Innovative Fence Bullet answers burning question for land owners
The Fence Bullet is an easy-to-use, no-weld pipe connector created by Ron Goedecke to solve a problem he ran into when fencing an acreage in rural eastern Oklahoma.
The area was under a burn ban at the time, which eliminated the use of a cutting torch to weld together metal fence sections. A retired soil conservationist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Goedecke came up with an alternative solution for his problem.
Goedecke envisioned a steel coupler that would fit over the end of standard 2-inch oil field pipe commonly used in fencing, secured with a bolt and flange nut that ensures it won’t come loose.
Goedecke took his concept to the New Product Development Center at Oklahoma State University, where he got assistance in market research and professional drawings that helped in developing a working prototype.
“The New Product Development Center is really one of the first places I went to because I have no background in bringing a product to market,” Goedecke said. “I said, I need some help with drawings because, obviously, I have to produce this, and something beyond a scribbled napkin is going to look a lot better.”
The New Product Development Center is an essential component of what is known as the Oklahoma Innovation Model, which includes the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), i2E Inc. and the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance.
Heather McDowell, associate director at OCAST, described contribution of the New Product Development Center as an example of the type of collaboration it employs to help inventors turn their ideas into working products.
“Bullet Fence is a prime example of what a great partnership with the New Product Development Center looks like,” McDowell said. “Through a collaborative effort, Bullet Fence was able to create a product that has great economic impact for the state of Oklahoma through out-of-state sales.”
Student engineers from OSU working at the New Product Development Center provided the professional drawings that Goedecke used to bring his vision to reality.
The result was the patent pending Fence Bullet and a new company Goedecke founded in 2016 as Bullet Fence Systems LLC.
Priced at less than $17 per kit that includes two sleeves plus accessories, the Fence Bullet replaces labor-intensive welded fencing braces with portable and reusable galvanized steel brace Kits. It can be installed using a simple wrench.
Today, Goedecke manufactures the Fence Bullet in a small warehouse in Okmulgee and sells it via an internet page – bulletfence.com – at trade shows and through a network of retail distributors.
Goedecke made perhaps his most important connection after watching an episode of a television show called Blood Money on The History Channel. The episode featured a welded fence building project by Double J Fencing in Montana that resulted in a major wildfire.
“I called him up and said ‘was that fire on purpose or was it part of the show?’ Goedecke said. “He said ‘absolutely not.’ I said, I think I’ve got something that can help you out there. I sent him a sample and now he has ordered almost 500 units from me and is a dealer up there for me.”
Goedecke is perfecting yet another problem-solving concept he conceived. It is a patent-pending tool that automates the laborious process of handling wire clips that attach barbed wire to fence posts.
“The big pain we believe this product relieves is that you don’t have to handle those wire clips individually, and it will save a considerable amount of time,” he said.
Problem solved. Again.