Puddlejumpers! Pardon Me? I almost jumped out of my seat. An excited friend of ours, who we were subcontacting some work for, was referring to our tandem hydrovac, suggesting that we should have some inadequacies with regard to its size and capacity. Maybe we need to hang some truck nuts on it or pick up some big mud tires. It’s true though. We run smaller equipment than Edmonton trends to. The nature of oil country with our weather and our big-iron mentality desensitizes us to the practicality of Caterpillar’s largest dozer or Hitachi’s big excavators. It’s so common to see a fleet of scrapers, hoes and off-road haul trucks on the side of the road that the community naturally assumes that equipment is what we build with. Bring in the big heavy machines on 100 tire trailers and we’ll move some dirt! Sounds great until you look at the locate sheets.
When you talk about construction in Alberta, and even in Edmonton, the majority of conversation goes to road building, upgraders and the erection of new buildings. Big foundations and lots of dirt moving. It’s a fantastic place to think big, but like carving ice, there’s a time to put the chainsaw down. We’ve selected our equipment to compliment the work we do. We’ve got drills and electronics to bring back reasonable size collections of product pipe at depths from 1-9m deep. We don’t pull back reamers the size of Volkswagens or drill across fjords, but we can get you a power service without digging up the neighbor’s garden. We don’t have EX200s, or the biggest rubber tired hoe that exists, but we can wiggle in between the power pole and the shed and dig up next to the gas line for that service to your new shop. We don’t dig holes 6m deep for sewer lines that you can traffic aliens in, but you don’t really want your equipment down there anyways. Everything we’ve bought and built and "borrowed" is the best we can find to install pipe at 1.5m deep.
Just think of us as the stock cars of racing. There are faster cars, and more expensive cars and higher horsepower cars, but there aren’t that many willing to run that hard for that long over and over. There’s only one way to put down 800m days with a drill. You have to be good... and fast. More challenging yet, to put down 3km in a week, in town. You have to be good. Really good. No big deal? Try putting down 6km of pipe in 3 months crossing 4 utilities every 10m. NBD is all I see in the text messages. Nailed it. NBD (No Big Deal) You can’t help but love reading that.
Like every industry, there’s lots of competition out there. It’s tough to pick a contractor without seeing them work and having history. Come have a look. Spend a day with a crew. We’ll even let you hold a shovel. You’d be hard pressed to find a group as focused, as organized, as responsible and as efficient as these guys. I’ve worked in a few places, but in 15 years in construction, these guys impress me almost every day. We can talk about our new equipment, the latest locating equipment, the recent developments in mud-pumps or horsepower, but at the end of the day you just want to get your pipe in the ground. CTL. We’ve got all the latest and shiniest and horsepower and ride control and all that, but we’re beating it all senseless pounding conduit in the ground day after day. If my word’s not enough, come hold a shovel.