A Surgical Glove Convert

Published on: 15:10PM May 27, 2018

I grew up in a neighborhood culture where only wussies wore gloves while working. I'd bale hay or shell corn in other neighborhoods, and all the farmers wore leather gloves any time they left the house. Not in our neighborhood--you weren't truly a "man" unless your hands were constantly scarred and scabbed.

A couple years ago our dealership established rules requiring mechanics to wear cloth/rubberized "mechanic's gloves" as much as possible. I've become a fan of wearing gloves when working on equipment. If you're working in an oily transmission or gearcase, gloves aren't practical, but most of the time gloves aren't a bad thing. They've dramatically cut down on cuts and scraps, and I now feel "naked" when I work on things at home without gloves.

I've even converted to wearing latex gloves when changing oil, fuel filters and doing other "liquid" jobs. Gloves prevent the stench of diesel fuel from following me home, and I've found them useful for dozens of other jobs around the shop. I keep a box of sturdy, mechanic's-grade latex gloves in my toolbox. If I need to dig out a grain tank sump full of rotten soybeans, I grab a pair of latex gloves. If I need to change spray tips on a sprayer, yup, I grab some gloves. I ALWAYS grab gloves when I use a parts washer to clean parts, because a friend and co-worker who died of cancer maintained to his deathbed that his cancer originated when he spent hours each day at a transmission repair shop washing parts in a parts washer. His doctor didn't disagree.

So now I wear gloves for almost everything. My dad and our old neighbors might be embarrassed for me, but my hands aren't constantly cut and bleeding.