Polaris employees take part in 'Way Out Tour' by David Lias Polaris is in the business of manufacturing ways for people to have fun, by building everything from personal watercraft and motorcycles to snowmobiles.
It's no surprise, then, that the company's efforts to provide a fun time for its employees include a day in the great outdoors roaming the countryside on the company's all terrain vehicles (ATVs).
In fact, this chance at ATV adventure has grown so popular among all Polaris employees that the company has adopted a formal name for the event � The Way Out Tour.
The company has also outfitted a large semi truck that it uses to transport a dozen different types of Polaris ATVs to manufacturing and dealer sites across the country for employees to enjoy for a day.
The semi arrived in Vermillion last Wednesday with the ATVs stored neatly in the truck's upper deck.
The remaining space in the truck is used to store helmets and parts for the machines.
"If we have a break down, we can fix the machines right here," said Rodney Oberle, the Partners in Continuous Improvement facilitator at the Vermillion Polaris facility.
Local Polaris employees who participated in the Way Out Tour first had to take part in a safety course Thursday, which included viewing a video and classroom instruction.
"And there was also a driving course held at our Polaris facility Thursday before we brought the machines and participants to our site out in the country," Oberle said.
Approximately a dozen people took part in the event Thursday night.
The Way Out Tour continued at 9 a.m. last Friday, and concluded at approximately 7 p.m.
Conditions were perfect for the event. "I can't believe how nice the weather is today," Oberle said, as he watched his fellow employees on the ATVs negotiate a looping, hilly trail through a wooded area.
The use of the private property was simply donated to Polaris employees that day by its owner, an individual who lives in Vermillion.
It is a gesture that has left the Polaris workers feeling grateful for making the fun-filled day possible.
Employees like Liz Hladky, who had never operated an ATV before Friday's Way Out Tour, couldn't keep a big grin from breaking out on her face as she found herself mastering the proper way to drive the machines.
"I bet for half of our employees who participated (in The Way Out Tour), it was the first time they've operated machines like these," Oberle said. "Liz just started working at Polaris six weeks ago as a seasonal employee."
Friday marked the first time Polaris has brought The Way Out Tour to Vermillion.
"Hopefully, we can make this an annual event," Oberle said.