Cochran - T. Whipple Simpson went to a 1990 farm show in
search of a machine that would unroll his 650-pound round bales of wheat
straw so they could be separated into 40-pound rectangular bales.
When he couldn't find one, he did the next best thing - he invented one.
| The Ez Unroller comes in single
and double models. The sigle-sided machine, powered by a tractor, sells
for about $15,000. Cooper bought his double model that comes with four
motors that drive the components and power hydraulic system for the
conveyor belting, for $43,000. |
Cooper, who grows hay and straw and raises cattle, said he sells 160,000 to 200,000 rectangular bales of straw per year, mostly for land scaping use in metro Atlanta.
Simpson's invention is "just fantastic," he said. "He and I have both been in the straw business for years, and we're always looking for a better way to save money and to save labor," Cooper said.
Simpson's son Henry works with him to operate the uinroller on their farm near Cochran.
Using five levers, one drives the machinery, seesawing a thresher back and forth to loosen the tightly packed straw from the round bale. The entire process-from rolled bale to rectangular bale- takes four minutes, Simpson said.
The EZ Unroller is painted bright yellow. Simpson said the color decision was fairly easy one. A local paint dealer had pink, yellow and black in gallon buckets.
"I knew I didn't want black," Simpson said. "I thought I might use pink," but his wife objected." I can't repeat what she said about it," Simpson said with a grin. "So they're yellow. It works. It's nice and bright and eye-catching."