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Company Profiles

  •  Digging Deep

    Years of experience plus in-depth knowledge of local soil and geological conditions mitigate challenges of predicting shoring performance before excavating

    By Barb Feldman

     

    RWH Engineering Inc. was established by engineers Craig Rowe, Jason Weck and Martin Halliwell in 2009, to provide design services for HC Matcon Inc.

  • A New Era

    Innovative Piling Solutions, Saskatchewan's largest piling company, sets its sights on going national to give back to their community

    By Jess Campbell

    What’s it like to do what you love for a living? There aren’t many people who can answer that question honestly; not many people love what they do. Banain Cote, vice president of Innovative Piling Solutions in Martensville, Sask., can answer it with as much honesty as you’d expect from a person who has a true passion for their job. But it wasn’t always that way.

    Growing up, Cote was privy to the hard work and dedication that it takes for a person to be a successful entrepreneur. His parents, Rob and Brenda Cote, owned and operated Active Auger Services Ltd. from 2001 to 2007, growing it to a multi-million dollar company with just 12 employees.

  • A Passion for Piling

    Courtesy of Doublestar DrillingWhen it comes to complicated projects, Doublestar Drilling rises to the challenge

    By Judy Penz Sheluk

    When Ian Hunt, president of Doublestar Drilling, purchased the company eight years ago, he believed there was a solid opportunity to grow the business. His vision was bang on. Since that

    time, Hunt has tripled revenues, gone from four drill rigs to more than 20 drill rigs, and in October 2014, expanded the Edmonton headquarters to a 16,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility. But the growth doesn’t stop there. In 2011, Doublestar Drilling established a location in Regina to cover the Saskatchewan market, in a move Hunt calls, “very successful.” On May 1, 2015, they opened a third location in Calgary, complete with ten acres of property, after “aggressively pursuing the Calgary market.”

    That sort of growth isn’t fostered by being satisfied with the status quo. To Hunt, this translated to significantly adding to the company’s scope of services, which now include large diameter bored piles, every type of shoring, secant and tangent piling, in-house engineering, static load testing, segmental casing, mini-piling to get into tight spaces, vibratory hammer work, crane work and CFA drilling. In 2012, Doublestar expended its fleet into micropiling and anchor installation. The company currently has a fleet of nine micro-piling machines and a fleet of 10 mobile grouting operations.

  • A Passion for Piling

    When it comes to complicated projects, Doublestar Drilling rises to the challenge

    By judy Penz Sheluk

     

    When Ian Hunt, president of Doublestar Drilling, purchased the company eight years ago, he believed there was a solid opportunity to grow the business. His vision was bang on. Since that time, Hunt has tripled revenues, gone from four drill rigs to more than 20 drill rigs, and in October 2014, expanded the Edmonton headquarters to a 16,000-square foot stat-of-the-art facility. But the growth doesn't stop there. In 2011, Doublestar Drilling established a location in Regina to cover the Saskatchewan market, in a move Hunt calls, “very success-ful.” On May 1, 2015, they opened a third location in Calgary, complete with ten acres of property, after “aggressively pur-suing the Calgary market.”

  • Amphibex Responds to Market

    Norm Grant and his family manufacture portable dredges named Amphibex that have many functions and are sold all over the world. The company, Normrock Industries, is based on innovation and constant response to what the market needs.

    By Judith Powers

    Norman Grant says he was “born between a piston and a crank shaft.” The fifth child in a family of 12, and the oldest boy, Grant was born in the Matane area of Quebec and raised in Ville D’Anjou in eastern Montreal. His father was a mechanic, and Grant spent his childhood years in mechanical pursuits, which became his trade when he reached working age.

  • Analyzing Atlantic Canada

    By Barb Feldman

    GEMTEC was formed in 1986 in New Brunswick as a geotechnical engineering, materials testing and hydrogeology firm by three geotechnical engineers. Today, the Canadian-owned-and-operated consulting company has a combined team of more than 120 engineers, scientists, technical personnel and support staff, including one of its original founders, Daryl DeMerchant, who continues to work as a specialist consultant.

    “GEMTEC stands for ‘Ground Engineering and Materials TEChnology,’” said engineer Dave Purdue, GEMTEC’s manager of geotechnical engineering. “We have particular expertise in driveability assessments and Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) testing related to driven foundations.”

