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Pride Solutions Helps Minimizer Manufacture UHMW Poly SlickPlate Alternative for Fifth Wheels

Updated: May 2

Greasing a fifth wheel plate on a heavy truck is a nasty, dirty job.

When Minimizer discovered a self-lubricating UHMW poly alternative to greasing the fifth wheel plate developed by Pride Solutions of Hutchinson, Minnesota, the Blooming Prairie, Minnesota manufacturer immediately recognized a huge new product opportunity. Minimizer is an aftermarket supplier to the heavy truck industry founded in 1984 that provides innovative solutions for truck drivers. Minimizer partnered with Pride Solutions in 2015 to custom fabricate its revolutionary new UHMW poly SlickPlate for fifth wheels, a product sold to truck drivers, farmers, RV owners and others across North America.

Minimizer Slick Plate
The Minimizer Slick Plate has eliminated the need to grease heavy truck fifth wheel plates. Manufactured from virgin UHMW-PE, Slick Plate provides a slick self-lubricating polymer plate that reduces downtime, eliminates messy grease, and protects fifth wheel plates from the elements, extending their life. Courtesy Minimizer

The benefits of switching to SlickPlate quickly became apparent to truck drivers, who overcame some initial hesitation to drilling holes in their fifth wheel plate after they realized what SlickPlate could do for them, says Luke Swenson, Minimizer materials manager. SlickPlates not only eliminate the need to grease the fifth wheel plate, they also protect all critical areas from wear and tear and the elements without compromising the surface of the fifth wheel plate.

“I believe the direction this product is headed is SlickPlate covered fifth wheel plates will become more common than traditionally greased fifth wheel plates,” Swenson predicts.

Minimizer now offers Slick Plates for all major fifth wheel brands, including Holland, Fontaine, Jost, Simplex, ASF, Reese, and Robin Industries. It also offers a SlickPlate that fits most RV fifth wheels.

Minimizer has been solving problems for truckers since Dick Kruckeberg launched the business more than 30 years ago. Its first product was a poly fender Dick developed after he had had enough with the metal fenders cracking and denting on his semi truck. His inspiration came after his wife backed over their plastic garbage can.

Propelled to the top of its game through its commitment to the customer experience, quality products and marketing muscle, Minimizer has grown to a nationally recognized company that offers a variety of parts for both the exterior and interior for heavy trucks including Floor Mats, poly fenders, toolboxes, mud flaps, SlickPlates, seats, and mattresses.

Pride Solutions is Minimizer’s exclusive SlickPlate manufacturer, and also sells and distributes SlickPlates through its May Wes Manufacturing division, which manufactures aftermarket poly agricultural parts sold to farmers around the world. The plastic fabricator makes over 20 models of SlickPlates by first cutting them to shape from ¼” UHMW-PE sheets on a CNC router, then line bending them.

“We manufacture Minimizer SlickPlates from 100% virgin UHMW poly,” says Eddy Plowman, Pride Solutions sales manager. “Virgin UHMW is not going to crack. It is one of the slickest, most durable and wear resistant polymers available. It is the perfect fit for fifth wheel applications because it can stand up to harsh environments and extreme temperature changes. They make armor plating out of UHMW. It’s that tough.”

cutting UHMW on CNC router
Pride Solutions cuts more than 20 models of SlickPlates on a CNC router.

bending UHMW on press brake
The SlickPlates are then line bent into shape.

Plowman proudly notes that Pride Solutions recycles all of the UHMW drops from the SlickPlate manufacturing process.

Swenson says the partnership between the two Minnesota manufacturers has been a natural fit.

“Pride Solutions had great knowledge to get our Slick Product line started and we had the channels to get this great product to the end-users that need them,” Swenson notes.

The SlickPlate product has been well received by truck drivers, who don’t miss their grease guns one bit.

“Awesome product,” says Jamie Hagen of Hell Bent Xpress LLC in a Minimizer video. “I don’t have to worry about greasing my fifth wheel anymore. It’s a non-issue. I just hook up. That’s it.”

In addition to saving time and eliminating messy grease, truckers also save money over time with the installation of a SlickPlate.

In addition to SlickPlates, Pride Solutions has earned additional business from Minimizer fabricating UHMW-PE spacers for Minimizer’s toolbox assemblies.

“We have been using a UHMW-PE spacer in our toolbox assembly for years,” Swenson notes. “The local shop that was producing them for us was doing a good job, but they did not handle much for this type of material, making for longer lead times and higher material costs than were ideal. Knowing that the folks at Pride Solutions were experts in UHMW-PE forming and fabrication, I asked Eddy to quote and sample this part. The samples came in and looked great and cost was more in the range we were looking for.”

Swenson says Minimizer has been very happy with Pride Solutions.

“Overall I have been satisfied with the level of service and quality,” he notes. “Any issues that have come up have been resolved quickly. I would recommend working with Pride Solutions. They have a high quality product as well as customer service.”

SlickPlates are available through Minimizer’s dealer network. Contact Minimizer to find a dealer near you. SlickPlate kits come complete with all hardware necessary to install them, and install in minutes with minimal tools.

Find Out More

Minimizer Blooming Prairie, Minnesota 1-888-684-7699

Pride Solutions LLC Hutchinson, Minnesota 320-587-0760

May Wes Manufacturing Hutchinson, Minnesota 1-800-788-6483

About Minimizer Minimizer manufactures its products in the heart of the USA. Minimizer is the aftermarket solution for quality and dependable truck parts, including everything from Poly Truck Fenders, Toolboxes, Custom-Molded Floor Mats, Mud Flaps, Truck Maintenance Products and other accessories. Minimizer uses durable materials and robotic production technology to create the toughest products in the toughest industry. It also puts its reputation on the line by offering the industry’s longest guarantee.

About Pride Solutions Located in Hutchinson, Minnesota, Pride Solutions LLC is a plastics manufacturer specializing in Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE) material. Pride Solutions was founded by the Daggett Companies in 2002, and includes four collaborative divisions headquartered in a 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility: May Wes, a leading supplier of UHMW poly agricultural components; C&A Pro performance snowmobile skis; Pride Engineered Plastics, a contract manufacturer specializing in UHMW-PE material; and Pride Assembly, a turnkey supplier of custom electro-mechanical assembly services.

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