Product Brochure

Ashtabula Star Beacon - December 5th, 2003
Cleveland Plain Dealer - November 24th, 2003

Photo By DANIEL KRAUS / Star Beacon
"GREAT LAKES Auto group donated hydrant hats to the Ashtabula Township Fire Department. The "hats" are designed to protect the hydrants and to make them more visible during the winter Months. Posing are, from left, Dave Laugen, hat inventor, Steve McClure, township trustee, Mike Fitchet, fire chief, John Rocco, co-owner of Great Lakes, Joey Huang, co-¬owner of Great Lakes, Frank Bernato and Township Trustees Joe Pete and Sam Bucci."

"Hydrant Hats to Improve Safety in Township"
By GRETA HALE Staff Writer

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP - "Ashtabula Township dogs may have to find a new place to do their business. John Rococo and Joey Huang, owners of Great Lakes Auto Group, donated 24 Hydrant Hats to the Ashtabula Township Trustees to be placed on fire hydrants throughout the township.
Hydrant Hats are polyurethane covers, which are designed to protect fire hydrants. The slogan of Hydrant Hat L.L.C. is "Firemen praise it, dogs hate it."
Rocco said he donated the hats to give back to the com¬munity. He hopes they save firefighters time when they arrive at a fire, he said.
The hats retail for $250 but Dave Laugen, the owner of Hydrant Hats L.L.C., gave Huang and Rocco volume pric¬ing.
Laugen invented the Hydrant Hat to protect hydrants from inclement weather, which causes them to rust. The hats were also designed to make hydrants easily accessible to firefighters during the winter months, when snow could cover them. The covers also reduce maintenance costs, Laugen said. In addition the hats make the hydrants more visible in conditions of heavy snow. He developed the product about two years ago and received the patent in March. “Fire hydrants are kind of like insurance policies,” Laugen said. “You don’t really think about it until you need it and then you hope it works.” Ashtabula Township Fire Chief Mike Fitchet said the biggest problem with snow build up in the township is on Route 20. He said the hats will be dispersed throughout the township in areas where there are schools and apart¬ment buildings and also on priority hydrants that have a high rate of flow of water per minute. He said the hydrant hats are easy to remove.
The two-part units weigh 31 pounds and are 42 inches high. The base is placed around the hydrant. Its flexible plastic fingers grip the hydrant. The upper part then attaches to the base. They come in several colors, including stone and marble and can have many logos attached. The yellow hats in Ashtabula Township will include Great Lakes Auto Group's logo.
The hydrant hats are being produced at NEO Industries Molding Division, a plastics manufacturer in Coffee Creek Industrial Park in Austinburg Township.
Laugen donated about 12 to Kingsville Township, he said. Laugen said the hats are being marketed in 24 states.
For more information about Hydrant Hats, call 1-800-506¬4399 or e-mail"

"Tip of the hat to area inventor"

"Ashtabula entrepreneur Dave Laugen has made the first big sale of his latest invention Hydrant Hat, a polyurethane "hat" that completely covers fire hydrants, protecting them from the elements and vandalism, reducing the need for maintenance. John Rocco and Joey Huang, owners of Great Lakes Auto Group in Ashtabula, have purchased 24, of the hats, which will be donated to the Ashtabula Township Fire Department. The dealership's name is being printed on the hats. NEO Plastic Co. in Austinburg is rotationally molding the patented hats, which start at $250 each. For information:"