28 Alaska Business | June 2018 www.akbizmag.com
Above: Two ES700 portable heaters
in the front lot of Equipment Source
in Fairbanks. Equipment Source has
produced about 1,000 of these units
for North Slope oilfields.
Right: The inside of an ES700
Sam Friedman | Alaska Business
There are almost 1,000 little yellow ES700
portable heaters scattered around North Slope
oil fields. These Fairbanks-built machines are
about the size of a closet and capable of pumping out 700,000 BTUs of heat, enough to keep
multiple buildings warm in the Arctic winter.
The heaters have become Equipment Source’s
flagship product because they’re designed for
and by people who live in the cold, says branch
manager Nick Ferree.
Walking up to an ES700 in the front lot of
company headquarters in the south Fairbanks
industrial area, Ferree points out some of the
features that make it popular on the North
Slope. The controls are big, so that even someone with heavy mittens can operate them. The
engine doesn’t have to be shut down as often
for oil changes because a special oil pan added
by Equipment Source to the stock motor allows it to run continuously for as long as four
months between oil changes.
Business founder Terry Warnath started
Equipment Source in 2000 as a repair service for oilfield heaters. But the business soon
moved from repairing to building units.
“There are competitors that make similar
heaters. We would take them, gut them, rebuild them, put new generators in them, fix
the fireboxes, and do new wiring,” says Ferree.
“We learned a lot from that and started making our own heaters.”
The business expanded into other portable
units that house motors including generators,
pumps, and ground-thawing equipment. The
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