May 2005 News

Maya Hunter Project

Specially Equipped Toyota Tacoma and Yamaha Rhino Expeditionary Vehicles Aid Maya Archeologists

A team of Maya archeologists from Vanderbilt University received the keys to a jungle-ready 2005 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4×4 V6 pickup at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show. The customized truck, donated by Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A. and Off-Road Adventures magazine, will transport the archaeologists deep into the jungles of Guatemala as they explore Maya ruins dating back as far as 500 B.C.

In addition, Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A. donated a Yamaha Rhino 660 two-person off-road machine, which will be towed on a trailer behind the Tacoma. Introduced in 2004, the vehicle’s side-by-side configuration provides ample room for two archeologists and their tools. With a liquid-cooled engine, fully independent suspension and push-button 4-wheel drive system, it will allow easy access into the deep-jungle terrain where a smaller vehicle is needed to navigate narrow roads and tight trails.

“These vehicles are the very best tools to face the challenging environment of our expedition,” said Dr. Francisco Estrada- Belli, assistant professor in Vanderbilt’s anthropology department. “We chose the name the Maya Hunter after Hunahphu, a mythical Maya hero, as the patron spirit of our truck. Having the specially built Maya Hunter Toyota Tacoma and the Yamaha Rhino will boost our ability to discover the most remote jungle sites, and in case of an emergency, may well save our lives.”

The Vanderbilt archaeologists have already added new chapters to the studies of the Mayan civilization, making news worldwide. This special Toyota Tacoma expeditionary package will help further those endeavors as the group heads back to the Central American jungles in the spring of 2005.

Modifications used to create the Maya Hunter center around the new Toyota Tacoma body style, chassis, 245-hp 4.0L V6 and 4-wheel-drive drivetrain debuting at dealers nationwide this month. The stock suspension was raised 3 in. to maximize ground clearance and make room for the special-purpose mud tires needed to navigate the treacherous and muddy Guatemalan jungle roads. Locking differentials front and rear greatly increase traction ability, lower axle ratios accentuate the V6’s off-road power, special teflon-coated wheels keep mud at bay and tubular sidebars and light guards reduce the chances that encounters with limbs, logs and trees will do major damage.

The Maya Hunter Yamaha Rhino 660 features a variety of genuine Yamaha accessories, including complete undercarriage armor and skid plates, front and rear bumper, wind deflector and overfenders to keep the elements at bay, aluminum sun top and a 3,000-lb Warn Winch. In addition, a set of jungle-ready wheels and tires from Industrial Tire Products have been installed.

“Yamaha is honored to be a part of the Maya Hunter project,” said Mike Martinez, Yamaha’s general manager of ATV & SxS Operations. “The research taking place in Guatemala will impact future research and studies for generations to come.”

Pennsylvania Couple Wins National Young Farmer Award and Case IH Tractor

Jeffery and Pamela Barnes of Lawrenceville, Pa., won more than accolades in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 2005 Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Awards ceremony. They also took home a new DX33 Farmall tractor provided by Case IH, an achievement award sponsor.

“Jeff, Pamela and their son Glenn represent the bright future of American agriculture,” said Dave Dell, senior director of marketing for Case IH under 100-hp tractors. “They combine community involvement, a commitment to agriculture and farm management savvy — essential characteristics of outstanding farmers. Case IH is honored to be associated with such innovative ag leaders.”

The Barnes family operates a sixth generation Pennsylvania dairy farm. Together with a brother, they milk 130 cows and also maintain a herd of 90 replacement heifers, three registered bulls for breeding and 25 market steers. The Barnes recently expanded their operation, building a new milking parlor and freestall barn. The Barnes also grow corn, alfalfa, barley and grass hay for use in feed on the farm.

To be eligible for the Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award, Farm Bureau members must be between the ages of 18 and 35. Five national winners are chosen after an extensive screening process that begins at the county level throughout the United States. County winners compete in state and regional judging, and 35 finalists are narrowed to five by a panel of judges. Scoring is based on leadership in the community, the quality of the farm or ranch and the operation’s development or improvement. Besides the Barnes, three other 2005 Achievement Award winners were presented with a Case IH Farmall tractor. They include: Brian and Carolyn Dunn, St. John, Kan.; Todd Clark, Lexington, Ky.; and Renee Daniels-Mantle, Three Forks, Mont.

The grand prize winners in the Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award competition, Jeffery and Andrea Mitzner of Indiana, were awarded a pickup truck. Winners were announced at the Farm Bureau’s 86th annual convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Theft Prevention Tips – Lighting

The National Equipment Register Illuminates Lighting Guidelines for Theft Avoidance

As most equipment theft occurs at night, the effective use of lighting can be a strong deterrent against thieves. Read the following tips provided by the National Equipment Register (NER) to make sure your jobsites and equipment are well lit and easy to spot.

1. Lights should be placed near the perimeter of the property (but far enough from the perimeter to prevent a thief from easily disabling the lighting) and directed toward the worksite.

Site activity and maintenance are usually carried out during daylight hours and bulb replacement is therefore often overlooked. Lights should be frequently checked, more often after bad weather.

Low-cost motion sensors can be linked to lighting and are effective in small compounds, high-risk points and entries/exits in larger areas. In one case, a small Kubota L-3410 tractor was taken from a landscaping project at a private residence while the homeowner was there and attending to her grandchildren. The machine was driven off the property and loaded onto a flatbed trailer waiting a block away. The dealership cooperating with the investigation had been buying machines from this suspect for many years, and it is suspected that some of those machines may also have been stolen. The machines were “marketed” by the suspect as used equipment and sold for full wholesale value.

