“With a positive attitude, you can do anything here…”
The oil industry has made its mark on the landscape of business in Alberta. As large oil companies expand their operations, they in turn create opportunities for other companies to share in the growth of an industry. New jobs mean new market demands, and those who recognize and capitalize on these needs are rewarded for their insights.
Angus Donald is the President of Donald Rigging. After two decades of experience with rigging; particularly the heavy lift and jack and roll processes, he gained an appreciation for the work that was necessary for a jobsite to function, but is not given the credit it deserves. This appreciation for the unheralded work involved in the oil and gas industries led Angus to form his own company; Donald Rigging.
Donald Rigging is an Alberta based company that provides a wide variety of rigging services to oil and gas companies, and has built their reputation on the high quality and the importance of safety in their work. It’s even in their slogan: “Heavy or light, we do it right.”
Donald Rigging specializes in being a versatile company capable of several different operations, including but not limited to rigging, oil and gas shutdowns, moving transformers and compressors, exchanger pullouts, picker and trucking services, and various other onsite rigging services. They are equipped to handle anywhere between 500Lbs to 1 million pounds on any given job site. Each project presents its own unique jobs and challenges to Donald Rigging, and it is up to the crew to be prepared for any variety of said challenges.
As Donald Rigging is a company that faces a variety of different jobs involving massive amounts of weight, safety is of the utmost importance. There is no course offered in any trade school that covers all the specialized training Donald Rigging employees need to know. To ensure the safety of their own employees, Donald Rigging provides their own specialized training to their employees in order to ensure familiarity, proficiency and Safety with the procedures they will be required to undertake on a jobsite on any given day.
Angus Donald’s personal prioritization of safety, and his people-first approach to business is reflected in the composition of his company. “I wanted to make people number one,” said Angus when asked about his philosophy behind his company. “I know it is overused in business, but I truly believe we have a close knit family around here.”
Even though Donald Rigging has seen a steady growth since their inception, they stick to their principles of being a people-first business. Although they are now a 120+ person strong operation, they began only with 3 members; Angus, Bonnie and Jeff Ikert.
Donald Rigging maintains its close-knit work atmosphere while expanding at such a torrid pace by hiring people from across Canada with connections to the company; mainly friends and family members of current employees. This environment is essential to the continued success of Donald Rigging, as the type of work requires large amounts of trust, coordination and communication with coworkers.
Although Donald Rigging has exceeded its own expectations for growth yearly since its inception, there has never been a sales employee working for the company. “Our workmen are our salesmen.” Said Angus at Donald Rigging, they let the work speak for itself.
Quality workmanship is of the utmost importance to Donald Rigging, as they rely on their reputation to attract new customers. Judging by the amount of growth they have experienced in the past few years, it’s clear that Donald Rigging has earned the right to this reputation.
Donald Rigging has a mutually beneficial relationship with the oil company Cenovus Energy, who contracted them in the December of 2012 to begin work on the Foster Creek job site in Alberta. This project has since expanded from 8 to 90 employees, supervised by one T.C. Wells, a superintendent of Donald Rigging, with over 17 years of experience in the oil and gas industries.
The Foster Creek Cenovus project is presently the largest project overseen by Donald Rigging; and as this project grows, so too does the relationship between Cenovus and Donald Rigging. Working alongside Cenovus has given Donald Rigging increased insights into improving their already stellar safety program.
Working with Cenovus has also given Donald Rigging an inside edge on their competition, “When things are slow with our competition, we’re still booked solid” says Angus.
So what is next for Donald Rigging? Although as of right now, the company’s focus will continue to be on quality work for their core customer base in Alberta and Saskatchewan, long-term expansion across Canada is not out of the question.
Although the prospect of expanding into Ontario is an interesting prospect, Donald Rigging would not undertake any projects that would affect their ability to provide premium services to their Albertan clients. Approximately 90% of Donald Rigging’s work is located in Alberta, and Angus wants to ensure that his loyal customer base receives the top quality service they expect from his company before expanding into new territory.
Although modest in his plans, expansion may come sooner than later. Every year, Donald Rigging exceeds their President’s expectations. Already Donald Rigging has received offers for projects in Cuba and Jamaica respectively at this time Donald Rigging has turned down plans for any immediate international projects. It should be noted that if they continue to exceed their own expectations, it remains to be seen whether or not they will be able to resist the lure of expansion into other countries.
It can be observed, there is a demand for high quality rigging services, and as everyone knows about Donald Rigging; “Heavy or light, we do it right.”