Racers are well aware of the need to have their tow rigs perform. After all, if the rig doesn't make it, the car doesn't make it to the track.

The popularity of trucks in general has led to a number of manufacturers providing a focus on equipment for trucks. In the massive arena of the 2005 SEMA show, there were plenty of truck products featured in addition to the racing and hot rod pieces. Each year, there are more ways to make your tow rig better, whether it be in performance or comfort. These products were scattered throughout the show and could be found in any corner of the massive hall. Let's take a look at some of them. There could be an upgrade in your immediate future.

There's plenty of talk in the racing world about crate engines. No matter where you stand on crates for race cars, you have to agree that crate components in some areas make sense. Take the crate rearend being offered by Currie Enterprises. These packages are available for 25 popular applications, so you probably have the right vehicle already. They are 100-percent new pieces, led by the 9-Plus housing with brackets. You'll also get 31-spline axles to fit your application. It's about as close to plug and play as you're going to find. If there's a rearend swap coming for your tow rig or the family car, the Currie Enterprises crate might be the trick. For information, contact Currie Enterprises, 714/528-6957, www.currieenterprises.com.

Things don't always go according to plan in a pit area. Sometimes you need your equipment to do a little more than you have in the past. For those who need to get the winch to pull from a line that is different from straight on, Mile Marker has a device that can be helpful. The new cable guide has the capability of leading the cable for pulling up to 90 degrees from the winch. You don't need to move the tow rig to allow your winch to do some tough jobs. Simply use the cable guide to direct the cable. For information, contact Mile Marker, 800/886-8647, www.milemarker.com.

Flex-a-lite has introduced a diesel electric fan that will thrill present and future owners of the '01-'05 Chevy and GMC Duramax trucks. The new fan (PN 284) features dual 15-inch fans. This allows the pulling of nearly 6,000 cubic feet of air per minute. The fan is a direct replacement that will eliminate the stock beltdriven fan and shroud. Testing and use have shown an increase in horsepower, with fuel mileage also improved by 6 percent. It's a quieter fan, and improved air conditioning performance provides more cab comfort. For information, contact Flex-a-lite, 800/851-1510, www.flex-a-lite.com.

Power holds the key to better performance or towing ability, but the cost is usually fuel economy. The Fast-Flash power programmer technology wipes away the compromise. It plugs into your vehicle's diagnostic port, saves the factory tune-up to memory, and reprograms the engine and transmission settings for the kind of performance you desire. If you wish to return your vehicle to its stock settings, the Fast-Flash easily puts in the stock tune-up. There are three distinct settings to choose-performance, towing, and economy. Performance adjustments include advancing the engine's timing up to 10 percent, removing power-robbing torque management, and increasing shift points. Haul heavy loads en route to and from the track with the towing setting. It advances the engine timing up to 10 percent, especially at lower rpm when you need all the torque you can get. It modifies the OEM torque management settings to protect the transmissions from damage and increase shift points by 2 mph to help move the heavy load. The final setting, economy, is designed for optimum fuel mileage. The programmers are available for many popular applications. For more information, contact FAST, 901/260-3278, www.fuelairspark.com.

The popularity of diesel trucks is evident to anyone driving down the road. Aftermarket modifications of the trucks can increase the horsepower of stock diesels. That's a good thing unless the harmonics get out of whack. Fluidampr has developed a damper to control the crank-twisting motions of the high-output engines. New dampers are available for Dodge 5.9L Cummins, Ford 7.3L and 6.0L Powerstroke (6.0L shown), and Chevy 6.2L Duramax. The performance diesel dampers are designed to be direct replacements for OEM elastomeric dampers with serpentine pulleys. Contact Fluidampr, 716/592-1000, www.fluidampr.com

There are plenty of advantages that can be gained by applying a Gale Banks Ram Air intake system to your hauler. You'll realize more power and see greater efficiency. Company testing found an increase of up to 39 hp in some applications. The amount of smoke and EGTs have been lowered in comparison testing. The new system will also help increase turbo life. It will work with stock or modified trucks. For complete information, contact Gale Banks Engineering, 800/601-8072, www.bankspower.com.