“Having good runoff ditches is one of the most important parts of running a farm. Without them, or with badly maintained ones, your field can drown and your crop can fail.”
Adolf Vaags, originally a farmer in Manitoba, learned this lesson from his father when he was a young boy. When Vaags began his own family farm, he followed his father’s advice and ensured that his runoff ditches were properly maintained to secure a successful crop. But Vaags saw a problem. Rotary ditchers would make barrel cuts that left the ground’s surface filled with ruts, making water runoff less efficient. The alternative, a scraper, could evenly cut the ground but was much more labour intensive and far slower than a rotary ditcher.
In 1999, Vaags set out to solve this problem and began designs for his own rotary ditcher. He wanted a reliable, sturdy machine that could cut the ground flatly, throw the dirt to either side of the ditcher, and do it quickly. After a significant amount of research and development, Vaags’ new company, Dynamic Ditchers, had 10 prototypes operating in the U.S. Used under varying types of soil and conditions, the machines’ performance provided valuable feedback for improvements to the machine.
Vaags’ sons, Anthony and Glenn, joined Dynamic Ditchers in 2006 to assist in the further development of the rotary ditcher. Customer feedback and further research and development led to the Wolverine Extreme, Dynamic Ditcher’s flag product, in 2013.
“This machine did everything that my father had set out for it to do,” says Anthony Vaags. “It can easily dig ditches, waterways, and terraces. It smoothly cuts the ground’s surface and throws the dirt more than 120 feet to either side. The machine works really well with GPS that enables the blade to be controlled by satellites for more accuracy than ever before.”
The Wolverine Extreme was receiving a significant amount of interest from farmers at various trade shows, and its success quickly led to interest in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Anthony Vaags took over the sales and marketing of the Wolverine Extreme and began working on building up an international distributor market. But with a price tag of $59,000 a machine, the risk of non-payment for even one machine was daunting.
Dynamic Ditchers avoids risk
“There is a certain amount of risk when shipping internationally, and when we were asked to ship several Wolverine Extremes to a new contact in Australia, we wanted a level of security in knowing that we would be paid for the machines,” he says.
So they turned to Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Trade Protect. Vaags’ team applied for Trade Protect online and was surprised at the quick turnaround. “I was also pleasantly surprised to find that if we needed to add to the order within the insured period, the premium did not have to be repaid. This allowed us to ship two additional ditchers under the same coverage.”
With their growing distributor market and international interest, Dynamic Ditchers is planning to produce 100 of the Wolverine Extreme ditchers in 2015, 50 per cent more than what they produced in 2014.
“Trade Protect protected our company from potentially crippling bad debt,” says Vaags. “It’s allowed us to ship our machines internationally with confidence and enabled us to grow. We just shipped four ditchers in a forty foot container to Australia using Trade Protect.”
Looking to Increase Your International Sales? 5 Ways Trade Protect Can Help
If your company exports, then using credit insurance such as Trade Protect can protect your bottom line if you don’t get paid for your foreign receivables. It can also help your business succeed in other ways:
- Pursue new customers with confidence With secured receivables, you have more funds and confidence to pursue new business.
- Be nimble with fast turn-around times Trade Protect lets you apply, get your quote, and pay through an online service, and transactions can take as little as 10 minutes.
- Protect even small contracts cost-effectively Trade Protect credit insurance is designed for Canadian companies who want to insure a small number of foreign customers (five or less) against the risk of not getting paid. It’s possible to insure as little as $5,000 for less for $30, or amounts up to $500,000.
- Win more deals by offering attractive terms When backed by Trade Protect, you may be able to offer more open payment terms to your customer, helping to win more contracts.
- Free up cash flow When your bank knows you’ll get paid for a U.S. or international contract secured by Trade Protect, it may have more confidence to provide you with additional cash.
To learn more about Trade Protect, view What is Trade Protect.