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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Players Sports Bar & Grill owner discusses switch to Brooklyn Chophouse and Brew Tavern

WICHITA — Players Sports Bar & Grill owner David Chaffin is now ready to talk about his plans to convert to Brooklyn Chophouse and Brew Tavern.

Have You Heard? broke the news about Chaffin’s plans for his West 21st Street business last week, but he wasn’t yet ready to discuss them.

“It’s been on the back burner for five years,” Chaffin says of the changes.

The main change is a menu upgrade, and Chaffin says that necessitates a name change.

“If I do that, and I called it Players, it’s a tough sell,” he says. “It really is.”

Now, almost all the meat he’ll serve will be choice grade, and he’s eliminating what he calls junk food — such as a plate of fried appetizers — from the menu.

“It’s not that we were ashamed of Players food,” Chaffin says. “But we had food that reflected Players Bar and Grill.”

He adds, though, “Anything that’s great about Players we’re keeping.”

He chose the Brooklyn name because he was going for a New York feel, with what he calls New York kind of steaks and deli sandwiches.

“Bronx didn’t sound right,” Chaffin says.

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Gardner Design’s Bill Gardner critiques logos for Fortune online gallery of makeovers

pepsiWICHITA — Fortune magazine has a new online gallery of logo makeovers from companies like Pepsi (left), UPS and Starbucks.

Wichita’s own Bill Gardner of Gardner Design was asked to be one of the experts who critiqued the new logos.

Gardner has Logo Lounge, which includes a series of books and a Web site devoted to logos from around the world.

Gardner liked some of the designs spotlighted by Fortune, such as IBM’s, which features lines that IBM says are supposed to represent “speed and dynamism.”

“They owned the lines going through it before everyone started using lines,” Gardner told the magazine. He added that due to the logo’s simplicity and originality, “you have a hard time desiring to mess with it.”

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