Based in Carnduff, Fast Trucking Service has been providing service to the oil and gas sector for more than 60 years, but this year has probably been one of the most challenging so far.
While it picked up a little bit in summer, president Dennis Day, whose family operates Fast Trucking, said it’s nowhere close to how it used to be.
“We are doing alright, not too much work at all. We mainly move rigs. Last year in June and July we had 140 rig moves, and this year we had zero. We had a total of five just in the last month,” said Day.
The company specializes in moving drilling rigs, frac equipment hauling, recovery winching and picker service. With oil prices still low, there is hardly any drilling happening in the province up to this day.
“There is a little bit of work coming in the fall, but not a lot,” said Day. “I predict we might move 50 rigs till Christmas. I hope it’s more.”
Day added that it’s going to pick up a little bit, but not in the drilling. The service side became a bit busier, so Fast Trucking has been moving service rigs lately. But drilling remains really slow.
A lot of the equipment used for rig moving is very specific and can’t be used for other types of jobs, so to get back to work the company needs to see some positive changes in the oil industry.
In March of this year, when the oil prices sank to the record minimums and the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Saskatchewan, Fast Trucking Service had to lay off many employees. With millions of people going on unemployment at the same time, Day wanted to make sure that their employees would had at least some help before the government support kicked in. The company purchased $50,000 in Co-op gift cards, and Day wrote a letter to each employee from his family.
Since then some employees were able to come back.
“We’ve hired some guys back because of government programs. We laid off 60 at Fast, and we hired 30 of them back, so half of them are back working. They are not working a lot of hours, but they all are getting probably 30-40 hours a week,” said Day.
He added that they are doing a lot of sandblasting, cleaning and woodwork projects. They are trying to take any work they can get.
“We are just trying to keep people employed.”
For Fast Trucking the times are definitely challenging, other trucking companies may have a different experience, with highway trucks and heavy haul trucks staying busy, and harvest also creating a lot of work for grain haulers.
“I think the trucking industry, in general, is not too, too bad,” said Day.
But for trucking companies to see more work, either oil needs to cross the $50 line, and/or the federal government would need to bring in some programs that require drilling.
Day said he hopes to see some more work starting in January and continuing in the first quarter of 2021.
“I’m not anticipating much work at least until then, and it might be longer.”