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Durability, service draw Munson Lakes Nutrition to Ledwell Feedbodies

Munson Lakes feed truck

When a mineral salesman called on Ray E. Munson back in 1930, Ray got interested in using minerals to create balanced diets for poultry and livestock. In 1935, Munson Feed company—which would later become Munson Lakes Nutrition—was born in Howard Lake, Minnesota.

“We started out making feed with a hand barrel mixer, and we gradually grew from there,” said Dusten Wilking, Maintenance and Fleet Manager for Munson Lakes Nutrition.

In its first year, the company sold 314 bags of feed manufactured in their barrel mixer. Today, with the help of a computerized mill and a team of nutritionists, Munson Lakes helps dairies and other livestock producers throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin formulate feed systems.

Ledwell Truck at Munson Lakes mill

When it comes to transporting feed, Munson Lakes has two big challenges: maintaining pellet quality and unloading heavy minerals.

“We have some customers that take really heavy feed,” Dusten said. “You put that into a typical auger trailer, and it won’t unload it. It’s too heavy, and it plugs up that auger floor.”

Munson Lakes’ solution? Ledwell Drag Chain Feedbodies.

“Ledwell is the best when it comes to pellet quality,” Dusten said. “If anybody out there is ever having problems with fines in pellets or unloading a heavy mineral, they need a Ledwell.”

Munson Lakes purchases new bulk haul bodies as well as used Ledwell trailers, which Ledwell completely refurbishes before reselling. Munson Lakes bought their first Ledwell in 1987. The oldest Ledwell equipment they have on the lot right now is a ’94, and the oldest they use daily is a 2004.

“You can’t buy another piece of equipment and maintain it for as little cost as a Ledwell,” Dusten said. “They don’t break down. The cost to repair them when they do is minimal. They always answer the phone when I need parts.”

Munson Lakes feed truck

Dusten said they’ve tried using trailers made by other manufacturers, but they can’t stand up to the toughest jobs.

“We have to make sure the Ledwells go to the hard farms,” he said. “We have to pick and choose which trucks go to which farm, because we know that at certain farms, only a Ledwell will be able to unload. We are working on getting our fleet to be all Ledwells.”

Drag chains also make Munson Lakes’ trailer maintenance easier.

“A lot of people are stuck in their ways and think the drag chain is more complicated,” Dusten said. “I’ve replaced more floors on an auger than I have on a drag chain. And I’ve never touched a drag chain on our trailers. We have a box back here that’s a ’94—I don’t think we’ve ever had to replace the drag chain on it.”

Munson Lakes Feed Truck in action

Munson Lakes’ company values are to manufacture a great product at a fair price, to give great customer service, and to base every decision on fairness and decency. 

“Ledwell excels at that as well,” he said. “It’s good to work with a company that has the same values and end goals.”

They’re able to keep Ledwell trailers in service longer thanks to Ledwell’s parts and service team.

“This year has been very frustrating with COVID,” Dusten said. “Trying to get ahold of companies is very frustrating. It’s like they don’t want my business. But anytime I call Ledwell, I can get the help I need. The product is there. The parts are there. The service is there. It’s the trifecta of a great company. If someone asked me whether they should buy a Ledwell truck, I’d tell them, ‘You don’t have one yet?'”

Want to know more about Ledwell Feed Trucks? Get in touch!

Jim Greger, Information Technology Director

Ledwell Employee Spotlight for October 2020

When Jim Greger started as Ledwell’s Information Technology Director 15 years ago, the company had just one server supporting its IT infrastructure.

“Now, we have over 25 servers,” Jim said. “Ledwell has grown. It just multiplies.”

Jim Greger

Jim didn’t choose a career in IT—IT chose him. After high school, he earned an associate degree in engineering from Texarkana College, where he also pitched for the TC Bulldogs baseball team. Then, he went to work in engineering—in fact, he worked for Ledwell’s engineering department with Bob Nolte early in his career. Jim worked for several prominent corporations, including the Lone Star Army Ammunition plant and Rockwood International. He made the jump to IT while working for Smith-Blair.

“I started trying to automate processes that helped in rolling, bending, and cutting steel,” Jim said. “Once I got it to work, what normally took about four hours could be done in five minutes. After I started automating processes there, they wanted me to move into IT, and from that point, I stayed.”

