Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Moose Lake resident creates the "Cargo Slide"

 

Lois Johnson

Carey Homer stands with her invention, the Cargo Slide.

A frustrating feature for pickup truck owners is having to crawl on hands and knees to the front of the truck bed to retrieve an item. The Cargo Slide is the answer.

"We always had a truck," said Carey Homer of Moose Lake. "I used to refinish furniture. I got tired of dragging furniture across the truck bed. That wasn't good for me or for the furniture."

Homer set out to find a solution.

"I constructed a slide out of wood but the wood didn't slide very well and it was heavy," she said in a recent interview. "I wanted something made of plastic and something that would be removable."

Homer had seen other glides for the backs of trucks but those were professionally installed, not removable and very expensive.

"I wanted something that was removable and didn't cost several thousand dollars," she said.

Homer started working on a prototype.

"It took me forever to develop something that didn't cost me a quarter of a million dollars," she said. "And then I found Stern Industries in Brainerd that did roto-molding.

"They said that I needed to have a tool made and sent me to FabFour just down the road. I went in, told them the size that I wanted and that I needed something that was extremely durable."

Fabfour created a mold for the Cargo Slide, and Stern Industries picked it up to use in creating the Cargo Slides.

She explained that both sides of the tool are bolted together and resin poured into it. The tool is attached to a grid that turns it in different directions to spread the resin throughout.

After it is completed, the tool is removed and out comes a Cargo Slide.

Homer is extremely pleased with the product that she has designed. Four molded handle grips are designed for two people to transport or carry bulky items and the large surface area distributes the weight and makes heavier items easier to carry. The 48-inch width fits between the wheel wells of a pickup bed to guide the Cargo Slide, and the 32-inch depth fits through a door frame. Adjustable ropes hook to the tie-down rings closest to the tailgate for accessibility and controls the length and desired distance according to how much of a truck bed is needed. Ridges on the bottom of the slide reduce the surface area in contact with the truck bed or ground to make it easier to slide.

The slide can be removed, set up on two sawhorses and used as a worktable, or set on the ground, loaded with gear, and slid to another site on the ground, snow or ice.

Photos and videos on The Cargo Slide website show the slide being used for groceries in the truck, for moving fishing gear across snow and ice to a favorite ice fishing spot, or being used as a table for repotting plants, and then using the slide on the ground to bring the plants to another location.

Homer also went through the lengthy process of obtaining a patent on her design.

"That took a couple of years," she said. "The USTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) doesn't review your application for the first 12 months because many applications are abandoned during that time."

She persevered and obtained the patent.

Now that the product is available, Homer is working on distribution.

"I just listed it on Amazon," she said. "I've developed a web page and I have a tag line, 'Gotta truck? Gotta have one.' A user's manual has been printed that shows the ways to use it to make it more efficient."

Meanwhile, Homer and her husband, Alan, have been using the Cargo Slide themselves and finding it solving problems that had plagued them in the past.

"We brought a heavy motorized recliner into the house on the Cargo Slide," she said. "The handles on the sides allow two people to carry much more weight. And it is super strong."

Homer has brought the Cargo Slide to sports shows. One man was riding a motorized scooter. She asked him to drive the scooter onto the Cargo Slide.

The wheels of the scooter easily rolled over the raised side of the Cargo Slide and fit into the flat surface perfectly.

"It would be easy for two people to pick that up and load it into a truck," Homer said. "That would be great for those people who like to go to events and outings that require a lot of walking."

The Cargo Slide is also great for camping. Photos on the website show it being used as a worktable, for storing campfire wood under the camper or in the storage spaces in an RV.

"Many of those storage compartments go from one side of the RV to the other," said Homer. "How is one supposed to get something from the middle? The Cargo Slide is the answer. It will fit in those spaces."

When traveling with pets, two dog kennels fit on the Cargo Slide. Homer showed a photo of a Cargo Slide lying flat on the floor behind the front seat of a crew cab pickup when the back seats were folded up.

"You can clean fish on it or quarter a deer on it," she said. "It is Minnesota Strong and Military Tough."

The Homers know the meaning of military tough. Both are navy veterans who served in the SeeBees (construction battalion).

Homer is offering a July special, starting on Monday, July 15. Watch for the ad in the Evergreen shopper.

The Cargo Slide can be purchased in Moose Lake at Tony Stewart Motors, 730 Arrowhead Lane, or at the Sandstone NAPA store.

For more information, visit the website at thecargoslide.com, send an email to thecargoslide@gmail.com or call 218-565-2019.

 

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