For the past three years, the business has done a small amount of remanufacturing on site, but because there wasn’t enough room in its current building, much of this work was contracted out to other companies.
This is all set to change this month when construction on a new 7,200-square foot building with a 10-ton overhead crane is due to be completed.
The new building is located behind the company’s current headquarters, shared with its sister company, Walden Welding.
Mining services manager Andre Beaulieu said the business will be hiring an undetermined number of mechanics on top of its current complement of 12 employees once the remanufacturing division is in full swing.
Refurbished machinery is needed because original equipment manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand from the ever-increasing number of mines in the area, he said.
He’s sold the machinery to JS Redpath, Don Bourgeois & Fils Contracteur Inc., FNX Mining and Dumas Contracting, and hopes to expand the company’s client base across Canada.
The company can remanufacture equipment that is up to 30 years old. These machines, which were once sitting in scrapyards, are sold for as much as $300,000.
“We use the steel cores of machines which are sitting in mine boneyards,” said Beaulieu.
“We pick them up, pay the price of scrap, bring them here, and start from there, putting on new axles, engines and transmissions. They (the machines) haven’t changed in design that much. The mechanics are simple. But the safety is improved quite a bit. That is all put up to par.”
Beaulieu said it is sometimes difficult to find this old mining machinery. To aid in the search, the company has an equipment wanted section on its website, where it lists the old machinery it is searching for.
The contractors currently used to refurbish machinery will still be given work because the service is in such high demand.
Walden Equipment was established in 1999 by Paul Ferguson, and moved from a building in Lively to its current location on Fielding Rd. in 2001. Ferguson is also the owner of Walden Welding.
Ferguson’s oldest son, Chris, is an engineer at Walden Welding, and his younger son, Micah, is the manager of Walden Equipment.
Until now, the company has mainly been a rental house, specializing in lifting mechanisms such as winches and tuggers.
It also rents mine utility vehicles like underground scissor lifts, as well as some surface construction equipment.
Beaulieu said Walden Equipment is the only company in the Sudbury area that rents out tensioners for underground hoists.
“Hoist ropes have to be put on with tension. They can’t just be spooled on loose because the rope will tangle and will be damaged. It would be unsafe. This tensioner is designed to apply pressure on the rope,” he said.
“CVRD Inco, for example, has its own tensioner. Most mining contractors that go in and do jobs don’t have their own tensioner. So they call us.”