South Dakota Patent of the Month – April 2023

The farming industry has been using guidance systems to control trailers and various trailing implements for years. However these have either been ineffective or overly complex. Copperhead Planter Products LLC has designed a new guidance module that simplifies the guidance process without compromising on accuracy. The guidance module is easily adaptable to various tractor hitch and implement configurations, making it more convenient for farmers to operate.

Copperhead’s implement guidance module includes adapters for connection to a variety of implement hitch systems, including drawbar hitches and two-point hitches, ensuring compatibility with various farming implements. The guidance module includes a main frame mounted between the towing vehicle or tractor and the implement. The module’s core has a pivot mount with an implement mounting plate that pivots relative to the mainframe about a vertical pivot axis. Hydraulic fluid-powered cylinders are used to control the pivoting action of the pivot mount, ultimately helping steer or guide the implement.

A vehicle adapter and implement adapter ensure the system can readily accommodate both various hitch mounts and plates.

One unique feature of the implement guidance module is the free pivoting action between the tractor and the implement that occurs at the point of the vehicle adapter. Pivoting action of the implement relative to the implement adapter is prevented, except for any pivoting motion that is originated through the action of the fluid power cylinders acting on the implement adapter plate area under the control of the control system.

Farmers can also appreciate the implement guidance module’s adaptability as the vehicle hitch changes from a drawbar hitch to a two-point hitch. The implement attachment defines a vertical pivot axis and includes stabilizer bars for providing a non-pivoting attachment between the implement hitch mount and the implement adapter plate. When the vehicle hitch is a drawbar hitch, the implement attachment provides a non-pivoting attachment between the implement hitch mount and the implement adapter plate.

Copperhead was founded in 2008 in South Dakota when the two founders realized crop yields could be dramatically and consistently improved by innovations in the way seeds are planted. Thus began their mission to develop new products that would allow farmers to manage and enhance their planting in unprecedented ways. They are committed to quality, innovation, and American engineering and manufacturing. 

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