For more information, contact the National Equipment Register, 20 East 46th St., Ste. 1402, New York, NY 10017; Ph: (212) 297-1805; Fax: (212) 972-5071; Web:; E-mail:; Law Enforcement Hotline: (866) FIND PIN (866-346-3746).

Spring Training 2005 Adds Value John Deere Style

The John Deere dealership organization’s rookies and seasoned sales veterans recently converged upon the company’s Sacaton facility near Phoenix, Ariz., for their annual Spring Training conference. Ten three-day sessions were held from February to April to help dealer personnel prepare for the highly competitive selling season ahead. The intensive programs included everything from classroom basics to in-the-dirt stick-time behind the controls of the company’s latest construction machines.

“It’s all about adding value,” explained Cal Peters, manager, marketing sales and support training for John Deere. “When they leave here, they know the machinery. They have the confidence and credibility they need to put the most productive and most cost-effective equipment on their customers’ jobsites. Factory and company experts are on hand to do the training. Along with 18 of our own new models and prototypes, we have assembled a representative fleet of other brands so the 1,200 sales and support people who come through here will know our competitors’ metal inside and out.”

Highlights of the instruction included John Deere’s new J-Series Powerllel 4-Wheel-Drive Utility Tool Carriers with their combination of pure power and true parallel lift from load to dump. The new, beefed-up 844J Wheel Loader, D-Series Motor Graders, D-Series Excavators and G-Series Backhoes — led by the workhorse 310G’s new pilot controls.

Murphy Tractor and Equipment Company Inc., with 16 locations throughout Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, was one of the first dealerships to complete Spring Training.

“We took every salesman and manager in our organization,” said Bill Buckles, vice president of sales, from his Wichita, Kan., office. “We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to attend so they will be able to offer the best solutions to their customers’ needs. John Deere put a ton of resources into the
program — it was excellent and worth every penny.”

Kubota Safety Recall for Certain RTV900s

In voluntary cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Kubota Tractor Corp. is conducting a safety recall for certain RTV900 Utility Vehicles, serial numbers 10001 through 25883 sold at retail between January and October 2004.

Problem: The front hood of the RTV900 can become detached during operation, striking the driver and/ or passenger and causing serious personal injury.

Product: The products are RTV900 Utility Vehicles that were sold by Kubota dealers. Units manufactured from December 2003 through early October 2004 are affected

What to Do: Stop using your vehicle immediately and contact your nearest Kubota RTV900 dealer for a free inspection and, if necessary, a free replacement hood. For the location of your nearest dealer, call Kubota toll free at (888) 4-KUBOTA, ext. 990 (888-458-2682, ext. 990) or contact your selling RTV900 dealer.

NATM Compliance Program & Decal

Since its inception, the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) has worked to improve the under 26,000-lb gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) segment of the trailer industry through the promotion of acceptable manufacturing practices. It has taken one step closer through the education and publication of the Guidelines for Recommended Minimum Manufacturing Practices for Trailers Under 26,000 lbs. GVWR (Guidelines).

This publication is a compilation of federal rules and regulations that govern trailer manufacturing and is a valued member service saving the manufacturer numerous hours of research time. NATM released a Compliance Decal in May of 2002 with the purpose of recognizing NATM members who have verified compliance with NATM Guidelines. The guidelines are the basis for the Compliance Program, which is designed to evaluate members who voluntarily undergo an inspection by NATM to ensure that the trailers
they produce are built in accordance with federal regulations and other industry standards.

Of particular concern are the safety related items and components found on trailers and the regulations that govern them. NATM’s goal is to provide to the public some level of assurance that trailers carrying the red, white and blue NATM Compliance Decal, have been built by the manufacturer in compliance.

Product Profile: BC600XL Brush Chipper

Ideal for Contractors Looking to Process Tough Brush

The high-performance and easy-to-operate BC600XL disc-style brush chipper from Vermeer Mfg. Co. can process material up to 6 in. in diameter. The chipper is powered by a 27-hp Kohler Command gas engine, which boasts an 8 percent increase in horsepower over its predecessor. This engine delivers essential power to the 24-in. cutting disc, maximizing machine performance.

The BC600XL features a 64-in. wide feed table and a 6- by 6-in. infeed opening. The standard AutoFeed II material feeding system minimizes engine stress by monitoring rpm levels, and controls the horizontal feed roller, supporting ease of operation and reducing material jams. This chipper also features the latest technological advancement to improve operator safety — the innovative Bottom Feed Stop Bar system.

This patent-applied-for system is strategically located to enable the operator’s legs to strike the bar and shut off the feed either intentionally or automatically in an emergency situation. The new Bottom Feed Stop Bar system offers two sensitivity settings to assist in difficult chipping conditions.

Due to the compact size of the BC600XL, it can be easily moved within restricted spaces, such as a parking lot or yard and towed by a small pickup truck or SUV. The chipper also features a hydraulic system with fewer switches and parts allowing for easy operation and decreased service costs. The BC600XL is ideal for those looking to process brush or limbs. Markets include golf course managers, landscaping professionals, municipal work crews, rental companies and tree service contractors.


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