Industry: Rural Services
Customer: Post Straightener Pty Ltd
When Daryl Irving started straightening steel fence posts under the tie rail of his ute while repairing rural fences, he had no idea it would lead to starting his own mobile post straightening business and turn him into a bona fide inventor. But after “ripping his hands to bits” and getting sore shoulders from hours of straightening bent fence posts the hard way, he started sketching up a design for a machine to make his work easier.
Fast forward eight years and Irving now owns and runs Post Straightener, a mobile business that sees him traverse the country straightening bent fence posts using his own patented machine. In just two and a half years he has visited 320 farms and straightened around 250,000 posts.
Enter Leussink Engineering
In constructing his first post straightening machine, Irving sought the help of Leussink Engineering, initially to supply the rollers for this patented machine. Today, Leussink and Irving are full-blown business partners in a spinoff business making post straightening machines.
“I originally found Leussink Engineering because a friend of mine works there,” Irving explained. “He suggested they could help with the rollers for the first version of my invention. It wasn’t until I started to build my second machine that I visited Leussink’s workshop to pick up the rollers, and my perspective changed.
“Leussink’s Special Projects Manager Ray Leussink asked lots of questions and I showed him a video of the work I was doing. The first thing he told me was that I was giving away too much of my intellectual property on Facebook. But he obviously saw the potential; he liked the idea so much that he invested in a new company that now manufactures post straightening machines.”
Re-engineering an agricultural machine
The engineering team at Leussink pulled Irving’s original “agricultural” machine apart in order to analyse it and re-engineered it to a higher standard. To achieve this, Leussink used the Demmeler modular table system to increase the machine’s level of accuracy, making it squarer and truer in order for it to be able to run more efficiently. Leussink’s Special Projects Manager, Ray Leussink, could immediately see the potential to take Irving’s post straightener invention to the next level.
“After just 18 months we’re up to version four of the machine, although essentially it’s the same machine with some tweaks to make it better,” said Leussink. “As we’ve worked through the production process, we’ve made minor changes that have been suggested by our production people, by customers, by our engineers, and by Daryl.
“The number of machine sales has exceeded all our expectations so far. We’re already starting to look at potential export markets like the US, where they have a different style of post. So, there’s more R&D work to be done. “It’s very satisfying to be provided a product that can help farmers save money in times of drought, and it’s great for sustainability,” added Leussink.
Irving now divides his time between travelling around Australia straightening fence posts in his mobile business and promoting the sale of machines at agricultural field days.
A long-term business relationship
Daryl’s long-term plan is to develop the machine sale side of the business so it becomes his full-time role. By then, he will have sold enough machines to other people who can offer the mobile service that he currently runs.
“Without Leussink’s engineering expertise I would not have developed the machine for sale,” Irving explained. “Their involvement has taken my business to the next level. I speak with Ray Leussink about three to four times per week and we meet around the boardroom table every quarter.”
The Leussink team also helped Irving to appreciate the critical need for quality parts, including a more reliable engine, to improve the longevity of his invention.
Leussink Engineering provides design, bespoke engineering and modular fixturing solutions that help revolutionise workshops and production facilities around Australia. For more information on how a Leussink solution can work for your business, call us on 02 4260 7777 or send us an enquiry today.