Piling Canada

Bridging Saskatchewan

Harbuilt Construction enters the piling game with Dark Horse Piling
Written by Paul Adair
February 2023

Established in 2007, Harbuilt Construction is a general contractor serving Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Founded by owner Harlin Munro, the company is based in Moosomin, Sask., and provides a wide range of services, including buildings, repair work, earth works and piling services. In addition, Harbuilt is now one of Saskatchewan’s distributors for durable, high-quality Mega Dome Fabric Buildings.

Harbuilt also specializes in bridge building and its team of bridge builders has more than 30 years of combined experience in new bridge builds and bridge repairs, and have collectively built more than 200 bridges. The company’s skillful collaboration with subcontractors enables it to punch above its weight class to tackle challenging projects, both big and small.

Over the years, Harbuilt has built and maintained long-lasting relationships with Saskatchewan’s building community and the local construction industry. When doing business, Harbuilt clients appreciate the company’s reputation for integrity and its belief that honesty is always the best policy.

“When honesty is your goal, it just makes for a better project all around,” said Munro. “The client is happier, the engineer is happier and the contractors are happier, and everyone knows they can trust us again in the future.”

Harbuilt Construction serves Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and specializes in bridge building

The company has tow pile driving rigs and plans to expand

Betting on a Dark Horse

Three years ago, Munro established Dark Horse Piling as a company separate from Harbuilt Construction to move towards the pile driving space. Like Harbuilt, Dark Horse specializes in bridges and bridge piling projects throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“We were doing all the shoring and putting the driving frame in place anyway, and the only thing we didn’t do was pull the lever and drop the hammer – so, we created Dark Horse and started pulling the lever,” said Munro. “We now have our own pile drivers on site ready to go whenever we need them and this helps us get our projects done in a timelier manner for the client.”

At present, the company has two pile driving rigs with plans to expand that side of the business in the years to come. Harbuilt’s pile drivers – specifically its crane with a reach of 35 feet – allow the company to bid and work on some of Saskatchewan’s most difficult bridge projects.

“If we’re in an area where it’s tough to get in, our crane works fantastically,” said Munro. “We also have a hydraulic pile driver that can drive right at the toe edge of the tracks, up to 18 feet out from the machine. That gives us a lot of flexibility as far as driving piles and where we can precisely drive them.”

Dark Horse Piling has been kept fairly busy in its short history and, while the company is proud of all their projects, there are two that stand out as being particularly special.

Dark Horse worked with Saskatoon’s Allnorth Engineering on the replacement of the Dyck Memorial Bridge, which Munro describes as an opportunity to build an “absolute Cadillac of a bridge.”

Then, in 2021 the company was involved with the installation of stabilization piles along the bank of the South Saskatchewan River in Swift Current, as part of the city’s larger $5.9 million multi-use pathways and sidewalks project.

“Our equipment was able to reach over the bank to drive the piles, and we built a total of 11, 40-foot foot-traffic span bridges that were eight-feet-wide,” said Munro. “It was a very open public project that everyone in Swift Current could see and use, and we are really proud of it.”

Looking ahead, Munro hopes to grow Dark Horse and get the company’s name out there as one of Saskatchewan’s top choices for bridge pile driving projects. Dark Horse currently has three in-house structural welders for splicing and works with an experienced engineering team to design whatever piling project their clients can think up.

“We’re not all that big yet, but we want it to be bigger and get our name out as pile drivers, eventually want to become a one-stop shop for piling services and supplies,” said Munro.

Dark Horse Piling specializes in bridges and bridge piling projects throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Giving back, staying safe

Safety always comes first at Harbuilt. The company is COR registered and ISNetworld certified, and safety is part of the culture and built into everything Harbuilt does. Construction can be a dangerous business and, as the owner, Munro is wholly committed to ensuring that everyone goes home at the end of their shift in the same condition they arrived. As such, he always encourages his crews to express any safety concerns or issues they might have.

“Everyone here loves what they do, and we treat each other like we’re family, and you always look out for your family members,” said Munro. “Bottom line is this – if we’re planning to have any longevity as a company, we have to be safe.”

“When honesty is your goal, it just makes for a better project all around.”

– Harlin Munro, Harbuilt Construction

Supporting local community

Munro is immensely proud of his Métis heritage and runs Harbuilt and Dark Horse with the entrepreneurial passion of his ancestors, bringing clients, engineers, contractors and subcontractors together in the spirit of collaboration. Munro also appreciates the opportunity to support the community he calls home and gives to local causes and sports teams when he can. The company also tries to support the town economically, buying and hiring local whenever possible.

“We always try to give opportunities to the local labour pool and hire people locally,” said Munro. “Moosomin has been good to us and we appreciate the community, so we always do our best to keep everything as close to home as possible.” 

Photos courtesy of Harbuilt Construction

Category: Profile

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