Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Clothing As Tools?

A while ago I wrote a blog about these gloves that are out there for mechanics such as MECHANIX brand work gloves. I know that a lot of guys think that these gloves are a waste of time. The company supplies us with suitable rubber-type work gloves for no charge. I have been using the MECHANIX gloves as well as other brands-one from Walmart and one from Big Time Products.

When I started this little test I figured it would be done in a month or so and I would prove that, as I suspected, the name brand work gloves were not worth the extra money. Well that was about six months ago and these damn gloves are still going strong! I have been taking them to work in turn and bringing them home to clean them up. The companies all claim that the gloves are washable but they do not advise putting them into the dryer. In my test I throw the gloves into the washer with my work clothes and then throw them right into the dryer.

I like the gloves! They are WAY better than the gloves supplied by work! The MECHANIX brand gloves are my favorite of the bunch but they do not edge the others by much. All grip better, fit better, and are more durable than the work supplied gloves. I  can see now why people use these things. If one pair would last me let's say 3 months of constant use then I would only require to purchase 4 pairs a year. Factor in Christmas and I'm only out of pocket 3 times a year. I think that for $20.00 these things are a good solid investment for a serious mechanic.

Another mechanic at the job got some work pants from BLAKADER. These pants are made from a tough denim material, think Dickies type pants only thicker. These pants are available in different styles. They have good deep pockets and best of all they incorporate a knee pad into the pant itself. For old guys like me with bad knees you know how important that is. The guy really likes them and I am thinking of investing in a pair to try them out.

I did buy some work pants from DULUTH TRADING CO. Duluth offers what they call the Firehose work pant. These pants have very deep pockets for carrying parts and tools, they have reinforced belt loops, and  they are made of the same material that covers firehoses. Duluth claims they are water, oil and blood resistant. I bought them because they "Dare you to wear 'em out". 

All this may sound like a big sales pitch by me but I recently figured out something. I have tools that make my job easier, I have a golf cart to carry all the special stuff I keep in it to make my job easier. The uniform supplied are good, adequate, but not really purpose built for the jobs we do. I figure if I'm going to do this job for another 20-25 years I should take it seriously and use any resource available to me to make that time productive, safe and most of all comfortable. I'm old now adequate is not really going to cut it anymore.

Clothing can be and should be considered tooling. We pay a lot of money to buy the best tools to complete our jobs. With the clothing out there being more and more useful for our trade as well as more durable than the company supplied alternative I think it is a worth while investment.

Stay tuned to find out if these Duluth work pants are worth it or not...