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Michael Baxter, BAUER-Pileco

Describe your current job.

I’m the director of sales, parts and service support for all BAUER products (Bauer, RTG, Klemm, MAT, Pileco and Fambo Products) in Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon and Northwest Territories).

How did you get to where you are now?

I took the Trans-Canada from New Brunswick via Quebec and Ontario, etc. On a serious note… I started with Ingersoll-Rand after graduating from Mount Allison as a sales trainee. I spent the better part of my first year working out of Montreal and traveling to our various factories around North America, as well as spending four months in Northern Ontario working on the Trans-Canada Pipeline.

From there I moved to Winnipeg for two years, where my primary focus was on rock drilling and air compressors. We also tested the very first 42-inch cluster drill just east of Winnipeg in the Whiteshell.

Then I moved to Edmonton as regional manager for all Ingersoll-Rand products in the prairies and northern Canada. I remember flying in to Diavik when there was only a runway and they were just starting the open pit mine. After eight years in Edmonton, I moved to North Carolina and became marketing manager for Asia Pacific with the air compressor division as well as industry manager for oil and gas and product manager for the high-pressure compressor line of air compressors.

Then, on to Milwaukee as vice president and branch manager of our upper Midwest operation. The Milwaukee operation had North American responsibilities for our down-hole hammer operation, which focused on large diameter drilled holes, primarily within the foundation market. We also administered our corporate military spare parts contract out of Milwaukee for all of Ingersoll-Rand.

When Ingersoll-Rand divested of its construction equipment business, I moved back to Canada and ran the newly acquired Atlantic Rentals operation for United Rentals. In 2010, I was offered a fantastic opportunity with BAUER-Pileco and moved to Houston where I worked with Dan Dragone to grow BAUER’s presence in Western Canada. The Western Canadian market had changed considerably since I left in 2000, and one market that had expanded greatly was the foundation sector. The opportunities for BAUER and BAUER-Pileco have been exciting. The diverse geology and expansive geography are challenging, but also allow for some exciting opportunities, which have allowed BAUER to work with various companies to provide some very interesting solutions for some of the challenges that have been presented over the past several years.

What do you love about your job?

Every project is different, with different challenges on each and you have to work with the engineers and contractors to determine what is the best method to complete their project using the most productive and cost-effective equipment available.

What are the challenges you experience in your job?

Time – contractors don’t seem to have sufficient time to prepare for the projects once they have received their award notice. But with many of the challenges of western and northern Canada, we adapt and persevere to get the job done in some of the harshest conditions and remote locations.

What are your future goals?

I want to work so that BAUER remains number one in the industry.

What are your predictions for the future of deep foundation construction in Canada?

The project requirements are getting more challenging with larger, deeper drilled shafts as well as an increased use of new methodology, such as soil mixing, cutter soil mixing, slurry method, cased Kelly drilling, diaphragm walls and much larger driven piles in some of toughest conditions. 

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A third option exists

By Kirk A. Vilks, Fillmore Riley

In the Q3 2014 edition of Piling Canada, Sven Hombach wrote an article titled, “Paying Once, Paying Twice.” The article discussed a decision by the Manitoba Court of Appeal in Olson (Stuart) Dominion Construction Ltd. v. Structal Heavy Steel. That decision has now been reviewed and upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd. v. Structal Heavy Steel. While the Supreme Court upheld the Manitoba Court of Appeal’s decision, they also provided some additional comments that will help guide contractors who wish to avoid providing double security for a subcontractor’s lien.

The decision deals with the remedies in builders’ lien legislation. Each province has their own such legislation, but the effect of the various statutes is similar. Builders’ lien legislation provides two remedies to trades to ensure they are paid for their services: statutory liens and statutory trusts. A lien creates an encumbrance on the land. To remove the lien, money can be paid or security can be provided by the owner or general contractor. The security provided is usually in the form of a lien bond. The payment or security stands in place of the land, so that the land itself is no longer encumbered while the merits of the lien claim are decided. Under either scenario, the purpose is to ensure the subcontractor gets paid, either from the value in the land or from the value of the security posted to discharge the lien.

In addition to the lien remedy, builders’ lien legislation provides for a statutory trust. The legislation provides that subcontractors, workers employed by the contractor, and other beneficiaries are to be paid before an owner or general contractor can use trust funds for their own use. All funds received by the general contractor for the general contract are trust funds held for subcontractors, the Workers Compensation Board, employees of the contractor and the owner for any counterclaim related to the performance of the contract. If a general contractor uses funds that are held in trust for a subtrade for his or her own purposes, the result can be stiff fines or jail time for breaching the trust.

Olson (Stuart) Dominion Construction Ltd. v. Structal Heavy Steel involved a lien claim by a steel subcontractor totalling approximately $15.5 million to construct the roof of Winnipeg’s new football stadium. The general contractor deposited a lien bond into court for the full amount of the lien claim to discharge the lien. The subcontractor then demanded payment under the trust provisions of the statute. The contractor sought a declaration from the court that the lien bond satisfied its trust obligations under the builders’ lien legislation.

