Serving the Forestry and Mining Industries

Lomak Bulk Carriers Corp

The know-how that comes with designing and pursuing the latest, safest, and most cost-effective transport systems offers unparalleled benefits for its clients in Western Canada.

Considerably expanding the scope of its operations over the years, Lomak was originally established as a hauler of heavy equipment. Over 40 years later – through a series of conscientious steps – the financially-sound company has grown to include its head office based in Prince George, along with company-owned terminals in Grande Prairie, Campbell River and Mackenzie, and rented facilities in Tumbler Ridge.

Headed today by company President Rick Reinbolt, whose experience includes 26 years of senior management roles in the forestry industry, Lomak’s revenues today are approximately 60 percent from the forestry industry, 40 percent from the mining sector, and edging closer to 50/50 as mining continues to grow in British Columbia, Alberta and other provinces.

“Starting out as a heavy equipment hauler, Lomak Bulk Carriers evolved into servicing the forest industry and hauling bulk forest products like chips and hog fuel, and then expanded into the mining sector as well for diversification,” says Mr. Reinbolt. Along with hog fuel and chips, the company also hauls sawdust and shavings, as well as bulk mining ore concentrates, coal, oil products, grinding media for the mining industry, and other general freight.

To serve clients and help ensure their full potential is met, Lomak Bulk Carriers also has its own road maintenance division in addition to bulk transportation services. Operating a fleet of graders, sand trucks, and loaders, the company provides snow removal and some other construction-related work as needed for clients, particularly when Lomak is the primary user of the road. “It just makes sense for us to maintain the road, especially if we have the biggest payloads,” says Mr. Reinbolt. “A lot of times, whoever is doing the hauling also maintains the roads, or has a really strong relationship with a maintainer. If someone else did it, it is usually not as economical or efficient for the client.” With modern, well-maintained equipment and highly experienced crews, Lomak is ready, willing and able to build roads into new work sites or maintain existing roads to a high standard year-round, which helps operations run as efficiently as possible, enabling schedules to be met, and helping to keep transportation costs as low as possible.

Safety All the Way

Known as being one of the most professional, experienced, and cost-effective bulk transport companies in Canada’s west, Lomak is also one of the safest. Whether a load of bulk forest materials is being hauled to a processing plant hundreds of kilometres away, or mine materials such as coal transported to a load-out facility such as a barge on the ocean or a rail load-out, Lomak Bulk Carriers takes safety seriously, every single kilometre of every haul. With close to 200 full-time staff, the privately-owned company has many long-time workers on board, including drivers, mechanics, welders, dispatchers, supervisors, management, and safety and compliance staff.

“If we can’t do it safely, we don’t do it at all,” says Mr. Reinbolt. “We get good kudos from our customers not only for our programs, but also the results.” With full-time driver trainers and driver supervisors at most locations who are also involved in training, Mr. Reinbolt says stringent safety is the responsibility of everyone, including management and every terminal manager. As a reliable, respected and efficiently-operated transport company with a safety record that is better than the provincial average, it is critical that staff, drivers, and management work as one. With a number of processes in place – including education, ongoing personnel training, continual reviews and updates of operational procedures and safety policies, and a preventative vehicle maintenance program – the company truly practices what it preaches when it comes to accountability, reliability, and safety.

“We look at it this way: a safe company is a well run and sustainable company,” states Mr. Reinbolt. “That is how we manage ourselves. We want our guys to go home safe and sound at the end of every day.” In addition to fostering a safe working environment for all employees – including strict drug and alcohol policies – drivers are required to start shifts well-rested, leave personal problems outside of the cab, and adopt a cheerful attitude when dealing with traffic conditions, customers, and the public.

Lomak was the first chip hauling company to be safe certified by the British Columbia Forest Safety Council. The company is covered under the National Safety Code, is regulated by the Safety Enforcement Branch of the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and is only one of five similar companies who maintain a membership in the premium carrier program for exhibiting safe transport.

