As a subsidiary of D.W. Dickey & Son Hilltop Energy Inc. celebrated it's 50th year in business in l998. Like many business' stories Hilltop Energy grew in unique ways.
In the l950's and l960's D.W. Dickey & Son was primarily engaged as a feed mill and fertilizer distributor. With the advent on ammonium nitrate/fuel oil mixtures for blasting in the late l950's, we quickly noticed an increase in sales of ammonium nitrate to area coal mines. We discovered that the miners were adding diesel fuel to the ammonium nitrate, letting it soak and then pouring it down blast holes, replacing more explosive products.
One of the first services we provided was to pre-treat the ammonium nitrate prior to sale. We devised a hollow thin probe with holes along it's length. We attached this to a hand operated fuel nozzle - one squeeze of the handle delivered the right amount of fuel throughout an eighty pound bag. This saved the miner time and effort as well as provided a higher quality product. In time this practice became common throughout the industry. However, no one showed us how to do this; we're not so sure we weren't the first to use this technique. At any rate we were in the blasting agent business.
By providing this service we soon received requests for detonators, detonating cord, dynamites and other products. Sort of one-stop shopping for the miner. We also received requests for blasting service. Consequently, in l968 we became a full-line distributor for Hercules Powder - one of the "Big Threes" at that time. They helped us develop a magazine site outside Lisbon, Ohio. We began this new endeavor with two pneumatic anfo bulk trucks, two storage bins, an anfo mixing trailer and several magazines. We serviced a five or six county area in northeast Ohio
In l984 Hilltop Energy Inc. was officially formed as a stand-a-lone subsidiary of D.W. Dickey & Son. One benefit was that this subsidiary could focus on it's only business - explosives sales and blasting service. We now distribute and service throughout the northeast from six (6) locations.