Peace River Transport
In late 2021, Mercer Peace River Pulp established a new company, Peace River Transport LP, to meet their transportation needs. As a result, their operation is becoming more environmentally sustainable, plus they are launching a fleet of life-changing careers.
For truck driver Troy Kehler, working for Peace River Transport (PRT) has been “a breath of fresh air.”
“Peace River Transport is like a fine-tuned machine that’s extremely well structured with outstanding staff,” said Kehler. “I have been in the trucking industry for 34 years, and I couldn’t be happier being a part of this amazing group.”
Investment & Innovation
Investing in innovative solutions is an important part of doing business for Mercer. They are driven to become more streamlined, efficient and sustainable. To align with these priorities, they developed the Fibre Procurement Project, and started moving forward with it in 2021.
The $75 million project was designed to greatly improve environmental performance and decrease emissions.
It included the formation of Peace River Transport, complete with a fleet of high-efficiency 10-axle log trucks, and the construction of an impressive onsite Woodroom, a state-of-the-art debarking and chipping facility.
“At Peace River Transport, our primary operations are log hauling. The work we do allows Mercer to move their woodchip processing onsite and improve efficiency and sustainability. It’s a great partnership,” said Peace River Transport General Manager Henry Dyck.
Previously, Mercer procured their hardwood fibre by chipping trees into small pieces offsite in the forest. Then, they delivered them to the mill using chip trucks. The new process is uniformly cutting the aspen trees to length, and transporting them to Mercer on larger, more efficient trucks, so they can be processed in the Woodroom.
Left to Right: Henry Dyck, Muriel McGuire (Accountant/Controller), Kevin Dreidger, Cassandra Gifford & Henry Giesbrecht
New Jobs & A Great Team
Peace River Transport has requisitioned 22 modern, 10-axle log trucks with the aim of expanding to over 40. These trucks are operated by Peace River Transport personnel as well as contracted owner-operators. The investment is expected to create 44 local jobs.
As an experienced truck driver, Kehler is happy to be part of the Peace River Transport team. It’s directly tied to his job satisfaction.
“It’s a great company to work for, from the hiring process to setting up employee benefits and payroll. Thanks to Muriel and Cassandra,” said Kehler. “Our field representative, Henry G. is outstanding. From the ride-alongs, to making sure trucks and trailers are booked in for services, to ensuring all the trucks have proper permits, the list goes on and on. He does his job with a smile.”
Kehler appreciates a company with good leadership.
“Kevin is the go-to guy in the bush,” said Kehler. “And, you can’t forget the big guy, Henry D., who has brought this amazing team together. He always puts his best foot forward and always stands behind his coworkers. One couldn’t ask for a better person to lead a company to success.”
Together, the Peace River Transport team is dedicated to getting product to its destination safely and efficiently. They take pride in hauling materials used in the production of sustainable products.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees and customers,” said Dyck. “Continuous improvement, accountability and promotion of safety training is foundational.”
Left to Right: Henry Dyck (General Manager), Kevin Dreidger (Field Supervisor), Henry Giesbrecht (Trucking Supervisor), Cassandra Gifford (Office Assistant/Project Leader)
Join the Team
Peace River Transport is currently hiring full-time and part-time Class 1 drivers (with an air brake endorsement) with two or more years of driving experience.
Preference will be given to individuals with experience hauling logs. Drivers must have a clean five-year driver’s abstract, demonstrate engagement in continuous improvement and be safety-focused.
“This is a permanent position working on a day and night shift rotation. Candidates should be from the Peace River area or be
willing to relocate. Lease operator opportunities will be considered with the right qualifications,” said Dyck.
Peace River Transport is proud to offer competitive compensation packages ranging from $36-$38 per hour (with an increase after 3 months), and there are group RRSP contributions. The benefits package is industry leading and includes dental, extended health and vision.
“Our trucks are equipped with brand new, state-of-the-art equipment including ELD devices for tracking hours of service and safety monitoring,” said Dyck.
Mercer Peace River has been a highly regarded employer of the Peace River community since 1990 and was rated one of Alberta’s top 75 companies to work for in 2022.
Isaak Fehr, Peace River Transport Lease Owner/Operator
A Life-Changing Career
“Peace River Transport is a great company to work for,” said Isaak Fehr. “They have an excellent team all around, from management and employees to other drivers, and they go by ‘one team, one goal.’”
Another truck driver, David Fehr, switched gears from working as a lease operator contracted to Mercer Peace River Pulp to an owner-operator for Peace River Transport.
“I’d been working at the mill, as a contractor/lease operator for about eight years. When I heard about Peace River Transport, I wondered what this big change would be like,” said David. “When I started working for Peace River Transport, I felt confident with their safety program. Most of all, if I have questions or have something to say, management listens. They respond kindly and explain well. And, they keep improving.”
For David, the transition to becoming an owner/operator for Peace River Transport has been a life-changing experience.
“Peace River Transport gave me a chance to come ahead financially for the future of my family,” said David. “I am finally able to provide more confidently, and it’s great to work close to home.”
For more information regarding career opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org
[Photography by Paul Lavoie Images]