Fencing is probably not a favourite chore for most livestock producers, and cleaning up snarled barbed wire even less so. But one Saskatchewan entrepreneur hopes to ease ranchers’ fencing pains with an automatic wire roller.
Brad Mohr, owner of BAM Enterprises, says his brother came up with the initial level-wind wire roller design and started the company about 12 years ago.
Mohr’s brother was “selling a few,” but was “moving onto bigger and better things,” Mohr says so he bought the blueprints and stock from his brother, simplified the design a little, and started marketing the wire rollers.
Mohr’s brother came up with the design after seeing a guide which was originally patented by John Deere in the early 1900s for use as part of a seeding system.
The old John Deere part now guides the wire onto the spool. There are other machines that spool barbed wire, but Mohr says they require people to manually guide the wire. “Whereas this is all automatic,” he says.
Mohr says ranchers setting up electric fence for swath grazing, or with old fencelines to tidy up, are interested in the wire roller. “You don’t want cattle or anything getting tangled up in old barbed wire that’s out there.”
Rolling up old, unspooling new
Producers can use the wire roller to roll up old barbed wire or unroll spools for new fencing. Mohr also sells adapters to unwind brand-new rolls from wooden spools. The tractor’s hydraulics pull in the wire, he says. “And then when you want to unroll the wire, just tie the wire to the post and drive away.”
The standard spool holds three-quarters of a mile of two-strand barbed wire. The high-tensile spool will roll three-quarters of a mile of 12-gauge high-tensile wire. Spools of old barbed wire can be reused later after they’ve been rolled up, Mohr says.
To roll up old wire neatly, Mohr suggests putting some weight on the end of the wire. “I recommend about 10 to 12 feet of heavier chain. It just drags nice, doesn’t bounce around.”
Some people use a tire or fencepost, he says. “It does work but it gets bouncing and all of a sudden it wraps around a post and you’ve got trouble.”
The standard wire roller attaches to a drawbar hitch, but a three-point hitch option is also available. “It’s all a steel hitch so they can put it on a post-pounder or skid-steer or whatever.”
The wire roller weighs in at 110 lb. “so it’s kind of a one-man operation, too” says Mohr. It’s “a pretty tough machine,” but the guide needs to be lubricated twice for every quarter mile of wire it rolls, Mohr says. After the machine has rolled five or 10 miles of wire, the shaft should be rotated a quarter-turn to move the wear point, he says.
The level-wind wire roller is largely a Saskatchewan product. Mohr is based out of Avonlea, in south-central Sask. Haukaas Manufacturing, based in Mortlach, Sask., does the welding on the machine. Mohr sources hydraulics out of Regina.
Ranchers interested in buying the machines can contact Mohr, and he’ll set them up with the closest dealer. “And I can ship them on the bus to anywhere in Saskatchewan for 50 bucks,” he says. For more information, visit wireroll.com.