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Stay hitched

Inventions “for farmers by farmers” have comprised a significant subcategory at the annual Inventors Congress in Redwood Falls, MN. The June 2005 event was an especially good one for farm-practical ideas, with at least eight new products ranging from hitches to modular fences to new skid loader bucket configurations. Here is the first in a series of inventions observed at the show.

A brilliantly simple idea called the HitchPinPlus offers a better way to keep your wagon tongue securely attached to the tractor drawbar.

Many farmers who visited the 2005 Inventors Congress immediately recognized the value of this product, commenting that they’d had trouble with corn stubble plucking out the stay pin that’s supposed to keep conventional drawbar pins secure.

The farmer-inventor, Kenneth Harwick, said he had experienced these same troubles for years, occasionally losing equipment on the road or in the field when the standard pin bounced out. He solved the problem by inventing the Hitchpinplus, which secures a locking bar from the top rather than the bottom. A second version of his invention also allows use of a padlock to prevent equipment theft. The Hitchpinplus and Hitchpinplus II both work with a D-pin hitch up to 11/8 in. in diameter. Both sell for $10 and are available in green, red or black.

For more information, contact Kenneth Harwick, 724 7th Ave., Madison, MN 56256, 320/598-3268. See more Inventors Congress items and other new farm products at

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