Blazing Trails: Northern Resource Trucking

Northern Resource Trucking

Northern Resource Trucking Celebrates 35 Years with Major Growth

In 1986, the Lac La Ronge Indian Band had a vision for a future filled with business opportunities for its people. Chief Myles Venne told the band’s then executive director Dave McIImoyl to get started building prosperity, and he did. Northern Resource Trucking (NRT) was born from a partnership with Kitsaki Development Corporation and Trimac Transportation (a company with deep Saskatchewan roots), with a goal to serve northern mining sites with truck and transportation services. Thirty-five years later, that young upstart company is now a major player in the transportation industry across Western Canada with no plans to stop moving and growing.

Mining and More

NRT has moved from strength to strength since its start, now serving everywhere from northwestern Ontario to the Pacific Ocean in sectors far beyond mining. While they are still active in Saskatchewan’s uranium industry, they also work with gold mine operations, agriculture companies and fuel refineries. NRT also transports van freight, refrigerated goods, flat deck, over dimensional loads, propane, industrial chemicals, fuel and much, much more.

“While we got our start serving uranium mine sites in the late 1980s, we’re so much more than that now,” says Dave Mcllmoyl, who became president of NRT in 2014. “Today, we’re a major hauler with a varied set of services, including hauling dangerous goods, heavy freight and more throughout Western Canada and northwest Ontario.”

The company is a one-stop shop in more ways than one. “I see us as an end-to-end carrier,” says Glen Ertell, vice president of operations at NRT. “We haul commodities out to be processed or manufactured into products for all kinds of industries, and often the materials to build the facilities for the processing. And then we haul the finished goods to their final destination. It’s unique to be a company that well-rounded.”

Deep Commitment

NRT’s diverse services make the company stand out in the marketplace, as does their ability to travel roads that many others would fear to tread. “In the north, we’re more than just a trucking company,” says Robin Dalshaug, operations manager at NRT. “Not only are we a Class 7 nuclear carrier, we’re also an active member of the community in northern Saskatchewan. We haul everything from groceries to fuel, uranium to freight. And our drivers can be first on scene for breakdowns or accidents due to our presence in the north.”

The company also gives back through job training at its training centre. NRT’s truck training facility has taught hundreds of 1A drivers since its inception—a skill very much in-demand. “Our training centre has helped many people in the north get quality, skilled jobs in Saskatchewan and across the prairies,” says Dalshaug.

NRT has also been instrumental in helping northern communities when the need arises. NRT supplied food hampers to evacuees during forest fires in 2015 and during the pandemic, hauled in facilities and food for northern residents needing to quarantine. “We also supply funding for scholarships, support the La Ronge Ice Wolves, and work with people at career fairs in the north,” says McIlmoyl. These initiatives are also on top of the quarterly profit-sharing disbursements to NRT’s owner communities.

Big Plans

Over the years, NRT has expanded its footprint several times, with facilities in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and La Ronge. Two years ago, they made their first foray outside Saskatchewan, acquiring an office and distribution centre in Winnipeg to grow NRT’s presence throughout Manitoba and into northwestern Ontario. The decision was a great one. “We’re now in a major growth phase in Manitoba and Ontario,” says McIImoyl. The company also has its eyes on heading even farther north. “Inuvik is in our sights,” says Ertell. “We’re always looking for ways to grow our business and serve customers all over the country.”

“Our experience, skills and equipment have us well-positioned in the marketplace. We offer the dedication of a smaller company with the portfolio of services of a large, domestic carrier. We’re the whole package, delivering quality with every run wherever it goes and a safety record that’s among the best in North America,” says McIlmoyl.

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