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RDO Equipment Co. News - February, 2017

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Dan Wehrs, Rite Way Manufacturing, on the Agriculture Technology Podcast

Dan Wehrs, Rite Way Manufacturing, on the Agriculture Technology Podcast

After his family lost its farm in the 1950s, Dan Wehrs was eager to find his way back into the agriculture industry. By chance, he met Les Hulicsko, founder of Rite Way Manufacturing, and has been with the company ever since.

Wehrs joined host Tony Kramer on the podcast to talk about his role as Global Sales Manager for Rite Way. An ag enthusiast through and through, Wehrs even shared a story of how, if he were a football coach in a small town, he’d still find a way onto the farm fields.

Here are a few of the highlights  from the conversation. Listen to the full episode here.

TK
To start out, I’d like to hear more about you and your background, and how you got involved in this industry.

DW
I was working, selling liner motion components in aerospace. One year I was at the Louisville Farm Show and met the founder of Rite Way who said he could use a guy like me. 7 years later, here I am. I have enjoyed this industry more than any other.

TK
Tell us about Rite Way Manufacturing.

DW
It’s an interesting story. Les Hulicsko founded the company in 1974. He started Rite Way, with the rotary rock picker, then went from there into land rollers and harrows and more. He’s a very innovative guy.

TK
It’s interesting to hear how companies start. Sometimes it’s in a farm shop, sometimes overseas.

Now, I know Rite Way carries a number of products; let’s first talk about land rollers. How many different sizes of land rollers does Rite Way offer?

DW
We have 18-20 different sizes. They’ll start at a 32 foot, or we can make them smaller, then up to 90 feet. We offer in 3-section, 5-section, and 7-section; the reason we have those three different options is if you’re somewhere flat, the length of your drum really doesn’t matter. When you get into hiller country, you’d want several smaller drums to follow the contour better.

TK
Moving on, let’s talk about the rock pickers, the start of Rite Way.

DW
Les’ design has worked well for 30 plus years. You don’t have to get out of the tractor, and it saves on your back and labor to get kids to pick rocks. I always said if I was a football coach in a small town, they wouldn’t go to the weight room – they’d go to farms and pick rocks. And they’d be the strongest kids in the county!

TK
I appreciate those rock pickers. That’s the first job I had on the farm, with a group of my cousins, out there picking rocks!

DW
It gave you good abs when you were a young man.

TK
Exactly!

Moving on to the harrows that Rite Way offers – there are a few different ones; will you tell us more?

DW
Really the Jumbo Harrow is the #1. You go in the Dakotas, Montana, most Canadian provinces, and even into northwest Minnesota, every farm will have a Jumbo Harrow. If you’re managing straw, a smaller diameter tine does a great job because it gets that good vibration. If you had a wet spring, it would be a great tool to break up that crust and dry it out so you can plant.

Another harrow we have, we call it a MAXI Harrow. It’s a true vertical tillage tool, perfect for breaking up trash in the spring, drying out the ground, being able to come in and plant right after.

Next year, we have a new tool coming out that will be a lot of fun to talk about.

TK
With all the different options of harrows, how do we choose the right one?

DW
It would depend on your ground. If you have heavier soil, the Jumbo Harrow is going to break into that better. When you get into a rotary harrow, if you’re in sandier soil, it will penetrate. Both do a really good job of breaking up the trash and crust; however, if it’s heavier soil and straw management, the Jumbo Harrow is hard to beat.

TK
Do you have any success stories you could share?

DW
The great thing about my job and what I love about the industry is it’s honest. You shake someone’s hand and it still means something.

Also, farming’s a tough business and it’s all about ROI. When a farmer comes up to me and says that the product is the difference between making money and not, that’s just nice to hear.  At the end of the day, if the producers don’t succeed, RDO doesn’t succeed, and I and Rite Way don’t succeed.


Dan and Tony discussed more products from Rite Way Manufacturing, including a hint of some new products on the horizon, which you hear about by listening to the entire episode.

Catch up on all episodes of the RDO Equipment Co. Agriculture Technology podcast, and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode.

To learn more about Rite Way Manufacturing, visit the website or contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store.

Host Tony Kramer is a product specialist at RDO Equipment Co. To contact Tony with questions or about being a guest on the podcast, find him on Twitter at @RDOTonyK.

February 15, 2017  |  Category: Podcasts