When Jim Beaty got a D grade for his Design and Technology A-level project in 2016 he could be forgiven for feeling a little disappointed. Having lived on the family farm in Northamptonshire all his life, he had based his school project on a new design for a quad bike trailer that could move bales – the Beaty Bale Transporter (BBT).
Moving large bales had became a regular task for Jim when his father invested in a small herd of cattle. It was a job he believed was convoluted as it usually involved two people, a small trailer and the use of a tractor.
Not deterred by his exam result Jim persevered with his idea, using the trailer he had built at school for multiple purposes on the family farm. Believing that his prototype could help other farm businesses, he started the process of getting a patent to protect his design. He also began looking at the possibility of turning what had initially been nothing more than a school project into a business.
A meeting with agricultural equipment manufacturers Weaving Machinery soon followed and with some tweaks to the design the trailers were developed into a product that could be sold. A start-up business had been born.
What followed has been a whirlwind for Jim. His attendance at a number of country shows reinforced his belief in the product as interest and indeed sales went extremely well. “At the end of May last year I went to my first show which was the Northumberland County Show. We were there early in the morning and before the show had even started one of the guys who was showing sheep wanted to buy one,” said Jim.
Within months he had sold 20 machines and sales have continued on an upward trajectory ever since. The versatility of the product has appealed to small family farms, equestrian holdings and large estates. “The BBT rides on flotation tyres to reduce ground compaction and disruption during the wetter months of the year,” said Jim. “This can help protect and preserve the land on those estates where they have large numbers of the general public visiting.” He added. The business is becoming so successful that interest has reached as far afield as New Zealand.
The business is moving at quite a pace and so are Jim’s designs. The trailer is fast becoming more than a machine that can just move bales. Sprayer and water bowser attachments have been designed for use with the trailer, as have mesh sides, which allow it to carry different items. Not a bad result for something that started out as a school project.