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  • By Dana Casadei

Dean Weaver

Last Halloween Dean Weaver’s son, Cole, didn’t go trick-or-treating with a pillow case or plastic pumpkin. He went with a Trucket.

“He came back and said, ‘Dad, you wouldn’t believe it, every time we’d go up to a porch if it was the mom handing out candy she would go and get her husband, and say, ‘Look, you have to see this thing,’” Weaver said. “And they would ask what it was and where they could buy it.”

Cole would proudly reply that it was a Trucket, a seven-gallon bucket on wheels that his dad invented. Weaver made some online sales from his son promoting his invention.

The Trucket’s ultimate goal is to make things easier, whether it be for kids trick-or-treating or seniors who are avid gardeners, like Weaver’s mom. Watching her struggle with her bucket while gardening was what actually inspired the idea for it.

“My thought was why carry a bucket when you can trucket, meaning wheel the bucket around and put your stuff in,” said the Rochester Hills resident. “It’s just an easier way of transporting the items with the bucket.”

Weaver soon ended up in his dad’s garage making a prototype out of wood. He said the first one looked a little pre-historic but it got the concept across. From there, he worked with a local patent attorney and did a patent search to make sure no one had already filed his idea. It went through with flying colors.

Now, people can find the Trucket in Trevarrow Ace Hardware, Lakeside Tackle Shop, and Direct Sportsman. This spring, they will appear on Michigan Out of Doors with it. While 2018 isn’t even at the half way mark yet, Weaver has a six-month goal of making it to Shark Tank, and by the time the year is over, he’d like to have sold 1,000 of them.

“I think the bottom line is that it revolutionizes the bucket industry,” Weaver said. “The trucket, to me, is just an opportunity for people to really improve the way a bucket is utilized.”

The buckets themselves used in the Trucket come from Letica Corporation, whose corporate headquarters are in Rochester. And each Trucket is manufactured in America, in Weaver’s dad’s garage. Keeping it local was really important to Weaver, who has spent the last 20 years in Rochester and Rochester Hills.

Weaver hopes to eventually hire some employees – now, it’s just him and his dad – and create a physical world headquarters for Trucket here, adding to its local story.

“I love to create things,” Weaver said. “It’s something that now in my forties that I’m exploring a little bit more and having fun with it.”

This might be the first invention that Weaver, whose day job is financial planning, has been able to bring to fruition, but it definitely won’t be his last. In fact, he already has irons in a few other fires, including 313Motors, which will sell 313 Motorsports electric cars, and is looking into some real estate ventures on the west side of the state.

His brain never stops.

“I think it’s just a piece of who I am,” Weaver said. “It’s an outlet for me. A lot of people exercise and do different sorts of things to de-stress. I just love to constantly think about new ideas, things that will help other people. That’s kind of who I am as a person.”

Photo: Laurie Tennent

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