Friday, August 5, 2016

Cheap Shade is Cool!

The sun is wickedly hot,
even early in the morning.
I'll confess to being quite frugal at times. Since I spend so much time on the tractor in the summer, the relentless heat has caused me to investigate air-conditioned tractor cabs which means I was investigating new tractors. All it took was a quick Google search to collapse from a severe case of sticker shock. Tractors are expensive! So, no new tractor for me.
Wrap the Gear Straps around the
uprights on the ROPS, and snap
the hooks onto the u-bolt.

Next I looked for the hard canopies (the ones that attach to the ROPS), and suffered more sticker shock. So I returned to a prior idea: a large umbrella. I had tried a golf umbrella in previous years, but they were not sturdy enough. I dug even deeper into the idea bag and found my old faithful, years-ago-Christmas-present "Sportbrella." It's a large, deep umbrella that's very, very sturdy. I had quit using it before because I could not attach it securely to the roll cage but still be able to detach it after every use (tall tractor/short tractor shed door). A chance purchase at Northern Tool solved my problems.

Wrap a Gear Strap around the top bar, then snap the
hooks into the u-bolt.
Use an elastic cord to
keep it from spinning.
They call them Gear Straps, basically, hook-and-loop straps with a twistable snap hook. The snap hooks were too small to go around the umbrella shaft, so I found some u-bolts that fit loosely around the umbrella that I could snap onto. The result keeps me in the shade, and gives me at least a couple of additional work hours. That's really important when the heat index is 110+.

It's a small thing, I know, but I enjoy working these things out. What about you? How are you being frugal?


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