What is VMAC
VMAC Global Technology Inc. designs and manufactures the most compact and powerful mobile air compressors and multi-power systems available. VMAC (Vehicle Mounted Air Compressors) is one of the only true air compressor manufacturers in North America, engineering and manufacturing air compressors and multi-power systems in British Columbia, Canada.
We do this with hard-working and dedicated people who devote their working lives to this industry. VMAC coworkers put their own tools and equipment to the test every day by pushing boundaries in the pursuit of excellence. We use customer feedback and the experience and dedication of our coworkers to build every VMAC mobile air compressor and multi-power system with the promise that it will work as hard as you do. This promise is backed by VMAC’s Lifetime Warranty.
VMAC mobile air compressors and multi-power systems are sold through an extensive network of Dealers with locations throughout North America, United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and the Middle East. VMAC Dealers are as dedicated to service excellence and continuous improvement as we are.
History and Innovation
VMAC Global Technology Inc. was founded in 1986 in Ontario, Canada as Mangonel Corporation by current President Jim Hogan, and his friend Tony Menard.
Tony and Jim were two young mechanical engineers with a keen sense of business and a strong ability to solve persistent mechanical problems. The company was originally funded by the Canadian Military, designing “throw away” jet engines for target drones. When the recession hit, project funding got cancelled, Tony and Jim transitioned the company into a “build to print” machine shop.
During this time, the service truck industry started changing and required more expertise to solve challenges with new technology. In 1988, Jim and Tony were asked to engineer UNDERHOOD compressor mounts for service trucks. This marked the start of what has now become known as VMAC – Vehicle Mounted Air Compressors.
In 2006, VMAC made the strategic decision to “come out from under the hood” with the launch of Hydraulic driven deck mounted air compressors. This triggered many more years of innovation with the introduction of new compact and powerful diesel engine driven air compressors and multi-power systems, gas engine powered air compressors, and PTO driven air compressors, to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the service truck industry.
VMAC is located on beautiful Vancouver Island in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Our facility is situated on eight acres of land in a lush cedar forest. Building space totaling 33,000 square feet is where you’ll find VMAC’s 100 employees, working in various departments and cross-functional teams.
The manufacturing facility is equipped with the most advanced machinery on Vancouver Island, ensuring the most precise and consistent product specifications are achieved.
Tony Menard Tribute
VMAC exists today because of three phone calls and the way co-founder Tony Menard handled them. The first was from Co-founder and current President Jim Hogan.
In the fall of 1986, Jim was looking for additional support in getting his new business venture off the ground and thought of Tony. The two had known each other since high school in Nanaimo, and when Jim was wracking his brain to come up with a contact who seemed a born entrepreneur, Tony was the first person who came to mind.
“If I did something smart that day, it was to think of Tony. I called him up, asked him how he was. He said he wasn’t great. He’d been laid off the day before, and the company he was working for had closed its doors. I said ‘that’s great news’ and he didn’t hang up on me, which he should have,” Jim says.
Jim went on to outline his burgeoning business concept to Tony, which was to design conventional jet engines for the Canadian Department National Defense. Tony was instantly interested. He talked it over with his wife and they quickly moved from Newfoundland to Kitchener, Ont.
It wasn’t long before the recession that claimed Tony’s employer also cost the men their military contract. However, they had a complete machine shop, so they simply started machining tooling and other small parts for local businesses. Kitchener was the heartland of Canadian manufacturing at the time, so opportunity was everywhere.
Then one day, the second call came. It was from a purchaser at Parker Sturdy Mfg, a service truck builder. They were already customers, and had a request for air compressor mounting brackets. The ones they were currently using were breaking and the air compressors were falling off the trucks on the highway.
“Tony told me about the phone call. I told him not to worry about it. We were busy and we’d never made brackets like that. He said ‘well, I’ll go and meet with them. What harm can it do?’. He came back and we were designing brackets,” Jim says.
That was the beginning of VMAC as we know it today. Shortly after, Tony came up with the name VMAC.
However, it was far from the end, or smooth sailing for the rest of VMAC’s journey. A few years later, Tony had bought Jim out, and moved the company back to Nanaimo. He was struggling, the business was failing, and he thought for the sake of his family it was time to close the shop. By then, his two boys and daughter had been born.
Then, the third phone call came. It was from Mike Gauthier, a man who became known as the “VMAC Angel”. Mike basically brow-beat Tony into not giving up, and a few days later the phone rang. It was IMT asking Tony to design and manufacture all their underhood air compressors from that point forward.
VMAC now had the consistent revenue stream required to grow the business and Tony started looking for the best possible people he could find to work here.
“Tony had all the characteristics of a true leader. He was fiery, and the second you met him you knew you were dealing someone unique. He took an immediate interest and starting learning all he could about you, just in that first meeting,” Jim says. “He was very smart, and the only person I’ve met who I can was truly say totally fearless, and those were qualities he needed to grow this business in the early days.”
Tony’s passion could not be denied. He worked harder than anyone else, and didn’t mince words when things weren’t going the way he thought they should, but he also listened to his employees. He could see their perspective and tried very hard to address their concerns.
“Tony chose who he hired because he believed they were the best at what they did, not because they were yes-men,” Jim says.
Tony loved racing and raced sprint cars, even recognizing a business opportunity for parts, and eventually turned that into a division of VMAC before selling it. He instilled this love of racing in kids, who grew up around the track.
His children were the only things he loved more than VMAC and racing. Tony had an extremely close family, which is why he moved the business back to his home town. They did everything together, and Tony’s father was even one of his first employees.
Unfortunately, the journey was a short one. Tony died suddenly in a tragic accident on July 4, 2010 on Vancouver Island. He will live forever in the spirit of VMAC, and hearts of its employees and his family.