My MFG Story: Tamara Somerville -- Posi Lock Puller, Inc.

By Tamara Somerville posted 03-18-2019 13:54





Most people within the world of manufacturing and maintenance have heard of a bearing puller – and those that have not can probably guess what it would be used for.


As the name suggests, a puller is a tool used to remove failed bearings, gears, and pulleys from equipment by allowing the user to pull on them with enough force. It achieves this with jaws that attach to the bearing, gear, or pulley, and a central screw that presses against the bearing shaft – providing force in two directions to make the job quicker and easier.


Pullers come in two types: manual and hydraulic. Manual pullers are hand-powered with a handle or a hex-end drive socket that turns the central screw. A hydraulic puller works in a similar manner, but – instead of a central screw – it has a hydraulically powered piston applying the pulling force.


Traditionally, end-users have considered pullers as being tricky to operate – and often not the safest tool to use. However, since 1978, one puller brand has consistently raised the bar for safety, durability, and convenience with its patented Safety Cage® – Posi Lock Puller, Inc.


And I am so grateful to be at the pole position of driving this incredible growth as the company CEO. And also, proud to be one of the few females in the manufacturing industry in the world to be at the helm of a global company.



The Posi Lock story began back in 1974, when Dean Somerville (my father) who was operating a farm repair business invented the Posi Lock Safety Cage puller. Only 4 years later, the product had been recognized as a significant step forward in the gear and bearing puller industry and Posi Lock Puller, Inc was formed.


In 1982, Posi Lock went international for the first time, when its unique pullers arrived in Canada. Further expansion continued throughout the 90’s, with the company’s manufacturing facility needing two expansions to keep pace with customer demand.


I joined the family business in 1993, after having a successful career as a stock broker in Florida since 1985. I was assigned the mighty task of driving the global growth of Posi Lock and achieving significant milestones like the ISO 9002 certification awarded to the company’s precision machining division.


More than 40 years later, Posi Lock’s innovative products continue to pull in customers. In fact, it surpassed 1 million pullers sold mark in 2013 – and has its sights firmly set on the next million.



Despite the name, Posi Lock pullers are far more than just a tool for removing gears, bearings, and pulleys. They are an innovation in the puller industry, with safety the number one aim of their mission. Designed for use in any industry where equipment and machinery pose tough maintenance challenges, a Posi Lock puller enhances safety and efficiency while reducing downtime and cost.


The Safety Cage® surrounds the pulling jaws making the removal of even the most headstrong bearing, gear, or pulley a simple task. Importantly, the cage securely locks the puller jaws in place and prevents the risk of the jaws from slipping or snapping back.


With the T-handle, setting up and operating the puller becomes a job for one person, which can have a major positive impact on the bottom line by substantially increasing productivity.


Posi Lock pullers also feature a recessed nut that helps to avoid mushrooming, along with a center bolt that features threads specifically designed to increase the amount of torque applied – and reduce the effort needed to apply it.



Whatever the task, Posi Lock has plenty of options that get the job done. For those who prefer to take a hands-on approach, there are manual pullers that range from 1-40 tons of pulling power. When it comes to the tougher tasks, say hello to the hydraulic puller line with a capacity that goes all the way from 5-200 tons.


It does not end there, however. Not only does Posi Lock produce the best pullers on the market, it also provides an assortment of specialty tools, including a Hydraulic Bench Vice, Magnetic Vice Clips, HVAC Hub Adapters & Fan Removal Adapter, and much more…



Power is nothing without endurance. That is why one of the key qualities of Posi Lock’s pullers is the outstanding warranty on each product. Due to the extremely stressful conditions the pullers operate under, every part forged by Posi Lock carries a lifetime warranty.


All other Posi Lock components and parts are guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship for one year. It shows just how much the user can trust the tools that Posi Lock puts in their hands.



Posi Lock pullers provide end-users with a competitive advantage – bringing added strength, speed and safety to their operations. From the fast set up of each puller to the reduced effort required of users, Posi Lock drives efficiency and productivity across the factory floor; allowing businesses to achieve more.


The pullers also offer a huge range of applications, and Posi Lock works with companies in several industries. From Agriculture to Automotive, Mining to Oil & Gas, those in maintenance everywhere rely on Posi Lock to help them get the job done.


In February 2019, Posi Lock announced the realization of a global dream – by opening a European warehouse and showroom, right smack in the heart of the EU, Brussels. Posi Lock has been a member of the EMEA Power Transmission Distributors’ Association (EPTDA) since 2007 and has served several European and international companies successfully. Building on a strong brand awareness, international reputation and a legacy of innovation, we want to invest more in our European network and get closer to our distributors.


Posi Lock Puller Inc. is one challenger brand that simply refuses to stop innovating. We are planning to reveal some additional exciting news about our international growth and brand development in April, during the Hannover Messe – one of the world’s largest industrial trade fairs.


As Steve Jobs say: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do!” Maybe I relate to this idea well, because I really AM the crazy one! And through Posi Lock, I am determined to change the world – one pull at a time – and hope to serve as a role model for female leaders of the future.