Decades of Innovation
Skip-Line’s founder and president Vic Shinsel designed the first electronic controller for road marking in 1969 after witnessing the La Grande, Oregon Department of Transportation road-marking crew attempting to mechanically change a skipping pattern (found in the center of roads signaling passing is allowed). A crewmember was under the vehicle and using hand tools to adjust a cam and pulley system in an attempt to alter the length of the skip and the cycle. Vic, an inventor by hobby, asked the crew if they would like a switch box with dials to alter the pattern and turn on the guns. They eagerly responded in the affirmative. Once other ODOT crews heard about this “skip timer” invention, they begged Shinsel to make more. Washington and Idaho requested the product, and Shinsel soon realized the potential of the device. Skip-Line was incorporated in the 70’s, and the first employees began production in Shinsel’s basement
In 1995, Skip-Line released a road-marking control system built on a hardware platform that was highly customizable. This system, called the SM-5, generally consists of a switch box for each side of the long-line vehicle, and an output box that synchronizes communication between the switch boxes and connects to all of the external devices. This product quickly became the industry standard for road-marking controls and helped Skip-Line acquire the vast majority of market share for road-marking controllers in North America. Skip-Line products are found in every American state and Canadian province. Although we have not targeted international markets, our product can be found on every populated continent.
A change in the road-marking industry occurred in the late 80’s through early 2000’s. Instead of local Department of Transportation crews and contractors building their own road-marking vehicles, several vehicle manufacturers appeared and began designing and selling road-marking equipment. Starting with an industrial vehicle chassis, these manufacturers convert these chassis into custom road-marking vehicles for state crews and contractors. Skip-Line began selling more SM-5 systems to these vehicle manufacturers than directly to end users.
The SM-5 line remained the flagship product for Skip-Line until late 2015. A new, superior platform has replaced the SM-5 as the industry choice for long-line electronic controls.
The SC-12 Control System is the heart of our new product lines. It is the replacement for the SM-5 on long-line road marking vehicles. The SC-12 is the result of decades of industry experience and years of product testing.