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Different Ways of Excavating

Edgett Excavating (EE) does not rely on merely its reputation and long-term presence in the market to secure work, the company is not satisfied to rest on past achievements; it is constantly looking at ways to improve and expand services to the area. For example, Comox Valley Hydro-Vac Services is a recently launched division of EE providing a safe, productive and nondestructive method of excavating.

Hydrovacing uses pressurized water and a vacuum system that allows for safe excavation around utilities and pipelines. Pressurized water is injected into the ground to wash the soil away from underground infrastructure. Simultaneously, a vacuum is collecting the resulting slurry through a large debris hose into a storage tank.

EE added hydrovacing to the services offered to broaden project capabilities. The hydrovac units allow EE to obtain jobs in utility sector for various needs, including day lighting, excavating, piling holes and exposing sanitary, water and storm lines without incident.

Finding a Middle Ground

EE is a small company in the scheme of the excavating industry, but the perfect size to service Vancouver Island, according to Henderson. “There is certain point where you’re either too big to be small or too small to be big,” he explains. “I think we’ve found a middle ground. We have a small enough crew that everybody knows everybody.” 

The company is holding its own in today’s tough economy. While fuel prices have recently leveled off in Canada, it still takes a lot to run the trucks for various projects.

One thing Henderson finds concerning is the lack of young skilled employees willing to enter the trade. He attributes that to the tar sands oil and mining operations in northern British Columbia and Alberta, which are diverting many new entries to the construction and development industry. Teens out of high school go north to find lucrative jobs and only return to the Vancouver Island area in their late ’20s or ’30s, and when these men return they have no interest in learning a new trade in the earthmoving/site development sector.

“With the exception of my youngest son Derek, who has become the company’s estimator, and Ross Edgett’s daughter Tara [a recently minted CGA], finding younger employees who want to learn and train with us is tough,” reflects Henderson.

Despite difficulty finding young labourers to join the team, the company continues to forge ahead, successfully reinforcing both its reputation and the infrastructure within the Comox Valley. Helping enrich Vancouver Island for over four decades, Edgett Excavating Ltd. will surely remain a trusted local entity for years to come.