SnowBear Plows Inc.
SnowBear Plows Inc., the leading North American manufacturer of personal and light commercial snowplows and related accessories, has been building snowplows for some 20 years.
located in Princeton, Ont. SnowBear creates innovative products with features that ease the customer’s recreational and outdoor working lifestyles, and focuses on manufacturing of the mid-market affordable products and accessories for trucks, ATVs (All-terrain vehicles) and UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles), allowing for customers to plow their driveways on their own time, not relying on municipal and contractor services. The typical payback for a home owner is less than one season.
In 2012 the company was consolidated under Tiercel Technology Corp. (a corporation interested in acquiring and building manufacturing assets and technologies produced in Southern Ontario and the United States). As a wholly owned subsidiary, the SnowBear brand draws on the parent company’s extensive experience in organizational development, finance, sales and marketing across North America, Europe and Asia. Graham Leather, Sales Manager, North America at SnowBear said, “As a part of a larger conglomerate, besides the aforementioned, our clients see us as a far more professional and competitive business. As a technology-based company, we also have access to vast resources that come with being a part of a larger organization. We have a superior manufacturing facility, including welding and machining, and our products are manufactured in the main company facility in Princeton, Ont. This 110,000 square foot facility unifies five businesses consolidated under Tiercel Technology Corp. with more than 100 experienced employees.”
While the large plows are engineered for municipalities, SnowBear plows target the rural homeowner or small commercial business with a lengthy laneways or large properties that require snow maintenance, such as small business owners and property managers who want to add to their bottom line by saving on contractual snow removal services. “Our largest plows sell for about $2,000. With that in mind, if a property owner has a severe winter (requiring these services more often) this service can run up to somewhere around $8,000 per season. So the rural homeowners and the businesses can definitely benefit not just from the cost-saving perspective, but also the convenience — plowing when needed rather than waiting ‘in line’ for the contractor,” says Leather.
As far as competition goes, Leather says that the overall competition in small snowplows is minimal, only coming from the likes of snowblowers. While the price tags for both are compatible, a snowplow cleans off an area 15 times faster compared to a snowblower, and with the advantage of doing it from the comfort of a vehicle, rather than getting sprayed by machined snow. According to Leather, SnowBear plows require minimal maintenance, and offer fast mounting and dismounting. “This is a simple design with very few operational parts (no hydraulic systems of like the large plows) and a long lifespan. We have recently redesigned our mount to a more universal mounting bracket that fits most of the later vehicle makes, so we have the ability to stay current with the latest models, making it more effective and cost efficient in terms of installation as well as production.”
Property owners can find SnowBear plows at retail chains (Lordco (B.C.), United Farmers of Alberta, Hitch House Ltd. (Alta.), Dawson Creek Co-Op (B.C.), Acklands-Grainger (Canadawide)); distribution chains (GrandWest (Sask.), Twin Equipment (Que.)); independent dealer chains (Trucks Plus (Ont.), Auto Add Ons (Ont.), Egger Machine and Truck (Ont.), Galer Farm Equipment (Ont.), G and A Repair and Machine (Ont.)); as well as online (Auto Accessories Garage (Ill.), Northern Tool (Minn.), Real Truck (N.D.), Truck XL (Fla.), Morris 4X4(Fla.), Menards (Wis), Global Industrial (N.Y.)). “We have covered pretty much all the distribution channels available to get our product into the market.”
In regards to Canada, the company has presence in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec. “While we have about 80 per cent of the country covered, our presence in the Maritimes is rather minor, so we plan a more aggressive expansion in this market, as Maritimes’ geography and weather patterns are a perfect market for our product,” says Leather.
According to Leather, the changing global weather patterns are also creating new opportunities in the European markets. “England saw some of the harshest winters the country has ever seen, and Scandinavia wasn’t getting such harsh winters in the past either. These countries are not equipped for this kind of weather, so there is no real reason why our products could not benefit in these markets.”