Sunshine and Success Reigns at Tent OX’s Live “Year Without A Tent Show” Event

Holding a live, outdoor event in the Northeast in December is always a little risky, and our Monday run-through on the day before Tuesday December 8 event was carried out under dark skies with chilling temps and sodden earth. But Tuesday provided a welcome weather turnaround with blue skies reigning over our event! Go to end of article to link to the full broadcast on YouTube!

Scott Pickel leads off our December 8 event at Special Events Virginia.

Tent OX General Manager Scott Pickel led off the nearly three-hour event that featured a team of seven, including five who were live on the grounds of Special Event Virginia’s terrific facility in Portsmouth.

Many thanks to Mike Fitzwater, company owner, for welcoming and fitting us in as we used three Tent OX Systems and some of his Block and Roll inventory to educate, demonstrate and (occasionally) entertain!

The show was held in four areas of the Special Events facility.

Seventy-seven companies, some with multiple viewers, attended the event via a Zoom connection. With a range of both Tent OX customers and prospective buyers, so we worked hard to do enough to interest each of them with demos, a deep dive into stake driving and pulling, a three-way stake-driving competition. Moreover, we aired a much-anticipated interview with Avant USA President [S1]  Jukka Kytömäki, who announced the latest – and possibly highest value – Avant loader, the very attractively priced model 735.

Demos highlight the latest thinking on stake driving and pulling, as well as moving Block and Roll

A trio of Avant loaders was used to demonstrate some of the advanced capabilities of the Tent OX System under the watchful eye of Scott Woodruff. He sprinkled enough tips and tricks in to help even long-time users add some speed to carpet distribution (next two photos) and more.

We started off demonstrating the OX Horn, used to speed carpet distribution.
Position the carpet and pull to unroll!

Move that OX and Roll!

Next Scott showed how OX and Roll forks speed Block and Roll ballast blocks from truck to tent site, using our smallest machine (great for moving blocks up to 700 pounds) and with a 755, which loaded big blocks on a truck using double forks.

For those who haven’t used the OX and Roll forks, they’re short for safety so the blades don’t stick out beyond the front of the blocks

Rack it, Ralph!

Next, we drove each of the machines to the OX Rack full of all the Tent OX attachments and showed how quickly someone can swap one tool for another in under a minute (when choosing an attachment with hydraulics, like the stake driver, stake puller or roof panel puller. Those of you who have a Tent OX System, but skimped on the rack, it’s actually a huge time-saver and the best way to safely transport all your Tent OX tools over the road.

OX Rack holds all attachments needed for a job save for the OX Horn.
Here Courtney is switching one attachment for another off the OX Rack. Attachments can be swapped in less than a minute.

Stake Tips!

Scott Woodruff drew on years of expertise pointing out the tremendous efficiencies that even an experienced “OX” operator can apply to the OX Stake Driver. In the available video of the show, he showed how a little planning allows crews to cut as much as 25% of the time required to drive a series of stakes. A stake pulling mini-seminar was equally eye-opening, especially when it comes to a new, more successful way to pull “stuck” stakes.

Exclusive interview with Avant’s US president, AND a new loader

We reached out to Avant Tecno USA President Jukka Kytömäki in Chicago to get the Avant articulated loader’s manufacturer’s perspective on the company’s growing presence in North America and its formal partnership with Tent OX.

With an expanding list of top-flight dealers, including new dealers that have replaced underperforming stores, Avant now offers a higher level of parts and service delivery capacity than ever before.

We talked with Jukka (pictured above at left) about the formal partnership we inked last year with Avant: it allows Tent OX two major advantages: (1) Tent OX orders factory direct for best pricing and configurations of the machines for event rental companies. And (2) we have a direct line to Avant USA’s national service manager, allowing us to get Tent OX customers the answers you need when you need them, keeping a downtime potential to a minimum.

NEWS FLASH – Jukka revealed some details on the just-arriving Avant 735, a major addition to the 700 series lineup, but priced closer to a smaller 600 series machine! He points out that the 735 combines the frame size and lifting capacity of a 755 with the engine and hydraulics of a 640. Customers for whom the 755 or 760i was out of reach, but who want 700 Series lift capacity, REJOICE! Your loader has arrived!

Servicing with a smile!

Tent OX attachments and Avant loaders are extremely rugged, but preventative maintenance is still a strict requirement for trouble-free use! Knowing that even the best of crews can take equipment for granted, head OX Scott Woodruff went over many of the small details in maintenance and use of the Tent OX System that can pay major dividends.

Figure 6. OX Stake Driver is the only Tent OX attachment that needs regular greasing to avoid failures.

Stake driving and pulling speed secrets

Next Scott went on to show how even experienced operators can cut time and effort off their install if they take a more cerebral approach to staking and pulling stakes. Scott estimates that even veteran Tent OX operators leave as much as 20% of efficiency on the table. His tips and tricks, gained over several years on the job site, make the operator’s job easier. Watch the video from the show and pick up some pointers!

Figure 7. In these two pictures, Scott Woodruff shows how proper positioning over the stake dramatically improves both speed and accuracy in your stake driving. Keeping the driver vertical over the stake is the key!

Interview with Courtney and Jeff on how they use their small and large Tent OX Systems

Northern New Jersey’s A Party Center event company of Fairfield was the setting for an online interview with Courtney Tamuzza and Jeff Hinck, who starred as part of our Tent OX team during the live event in Virginia. The company started off with a 225 model last year, and this year bulked up with a 755. Both machines are complementary to A Party Center’s work at tent sites, giving them a combination of deployment flexibility and power exactly where they’re needed. The interview is part of the video that will be made available for viewers.

Q and A’s followed with Scott and Scott, and we were then joined by Matt Smith of Special Events Virginia.

Matt detailed the safety and operational protocols Special Events uses to ensure proper use of the Tent OX System. Here he’s showing how a new operator should approach how to lift and load heavy ballast blocks (two pictures below). Safety first!

Stake Driving Competition

Special Events hosted a stake driving competition between Courtney Tamuzza, Matt Smith and Jeff Phelps.[jw1]  Watch the video and see the winning drive!

As we wrapped up, Mike Fitzwater, Special Events Virginia owner and all-around great guy, joined Scott and Scott for a photo with their pirate (the one not wearing a mask).

Thanks also to the cast and crew that made the broadcast happen!

  • Scott Pickel, General Manager, Sales Representative & Camera Man
  • Scott Woodruff Owner & Head OX
  • Jay Woodruff, Tent OX marketing
  • Mike Enriques. Montage Media Productions, New Bedford, MA
  • Matt Smith, Special Events Virginia
  • Courtney Tamuzza, Tent OX Trainer
  • Jeff Phelps, Tent OX Trainer

Watch the full live broadcast here: