Heavy Equipment Replacement Doors

Hey SHIELDS People, Let’s chat about our heavy equipment replacement doors, specifically about our 1/4″ doors and all of our gauges! To make it easy below is a bullet point list of what we recommended our polycarbonate doors are used for, but not limited to the following:

3/8″ Polycarbonate Door

  • Grass Mowing
  • General Contracting
  • Material Handling
  • NOT for Demolition
  • NOT for Brush Cutting
  • NOT for Wood Processors

1/2″ Polycarbonate Doors

  • Demolition
  • Forestry Application
  • Ground Clearing
  • Brush Cutters
  • Tree Shears

1/4″ Polycarbonate Doors

People are sometimes not sure if they should get 1/4″ polycarbonate to replace their glass. If that is you we have one question for you….did your glass keep you safe? If so, then our 1/4″ polycarbonate is perfect for you. Our 1/4″ is great for replacing glass for general work. If you feel like you might buy a mulcher head or another attachment then we encourage you to upgrade to the 1/2″ for safety reasons. Another point I would like to share is that polycarbonate is FLEXIBLE. Polycarbonate’s strength comes from its ability to flex. Some applications ¼” will flex and have movement due to how it is installed in your cab. If this will bother you, we recommend looking at our 3/8” or ½” thicknesses.

If you have questions about what thickness you need, give us a call! 1-800-554-7527

Want to learn more? Check our our blog post about our Form Fit and Function. Check out our full retail line for Heavy Equipment Your SHIELDS Team!

By |2021-03-08T16:29:46+00:00March 8th, 2021|Heavy Equipment, product properties, Products|8 Comments

Safety withouth Sacrificing Quality.

Safety without Sacrificing Quality

The longer we are in the business of operator safety the more ways we see people coming up with ways to stay safe. This is great, people are focusing on safety more and more. However, when we see how people are doing this we just shake our head a little. We believe that you don’t have to sacrifice quality to focus on safety.

By quality, we mean a few things. When you add a cage to the outside of your glass window you are sacrificing the quality of your view. When you buy uncoated polycarbonate, cut it up and put it in your cab. Again, the quality of your view goes down as the uncoated polycarbonate scratches. You have also lost some quality in your machine because we both know that door you made does not fit perfectly. We believe that your safety

is the most important factor; however, we don’t think you need to sacrifice the quality of your door, cab, or your view…heck, let’s not forget about your precious time!

Polycarbonate is the #1 choice on a windshield or door to keep you safe. Poly is 260X stronger than glass and if you go with 1/2″ that amount even increases! But you can’t stop there. Your poly door needs to fit right. There are so many factors to consider with this. Does your door have a shape? Do you want to use your original hardware? Do you want a  simple installation? These are all factors that we realized you have to consider; so when developing the SHIELDS Advantage we thought through all of this. We ensure your polycarbonate replacement door fits the same as your glass using original hardware. If you can install glass in your machine you will be able to install ours no problem! If you find you are having some trouble check out our YouTube page and follow one of our installation videos. 

We have checked off the quality of your time and of your door! Now let’s look at the quality of your view. We have worked with polycarbonate for over 45 years and we know how frustrating it is when your poly scratches and hazes the same day you install it. This was one of the first concerns that we tackled years ago. All of our doors and products get post -coated with our proprietary SUPERCOAT hardcoat. This is the toughest coating in the business. Our coating is scratch resistant to steel wool and allows your windshield wipers to work as much as needed! You can learn more about our coating in this article. 

Time, machine, and view – we have checked those off. However, there is one more extremely important factor we have considered when it comes to the quality of your machine, your wallet. We are believers that quality comes at a price; however, that price does not need to break the bank. We are not the cheapest windshield and door out there we know. We pay top dollar for the best optical polycarbonate we can buy but we know that even the highest quality stuff has to be affordable and when comparing we fall in the middle in price. We can’t have the quality and be the cheapest but we will never price gouge our customers. We care about the affordability of our product for the average person.

You don’t have to sacrifice quality to ensure you are safe while working. We work to give you the best safe door and quality door to enhance your machine and your work!

Stay safe,

Your SHIELDS team.

By |2021-03-05T14:23:31+00:00February 12th, 2021|About SHIELDS®, Heavy Equipment, Polycarbonate, Products|0 Comments

New Skid Steer Doors

Hello SHIELDS® people!

Here is a quick update. We have multiple new products recently added to our retail line!

skid steer

 

Here is the list of our newest products and a link to each one that we have in our store. All are polycarbonate replacement windows with the Form-Fit and Function of OEM glass! Available in all three thicknesses, 1/4″ – 3/8″ – and 1/2″ and finished off with our proprietary SUPERCOAT™ a hard coating that we put on the outside of your windshield to protect it from UV and scratches.

Gehl R Series Skid Steer door

New Holland Deluxe Cab Skid Steer door

Bobcat R Series Skid Steer door

Takeuchi TL6R Skid Steer door

                                                           Kubota SVL *Skylight & *Rear windows

                                                             Yanmar Excavator Upper and Lower windows

                                                             Wirtgen WR250 Reclaimer Windshield (only 1/2″ )

We are excited to have added these to our retail list and are working to continue to grow it. If you have a window or windshield that you would like for us to make give us a call. We can walk you through the options you have to get us what we need. Now, before you order be sure you do your homework on which thickness you should get to keep you safe while working.

Shields

We understand that we are the “new kids” in school when it comes to polycarbonate and most people still are stuck on glass. Spreading the word of polycarbonate and its’ capabilities is our goal. Also, we know that earlier on in polycarbonates reveal many people have had a negative experience with it. We are hoping to change your mind as well, not all poly is made the same! So, if any of this resonates with you check out some of our other posts meant solely for education. 

 

Your, SHIELDS® Team

 

By |2020-11-13T13:14:44+00:00October 6th, 2020|Heavy Equipment, New Products|0 Comments

Polycarbonate Guages & Why They Are Important

SHIELDS® people, I want to break down polycarbonate gauges and explain why it is important to know what thickness you are ordering your SHIELDS® replacement window and why!

One of the main reasons to go from glass to polycarbonate (AKA Lexan, Safety glass, etc – if the names are confusing read this post) is because polycarbonate is 260X stronger than glass! Glass is just going to break, it is not “if” but “when”. Maybe a bias statement, but we have not been proven wrong yet. If you are new to SHIELDS® it is fair to warn you, we are confident in what we do here, it is our passion!

Now that you are aware of our confidence let’s dive into today’s topic. We offer three gauges for each of our products, 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″. When replacing glass this is a serious choice. Talking to our customers, we let you order whichever gauge you desire; however, we strive to ask as questions that can help lead you to the safest decision. Over the phone, it might come across as an “upsell”. That is not the goal, I assure you. We want YOU to be the safe and sometimes that means suggesting that you need the 1/2″ gauge. I may be jumping ahead, let’s go through each gauge of polycarbonate and what its’ suggested use may be.

1/4″ Replacement Windows

Let’s begin with 1/4″. Quater inch polycarbonate is the simplest to understand. The general explanation we use is this: If you are using 1/4″ glass and are fine, then our 1/4″ poly will be perfect.  You will have use of the same hardware, and your wipers will work great. Our 1/4″ gauge windows and doors replace glass great for most applications BUT there are circumstances where you might want a heavier gauge. A note for anyone dealing with cars or racing, this does not necessarily pertain to your applications. For questions about racing and cars, give us a call!

3/8″ Replacement Windows

Okay, onto our middle thickness, 3/8″. This gauge is one we suggest when your application involves any of the following but not limited to: GRASS MOWING, GENERAL CONTRACTING, AND MATERIAL HANDLING. To be as clear as we can be 3/8″ is NOT suggested for demolition, skid steer loader brush clearing, or wood processors. If you think you might someday do any of these you will want to get a heavier gauge. We have come across people getting a 3/8″ door or window and a year later decide to do some brush clearing. If this is you, you will want to upgrade thicknesses purely for safety reasons. We might sound like the cup is half full; however, you never know what is hiding in that brush! We are the plastic people, have a little faith in us, we promise your safety is at the top of our list.

1/2″ Replacement Windows

That leads us to our final gauge, our 1/2″ thick polycarbonate. This is the gauge when someone is uncertain or your work includes, but not limited to the following: DEMOLITION, SKID-STEER FORESTRY APPLICATION, GROUND CLEARING, BRUSH CUTTING, WOOD PROCESSORS, OR TREE SHEARS. This is a short list to help you understand that our 1/2″ polycarbonate is the safest choice. There are more applications that would apply. When ordering over the phone we ask that you share your application with us as we want to ensure you are ordering the appropriate polycarbonate replacement window.

We love it when customer call; however, we do have an online store. This is hands-off for you. Like other online stores, you can select what you want, put your info in and presto, you ordered your SHIELDS® polycarbonate replacement window! (This is for heavy equipment only, sorry car people, be patient yours is coming!)We are proud of our store; however, this puts the responsibility in YOUR hands as the customer! It is your choice on what you order. Therefore, if you have questions about gauges, I hope I have answered them and we are always here to answer your questions.

Stay safe out there, SHIELDS® people!

1-800-554-7527

www.shieldswindshields.com

By |2020-08-07T11:30:49+00:00August 7th, 2020|About SHIELDS®, Education, Heavy Equipment|0 Comments

Polycarbonate – Do You Know What It Is?

I have made making polycarbonate windshields and windows my career, and I couldn’t be happier. I have grown up around thermoforming various plastics, but nothing compares to polycarbonate – and nothing even comes close working with high optic grade polycarbonate, especially in heavier gauges. I imagine the most challenging aspect is taking a heavy gauge plastic that does not want to be heated, let alone put into a complex 3D shape, and not only making it stable and stress-free in that shape, but making it optically correct for a driver or operator. The most enjoyable aspect is taking that optically correct heavy-gauge windshield or window – and selling it to that driver or operator. And while I enjoy selling my SHIELDS® Windshields to customers over my few competitors that attempt to make optically correct polycarbonate without stress and full geometric shape (is it too arrogant to say that when I go head-to-head with any other polycarbonate thermoformers they cannot compete with my quality and consistency. They can only beat me on price, and I never apologize for producing the premier polycarbonate windows in the world and pricing my SHIELDS® windshields as such,

but what I truly enjoy the most is getting my SHIELDS® windshield to replace a currently used (often broken) glass windshield. Because when that happens, I know I have done my job: everyone knows about glass, but few know the overwhelming benefits of a SHIELDS® polycarbonate windshield – so I am an educator more than a salesman.

To me, there are three main aspects when educating people on polycarbonate – in particular my SHIELDS® line of windshields, windscreens, & windows: What do they know about glass? What do they really know about polycarbonate? And why SHIELDS® offers polycarbonate windows unmatched worldwide.

So, I start with glass – and I ask what they like about having a glass windshield (with the only real answer is surface hardness – polycarbonate beats glass in every other category). I get various answers, but often they come down to these four: It came with the car/truck/excavator/loader, etc… It’s clear and/or not distorted. It won’t scratch. Don’t have to take any special precautions to care for it.

Ok, so then I ask what they don’t like about using a polycarbonate windshield (not unusual it is here I have to offer additional ‘names’ for polycarbonate because most people lump all plastics together – I will address these names in a moment and show how this helps educate them). Again, the answers vary (depending on the level of knowledge or experience the person has with plastics) and nearly all have to do with a cousin or an uncle that once tried to use Plexiglass® to replace a busted window in his garage door or a buddy that had a used bass boat with a cheap piece of plastic glass or my brother-in-law, well ex-brother-in-law, had a piece of that Lexan® and we shot it – it ain’t bulletproof…

After that the reasons are near all the same: It scratches, it’s distorted, it’ll yellow in the sun, it doesn’t fit right, and its cheap plastic. Honestly, I love hearing all these – it reminds me of the shoe company in America at the turn of the 20th Century – a forward-thinking executive had the idea of sending his most seasoned salesman to the heart of Africa to drum up sales. Now after a few months and no communication, he decided to send another salesman, a young rookie. Not long after the rookie boarded the ship, they finally received a telegram from the senior salesman: “Covered nearly every square mile of the land, no one wears shoes here, I’m coming home.” Well, the executive was bummed but figured it was worth a try and his youngster would soon learn the same and head home. However, not days after he arrived in Africa, the young rookie telegraphed back to the company: “This is fantastic! No one wears shoes here – send me as many pairs as you can!”

 

Well, when I see a glass windshield and/or hear why they don’t like cheap plastic, I don’t see a satisfied glass customer, I see an uneducated driver or operator – and I cannot wait to teach them.

The first thing I tell them is that unfortunately, polycarbonate is certainly not cheap – and then begins to weed through polycarbonate by name. Many people will use the word Lexan® or some may use Tuffak® when referring to polycarbonate – and they are not incorrect – those are brand names of polycarbonate – I often use Bud Light and Coors Light as examples – they are both beers. I have even had people argue with me over the fact they don’t like polycarbonate, but they do Lexan® – after a pause, I bring up the beer thing again…

The first SHIELDS® windshield hangs in the factory to this day.

I will get several people asking if I sell Plexi or Plexiglass® windshields. I say, do you mean acrylic (which Plexiglass® is a brand of acrylic more on acrylic in another blog) Now that answer ranges from, “No, I mean plexi, the bulletproof stuff” – which means a longer education session – to “Well, I don’t know” – which means I have a focused student! I had an offshore boat customer – excellent customer and boat builder – tell me he wanted bulletproof windows for his V hull boat. I explained to him that while ½” polycarbonate is extremely impact resistant, it is not bulletproof; however, it would do the job for him on his 300+ mph boat with twin Huey helicopter turbine engines on the back. Not long after setting the world speed record, he called to say they did a special on him on TV, and how I could watch it. It was a great special – right up to where they asked if he was afraid looking through his glass windshield (which is a compliment – my SHIELDS® windshields are often mistaken for ‘glass’ – especially if a drag car runs in a series that requires ‘stock glass’); well to answer the question, he simply slid across the boat’s deck and thumped the outside of the windshield and said, “nope – I got bulletproof plastic glass right here”! I knew I had to up my teaching game!

When I first went door to door in Mooresville, North Carolina, in 2000 selling my SHIELDS® line to the NASCAR world – I quickly learned there were many different ways in which polycarbonate was named, and, oh, how poor the quality of the polycarbonate windows they were using. Since it was relatively new to the sport, some teams had early on used flat sheet from Lowe’s or Menards. Some still must by the looks of the horrible ‘flat’ windshields in NASCAR today – I do not produce for them anymore. They would rough cut them and force them into the opening and bolt down. They told me they knew it was safer but couldn’t see (distortion) and could hardly clean ‘em “cuz they hazed up immediately!” One crew chief (yes, I asked for and was introduced to the crew chief on nearly every cold call that week) said, we use that Lexan® glass from the store but didn’t like it – but he did like the looks of my ‘different’ glass I had – I had a sample

My son and daughter cheesin’ at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same trip.

SHIELDS® polycarbonate Taurus windshield, formed to perfect shape and coated with an early version of our SUPERCOAT™ hard-coat. I explained it was the same Lexan® ‘glass’ he had but with a few critical upgrades. He then snickered a bit and said he better stand back so he doesn’t accidentally spill his coffee on it and ruin my show glass. As we stood there in the front yard of the Jasper Motorsports shop, with my son propping up the SHIELDS® windshield (he was about the same height as the window then and my wife was juggling my daughter in one hand and our brochures in the other), without thinking really, I took my coffee I was drinking and chucked it on the window – startling both the crew chief and my son! But I knew what would happen, the coffee rain off my SHIELDS® better than water on a Rain-X treated glass windshield, whisking away as if nothing was ever on there. The crew chief’s eyes got real big, then he grinned and bought the first SHIELDS® windshield for NASCAR! This happened before I got an ‘official’ Ford part number, but that is an entirely different story. That windshield ran at Atlanta a couple of weeks later. I still have that windshield hanging in my building with Robert Pressley’s autograph. The crew chief was so impressed before we left his shop to head to Robert Yates (wow, what a great customer “in the day!”) he phoned his brother and another buddy opening all the Ford shop doors – and even Joe Gibbs racing, telling them about ‘racingshields’ new glass material! That was the beginning of educating the true ‘stars’ of NASCAR in my book – the parts managers!!!

So, once we establish that when talking about a SHIELDS® windshield or window – it is simply a formed and post-coated piece of polycarbonate: Lexan®, Tuffak®, poly, plexi, Plexiglass®, ‘glass’, acrylic, plastic, or any other name we will ‘answer’ to – I can then proceed to educate them on why my SHIELDS® line of formed and SUPERCOATED™ polycarbonate are anything but simple, cheap, or ‘plastic’. SHIELDS® windshields are true performance and safety-enhancing parts for heavy equipment, boats, race cars, or anything else that truly wants the SHIELDS® advantage – and I have Ray Evernham to thank for ‘forcing’ me to learn to educate people on how a windshield should be looked at as a performance part, not just a ‘part’ of the vehicle – but that is another story.

Stories from a man doing business,

Brad

President – SHIELDS® Windshields