Todd Dechant creates OxCart to improve dump carts; Costco.com is first retail outlet

Todd Dechant unwrapping his new OxCart product.

WICHITA – Todd Dechant has spent a career as an employee and consultant helping companies and individuals bring new products to the market.

Now, he’s going to do it for himself with a new product called the OxCart, which he says is an improved dump cart for tractors and ATVs.

Dechant’s background is in sales and product development, among other things, at Coleman, Harper Trucks, Black & Decker and Pepsi.

During the last couple of years he’s been working on the OxCart, he’s also been helping other inventors launch their products.

“I got on an ‘I know a guy’ list,” Dechant says. “That was a lot of fun. I just don’t have time to do that anymore.”

When Dechant decided he wanted to create his own product, he did a category analysis to look for dead categories “that didn’t really have a lot of innovation in them.”

He says dead categories are ones that aren’t growing in sales.

“One that just kind of seemed glaring to me … was the dump cart category,” Dechant says.

“We tested a lot of products out there,” he says. “I started focusing on trying to get more out of a riding lawn mower.”

He says there’s not been much innovation in the field in the last couple of decades.

“The only way to grow a category is to come up with innovation.”

Dechant says he’s added durability and stability with the OxCart.

“You’ve got more control in the dumping process,” he says. “The pivot point is kind of like a teeter-toter in most dump carts.”

He says that means when loads shift they start sliding quickly.

“It’s very harsh and abrupt.”

For his cart, Dechant says he’s moved the pivot point back for more control.

He’s also added a power-assisted gas lift and wider, higher quality tires.

Dechant debuted the OxCart, which will sell for $300 to $349, today at the Green Industry and Equipment Expo in Kentucky.

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You don’t say

“I think Coleman has realized how much I spend each year at their truckload sale!”

– An e-mail from Bruce Rowley of Rowley Snyder Ablah on how Coleman’s annual sale was across from his east-side office last year, and now that he’s moved near the former Big Dog Motorcycles space on East Douglas, so has the sale (which starts Thursday)

‘Old Town West’ may become the ‘Coleman District’

WICHITA — When downtown consultants with Goody Clancy discussed the area where the Coleman manufacturing plant used to be at the southeast corner of Second and St. Francis, they dubbed it Old Town West.

“We’re afraid . . . that it will be called Old Town West now forever,” says downtown dweller and Wichita State University marketing professor Cindy Claycomb.

“We think that it ought to be called the Coleman District.”

The plant is now razed, and Coleman and the Rotary Club of Wichita are planning an urban park there.

There are plans for other business and residential developments nearby, and the city is redoing St. Francis to make it a two-way street and adding landscaping along it. The Coleman outlet and museum is there as well.

“That could be a nice corridor,” Claycomb says of the whole area.

She was part of a group of people who helped name the Redbud Trail instead of simply referring to it as that new bike path where the railroad tracks used to be.

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54 new plaques give Old Town visitors a glimpse of history

plaque2WICHITA — Old Town is obviously one of Wichita’s most historic areas. Now, some of that history is readily available for people to learn as they visit the area.

Developer Dave Burk this month placed 54 plaques on buildings throughout Old Town. He finished a couple of days ago and has already seen visitors stopping to look.

“This was research that we put together when we compiled all the information to get this into a National Historic District,” Burk says.

That was back in 1990.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time,” Burk says.

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Industrial Uniform and Logo Depot to move

WICHITA — Industrial Uniform and Logo Depot are moving for the first time since 1965.

“I’m sure we’ve paid for the building about eight times, but it’s part of doing business,” says Jeff Johnson, who bought the business (it’s all one company) last fall with partner Brian Burrus.

The company manufactures and distributes workers’ garments and sells embroidered and screen-printed apparel and promotional products.

It’s been in 38,000 square feet at 906 E. Waterman.

As of Sept. 28, it will be leasing new space a half mile away at 902 E. Indianapolis in a building with not quite 20,000 square feet.

“We didn’t buy one, darn it, because I sure tried,” Johnson says.

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Paul Teutul Jr. debuts his new Coleman grill

WICHITA — Paul Teutul Jr. is having a busy day making the rounds at Coleman and in Wichita today (and will be signing autographs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight in Old Town Square).

The “American Chopper” star has customized Coleman’s RoadTrip Grill, a portable grill that normally sells for $179.

Teutul’s version will debut early next year and retail for $199.

He incorporated some motorcycle elements, such as a “nifty speedometer thermometer” as well as the logo for his new Paul Jr. Designs company.

There are some distinctly Coleman features he added, too.

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Paul Teutul Jr. to sign autographs Thursday at Old Town Square

WICHITA — Coleman has settled the details for Paul Teutul Jr.’s appearance in Wichita this week.

Teutul will sign autographs Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Old Town Square.

Coleman officials also will be there to give away prize packages.

Paul Teutul Jr. of “American Chopper” is returning to Wichita to customize a Coleman grill

paulWICHITA — Paul Teutul Jr. is returning to Wichita, but this time he’s customizing a grill for Coleman instead of bringing a custom-designed motorcycle to Viega.

Teutul and his father, Paul Teutul Sr., are known as the Orange County Chopper guys on their popular “American Chopper” show on TLC.

Last year, they came here to help Viega, a plumbing and heating systems manufacturer, get some attention with a new bike. It featured, among other things, some of Viega’s fittings and copper tubing in the spokes of the wheels.

Now, the younger Teutul is customizing Coleman’s RoadTrip Grill.

“He actually approached us through our parent company, Jarden,” says David Johnston, director of consumer strategy.

“He was taking a look at branching out, doing something outside of motorcycle customization,” Johnston says of Teutul. “He looked around at a lot of things that were near and dear to his heart.”

roadtripThat includes the outdoors and entertaining, so Johnston says it was a good fit.

The grill’s 10th anniversary is coming up, so Johnston says the timing was good for Coleman, too.

Teutul won’t change how the grill works, but he will add “a little bit of a different flair,” Johnston says. That includes “that biker approach to things.”

The process will be shown over several vignettes on “American Chopper.”

The show is in reruns right now, so the grill customization will be featured in the next season.

Coleman is working on a public event for Teutul while he’s in Wichita this week.

We’ll keep you posted once details are settled.