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IronWolf Bites Into Attachment Market

Thu March 10, 2005 - National Edition
Mary Seaman

Industry experts agree that adding attachments to your product line is one way to quickly increase profits and better serve customers. And if increased profitability through adding attachments is the goal, consider the attachments offered by IronWolf.

IronWolf is a new name in the industry, but the company has a longstanding history. The company manufactures the RotoCrusher and RotoSlasher –– two heavy duty attachments that can provide high profit margins to dealers and great benefits for the end user.

The company’s new identity –– IronWolf –– not only refers to the RotoCrusher’s tooth design, but it also speaks to the company’s desire to be the leader of the pack.

IronWolf Gets Its Start

Formerly known as Construction Technology Inc., IronWolf has new leadership and a new vision. In just the last few months, IronWolf has already added on dealers and experienced rapid growth. The trend is expected to continue well into 2005.

IronWolf’s flagship attachment, the RotoCrusher, was invented in 1985 in Alaska. Inventor Larry Beller came up with the idea while working as a heavy equipment operator. He was faced with the challenge of trying to work in permafrost frozen gravel, which was difficult because only dynamite was capable of breaking it.

He needed some kind of machine that was capable of cutting the soil at extreme temperatures. Beller used his knowledge of rotating equipment and created an attachment that could handle the job.

The first RotoCrusher was capable of cutting frozen ground, crushing rock and processing materials in its path.

Beller and his partners realized that other contractors across the country could use this attachment for surface mining, site preparation, road construction, clearing land and a variety of other uses.

They spent 10 years developing the attachment and tweaking the hydraulic system, before starting Construction Technology Inc.

The company is entering 2005 with a new goal in mind –– U.S. distribution –– and is seeking distribution exclusively through the network of AED’s member dealers.

Not Your Everyday Attachments

The RotoCrusher is a self-contained attachment that can be installed on wheel or track loaders, motorgraders and crawler dozers. It has two large component parts and a control panel inside the carrier machine. The cutter housing is hydraulically driven. These attachments are available in a variety of sizes.

“The RotoCrusher really does some things that other tools can’t,” said Keith Ellis, IronWolf’s new president.

The newly developed RotoSlasher shreds and grinds trees, brush and rock in the same attachment. The slashing housing has a different pattern than the RotoCrusher, and it’s designed to clear sites with trees that are 9 in. (22.8 cm) or less in diameter. The attachment mulches trees back into the soil.

The RotoCrusher can grind up asphalt and concrete roads in need of repair and is ideal for attacking rough terrain and rocks that would otherwise require rock crushers and dynamite, Beller said.

For example, in San Antonio, excavation contractors are constantly looking for ways to clear limestone. In that area alone, there are 15 RotoCrusher units working.

“The RotoCrusher was very efficient on the limestone,” said Beller. “It’s great anytime there is road repair where you need to grind up roads. With our machines you can recycle the materials, stabilize, blend other materials and inject emulsions to prepare to lay it back down.”

IronWolf is currently in the process of adding other attachments to the line, including a High Speed Slasher.

World Class Distribution

“The only thing we lack is a world class distribution network,” said David Griffis, manufacturing advisor. “That’s why we’re working with AED.”

“We want to be a world class manufacturer with world class distributors,” said Ellis. “AED has a great reputation in that area, and that’s why we’re interested in working with AED dealer members.”

According to Ellis, the RotoCrusher is unique because it allows contractors to bid on jobs they might not have had the opportunity to bid on before.

“What’s exciting about our product versus others is that we can take and diversify the function of a typical loader or crawler dozer,” said Ellis.

IronWolf anticipates a record-breaking 200 percent growth in 2005. Ellis said they have acquired a 60,000- sq.-ft. (5,574 sq m) manufacturing facility that will enable the company to grow over the next few years.

“We’re a small company but we’re positioned for growth. We make a solid product, and at the same time we have to have excellent service to go along with that,” said Ellis.

Bruce Morain and Jerry Brand are IronWolf’s new owners.

“We’re manufacturing a product that is very helpful to end users because it saves them money, not only in terms of labor but in equipment costs,” said Morain.

Jay Baker, national sales manager, has the task of setting up new distributors for the company’s products.

“The United States is untapped from a marketing standpoint, from getting our name out to dealers across the U.S., to trying to align quality dealers that can help promote, carry and service our products going forward,” said Morain.

(Reprinted with permission from Construction Equipment Distribution, an official publication of the Associated Equipment Distributors.)

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