From Shark Week equipment to military-grade hoses, Crushproof is branching out
When you think of deep-sea diving, military technology or auto repair, your first thought may not be of the hose that allows each to be successful. But without the correct fit for a piece of tubing, any of those fields could quickly be hosed. And in an industry dominated by large-scale manufacturers, getting the precisely correct piece of equipment can be a challenge. That’s where Crushproof comes in. Based in the village of McComb, near Findlay, Crushproof manufactures completely customizable tubing for a large range of uses.
“Crushproof is an exhaust hose manufacturer that can design tubing for any application a customer can design,” said Jonathan Rodebaugh, director of operations. “The company got its start designing exhaust hoses for things like venting fumes from the tailpipe of a car so that you can work on it in a garage during the winter. Now, we specialize in the custom products we call Build-a-Hose, which go out to a variety of industries. We build tubing for anything from John Deere seed tubes to breathing tubes for underwater diving or the little tube that goes around an arcade cabinet joystick.”
From their home in a village of less than 2,000 people, Crushproof’s reach is global. The company has a growing international footprint, with partners all over the world. And chances are, you’ve seen or heard of something that involves their handiwork.
“If you’ve ever seen Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, most of those people that are diving with rebreathers are actually using our hose,” said Rodebaugh. “If you remember the Thailand soccer team that got stuck in the cave, the divers were using our tube. It’s an interesting niche. If you’re making a million parts a year for a car manufacturer, that can be molded cheaper over time because you’re going to have a long life cycle and you’re going to sell millions of those cars. We don’t have that production staff to keep up with that. For us, it’s about being super individualized and customizable.”
As Crushproof has grown, northwest Ohio has provided exactly the opportunities the company has needed to thrive. Crushproof has developed a tight-knit staff with connections all over the state, particularly in the manufacturing areas to the north. So while their products may be world-travelers, Crushproof’s 70-year-old roots are firmly planted in Ohio.
“McComb and Hancock County have been really great for us,” said Rodebaugh. “There’s a lot of industry in northwest Ohio and it’s very business-friendly. We’re in a very manufacturing-rich sector of the state, which makes sourcing very easy. We get our rubber from Akron, the rubber capital of the world that’s two hours away. In a small town like McComb, most of the people we’re hiring live within a mile of here and can walk to work but we also have people that commute all the way from Sandusky, so we have a great workforce at our fingertips.”
Crushproof has existed since 1949, but the company started a new, global era when Rodebaugh and three co-owners purchased it in 2018. Since then, they’ve looked abroad for expansion opportunities with the help of Ohio Development Service Agencies programs aimed at growing businesses. They’ve participated in multiple internship programs and the Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters, highlighting the company’s modern way of thinking.
“Before, Crushproof was very, ‘This is the way we’ve always done it’ and didn’t have plans to grow and expand,” said Rodebaugh. “Even if we had talked to the State about any potential programs, we would have been taking money that we wouldn’t have been able to use. We were kind of handcuffed. Now, we have a very open, growth-oriented team. We’re trying to take advantage of as much as we can. We’re getting into consumer products and simplifying things that have been known as mainstays and we’re growing with military-based products.”