The snap, crackle, pop that many carpenters hear is most likely their joints, not their breakfast cereal. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the average age of a construction worker is rising; it was 40.2 in 2010 (compared with 36 in 1985). And the average retirement age among construction workers is 61.

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Two remodelers tell how they outfitted their cargo slide to cut down on carrying tools.

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For Kevin Jewell, a project manager at DuKate Fine Remodeling, in Indianapolis, aging has meant that digging tools out of his truck each day has become increasingly difficult and hard on the body. The same is true for Richard Anderson from A-1 Building Solutions, in Watsonville, Calif., a self-described “bags-on superintendent.”

To make their work easier, each purchased a cargo slide and customized it. The steel mechanism, sold by Hinton International, fastens flat to a truck bed and slides out beyond the open tailgate.

Using some minor attachments he built, Jewell adapted his miter and table saws to stay on the cargo slide. He created a hinge for the table saw so he can work right from the truck bed.

Anderson built a shelving unit inside his truck so that tools are easily reached.

Doctoring up their cargo slides has not only saved both men aches and pains, but time as well. “I lower the tailgate, unlock the cargo slide, roll it out, and pull out a box of tools. I run one cord to the house. The saws stay on the truck,” Jewell says. He has timed it: “In 30 seconds, I’m ready to start cutting lumber.”

See a video of the cargo slide in action at

—Stacey Freed is a senior editor at REMODELING. Find her on Twitter at @SFreed or @RemodelingMag.

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