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Formula Contractors Ltd. gains ground in a broad range of projects thanks to diverse capabilities

By Kelly Gray

Western and Arctic construction projects have been turning to Prince George-based Formula Contractors Ltd. for the right equation for job success since 1977. In the early days, the company was known as Formula Pile and Bridge. Growth in its capabilities and skill sets saw it refresh the business moniker to reflect the fact that the company was growing to be more than spanning rivers and pounding foundations.

The breadth of their expanding operations, from Manitoba west to the Pacific Ocean and U.S. border at the 49th parallel north to the Beaufort Sea including Yukon and N.W.T., includes the full range of construction services from project management to structures such as massive steel drainage culverts, to mine site development and reclamation to renewable energy (Formula Contractors built B.C.’s first wind farm foundations at Dawson Creek) as well as some of North America’s most demanding highway and bridge work, not to mention a wide range of foundation projects.

“We wanted to diversify so we changed the name to reflect that we do so much more than just piling and bridge work,” said partner and project manager, Phil Toma, pointing to a long list of services that include road and earth works, equipment and portable bridge rentals, material handling and structural steel erection to name just part of the menu. “When I started with Formula Contractors 10 years ago, we had just 10 to 15 guys on crews. Now we have a crew cohort that number 30 to 40 and have had up to 120 workers on some jobs. We also have a professional engineer on staff that joined us from B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation.”

 Certainly, having the right sized crews with the right skills and equipment has allowed Formula to diversify in an ever-changing economic environment. Yes, they work in oil and gas, but the breadth of skills has positioned the company to win bids in the logging sector, in mining, on highway projects such as bridges and in earthworks with recent undertaking in HDPE piping install.

The company also keeps up to speed on the latest equipment as well as inventories all the standard tools that are must-haves to keep jobs on track. For example, Formula utilizes standard workhorse cranes to 110 ton that are teamed with new diesel and fibril hammers. Formula also recently acquired a Digga 90 attachment to allow greater capability with screw anchor drive systems.

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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.