History of Hi-Vac

Hi-Vac ® Corporation was founded in 1969 and was based in the Chicago, Illinois area for approximately 20 years.

Originally named National Foundry Equipment International (“NFE International”), the company was formed to supply industrial vacuums for general housekeeping to the foundry industry. Up to that time, plant cleanup was still being done with brooms, shovels, wheelbarrows and laborers. The company developed the industrial vacuum cleaner which they called the “Hi-Vac®”. This industrial vacuum unit was an entirely new concept in foundry housekeeping. With it, one person replaced an entire work crew. He could clean elevator pits, dust collectors, cat walks, conveyors and the operating equipment in minutes instead of hours.

Spills from conveyor breakdowns could be picked up fast to allow immediate repairs. Many clean-up jobs could be done during regular working hours without costly overtime. Valuable materials could be vacuumed up and recycled. In short, the Hi-Vac® industrial vacuum cleaner reduced the cost of foundry cleanup and, at the same time, substantially reduced the exposure of the employees to noxious and/or harmful materials.

The problems of waste, spillage and the need to recover reusable materials are common to many industries. Hi-Vac® industrial vacuum cleaners were soon being put into service in cement plants, steel mills, ship yards, chemical plants and other bulk solids handling and processing facilities.

In September 1989, Mr. Rudolph John Lehman purchased the company and relocated it to the Marietta Industrial Park in Marietta, Ohio. The move was completed by December 7, 1989.

Hi-Vac ® Corporation, in July of 1991, purchased the assets of UltraVac ®, one of Hi-Vac’s ® competitors since 1968. The production was moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to the Marietta plant; and the product line was folded in under one corporate name, Hi-Vac ® Corporation.

Hi-Vac ® Corporation purchased RenVac in Grimsby, England, In April of 1998. RenVac had been a competitor of Hi-Vac® for many years and sold a similar product line primarily to the European markets.

In June 1999, Hi-Vac ® Corporation purchased the assets of Aquatech Inc. Aquatech had been in business since 1964 producing a complete line of sewer cleaning equipment. The Aquatech product line was moved from Twinsburg, Ohio, to Marietta, Ohio, immediately upon acquisition.

In April of 2001, Hi-Vac ® Corporation started a subsidiary in Beijing, China called Beijing Hi-Vac®. The Beijing operation today produces a full-line of Hi-Vac equipment and caters to the Asian market, with a focus on China.

In late 2005, shortly after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Hi-Vac Corporation was approached about building a hydro-excavation unit to help in the clean-up. The end result was the decision to develop what became the X-Vac® line of Hydro Excavators. Today, the line is sold to contractors around the world.

Hi-Vac ® Corporation acquired the assets of O’Brien Manufacturing in 2006. As with the previous stateside acquisitions, the production was moved (from Leiters Ford, Indiana) to Marietta. O’Brien has been making trailer mounted sewer cleaning equipment since 1945.

During the fourth quarter of 2010, Aquatech de Las Americas/Hi-Vac Latinos Americas was established in Bogota, Colombia. This Latin American arm of Hi-Vac Corporation provides Sales support, Service, Training and Aftermarket products and services to all of Latin America.

Hi-Vac ® Corporation has sold thousands of Hi-Vac, UltraVac, RenVac Aquatech and O’Brien machines throughout the world. The company will continue to look for product line and geographic growth opportunities.