At Parker, we love a breakthrough product story. But innovation doesn’t always mean reinventing the wheel. Or the multi-coupler.
In the case of Parker’s Sub-Compact Tractor Multi-Coupler, the innovation was in taking a proven product for large commercial tractors and adapting it for use in a whole new market segment.
In smaller tractors, connecting and disconnecting multiple hydraulic lines was a pain point. Equipment operators faced increased risk of downtime, safety issues and oil leaks every time they needed to add or remove implements such as rakes, plows or loader buckets.
Engineering manager Paul LeMay at the Quick Coupling Division in Minneapolis anticipated the potential for innovation and saw Parker’s relationship with a long-time customer as an opportunity to collaborate on a solution.
While the customer visited the plant to look at the high-end multi-couplings Parker had engineered for commercial farming applications. The team quickly recognized that a downsized version would create value for operators of smaller equipment, and the Sub-Compact Tractor Multi-Coupler was born.
“Equipment operators should be able to use these machines without having to invest the time into understanding hydraulic circuits and the intricacies of how it all works,” explains LeMay. “A multi-coupling enables the person to simply plug it in, operate a single lever and they’re done.”
Not only is the multi-coupler more streamlined and efficient, it also offers a clean connection, which means no leaks or spills. This way, Parker is helping operators minimize their environmental footprint by preventing leakage and increasing efficiency.
“When we custom engineer a product for a customer, that product has to work right every time,” explains LeMay. “So when we’re working with an OEM they trust that Parker can deliver premium quality and we understand the systems and we have the structure in place to do that.”
A simple modification. A cleaner connection. A better tomorrow. Sometimes, leading with purpose is about knowing when to repurpose. And the Sub-Compact Tractor Multi-Coupler is a great example of how Parker can repurpose its knowledge and expertise to solve new and complex customer challenges.