Business Farming

Thursday 21 August 2014

'Fool-proof' hitch gave Pat McCormack his big break

Darragh McCullough

Published 04/06/2014 | 02:30

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Pat McCormack points out the safety catch on the Quick Link system that he claims quadruples productivity when attaching and detaching from machines

"We just tried to create something that was fool-proof so that any eejit could use it."

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This was Pat McCormack's guiding philosophy when developing the Dromone push-back hitch that has now become standard on many of the biggest tractor brands in the world.

"There's no point manufacturing something with a whole list of 'do not dos'. You want something that a fellow can do what he wants with," said Mr McCormack at the plant that he started nearly 40 years ago.

"We were asked to develop a swing hitch, but I instinctively knew that it wouldn't work because of the amount of moving parts and the difficulty of servicing it.

"That's what we call the difference between city engineering and ag engineering – you've got to think things through from the farmer's perspective," he adds.

Instead, Mr Cormack set about developing a push-back hitch that allows tractor drivers to see where their hitch is when picking up implements.

It also coincided with tractor manufacturers' goal of positioning the cab further forward to increase driver comfort.

Mr McCormack acknowledges that the company went through a number of "speed wobbles" in the 1980s, 1990s and most recently in 2009 when the recession stopped a lot of their construction business.

But he believes that the future for the company is now stronger than ever, and is currently promoting the firm's latest innovation – the quick-link system.

"It's amazing the amount of developments that we've seen in attachment systems for loaders at the front-end of tractors, but 80pc of the work that tractors do is at the back end, where the same three point linkage system has been in place for over half a century," he said.

Mr McCormack claims that he can couple five machines with the quick-link coupling in the same time that it would take him to attach and detach one machine with the traditional three-point linkage.

The cost of the attachment for one quick-link coupling, adaptable to any machine, is €750 plus VAT.

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