Prairie piling company Cam-Arrow Drilling demonstrates the benefits of generational companies

By Vanessa Kunderman

Many parents glow with pride as they watch their children grow, but watching your son take over the company you built from the ground up is something only a few get to experience.

The soft-spoken father-son duo at Cam-Arrow Drilling Inc. has been hauling their rigs all over Manitoba since the year 2000. From helping build homes for Manitoba Hydro up north in Gillam, to developing some of the most bustling business parks in Winnipeg, Cam and Derek Henry have been busy. But over the course of 2014 and 2015, Cam-Arrow ownership is changing hands from father to son.

As the Winnipeg piling industry continues to grow, the Henry team is hoping to keep Cam-Arrow thriving at a steady pace. And a burgeoning company doesn’t have time for failing equipment, so keeping their rigs, trucks and skid steers top of the line is a major priority, regardless of which Henry is calling the shots.

“I think our equipment speaks a lot for what we have accomplished,” said Cam Henry, owner of Cam-Arrow. “I think we have the nicest drill rigs in town – we don’t have the most equipment, but ours is top of the line.”

“When people see our new rigs and trucks when we pull up on site, I think it makes them feel confident in us,” said Derek Henry, manager at Cam-Arrow.

With two new Watson 1100 rigs, shiny skid steers and no piece of equipment older than 2008, it’s easy to see why the Henrys are confident in their tools.

But it’s the men behind the piles that keep everything as sturdy and secure as the holes they’re drilling.

“I think we are very honest,” said Cam. “And if it is a bad hole and it is going to cost us money to fix it – we will do it. Money isn’t our bottom line – we are about good product and our reputation backs that up. We really have a great bunch of guys to work with.”

That team connection doesn’t go unnoticed by clients, either.

“We get a lot of compliments in regards to the camaraderie on jobs,” said Derek. “Contractors notice how well our guys get along. We’re a young group of guys, so there is a lot of potential to grow with the company.”

And rewarding employees is another foundational aspect for Cam-Arrow’s family focus. Paid company golf days, bonuses and benefits are just a few perks Cam and Derek stand by.

“We try our hardest to keep our guys busy, but slow times are inevitable. If there is no drilling, we’ll find work for them to do. We don’t focus on laying our guys off,” said Derek.


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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.