throughout the whole site. Our guys mitigated the risk once it
became apparent and we had a stand down on the site while
we worked with the methane experts Clark had on hand.
“The experience our guys had and the strategy they suggested
to complete the remaining 700 piles took planning and thinking.
Rather than just telling the client it’s their responsibility to
mitigate and we need X, Y and Z, we worked with them in
collaboration in the most cost-effective way and still managed
to meet the proposed timeline,” said Gravel.
Big jobs for a growing company
Among the many projects they’re proud of, they point to a
few in particular that have helped them learn and grow,
including a project that saw them install more than 6,000
piles for three residential buildings in Fort McMurray and
a City of Edmonton sewer project for which they drilled a
12-foot-diameter hole 40 feet deep.
Safety remains at the forefront of every job. As a CORcertified
company, they regularly collaborate with the ADSC,
including participation on a committee working to create
standardization on working platforms for foundation
“We’re involved with industry to try and make sure that
other contractors aren’t going out and working on sites with
working platforms that visually look okay, but they’re soft
and could lead to the overturning or collapse of equipment.
We want all workers to know they have the right to refuse
unsafe work if it doesn’t look okay,” said Gravel.
On their own projects, Smith and Sneddon conduct
pre-mobilizations by inspecting sites and giving advice to
contractors on how to prepare the working platform so crew
members aren’t at risk.
When it comes to future plans, Smith says they’re looking
at getting into confined space or low overhead work. “That’s
where we’d like to expand. We currently offer it to a small
degree, but we’d like to get into smaller equipment to get into
“These new markets would be a challenge for us and
there’s a growing demand for it. People are not building new
structures as much, but are instead refurbing what they have
to meet their changing needs.”
Although they expect to continue to branch out into the
load testing market, Sutherland says that, otherwise, they’re
comfortable remaining at their current size.
For more information about the drill rig operator certification
program, visit www.nait.ca/coned/foundation-drill-rig-operator.
“If a drill rig operator hasn’t
seen varying ground conditions
over the course of their crane
operator employment, how do
they know how to deal with
issues as they come up and do it
in a way that the product pile
meets the standard required by
the structural and geotechnical
engineers on site?”
– Todd Smith, Midwest Caissons
EDUCATION & TRAINING
A swamper and a driller working together to safely install a belling tool
commercial – residential – industrial
pile design and load testing
cast in place and screw piles
p: 780.960.8330 F: 780.960.8910
operating in alberta, british columbia, saskatchewan & manitoba
PILING CANADA 55