From roadways to runways, waterblasting is the best way to maintain and remove line markings, and Hog Technologies provides market-leading equipment. Now, Hog has used its expertise to expand its offering to include more applications and to serve customers around the world. Vince Giordano, vice president of sales, and Adam Baldwin, vice president of marketing, talked us through how the company got where it is and what sets Hog’s equipment and customer service apart from anything else on the market.
The origin story
The company’s story begins in 1988, when founder and CEO James Crocker offered a small pressure washing service in Florida, which expanded into line removal.
“For the first 15 years, we were known as PCS, Pressure Cleaning Services,” explains Giordano. “About 17 years ago, we moved from being a contractor to being an equipment manufacturer. This switch came about because James was frustrated with other manufacturers in the industry; the customer service and quality they were providing was not sufficient.”
In the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, the company set out to master the technology itself.
“Now we manufacture six different types of trucks. We’ve sold machines to municipalities, airports and contractors in 57 countries around the world,” says Giordano.
The turning point in the airport industry, explains Baldwin, came 12 years ago. “Prior to this, airports would use five or six people with chemicals and machines to sweep rubber off the runway so planes aren’t sliding when they land. Environmentally this is not the most conducive way to do it.”
Pittsburgh airport saw the value in buying a Hog Technologies Stripe Hog waterblaster to remove rubber instead, leading the way for several other large airports to do the same. Today, 93% of airports in the USA that own a piece of water blasting equipment, own a Stripe Hog.
Spirit of innovation
Hog serves private roadway and runway contractors looking for solutions for anything from line striping to cutting rumble strips.
“The Stripe Hog is the machine that launched us into the industry to become the dominator,” Baldwin explains, going on to outline that its applications include marking, rubber and paint removal, marking cleaning, hydraulic spill clean-up and retexturing, and adding with evident pride that it has won multiple awards in the US.
Constant innovation keeps Hog at the industry’s cutting edge. “We have a laundry list of innovations on our machines,” says Giordano. “We were the first manufacturer in the world to add vacuum recovery to waterblasting, and that was a game changer.”
All Hog’s competitors soon realised that this was a much better way to clean and have since followed suit, explains Baldwin.
“We have a patented dewatering system,” Giordano adds. “This allows you to run the truck for a longer period of time because you can collect more debris by draining out the water.
“We also have a patented system called bladder bags. Dirty water is pumped into compressed bags that fill the freshwater container. You can double your run time by being able to hold additional dirty water.”
This kind of innovation can be particularly valuable at airports, where it is essential to minimise runway downtime and keep planes and passengers moving.
Innovation is also driven by Hog’s commitment to simplicity, making life easier for the end-user. “We have the simplest-to-use pump on the market. Almost every other truck on the market has a complex pump that needs at least two people and elaborate tools to repair it. Our pump can be completely broken down and rebuilt in about 30-35 minutes,” says Giordano.
The new Hog Tusk also provides a very efficient way to take off the top of a marking using grinding teeth and waterblast the remainder, cutting water use in half and doubling forward speed.
“The success with our waterblasters has really given us a platform to expand our offering and equipment in the last five years,” says Baldwin. “We make the best rumble truck machine on the market. Our line marking equipment – thermoplastic trucks – are really starting to take off as well.”
Being the best
“As a company, our goal is to help create safe roadways by providing the most technologically advanced equipment in our space with the best possible back-end service for the end user. It’s about safety, efficiency, keeping costs low and keeping operations simple,” says Giordano. Crucially, the company will only produce a type of equipment if they feel their offering will be better than what is already available. “It’s really about being a market leader,” according to Giordano.
The same goes for customer service. “We offer 24 hours a day, seven day a week customer support in over 100 languages,” says Giordano. “We guarantee that we’ll ship 98% of spare parts orders the day the order is received.” This includes going the extra mile for overseas customers, providing engineering expertise onsite anywhere in the world if needed.
With Prague airport having just bought their first Stripe Hog, international demand is on the rise. “International airports are starting to see the value in owning their own piece of equipment instead of contracting it out,” says Giordano. As this market increases, Hog’s best-in-class offering will step up to support it. “We have equipment all over the world and our tech support, customer service and training is better than any competitor,” says Giordano. “We operate a parts office and we will have maintenance capability in the Czech Republic, meaning that we ship parts to most of our European customers directly out of the Czech Republic. We also have a hub in Dubai.”