Making Innovative Material Handling Attachments for 45 Years

Rotobec
Written by Jen Hocken

Rotobec grapples, rotators, and loaders are designed to withstand the toughest applications in all conditions. “The durability and dependability of our products really provide the peace of mind our customers deserve,” said Jesse Roy, Director of Customer Experience. This industry leader designs and manufactures material handling attachments in-house to ensure that it controls all aspects of performance and quality.

Company Founder Marcel Cayouette owned an equipment repair company in rural Quebec in the early 1970s that served several local logging companies. He soon identified that many of the logging companies were terribly inefficient due to the techniques to manage logs when loading and unloading the trucks. It was time-consuming and required the operator to change the position of the equipment frequently, which resulted in significant fuel waste and time loss.

Mr. Cayouette realized that this process was a serious bottleneck in the efficiency of logging operations, and set out to engineer a solution to the problem. He created a superior option that revolutionized forestry operations. “In 1975, Rotobec was established with North America’s first 360-degree continuous rotation system for hydraulic attachments, which at the time was a huge technological leap forward for the forestry industry,” said Roy. “That’s actually how Rotobec’s name came about: it signifies rotators of Quebec.”

Today, the company owns three manufacturing facilities with state-of-the-art production equipment. Its home base is in Sainte-Justine, Quebec; its primary United States facility is located in Littleton, New Hampshire; and its newest and most technologically advanced facility is in Groveton, New Hampshire.

In addition to this, it operates a distribution and assembly center in Curitiba, Brazil, and two domestic distribution centers: one in Kelowna, British Columbia and the other in Dallas, Texas. The company also utilizes warehousing space in various locations throughout the world to serve the international market. After forty-five years in business, Rotobec has grown from a small Canadian manufacturer to having a global presence and offering services to customers in forty-six countries.

Rotobec’s product catalogue is suited to serve a broad range of markets. Some of the industries that depend on the company’s products include forestry, scrap recycling, railroad maintenance, waste handling, storm clean-up, and general bulk material handling. Attachments for excavators and material handlers make up the majority of its products, but it also designs knuckle-boom, stationary-mount, PTO, and diesel-powered loaders.

In Saint-Justine, Quebec, the company sits on 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space where it can carefully control every aspect of the design and manufacture of its products. The quality and reliability of the equipment it produces are of central importance, and it has structured its business to be fully self-contained to ensure that its products meet that standard.

“We design and manufacture everything we produce in-house, which allows us the opportunity to control the quality and performance from start to finish,” said Roy. “But for items not manufactured by Rotobec, we count on the expertise of our incredible suppliers to provide us with the components that fit our needs, that complement our unmatched quality.”

In 2019, Rotobec was excited to announce the grand opening of its Groveton, New Hampshire manufacturing facility. The brand new 31,000-square-foot facility features some of the most cutting-edge equipment in the industry for machining and equipment manufacturing, and the expansion was a momentous occasion for the company.

“We’ve got strong market demand and a global reputation for a top-quality product, so that’s really driven a positive trend in sales growth and employees for a number of years now, and the trend continues.” With the increase in demand, the company had faced challenges with the capacity to supply that demand and spent the last year planning the development of the Groveton facility.

The company culture was established early, and the company has always prioritized its people. Today, it has just over five hundred hardworking employees. “Our company is truly a reflection of our people, and really, it is their commitment and dedication to continuously produce products at the highest quality that drives our success,” said Roy.

This employee-focused approach has resulted in a staff that cares about the work they do and is committed to the achievements of the company. One of its guiding principles is a strong belief in inclusiveness, involvement, honesty, and accessibility for employees, dealership partners, and the users of the product. Choosing this firm means more than just purchasing a product; the company slogan ‘We are Rotobec,’ is a declaration that everyone is working together toward success.

Everyone who works for or with the company plays an integral role in the business, and the leadership shows great respect for every one of those roles. It is an approach to management that has led the company to triumphs that include having been named by international professional services firm Deloitte as one of Canada’s fifty ‘Best Managed Companies’ for seven consecutive years.

The communities that have supported Rotobec have played an influential part in its development, and the company takes every opportunity to help repay their loyalty and support. It has made investments in local playgrounds, provided sponsorships for youth and adult athletic programs, purchased equipment for local teams, and helped many in need through charitable donations and fundraising events.

Many challenges face manufacturers today, but the one that poses the greatest obstacle for Rotobec is serving the global market. Because it serves so many industries in so many locations, the company has had to develop expertise in how to best serve these diverse needs. A specific industry might serve the same purpose from region to region, yet the way companies actually perform and the practices they employ may differ drastically.

To stay ahead of this challenge and provide efficient solutions, it is an expert at engineering custom products. The company is adaptable and willing to collaborate with end-users to find products that suit their specific needs, making it stand out among competitors. “Rotobec can tailor solutions to specific situations; it has the ability for customization, and it has a talented engineering and design team. We have unmatched manufacturing capabilities in our industry, and our product line is so vast,” said Roy.

The second method of overcoming this global challenge is through its extensive network of dealers. The company has spent a considerable amount of time forging and nurturing relationships with select dealers to give confidence in the service it provides. Dealers maintain independence, though they are aware of the continuous support from their partners at Rotobec.

Rotobec has not lost sight of the values upon which the company was founded: the importance of family, the atmosphere of inclusion, and most importantly, the relationships it has spent decades building with its employees, dealers, and the people who will end up using the products.

“Our quality, performance, and dependability are second-to-none, but the most important aspect that sets Rotobec apart is our commitment to our dealers and end-users. We strive to ensure that every step of the process is the best experience we can provide,” said Roy. In the future, the company will continue to invest in these which will undoubtedly result in further expansion throughout the world.

“Whether it’s during the sales process, the performance of the product, after-sales support, or any step in between, Rotobec employs a dedicated and highly skilled team throughout the globe with the same goal in mind which is customer satisfaction.”

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