Bringing the Bed Raptor to Life

John Szurpicki is no stranger to back breaking work. He has been in the landscaping industry for over 27 years, currently owning two businesses and working as a minister in Bemidji. At one time he managed as many as 350 properties a week. With so many homes in need of his landscaping services, time was of the essence. In 2002, Szurpicki came up with an idea to make his job a little easier; he invented the Bed Raptor.

The biggest landscaping problem in creating a garden border with bed edging is finding blades that truly work. Szurpicki realized the need for a durable bed edging blade for both residential and commercial applications. He went into his shop and designed a bed edging blade which not only cuts a clean edge, but also cultivates the soil, taking bed redefining to whole new level. The Bed Raptor blade is a unique one-of-a-kind universal laser cut accessory for tiller machine applications.

“It took a long time to find the right manufacturer, but it was worth the wait!” says Szurpicki. He is thrilled to be linking arms with owner Aaron Stolhammer from Stolhammer and Sons, Inc., a precision metal fabrication and manufacturing facility located in Bemidji. It has always been his goal to produce the blade in northern Minnesota where he lives and operates his other two businesses: J & H Home Inspections, LLC and Provision Contractors, LLC. He looked into manufacturing overseas, where his costs would be significantly cheaper, but ultimately decided to go with Stolhammer and Sons, Inc. Keeping his product local ensures quality, and gives him the ability to have a shorter timeline to turn around orders.

Bed Raptor blade
Szurpicki says the IDEA Competition was vital to his product launch. “I couldn’t have done this without the IDEA Competition. They gave me a platform and offered support by connecting me with professionals, investors and BSU (Bemidji State University) engineers. It has truly been a collaboration of the finest leaders, visionaries, investors and entrepreneurs.” Szurpicki also worked with students from BSU’s Technology, Art and Design (TAD) and Applied Engineering programs. These students were able to gain real life experience with product development, while helping Szurpicki give his invention some fine tuning.

It took Szurpicki six years, but the Bed Raptor is finally a patented invention. The innovative hand edger is now available for purchase online at www.bedraptor.com. The product ships with the blade and a starter kit to turn any tiller into a trencher. Commercial trenchers can cost upwards of $1,600, however the Bed Raptor is available with the starter kit for just around $100 with shipping. There are currently three different blades that will fit a number of different tillers, but Szurpicki is open to taking custom orders if a customer’s machine is not compatible with his current offerings.

There are videos available on the Bed Raptor website where tutorials demonstrate how to install the blade to a tiller. Now that the website is live and the product is available for purchase, Szurpicki hopes he can eventually have the product available in gardening and home improvement stores nationwide.

For more information about the Bed Raptor, visit their website and find them on Facebook.

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