Forty years ago, Gerry Brouwer revolutionized the way sod was harvested
around the world. This year, the Brouwer Company celebrates its 40th
anniversary. Brouwer’s vision changed the industry from cutting sod
with a Ryan sod cutter and stacking it onto pallets or trucks by hand
to a Brouwer sod harvester that cut sod, transferred it onto a
conveyor, rolled it and put the rolls on a pallet—all in one
Producers were able to reduce labour (by six to eight workers) when they switched from the Ryan sod cutter to the Brouwer sod harvester. In some operations, Brouwer harvesters have replaced as many as 25 workers. Over the last four decades, the Brouwer sod harvester has harvested trillions of sod rolls and slabs worldwide, saving producers millions of dollars.
Brouwer’s first sod harvester was manufactured in a shop at Brouwer Sod Farms in 1972. In 1974, Brouwer built a factory in Keswick, Ont.—the same location where the equipment is manufactured today. The first Brouwer sod harvester sold for $ 9,600 complete.
Over the years, Brouwer has developed additional products for the turf industry, including the Hitch- Hiker truck-mounted forklift, Brouwer reel mower, BV 85 turf vacuum, RM22 rotary mower, turf rollers, Rollmax 2400 24” big roll sod harvester, Brouwer 1600 self-propelled sod harvester and Rollmate sod installers. Brouwer also invented the patented automatic big roll system now used by Bucyrus.
The company also introduced improved models of conventional sod harvesters, including the successful automatic small roll Robomax sod harvester; a response to the growing trend toward automation and a cost effective, labour-saving unit.
Brouwer products are sold by a network of dealers worldwide. These dealers have provided world-class customer support and service over the years. Brouwer acknowledged its appreciation for all of their high quality work.
Brouwer also thanked its devoted team of employees whose dedication, attention to detail and hard work has brought this company to where it is today.
When asked about his company’s milestone anniversary, Gerry Brouwer said, “It has been a great pleasure to have been part of this industry. I couldn’t think of better people to work with and have appreciated their business and loyalty.”
Brouwer, his son Eric, and his family are committed to meet the future needs of sod producers worldwide while staying devoted to the quality of service that has made Brouwer what it is today.
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