Fueling up your truck in Cheyenne WY in January, or trying to install a set of chains on the drive tires to get over Eisenhower, when you can’t feel your fingers any more because they are so cold, a good pair of dry insulated gloves become very important. But how do you keep a pair of gloves dry? Once they are wet, your hands are cold. I’ve heard of logging truck drivers carrying three pairs of gloves… two are draped over the heat inlets on the dash drying out, while the third pair is being used. There had to be something better.
One winter several years ago, I stopped at a small independent truck stop in Northern California to use the restroom. While walking through the store, I noticed a wheel barrow in the center of the store with a sign above it saying, “Water-proof gloves”… I really had to use the restroom, so checking out the gloves was going to have to wait. One my return, I stopped and tried on a pair of these “Water-proof “gloves. Wow, these gloves were warm on the inside and tough leather on the outside. I had never seen leather, water-proof gloves before so I was a bit skeptical that these would actually keep my hands warm AND dry at the same time and ‘for how long’… I wondered. I bought a pair.
The next day I had a good chance to find out if these wonderful gloves were everything they were cracked up to be. I delivered my load in Stockton and picked up my next load in Sacramento going to Salt Lake City. It was a JT load and needed to deliver on time so I said I would chain-up and go over Donner. It was snowing hard, and the chain law was up from a little east of Auburn, all the way to the Nevada state line. The wind was also blowing, and I was beginning to wonder if I had made a good decision to volunteer to chain up. But I wanted to try out my new gloves! Let me tell you, these were the best gloves I had ever stuck my hands into. I installed the chains on my drives and a drag chain on the rear, and my hands were still dry and relatively warm!! I was very impressed.
Now my next thought was… OK, these are pretty good gloves, but how long will they last??
Well, I used these gloves for everything from fueling up to holding the air gage when I was checking the air pressure in my tires and they lasted for two winters and were still in pretty good shape. I’d probably still be using them if I hadn’t left them sitting on the top on my fuel tank and drove away… bummer!
I had to get another pair of those gloves! I started looking for water-proof gloves at every truck stop I stopped at and I was surprised and disappointed that no truck stop carried them! It was several weeks before I got back to Northern California and stopped in at that same truck stop to buy another pair. There weren’t any there! I went over to the counter and asked the clerk if they had any more water-proof gloves, and he said. “That salesman sold me those gloves and I haven’t seen him again” I was bummed, so I tried to remember the name that was on those gloves and started Googleing water-proof gloves on the Internet. I found rubber gloves and ski gloves, but no leather, water-proof gloves. I did run across a brand that sounded familiar and decided to call them and see if they carried these gloves. I was on the right track, they were the company that had sold those gloves to the truck stop, but they didn’t carry them any more. I told the lady I really needed these gloves and she gave me the name and phone number of a man that represents the manufacturer. I called him and told him I need to buy a pair of his water-proof gloves and where could I find them. He explained his company sells them to highway construction companies and they weren’t interested in pursuing the trucking industry. I said I would like to represent these gloves to truckers, and he said, “Get your re-sale license and we’ll sell them to you”.
I got my re-sale license and with the help of my graphic artist daughter, I started Toms Truck Shop, and www.tomstruckshop.com. My goal now is to make theses gloves available to every truck driver that wants them.