In 2018, Grainews met up with Darcy Goossen, an Alberta producer, at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina. Goossen was then in the early stages of introducing his new invention, the TireGrabber, to the ag market. And it was clear then that it could be used in construction and other industrial settings as well.
The TireGrabber is designed to attach to any front-end loader or skid steer arms and make handling large ag tires an easier and safer job. The TireGrabber uses three extendable arms that can grasp a tire and hold it, adjust its position and rotate it so the loader arms can lift and accurately position it during a removal or installation, or just when moving tires around the farmyard.
Goossen told Grainews back then the TireGrabber was an invention born out of the necessity to handle large equipment tires on his own farm. “We had these big tires to change. They were big, awkward, hard to lift up, lay down and install,” he said. “So, we built this three-armed unit to grab the tires, pick them up and rotate them.”
New reversible model
Almost three years later, Goossen’s TireGrabber continues to generate interest among Prairie farmers; and to broaden the range of tires the TireGrabber is capable of handling, his company is introducing the new “Reversible” model that can handle tires from 34- to 89-inch diameters. Its expanded size range capability is the result of a redesign of one of the existing models the company had been selling.
“We just added a feature that you can pull the arms off and turn them around, slide them back on again — which is why we call it a reversible — and then you can pick up a smaller tire with it,” he said. “When you turn the arms around, it will still go up to 89 inches.”
The other larger model offered is capable of handling tires up to 95 inches in diameter.
The TireGrabber design moves all three arms that hold the tire in unison, keeping the tire centred on the tool as they are lifted. That keeps the tire balanced, making for a safer and more stable lift. The TireGrabber’s ability to also rotate the tire around a centre pivot point allows for easier installation on a machine by adjusting a tire and rim’s position to mount on a hub. The TireGrabber is capable of attaching to any loader or skid steer.
With the ever-increasing size of farm machinery and the tires they ride on, manually replacing tires can be a difficult and dangerous job to do by hand. And with most farms having a loader tractor or skid steer as part of the fleet, the TireGrabber allows for easier DIY replacements without the need to call a tire change specialist to the farm. It also simplifies the job of moving them into storage locations.
The retail price range for TireGrabber models is now $10,500 to $11,500. Goossen says his company is still selling TireGrabbers directly to producers.
The new TireGrabber Reversible model recently won first place for farm safety equipment at this year’s Manitoba Ag Days Innovation Showcase.
More information and video demonstrations of the TireGrabber in action is available at thetiregrabber.com.