Cumming & Dobbie (1986) Ltd: Helping Brandon Get Back on Its Feet

Brandon, Manitoba, is a community that sticks together, and this has never been more true than within the past year. Summer 2011 brought a 300-year record flood across the province and over 1,000 Brandon residents were displaced. At the center of it all, Cumming & Dobbie (1986) Ltd. (Cumming & Dobbie) proved itself essential to the response and recovery efforts as a local earth moving specialist.
As luck would have it, 2011 also marks the company’s 100-year anniversary and in a way, the recent activity was a way for the company to celebrate. Cumming & Dobbie professionals kept busy around town reinforcing dams, building up roadways and communities in the process.
At the company’s core, Cumming & Dobbie is a family business and when the Osterbecks took over from the Dobbie and Cumming families, the change in ownership did not translate into a change in mindset. “We’ve been around in one form or another since 1911 and we want to stay a family-owned business,” asserts Sean Osterbeck, second generation and vice president of Cumming & Dobbie. Sean’s father currently heads the company as president, supported by Sean and his brother, who prepare to eventually take over.
Cumming & Dobbie has six main areas of focus to cover the gamut of environmental work. The company offers water and sewer services to supply, install and test systems across the province. Equipped to handle the major site preparation components of a project, the company can provide utility trenching, excavation and backfill. When the site is ready to be finished, the company is capable of building roads, grading and handling the landscaping of each site as well.
Of course, demolition is often considered part of site preparation and the Cumming & Dobbie crew has the equipment, muscle and know-how to handle the trickiest of structural demolition, with an added expertise in site remediation. The company rounds out its scope of services with snow removal services and a material supply division for construction aggregate.
Rebuilding a Community
The company always fluctuates in sync with the local economy and summer 2011 was no different. The year was considerably quiet before the threat of flooding, but the company’s crews worked with local organizations to build up along the river to prevent flooding. After the waters subsided, Cumming & Dobbie also helped to finish the dikes to protect the areas from future floods. “We have been busy this year working with MB Hydro as part of its flood control initiative,” says Osterbeck.
As of May 9 2011, MB Hydro was in emergency response mode. Within hours after the city of Brandon declaring a state-of-emergency, MB Hydro had sounded the alarms for extra support from offices across the province. All the while, Cumming & Dobbie stood by, offering the notable services it has become known for and helping the community dry out and return to its routine.
In the past, Cumming & Dobbie has been honored to work with some of Manitoba’s biggest industrial heavyweights. In past years, the company’s crews were busy also working on the Enbridge Pipeline, which supplies the United States with an average of 1.4 million barrels of crude oil a day. The pipeline is the largest of its kind and Cumming & Dobbie has been focused on supporting maintenance crews who work to ensure it operates safely from Saskatchewan to Chicago.
Lending a Hand
Across town, the CP Rail Yard was also being reinforced to sustain future flooding and Cumming & Dobbie was on site to lend a hand and offer its expertise. With the stakes higher than ever to provide real flood protection and recovery, the city looks ripe for a boom in infrastructural development, especially in the wake of the province’s decision to beef up protection with $20 million in funding.
Overall, Osterbeck doesn’t see the company straying too far from its traditional stomping grounds. “The economy will continue to improve and we expect to see a lot more industrial work so we’re preparing for another big year.”
There are many heavy industrial players looking to wet their feet in Manitoba’s second-largest city. With a bright economic outlook, Cumming & Dobbie (1986) Ltd. is destined to be a part of Brandon’s future growth and development. Hopefully, Osterbeck and the team will find some time to toast the town and celebrate its accomplishments.