Modern Spin on an Age Old Shop Tool
by Hib Halverson
Mechanic’s creepers have been around for decades. Back when I was working as a service technician, I remember the shop which employed me had two of those wooden creepers with the funny, metal, swiveling wheels. Once I was out of the service trade, I got used to working on the ground, mainly because I didn’t have a lift and the common wooden creepers people used in those days had your body up too high to get under a car on low jackstands. I just got used to working without one.
Well, that changed several months ago when the Gear Wrench people shipped me one of their new, Mechanics Creepers which is part of the tool brand’s new, “Shop Assist Equipment” line. While similar products have come to market in recent years with some innovative features, this new GearWrench products combines many of those fresh ideas with some new ones.
This new, low-profile, Mechanic’s Creeper provides access to any low-clearance, overhead work you might do on your V-Series Cadillac. Six, three-inch-diameter, thermoplastic caster wheels which ride on ball bearings and make rolling around on it around easy. The molded, concave, composite frame is light-weight yet, is 41-in. long and has a 300-pound weight rating. Durable padding offers comfort for your upper back and head, but does so with only modest thickness. The concave, underslung design along with reduced-thickness padding contributes to additional clearance when working on low jackstands.
Several features of GearWrench’s Creeper we really like are: 1) a carry handle molded into the composite frame, 2) two metal plates recessed into the frame on each side of the headrest on which you can stick a magnetic work light, such as the GearWrench eight-inch, Flex-head Work Light (reviewed elsewhere) and 3) a pair of hard rubber magnetic pads on each side of the frame alongside your hips, which are great for holding nuts, bolts and other small metal parts you take off your car.
We’ve been using this Creeper for about three months and have gone out of the way to be rough on it–dropping it onto the shop floor, banging into stuff–and it’s proven to be tough and durable. The underslung design definitely helps with clearance when I have my ATS-V on lower stands. The metal pads next to the headrest is one of the coolest ideas for a creeper we’ve seen in a long time. While I haven’t used a creeper in recent years, I’m glad I’ve run across this one. The GearWrench Mechanic’s Creeper has become my new best friend when I’m working under one of our Vs.
For more information see this page on the GearWrench web site.