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Company Profiles

  • 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.

  • Driving Differently

    After only five years on the market, Gilbert Inc.’sGrizzly Multigrip pile driver continues to shape the industry

    By Lisa Kopochinski

     

    Since its formation more than three decades ago, Gilbert Inc.’s mission has remained clear:

    “To constantly develop, manufacture and sell the best market-driven equipment in order to help businessesoptimize their production.”

  • Driving Small Diameter Piles?

    Vibe Drive Technologies: small in stature, but sure packs a punch

    By Pat Rediger

     

    Since Neil Montgomery purchased Vibe Drive Technologies three years ago, he has improved the quality of his vibratory pile drivers from the ground-up. He has streamlined the manufacturing processes while remaining intensely focused on turning out fine quality products at a fair price and backed by excellent service.

  • 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.

  • Equipment Connection

    Kitchener-based DOZR simplifies equipment rentals

    By Barb Feldman

     

    According to Kevin Forestell, the idea for Dozr was conceived in 2015 on a Florida beach when it occurred to him, his wife, Erin Stephenson, and brother, Tim Forestell, just how easy and affordable it had been to arrange their short-term rental property online. Back in Guelph, Ont., their large family-owned landscaping business owned a few hundred pieces of equipment, including many machines that sat idle once snow-removal season was over.

  • 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.”

  • Foundation Deal

    Equipment Sales & Service expands its product depth and market coverage with the purchase of Selix Equipment

    By Mark Halsall

    Founded in 1946 and now in its third generation as a thriving family-owned business, Equipment Sales & Service Limited (ESS) is one of the country’s most long-standing and established heavy equipment companies. Its extensive presence in Canada’s construction market has grown even larger with the recent purchase of Selix Equipment Inc.

  • From Sea to Sea Beneath the Canadian Landscape

    The fusion of two deep foundation companies

    By Deb Draper

     

    On Jan. 1, 2019, Soletanche Bachy Canada Inc. (SB Canada), an amalgamation of two long-standing foundation engineering and construction companies, became one of the country’s largest geotechnical contractors and the North American leader in Soletanche Bachy’s worldwide network of subsidiaries and partners.

  • Geosolv's Innovative Solutions

    Finding the right intermediate foundation systems technique

    By Barb Feldman

    We provide innovative foundation solutions for the worst soil conditions,” said Mark Tigchelaar, president and founder of GeoSolv Design/Build Inc. “The bulk of what we do is ground improvement with intermediate foundation systems to increase the stability and bearing capacity of a variety of soil types, including clay, sand, peat and fill, to provide sound footing on an engineered crust of soil where one is not naturally present.”

    More than 10 employees work full-time at GeoSolv’s office in Vaughan, Ont., just northwest of Toronto, and the company’s clients are primarily in Ontario, although it has worked as far west as Alberta. GeoSolv’s projects have included tanks, wind towers, retaining walls, slopes and liquefaction mitigation, as well as a variety of other structural applications. Tigchelaar is a licensed engineer in both Ontario and Alberta; he is the past chair of the Canadian Geotechnical Society-Southern Ontario section and is a member of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, the Deep Foundations Institute, the Canadian Design-Build Institute and the Railway Association of Canada, as well as a number of local Ontario construction associations.

  • Henry Foundation Drilling Inc.

    Three decades of impressive projects

    By Lisa Kopochinski

    Those in the deep foundation construction industry across the country – and particularly Western Can-ada – have undoubtedly heard of Henry Foundation Drilling Inc. (HFDI).

    Based in Vancouver, B.C., HFDI has earned its reputation as one of the most sought-after private drilling companies, largely due to its impressive portfolio of projects spanning three decades.

    Specializing in deep foundation services – including cast-in drilled hole piles, continuous flight auger piles, soldier piles and lagging, secant pile walls, tangent walls, rock drill-ing and gas extraction wells at landfills – HFDI president Don Henry said, “We have the largest, most modern drilling fleet in British Columbia, including a Bauer BG36, Bauer BG28, Bauer BG18, Soilmec SR-80, Soilmec SR-75, Soilmec SR-50 and Soilmec SR-30s. Our specialty is tackling jobs that few other companies can do.”

  • International Attachments Inc.

    Customer service focus starts at the top

    By Kim Biggar

    International Attachments sells and services demolition equipment in the U.S. and Canadian markets. Their top-selling products are hydraulic hammers and pile drivers; other products include crushers, excavator rail cutters, pile breakers, dredgers, demolition shears and pulverizers.

    Based in Tampa, Fla., the company distributes attachments from Bell Dredging Pumps, EMS Group, OSA Demolition Equipment, SME Group and other manufacturers, maintaining a vast inventory to enable timely deliveries throughout North America and beyond. While it ships internationally, most of International’s sales are to companies in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.

