Heidi Ellsworth: Welcome back. This is Heidi Ellsworth and we are at Metalcon and we are live from the sound stage. I am honored to have our next guest who is a return favorite, let me tell you that. Rob Haddock with S-5. Hello.
Rob Haddock: Howdy. Hi. Good to see you. Good to see everybody through that lens over there.
And what are we going to talk about today, Heidi?
Heidi Ellsworth: Well, I thought first we talked about the show. How's the show going for you?
Rob Haddock: It's going well. We've had a lot of traffic at our booth.
We have a couple of new products we're introducing here at this show. And it's good to see old friends and old colleagues from around the industry and keep track of where is everybody now.
Heidi Ellsworth: What are they doing? We just saw Jerry Iselin and he was on this right before you, so that was cool. So what are the new products you have in the booth.
Rob Haddock: We always struggled. We make nifty attachments to mount almost anything on metal roofs and do it in a way that is prudent and preserves the integrity of the roof. We have always struggled a little bit with round shapes. So pipes, conduits, condensate lines, things that are round. I mean it could be done, but we didn't have as nifty a way to do it as I always wanted. Now we do.
So that's one of the new, it's a pipe bracket. And we have them in 14 different sizes and it makes it easy. They screw right into any one of our clamps or brackets and make it really nifty and quick and easy to mount round shapes.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's cool. When you think about how much is going on the roof nowadays, I mean between satellite dishes and solar arrays and everything, you want a strong metal roof and you want them to attach the right way. And all those cords and everything else, so that's amazing.
Rob Haddock: Exactly. People run electrical conduits across roofs and gas piping and things like that. And in the solar industry, of course a lot of wiring and things like that. And so this gives them... And it's really economical. It's fast. You just thread it into one of our clamps and it captures your conduit. It's got an EPDM lining lining on the thing. So it's an iffy way to get it done.
Heidi Ellsworth: S-5 engineering.
Rob Haddock: Yeah. It's truly the S-5 whiz-bang solution. And I'm glad we now can make that so much easier for contractors.
Heidi Ellsworth: What's the feedback from the contractors and the architects and everybody who's coming by and seeing it? What are they saying?
Rob Haddock: Everybody loves it. And in conjunction with that, we also developed a strut that's kind of like a unistrut on steroids. And that mates with those same parts. If you've got a series of them, you can create a wire chase and do all kinds of things with it. And that strut's also used to mount HVAC equipment to roofs, particularly condensing units on split systems. And so that's another one. And the two kind of go together.
Heidi Ellsworth: Does it?
Rob Haddock: Everybody loves it.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. It makes so much sense because you are bringing everything together on the roof. Right? And like you said, in a way that your attachments keep that roof safe because it needs to be on there for a long time. And we've been talking about that all week. About the length, the longevity, the performance of metal.
Rob Haddock: Right. And people always have wanted to mount things to metal roofs and there never was a right way to do it until S-5.
I'm glad and proud that we had the opportunity to innovate some unique methods to do it that preserve the integrity of the roof. And you can do it the right way now.
Heidi Ellsworth: Right. Well, give us just a little bit. For everyone out there, just a little bit of the history of S-5. I know you started it, you had this concept. So kind of just from when it started to today. Wow.
Rob Haddock: Wow. That's 30 years now, Heidi. But actually, it started literally in my barn. In my little workshop there. We made a video on this story, but I'll give you the short version. I had just built a new home for myself. This was back around 1984, 5, 6 ish. And of course it had metal roofs.
And I had just finished shoveling the snow from out in front of my garage so I could get my car out, or my pickup back then. And I was leaning on my shovel, admiring my work and so glad it was done. It was a pretty deep snow. And while I was leaning on my shovel, just admiring my work, whoosh, this avalanche came off my garage roof and dumped another four feet of snow where I'd just cleared it. And of course I'd been in the industry for quite a while then. And I said, I'm going to do something about this. And there pre-made gizmos out there in the marketplace for that purpose, snow guards.
And most of them were plastic, glued on parts that you glue them on and they fall off. And then you glue them on next year and they fall off again. And I didn't want any of that junk on my roof. So I just put myself to work and the wheels started churning. And I went out in my shop, in my barn and whittled out a couple of crude prototypes from blocks of wood from a 2 x 4.
And the more I looked at the concept that I was doing, it was just a shape that'd straddle a standing seam like a saddle on a horse. And I know something about that.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. You do know something about that.
Rob Haddock: And then pinched the seam with sets screws from the side. And I finally got one made out of aluminum, a prototype, and took it to a lab and did some load testing on it to see how strong that connection was. And I mean it hung on like country music. It maxed out their load cell, which was a 2000 pound load cell. And I thought, I really have something here.
Heidi Ellsworth: We've got something. Yeah. I love it. That's such a great story. And then it just kept growing from there.
Rob Haddock: Well, it didn't just keep growing. There were a lot of challenges back in the beginning. I was told by manufacturing companies that it couldn't be made for the kind of money I needed to make it for, in order to get it into the market. And I was told by distributors... I took it to some of the best companies there were to reach into the metal roofing community with a new product like that. And I was told over and over again, no. There's no call for this. There's no demand for this. There's no need for this. And so I finally did it myself and then and started manufacturing. And there were a lot of hurdles.
You've got to be like a bulldog. And just don't give up on it. And that's what I did. And the company's grown now. And we figure we've been used on well over 2 million roofs worldwide. And we're in Australia and we're in New Zealand and we're in the Middle East and we're in South Africa and Central and South America.
Heidi Ellsworth: Wow. I hear you've been traveling a lot.
Rob Haddock: Pre-COVID, I was booking about 250,000 miles a year. And it's getting back to that again now.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. I'm finding the same thing. It's kind of crazy. It almost seems like that never even happened, we're just getting right back to all that travel and everything.
Rob Haddock: Seems like we are. Yeah. And all the trade shows are trying to catch up on the revenues they lost during COVID. They're all jamming together. And it's from one to the next to the next to the next.
Heidi Ellsworth: It is. This is our our fifth show in three weeks. So yeah, it's kind of crazy. But Rob, thank you. Do you know what? I had heard only little bits of that story. Thank you for sharing that. That is so cool and so inspiring.
Rob Haddock: Well visit with me again sometime, Heidi, off camera. There's more.
Heidi Ellsworth: Okay, there's more. Okay, well, we'll do that. Okay. So S-5 has a brand new booth. It's right down the hallway if you're here at the show. I think it's on 400. It's 411.
Rob Haddock: 419.
Heidi Ellsworth: 419. So be sure to get down there. It's beautiful. Check out the chandelier. It's my favorite part of the booth. I'm not going to tell you what it is. You've got to go. But just great job as always. You guys are just, you're the top.
Rob Haddock: Thank you very much, Heidi.
Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you.
Rob Haddock: Have a beautiful rest of your day.
Heidi Ellsworth: I will. You too. And thank you all for being here. We'll be back. We're going to have more interviews today and we also have some footage of that booth, so we'll show you exactly what that cool chandelier is all about.
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