July 10, 1959
Fred and Dorothy McFarland began McFarland Specialty, in Casper, Wyoming. A manufacturer’s warehouse, McFarland was built out of the recognition for critical operations components to be available close to the industries that needed them in the remote areas of the Rockies. Shipping distances and minimal transportation availability had a profound impact on the region, and delivering these solutions caused McFarland to grow strongly throughout the decade of the 1960’s.
Dave Brown and Les Crawford purchased McFarland Specialty. The two, both former Gates Rubber Co. field engineers, coupled their love of problem solving and creative solutions to the heartbeat of McFarland, providing critical components to the far-flung, 24/7 customers of the region. That combination laid the character foundation of the company today, a foundation wrapped in a profoundly family atmosphere.
1970's - 1980's
Crawford and Brown incorporated Hose and Rubber Supply (HRS INC.) from within
McFarland. This came about in part as the Gates Rubber Co. had begun to shift away from their in-house custom hose assembly fabrication and Gates’ need for other entities to still provide Gates’ quality assemblies. In the Northern Rockies, Gates came to Crawford and Brown seeking their help to continue that service to Gates’ customers. This fit their original mission – to keep their customers operational in a world of extremes.
By this time HRS INC./McFarland Specialty had support and production locations in Wyoming, the Denver-Julesburg Basin of Colorado, Billings, MT., and in Williston, N.D., providing a network of interconnecting sites to serve industries as diverse as Agriculture, OEM/Fabrication, U.S. military bases, and the ever dominant, fast-paced Energy and Extraction industries.
Hose and Rubber was reviewed and awarded Gate’s highest hose certification, HAF, a certification based on adherence to quality of production, fabrication traceability, and system standards adherence.
As technology advanced HRS INC. embraced the opportunities to improve that I.T. brought. The start of the decade saw the implementation of live-time interconnectivity of all branch locations and the dynamic of material tracking it offered. The notable additions of pressure testing and performance certification, and the capacity to build repeatable, special configuration products for customers at any location were also improved or accelerated as result of technology’s growth.
In this decade HRS moved the first large bore, high-capacity crimp equipment into the Northern Rocky Mountains across all its locations, with the largest number of high capacity crimpers in the region. In addition, HRS now has one of the largest big-bore crimpers available anywhere operating in its fleet.
HRS INC. also accelerated the development of “kit projects” for customers for an ever expanding national customer base. From as simple as a numbered sequence of parts through full, on-site customer assistance to determine application development, specifications of product, and generation of unitized packaged kits ready for completed installation.
Currently kit productioncan include serialized units with documentation of date of production/quality inspector/shipping/delivery and any additional customer needs.
The manufacture’s warehouse division was fully phased out in this era and HRS INC. became the sole operational entity.
HRS INC. partnered into the creation of two new HRS locations, HRS LLC., on the Wasatch front of Utah, in Salt Lake City and Provo. This increased the company’s service reach and continued to deepen our combined staff knowledge base with the addition of a team who also had extensive industry backgrounds. The locations in Utah worked extensively with industry, municipalities, and U.S. military installations across the region.
HRS INC., long a family held corporation, and HRS LLC., came together formally as a single entity and then established that entity as an ESOP (employee stock ownership). This next phase of HRS INC.’s operational life continues to fulfill the company’s strength in giving all those who work and live in the company an even greater ability to affect the outcomes of the company directly.
Moving to closely support another major regional market place with a physical presence, HRS placed a branch into the Rockies largest metropolitan center by opening in Commerce City, CO. This location facilitates not only maintaining a northward support into the D.J. Basin but to the wider industry, municipality, and government operations present in the Denver-Front Range geography.
HRS launched its Government Military Sales division. For over four decades HRS has served our government and defense entities in the area but with this step it allows us to place a dedicated facility solely at the service of the American warfighter.
To this day the company has maintained an extremely high employee tenure record, due in great part to the strong relationships. This staff retention gives us one of the deepest and broadest experience bases among companies in this industry, anywhere, with our team coming from fields as diverse as auto and diesel mechanics, farming, information technology, and Veteran warfighters.
The product and service capabilities of Hose and Rubber range far further than our name alone might suggest, including belt power transmission components and drive design, CNC computerized tubing bending, and high reliability-low maintenance shaft couplings, just to name a few. And of course, an inventory and knowledge base in hose, couplings, and components ranging across the entire spectrum of the industry.
In many aspects of modern life the term ‘customer service’ can ring hollow. As an employee-owned company, we are committed to serve our customer in a meaningful way that solves problems, saves time and ultimately enhances their (the customers’) profitability. To this end we have launched three initiatives:
Education – For our company and for our customers. Hose & Rubber Supply has been developing a training curriculum to teach all of our employees in areas of problem solving, product application, communication, cyber security and much more. Training meetings are held each week at each of our facilities with testing for each training topic. We also offer training sessions to our customers regarding thread identification, the Gates Safe Hydraulics course, Dixon Safety Survey, Hose & Rubber Supply Safe Pneumatics training and more.
Quality Certification – Hose & Rubber Supply is currently in the process of achieving the US Air Force standard for quality which is the AS9100D standard. At the first part of May the company passed the documentation phase of the audit. The last part of the audit will be held at the end of June. Once we achieve this certification for our Government and Military Sales (GMS) profit center, we will move the rest of the company to accomplishing ISO9001 certification. These processes help us formalize many quality processes we have always done and it allows us to concentrate on where we can improve. We are committed to continuous improvement to better serve our customers.
Diversification – The roots of Hose & Rubber Supply have always been in energy (e.g., oil, natural gas, coal, etc.) We are committed to continue to grow and develop to take care of our energy customers. We know, however, that the swings up and down regarding the price of crude oil and other energy sectors can have disruptive effects on our customers—and our company. We are focused on growing in servicing energy markets but the company is also seeking to grow faster in areas that make us stronger in all areas to minimize the effects of energy variation. One of those initiatives has been to grow in larger metropolitan areas found throughout the Northern Rockies in Utah and especially Colorado. We are growing in industries serving construction, municipalities, manufacturing and the like. We have also established a profit center that is solely focused on providing our expertise in hose and related products for the Federal Government—primarily serving all branches of the military, but also Bureau of Land Management and Department of Energy.
We are excited to serve the customers in our market and to discover other markets where quality and customer service are required.