John Weise's permission, I snapped this photo with my handy iPad so I could instantly upload this trade show tale of innovation and attempted copycatting.

Steve Jobs famously said that innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower, a sentiment that resonates at every trade show, perhaps more so when times are tough. This year's GlassBuild America welcomes attendees to visit Barkow and the 392 other companies--including 73 new exhibitors--for the up-close, kick-the-tires experience only a trade show offers.

Glass Magazine extends that welcome with its own latest innovation (thank you Mr. Jobs): the glass industry's first magazine Apple app. You can download it free here.

Androiders, your tablet app is coming very soon.

Just a few years ago, the thought of reinventing the wheel was preceded by the question why. But the road keeps changing, and speed and traffic keep increasing. In our 24/7/365, post-9/11 world, news about reinvented wheels is delivered and received however you need and want to learn about it—in print, on your computer, smartphone or tablet. So whether you're delivering or receiving a load of glass, or needing to know what technology will be on it tomorrow, you have more choices. And that's a beautiful thing about innovation. 

Harris is publisher of Glass Magazine. Write her at


It is always interesting to see innovations, BUT you must be very careful when you modify a vehicle. The modification above makes no sense- since replacing a trucks duel wheels with a single wheel will also reduce the trucks carrying capacity to a standard single wheel truck.   Vehicles are built to meet very strict Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for braking & emissions.  Vehicle manufacturers spend millions of dollars certifying vehicles to be safe.  Changing the rear wheels on a truck WILL significantly change the vehicle and may make them UN SAFE.  You can see from the attached note that General Motors will not be responsible for this.  In addition modification will lower the weight rating of the truck and will VOID the GM Warranty.  See the attached note from GM regarding this.  From: [] Sent: Monday, October 24, 2011 2:16 PMTo: sales@demount.comSubject: Re: GM Upfitter Integration Case # 28762: Demountable Concepts ATTN MICHAEL FRETT     GM Upfitter is aware of customers successfully refitting the CK dually with single rear axles. GVWRs will be reduced to SRW ratings with this type of modification.     GM Upfitter Integration does not take responsibility for or approve any alterations to GM Commercial Chassis, Pickup & Utility Vehicles. If an Upfitter or Second Stage Manufacturer (SSM) or Individual chooses to modify a GM Chassis/Vehicle and/or its components, liability and possible recertification responsibility for compliance with all related FMVSS/CMVSS and regional standards lies with the Upfitter/SSM or Individual. In addition liability for Non-OEM (aftermarket) installed components used in modifications to a GM Chassis/Vehicle and/or its components is solely with the responsible aftermarket component manufacturer and the installer. If an Upfitter/SSM or Individual chooses to modify a GM part/s design or function they risk voiding the GM warranty and assume liability for the modification.   Hope this helps, if you need additional assistance please contact GM U.I. for help.Ken JoyeC/K Liaison / Math Data  GM Upfitter Integration(   586-242-2130           :    Email:               , ,    Mail Code: 480-717-006         Fax: 586-492-1085                  Website:               30003 Van Dyke Road1-800-875-4742  (hotline)                                                                                Warren, MI 48090   

The wheel has been the most fundamental part of any type of machinery. Without it anything that is mechanical cannot run in cycles and will not be productive. General motors trucks are equipped with superior mechanical elements that is beneficial to the truck's road worthiness. Like any other part GMC Truck Door Handles & Covers offers the same with its highly durable composites.