Hello, my name is Kevin Nay and I am a career Lt. in the Chicago suburbs. I started Hook N Ladder Leather 3 years ago with the intent to have a side job that would allow me to work with my hands, spend more time at home, and create things that I could be proud of. I would have never imagined it would take off as it has. In that time I have learned a lot about what it takes to build a quality leather product that will truly serve the needs of a working Fireman. Through trial and error, experimentation and feedback from fellow Firemen my products have evolved to where they are now, particularly with the "Plug Ugly" Radio Harness system.
The "Plug Ugly" Radio Harness system is different from every other radio strap on the market in a few different ways. First, the system was designed to be completely adjustable by the wearer to fit their needs and preferences. Through a series of evenly spaced holes on the front of the harness, the length is completely adjustable over all previously offered sizes, and allows for placement of accessories such as mic tab, and cord keeper to fit the wearer.
Secondly, only the highest quality materials are standard, not an upgrade. Stainless steel clasps and buckles are used as they are the most durable offering. Blackened solid brass DOT stiff action snaps are used throughout, along with blackened solid brass Chicago Screws, all sourced from the US. The leather used is a heavy harness leather tanned in Pennsylvania from US sourced steer hides. Harness leather is the most durable leather for this application as it is tanned for strength and resistance to horse sweat, making it perfect for fire service use.
Third, the "Plug Ugly" is built with an emphasis on function over looks. You will not be able to get paint on my harness, and stamping is kept to a minimum. Don't get me wrong, there is an understated beauty that comes from well crafted, high quality leather, particularly the brown and tan models which exhibit lots of natural grain and character. If you are looking for a beautifully painted strap there are lots of talented artists providing that service, and I would be happy to recommend a couple makers who are masters of that look. I have come to a point where I will only build products that reflect on me as a simple, old fashioned guy who appreciates simple well crafted goods. An artist, I am not. A craftsman is what I strive to be.