November 08, 2022
Midland Radio's walkie talkies are still fully operational after surviving a fire on a farm this harvest season.
Hear from Tyler Cummings who runs his operation out of Wisconsin about how the walkie talkies are performing.
Tyler Cummings runs his family farm out of Larson, Wisconsin. It's a cash crop and dairy farm operation.
Cummings is a fifth-generation farmer whose favorite time of year is harvest season.
“My favorite part about being on the farm is harvest season because you get to see what you busted your butt for all year long and what came out in the end. It’s a busy time of year. It’s 16 hours everyday and it’s a team effort. I couldn’t do it without my uncles, my cousins, and the hired help that we have too.”
They milk cows and grow corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, and do custom harvesting/planting for their neighbors.
Cummings said his farm began using Midland's two-way radios after hearing about them from Larson Farms.
“I am a fan of Larson Farms and watch a lot of their videos. I was messaging with Chet and they were telling me how great Midland’s radios are so we decided to try them.”
Even though they were originally thinking of getting business band radios, he purchased Midland's two-way radios in 2018 and hasn't looked back ever since.
"I'm such a fan of Midland. We put them in our chopping equipment first because there was so much missed communication with hand signals or trying to call people on cellphones, with dropped calls."
They now have two-way radios in every vehicle on the farm including the MXT500 MicroMobile Two-Way Radio.
“We can’t believe the range. We’re in a very hilly area in Wisconsin with a lot of trees and we’re pushing 10 miles at times- clear as can be.”
He said Midland's two-way radios have improved both their safety and efficiency, a change that he said has been day and night.
It was a typical day in the middle of harvest season when Cummings was operating the chopper in the field. However, that would change in an instant.
“I smelled a little whiff of smoke and within three seconds the flames were all the way up the windshield. I couldn’t see anything but flames.”
Cummings had no choice but to react quickly.
“By the time I was grabbing my important things like my iPad with my data and whatnot- the flames were coming through my floor and up my legs. All I could do was throw the fire extinguisher to one of my hired guys to have him try to put it out. My uncle called 911 and I was out of the cab in 10 seconds. It was gone- fully engulfed.”
Cummings and the rest of the farm staff are fine, but the chopper was a loss. Inspectors have come out to investigate, but the cause of the fire has remained undetermined.
“It was probably one of the scariest situations in my life.”
While the fire occurred during harvest and has directly impacted their operation, Cummings said he's thankful for the community support.
"I have a lot of community help. I have some neighbors with choppers and they’ve helped me get some of my customers taken care of. My John Deere dealer got me a one-year-old chopper that we’ve used to help out also. We’ve made it happen to get everything done.”
Cummings was able to grab his T71 walkie talkies when he was evacuating the cab as it caught on fire.
To his surprise, the walkie is still working great even after taking on flames.
“The speaker is a little less clear than it used to be, but it powers up, it charges, and it’s completely disformed, but it still works like it’s 100 percent. I can’t believe it.”
While Cummings has always been a Midland Radio fan, he said he is even more impressed by the performance of the company's two-way radios after the fire.