K-State student invents new version of a hitch pin

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 3:42 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - An Agribusiness major at Kansas State University is utilizing his entrepreneurship minor to sell a safe and convenient tool for farmers.

The Quick Pin Hitch Pin was created by Blake Chance, a junior at K-State created the invention that got him third place at a competition at school. The tool is meant to simplify leaving behind equipment that could be difficult with older hitch pins.

He’s starting to see success, but the tool is meant for safety.

“Just this year, we’ve already had 3 baler fires in Jackson County. The tractors didn’t catch on fire but I’ve seen online, a couple already that have burnt up,” said Chance. “If you’re by yourself, sometimes it’s a pain to get it out, you got to beat it out with a hammer or something. Just kind of, it helps make things easier sometimes.”

He said the hitch pin has a top sleeve held by a locking pin. The top sleeve is able to come apart by removing the locking pin, leaving just the shaft in the hitch, so that when the pressure is released the shaft will fall down through the hitch.

“You have that chance of your tractor catching on fire too and you don’t want to lose two machines in a day. One’s bad enough, but two would be really bad.”

The idea started from a business plan for his entrepreneurship class. He went on to get third place at the K-State launch entrepreneurial idea competition, where he used the money to get a patent pending on it.

Chance has filed for a real patent since, but he won’t hear back for about two years.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing selling his product though with struggles getting a company to make them and when COVID-19 hit, he lost a chance to show it off.

“Honestly right after that competition, for like six months I couldn’t find anybody to make them for me and I just thought it was dead in the water,” said Chance. “Not being able to go to my farm show, it got cancelled. I was supposed to go down to Pittsburg and just stuff like that, so social media is what I’ve been hitting heavy.”

So far, he has sold more than 400 in three different sizes -- three-quarters, seven-eighths, and an inch and an eighth.

One of his “Tik Tok” videos has more than 131,000 views. He’s sold around 20-30 off of his account alone.

He’s proud of where’s from and he’s hoping to see continued success moving forward.

“Some guys tell me ‘Made in America’ is not important but farmers are the main people who like ‘Made in America’ and it’s important to me.”

In the time being, he is working with Industrial Chrome in Topeka to make more of his hitch pins. They range from 28-to-31 dollars.

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