All good businesses spring from a good idea. A lot of people have good ideas but do not possess the skill to manufacture an end-product. Many people are motivated but do not have the imagination to be original.
What happens when you have all of these skills and mix them with a little bravery? Ideas come to life, and that is how Wilson Engineering developed.
Contractors are very busy during this time of year. You can hear fields being mowed and bales being made all hours of the day and night.
Understanding how laborious drawing round bales can be, Adam Wilson and his cousin Gordon Warren conceived the idea of carrying multiple bales as efficiently and quickly as possible and decided to create large bale transporters.
Gordon helped during the design stage and worked with Adam to get started, but Adam has taken the idea and grown a multi-national business from his home in Co. Laois.
The 28-year-old grew up on a suckler farm but always had a keen interested in engineering. He would constantly take notice of machinery that in use on the farm and would often look for ways to make things more efficient.
Adam considered the market and looked at products that were already available and discovered that there was huge room for improvement in bale handling technology.
He saw that the build quality and manufacturing style could be greatly enhanced – “that was the biggest push for me to start making bale transporters” said Adam.
The Laois man has had no formal training as an engineer, but he was a good welder and was used to working with machinery. He decided that he would construct a bale handler and unveil it at the 2014 National Ploughing Championships.
Incredibly, Adam achieved his goal and constructed his first bale handler in time for the championships. Like many things, business got off to a slow start. It wasn’t until the following spring that Martin Hurley from Kinsale bought the 10-bale carrier.
“Our original concept was based on a conventional trailer with a conventional chassis, and to build everything on to it after that” explained Adam. “It was done like that in order to leave options down the road”.
The options that he wanted to leave open was an expansion into components such as steering axel’s, drum-draw bars and options for use at 50kph and higher speeds.
It is Adam’s wish that everything is made to the highest standard possible. “Everything has to be high-spec” he reiterated.
Shortly after Mr Hurley returned to Cork, Adam received five orders from people who had witnessed the transporter in action. “None of them had seen it working in the yard, they were all ordered off-plan” enthused the young entrepreneur.
Since his first sale, business has been growing steadily for Wilson Engineering, but it was 2016 when Irish farmers really became interested in the machine.
Now, there are Wilson bale transporters across the globe, the first export travelled to Switzerland in 2017.
By 2018, the trailers could be found in Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Austria and the UK.
Adam now employs five staff who work with him making different models of transporter. “The smallest trailer is a 6-bale single axel, then we have an 8-bale single axel. Our best seller is the 10-bale trailer and last year we started doing 12-bale”.
The Laois man started out working in his parents Alfred and Francis’ yard, where Alfred would sometimes come to help.
“I’m very lucky the way things have gone, every dealer with the exception of one has approached me, the trailer speaks for itself” said Adam, who hasn’t encountered many difficulties from the outset.
“The concept of the multi-bale handler isn’t out there in mainland Europe, any shows that I’ve seen or brought the trailer to, nobody has seen anything like it, which is great,” he said.
With dealers across Europe secured, he is interested in entering the New Zealand market.
How it works
The idea is simple, two cages come down on either side of the trailer and you ‘scoop’ the bales into it, making sure that there is an even weight on either side.
When the cages on the side are full, they fold-up and the transporter is loaded. It takes under three minutes to load the trailer and less than a minute to unload.
Wilson engineering is rapidly becoming a big name in the contracting world and with Adam at the helm, it won’t be long before there’s one in every farm in the country.
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