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Custom-made for mail trucks operating on the Alaska Highway, they were built for performance and durability. Harky’s reputation grew, and soon cooling and heating trucks was his principle line of work. He incorporated Red Dot in 1965 with a plan to develop heating and air conditioning products specifically for heavy-duty vehicles and off-highway equipment.
Throughout the history of Red Dot, our commitment to these markets has never wavered.
Under Harky’s stewardship, Red Dot became a leader in the design and production of mobile HVAC systems and replacement parts.
The company produced numerous industry firsts. These include the trinary pressure switch; air-operated water valves and vent doors; low-profile rooftop condensers; the Grilldenser; and ProTecht A/C compressor protection and system diagnostics.
Red Dot invested in the engineering tools and personnel necessary to deliver performance, quality, and durability in innovative ways. In 1989, Red Dot constructed our Technical Center to support our Advanced Engineering and Test Group. Today, this facility—dedicated as the H.G. Runnings Technical Center following Harky’s death in 2005—is one of the most sophisticated test centers in our industry.
As focused as Harky was on products that bring comfort to people in demanding jobs, the welfare of his employees was his number-one concern.
In the early 1970s, Red Dot went to a four-day workweek so employees would have Fridays for personal business, a radical idea at a time. Back then, there was no banking or shopping on weekends; today, if two parents are working, it can eliminate a day of daycare.
To symbolize how our success rests on the shoulders of the people who work here, the pillars in our Seattle factory—the Pillars of Red Dot—carry the names of longstanding employees.
Harky believed the greatest benefit for an employee was the opportunity to become an owner. Upon his retirement in 2000, Runnings sold 100% of Red Dot's ownership to its employees, fulfilling a promise made when he founded the business. He said at the time: “The best decisions for a company are made by people who want to carry the business forward for themselves.”
Indeed, the people who design, test, assemble, and package your products have a vested interest in your success.
Today, Red Dot is a global supplier of integrated systems, modules, unit kits, and components to original equipment manufacturers and the heavy-duty aftermarket all over the globe. We have representatives around the world to provide market-specific product development and support. We opened our first facility outside the United States in Suffolk, England, in 1998. In 2008, we established Red Dot China to bring our expertise and technical capability to customers in Asia.
With each new market, we’re driven by knowledge, integrity, innovation, and a can-do attitude—the principles that inspired Harky build better products for heavy-duty vehicles in the first place.