Our History


Our clients and our friends often ask us “where does the name Rider come from?”. For a business founded and still run today by the Szakasci family, the name Rider seems a bit incongruous. But it all makes perfect sense once you know the history of the company.

Rider was formed in 1968 in response to the increased popularity of snowmobiling as a Canadian winter activity. The very first “Rider” was produced in 1968 and was a two seater sled with a hitch to be pulled along behind motorized snowmobiles. The “Rider” allowed snowmobilers to bring along passengers, turning snowmobiling into a family sport that could be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Where Rider really made its mark in Canadian history however, was in the creation of the “Rider-Ambulance”. This specially modified version of the original “Rider” sled was designed to the exact specifications of Oshawa St. John’s Ambulance and served to make winter rescues faster and more comfortable for the injured.

Because of the highly seasonal nature of the snowmobile industry, Rider Tool and Manufacturing Co. fell into custom steel fabrication to supplement revenue during the off-season. Success in this new segment led to more and more custom fabrication and manufacturing work being done, such that this aspect of the business became the primary competency. As snowmobiling and snowmobile technology continued to evolve and focus on engine-power, Rider chose to focus on steel fabrication and machining.