FTLComm - Sylvania - July 11, 2000

Build a better mouse trap and the world will come to your door. Don and Collin Irving have built a set of better mouse traps. Capital "I" Industries is located on the Irving farm just South of Sylvania, about twelve miles South on highway 35 from Tisdale. Specialising in rural municipal equipment this business has produced a whole series of unique, durable and cost saving products that are setting the standard for rural road maintenance.

Their first products were front end attachments for road patrols. For years municipalities have fitted their graders with snow plows for snow clearing in the winter but the standard "V" plow has a lot of disadvantages. The Irvings came up with a
thirteen foot side throw plow that tosses the snow well back from the road surface and unlike the "v" plow does the whole road. To keep the sides down municipal graders have been fitted with wing plows but the problem with them has been mounting them. Irvings came up with a clever mount that is below eye level for the operator and handles the wing or as in the picture above a mower.

This patented side mount is the better mouse trap. It is built to extraordinary durability and strength standards and can react automatically to prevent damage to the attachment or property, thus allowing the operator to concentrate on getting his machine down the road and letting that side blade or mower to look after itself. The great thing about this is that the grader can patrol the road and mow the ditch all in a single pass or in winter clear the road with the snow plow and the wing plow can be deployed thus covering
more road per day because of the efficiency of the initial pass.

The side mounts are designed to work on the three main types of graders in use, Cat, Champion and John Deere. The clean design is demonstrated by the example sitting in the warehouse awaiting delivery.

In the picture below right we can see these mounts at work on a grader as adjustments and modifications are made to the hydraulic motor that drives the rugged ditch mower. It is really remarkable that this mower will maintain its height and automatically overcome obstacles without the operator having to intervene in the process. This is accomplished by the patented system that allows pressure
and freedom to travel vertically while in operation.

At the heart of this mower is a large plate disk that rotates at between seven and eight hundred RPMs with two eighteen inch hardened steel blades attached. This high momentum mass means that this mower can chomp its way through an eight inch tree with out missing a beat.

Below right are four of these disks ready for installation on new mowers. These mowers have become very popular with municipalities because of their simplicity and durability. A grader can keep up the side of the roadway while cleaning up the surface covering far more country then a rotary mower system mounted on a
tractor. It is this cost effectiveness that has made each of Capital I's products so attractive to grader operating governments.

When it comes efficiency rural roads are really a problem. Large semi-type trucks used to transport grain, round bails and cut alfalfa quickly pound down the wheel area of a road making the road spread outward leaving a hump in the centre and in a very short time can make it necessary to have to rebuild the road, a costly procedure.

To handle this problem Capital "I" Industries came up with what amounts to a giant roto-tiller mounted on the front of a grader. With this
attachment a grader can drive down a country road a break up the compacted surface then smooth out the material with its conventional blade all in one simple process. The "mulcher" preserves the gravel in the road surface and can added up to twenty years to the life of the road way thus producing a huge savings in tax hungry road construction.

This attachment uses hydraulic power to rotate the rotor and has hardened tipped steel blades to do the work. A new improved version of this product will have carbide tipped blades that will add about $3.500 to the cost of the attachment but lengthen the life of the rotor blade by an addition five years.

This picture shows the back of the mulch attachment and its tough system for mounting right on this Champion grader.

Capital "I" Industries currently employees nine people full time in its operation with a need to expand its sales force as the production become more and more efficient. The company is now marketing all five grader attachments, the snow plow, wing plow, front mulcher, side mower and a pull type version of the mulcher for use behind a tractor in a conventional role as a roto-tiller where specific soil conditions require breaking up the hard pan clays.
It is interesting to see the level of innovation involved in this work as the skills of machine assemble are combined with intuitive designs that will have efficient practical applications.

The production facility is remarkable with an assemble area to fabricate the machines and a well equipped machine shop for turning out the parts. The machine shop includes mills, several lathes of different sizes and various specialised tools for bending and shaping metal.

The company is taking on the big operations and manufacturers simply because they have developed better designs and have been able to develop expertise in a niche market that could very well see them as the dominant player.