Bob Hendricksen Construction

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Reshaping Toronto

Bob Hendricksen Construction Ltd. is a company that has stood the test of time. For more than 35 years, they have been servicing Toronto and its surrounding regions. As a Canadian Welding Bureau approved company, they specialize in a vast array of services, including: Bridge Construction, Bridge Rehabilitation, Bridge Jacking, Garage Slab Lifting, Concrete Repair, Design and Build, Pressure Grouting, Lifting Designs, Post Tensioning, Steel Fabrication, Structural Steel Repair, Steel Installation, Project Management and Dewatering of Structures for work below water level.

“For subcontracting, we do a lot of jacking of bridges to replace bearings, and we’ll pretty much go anywhere for that type of work,” says President Bob Hendricksen. “For general contracting, we’ll go north as far as Muskoka, east as far as Kingston, west as far as London, and south right to the border.”

Several decades ago, Bob began his career gaining valuable industry knowledge and experience while working for another construction company. After spending many years honing his craft under the tutelage of his employer, he eventually decided to strike out on his own. Through his hard work and dedication − and with the help of his brother Phil, brother-in-law Tommy and later his son Jason − he built Bob Hendricksen Construction from the ground up.

“Originally, I started out employing about six to eight people, and it just grew from there over the years,” he says. “Since then, it’s just kept growing and growing and growing.”

Today, Bob Hendricksen Construction employs up to 90 seasonal workers and ten full time office staff members, which include a Professional Engineer, a Senior Estimator and a Health and Safety Officer, as well as Project Managers, Site Supervisors and front office staff.

Experienced and qualified

The company has put together an impressive portfolio over their 30-plus year history. As a general contractor, they have successfully delivered large-scale projects at vital traffic locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area, including on Ontario Highway 401, Ontario Highway 407 and Don Mills, to name just a few. They frequently undertake challenging projects for major clients such as the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), the City of Toronto and the City of Hamilton.

“Most of the work we do is all government work,” Bob explains. “Normally, we’ll work on anywhere from five to 10 projects at any one time depending on how busy the year is. And jacking − as a subcontractor − is basically about the same, about five to 10 areas at any one time.”

This volume of work is impressive, especially considering how competitive the industry is. Bob credits the company’s ongoing success to the track record and reputation for quality they have developed over time.
“Basically, I got to know a lot of engineers and engineering companies over the years, and they saw my qualifications and the type of work I’ve done,” he says. “I guess they just liked the work I did and as a result, we’ve grown to have a pretty good relationship with a lot of the engineering firms over the years. Same with the cities and the counties. It’s all MTO, Metro Toronto, Durham Region, York Region − these are the type of people that I deal with regularly and have gotten to know over the years.”

“I guess it’s the experience that I have and my people have that we’ve gained over the years − that’s what sets us apart,” he adds. “There are companies out there that don’t have the experience or the qualifications to do the work that we do.”

Bob enjoys similarly strong relationships with his suppliers. He says they’ve been an essential part of the company’s growth over the years, adding that he has also developed many personal friendships with them during that time.

“Generally, your relationship with your suppliers is judged by when your payments are made,” he quips. “I have a good relationship with each of my suppliers. They’re built on trust, and that has a lot to do with the success of the relationship. If you say you’re going to do something, you follow up by doing it.”

Going above and beyond

At Bob Hendricksen Constructions, “people are not numbers.” As such, Bob offers his workers competitive wages, benefits and the opportunity for growth via promotion. He also prioritizes safety and training to protect their wellbeing.

“We send our employees out for training when they need it, and we have a safety officer on staff to make sure that everybody has the right ticket for whatever is needed,” he says. “My safety guy is onsite at least once a week to make sure everything is up to par and that whatever work needs to be done is done.”

“Safety is one of the highest priorities in the whole company,” he continues. “Our guys will either be trained or are already trained in whatever is needed for the work they’re doing. We also set up with the unions whatever courses they have, and we make sure that our guys get in there and take those courses.”

The company also goes above and beyond to supply their workforce with top-of-the-line equipment that allows them to work more efficiently and safely.

“We rely on technological advances when it comes to ergonomics, for the safety and wellbeing of our labourers,” Bob explains. “With better technology comes higher quality and safer equipment and tools, which helps increase production with less aches and pains.”

In particular, Bob Hendricksen Construction is known for their high end jacking systems. Bob points out that while there are few companies that have the hydraulic equipment that’s required for jacking, they have a “great variety of jacks” ranging from 50 tonne to 250 tonne.

“We do our own designs for our jacking systems to lift the bridges or structures and remove and replace the bearings,” he says. “We have somewhere around the quantity of probably 150 jacks of different sizes. Right now, we’ve got everything we need to do the work that we have been awarded, and are to be awarded. We’re always open to new technologies, though.”

Looking ahead, Bob reveals that he’s looking to retire very soon now that the company is “about as far as we want to be in terms of growth.”

“My son Jason will take over the company − he’s been with the company ever since he left school. And I don’t want to get any bigger. The people we deal with now know us and seem to like us as a company.”