TEAM Industries announced that it has been issued U.S. Patent No. 8,019,515, titled, "IMPLEMENT CONTROL SYSTEM FOR AN ALL TERRAIN OR UTILITY VEHICLE AND METHOD." This patent, issued just two months after the last, raises TEAM Industries' patent portfolio to 12 issued patents.
The newest patent and technology relates to TEAM's SmartPlow System, which automatically raises and lowers the plow blade on an ATV or UTV when shifting between forward and reverse. The patent also covers any other type of implement that can be attached to an ATV or UTV that is raised and lowered with an electric winch.
"It's almost like having a second set of hands," said Mark Schiffner, GM of the TEAM Industries Aftermarket Division. "Anyone who has ever plowed snow with an ATV or UTV knows what a hassle it is to have to constantly stop and manually adjust the plow height every time you switch between forward and reverse. With the SmartPlow System, you simply set the plow to the desired plowing height and let the SmartPlow System handle the plow -- all you have to do is drive."
The SmartPlow System controller interfaces with a vehicle's gear selector electronics and electric winch. While plowing, if the operator shifts into reverse, the controller activates the winch and raises the plow to its pre-determined height. The action is reversed once the operator shifts into a forward gear. This automation speeds the plowing process, making it less of a chore, and also reduces the risk of damage to winches and cables caused by operator error.