Things like coffee cups, cola cans, hamburger wrappers, chicken boxes, and other normal clutter and the trash kept accumulating with nowhere to put it. Before I built the TidyHook, I would put stuff on the seat and if it was trash I would throw it on the floor, out of habit. Occasionally, if I had leftover messy food or something liquid that would spill, I would throw it out the window! But I always felt guilty afterward. Being a farmer, I have always believed in keeping our environment clean.
After a few days, the clutter would build up and I’d get tired of looking at the mess on my truck floorboard, then I’d stop and bunch it up! I felt embarrassed at times when someone would open my truck door to get in and some rubbish or trash on my floor fell out. A lot of the times, passengers had to kick the clutter over, just to get in. I really felt guilty when an employee got in my truck and the same thing happened. Especially when I always made them keep my farm equipment and shop clean and tidy.
At that time, I had a new girlfriend and one day we were riding around on a dirt road, I threw a chicken box with bones in it out the window. She looked at me and began to lecture me so badly, that I stopped littering that very day.
I decided to try and find something that would fit the need I had for a handy way to dispose of the clutter in my truck. I tried the door compartment slots and putting a cup in the cup holders which were too small. When I had an older truck with heater and air conditioner handles and levers I hung a plastic bag on them, but then the auto co. changed to digital controls and eliminated the handles. I tried wrapping the plastic bag handles around the cigarette lighter plug, but eventually, I ended up with a warped plugin, due to the weight of the bag pulling it over. I had a center console vehicle car once and I hung a plastic bag over the gear shifter, but it was in the way hitting the left leg of the passenger, which was very annoying. Next, I tried a couple of pop up car trash cans that sat behind me in the rear floorboard, they were very inconvenient and kept turning over and spilling the trash on the floor. I did find one with grips on the bottom, but the capacity was just too small and it was in the way of the passenger’s feet annoying them.
I tried various devices that hooked to one of the front passenger’s headrest posts for hanging a bag. One hung off the front of the seat and several others were designed to hang off the back. Both worked pretty good at first, but I had to keep moving the one on the front for the passengers to ride. Younger children wouldn’t stop kicking the ones that were located directly in front of them on the back of the front seat, and when I had rear seat passengers the hanging trash bag in front of them kept constantly hitting both of their knees, annoying them, and embarrassing me.
One day I was driving down the highway to check a pivot at another location and I reached back to put a two-liter bottle in a bag on one hung behind the front seat and I was briefly distracted, I couldn’t see to find the opening to the bag. It took me a lot longer to dispose of the bottle and when I looked back, I was off the highway headed straight into a road sign at about 50 MPH. That was the day I said there’s got to be a better way.
A few weeks later, my son Jacob and I were at the farm shop talking and brainstorming. The answer came to us in the form of a vision. That day the idea of the TidyHook was born and so was the way to build it !
The idea was very simple. It was the common-sense solution to the basic widespread problem of clutter in vehicles. The concept was how build a new designed device that would fit most vehicles by attaching easily to BOTH the headrest posts on the front passenger seat, but then allow it hang off the LEFT shoulder SIDE of that seat, not the back. This allows the bag location to be in the center of the vehicle for the driver’s convenience and for safety. Provide a larger reusable thicker water-resistant bag to contain large and messy items. Make it work successfully so adults could show by “example” to their children how to dispose of trash responsibly in a vehicle, helping keep our environment clean.
The idea was very simple, but the final product design took a lot of patience and devotion with almost 4 years of testing, numerous design variations, and over 75 prototypes changes, 16-18 different materials tested in 150 degrees vehicle heat. Fitting most vehicles and tested in over 125 different models. Consumer and Focus Group Tested with an 81% Approval Rating. This is the TidyHook (auto-right)