  • It's Not a Hammer

    Giken America Corporation wants to standardize pile driving with its press-in piling methodology

    By Ian Vaz, Giken America Corporation

    The Giken America Corporation is a subsidiary of its parent company, Giken Ltd., with its headquarters located in Kochi, Japan. Giken was founded in 1978 from technology developed three years prior by the current president, Mr. Akio Kitamura, who collaborated with a local inventor known as the

    “Thomas Edison” of the area. 

    Giken’s press-in piling technology may have never been invented without the shutting down of a project in Kochi due to noise complaints led by a local sushi chef, which subsequently influenced Kitamura to develop this “outside the box” concept. With the contribution of over 300 employees globally, Giken’s minimal noise and vibration-free pile driving technology has developed into other various technologies over the company’s nearly 40-year history. The press-in piling market has also expanded recently throughout Asia, Europe and especially in North America and South America.

  • Jeffrey Machine, Inc.

    Celebrating 40 years of groundbreaking innovations in drill tooling 

    By Joselove-Filson Advertising

    From its humble beginnings 40 years ago as a local machine, tool and die shop serving Birmingham, Ala., Jeffrey Machine has grown into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of foundation and utilities drilling tools.

  • Keeping Current

    WITH INGENUITY, INTEGRITY AND EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE, THIS ONTARIO-BASED CONTRACTOR HAS THE PROVEN ABILITY TO COMPLETE COMPLEX MARINE AND DEEP FOUNDATION PROJECTS UNDER THE MOST DIFFICULT SITE CONDITIONS

    By Lisa Kopochinski

     

    Dean Construction Company Ltd. was incorporated 71 years ago in 1947, but this Windsor, Ontario-based company can trace its roots back to 1926 when co-founder Americo Dean Sr., an Italian immigrant, ventured into the construction industry.

  • Keller Canada

    Courtesy of KellerStepping Into the Global Arena

    By Margaret Anne Fehr

    For the piling division of the North American Construction Group (NACG), 2013 proved to be a year of re-invention as the 30-year-old Canadian company became Keller Canada, a division of Keller Group Plc. (KGP), the world’s largest ground engineering company, headquartered in L`ondon, England.

    “In July 2013, the deal was officially sealed as we were acquired by KGP,” said Bernie Robert, president of Keller Canada. “As a leader in piling, our team has more than 30 years of experience in a variety of climates and soil conditions across Canada, and we have a full range of piling technologies. Now we are connected internationally, and will continue to be at the forefront of the industry.”

  • Ki International

    Taking matters into their own hands

    By Jim Chliboyko

    It's a variation of the old saying; If you want something done right, you need to do it yourself.

    In the case of Gord Williamson, it wasn't so much about getting the job done right; it was getting the job done at all.

    Williamson had been working in the electrical sector in the Calgary area in 2006 and it seemed to take him forever to find anyone with a drill rig to get to his sites so he could proceed with the rest of his work.

    “There was a definite need in the area at the time because, as an electrical contractor, I couldn’t get drill rigs to drill my big, large diameter structure bases for sign structures, high mast poles, light standards and all that hard rock drilling,” said Williamson. “It took me a year and a half of begging and plead-ing to get drill rigs to come drill my holes to complete the job.”

  • MasTec Canada Inc.

    A new brand built from experience

    By Kim Biggar

    While MasTec Canada is a brand-new company, it brings together industry players with more than two decades of experience. On January 1st this year, the company was formed through the merger of six construction companies operating in Western Canada under the ownership of MasTec Inc., an American infrastructure construction company listed on the NYSE.

  • Match Made in Heaven

    Two family businesses come together to create one powerhouse, PRECO-MSE

    By Heather Hudson

    Two leading family businesses have merged – and expect to become a powerhouse in deep foundation and drilling across Canada.

    In October 2017, PRECO Foundations, a division of Roxboro, and the companies of MSE Group, including ICANDA Corporation, Forage MSE and the Toronto subsidiary MSE Drilling & Grouting, merged to create PRECO-MSE.

  • Meet a Piling Professional

    Mario Roussel, Selix Equipment

    Describe your current job.
    My day-to-day job is to organize everything with suppliers and manufactures for all the equipment brands we represent and make sure all financial aspects of the company are in order.

    What are your areas of responsibility?
    Sales would be my major responsibility, but I oversee almost everything to be sure we do the best possible jobs for our customers in a timely fashion.

    How did you get to where you are now?
    I started renting and selling heavy equipment back in 1985 for McIntosh Equipment of Ottawa, then I represented Holder of North America, a German municipal tractor company covering all of Canada and approximately 23 states. I was working with a dealer network, and then I started developing a liking to the rock breaking and drilling industry. In 1992, I helped develop and introduce a new Japanese hydraulic rock drill brand, called Furukawa, to our country for almost 20 years. In the summer of 2011, I took the opportunity to start my own distributorship, and Selix was born.

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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.