Skylift Services Inc. has been around for nearly 40 years, and they’ve been through the highs and the lows associated with having a business.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly brought about challenges for the Estevan-based business, but they have managed to still meet the needs of their customers.
Dwight Packer started Skylift in 1983, and the company has been serving southeast Saskatchewan ever since. At present time, they have 12 employees, including his sons.
Warren Packer is the dispatcher and crane operations manager, and Travis Packer is a crane operator for the 245-tonne crane.
“We provide crane, trucking, pile driving, hot shotting and rental services in the area,” Warren Packer told Pipeline News.
Cranes range in size from a Spydercrane, which is small enough to fit through a doorway, up to the 245-tonne crane mentioned earlier.
The company’s services are a big part of the energy sector for the southeast. Skylift Services is the largest crane company in southeastern Saskatchewan.
The first 2 1/2 months of the year saw average activity levels; however, Warren said the onset of the pandemic in mid-March resulted in a decline as projects were put on hold due to uncertainty in this area.
Over the past couple of months, they have performed necessary maintenance on equipment, moved items from a second yard that they will no longer be using, and have continued to serve their customers as requested. April and early May are usually slower due to road bans in the area, but those have since been removed and they would normally see an uptick in activity.
“Our staff has handled the past couple of months as they do - in a very professional manner, taking instruction from our safety department with regard to the new requirements - social distancing, the need for sanitizing of work spaces, etc.,” Warren said.
Recently the company contributed to the refurbishment project of the coal car memorial that is located at the intersection of Souris Avenue South and Fourth Street in Estevan. They removed the coal car from the site in October, and returning it to its permanent home in April once the work was finished.
Warren said they have a wonderful group of people at Skylift. They have skilled operators that have a lot of experience.
“Our work is varied - no two days are the same. When you are working serving the many different sectors that we do, the jobs are different each day. The people that come to work here – stay.”
Skylift Services is a a family-run business that truly feels like family between the employees. “We care about our co-workers and our customers and above all, we want everyone to be safe - today and in the future.”