Over 30 years later, Jim said he still enjoys IT work. And when he got the chance to return to Ledwell, he jumped on it.

“I love working here,” he said. “This is a family-oriented business. Working for corporations, they knew you by an employee number. Steve and Lesley know everybody, and they take the time to take an interest in their employees. That’s something you don’t get everywhere.”

Today, Jim has a team of four employees. When he started 15 years ago, he was the entire IT department. As for his typical workday? There isn’t one, he said. Workdays at Ledwell aren’t typical.

“I spend a lot of time managing the issues that come up on a daily basis, deciding which projects are a priority, coordinating with vendors, maintaining servers and network and phone system,” he said.

Jim has a son, daughter, and three grandsons. For the past ten years, he has pastored two non-denominational churches: one in Avery, Texas, and one in Dallas. Between Ledwell and pastoring, he doesn’t have much free time. When he does, Jim said he loves having the opportunity to travel with his wife, who has her own travel business.

For those who are starting their career at Ledwell, Jim has a few words of advice.

“One of the major things here is opportunity,” Jim said. “If somebody really wants to work hard and do their best, there are tremendous rewards. The heart of this company is the employees and their families. You can work here and just draw a salary if you wish, but we all have the opportunity to share in something bigger than just ourselves.”

Choosing a Grapple: Which Rotobec Attachment is Best for You?

Ledwell Demolition Dump with Rotobec Grapple Attachment

If you’re in the market for a grapple truck or attachment, you can’t beat industry-leading Rotobec grapples. Rotobec launched its revolutionary rotating hydraulic system in the forestry industry. Later, the company expanded its product offerings to include recycling, waste handling, railroad maintenance, and construction and bulk material handling.

Which grapple will work best for you? Rotobec has a wide selection of grapples designed for specific industries and job applications.

Ledwell Demolition Dump with Rotobec Grapple Attachment

Forestry & Logging

Excavators, material handlers, and log loaders need tough grapples that can adapt to various situations. If you’re looking for something versatile, Rotobec’s Log Grapples, Combination Grapples, and Rotobec Power Attachments fit the bill. Rotobec’s Pulpwood Grapples and Butt’n Top Grapples load and unload trucks efficiently.

Industrial Jobs

Industrial grapples handle a variety of materials in any environment imaginable. Rotobec’s Clamshell Buckets are available in multiple sizes and configurations. The Demolition Power Attachment Grapple is built with thicker, stronger steel. Rotobec’s Pipe & Pole Handing Series Grapples safely handle utility poles and gas lines.

Waste Handling

Rotobec offers grapple attachments for each step of the waste handling and waste removal process, with specialized units for trash, compaction, sorting/demolition, and waste collection. Plus, they offer multi-purpose, and waste collection grapples that make roadside pickup and storm cleanup quicker and more efficient.

Scrap Metal

If it isn’t tough, you don’t want to use it for scrap metal. Rotobec is an industry leader in durable, tough, innovative products for scrap metal handling. Their Orange Peel Grapple has a fully guarded, hose-less cylinder design that reduces the risk of hydraulics damage. The Demolition RPA’s 360-degree rotation allows for more flexibility in motion than traditional dangle style rotation grapples.

Railway Operations

Need to move railroad ties? Look no further than Rotobec’s rail grapples. The Tie Bundle Grapple can handle 5-9 tie-wide bundles, and the Loose Tie Grapple helps collect and move ties without bringing shale along.

Storm Chasers

Hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, and floods can cause catastrophic damage and leave behind an immense amount of debris. Storm chasers need dump trucks outfitted with a versatile, multi-purpose loader and grapple combination that can handle a variety of materials, such as the Rotobec Elite 910 + Waste Collection Grapple.

Authorized Rotobec Dealer

Looking for a do-everything package? Pair a Rotobec loader and grapple with a Ledwell Dump Truck for a powerful machine that’ll get the job done.

As an authorized Rotobec dealer with the quickest turnaround times in the industry, we can build a truck to your specs and ship it out when you need it, where you need it. Learn more.

Contact us at 888-533-9355 or sales@ledwell.com to discuss which Rotobec attachment will best meet your needs.