November 2013- It all started at a Les Schwab Tire Store. I was watching a technician change a tire and noticed that he would roll the tire up on his foot then raise the tire by rocking his foot back on his heel. I thought there might be a safer and easier way to lift that tire..
My first design was actually carved from a block of Styrofoam which has since disintegrated. In comes Jeff Foster, owner of Evergreen Fabrication in Spokane, WA. Jeff took my design and fabricated the first iteration of Spare Me. As you can see, it needed a bar of some kind to perform the various functions. Looked good but not practical.
There was a little bit of time from the first iteration to this concept. Once again, I called on Jeff to modify my initial design. We created a handle and put some teeth into the design, both figuratively and literally. I was getting close. I needed to mass produce my tool and fabricating it with steel wasn't the answer. Here comes Dana-Saad.
It was a simple search via Google that I found Dana-Saad, an injection molding company located in Spokane, WA. Patrick Saad was a believer and his mechanical engineer, Todd Ray finally brought Spare Me to life. I basically asked Todd if he could transform my present design to one that could be made using the injection molding process. Two initial iterations were made using Proto Technologies in Liberty Lake using their 3D printing to create the first prototype. In all I had them create 4 prototypes to the tune of about $2500.
Finally, my go-to-market prototype. I had a fairly expensive revelation in late December of 2014. We finally had snow and an opportunity to test Spare Me. The model in hand had a relatively smooth underside which turned out to be problematic. When the tool was utilized as a traction device the rotation of the tire up and over the tool would actually spit it out a fair distance from the vehicle. We needed to stabilize the tool which also provided better traction. Present model has teeth both on top and on the bottom. A physic's lesson that cost me $700
The initial go-to-market Spare Me performed as expected, however, we continued to look for improvements. We decided on two additional modifications/improvements. First, we added a cap or plug to the handle's end creating a storage space for a small flashlight. Secondly, we added an additional row of serrated teeth on the backside at the edge of the scraper. This added an additional 10% in traction effectiveness. Now, we're on our way!
MADE IN AMERICA
PATENT PENDING Serial Number 15/429,886
9/19/2016- After nearly a year in production it was time to provide a "Safety Orange" color to the Spare Me line-up. Still made from a strong and durable glass-filled nylon resin, this new color offering is sure to please our customers and drive up demand.
12/12/2016-We continue to make improvements. Plastics are curious characters. They perform differently under pressure and heat. To improve the "nesting" of Spare Me as a scraper we decided to extend approximately four fifths of the leading edge forward but keep the outside edges of the blade back. By doing this we have improved the frost removing capabilities of Spare Me. Although not particularly noticeable in appearance it is certainly noticeable in performance.