    The company has offices and laboratories in Fredericton, Moncton, Bathurst, Grand Falls and Saint John, New Brunswick. They specialize in site investigations, foundation design, pile driving analysis and inspection, slope stability assessments, excavation and earthworks, dams and retaining structures and have evaluated foundation conditions for commercial and industrial buildings, dams, pipelines, highway bridges, railways, power plants, industrial plants, mines and waste facilities. GEMTEC subsidiary Houle Chevrier Engineering Ltd., with offices in Montreal and Ottawa, provides specialist services in geotechnical engineering, materials testing and inspection, hydrogeology and environmental engineering.

    GEMTEC has been involved in projects in the U.S., the Caribbean and the EU, but the majority of its work has been for the design of deep foundations throughout Atlantic Canada and from Newfoundland to NWT, says Purdue, who notes that most piling in Canada is driven, particularly in Eastern Canada.

     

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  • Augering Upward

    BudgetStockPhoto/Photos.comWhen you have to get below ground, Jeffrey Machine is tops in tools

    By Kelly Gray

    When Tervita’s Calgary office needed to ramp up their capability on a recent deep foundation job, they turned to Jeffrey Machine for expertise that made a difference. Based in Birmingham,

    Ala., Jeffrey Machine has become a world leader in drilling tools by working closely with customers such as Tervita, a major North American environmental, energy and construction service company. In this case, they were able to create a 6.1-meter belling tool that was double the diameter of anything the contractor had used in the past. It enabled Tervita to successfully execute the construction of the abnormally large bell pile efficiently and safely.

  • Bigger and Better

    Selix Equipment Inc. is focused on safety and after-sales service

    By Kim Biggar

    In less than four years, Ottawa-based Selix Equipment, which supplies drill rigs and consumables to the deep foundation construction market, outgrew the facility where it was launched in 2011, moving in early 2015. Now sharing an 18,000-square-foot space in an industrial park in the city’s east end with Shore Machine Works – a provider of welding repairs, fabrication and precision machining services that is also owned by the partners in Selix – the company has more than doubled the area of its old location.

    In addition to servicing equipment in its shop, Selix’s mobile mechanics – its “drill doctors” – repair clients’ rock drills, drill rigs and hydraulic rock breakers anywhere in Canada.

  • Building on a Legacy

    ROC Equipment

    By Barb Feldman

    According to Becho company lore, Lou Lucido started his specialty contracting company in 1979 with $300 and a pick-up truck. When the company was sold in 2011, it had grown to a multimillion-dollar foundation drilling business specializing in drilled shaft installation, shoring, underpinning, dewatering and blasting.

    In the 1990s, while still running Becho, Lou Lucido began looking for a manufacturer who could build the equipment he wanted to use for Becho’s foundation projects. The search took Lucido all over the world, and in 1999 he began working with South Korea’s BUMA to design and manufacture equipment for his own company. In 2007, Lucido formed ROC Equipment to sell the equipment he and BUMA developed together. Today, ROC is the sole North American distributor of BUMA’s equipment, which is also sold worldwide. The company sells new and used heavy construction and specialty foundation drilling equipment such as casing oscillators, rotators, drill rigs and cranes. It has offices in Salt Lake City, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada, with six full-time employees and eight or more part-time consultants available for specific projects.

    “As well as selling [this equipment,] we’re pioneering in the whole market of renting and leasing these units, particularly when it comes to rotators, oscillators, casings and the miscellaneous tooling that goes with those applications,” said Vanessa Lucido, Lou’s daughter.

    Vanessa became CEO and owner of ROC Equipment in 2012, after Lou Lucido tragically passed away as the result of an accident at the age of 59.

  • Challenges accepted

    Heavy Metal Marine is a Vancouver Island company with a lot of local experience and a wealth of resources to bring to projects on the West coast

    By Kelly Gray

    Brian Freethy and his business partner, Ashley Williams, enjoy a good challenge. The pair own and operate Victoria-based Heavy Metal Marine, a company they started right after finishing high school. The company, named after a small tug that Williams and his father had built, has grown its marine construction capabilities since starting in 2004 with the construction of a private pier near Sydney, B.C. Today, Heavy Metal Marine has become a Vancouver Island “go to” company for a full range of marine services and solutions, from wharfs and breakwaters to boardwalks and ferry terminals.

