There’s no guessing where to stop to unload a trailer or gravity box of grain into a pit or auger if you’re using the “Pit Stop”. A bright 42 LED light on a tripod turns on when it’s perfectly lined up. With a 12-volt battery to power the light and retroreflective sensor, the portable setup can be moved anywhere it’s needed.
The Pit Stop is the brainchild of Dewey VanDerPol, a retired master electrician with experience working at grain elevators and fertilizer plants. During harvest, he operates grain carts for farmers, and he often ended up waiting for empty trucks to return.
“Some farmers have up to eight semitrucks and not enough drivers. The trailers are different sizes with different wheelbases,” he says. That makes it hard to know exactly where to stop to unload, and it wastes time as drivers are directed to back up or go ahead, or if they are alone, get in and out of the truck multiple times.
With his experience and encouragement from his wife, he invented and makes The Pit Stop, which is easy for producers to set up.
First, park the truck exactly where it needs to unload. Set up the tripod about 6 ft. from the front of the trailer so the driver can see it. Add a strip of reflective tape to the trailer and activate it with the weatherproof sensor. Drive the truck ahead so the rear hopper is lined up and repeat.
Once set up, drivers stop when the light turns on indicating they are in the right position.
“It saves a lot of time,” VanDerPol says. “I have three farmers that have gravity boxes, and they use The Pit Stop to help line up wagons. Also, a farmer uses it for unloading silage wagons.”
The Minnesota inventor has been selling them for the past three years and had good response at events such as Big Iron in Fargo and Farmfest in Minnesota.
“I sold them for $345 at Big Iron and my stock was pretty depleted,” he notes, adding prices may go up if the part costs go up. The most expensive part is the industrial-grade sensor.
The tripods come in black, red and green, and this winter VanDerPol is working on modifying the tripod so it can be packed in a shorter box to make shipping more feasible.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Pit Stop Dewey LLC, Montevideo, Minn. (ph 320-226-6193; email@example.com).