An Orrville manufacturer is helping a lot of people safely walk around the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Olympics contractors are using three Ventrac brand specialty all-wheel-drive compact tractors to clear snow and ice from sidewalks and other spaces around the games.

Wayne County-based Ventrac itself is not an Olympic sponsor. But South Korea is one of the company’s top five export destinations for the made-in-Orrville brand.

Olympics contractors are using three different Ventrac models for snow removal and sidewalk clearing around Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, said Dallas Steiner, chief executive officer of Ventrac corporate parent Venture Products Inc.

“Kind of nice to see all of your equipment [there],” Steiner said. He and a colleague, Mark Kover, traveled to South Korea for several days before returning to Ohio.

“We were at the opening ceremonies,” Steiner said. Most of the trip involved business-related meetings — Steiner said he did not attend any sporting events but was able to see some Olympic ski practices.

They did have time for some fun, he noted.

“We drove our Ventracs around,” Steiner said.

South Korea’s mountainous terrain plays to Ventrac’s strengths, Steiner said. The company has a had a distributor in the country for more than seven years, he said.

“It’s a pretty good country for us,” he said.

Ventrac’s machines, particularly the top-end 4500 model, are designed to be used on hills. The 4500 model has what is called a center articulated and oscillating frame, meaning it rotates and lets the vehicle turn in tight spaces, and also can handle grades as steep as 58 percent when riding on optional dual wheels.

The three Ventrac tractors at the games are equipped with motorized brooms for sidewalk snow cleaning, Steiner said. When the games end, the tractors will be returned to Ventrac’s Korean distributor, he said.

Ventrac vehicles get used year-round for multiple reasons — and the company is no stranger to sporting venues.

The company sells vehicles that can use more than 30 different attachments for professional football, baseball and soccer teams, and also golf courses. Local, state and the federal government also buy the vehicles for uses that range from snow clearing to brush cutting.

More than a fifth of company sales originate outside the United States, Steiner said. “There’s probably about 20 countries that have our product.”

(Venture Products in 2013 received the President’s “E” Award for Exports, the nation’s highest honor for making a significant contribution to exports.)

Because Ventrac is not an Olympic sponsor, the company cannot use its vehicles’ roles at the games for marketing purposes, Steiner said. The company is not expecting any kind of a sales bump, he said.

But Ventrac, with about 250 employees, is expecting more growth.

In about eight weeks’ time the company will begin pouring concrete footers for a 184,000-square-foot assembly and warehouse building in Orrville. The facility should be up and running by the end of the year, Steiner said.

Reporter Jim Mackinnon covers business and county government. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter.