New device saves money for truckers and fleets

Rapid prototyping helped us develop a better tool for Slack Dog Tools.  Sometimes we find ourselves developing products to solve problems that we did not know existed.

Trailers have electrical connectors that connect the lights on the trailer to the truck hauling it. Commercial trucks use a universal 7-pin socket connector for this purpose.  The spring-loaded door that covers this connector on the truck also has a retaining tab built into it that holds the electrical plug in place.  It is a simple design, and it works well most of the time.

The rhythmic movements, excess dirt, and vibrations of normal use eventually cause the electrical plug to become loose. Eventually it becomes difficult to reconnect the electrical plug for the trailer.  Truck drivers usually resort to sticking a screw driver into the socket to straighten the pins, and the rest is a nightmare for fleet managers.  Broken pins, severely bent pins, and blown fuses are the results of this traditional method of on-the-spot repair.  What is a common and inexpensive repair at a maintenance shop now can lead to an expensive ticket, late delivery, or worse, a serious safety issue that leads to an accident.  None of these scenarios is good for a trucking company.

In comes Slack Dog Tools and their new tool, the Pin Separator Tool.  Using this newly developed tool, the truck driver can press the tool into the connector and straighten all of the pins at once without any damage to the pins or connector.  The process is easy and fast- which also means it is also more likely to get done.

Pin Separator Tool

Image of the pin separator tool website.

Early prototypes were printed on our Objet printer in VeroGray and readied for testing.  When the client had sufficiently tested the tool, we set up the manufacturing for full production.  The finished tool is made from high-impact ABS plastic.   For more information about the tool, please visit our client’s website.

Contact us to learn more: or +1.904.646.5666