  • Chinese Steel Pipe Company Benefits from Canadian Connection

    Hefei Ziking Steel Pipe’s presence in Canada allows for more direct interaction with customers

    By Pat Rediger

     

    Hefei Ziking Steel Pipe is a company that works hard to play to its strengths. The company, formed in 2004, operates a Longitudinal Submerge Arc Welding (LSAW) and rolled steel pipe mill in East China.

  • Creating New Benchmarks

    Fraste's move into Canada signals new capabilities for the foundation sector

    By Kelly Gray

     

    Fraste SPA Italy is a company born from tradition. Back in the 1960s, the company’s founder, Benito Fracca, followed the family’s vision of benchmarking products that offered tremendous utility. Launching his mechanical workshop in 1964, Fracca looked to the traditions of his family and the historic forge they operated in

  • Dealing in Piles

    Piling Broker bridging the need to buy and sell equipment

    By Jon Waldman

    Anyone who has been in the piling business for any length of time knows that costs for equipment can get fairly high.

    As a result, there are one of two ways that a company, especially a startup, can go – have a high capital investment at the beginning of a venture by buying equipment, or rental.

    Going the second route, thus, becomes the better option and this is where a company like Piling Broker steps in. Founded in 2015, Piling Broker, through its online portal (pilingbroker.com) and using social media applications like LinkedIn, has in its short time become a leader in providing quality new and used machinery to companies across North America and around the world.

    “So far on average, we have seven to eight listings monthly,” said Irena Zecevic, Piling Broker’s marketing manager, adding that the number of pieces is growing quickly. “We try to list equipment from known sources/dealers or contractors owning the equipment and list equipment that is available for inspection. Each listing is reviewed by our staff and, if approved, then it is made active within one business day.”

  • Deep Roots

    Courtesy of ECA CanadaECA Canada builds on its history to provide specialized foundation equipment

    By J. Lynn Fraser

    ECA Canada’s specialization in foundation construction equipment rentals has deep, dual roots in the North American construction industry. In 1953, the company’s Canadian roots took hold when Special Construction Machines Ltd. (SCM) was established. SCM distinguished itself in the industry when it became the first Delmag diesel pile hammer dealer in North America. SCM’s product range now includes vibratory hammers, hydraulic drill rigs and tieback anchor/micropile rigs. In late 1999, the company was purchased by Equipment Corporation of America (ECA) and was renamed ECA Canada.

    ECA’s roots reach back to 1918 when three Chicago-based companies amalgamated. The Chicago Builders Specialty Company, French & Allen and Marsh-Capron manufacturing became ECA, specializing in equipment rentals. Today, ECA’s operations are based in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Toronto, with sales offices in New Jersey, North Carolina and Indiana.

  • DFI Celebrates 40 Years

    The Deep Foundations Institute has a diverse membership that encompasses all disciplines of the deep foundations industry

    By Lisa Kopochinski

    While the idea for the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) was first formed in 1974, it took another two years for DFI – which would become an international organization of designers, contractors, engineers, suppliers, academics and owners in the deep foundations industry – to become a reality.

    In 1976, deep foundations for building construction were quite commonplace and being utilized to support very large design loads or improve poor soils that were previously unsuitable for construction. However, agencies were in need of qualified designers, contractors and manufacturers/suppliers to collaborate with on major projects.

    “Several people at a Piletalk seminar in Saddle Brook, N.J. – sponsored by Associated Pile & Fitting (APF) – discussed the idea of a ‘piling institute’ that would equally represent designers, field engineers, contractors, materials and equipment suppliers and owners,” said Theresa Engler, who became DFI’s executive director in 2006. “A steering committee was formed and eventually chose the name Deep Foundations Institute to emphasize the broader coverage of all foundation types. In 1976, Hal Hunt and Jack Dougherty of APF – along with the other steering committee members – became the founders.”

  • Doing It All

    Ruskin Construction Ltd. reaches its 25th anniversary with more plans for growth in the coming years

    By Lisa Kopochinski

    Anyone who has worked in construction will tell you it’s a tough industry with many ups and downs – so for a company to reach its 25th anniversary is especially noteworthy. Ruskin Construction Ltd. is one such company that has beaten the odds and showing no signs of slowing down.

