Farmer vandalises swing set for feeder invention

LAURA RICHARDS
Last updated 09:39 14/03/2014
Wessel Eksteen and his feeder invention at the Central Districts Field Days.
Fairfax NZ

ROLL IT OUT: Wessel Eksteen and his feeder invention at the Central Districts Field Days.

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Ohura area beef and sheep farmer and inventor Wessel Eksteen is showing off his Rollit Feeder at the Central Districts Field Days in Feilding.

If the Rollit Feeder looks vaguely familiar to parents all they need to think about are children-sized swings.

Eksteen came up with the Rollit Feeder in 2011 and to build the prototype he "vandalised the kids' swing set" which they had outgrown.

He cut it up then welded a few things on the A-frame in his farm workshop.

Eksteen says the low-maintenance round-bale feeder can be towed behind an ATV or motor bike.

"You don't need a tractor – that's the biggest motivator," he said.

The Rollit Feeder can take "up to 500 kilos comfortably" and is like "pulling a wheel behind".

"We over-engineered it for safety sake as the last thing you want it to do is breaking," he said.

With other feeders, things could break like a chain or a bearing would go "then you have to dismantle the whole thing to fix it", he said

When the prototype broke from use, he went to an engineer to see about getting a proper one built.

Eksteen has spent about $5000 on his invention so far.

"I told myself I would not spend more than $10,000 on it," he said.

He hoped to get enough interest at the field days for him to get a bank loan to make more.

"This is the shot in the dark to see whether or not people would be interested in them," he said.

The Rollit Feeder can be seen at site A26 at the field days until tomorrow.

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