Photos: courtesy of Jevin Van Noy
In his new role with Soletanche Bachy Canada (SBC), Jevin Van Noy is excited to strengthen the bonds between field and office operations by improving efficiency and value for SBC’s clients.
“One of the biggest challenges in the industry has always been the division between the office and the field staff,” said Van Noy. Van Noy’s promotion to foundation equipment consultant and service technician at SBC will find him assisting clients with new pile equipment setups and servicing existing rigs. “So, it’s important to work with both sides on these issues because it will ultimately improve client relations.”
Van Noy has spent eight years working construction in the deep foundation industry at Berminghammer Foundation Equipment, which supplies construction equipment and support for projects globally.
In 2014, Van Noy connected with one of Berminghammer’s deep foundation sites to review the equipment through the Operator’s Union 793, a local branch of the International Union of Operating Engineers that represents Ontario’s crane and heavy equipment operators in the construction industry.
“Once I got there, I loved the equipment, the process and the technology,” he said. “How challenging the job, itself, was.”
Van Noy began as an apprentice, where he learned how to rig up the crane, front-end for piles, drill in various configurations and other tasks associated with being a front man.
“I managed to get my hours and some seat time,” he said. “From that seat time, I graduated with the 339A crane license and did specialty training for all my pile driving.”
Van Noy’s specialty training included studying for a rotary drill rig course, driving piles with a diesel hammer and operating other various crane mount drilling set-ups. He also learned tie back drilling and excavating smaller foundation works with a drill and a Vibro Acoustics rubber floor mount (a device that isolates the vibration of floor mounted equipment).
“If you have time to learn the equipment and have the time to focus and hone in on what you’re doing,” he said, “it will help you navigate the change and effect of site conditions. Those are big factors.
“Of course, you will need a crane license as well!
“I went through all the ranks, did all the pile driving, drilling – everything like that. Infrastructure is what excites me about this industry. I always love when driving over a bridge that I piled for, I can say I was a part of that project.”
He says his experience in the field has prepared him for his consulting role with SBC.
“The most challenging aspect of deep foundations is you’re always blind to conditions,” said Van Noy. “Everything you do, you can’t anticipate what’s coming next. So, you can drill a hole that could go perfectly fine, and then you move 10 feet over, and it’s a completely different scenario.”
Van Noy says addressing on-site issues successfully can come from experience, “Learning yourself how things work and how to overcome certain obstacles, fix problems and decipher issues before they happen is quite rewarding.”
Still, even more important, he says, is sharing information with colleagues and listening to the wealth of knowledge from pile operators and workers who make up the Ontario construction industry, are also key.
“Well, the foundation industry is just a big community. So, if you have a problem, someone else has most likely run into that same problem,” said Van Noy. “It’s normal to contact people who have done the same work and ask questions. I’ve always found that many people are helpful that way.”
With a trove of practical experiences, Van Noy says he can pass along this information to provide better insight and more meaningful solutions for his clients.
“In this position, I can travel more throughout the world, set up sites and consult on various issues I may have had or problems people are having with equipment,” he said. “So, I think it’s exciting to have new challenges brought to me daily, weekly, monthly.”
Van Noy is also excited about helping to create a new service program through SBC that will increase client satisfaction and ensure equipment “stands up to the test of time.”
“We’re very hard on equipment in the deep foundation industry,” said Van Noy. “It’s a natural phenomenon with drilling and pile driving – the nature of the beast.”
For Van Noy, ensuring equipment holds up is a very exciting mission. “To have this sort of program is so rewarding – especially coming from the field – to go out and ensure that level of satisfaction is on
“We know that our equipment has the potential to last a very long time, as long as we perform maintenance sufficiently. In this case, having a proper service schedule will ensure clients receive that service when they need to.”
Van Noy says that understanding which products each client has and when they last received maintenance, and coming up with service packages that address the different needs of each client’s
project is essential.
“Through consultation we can determine if the drilling is hard and whether we need to upgrade the drill to ensure it’s viable for the job’s longevity,” said Van Noy. “A massive cost in the foundation or any construction industry is machinery breakdowns and lost work hours. Anytime a machine breaks down you’re losing both.
“We want to increase our organization’s efficiency at the machine and client service level.”
Van Noy says SBC is one of the best organizations to implement this type of program because they have a deep understanding of the foundation industry from field and office perspectives.
“Working with Berminghammer’s equipment and learning from the people who work here has always been a pleasure,” said Van Noy. “They want to work with me to develop these programs because they see the value in them.”
As for the future of the deep foundation industry, Van Noy says get ready to see more drilling.
“It’s going to be the future,” he said. “We’re going to have huge projects that will require bigger equipment, and with bigger equipment, hopefully, we will see increased productivity and efficiency.”
Larger infrastructure projects will require deeper penetration of the Earth for weight distribution.
“Structures will need larger space – due to growing populations and the need for better transportation and infrastructure,” he said. “So, we’re going to see those larger influxes of big foundations.”
Van Noy says he plans to stick to the consulting side even though he loves operating a crane and seeing his contributions to developments.
“I love to go around the world and see different problems and work with different companies to solve those problems,” said Van Noy. “Whether it’s site conditions, proper equipment or simply increasing productivity. Those are the elements of the job that interest me.”
Van Noy says he hopes to turn consulting into a full-time gig alongside operating the service program at SBC.
In the meantime, he said, “I want to get clients aware of who I am and who I work for because I know the rest will come with time.”