Decades of Innovation
Skip-Line is the leading manufacturer of electronic controls for long-line (large) road-marking vehicles in North America. Our founder, 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. 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. The crew was ecstatic. 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 1976, and the first employees began production in Shinsel’s basement
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.
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.
The SM-5 line remained the flagship product for Skip-Line until late 2015, when the SC-12 Control System became the heart of our new product lines. The SC-12 is the result of decades of industry experience and years of product testing. In addition to the full adoption of the SC-12, Skip-Line released the MST-14 Mini Skip Timer in 2015. The MST-14 is a standalone road-marking controller for small vehicles. With the same code base as its long-line counterpart, costly feature sets are interchangeable. The MST-14 has potential to be used on striping vehicles ranging in size from passenger trucks to push-behind carts, which broadly expanded our market opportunities. Skip-Line also offers video guidance, data logging, and reporting solutions for use in conjunction with the SC-12 and MST-14 product lines.
In January of 2020, Skip-Line merged with Spec-Rite Systems, a data technology company pioneering airfield marking management. With Skip-Line hardware and Spec-Rite data management, the two companies have come together to make a single vision possible – to make pavement markings smarter and safer. Spec-Rite Online is the backbone of a new data technology platform that will connect the world.