We recently spoke with Dave Vidovic, president of Carpet Concepts LLC, about his company’s Carpet Badger tool, which is designed to help installers take up carpets quickly and efficiently.
Q: How did you develop the Carpet Badger?
A: We developed the tool after years of experience installing and doing tough take-ups. I remember once when someone had glued down SoftBac carpeting, and it was tremendously difficult to take up.
For a long time I had a machine like the Carpet Badger pictured in my head. It had to be a machine that was simple to use and cost effective for installers. So I got together with a team of engineers locally. We brainstormed three main points for creating a new puller on the market: portability, strength and the speed of the pull.
We felt with existing pullers, they might have one of those qualities but not all three. We combined all three of those points into the Carpet Badger. Since then, we haven’t made any changes to it. People who buy it absolutely love it. Oftentimes a company will buy one to experiment with it, and then a little later they’ll buy another one. Everyone loves it, especially your everyday installer.
Q: Can you tell me some more about the design?
A: We designed the Carpet Badger with a winch that pulls at 33 to 35 feet a minute. We also made it small enough to be portable. In fact, the starting point for us was the size of the tool. Our starting dimensions were 16” by 28” and they just worked. We accommodated for the small frame with a small but strong winch.
Strength-wise, we were originally going to make the Carpet Badger out of aluminum. But then we realized 10-gauge steel made more sense. To equal the strength of steel we would have needed to double the thickness of the aluminum, which would have compromised the portability of the tool.
The Carpet Badger weighs about the same as a bucket of glue, and has wheels so it can easily be transported around.
Q: Are there any other prominent features of the tool?
A: If the gripping pins for the plates ever bend or fail on the jobsite, an installer can simply replace them with existing tack strip from their truck. We also offer permanent ones if people prefer that, but right now I’d say that 98 percent of the people who purchase the machine just stick with tack strip.
Q: Is there any training involved in knowing how to use the Carpet Badger?
A: No. It’s pretty common sense. There is a very brief but detailed explanation of how to use it in the user manual, but anybody installing carpet could look at it and know how to use it. For rental houses that aren’t familiar with take-ups, we may go through a little bit of detail with the owner of the rental company so they know how to address customer questions on how to use the product.
Q: Do you have any other tools in the works?
A: We do have a few in the pipeline. We plan to come out with more tools on the market within the next three to five years. They’re currently being developed, and they all have something to do with take-up. We’re going to focus on that area of the industry because there are some old, archaic tools out there that we feel we can improve on.
Q: Where can people purchase the Carpet Badger?
A: They can ask their local distributor. On our website (www.carpetbadger.com), we also have a “Where to Buy” page, which lists our current distributors. If there are no distributors that carry it in their local area, they can purchase it right off the website.