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Electric tailgate control for trucks

Tired of leaning over a running auger and getting a face full of dust to open and close the grain chute on a truck endgate? If so, Lakeshore Manufacturing has the answer. That small Saskatchewan company builds the Chute Max, which will convert the grain gate on the back of your truck to electric control. Once the Chute Max kit is installed on your truck, just stand back with the remote control and watch it work.

Chute Max is available in two models, standard and heavy duty. Deciding which one best suits your needs depends on how much force it takes to open and close the grain chute on your truck.

“It depends on the application,” says Shaun Gelsinger, owner of Lakeshore Manufacturing, which builds the Chute Max. “The standard chute is typically what we sell. It has a 660 pound push-pull actuator. That will mount on a fairly new box, something that has got an easy-sliding end gate. The heavy-duty is basically meant for the older three tons that have a wider, three foot endgate that are rusty and a real struggle to pull. That’s 1,200 pounds (of push-pull).”

Both systems run off the standard 12-volt electrical systems found on any grain truck, and no modifications are necessary to the electrical system. A typical alternator can easily keep the truck’s battery charged when the Chute Max is in use. “When this is operating, the heavy duty (model) only draws 22 amps at start up and goes down to about 11,” notes Gelsinger. “The little one fires up around 10 and goes down to, like, three and a half. There’s very little power draw.”

The Gelsingers have been manufacturing the Chute Max since 2001. But Shaun says the idea to build Chute Max began about two years prior to that. “About ’99 we were looking around to buy a kit for our own use, but we found them to be quite expensive. So, Pop said let’s try and manufacture our own. And we did.”

Eventually, neighbours and friends saw the design and asked the Gelsingers to build and sell kits to them. “The next thing you know we’re in full-blown manufacturing,” he adds.

Installing a Chute Max on a farm truck will take the average person about three or four hours and require only basic hand tools and a half-inch drill. The kit comes complete with all the necessary hardware and fasteners. Gelsinger recommends connecting the Chute Max’s power source directly to the truck’s battery.

Chute Max is available from a variety of retailers on the Prairies. To find a dealer or contact the company directly, call 306-539-3418. †

About the author

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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