RHS, Inc. Timeline
‘Rick Heiniger Sales’ was founded as a sole proprietorship for the purpose of distributing supplies for fertilizing and spraying in Northeast Kansas. The office was located in a farm house five miles south of Fairview, KS. Inventory was maintained in the garage of the house. The business was intended to supplement income for the farm which was facing drought and difficult economic times.
The name changed from ‘Rick Heiniger Sales’ to RHS to improve image as a real company as opposed to a person working alone out of a trunk.
RHS began selling sprayers for Rockey Mfg. Co. (RMC Sprayers) in Hiawatha.
A contract was signed with RMC to exclusively distribute equipment in a 4 state area.
Began engineering work on the first RHS branded product, the Eagle Pickup Sprayer for custom applicators. Early models were manufactured by RMC. Hired the first employees, Dave Eisenbise and Bill Burdick as a salesman. Began construction of a 48’ x 84’ building in Hiawatha, KS. The move from Fairview to Hiawatha was made in November, 1985.
The business plan changed from distribution to manufacturing. RHS became a Kansas corporation. RHS purchased the assets of RMC in Hiawatha and began manufacturing operations under RHS. The Eagle Pickup Sprayer was formally introduced as an add-on flatbed chassis sprayer.
Introduced three major new products. Light weight FiberWorks™ Booms, RHS Foam Markers & AutoGlide™ Ultrasonic Boom Height Control. Added a 90’ x 110’ Assembly Building for Eagle Sprayers.
Began development work on an RHS Chemical Injection control system.
Began supplying ultrasonic boom height controls to Toro under the trade name Sonic Boom™.
Rick Heiniger is recognized as Kansas Small Business Person of the Year. Began production of the integrated framemounted Eagle Sprayer.
First international foam marker shipment to Australia. Under contract with a third party, developed the commercial version of what is now known as ‘Synchro™’ Variable Droplet Size Spray Nozzle. The Ice Eagle has landed! First Ice Eagle delivered to the U.S. Air Force in 1993. Provided Ice Eagles to Argentina Air Force in 1994.
Anticipating the growing demand for an ultra high quality pull type sprayer, RHS purchased Bestway Sprayers from Ritchie Industries, a brand known for quality.
All assets were moved from Conrad, IA to Hiawatha, KS. The existing Bestway models were replaced with more advanced RHS designs and distribution was expanded. Ceased manufacturing the Eagle Pickup Sprayer.
Finished most Bestway redesigns and initial overhaul of Bestway distribution. Beginning in 1997, under contract with John Deere Turf division, developed a sprayer for use in golf course management. It is still in production today.
Beginning in 1998, in cooperation with Rhone Poulenc, RHS designed, manufactured and sold the PPS precision placement system to apply Regent insecticide with planters. This was the first experience selling and servicing direct to farmers over a large geographic area.
After two years of planning, began development work on the Outback S™ GPS guidance system in cooperation with Satloc. Introduced revolutionary new Bestway Field Pro III, 90’ front fold FiberWorks spray boom on a 1600 gallon pull type chassis.
In December, introduced the Outback S™. This along with a new Outback distribution system designed to give local service for GPS products. Introduced the 1200 gallon x 80’ Bestway Field Pro III.
Opened Outback Canada in Winnepeg, Manitoba. Introduced the 1000 gallon x 60’ Bestway Field Pro III.
Opened Outback/Bestway Regional Offices in Waco, Texas and Ames, Iowa. Introduced the Outback 360™.
Introduced Outback Hitch™. Opened Outback/Bestway Regional Offices in Hastings, Nebraska.
Opened new Bestway production facility. Introduced Outback eDrive™.
RHS sells Outback Guidance Division to CSI Wireless in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Bestway Inc. becomes a stand alone company to continue manufacturing and marketing the Bestway sprayer line.
Bestway Inc. introduces the patented V-Ride™ Variable Ride Boom Suspension as standard equipment on its Field PRO IV pull type sprayers. V- Ride™ lets the sprayer operator “dial in” the boom suspension system to achieve superior boom ride and performance in the field. Up to 25% increased productivity can be achieved due to the 2-5 mph higher field speeds.
Bestway Inc. diversifies its product offerings with the introduction of a new brand and product. The patented Retriever® SLT (Self Loading Trailer) allows one man and one pickup truck to load, transport and unload combine heads and large three-point mounted implements.
Bestway Inc. introduces the second Retriever brand product, the Retriever Transport Hitch. The Retriever TH converts a semi-tractor into a heavy-duty implement towing system.
Bestway Inc. launches the new AutoGlide™ automatic boom height control system for most sprayers. AutoGlide™ uses rugged ultrasonic range sensors mounted on the spray boom to monitor and maintain a consistent boom height, resulting in improved application, reduced drift potential and reduced operator fatigue.
Bestway Inc. introduces the new NTX Series pull type sprayers. The NTX Series sprayers feature a 60” – 120” axle adjustment range to meet grower demand for sprayers with wheel tread the same as the rear tractor wheel tread.
Bestway introduces the new Retriever® PUP self loading trailer for Cat I and II, three-point mounted implements and universal skid steer attachments.
Local investors, including two Bestway top management personnel acquire Bestway Inc. from Rick Heiniger and re-form the company as Bestway Sales, LLC.
Bestway introduces the new AutoGlideXR™ automatic boom height control system that replaces AutoGlide™ in the Bestway line. AutoGlideXR features new longer range sonar sensors and three sensor mode settings (bare ground, partial canopy and full canopy) to provide growers even more value.