You know him from History Channel’s Counting Cars. Shannon Aikau is the lead builder and bike shop manager at Count’s Kustoms in Las Vegas. He is revered by the “Count” himself, Danny Koker, as his “A-Number One” in the shop for his fabrication and engineering skills.
Shannon’s role at Count’s Kustoms is pivotal to the overall creation process for their varied clients. He takes the client’s vision and transforms it into a reality using the skilled craftmanship and artful approach of a seasoned builder. With two decades at Count’s Kustoms, Shannon builds upwards of 15 Count’s Kustoms choppers a year. The fabrication process and full assembly takes place in his side of Count’s shop and, it is one HOT bike shop – literally as much as figuratively.
“It can get up to 98-100° F inside the shop,” says Shannon. “I can’t work in that kind of heat.”
That’s where Portacool comes in. Shannon discovered portable evaporative coolers in the 90s and since then, he won’t work in the shop without one running. In fact, Shannon says that having a Portacool evaporative cooler is an absolute necessity for him. And, over the years he has honed his perfect Portacool set-up to stay optimally cool.
“Currently, I use two Jetstreams – a Jetstream 250 and 260 – in the bike shop to make sure I get cross-ventilation. I put the smaller one by the interior door of the shop and the bigger at the exterior door. I get the temperature to a comfortable 75-80° inside the shop,” says Shannon.
Considering Las Vegas typically experiences more than 50 days a year at 100°F+ and that a good portion of his work entails welding and use of heat generating materials, 75-80° is pretty cool indeed. For Shannon, it makes all the difference in staying focused and productive to ensure he delivers what Danny and the clients expect of him. Without Portacool, Shannon says his work product just wouldn’t be the same.
Shannon offered one added note about honing his perfect cooling set-up. That has to do with proper maintenance. “See that evaporative media in the back? I keep it pristine and clean because it gives me maximum cooling power.” Being a stickler for proper maintenance to remove inevitable shop debris keeps his cooling on track.
Catch Shannon, Danny and the whole Count’s Kustoms crew on all seven seasons of “Counting Cars” on the History Channel. Check your local listings for new episodes.