How Gresco’s Tool & Safety Team Came to Be
Jason Chandler, Utility Tool Specialist (GA), describes the history, current position and future aspirations of Gresco’s Tool & Safety team:
You may already know that Gresco has been serving the electric utility industry since 1960. What may surprise you is that our tool and safety operations started shortly after the company’s inception. We entered this arena like we have many other parts of our business: At the request of our customers.
In the late 1960s, as underground cable was being installed for the first time in rural areas, a need arose to troubleshoot these cables when there was an outage. A few of our customers requested that Gresco supplies the equipment and skills to locate these faults. In 1970, Hugh McDonald and Ray Hartley traveled to Skokie, IL, where they attended classes at the headquarters of Associated Research (a division of Ikonix USA). Gresco purchased primary and secondary fault-locating equipment and a van, and thus the tool and safety program was born.
The program and equipment were passed down to Lloyd Layfied in the late 1970s. As an additional service, Lloyd began dielectrically testing bucket trucks and other fiberglass equipment in the early 1980s. Tools were then sold on an order-as-needed basis until the late 1990s when Gresco acquired a larger tool truck and a demo trailer. At that time, Gresco began stocking a larger variety of tools in the warehouse and even sold tools right off the demo trailer.
By the late 2000s, a need for tool and safety specialists in other locations became apparent. By 2010, Gresco had three tool specialists working across the service territory. Today, we have five specialists within the company. Soon, we’ll be adding an e-commerce shop that will allow our customers to quickly purchase what they need and have it on the way in a matter of minutes.
The tool and safety division of the company will continue to grow with some of the best specialists in the industry just a phone call away. Our customers will always need someone to recommend the latest products and have the knowledge to demo and train their employees on these products. Together with the rest of the Gresco team, we will be the logical choice for tools and safety equipment for decades to come.