Cruickshank Construction Ltd

Kingston Ontario

President Steve Cruickshank

Employees: 400-450

Main business: Highway construction

Major markets: Ontario, US, Alberta



Good employees working on good equipment


Like many entrepreneurs Steve Cruickshank learned about business from his father. Les Cruickshank founded Cruickshank Construction in 1956 and continues to help out even today. “He is a tremendous resource and we work well together,” says the younger Cuickshank who joined the company in 1974 and took over the presidency in 1995. “We recently put together a group to identify cost containment methods we were able to benefit from his advice.”


The majority of Cruickshank Construction’s work is tied to highway, road and parking lot development and maintenance. However it also does shoreline protection, completes snow clearing contracts and runs two asphalt plants, one of which produces products used in company mandates and the other sells to end users.


Cruickshank attributes the company’s success to a variety of factors, many of which relate to what he describes as a great group of employees and a top management team. “A good operator will perform more productively on a lousy piece of equipment than a lousy operator will on a good piece of equipment,” says the veteran manager, summarising his management philosophy.


One signal of employee satisfaction is Cruickshank Construction’s non-unionized status, for which it compensates by paying its people close to union-level wages. Cruickshank also credits the company’s advisory board, which includes professionals with a variety of skill sets, for ensuring the accountability of both himself and the rest of top management. Major investments in productive enhancing machinery, including the purchase of 60 or so pieces of Caterpillar Equipment such as bulldozers, loaders, backhoes and pavers, also helped keep the company competitive when bidding on large projects.




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