Dipper Oilfield Developments: Motivated to Safely Succeed

Fall 2010 - Dipper Oilfield Developments got its start doing road maintenance in Northern Alberta in 1983, but as a shadow of its present incarnation. The company had only four employees and three pieces of equipment: a Grader, a D3B cat and an eight-ton picker truck.

Nearly 30 years later, the company has grown in both employee count and experience and continues to serve the same niche but with expanded services that include site work/excavation, snow removal/sanding, snow bridge construction, water/vacuum services, oilfield hauling/construction/maintenance, sand and gravel supply and more. Today, Dipper has upwards of 30 employees and about 50 pieces of heavy equipment ready for action. These resources allow Dipper to operate within the 100-kilometer radius around its headquarters in Conklin, Alberta.

Co-founder Stan Moller started the company with his father, a construction company owner, when he spent a two-week vacation with him. “Then I went from laborer to running grader to truck driving to running things,” explains Moller.

Always the Safe Bet

Now Moller coordinates his own team. With its in-house staff, Dipper completes most of its trades, but does partner with subcontractors for gravel. “We try to partner with local contractors and help them by having them work for us,” says Moller.

The company’s fleet of heavy equipment includes graders, excavators, dozers, wheel loaders and earth-moving equipment. Dipper also has over seven heavy-duty trucks and over 12 light-duty trucks for support.

Each of these pieces is put to use for the variety of services the company provides including road maintenance, site work and excavation, snow removal and sanding, water and vacuum services, oilfield hauling, oilfield construction and maintenance, bobcat services, labor crew services, Snow Cats rentals, and snow bridges construction, among others.

Dipper is more than machinery, however. It is a company built on important values. When asked about the company’s niche, Moller responds emphatically, “We are a company that, no matter what we do, takes pride in our work! We stay on top of everything.”

Moller goes on to explain that Dipper is also “a member of several safety associations. When we get larger in size we have to be even more careful. Safety is number one and if it’s not good it’s not working.”

To that end, Dipper employs a full-time safety coordinator to oversee all training, compliance and reviews. The company is an associate member of the Alberta Construction Safety Association. In fact, the Alberta government recognized Dipper for its hard work in this area by awarding the company with its “Work Safe” award for its outstanding safety record in 2007 and 2008.

Dipper has also been recognized for a commitment to reduce air, water and soil pollution. The company operates with an impressive mission, too. Dipper’s website explains it best, saying: “Our mission is to fulfill the related needs of our customers and in doing so exceed their expectations for service, quality, and value.”

Fielding Complex Jobs

Implementing this strong foundation has awarded Dipper with numerous projects. “We work for oil companies, about four or five of the big players,” explains Moller.

Over the last five years, the volume of Dipper’s work in sand and gravel has increased. Keeping with this trend, one of Dipper’s most recent projects involved delivering 160,000 tons of sand and gravel to STATOIL.

Dipper also recently delivered gravel for MEG Energy and Cenovus (ENCANA). Dipper is also presently busy completing on-going road maintenance for the Municipality of Wood Buffalo, covering from Conklin to Janvier. In fact, this relationship for Dipper was forged in 1994 and is still going strong today.

Another of Dipper’s on-going projects was the maintenance of Highway 881 from km 135 (South) to km 178 (Conklin). This project spanned from 1985 to 2002.

Dipper is good at keeping itself busy even with the slump in the economy through applying its strengths to multiple sectors. The company competes in numerous bids and it expects more projects to surface in the near future. “This area is on its way to tremendous growth, and as a result we continuously serve and assist different companies with their projects,” explains Moller with an audible sense of relief in his voice.

The future for Dipper Oilfield Developments is more of the same. “We are happy with the size we are now,” says Moller. “We don’t need to be any bigger. But if the projects are bigger we will go get more equipment!” he adds, enthusiastic to continue delivering the quality for which it has become known.