From family garage to former stadium
Fitz’s Mobile Welding prospering in Harbour Grace
From crab frames to pedways, Fitz’s Mobile Welding has seen plenty of success in the last six years.
Fitz’s Mobile Welding Inc. has become something of a household name in Harbour Grace as the company continues to grow and expand itself, now employing upwards of 20 people, with even more under their belt as their partnership with construction industry powerhouse Canam Group continues to grow. However, the operation was not always as big as it is today.
Originally, Fitz’s Mobile Welding started out as a garage operation, where Paul Fitzgerald, Vice President of the company, would work on crab frames out of the family garage. Susan Fitzgerald, president of the company, as well as Paul’s mother and business partner, said that the company began out of something of a necessity, with Paul growing tired of the constant travel associated with his previous job, and his father’s health declining.
“Crab frames is where it all started, which we’d supply to marine suppliers and some local fishermen” she said. “Out in the garage, working away at crab frames. No big operations, no employees working for us, just a small family operation, and now it’s become what it is today.” What Fitz’s Mobile Welding is today, is a company capable of processing 40-50 steel beams in an eight-hour shift, all while welding 25-tons of structural steel at the same time thanks to a dedicated team of skilled trade workers, project managers, and a myriad of other employees, as well as some top-of-the-line equipment, including a Python X Beam Line – something the Fitzgeralds say is a powerhouse for this type of work. All of this means that Fitz’s Mobile Welding can work on major projects such as the St. John’s Community Market, and the replacement of the Provincial Airlines hangar roof.
Following incorporation in 2009, the company started work in 2012 and have seen plenty of big changes over this relatively short timespan. In 2012, the company’s first official year, they moved to a shop in Bay Roberts – the first big move out of the family garage. It was in this shop that the company would spend their first five years, where they moved into the marine sector, all while continuing work in the manufacturing division. However, an even bigger move came for the company in 2017, when they got wind that the former S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace was available.
“Right now, I think we have one of the biggest steel fabrication facilities in the province,” Susan said of the 30,000-square foot space the company is now working out of. “A lot of hard work and money went into it, especially when it came down to the electrical part of it, but it all worked out in the end because we’ve got a great space to work out of now.”
Paul, much like his mother Susan, carries a great deal of pride when it comes to the company. He said to see it grow from the beginning, in 2012, to the present, is almost unreal.
“It’s amazing to see it grow like this, and to see it continuing to grow. We’ve got a lot of good things coming for the company over the years, so it’s only up from here, but to see where we were five years ago, and look onto the floor today and see what we’re doing now, it’s crazy,” he said, noting that he’d like to see the company do further work in the Atlantic provinces and possibly south of the border in the United States.
“We still work on crab frames here, too, though,” he added proudly. “We’ll never forget where we started, no matter how big it gets.”
Susan Fitzgerald and her son Paul are president and vice president of Fitz’s Mobile Welding Inc.