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Family invents a new car coat

Coveralls protects trucks, cars and SUVs from off-road damage

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CEDAR HILLS — Headed to the hills for a good time? Don't forget to get the truck dressed up in ballistic nylon shielding for the bumpy off-road travels.

A Cedar Hills family has created a product called "Coveralls" that is intended to protect trucks from "Rocky Mountain pinstripes" — scrapes and scratches that happen when rolling along rough backwoods roads.

Coveralls come in a variety of colors, including camouflage, black, tan and burgundy with mirror booties, wheelcovers and toppers to match.

The hood cover slips on like a glove. Hooks then attach the two back pieces of the Coveralls to the wheel wells and buckle straps hold the pieces on in some places while Velcro fasteners do the job in others. Mesh covers the base of the windows.

When a Coveralls is in place, the doors still open and the back hatch still lifts up, but sticks and stones no longer pose a threat to the paint job, the Louder family says.

The product is the brainchild of 18-year-old Kevin Louder. It is now hitting the market through an Internet site www.mycoveralls.com. The phone number to the business is 1-800-895-7409.

"He thought of it when he was about 9 or 10," said his sister, Andrea Louder. "It's just taken us this long to get it together."

Andrea Louder and Mikaela Gardner design and cut the patterns for the Coveralls, matching the pieces to variety of off-road and heavy-duty vehicles — from small pickups and sports utility vehicles to monster cabs.

Pam Louder oversees the family operation as seven local seamstresses create the industrial-size covers from a dense Cordura nylon, a fabric that is durable and waterproof yet soft enough to easily sew and fold.

"We've gone through three different prototypes," Pam Louder said. "At first, we tried it in magnetic fabric, but we weren't happy with the results. Now we have what we want and we're excited."

The Louders say scratches often distress a new vehicle owner who paid a good chunk of money for a shiny truck that is designed to play in the hills.

"Even when they know scratches are part of off-roading, it's still hard," said Kevin Louder. "A lot of these customers are hunters who only drive off-road occasionally and they suffer over that first scratch."

"This is designed for just that, the occasional off-road adventure," Pam Louder said.

Coveralls come in small, medium, large and extra-large and can be custom-built to a specific vehicle. They are stain-resistant and can be sprayed off in a car wash when they become dirty.

The Louders say a Salt Lake car dealer has ordered one for his Dodge Viper and plans to offer Coveralls for sale in his showroom. Another customer wants a Coveralls for his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

"For the Viper, we'll add an extra strip of padding along the doors," Pam Louder said. "And we can do that for anybody, customize the cover to fit their situation."

Coveralls cost between $500 and $700, depending on the size and fabric required.

About 10 1/2 yards of nylon are needed to make a set of Coveralls for the average four-wheel-drive truck.


E-MAIL: haddoc@desnews.com