From humble beginnings working nights and weekends, a willingness to go wherever help was needed and do whatever needed done led to a small cadre of full time employees performing primary and secondary fault locating, high potential testing, and underground locating. With a good reputation and the right tools in place, the company was poised to take off.
Entering their retirement years, founders, Larry and Jan Hance sold off most of the company's divisions, keeping Hance Utility Services to serve the private locating market. In 2011, the company was bought by son-in-law, Christopher Koch, and rebranded as ZoneOne. Poised to grow once again, ZoneOne Locating is proud of its legacy and prepared for its future.
Larry and Jan Hance founded Hance Cable Testing and Locating in the fall of 1983. Larry started as an electrical lineman and moved into management for a Minnesota Coop before investing in some used equipment and setting up shop on his own. Jan, who passed away in 2012, ran the administrative side of the business and was a full strategic partner with Larry.
From the very beginning, ZoneOne Locating pursued a different strategy than many growth oriented locating companies. We never set out to simply increase our footprint. Each new customer relationship was entered into as a partnership based on common principles, shared goals, and a commitment to safety. Today that tradition continues. We actively seek to partner with and serve customers who understand the value of their underground plant and the care we take to protect it. When you choose to work with ZoneOne Locating, you'll see our commitment to professionalism and customer service in everything from the appearance of our vehicles, the helpful and friendly attitude of our staff, and our eagerness to comply with your safety standards, vendor requirements, and job-site protocols.
an industry leader
Starting as a field tech in 1996, Christopher grew with the business working as a supervisor, trainer and training manager. After serving them as a customer, Christopher joined UtiliQuest in 2004 as Senior Director of Training and Safety. While there, he designed and implemented a training program for new technicians that reduced damages by 50% in just one year, resulting in over $1M in savings. In fiscal 2005, he reduced at-fault vehicle accidents and on the job injuries by better than 10%.
Christopher rejoined the family business in 2007 to oversee a massive GIS data collection project on a 60,000 member electric cooperative and followed that up with a project to locate and map the utility system across the entire Three Rivers Park District.
Since 2001, Christopher has provided training to customers in the US, Canada, and Australia. He scripted and appears in a four DVD locator training series available through Excavation Safety University, and developed a four credit, 60 contact hour Underground Utility Locating course for Southside Virginia Community College where he served as an adjunct faculty member.
Taking a broader leadership role in the industry, Christopher has served on the Executive Board of the National Utility Locating Contractors Association since 2001 including terms as Secretary, Vice-President, and President. In 2009, he co-chaired the committee to revise the NULCA Professional Competence Standard for Locate Technicians.
Christopher has been a speaker at more than a dozen conferences and published over thirty articles on damage prevention issues. He holds a bachelors degree with honors from St. Cloud State University and a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management from Capella University.
When MN passed its One Call law in 1989, Hance was ready to meet the exploding demand for locating. Capturing the first contract ever let for locating under the new system, Hance grew rapidly to over 100 employees. The company was split into two entities, Hance Locating and Hance Utility Services, to reflect diversified new offerings like fiber optic splicing.