This is our family story and product journey. Along the way there have been trials and triumphs but no trial greater than the one we went through during the winter/spring of 2023. Our Mom Irma, affectionately known as “Mom” by our customers, including our long-term patrons who often referred to her as such when speaking with me, passed away after bravely facing pancreatic cancer.
We cannot share who we are without acknowledging that Mom is at least half of the reason for our existence. Without Mom’s tireless support of Dad’s (Dan’s) pursuit to ‘build a better roller’ and her genuine approach with every customer that found their way to us, HTR would not be what it is today.
It was also the love and respect that Mom taught us to have for each other as a family that allowed us to continue operating without missing an order or a shipping date, while still caring for her needs as her body slowly failed. Our Mom’s journey in this world ended on May 6, 2023 and she will be sadly missed until we see her again in her new home.
My name is Calvin, the eldest son of Dan and Irma. In December 2022, my wife Judy and I purchase Hi-Torque Rollers from my parents. We had been helping with the business as Mom’s health was declining.
Our plan for several years was to acquire the business, and now that it is a reality, I’m thrilled to continue to serve our customers. In 2021 I set up a new production line for rollers, and have been overseeing the Arctic Cat and Yamaha product lines since then. I’ve also been manufacturing the Ski-Doo QRS rollers since the beginning of 2023.
My upbringing and training in Dad’s machine shop, couple with my background in quality control, equips us to product consistent, accurate products.
Since purchasing HTR, Judy and I have been working closely with my brother Clayton and his wife Gena who live in Arizona. They are UTV and motorsports enthusiasts and have been using and testing Hi-Torque rollers for many years. Clayton & Gena are working towards creating a US production line to ensure the expansion, health, and longevity of our company. With Clayton’s background in motorsports and as an Oil & Gas project consultant, and Gena’s in accounting and IT, coupled with their entrepreneurial experience running their own successful businesses over the years, they are an invaluable source of support and knowledge in this business journey.
My sister Susan and her husband Dave, although not directly involved, have supported Judy and me in purchasing the business and throughout the process of losing Mom. Without that support, this journey would have had a different destination. A very heartfelt thanks to both of them!
Thinking back to simpler times (the 1970’s) my brother, sister and I were raised near Pincher Creek Alberta – a beautiful mix of prairies, foothills, and mountains. We spent countless weekends tenting with other families, our dirt bikes always in tow. With Dad packing two of us on his bike and Mom with one on hers, we found our way to almost every fire lookout in the area. The beauty of creation and the connection we had with the off road vehicles that allowed us to see so much of it became imbedded in who we are. After the whole family moved to Creston, BC, my brother Clayton introduced my Dad to snowmobiling in the mid 90’s. When they would talk about the beauty of the mountain winter wonderland and the feeling of freedom that riding brought, I was left with no option…I bought a 1995 670 Summit so that I could join their adventures. From the first time I pushed the throttle to the handlebar and felt the clutching (CVT) work its magic, I was hooked. This addiction passed on to my son Joshua, who started riding with us at the age of 12. He is part of the team as a test pilot for all of our products.
Mountain terrain presented an opportunity to indulge in another one of our passions, racing. Every lake or open slope presented itself as a drag strip and unfortunately for me, an opportunity to lose races to my younger brother. Every time we encountered a change in traction conditions when we raced up a hill he would jump ahead by several lengths. I quickly found out why Clayton was willing to spend his hard earned money on an aftermarket steel helix & roller bearing secondary clutch set up, and why he spent so much time reading “Olav Aaen’s Clutch Tuning Handbook”. With Clayton’s willingness to help put page into practice, both Dad and I started our clutch tuning journeys. Hi-Torque Rollers is built on a foundational CVT fact – the less friction there is between the torque sensing components (helix/roller/button) the more efficient the whole system is.
The steel roller systems worked very well but they were costly, susceptible to corrosion and in my perhaps strange experience, a roller to helix impact event sheared off the bearing mounting studs. About this time, Arctic Cat came out with a roller secondary clutch that used plastic rollers, but because the roller material was too soft, the infamous “flat spotting” occurred over time causing poor shift performance. This is when Dad’s 40 years of solving problems as a machinist came into play. After testing several materials, he found one that was a perfect combination of bushing and roller. A refined version of that material is what our standard Hi-Torque Roller is made from today. During this time Clayton and Gena had started a high performance sled shop, Multi-Tech Motorsports. One of the first modifications that Clayton would make to his customers Ski-Doo sleds was to install a Cat secondary clutch fitted with “Dan’s Rollers”. My wife Judy also started selling these rollers on a snowmobile forum, and the buyers’ experience with the product, coupled with positive word of mouth, soon increased sales.
The Ski-Doo QRS clutch story began when Clayton pre-ordered a 2008 Ski-Doo XP. Upon delivery, the first thing he did was dismantle the secondary clutch and noticed the large production tolerance in the bore of the roller. Clayton promptly called Dad and told him that he believed they could build a better roller. Using the same material that was such a success in the Arctic Cat clutch, Dad produced the first QRS set and they were in action very early in the season.
The rollers sold well, as the stable upshift and quick backshift that they delivered was discussed frequently on snow forums when riders who had used Dad’s Arctic Cat rollers agreed to try the new product. This was before it became common knowledge that stock rollers were experiencing reverse impact events that were breaking some of them. We knew Dad’s rollers were stronger in destructive testing but we did not know how important that would be for reliability. As sales grew, Mom and Dad sat down and discussed whether they wanted a hobby or a business. They decided to make it a business and started the original web site HiTorqueRollers.com in 2007, which has now been updated to dual sites at HiTorqueRollers.com and HiTorqueRollers.ca. “Dan’s Rollers” became Hi-Torque Rollers, a name they were both proud of, and one that I am proud to continue with.
In the years that followed, products were manufactured for the 2012-2015 Arctic Cat and for the Yamaha Sidewinder secondary clutches. They both give remarkable performance as do the Ski-Doo QRS rollers, and combined have sold over 25,000 sets in Canada, USA, Europe and Asia.
Before purchasing HTR, I spent months in research and development, building & testing rollers made from many different high temperature materials for use in the UTV (CanAm & Polaris) market. The material I selected excels in both reliability and performance in this application. We are pleased to use materials that are proudly made in the USA. These new products have proven to be solid performers and we will go above and beyond to stand behind them with our new warranty. Read our Warranty and Return Policy
I would like to thank my Dad for building a reputation, alongside Mom, of making quality products and providing the great personal service that our customers have come to know and trust over the years. They taught us as children to treat others in the same way we like to be treated, and this is the foundation of our customer service.
Our team at Hi-Torque Rollers look forward to providing you with a high quality performance product and outstanding customer service.
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