For years I have heard farmers complain about the equipment available for ditching their fields to control runoff”, recalls Adolf Vaags, a retired farmer and independent equipment salesman from the Dugald, MB area. “They would talk about the piles of dirt and the tractor tire ruts left behind when using a land scraper to do in-crop drainage, and how hard it is on equipment when they have to go through these ditches later. Some would even farm around the ditches to avoid going through the ruts.
'A few years ago, we decided to create a machine to deal with the problem and we commissioned McTavish Steel Works, from Rosenort, Manitoba to build the first prototypes. Dave at McTavish Steel Works was a great help and his experience was crucial to bringing our idea to reality.”
After a series of attempts and improvements, the first units were built. Several more units were produced and sold to farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota where they worked well in the moderately heavy soil there. The overall performance in extremely heavy soils, however, was not satisfactory to Vaags who owns land near Dugald, MB which his son farms.
“We had over $250,000 invested but I knew we had to invest more to perfect the machine in heavy gumbo soils. We now have private investors and some government assistance to provide the cash flow required. Some of our investors are providing professional management and we hired several engineering companies to complete the R&D for the driveline required to make the Wolverine perform in the heavy gumbo soils. In the fall of 2007 we tested the Wolverine in extreme conditions for over two hundred hours and now it is ready for the market.'
Dynamic Ditchers Inc. is now a 100% Canadian owned company that is run by Vaags and his sons.