Muskox Eyes Market Expansion for Snowblower Accessories: CEG
The rear-drag feature of the Muskox 22-78 Two-Way Snow Blower Attachment, which the Bergmans received the patent for in the spring of 2021, allows operators to blow snow while dragging rearward past obstacles, which which saves time and money and reduces any risk of injury by decreasing the manual labor typically involved in the process. The lowered chute, a result of the fine-tuning process, is also better for operator visibility. (Photo musk ox)
For many in the design and architecture industries, less is more is a mantra. For the Bergmans, this principle proved true with the October 2020 launch of their Musk ox two-way snow blower attachment. Taking a well-known industry problem and creating a streamlined solution has seen the Minnesota-based company achieve great success over the past few months, despite launching during the pandemic.
“My dad Ron, who is also my partner, used to do some snow removal in his shop. He used two different attachments to do it,” said Adam Bergman, co-founder of Muskox. “He came up with the idea of combining these machines, so he would only have to use one attachment. I was trained as a real estate investor, and we do snow removal on all of our rental properties. biggest problem we had was shoveling in front of the garage doors.”
Adam saw the potential not only for stores but also for homeowner associations to use such a solution. Prototyping began in the spring of 2017 and product development over the next few years included a hydraulic friction clutch and redesigning the bottom of the machine to incorporate a slip plate to prevent crashes on rough surfaces. grass or gravel.
“Whether you’re 8 or 80, you understand the challenge with existing snowblowers of having to shovel in front of garage doors, it’s a universal problem,” Adam said. “When you see ours where you have the ability to back off and blow at the same time, you instantly see the value and what makes our product different.”
In 2020, Muskox took first place in Northwest Minnesota Foundation IDEA Competition receiving a cash prize of $15,000 and another $5,000 in professional services in recognition of his innovative product. The rear-drag feature of the Muskox 22-78 Two-Way Snow Blower Attachment, which the Bergmans received the patent for in the spring of 2021, allows operators to blow snow while dragging rearward past obstacles, which which saves time and money and reduces any risk of injury by decreasing the manual labor typically involved in the process. The lowered chute, a result of the fine-tuning process, is also better for operator visibility.
The 78 inch. The machine is available in single auger and double auger, but Muskox plans to expand to other sizes. They turned to operators from snow removal companies to test the product.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from operators letting us know where they’d like to see our next steps,” Adam said. “We are operators building for operators. We have had many requests for different sizes on smaller and larger machines.”
Muskox’s core team is made up of co-founder Adam, who manages business development, marketing and fundraising; his father Ron, a retired engineer from Arctic Cat Snowmobiles — where he did snowmobile research and development for more than 30 years — who leads in-house engineering, research and development; and Adam’s younger brother, Noah, who handles production and shipping.
All manufacturing takes place at the company site in Mentor, Minnesota, and sales offices are in Grand Forks, ND Muskox is 100% made in the USA, offers a one-year warranty on all parts not laptops and stores inventory to be shipped to customers. for repairs.
“When we started, we were doing R&D in my dad’s 2,000 square foot personal store. have moved in and this is currently where we do product assembly. We have had a successful season and we continue to grow the business, there will be opportunities for growth and potential expansion into a larger facility” , said Adam.
About 90 percent of Muskox’s sales are direct to consumer while the rest are in partnership with RDO equipment, through which Muskox is sold in 36 different locations. In 2021, Muskox was sold in 16 states in the United States and two provinces in Canada. Consumers include those buying for personal use in their store or farm, small operators who focus on driveways and residential snow removal, and large operators with multiple HOA accounts.
Muskox found its strength in its online presence, creating a loyal customer base online.
“We’ve created all of our own YouTube videos explaining how we have a service manual available on the internet so consumers can tune in anytime, and they’ll find a library of videos showing not just how to use the product, best practices, but also any type of maintenance and repair,” said Adam, who offers virtual demos of the equipment every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Central and is on Facebook Live and YouTube. “It gives us the opportunity to interact with people interested in the product. We show the product in use, we can play with the machine according to the questions they asked. We can also flip the camera inside the cabin and make it work from the operator’s point of view. There’s been a lot of positive feedback.”
There are of course pros and cons to an online approach.
“Probably just to meet product demand,” Adam said. “The internet exposes you really quickly, it can be your best friend, but it can also present real challenges because you’re going to be held accountable a lot faster on a much bigger platform. We were able to accept that, but the growth of the “company has exponentially exceeded our expectations. We are very proud to have built this company with a solid foundation from engineering to marketing to branding to product in 15 months and we look forward to grow and have a strong future based on this foundation that has been established.” CEG