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Self Aligning 3-Pt. Hitch
There are other quick coupling 3-pt. hitches on the market, but likely none faster or that self aligns like Bill Alexander's. The twin plate, Delta Hook Rapid Hitch System is so well designed that Deere tried to copy it. Fortunately the registered mechanical engineer had it so well protected with patent claims that Deere stopped selling them almost immediately. He has one of the few Deere made still sitting in his shop.
"Deere engineers looked at mine and talked about using it on their small tractors."
He told them to try it out and the initial response was positive. But later Alexander was told the company had changed its mind and that his sample unit had been misplaced. Some time later, his Deere dealer called to say a hitch in a piece of company literature looked like his.
"I told him to order one, and he did," says Alexander. "It was self aligning like mine, but it was lighter and wouldn't have held up."
The hitch was dropped soon after. When Alexander called his initial Deere contact, he was told the company's patent attorney had told them to leave it alone. Alexander's patent was too well done.
"You need to have a good patent attorney," says Alexander. "Mine had done 41 other patents for me, and this one had sailed through quickest of all with all 29 claims approved."
What the claims described was a control plate that mounts to the tractor's 3-pt. hitch. A receiver plate attaches to the implement. The triangular design allows the operator to back into position and slide the control plate up and into the receiver plate, regardless how out of alignment the two are.
Once in place the control plate locks to the receiver plate. A simple cable release allows the operator to release the latch quickly to disconnect from the implement. The entire process is fast and easy, says Alexander.
"We set up three implements with receiver plates and a tractor with a control plate," describes the engineer. "The driver hooked up to one, dropped it, hooked up to the second and then dropped it and hooked up to the third, all within 21 seconds. He was fast, but most people can hook up to an implement in 15 seconds or less."
Alexander's hitch is marketed for Category I and Category II hitches. Receiver and control plates can be purchased separately or in a package of two receiver plates and one control plate. Category I plates are priced at $370 each or a package price of $999. Category II plates are priced at $485 or a package price of $1,399.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Alexander Equipment Co., LLC, P.O. Box 694, Greenville, S.C. 29602 (ph 864 232-2448 or toll free 866 833-1160; fax 864 233-5140; sales@deltahook.com; www.deltahook.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2