Team FIN field report

Safety glasses, radio earmuffs, gloves

We shipped off a box of Gempler's safety items to our new Team FIN member Bob Wietharn. The Clay Center, KS, farmer operates a crop farm and farrow-to-finish hog operation, so we knew he'd make good use of the latest safety glasses, radio earmuffs and gloves. Gempler's, a catalog retailer, specializes in industrial-grade products for people in agriculture and other outdoor occupations.

Safety glasses have come a long way from the traditional boxy, plastic styles. Now you can buy ones that look and feel like fashion sunglasses. Gempler's sells new Uvex eyewear that feature 100% impact-resistant polycarbonate with scratch-resistant coating, a brow guard for comfort and five different colored and mirrored lenses. “The safety glasses are excellent; they were comfortable to wear,” Wietharn reports. “All my help were fighting over who got the tinted ones.” Prices of the glasses start at $3.75/pair.

The most popular Gempler's safety item on the Kansas farm, however, was the pair of hearing-protection earmuffs equipped with AM/FM radio reception. “The reception was very good, even inside our metal hog buildings,” Wietharn says. “When anyone power washes a hog building, they always get the radio earmuffs first.” The radio earmuffs continue to work well after many times in the hog building, he adds. They feature external tuning and volume controls, an adjustable band and a high noise-reduction rating. Two AA batteries power the radio. Price: $82.95.

The new 100% waterproof gloves from Gempler's provide three layers of protection: a Heatkeep insulated lining, a waterproof PVC barrier, and pigskin, which is more durable and softer than cowhide. The Wietharn workers found the gloves warm but cumbersome for working. The gloves retail for $9.95/pair.

Contact Gempler's Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 270, Belleville, WI 53508, 800/382-8473, or www.gemplers.com.

Farm utility


Toro has created a hybrid utility vehicle specifically for farmers — it hauls, dumps, plows and transports. Called The Twister, this truck-style vehicle is named for its independent, A-arm front suspension, which twists so that the front of the vehicle can adjust to the terrain independently of the rear. Toro says the result is better traction, improved stability and a smooth ride through plowed fields and pasture areas.

Dump box

For hauling, the Twister has a 14.75-cu.-ft. bed capacity and a payload up to 1,600 lbs. A double-walled polyethylene bed resists dents and corrosion. Quick-release latches on the cargo bed gate make manual lift unloading easier. An optional electric bed lift takes all the effort out of dumping heavy loads.

With a top speed of 20 mph, the Twister isn't going to win any sport track races, but it can get many jobs done faster and easier than a tractor can. Available 4-wheel hydraulic brakes improve stopping power and control. A 9-ft. turning radius is handy for getting around in tight spots.

Amenities

The Twister is cushier than a lot of ATVs. It sports twin bucket seats, a wide step-through operator area, and lots of legroom. There's a cup holder and under-the-seat storage space for tools. There is even a 10-amp outlet to provide power for accessories.

The Twister can be customized to more than 25 attachments and accessories. Stake sides allow for large-capacity loads such as lumber or bales of hay. A brush guard bumper protects the grill. An electric winch and a rear receiver hitch extend the machine's capabilities.

Prices start at $7,499. Contact The Toro Company, Agronomics, Dept. FIN, 8111 Lyndale Ave. S., Bloomington, MN 55420, 800/348-2424, or www.Toro.com. – Wayne Wenzel