Kawasaki replacing popular Mule After a 12-year run of continual sales growth and industry leadership, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., is replacing the Number One selling Mule 2500 Series off-road utility vehicles with the all-new Mule 3000 Series for 2001.

More than just a name change, the two-wheel drive Mule 3000, four-wheel drive Mule 3010 and turf-friendly Mule 3020 feature dramatic new styling that incorporates ergonomically-placed controls and a host of changes that will keep Kawasaki at the forefront of the utility vehicle market.

The all-new Mule 3000 Series features fashionable pickup truck styling for a strong and modern appearance.

At the touch of a button, the hood above the rugged-looking grille can be lifted to reveal a large storage compartment.

Fenders are bulged and rounded to provide additional protection from mud and debris. The cargo bed siderails are taller, and new lever latches grace the tailgate for easier operation.

And like all other Kawasaki utility vehicles, the Mule 3000, Mule 3010 and Mule 3020 each features a tiltable cargo bed, four-wheel independent suspension, fully automatic transmission and bench seat.

Complimenting the new look are ergonomically-placed, car-like controls. The forward-reverse shift lever is located within easy reach on the automotive-style dash; on the Mule 3010, one convenient lever also permits the operator to select forward or reverse as well as two-wheel or four-wheel drive operation.

A sturdy passenger-side grab rail is mounted to the cab frame, and a horn and 12VDC outlet are now standard. In addition, a new glove box has been designed into the dashboard and the parking brake and coolant temperature warning lights are easier to see.

Numerous changes have been made to the Mule 3000 Series engine and power train. Cooling for the 617cc 90-degree four-stroke V-twin engine has been improved by utilizing a larger radiator and fan. A new digital electronic ignition system optimizes spark timing; engine efficiency has been improved by use of a new double-barrel carburetor with dual intake tracts.

Transferring power from the Mule's engine is a new continuously variable transmission (CVT). In conjunction with the engine upgrades, the new CVT provides a wider ratio for more pulling power and quicker acceleration.

Other new features include mounting tabs on the frame for easy installation of a winch, 23-inch tires for the 3000 and 3010 models, stiffer springs on the independent strut-type front suspension and the color for the body work is molded in to help prevent scuffing.

Kawasaki conducted extensive market research to determine what demographic groups were buying utility vehicles and discovered that while the Mule is still popular with heavy industry and agriculture, there are several new groups buying Mule utility vehicles for lifestyle or recreational purposes.

EDITOR'S NOTE - Agribusiness companies are embracing World Wide Web technology to establish or update Internet Websites which provide information pertaining to a firm's products and services. While it would be next to impossible to list all ag-related Websites, the editors at Farm Press will periodically provide a general description of some of the newer ones coming on-line to give our readers an idea of what might be found at a given site.

Examples follow: North American farmers can now access information about Michelin agricultural tires and services on the Internet. The Website, http://www.michelinag.com, is designed to provide comprehensive data about the complete range of Michelin agricultural radial tires.

The Website is designed to be a useful tool for farmers to learn more about Michelin Ag tires designed specifically for the North American market.

The site features the entire Michelin agricultural product line and its application for a variety of farming equipment. The information includes tire sizes, tread designs, radial benefits and other product characteristics. The Website allows farmers to research Michelin products and make informed purchasing decisions.

An interactive tire selector enables the farmer to choose a rim size and find the Michelin agricultural radial best suited for specific equipment and application. Additionally, farmers can search for authorized Michelin Agricultural tire dealers in the United States and Canada.

The Website also provides a list of agricultural shows or events where farmers can see the Michelin ag products in action. New product introductions and press releases are also available online.

Zeneca Ag Products has expanded the "Local Info" section of its Website to include all states in the continental U.S. The site, www.zenecaagproducts.com, provides users with state and county-specific information about control strategies for disease, insect and weed problems in various crops.

Farmers can find information on a broad range of topics, from rootworm control with Force insecticide to weed control over-the-top of Roundup Ready soybeans with Touchdown herbicide.

The information spans many crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, peanuts, cotton, alfalfa, sorghum, citrus and other fruits and vegetables. Zeneca will continually update information and add new bulletins.

To use the Local Info section, go to www.zenecaagproducts.com and click on "Local Info." From there, click on a state, then county to view local information.

The Zeneca Website also contains extensive information on its products, including an easy-to-use database of labels and MSDS, free downloads of "Farm Assist" crop management software, and more.

Proving once again it is the innovative leader in on-line trading for the food and agriculture industries, TradingProduce.com has developed breakthrough technology that enables its Website to match product codes between buyers and sellers through an algorithmic matching system.

The world's premier business-to-business e-commerce site for produce, meat, seafood, floral, and food and beverage transactions has filed a patent for the system developed by its team of in-house engineers.

Buyers, including wholesalers, distributors and retailers, each have their own set of product codes, Likewise, sellers have yet a different set of codes for the same products. Matching them up so the buy/sell transactions can be completed with the utmost speed and efficiency is no longer a dilemma.

TradingProduce.com has also eliminated transaction fees for all five of its divisions, including the parent site as well as TradingMeat.com, TradingFish.com, TradingFloral.com and TradingFoodandBeverage.com.

Throughout the five divisions, members have access to thousands of growers and suppliers with real-time market prices and both private-contract and open-market buying and selling. Once a transaction is completed in any of the five divisions, members have instant communication with the transportation industry available, including truck, air, rail, freighter and sea.

Elf Atochem North America, Inc., has launched "e-customer service," an e-commerce site for their organic chemical products customers. The site is accessible on the Internet at www.e-OrganicChemicals.com directly, or through Elf Atochem's Homepage at www.elf-atochem.com.

The "e-customer service" site is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day for customers to place orders, download MSDS sheets and literature, and request technical service or support. The site also provides customers with the ability to speak live with a customer service representative Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern time zone.

John Deere Pavilion, the Quad Cities' most visited attraction, now has a second location - on the Web. The John Deere Pavilion Website allows those interested in visiting the world's most comprehensive agricultural exhibit the opportunity to do so again and again, without leaving home.

Located at http://www.johndeerepavilion.com, the Website includes information on everything from planning a visit to the Quad Cities area (Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa; Moline, East Moline and Rock Island, Ill.) to the legacy of John Deere machinery. Guests can learn more about the history of the John Deere Pavilion, as well as its current exhibits, get new product listings for the John Deere Store, or read about other Deere attractions in the area.