top of page
  • Norfolk Farms

Delhi & District Chamber of Commerce recognizes company ‘raised on tobacco’

A company ‘raised on tobacco’ was recognized for its 71-year history by the Delhi & District Chamber of Commerce at its awards gala Wednesday, May 17th in Delhi

Wayne Cadman stands in front of a Cadman Power Pak with a two-stage Robatti pump, which is part of the Cadman Power Equipment line. The company was honoured recently by the Delhi & District Chamber of Commerce as the 2023 Long Standing Business award recipient.

“I was surprised and very humbled by it,” said Cadman Power Equipment Chairman Wayne Cadman for recognition by the chamber with its 2023 Long Standing Business Award.

Cadman Power Equipment was founded in 1952 by Wes Cadman, initially as a lawn mower, rototiller and garden equipment entity inside a rented facility. By the end of that year a 40-by-60-foot structure was constructed including office space, showroom and service area, which converted to office space remains part of the business today.

Wayne came aboard early in his working life. “Our house was across the road, just up a little ways,” says Cadman of his and the company’s Courtland roots.

As well as priming tobacco for George Gilvesy and pumping gas on Saturdays at the Fody Bros. station servicing transport trucks making the haul from Detroit to Buffalo, Wayne’s picked up grassroots experience with irrigation equipment. He began by helping install couplings on mainly 30-foot-long aluminum irrigation pipes. Because he was young and short,

Wayne stood on a soap box to bring him more in line vertically with the adult working on the other end of the pipe. “My job was to do it, do it correctly and keep up with him,” Wayne recalled.

His transition from that humble beginning into a plush leather chair inside the chairman’s office began at the age of 17, Cadman knowing what he wanted to do with his life. Wayne took over the business in 1969 and was at the helm for 54 years of transitional progress that began under his father.

“Major developments and changes, and they’re not easy to do,” Wayne said, noting there have been five infrastructural additions on-site, including the former Trackless Vehicles location next door to the east.

Wes quickly changed his focus to irrigation equipment in 1953, with a Ford farm equipment dealership added in 1957. In 1962 Wes and Pete Langeman of Langeman Manufacturing in Leamington jointly developed the High Horse priming machine, initially a four-wheeled design which was essentially a boat carrier, but quickly became the short-turning-radius three-wheeler familiar to a generation of tobacco primers. In 1974 through until the 80s, the company sold automatic tobacco harvesters, and in 1982 crucially developed the prototype for an irrigation ‘traveller.’ This was an automatic watering system eliminating the task of moving guns and laying irrigation pipe manually. Programmed for an inch of water, a traveller would move between 22 and 24 inches per minute, covering ten acres in ten hours. Six were sold in 1982, “after that it went straight up,” said Wayne, re-iterating his appreciation for the area’s tobacco farmers patronage through the years. “I’d like to thank them for being there for us.”

The company elected to focus on irrigation, ceasing the Ford Dealership in 1987 and a two or three-year relationship with Kubota. Those were hard decisions says Wayne and weighed out pretty closely.

“But to do a better job in irrigation, which we were centred on, we felt that was a change that had to be made.”

Around 20 years ago, modifications were made to Cadman Power Equipment irrigation systems in order to add liquid manure capability, with additional development leading to Continuous Manure Applicator (CMA) injectors a decade ago. Cadman’s is also involved in the water moving or ‘big flow’ sectors, pumps up to and including a 600 HP unit capable of transferring 4,000 gallons per minute. Clients are in the agriculture, firefighting and resource extraction industries, for example where large quantities of water are required for fracking.

Cadman Power Equipment was challenged by COVID-19 supply chain issues, but currently employs around 70. Its products are sold throughout Canada, the United States and into Europe.

In conclusion, Wayne has thoroughly enjoyed his 54-year experience at the helm, not really wanting to leave, but at 74, realizing he has to. He looks forward to dedicating more time to restoring vintage automobiles and travelling with wife Coral, confident Cadman’s is in good hands with their son, Craig, promoted from Vice-President of operations to President.

“He’s sharp and will continue to keep the company growing with new products and ventures.” 


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page