June 14, 2002

Manufacturer of spray-on bedliners disputes research by drop-in bedliner company

San Diego, California – Rhino Linings, a manufacturer of spray-on pickup bed linings, has disputed the findings of the Penda Corporation, a manufacturer of drop-in bedliners. As reported in CanadianDriver on June 5th Penda Corporation claimed that spray-on bedliners were less durable than drop-in bedliners. Brian Marks, director of Marketing at Rhino Linings USA Inc. says Penda’s research was flawed.

“It is really quite disappointing when one of the leaders in the industry has to resort to innuendo, half truths and skewed research to try and convince consumers that their product is just as good or better than the competition,” said Brian Marks, director of marketing at Rhino Linings USA, Inc.

“Their information is so full of holes it is difficult to know where to start,” Marks added. “Their so-called research is as good a place to start as any. The American Society of Testing Methods (ASTM) has developed standardized product tests that are accepted by scientists around the world. These tests are developed to ensure that testing methods do not favour any particular product. In this case, their research ignores the standard ASTM abrasion test. Instead, their test was designed to reach a pre-designed result that favours Penda Corporation. That is not science, rather it is sleight of hand designed to fool unsuspecting consumers.”

According to Bharat Naik, the Rhino Linings director of technical services, the results of this “abrasion test” were obvious and almost guaranteed.

“This was not an abrasion test; it was more of a friction test,” explained Naik. “The plastic drop-in liner is extremely slick, and anything dragged over its surface literally skates over the top. The slicker the surface, the more times the object will slide over the top without any real resistance. On the contrary, polyurethanes are specifically designed with a slip-free surface to hold the load in place and prevent it from flying around the bed. There is little doubt that this test was chosen over the standard tests in order to produce a given result, rather than to really test abrasion,” added Naik.

Marks was also quick to point out there is so much incorrect information in both the press release and website that it almost appears like their sole purpose is to spread misinformation and mislead the public.

“These inaccuracies are almost libelous,” continued Marks. “When describing the spray-on process, the release and website refer to the need to ‘destroy and grind away the manufacturer’s paint surface’. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, Rhino Linings’ training and technical manuals specifically instruct sprayers NOT to remove the paint surface, but to just lightly scuff the clear coat. The polyurethane then bonds directly to the clear coat, giving the strongest bond to the truck bed. If the paint is removed, it becomes necessary to prime the truck prior to spraying,” said Marks.

“Polyurethane is well respected by chemists throughout the world for its excellent abrasion and impact-resistant qualities,” said Naik. “That is why polyurethane is used in roller blade and skateboard wheels and the soles of athletic shoes. Polyurethane is far more abrasion resistant than the thermoplastic used to manufacture drop-in liners. Any research that shows differently is either skewed or misapplied. If thermoplastic were more abrasion resistant than polyurethane, then roller blades would have plastic wheels, wouldn’t they?” reasoned Naik.

Marks said the Penda news release and website make no mention of the traditional problems with drop-in bed liners. These drawbacks have directly contributed to the booming and ever-increasing sales of spray-on linings during the past 10 years, reasoned Marks.

“Everyone knows plastic drop-in liners crack and warp. They constantly shift around removing the paint surface from the truck’s bed. They also trap moisture and humidity between the truck bed and the plastic liner creating a powerful corrosion and rust factor,” added Marks. “In addition, the drop-in liner is only available in black, takes up cargo space, rattles and occasionally flies out the truck, creating havoc in traffic,” concluded Marks.

“There is nothing more important in business today than accurately informing consumers. However, passing off quasi-science as independent research is shameful and leaves the consumer less informed,” concluded Naik.

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