Ten years ago, Reid Hensen was selling ski equipment. Today he's peddling a product line that has brought him onto the deck of an aircraft carrier, into the water tunnels under Manhattan and inside nuclear power plants.
The job — selling Hytorc's industrial bolting tools — also brought him to the top of the new One World Trade Center earlier this year, when crews were hoisting the 408-foot spire that crowned the 1,776-foot-tall skyscraper. Products made by the Mahwah-based manufacturer were used to assemble the antenna and to build the cranes that contractors used throughout construction.
Hensen is the New York metropolitan-area representative for the 45-year-old company. After some 15 years as a salesman in the winter sports industry, he knew he needed a change.
"I had lost the excitement for it, so I was looking for something that was far more rewarding, both financially and mentally," he said.
He found what he was looking for with Hytorc's line of hydraulic-powered and now air-powered bolting tools. The reward comes from finding solutions for clients, such as utility operators and construction crews, who need to secure their heavy-duty equipment, and being confident "that our product helps the end-user a hundred percent of the time."
"Whenever you go on site, you either have fixed the problem for them, or you're about to fix the problem for them," Hensen said. "So it's just a great, rewarding feeling to know that you're the knight in shining armor every time you show up."
Hensen, who is based in Wayne with a staff of three, said the World Trade Center job goes back about six years, when he started working with crane operators and bolt manufacturers who would become involved with the project. The payoff came this past spring with the completion of the spire and its 14 communication rings, which had some 10,000 nuts and bolts, he said.
"This was more than a job when we got it," said Hensen, a North Jersey resident who lost friends in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "So being able to resurrect it was nice."
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