The Mil-Stak Story
Mil-Stak® owners, Leland and Ken Millsap, (brothers) were born with both hands and feet in farm dirt. They learned from their dad that there is often a better, faster and more efficient way of doing things.
In 1990 they bought their first New Holland® bale wagon, a 1046, and began custom stacking in addition to their farming. Leland stacked small bales for ten years. As the mid-size bales came into the industry, his inherited, inventive mind began to think of an easy, simple way to haul mid-size bales, using his existing bale wagon. Knowing that all farmers would not change to mid-size bales only, but continue to haul small bales as well, he came up with the idea of an attachment that could easily be removed to allow for small bale stacking as well.
In the fall of 1999, he took his idea to his brother Ken, who had a small farm shop and welder. That winter, Ken began to build the first Mil-Stak® bale clamp.
The scrap pile behind the shop began to grow as ideas were discarded. However, as the first bales dropped out of the new 3x3 baler in the spring of 2000, the new Mil-Stak® was ready. With the encouragement of friends and neighbors, they decided to patent, build and sell the clamp.
In February of 2001, Leland took pictures to the World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA, and showed them to the New Holland® personnel. During that year, Ken and Leland sold nine of the model 1000 clamps. By the end of 2001, the scrap pile was a little larger, but despite the problems, their hay farming customers loved the way that the clamp worked.
In 2002, Leland and Ken had a booth at the World Ag Expo, and during this year they sold 28 units. Some of those units were put into high use areas, stacking as many as 35,000 3x4, (1500 lb) bales per year, causing metal fatigue in certain areas. Once again, improvements were made with upgraded materials and reinforcements. Annual sales have continued to rise as more and more people have seen the simplicity of its operation and as the industry changes over to the popular mid-size bale.
Hay Farmers aren't the only ones who recognize how good the Mil-Stak® has become. Mil-Stak® has been dealing closely with New Holland® since the first contact in 2001, and they have been outstanding to work with over the years. Mil-Stak® is pleased to point out that the new 2008 bale wagons leave the New Holland® factory Mil-Stak® ready. For the 2009 H9800 Series bale wagons, New Holland® added software to their onboard computer to automate the Mil-Stak® clamp. The operator only has to clamp each bale before the New Holland computer takes over and does the rest.
In the winter of 2006 Mil-Stak® began work on their pull type wagon, the PT/2000. The prototype wagon has been put to the test since the 2007 season and is still in use today. With 2009 came a new pull type model, the PT/2010. Always striving to improve their equipment, Mil-Stak® increased the strength of critical areas, added more automation to the PT/2010, as well as made vast improvements to the user interface and control system, making the PT/2010 easier and more efficient to run than ever.
To be continued...