Spy Photos. Sometimes You Lead. Innovation.

These are "spy" photos taken in the field in the late summer of 2003. At the time, I worked for Harbor Truck Bodies and these photos are of an innovation of the gates on a Contractor Body by having them fold-down and stay attached to the truck as opposed to the common method of lifting them out. It was very common for someone to take out a gate to facilitate use of the truck bed, then drive off and leave the gate behind. This innovation solved that problem. It was introduced by Carter Industries in 2003 as standard equipment on their Contractor Body and most of the manufacturers since that time have followed suit and also have fold-down gates as standard equipment.

So, I took these photos and sent them to my company to show them this great new product. It is such a simple design and so very well done in my opinion. It is just a simple hinge, half welded to the body and the other to the gate post. There is a rubber bumper that rest on the side of the flatbed frame so the gate doesn't scratch the body. I loved this design also because if you did want to remove the gate, it was just a matter of sliding the pin out of the hinge portion welded to the body and just as easy to put back in. The gate locks held it securely in place. Most who do this now, it is not that easy to take the gates off. So, I loved the flexibility of having the hinge and being able to remove the gate easily if desired. There are times when the gate is in the way even if it folds down.

Carter Industries was the only one doing this gate system for several months and one by one, the competition began doing their own design. Now, virtually all of them do it. Carter went from being a leader through innovation to creating an industry standard. Pretty cool. Sometimes you lead.

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