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.


Just Posted

Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

In the wake of deadly flooding in the Indian state of Kerala,… Continue reading

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Privacy issue with online pot sales after legalization needs watching: experts

TORONTO — Buyers who have to provide personal information to purchase recreational… Continue reading

Range of reactions to possible holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

The federal government’s intention to enact a statutory holiday aimed at remembering… Continue reading

Wildfire smoke from B.C. gets in the way of mountain scenery for tourists

JASPER, Alta. — Smoke from wildfires that’s blanketing parts of Alberta does… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month