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Business Growth: RDH-Scharf

RDH-Scharf provides diesel and battery-powered mobile mining equipment, used equipment, parts and service.

RDH-Scharf wants to be known for more than providing innovative mining technology solutions. It also wants to be known as a great place to work.

The Alban-based company is looking to add to their workforce by giving potential employees an incentive to come work for them by leaving the commute to work up to the company.

It recently acquired a 22-passenger bus to pick up and drop off employees at work, and bring them back to Sudbury.

The bus, said Kevin Fitzsimmons, managing director of sales and marketing, is a safe, economical and relaxing alternative to having to drive the 30 minutes south to the office. Employees save wear and tear on their vehicles, about $150 a week in fuel, and put less stress on themselves going to and coming from work, thereby increasing productivity.

The bus is equipped for comfort, with an on-board washroom and padded seating, and each seating area features a charging station for electronic devices. 

“They can charge their phones and make calls and enjoy a ride to and from work without having to worry about being distracted while driving, or even worry about the stress of driving down the highway to their place of work,” Fitzsimmons said. “It’s something we want to do to take care of our employees, and show potential employees what we have to offer for them.”

Employees drive to a pickup spot at the Four Corners in the city’s south end to board the bus, and are brought back to the parking area. Currently, they are taking 12 to 15 employees a day on the bus, with plenty of room for more.

“They go to work relaxed, and come home already rested,” Fitzsimmons said. “I’ve heard from a few who take the bus regularly who say they love having a ride to work where they don’t have to worry about the commute.”

The need for more employees comes after the company, formerly known as RDH, was acquired by German company SMT-Scharf in February of this year. The acquisition changed the company from a small, local provider to an international entity with 10 locations around the world. The company provides diesel and battery-powered mobile mining equipment ranging from drill-and-bolt to load-and-haul and utility, as well as used equipment, parts and service.

They were among the first mine service equipment companies to offer battery-powered equipment and packs. The first units were sold in 2011, almost a full two years before other companies were offering it. It is still a side project, Fitzsimmions said, but they are offering more. RDH-Scharf is looking into providing battery rental for companies seeking a more economical solution to their energy needs.

They also provide shotcrete service, ground support and tunnelling equipment.

Being a small company means they can be more nimble than some of the larger providers. 

RDH-Scharf has become known for engineering and producing custom-build products to suit a client’s needs along with their in-house product line. 

The company has conducted most of their business with mines outside the Sudbury region, but that is about to change. It is currently in talks with a Sudbury mine for a future battery project. 

Internationally, they are going to be working on building mine equipment for clients in South Africa.

“We are small, but a steady and growing company,” Fitzsimmons said. “In Alban, we have about 50 to 60 employees and about 400 globally. We are not going anywhere anytime soon.”

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