Trans Carrier Ltd.
Joe Kosick founded Kosick Holdings Inc. in the late 1970s as an oil field construction company, serving energy companies in western Canada. Over the years, the business has continued to grow and in 1983, the team added a transportation division, which is now known as Trans Carrier Ltd (TCL). Around the same time, Joe’s son, Michael Kosick, joined the business. Michael’s son, Tyler, now acts as general manager, marking three generations of family ownership and operation.
“I grew up in this industry,” Tyler recounts. “I’ve been involved my entire life. I joined the company officially in 1996 and became manager in 2007.” Family ownership and long tenure of employees has made TCL one of the most experienced trucking businesses in the region.
Above all else, the crew focuses on safety and customer satisfaction. “Our biggest indicator of performance is that we have the job done to the scope our customer has requested,” Tyler continues. “We want to turn a profit, but it is more important to us that our entire team is walking away with no injuries.”
TCL has built a niche in oil and gas industry hauling, which is where the company gets most of its business. The aggregate hauling division is on the rise; however, there are a number of major construction projects in the area.
TCL’s full time staff of between 70 and 85 includes administrators, management, sales people and operators. The team works from two locations in Fort St. John, British Columbia, as well as Baytree, Alberta. TCL has a large fleet with 38 trucks and 18 pieces of heavy machinery, including the company’s own crushing plant. The business utilizes three gravel pits and operates a surface rentals division, as well as a contaminated soil and hazardous waste division.
“We’ve been on lots of smaller jobs lately,” says Tyler. “Our work is steady, but small. We are currently working with Canadian Natural on a reclamation project. We have been doing some aggregate hauling for Shell and Progress on some high-grade road projects. We have done some stints with Nexen, as well. A lot of what we do is odds and ends, one or two days here, one or two days there.”
According to Tyler, the company’s recent expansion, when buying Back Country Truckin, was great for TCL. “We received a major contract with Canadian Natural and that got the acquisition running really smoothly,” he says. “One of the most interesting projects we have been involved with was working with the ministry of transportation. We worked with Inland Kenworth and Falcon Equipment along with the ministry on the design for North America’s largest tractor-mounted picker.”
Maintaining a Balance
With recent instability in the market, Tyler and the team have worked hard to keep costs under control and work coming in. “Our biggest expenses are fuel, insurance and wages,” he says. “We spend a lot of money to make money, so we need to be streamlined. The best way for us to increase efficiency is to reduce idle time. We can do that in the summer, but it’s a little harder in the winter. Insurance laws have kept things manageable, so long as you can stay claims free, your problems are minimized.”
Tyler goes on to note that wages are hard to control in the market. “It’s difficult to find people to come to our area, especially when there are other businesses competing for the same skilled employees,” he continues. “We offer temporary housing options to try and help transition new employees.”
TCL has also put a number of policies into practice in order to improve performance on-site. “We visit our sites regularly,” Tyler adds. “We have our safety coordinator, Sean Thomas, who helps manage subcontractors and employees. We have to be safe and reliable on top of offering consistent quality in service. Most of our contracts we perform about 95 percent ourselves. With larger projects, that is closer to 70 or 80 percent.”
The company’s subcontractors must adhere to TCL’s guiding principles, as well. “Our focus is to do everything the right way, the safe way and the cost-effective way the first time,” Tyler explains. “Our work is high-paced and demanding, but also rewarding. We work with some great people. When we look back on what we have accomplished each day, it’s really enjoyable. “
Tyler and his team do not have any major plans for the coming years at TCL. “We are looking to pay off some debt and then plan out our next acquisition,” he says. “We will maintain and sustain a steady pattern of growth and look for further opportunities to expand. The market here is good, despite the challenges. I can’t speak on the country’s economy as British Columbia is in a bubble right now with the LNG potential. Here, there is nothing but room for growth if you’re willing to take a risk.” As the team plans the next move, Trans Carrier Ltd. will continue to deliver the highest quality customer service and safety on each contract.