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Simple Solution to Hooking Up Wagons

Simple Solution to Hooking Up Wagons
Save time and frustration with simple winch innovation

Behind the 24-row planter on the farmer's rig I checked out last week was a long cart equipped with two fertilizer tanks. He also had a smaller tank on the planter. All three could hold starter fertilizer. In this case it also contained zinc, and was delivered in the seed trench.

The planter with trailing wagon made a long train through the field. One simple problem was obvious. When he needed to hook up or unhook the wagon that contained the fertilizer tanks, how could he get close enough to the hitch on the back of the planter without multiple trips out of the cab to see how close he was to the hitch?

Hook up the wagon! The farmer slides out the tongue to hitch to the wagon, then relies on the winch to help pull the tongue back into place.

The tractor cab was equipped with a camera focused on the wagon so he knew how it was trailing. That might help him judge distance and get close, but he came up with another, more effective answer.

The farmer added a winch on the planter's hitch where it hooked to the trailing wagon. Here's how it worked.

If he was hooking up, he would back up until he thought he was close to the hitch. The hitch to the wagon was rigid and didn't have play in it, so he had to be exactly at the hitch point to make the connection.

Next, he went back and opened up a slide-out tongue on the back of the planter, and dropped in the hitch pin to secure the wagon. Then he turned on the winch and let it do the work. The slide-out hitch would lock in place and he was in business again.

It may seem like a small innovation, but it's a time-saver, and in a season with few working days, every minute counts.

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