Moose Utility Division
Rack-Mounted Econo Sprayer System
If you have a small backyard, a hand-pumped, man-portable sprayer is usually all you'll really need to apply pesticides, control weeds or perform other chores that require misting applications. If you have a farm or other sizable acreage to cover, you'll no doubt have a tractor and tow a dedicated spray rig for such duties.
However, there are plenty of operations in between in which a carried spray unit is way too small and a towed one is overkill. In that case, an ATV-mounted spray unit may strike the perfect middle ground.
We've had the opportunity to use just such a rig for about a year now. Our primary evaluator has a Honda FourTrax Rancher and was looking for something to help with spraying duties at his 9-acre RV storage yard and soils treatment/fertil-izer business. We had him try the Rack-Mounted Econo Sprayer System from Moose Utility Division (M.U.D.). It's avail-able in two sizes: 14 gallons for $229.95 and 25 gallons for $249.95. He used the smaller version.
The M.U.D. sprayer mounted quickly with the supplied hardware to the rear rack of his Rancher (though he also tried it once on the back of a golf cart when his ATV was blocked in by a car). The Shurflo pump requires a 12-volt power source, which the Rancher (and the golf cart) provided.
Once the sprayer is mounted, it's easy to fill with the material for the job. The Econo Sprayer's pump provided the necessary pressure to the handheld wand for every job our tester has demanded. It doesn't have enough flow to run a boom, but M.U.D. offers a more-expensive sprayer system that does run a 144-inch boom ideal for small field applications.
In nearly 12 months of every-other-week usage, the M.U.D. Econo Sprayer has proved completely reliable and a real time-saver. Our tester raves about it and insists he wouldn't change a thing about the system. Obviously, it was the right choice for him. --Mark Kariya
Photos: Mark Kariya
SCORE: * * * *
BOTTOM LINE: An economic, user-friendly sprayer for those with large backyards.
Smith released its Fuel line of goggles a few years ago, so if you are a new-product junkie, you might wonder why we are just now doing a test. The reason is Smith updated the face foam on its upper-end goggles (Top Fuel, Fuel TI, Warp Star and Warp TI), and that makes them much-better goggles. For 2005, it also added an "Articu-lating Outrigger Posi-tioning System," which is designed to improve the fit within the helmet's eyeport. The original Fuel was a favorite of many of our testers, so an improved version is worth noting.
The Fuel has a pretty conventional style and fit. Smith's tear-off system works well, and its Roll Off's system, which is available for the Fuel series, still sets the standard for nasty conditions. The frame is on the small side, which may be a concern for some, but it allows the product to fit well into pretty much any helmet.
I liked the new articulated strap attachment. It allowed the frame to float a little more and therefore provided a snugger fit. The new three-layer face foam was what really improved this goggle, however, and it offered two advantages over the previous foam. First, it was much more comfortable. The previous Smith "no-sweat" foam worked well at keeping sweat out of your eyes but was a little thin and stiff, which made it slightly harsh on the face. The second advantage was the sweat-absorbing properties. The added foam sponged more sweat and, more important, somehow locked it in and did not spray out on those inevitable heavy impacts. Most goggle companies have made big improvements in face foam over the past few years, and this latest version from Smith puts its performance right in the mix with the best on the market. Sug-gested retail is $47.95 for the Top Fuel and $57.95 for the Fuel TI (in a blue, Graphite or red frame with a matching mirrored lens). --Sean Finley
Photo: Bryan Nylander
SCORE: * * * * *
BOTTOM LINE: Don't let the name fool you; the updates Smith made to the Fuel goggle make it one of the best goggles available.