WMI Feeders reaches milestone

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Higher ground clearance and some relocated rippers have made all the difference for WMI Feeders and its Elite round bale feeder.

The Elite round bale feeder can feed out both hay and silage

WMI Feeders has chalked up an Elite milestone, completing 700 sales of its Australian-made round bale feeder, and kicking off its first international sales.

Based in Warnambool in western Victoria, the company previously known as Willies Manufacturing Industries has been building its Elite bale feeders since 2011,

Company owner Jason Willie says he and the team had found they needed a two-bale feeder, and set about building one, complete with new characteristics that would set them apart from other players in the field.

One of the major changes, he explains, was moving the ripper bars that break the bales apart to sit above the chassis, rather than below – as many others do.

"Basically, that increases your ground clearance – on some farms you are not driving around on nice flat ground everywhere," he says.

"With ours, having the components up that bit higher, it saves on damage. The other thing that wedid was make the feeder just a little bit narrower; that makes it more aggressive on its feeding out."

Willie says the company has taken on feedback from its customers over the years, making changes to the original model that include the addition of high flotation wide tyres and placing two bin baskets on the front of the unit.

"We don't just listen to what they have to say – if they have any good feedback we will try and improve the machine, and that is what we have done," he says.

It’s that work that has helped the company reach 700 sales of the 2.3m-wide, 4.6m-long unit, including two currently en route to a property in Chile, after a buyer got in touch earlier this year.

As for plans to celebrate the milestone, Willie says the company will probably be limiting its celebrations to a few photos from Chile and a couple of stickers to place on the units.

"Once I get to the 1,000 sold, we will do something pretty special with that – we will come up with some form of charity to auction it through," he says.

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