Rawhide Portable Corrals: Continuous Improvement

Drive through main frame corral

By Maura Keller.

When innovative companies and their founders develop ingenious products that will improve the end users’ lives through streamlined efficiencies and state-of-the-art functionality, those companies are eager to get their product into the hands of as many customers as possible. And that is exactly the case for John McDonald, founder and owner of Rawhide Portable Corral, who originally introduced his Rawhide PortableCorral 21 years ago.

For over two decades John has worked diligently to bring his efficient, streamlined corral system to thousands of farmers and ranchers throughout the U.S. Thanks to John’s focus on continuous improvement, the refined Rawhide Portable Corral has been enhanced throughout the years, resulting in a well-defined corral system that meets the needs of today’s producers. And now, thanks to the incorporation of a new dealer network, consumers will be able to experience Rawhide Portable Corrals close to home.

“We’re setting up the new dealer network for the first time in 21 years that I’ve been direct sales,” McDonald says. “While I’ve had a few guys selling some of my corrals for me in such places as Texas and South Dakota, we’ve never actually had an official dealer network. This will help with the accessibility of our corrals, as customers won’t have to come to our headquarters in Abilene, Kansas for a tutorial.”

Rather, dealers across the new network will be thoroughly trained on the Rawhide Portable Corral system in order to share this knowledge with customers across the U.S., in locations that may be closer to where their farms and ranches are located. Initially, the dealer network will include California, Oregon, Virginia, North Dakota, South Texas and Southeastern Kansas.

“Those folks that are going to be dealers for us will have to come to Abilene to learn everything about the product – how it’s built, how it’s operated, how to troubleshoot issues if there’s a problem,” McDonald says. “There’s a lot to it.”

In addition, as a key part of the Rawhide Portable Corral dealer network, the company will be instilling the same price across the board, regardless of the dealer location.

“I want to set the price across the board. There won’t be any haggling over what it costs to ship and things like that,” McDonald says. “I just want to provide the product to the customer at one consistent price, as quickly and efficiently as possible so they can begin to use their new corral.”

Redefined Strategy

Since first developing his innovative corral system over two decades ago, John’s ultimate vision has been to provide efficient, streamlined corral systems that are easy to set-up, use and transport for farms and ranches of all sizes. Most recently, to meet the expansive needs to large-scale farms and ranches, Rawhide recently introduced its Rancho Deluxe Corral, which allows the country’s largest producers with hundreds of head of animals to utilize Rawhide’s innovative corral design.

The new Rancho Deluxe Corral boasts over twice the capacity of the Super Large Rawhide Processor that the company has been selling for years. For years, many producers are from large areas in Montana, Canada, and elsewhere that work on large ranches, asked John to develop an innovative corral system that could handle 600 to 800 head of cattle.

By beefing up the frame and adding more panels, as well as extending the length of the panels, the Rancho Deluxe can be used to sort large numbers of animals. In addition, John has further enhanced the suspension system needed to smoothly travel down a highway or on tough terrain with the Rancho Deluxe in tow. This patent-pending suspension system and 32-panel racking system is truly a game changer for such an expansive portable corral on wheels.

“I realized when I was developing the Rancho Deluxe design idea that this product was going to be heavy and it was going to bounce and be hard on axles,” McDonald says. “So I’ve put a patent-pending suspension on it to handle the weight of the system.”

Currently, the Rancho Deluxe Corral is available in three sizes, yet still features the ease and efficiency that the Rawhide Portable Corrals have become known for – especially the longevity and durability of the materials used. The design of the new Rancho Deluxe reflects the original Rawhide Portable Corral design, which features the same 13-gauge material and durable plastic fenders that end users have come to depend on.

Through the years McDonald has gleaned information from end users and from customers, as well as from the questions he received at various farm shows he attended. Embracing these questions and evaluating the information and feedback he received has resulted in a continuous improvement process that has produced a refined product that truly stands out from the crowd.

For all Rawhide Portable Corrals, McDonald and his team work with each customer to understand how they plan on using the corral – to sort, load, pre-wean, vaccinate, AI, etc. – to determine the best size and subsequent system components that will streamline the corral’s functionality and versatility specifically for their ranch or farm.

“Our company is all about customer service,” John says. “Having a dealer network to make this easier for the customer and continuously enhancing the customer experience with our products’ functionality is so important to us.” Unfortunately, Rawhide’s innovative designs have been copied throughout the years by other entities who are striving to duplicate John’s patent-pending engineering and design. Recently, a few producers who inadvertently purchased these copycat designs reached out to Rawhide with functionality issues.

“Although they didn’t purchase our product, and rather purchased a corral that was sold as being ‘just like a Rawhide,’ we helped them figure out the issue they were facing,” John says. “We were able to point out the deficiencies in their copycat product and help them. We strive for unmatched customer service in everything we do. If there is ever an issue, I’m going to take care of our customers.”

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