    Founded in 1989 by Andrew Purdey of Ruskin, B.C., this privately held company (with its head office in Prince George, B.C.) specializes in six primary markets – bridges, foundations, marine, railway, aerial pipeline and heavy civil construction.

    “We’re proud of our history as a company and appreciate our loyal clients who have made our passage from a small one-crew company to the professional construction team of 300 qualified personnel we are today,” said Ruskin president, Jim Basha.

    Since 1989, Ruskin Construction Ltd. has developed into a professional construction team providing $100 million in annual construction services to a diverse client base located across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Approximately half of Ruskin’s yearly volume is derived through repeat client investments.

  • Drilling the Undrillable

    Courtesy of M. Johnston Construction, Ltd.M. Johnston Construction, Ltd. always comes up with something to win the job

    By Barb Feldman

    M. Johnston Construction Ltd. is an industrial and civil contractor specializing in pile driving and foundation construction, bridge construction, maintenance and repair, bridge and mat rentals, industrial steel installation and removal, resource roads and industrial site work. The company is based in Cranbrook, B.C., with a yard in nearby Galloway and a separate avalanche consulting division in Squamish, B.C.

    A proactive approach to environmental protection
    The family-run business was begun by Mike Johnston and incorporated in 1978.

    “Today, a number of employees are also shareholders,” said engineer Monte Johnston, Mike’s son, who began driving a backhoe as a teenager for his family’s company more than a decade ago. The company employs seven people full-time as project managers, supervisors and operators and relies on a core of up to 25 seasonal workers, providing a wide range of services, from small bridge repairs to multi-million dollar contracts, to clients across British Columbia and in Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

    Many projects are located in remote or rural locations, says Johnston, and most are in environmentally sensitive areas, often near fish-bearing creeks and rivers. Environmental professionals are called upon as needed to develop job-specific construction environmental management plans and to provide onsite assistance, and the company takes a proactive approach to environmental protection and has never had a major environmental incident.

  • Enaeria

    A sky-high idea that’s really taken off

    By Jim Timlick

    An upstart Hamilton, Ont.-based company is using some sky-high technology to help provide construction crews with a more accurate picture of the work they do on deep foundation construction sites.

    Enaeria uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, to perform a variety of functions on construction sites, including visual inspections, surveying and mapping and monitoring. The technology can provide data on everything from the precise location of an individual pile to changes in volume measurement.

  • Experienced Hands

    For over 40 years, Waterworks Construction Inc. has been building its toolkit of experience and reliability

    By Kelly Gray

    When the chips are down and the needs are high, it’s just another day for Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based Waterworks Construction Inc. Since 1975, this Atlantic Canada company has been earning a solid reputation as the go-to guys for all types of piling and unique or challenging heavy civil infrastructure. Today, Waterworks undertakes projects all over the Atlantic Coast including Labrador and Nunavut, as well as the Northwest Territories.

    According to project manager Greg Kerr, his father started the business in the ’70s while studying engineering at university.

  • Family Connection

    Prairie piling company Cam-Arrow Drilling demonstrates the benefits of generational companies

    By Vanessa Kunderman

    Many parents glow with pride as they watch their children grow, but watching your son take over the company you built from the ground up is something only a few get to experience.

    The soft-spoken father-son duo at Cam-Arrow Drilling Inc. has been hauling their rigs all over Manitoba since the year 2000. From helping build homes for Manitoba Hydro up north in Gillam, to developing some of the most bustling business parks in Winnipeg, Cam and Derek Henry have been busy. But over the course of 2014 and 2015, Cam-Arrow ownership is changing hands from father to son.

    As the Winnipeg piling industry continues to grow, the Henry team is hoping to keep Cam-Arrow thriving at a steady pace. And a burgeoning company doesn’t have time for failing equipment, so keeping their rigs, trucks and skid steers top of the line is a major priority, regardless of which Henry is calling the shots.

    “I think our equipment speaks a lot for what we have accomplished,” said Cam Henry, owner of Cam-Arrow. “I think we have the nicest drill rigs in town – we don’t have the most equipment, but ours is top of the line.”

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About Us

Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.