- Vonda, SK S0K, Canada
Like many other businesses in Saskatchewan, the early beginnings of Highline Manufacturing took shape on a family farm. It was in the early 1960’s that the concept of making a rugged and durable rock picker took shape on the Bussiere farm just east of Vonda. Based on the rock picker concept, Highline Manufacturing was originally called Rock-O-Matic Industries. In 1963 Rock-O-Matic held an official grand opening and promoted the new rock pickers to farmers in the surrounding communities.
Farmers soon saw the usefulness and durability of the design and by 1966 upwards of 100 units were being produced a year in this small plant on the farm. With the increase in demand and potential for expansion into other product lines, a new more modern plant was being considered. In 1970 this dream became reality and a new building was erected on the current site in Vonda.
During the next period, the company continued being successful and was recognized with achievements such as winning the Canadian Export Award in 1983 and the Saskatchewan Export Award several times for their efforts in the Russian Markets.
In February of 1988, Raymond Bussiere purchased the assets of Rock-O-Matic and changed the name to Highline Manufacturing Inc. The following year he broadened its product line by purchasing Laurier Manufacturing Inc. based out of Laurier, MB. Then in 1993, a new product called the Bale-Master was developed. This new product would revolutionize the round bale feeding industry.
Highline continued to enjoy success and the plant underwent a variety of changes to meet customer and production demands, until it reached a footprint of 70,000 square feet on 160 acres of property. Highline took pride in the fact that it listened to the needs of its customers and it guaranteed “Customer Driven Quality”. Business continued forward until sales were hit hard by a BSE crisis in the market. At this time, Raymond Bussiere sought to find a buyer that would bring market strength, financial stability and continued community growth. His search did not take long, nor did he have to look far for a buyer.
On June 5, 2006 it became official that Bourgault Industries Ltd. would acquire the assets of Highline Manufacturing and operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bourgault Industries Ltd. Bourgault believed that Highline had an excellent reputation for producing a quality product, and standing behind it. Perhaps even more importantly, Bourgault believed that the success Highline had enjoyed for many years was largely due to the strength and resilience of its workers. Being from a rural culture the Team at Highline would be committed to the future success of the organization and the community.
Since acquiring Highline Manufacturing, Bourgault has gradually shifted selected Bourgault products to Vonda to help fully utilize this plant’s capacity. A significant setback was experienced July of 2007 with a major fire at the plant. However, Highline has since repaired and rebuilt, making major improvements along the way. Two of the more major improvements in 2008 included a 12,240 square foot expansion, bringing the total square footage to 82,640, and the second was another production line including all the necessary equipment.
Highline is committed to providing the right equipment to allow its Team members to work safely and efficiently to meet the needs of our Customers. Approximately two million dollars has already been allocated to equipment upgrades or new installations including:
In line Blast Booth
Paint Booth & Equipment
Infrared Cure Oven
American Hofmann Balancer
Graco Promix II Paint Systems (South Line)
400 Ton Press Brake
Highline has adopted a new standard with regards to safety and training. To meet the increased demand in production, the number of Team members at Highline has doubled in the past three years. Highline has selected individuals to take on this task and lead the company through instructing standardized Job Relations, Job Instruction and various Safety training sessions. Highline is striving to not only meet, but to exceed the industry standards for safety and training of its Team members.
n attachment for Highline's CFR 650, this system meters grain or pellets directly into the CFR 650 for an even feed without hot spots. The blend of shorter cut lengths in roughage increases digestibility, therefore improving rumen efficiency and increasing daily weight gain. This, in turn, reduces feed days and increases overall profit.
The Metered Grain Insertion System ensure whole grains are cracked for increased nutrient absorption, and allows grain and roughage to be mixed consistently. The decided amount of grain is then metered and blended into the hay or straw windrow. Cattle are unable to sort this mixed ration feeding system, proving for an even feed. The system as a whole reduces waste and labour hours, and is cost efficient. Loading bales is simplified with adjustable forks, and twine is easily removed with the patented Twine Cutter also available.