Wajax Industries using recession to prepare for inevitable increase in activity

BLACKFALDS — As tough as it’s been for many Central Albertans to find a silver lining in the recessionary cloud, Jamie Young can identify a few.

A Wajax employee maneuvers a trackhoe mounted shearing device outside the company�s Blackfalds location.

BLACKFALDS — As tough as it’s been for many Central Albertans to find a silver lining in the recessionary cloud, Jamie Young can identify a few.

Branch manager of Wajax Industries’ new sales and servicing outlet in Blackfalds Industrial Park, Young faced a far different economy when the doors to his shop opened this May than was the case when construction started a year ago. Demand for cranes and their servicing — the core of Wajax’s business in Blackfalds — had declined.

But Young said he’s been able to develop his staff and equipment, and prepare for the inevitable increase in activity. That’s included meeting new customers, learning their needs and developing relationships.

“Building up the confidence that we’ll be here when they need us,” he summed up.

The Blackfalds branch is one of 31 that Wajax operates across Canada. Other locations include Calgary and Edmonton, which previously served Central Alberta.

“Logistically speaking, it just made sense to be here,” said Young.

Products carried by Wajax include Palfinger knuckle boom cranes and Weldco Hydralift stiff boom cranes, Hitachi excavators, Hyster forklifts, and Tigercat forestry and logging equipment. The company also customizes and installs equipment for customers’ specific needs, said Young.

“It could be up to a two-month build to prepare it for the end user, depending on how they want it.”

The Blackfalds branch also services equipment and operates a parts department. This has eliminated the need for local customers to travel to Edmonton or Calgary for servicing and repairs.

“That was why we centralized the crane repair facility,” said Young, pointing out that a minor breakdown previously could have taken equipment out of production for days.

“We can bring it in here and have it out in an afternoon.”

The 33,000-square-foot Blackfalds shop is Wajax’s biggest. It contains 18 bays, with dual overhead cranes, and sandblasting and painting facilities.

Staff currently numbers 10, said Young, with this figure expected to grow.

Although some of Wajax’s biggest accounts were already located in Central Alberta, establishing a bricks-and-mortar presence here has raised the company’s profile.

“New customers are coming daily,” said Young.

The energy sector generates much of the demand for Wajax’s products and services, but the company’s customer base is diversified, he pointed out. Road construction, basement excavation and even drywall supply are industries that use cranes.

Wajax Industries is the mobile equipment division of Wajax Income Fund, which dates back a century and a half to a blacksmith shop in Montreal.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Some Red Deer waste collection schedules change due to holiday season

Tuesday collections will be moved for two weeks

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read