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In 2009, Jeff Backlund was an independent sales rep in the hydraulic tool industry when nearby city official called him to inquire about a tool to exercise hydrants. They had just experienced a job-related injury where the operator suffered extensive soft tissue and nerve damage to the palms of his hands from doing the task manually. He almost lost the use of his hands entirely.

At that time, there wasn’t a good solution on the market that wasn’t heavy, loud or cumbersome, or all three. So Jeff set about designing the Hydrant Buddy, a cordless, patented, lightweight tool to exercise hydrants and valve gates safely and efficiently. The Hydrant Buddy has now been sold all over the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Iceland.

After spending time in the waterworks industry, he was approached by a customer to find a solution to the problem of fixing broken valve boxes. Instead of digging up the ground and going all the way down to the first fitting of the valve box top, he wanted to be able to cut the pipe from the inside and pull the broken top out and just replace the top, which is exactly what our Kerf Cutter does.

Like the Hydrant Buddy, the Kerf Cutter is also patented technology, and these two tools are real game changers. Jeff also has several innovative tools in the works, including a cordless version of Kerf Cutter that will be dual platform for the two main types of systems cities typically use (Milwaukee and DeWalt), a mini Kerf Cutter for repairing curb stops, and an innovative style of breaker bar. At HydroVerge, we are continually striving to improve all of our products, making them lighter, stronger, and more durable. 

We look forward to providing our powerful innovative solutions to your water department or municipality!

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