Committed to Quality

With a mission of designing and delivering quality, safe, reliable, responsive and cost-effective transportation solutions, Lomak Bulk Carriers prides itself on the company’s effective leadership, training, and commitment to all customers and continuous improvement. With over 40 years of experience, Lomak has attracted many major clients who trust the company to ensure all transportation work is carried out safely and with the utmost professionalism.

“The mining sector in Northern B.C. is growing, and we want to be a part of that,” says Mr. Reinbolt. “Certainly we are positioned well with our experience, our location, and our resources.” In the mining sector, some of Lomak’s customers include Anglo American’s Peace River Coal in Tumbler Ridge, Hillsborough Resources Quinsam Mine on Vancouver Island and Northgate Minerals Corp. (Kemess Mines), to name a few. In the forest industry, the company counts Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership Weyerhaeuser, Canadian Forest Products Ltd., Pacific BioEnergy, Mackenzie Pulp, and Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group amongst many clients who know and trust Lomak for its reliability, no matter the conditions.

Able to create a range of custom-tailored solutions, Lomak’s impressive range of well-maintained equipment includes a fleet of current tractors and trailers. Unlike some other companies, Lomak believes in investing in the company. “A lot of our competitors keep their units longer, to squeeze everything they can from them,” states Mr. Reinbolt. “As part of our retention strategy, we flip our fleet regularly, so we are always running with newer equipment. We want to provide ergonomic cabs and all the latest technology for our employees, so they have comfort while they are on the road.”

With its significant fleet, which includes B-train chip trailers, side dumps and flat decks, a 53-foot live floor, portable dumpers, graders, loaders, excavators, lowbeds and more, Lomak takes pride in meeting the challenges of hauling forest products or mining materials like gold, copper concentrate and other minerals from mines to rail load-outs, sometimes over great distances. It is not unusual for the company’s experienced drivers to transport bulk materials over 400 kilometres through mountain passes in winter, where snow accumulation per hour is measured not in inches, but in feet. “You have to know your thing,” says Mr. Reinbolt, “and our drivers certainly do.” As an added safety precaution, all vehicles are tracked through GPS, and drivers radio-in every kilometre on treacherous roads.

Along with meeting the bulk transport requirements of mining and forestry clients, Lomak offers other services to ensure customer satisfaction. Along with providing road maintenance services, the company will design and build trailers to fit terminal requirements, create new trailer configurations to haul concentrates one way and fuel on the return trip. Lomak has even added mini fuel tanks to ore transporters, and backhauled grinding media and other materials to operation sites.

“We don’t take a cookie-cutter approach to jobs,” comments Mr. Reinbolt. “At Lomak, we will design systems for the needs of our customers. By thinking out of the box, we will create trailers and hauling configurations specific to a customer’s needs to provide the safest, most cost-reliable, sustainable system.”

Forging long-lasting relationships with clients active in the forestry and mining industries, Lomak Bulk Carriers is dedicated to designing transport systems that benefit its customers, maintains a highly trained and professional staff, and offers a fleet of well-maintained vehicles and a range of equipment to ensure the company is up to any and all transportation challenges.

“Lomak is well-established, and we are planning to be here in the future,” states Mr. Reinbolt. “Everyone says they are safe and have good service, but we really do, and we pride ourselves on that. A lot of times, when a tender is put in, we may not be the cheapest compared to the ‘tire-kickers,’ but at the end of the day, the value, the service, and the price that comes from not having to re-do everything else, Lomak comes in being the most cost-effective for clients.”

June 24, 2018, 3:01 AM EDT

A Proactive Approach to Resolving a Longstanding Debate

About forty skilled Central and South American workers from Ecuador, Peru, Columbia and Costa Rica came to British Columbia, Canada as temporary foreign workers (TFWs) in 2006. This story incited Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) call for reforms to Canada’s TFW program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). LiUNA, a powerful voice within the construction industry with over half a million members – 110,000 of whom are in Canada – has been the only Canadian union to address the issue.