Like the Manitoba Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada made it clear that liens and statutory trusts are separate and distinct remedies. If a contractor files a lien bond to vacate a sub-contractor’s lien, that will discharge the lien, but not satisfy the contractor’s trust obligations under the legislation. The contractor will still need to hold funds they receive from the owner under the contract in trust for the sub-contractor. The implication here is that the contractor will need to provide double security; both the lien bond and monies received from the owner held in trust.

After the Court of Appeal’s decision, many were left thinking that the contractor had two options: either provide double security or choose not to vacate the lien. The Supreme Court explained that contractors have another option: if a contractor wants to avoid posting double security but still wants to vacate the lien, he or she can pay money into court to vacate the lien rather than posting a lien bond.

46. There may be circumstances where a contractor will choose to maintain double security where there are lien and trust claims for the same work, services, or materials, by acquiring a lien bond while still holding trust funds. However, a contractor can avoid double security by paying cash into court pursuant to s. 55(2) instead of depositing a lien bond.

Money paid into court will remove the lien and still be considered to be held in trust for the subcontractor. Therefore, paying money into court rather than a lien bond satisfies both the lien and trust obligations.

Payment of the trust funds into court to vacate a lien, for the amount of the lien claim implicated by the trust claim, does not constitute an appropriation or conversion of the trust funds. The contractor is doing exactly what the Act requires – ensuring the monies are held in trust for the beneficiary.

If the contractor pays funds into court and the lien claim later fails, the monies paid into court will be returned to the contractor, but will still be held in trust for the subcontractor.

These funds remain impressed with the trust; should the lien claim fail while the trust claim is outstanding, the cash would continue to be trust funds when returned to the owner, contractor, or subcontractor. So long as the trust funds themselves are deposited with the court, the funds are secure and the trust has not been breached.

The takeaway for contractors is that there are three options when a subcontractor places a lien on property. First, they could allow the lien to remain on the property, second, remove the lien with a lien bond while simultaneously holding funds paid for the contract in trust, or third, pay money into court to remove the lien. The circumstances will dictate which option the contractor selects, and unfortunately, there may be times when none of the options appear to be a desirable option for the contractor. Subcontractors will know this and use it to leverage a more favourable settlement in litigation with the contractor. Even with the additional option given to contractors by the Supreme Court of Canada, the remedies offered by builders’ lien legislation remain powerful tools that, in the hands of savvy subcontractors, can be used to apply tremendous pressure on general contractors. 

 Kirk A. Vilks is an associate with Fillmore Riley LLP who practises primarily in the area of civil litigation, with a focus on construction and insurance litigation. You may reach him at 204-957-8358 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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ROC Equipment

By Barb Feldman

According to Becho company lore, Lou Lucido started his specialty contracting company in 1979 with $300 and a pick-up truck. When the company was sold in 2011, it had grown to a multimillion-dollar foundation drilling business specializing in drilled shaft installation, shoring, underpinning, dewatering and blasting.

In the 1990s, while still running Becho, Lou Lucido began looking for a manufacturer who could build the equipment he wanted to use for Becho’s foundation projects. The search took Lucido all over the world, and in 1999 he began working with South Korea’s BUMA to design and manufacture equipment for his own company. In 2007, Lucido formed ROC Equipment to sell the equipment he and BUMA developed together. Today, ROC is the sole North American distributor of BUMA’s equipment, which is also sold worldwide. The company sells new and used heavy construction and specialty foundation drilling equipment such as casing oscillators, rotators, drill rigs and cranes. It has offices in Salt Lake City, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada, with six full-time employees and eight or more part-time consultants available for specific projects.

“As well as selling [this equipment,] we’re pioneering in the whole market of renting and leasing these units, particularly when it comes to rotators, oscillators, casings and the miscellaneous tooling that goes with those applications,” said Vanessa Lucido, Lou’s daughter.

Vanessa became CEO and owner of ROC Equipment in 2012, after Lou Lucido tragically passed away as the result of an accident at the age of 59.

ADSC, NAIT preparing drill rig operator certification

By Heather Hudson

Some call it a safety blind spot in the drilling industry. Others accept the status quo.

Kevin Sharp is more blunt.

“To operate a fork lift, zoom boom or skid steer, you need a safety ticket. But when it comes to using a $2-million drill rig, there’s no ticket required. The fact that you don’t need a ticket to run a 200-ton piece of equipment doesn’t make sense,” he said.

The owner of Sharp’s Construction and president of the Western Canadian Chapter of the International Associ-ation of Foundation Drilling (ADSC – IAFD) is doing something about it.

“There has been significant damage to equipment and people severely hurt in our industry,” said Sharp. “I think with proper education and guidance we can get better operators.”

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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.