Adam Ford - Inventor at Ice Auger Machines

A Little About Adam Ford

I was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I went to school at Kingsford High School. I went on to college at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College for machine tool. I became a CNC machinist, which I did for 8 years. I took a different job as a manufacturing engineer in 2010, and now I started a new job in September 2014 as a product manager at a machine tool and fabrication shop in Appleton, WI.

I have always been very passionate and focused when it comes to my projects. Building and designing have always been a big interest to me and that’s what motivates me to keep going. I hope to build many things that will benefit us all one day. I tend to think outside the box on many of my inventions and that’s what separates me from a lot of people. In my spare time I love to hunt and fish. I also play in a men’s hardball league during the summers. I enjoy golfing in the summers as well.

The Ice Auger Machine “AH HA” Moment…

The idea came to me from an experience I had in 2010, while ice fishing on “The Bay” in Green Bay, WI. I began my two mile hike across the 4” of ice, surrounded by open water spots, and ice cracks with flowing water. My equipment was in a large sled that I was pulling behind me, and with no snow it made it even more difficult to walk.

I reached my spot using my phone as a GPS to set up the shack, but soon after getting situated, the wind picked up and a storm started rolling in. Thinking my portable shack would protect me, I continued fishing and waiting it out. Unfortunately, the wind became so intense my shack wasn’t able to stay up and I couldn’t safely keep my heater going; forcing me to pack up and head to shore before freezing to death.

Ice Auger Machines Prototype 2
Ice Auger Machines Real Prototype

By this time the sun had gone down and was getting dark, but I had my trusty flashlight and GPS! With no snow on the ice to track footsteps the GPS was a must. I was nervous remembering dodging the open water spots and ice cracks. I went to get my phone to find the GPS was dead and my flashlight was dim and about to die. So I started walking with my ice chipper in one hand while pulling my sled in the other.

The few lights on shore let me know I was heading in the right direction, but with open water around me for every 5 steps I needed to take a hard chop into the ice with my chipper to make sure the ice was thick enough. Walking on bare ice in +25 MPH winds was so difficult it took everything I had just to stay on my feet and hang onto my sled.

Multiple times I stopped from exhaustion, and even laid on the ice to rest for a few minutes. My heavy jacket was also making me sweat and overheat, so I would stop to take it off; within a minute or two in 15 degree temps I was freezing cold so had to find a way of keeping it on but unzipping it enough to keep me cool.

I kept looking back at my gas auger and thinking of if somehow the motor could be used to propel me forward. The more I walked, the more I thought about it . Realizing there was nothing that could be done at that moment, I wanted to come up with something that could bring a fisherman and his supplies to a  fishing spot and back using the motor already used for ice fishing.

Ice Auger Machines
Ice Auger Machine with Sled

Two long, exhausting hours later I made it back to my truck. While resting in my truck for 15 minutes waiting for it to warm up, all I could think about it building the Ice Auger Machine.

I went to work on it right away building a wooden frame with 2 axles and 4 tires. There were no brakes and no steering, but the only goal with the first prototype was to determine that it could move me and have decent power. After going about 25 feet, I knew it was going to work. I then designed another prototype with steering, good tires, bearings, and even a seat.

Since then, I’ve been using and upgrading that prototype for years now. A good friend of mine shared a video on his Facebook and that video went viral in 24 hours with over 15,000 shares and over a million likes. That’s the moment I realized that other people liked the idea as much as I do! I started a Facebook page right away, where I have thousands of loyal followers and am able to grow my product and share everything with them. I love to ask for their advice and opinions because I want to make sure I am offering the best product out there.

In the winter of 2014, I appeared on the Discovery Channel to do a story on inventions that we filmed in Dyckesville, WI. In 2015, I used my prototype during the filming but I plan to redesign it to a much safer and more practical unit. The first official Ice Auger Machine will be available for purchase in the near future.

Ice Auger Machines Real Prototype