Hycotec Inc.27 January, 2022
Hycotec Inc., based in Ontario, Canada and primarily serving the North American market, has built more than thirty years of experience in designing and manufacturing controls for insulating aerial devices, mining equipment, and forestry equipment. For the bulk of that time, Hycotec has worked in close collaboration with Bronto Skylift, acting simultaneously as the Canadian Bronto dealer for insulating units, a consultant, and trainer for our range of aerial platforms.
We spoke with Jeff Harris, President of Hycotec, to talk about their extensive history in developing and servicing insulating aerial devices.
A controls specialist
Jeff’s first encounter with a Bronto predated Hycotec, during his time at Ontario Hydro (now Hydro One). So when Hycotec was initially approached by Bronto Skylift in late 1993, he was all ears. Bronto Skylift was looking for assistance in developing a new, insulating aerial device – a market poised for growth in North America, but one they hadn’t yet entered. An insulating aerial device enables line workers to work on energised lines and structures, meaning they don’t need to be powered down during service.
“We collaborated with the engineering group from Bronto Skylift when they visited North America in 1993. I rented a conference room at a hotel near the airport in Toronto, and we pasted up on the walls the electrical and hydraulic schematics that were used on the existing units. Then we went over all the systems and subsystems that would allow us to use a fibre optic control system and/or require modification to meet the Standards for insulating aerial devices.”
Jeff had gained experience in the development of fibre optic control systems for insulating aerial devices in the 1980s while at Ontario Hydro. Together with Hycotec, Bronto successfully developed their first insulating aerial platform, delivering the first unit in the fall of 1994 to PSE&G in New Jersey. Over the decades, Hycotec has continued to offer Bronto Skylift its expertise in the development of Bronto’s insulating range of aerial platforms.
“Over the years we’ve just kept progressing, and the systems keep evolving. I also work with many of the US and Canadian utilities such as Hydro One in Ontario, CPS Energy in San Antonio, Pacific Gas and Electric in California, and Bonneville Power Administration in Washington State on a routine basis, providing assistance with inspections, service, training, and testing of their Bronto units.”
Hycotec’s key competencies in engineering, consulting and operator training are widely sought after. For Bronto Skylift, Harris has put those skills to use, collaborating on aerial device improvements to better serve his customers while helping Bronto Skylift break ground with insulating units in several new markets.
Flexible and customer-focused
Hycotec is no stranger to providing system modifications and redesigns for its clients. And in the Canadian and Alaskan markets, cold weather-related system design modifications are always in play. That customer focus, he says, is something Bronto Skylift shares.
“The end users don’t really care if it looks pretty, they want it to work. And they want it to work reliably, and they want it to work safely. And that’s what Brontos give them.”
Jeff cites the expertise and ease of working with Bronto Skylift, particularly the engineering and service teams, as the reason the relationship has continued for so long.
“I know that if I have questions, they’ll provide the answers for me. And I like to think if they have questions, I provide the answers for them too!”
Either way, Hycotec will continue to hold the line for insulated units in North America.
Caistor Centre, ON
L0R 1E0 Canada