Sometimes the solution is clear. At least it was to Steve Puls, who when he saw forklift operators unloading a flatbed truck in the rain, said “why don’t you just put on a piece of plastic to keep the rain off. I’ve always been in plastics. I help people purchase plastic all the time,” he said. He found a cover, and a week later, the forklift truck drivers, frustrated with water that puddled and cascaded during acceleration, had taken it off. He sat on the idea for a more substantial, molded cover made of polycarbonate and designed with a dome so water runs off, for several years. But that idea became ClearCap. It started with a one size fits all version that Puls in hindsight calls naïve, and has evolved to 20 differently sized units. “Ten years and 20 expensive molds later, ClearCaps have everybody covered,” he said. “It’s rigid. It’s strong. It’s very clear. It offers not only comfort for the operator, but it allows him to be safer at his job. If you’re out trying to unload a flatbed in the pouring
While it is predominantly used for outdoors, indoors ClearCap protects the operator from dirt and debris. “It’s like putting a pair of safety goggles on top of your overhead guard,” Puls said. It is UV resistant and comes with a light tint for outdoor use. It takes just a few minutes to install and requires no tools. Four nylon web straps lock ClearCap in place. The straps are an innovation and design improvement that are part of the product’s evolution, he said. Next year, Puls plans to expand the product line to include windshields and side doors. “ClearCap is one of many plastic products we manufacture. Wy'East Products is a custom thermoformer with large plastic part expertise and we welcome outside molding projects,” Puls said.
Puls founded the company, which has 400 dealers across North America, in 1999 in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Products are made in Salt Lake City. Wy’East is the Native American name for Mount Hood. Although the company name has lead to some confusion, Puls is proud of its association with nature because he is an avid skier and outdoorsman. Most people know the company by ClearCap. The small business is a flexible, easy-going, workplace, dedicated to providing excellent customer service, he said. “We are a dog friendly company with Riley and Raleigh roaming the offices.”
Mary Glindinning is a freelance writer who has worked at daily and weekly newspapers for more than 20 years. She lives in rural Shullsburg, Wis. E-mail email@example.com to contact Mary.