Trucking generates jobs in B.C.

According to Statistics Canada, truck transportation in 2006 was a $1.67-billion industry in B.C..

GARY MARCUS OWNS Gary Marcus Trucking in Courtenay.

According to Statistics Canada, truck transportation in 2006 was a $1.67-billion industry in B.C., not including private trucks transporting goods for such companies as Neptune Food Services or Canadian Tire.

Between 1997 and 2006, the industry grew by 42.2 per cent, at an average rate of about four per cent per year. The growth rate of all other B.C. industries combined was less than three per cent.

About 23,000 registered trucking companies in B.C. move goods 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In 2005, trucks transported 66.7 million shipments, carrying 6.15 billion tons of cargo.

Courtenay company Gary Marcus Trucking Ltd. has a fleet of 10 dump trucks that haul gravel throughout the province.

“We supply trucks,” Marcus said. “When a big job comes in like Thrifty’s or Costco, if they need 10 trucks we can supply a pretty good chunk of the trucking for each job. We work for everybody.”

The Piercy Road outfit — which supplies more than 200 companies throughout B.C. — has existed since May of 1989. Marcus started building his fleet with a 1966 GMC 960 single axle.

“Over the years I’ve built up,” he said. “One of the guys that helped me out a lot in the industry was John Foster from JF Trucking (in Port McNeill). I met him about 10 years ago. He mentored me. Once I hooked up with him and learned a lot more about the industry, we really took off.”

Summertime is the busy time with nine workers, not including Marcus. He notes the difficulty of hiring people without skills. Drivers, for instance, need to be 18 years old to obtain a Class 1 licence with air brakes.

“It’s shored down a little bit but we’re still fairly active right at the moment,” he said. “We’ve got quite a bit on the go. In the summertime, we run pretty much everything on the go. I do have a truck that’s working up in Fort McMurray right now.”

At present, the company is working for Edmonton-based Bearcat Industries out of Fort McMurray.

“They look for trucks to come and haul with them, so we just drive the dump truck up to the job site,” Marcus said. “They put us up in camp, and we haul aggregate for them. We’ll be up there all winter. They supply the camp, they fly us back and forth from Courtenay up to Fort McMurray.”

They will lodge at a 7,000 man camp — one of the dozen camps in the northern Alberta town.

“It doesn’t really matter where we work,” Marcus said. “If somebody wants a dump truck and they’re willing to pay the proper rate, then we’ll drive up there and go to work for them…You can’t always hope that the Comox Valley gives you enough work to keep busy. You gotta’ think outside the box a little bit.”

While the Valley has been good the past few years, things slow down when the rain comes.

“When the rains come we’ll head up to where the work is,” Marcus said. “Right now, there seems to be quite a bit of work in Fort McMurray. This is our first year up there. We’ll try it out.”

With information from the BC Trucking Association.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Greenwood Trunk sewer line construction continues

Work on Ryan Road portion of project Monday

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Police presence at Anna Place in Courtenay

Situation resolved peacefully

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. baseball team offers funeral prize pack

Wednesday’s West Coast League game in Victoria features draw for end-of-life package

Black Press Media journalists win big at Canadian community newspaper awards

Newsrooms earn recognition for editorial and photography excellence

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Riptide, CVUSC paved the way for varsity soccer players

Chloe Gummer has become a leader at VIU

B.C. woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

Surrey woman says it’s not the first time she has experienced racial profiling at the complex

Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Group behind North Thompson River Provincial Park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

A day of deals at Amazon, and at its rivals

Online retail giant extends annual ‘Prime Day’ promotion to 36 hours

Alert B.C. campers raise alarm and avert potential propane disaster

Salmon Arm camper lodges a complaint with Technical Safety BC after motorhome tank is over-filled.

Most Read