Winvan Paving Ltd.
Winvan Paving Ltd. (Winvan) has been in business since 1966, when Commonwealth Construction Company established the operation as a division, providing civil construction support to the parent company.
Over the years, the operation has found a strong niche in road construction and more specifically paving. While Winvan has changed structurally several times since the early days, the organization remains a family business, owned and operated by Stan Weismiller, the son of founding partner Grant Weismiller, as well as his siblings Carol, Norm, Glen and Mike.
“I got into the business in high school, working part-time,” Stan recalls. “I started here full-time in 1981 and became president and general manager in 2005.”
Stan continues to work alongside Carol, Norm, Glen and Mike today. The family-owned local business has grown significantly after nearly 50 years in business, but the team maintains a legacy of quality, service and safety that is synonymous with the Winvan name.
“We are a road building company focused on asphalt and concrete paving,” Stan elaborates. “We also do asphalt milling, grade work and road construction. The market we have is varied, including the private sector, municipal level and provincial level. A major part of our market consists of airports, rail ports and seaboard ports.”
Winvan typically operates as a subcontractor. Over the years, the Weismiller family has built strong relationships with both contractors and government entities.
Service is the backbone of Winvan, and Stan notes that while the business is competitive in other areas, Winvan is known best for reliability. “We are really focused on working with our customers on scheduling,” Stan explains. “There is a lot of concern in the industry about some of our competitors that are not able to meet schedules as they set them out. We determine a date to start and finish with our clients. Weather depending, that holds up.”
Stan’s customers know his team will be there when needed. With approximately 150 employees, Winvan has the manpower to perform safely and efficiently on projects of all sizes.
In a typical year, the team completes between 700 and 800 contracts in British Columbia’s lower mainland region. These contracts typically include a range of services. For private work, this often means site development, interior roads, parking lots and storage yards. In the public sector, a large portion is municipal paving for public roadways with milling and grading, as well.
While Stan insists he is happy with any project that is completed on time and to the satisfaction of customers, one recent project stands out in the private sector. At the Deltaport Container Terminal in Delta, British Columbia, Winvan is working closely with the project owner and consultant on a unique rehabilitation project.
“This is a shipping container yard where they offload shipping containers, put them in a storage area and then reload on trains or trailers,” Stan elaborates. “We are still in the evaluation stage, working to determine what material to use in order to improve durability and increase long-term value for our client. They stack the containers six high on the surface, which can be a fair bit of weight on unloading. Regular asphalt struggles with that and the process can leave depressions and divots everywhere. We are testing concrete and asphalt with a stronger rock matrix to hold the load. We are paving with a few different materials and monitoring them to see how they perform.”
Paving the way forward
Winvan continues to press forward with innovative processes and reliable service. While Stan and his team have been busy throughout 2014, he says the years leading up have been strenuous for the regional economy.
“The private side slowed down considerably after 2009,” Stan explains. “We have had a considerable amount of public work, but it feels like for the last five years the private sector has been struggling to regain traction. There are still some problems in British Columbia, but we have seen things pick up a bit.”
In order to stay ahead, Stan has kept the focus on aspects of growth that are within his control. The company is still very service-oriented and the Winvan crew measures success by more than monetary growth.
“Safety is first and foremost,” Stan notes. “We also focus on quality management, customer satisfaction and ultimately employee satisfaction. Our interactions with the community are also important. Ideally, we want to strike a balance of performance. When we look at how many hours we put in and what we have accomplished, we want to make sure we are running efficiently and our customers are happy.”
After more than 30 years in the business, Stan says he still takes the greatest sense of pride from a job well done. At the end of the day, when his team wraps up a project on time with no incidents and happy customer, he calls that success. As the market picks up, Winvan Paving Ltd. continues to foster lasting relationships with customers throughout the lower mainland.