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At first glance, you might think the Tow Tender is simply a regular gravity-box system. But if you take a closer look, you'll realize it has distinct features not offered on other machines.
“Farmers have a difficult time understanding our product for several reasons,” says Burton Lavens, CAL Manufacturing, Inc. “First, they don't notice the difference between a conventional gravity wagon and ours. Second, when they do stop and look at it, they think it's just a winch system that pulls the tender forward and nothing more.”
He says farmers fail to see the automatic braking system that is operated through the remote control when filling the planter.
“This automatically applies the electric brakes every time the remote is in the off position, allowing a safety factor as well as the ability to fill a planter on a downhill grade without fear of the tender rolling forward uncontrolled,” he says.
Those aren't the only misconceptions. “People also miss the fact that there is a system lockout for road travel that locks the braking system out after filling the planter,” explains Lavens. “The Tow Tender can also be used with the customer's truck-mounted brake controller for road travel braking from the tender.”
Another overlooked feature is how the tender is pulled toward the tow vehicle and how it allows for easy recoupling of the tender thanks to the cable running through the eyelet on the tongue.
“This feature guides the tender back to the truck if it isn't perfectly straight with the tender,” he notes.
Main selling point
Why move the tow vehicle when you can move the Tow Tender?
“Using this main selling point allows us to explain the disadvantages of current tenders and tell potential customers that we have the easiest conventional box planter seed tender on the market,” says Lavens.
It's a selling point that has Illinois farmer Andy Gehm convinced. “I've used the Tow Tender for two planting seasons,” he says. “The first season I tested a prototype and provided feedback.” He liked it so much, he ended up buying one.
For Gehm the main benefit is how it simplifies filling the planter. In the past, he either had to have another person operate the wagon or he had to stop and move it himself. “I like how effortless the system is and the lack of physical labor it requires to operate,” he says.
Taking orders now
The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $17,250, which includes a 225-bushel box and extensions, split box design with two doors, SRT2 manual tarp, CAL-brand hydraulic power unit, Ramsey winch with remote, 12-foot poly flight auger with cleanout and reverse auger direction, 4-foot flexible downspout, extendable tongue for easy truck hookup, automatic electric brakes (when filling planter), and truck brake control prewired whip ready to use.
CAL Manufacturing, Inc.
815/712-1708 | calmanufacturing.com