“For me, it’s more of a holiday to
drive a dozer and grader than
anything else. That will be my
retirement hobby. I’ll probably keep
my hands busy doing something.”
– Dave Wellings
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loads a year and we have other customers
that we might move 150 loads a year.”
Since many of his clients are road builders,
Wellings joined the Saskatchewan
Heavy Construction Association, where he
became president in 1982. He recalled that
it was a unique time in the province’s history
since the Grant Devine Conservatives
formed the government, and the Ministry
of Highways sold much of the Crownowned
road building equipment and relied
on private contractors.
The association was facing a downturn in
membership when Wellings was the president
and he and other board members
made several trips throughout the province
to sell membership and to promote
the benefits of belonging to the association.
Wellings said it was the people in the association
and the industry that made his career
such a rewarding experience.
“I pretty much grew up in the industry
by running a Cat and loader. Now I’m dealing
with the grandkids of the people I have
worked with. Every now and then I would
just sit and think, ‘Wow, what a great industry
to be in.’”
About nine years ago, Wellings started
a branch office of Cara Dawn in Goderich,
Ont. He would spend about two weeks a
month for several years in Ontario to help
manage the business. There were times
when it was extremely challenging to keep
track of work in both provinces. With the
decision to retire, Wellings recently closed
the Ontario office but the staff are continuing
to work on their own projects.
Wellings admits that if he were younger,
he would remain in the industry, but now
that he has reached 70, it’s time to move on.
“I wouldn’t be going anywhere if I was 50
or 60, but after I turned 60, thoughts of retirement
started crossing my mind. I’m going
to keep the shop and buy a little stuff and
sell a little stuff, so I’m going to keep busy.”
Although his staff will be sorry to see the
end of the company, Wellings expects most
of them will find employment in the industry.
In fact, all of his shop staff have been
offered jobs already. Ideally, he’s hoping to
find someone who can purchase the customer
list, some equipment and hire some
of the remaining staff. The company could
still manage as a scaled-down version of its
Wellings refers to the company as “too
big to be little and too little to be big,” which
makes it difficult to sell outright.
“The people who have the money to buy
us out don’t need all of the equipment, and
it’s a problem for others to buy all of our
capital assets. That’s why we turned to an
auction sale,” he said.
Most of the equipment will be sold at the
Cara Dawn Transport site at 1512 N Fleet
St. in Regina on Friday, Oct. 18 at 9 a.m.
through Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers (www.
Although it’s a significant part of his
past that’s up for sale, Wellings says he is
looking forward to the auction and hopefully
getting re-acquainted with friends in
“We decided to have a sale on our own
land because I wanted to do it here and
Saskatchewan is a good market,” he said.
Ritchie Brothers also intends to add
equipment from other consigners to make
it an extremely large auction sale. Wellings
says he chose Ritchie Brothers because he
has had a long relationship with the company
over the years and Cara Dawn has
hauled equipment at plenty of auctions
over the years.
When the sale is over, Wellings says he is
looking forward to spending more time at
his cottage near Regina Beach and spending
his winters in a warmer climate.
“It will be a bit of struggle because I really
don’t have many hobbies. I like to drink
a little rum, so I have to make sure that
doesn’t become one of them!”
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 3 2019 | Think BIG 31