From the kitchen table to national award winner: Cruickshank celebrates 60 years
In 1956, Les Cruickshank used his savings to buy a used grader, his first piece of equipment. He painted the motto “we do our level best” on the side, and headed off to build his dream. Now, 60 years later, that motto still stands – and so does the company, which has won several national awards, has been designated as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, and has over 500 employees providing road building and infrastructure services across Ontario.
Les and his wife Marlene founded Cruickshank Construction in Morrisburg, Ont., using their trailer as the operation’s headquarters. “Our kitchen table was the official company office,” remembers Les. “We often couldn’t eat on it because of all the paperwork.”
A commitment to doing their ‘level best’ on every project over the years has resulted in solid growth and a loyal team of dedicated employees who believe in the company’s approach to business. Cruickshank has many longstanding relationships with clients like the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, which has been a customer since 1963, as well as a number of employees who have been with the company for more than 20 years.
Today, Cruickshank builds roads and bridges, maintains highways, supplies aggregates, provides infrastructure services and helps to protect the province’s fragile shorelines. The company owns 19 pits and quarries that annually produce over 1.4 million tonnes of aggregate, and clears snow from over 2,500 kilometres of roads every winter.
Cruickshank also gives back to the community, contributing annually to local hospital campaigns and supporting several events and activities.
In 2000, Les Cruickshank passed on ownership of the company to his son Steve Cruickshank, who started his career with the company washing parts at the age of 14. Steve has continued to seek out new opportunities for growth and is committed to maintaining the company’s solid reputation for quality and service.
Under his watch, Cruickshank has been designated as a Canada’s Best Managed Company, a Canada’s Best Employer and a Canada’s Safest Employer. In 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation honoured Cruickshank with the Paver of the Year award.
Les and Steve are proud of these achievements and attribute much of the company’s success to a team inspired by the company’s longstanding motto. “Cruickshank Construction began with a man, a machine, and a desire to get the job done right,” says Steve Cruickshank. “Our team is committed to upholding that vision, and making the next 60 years even better.”