Tank Toad: The water monitor for livestock producers, providing an ease of mind and saving time
Damon Printz studied aerospace and electric engineering in Texas, but throughout his high school career he grew up on his family’s ranch in Albin, where they ranch and put up hay.
“It was during this time my great uncle Ron Lerwick and cousin Monte Lerwick – who are my two business partners, wanted me to build them some kind of device to check water levels,” he shares. “This is when the project idea was conceived and how the Toad Tank system came about.”
It took him a while to figure out how to make it work, he jokes by saying, “School is helpful, but a lot of it was learning in the dorm room, spending time researching and buying stuff and playing with it and programing.”
Today the company, Meadowlark Solutions, is on their sixth-generation product and is ready to serve the ranching and farming community with their Tank Toad system on a much wider customer base.
“The Tank Toad system’s main goal is to produce a dependable remote monitoring solution for farmers and ranchers, with an emphasis on financial return,” reads their website.
The company offers two different types of units, a cellular model and a satellite model.
The satellite model works anywhere and uses a satellite network to send messages. Producers must buy prepaid satellite credits to enable the service. The credits are deducted once per month while the Toad Tank is active, and extra credits roll over to the next year.
The cellular model works best for areas with good cell coverage. The cellular model allows producers to save money for longer seasons, if they have good cell coverage at their tank, the website explains.
“Both models are always connected,” Printz shares. “If producers want to know what the water level is at a given time, they can text it and it will text them back.”
Producers will need hardware plus one of the two network service options. The company offers a three-month season lease at $170 per month, a six-month season lease at $100 per month and a 12-month season lease at $65 per month.
Producers are able to set up the system with no app required. It provides daily water level reports and is easy to set up via phone or text – producers can text back anytime for another reading throughout the day.
The system is engineered, designed and produced by ranchers for ranchers and has excel-lent tech support. In addition to providing producers an ease of mind and saving time, the system offers several other benefits.
“We have well control capabilities – if producers have a long link between the tank and the well with multiple miles of pipeline, we can actually control that, where a lot of other people can’t,” Printz explains. “Because people can kind of set this up themselves, it’s a lot cheaper to install – producers aren’t paying for the whole tech and a sales person. The system is efficient and geared towards ranchers who know how to use a screw gun and know what a two by four is.”
“We have units everywhere,” he notes. “There are units in Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, Wy-oming, Montana, South Dakota and right on the Canadian border.”
The company anticipates demand but has a goal to lease another 100 units throughout the country in the coming year.
“Many producers use our system to save time and miles traveled, but it’s really a part of the water management solution,” Printz explains. “The Tank Toad closes the loop on responsible water management, enabling the rancher to confidently push higher gross product and lease pasture farther out.”
At the end of the day, producers no longer have to guess anymore, because they have the ability to be up to date within an hour of what the water level is with this system, Printz concludes.
“People end up paying for this Tank Toad 100 times over because they can increase their herd size by 10 or 20 percent and they can get cheaper land,” he says. “It ends up saving producers time and money.”
For more information, visit tanktoad.com.
Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.