Involvement in the Oil Industry
Bob came to Lloydminster from Estevan in May 1969. He had worked in the trucking business with George Ross for 12 years. One day George told Bob that he was moving to Lloydminster and two days later he was here, in the Husky Truck Stop, with five trucks.
In 1974, Bob became a partner in Border Trucking. Over the years, the company grew from an original two trucks to 35 trucks.
At one time, there were only two trucks in the area. Ole Tweten had one winch truck and Clare Ross had a three-ton winch truck.
In 1969 it took three trucks to move a rig, now it takes 13. When they were loading trucks in early days, there was no concern about weight. "If you could get it on, you'd go!"
He remembers the biggest stockpile of casing that had to be unloaded. It arrived for Husky from Japan in '71 -'72. 100,000 feet (33 box car loads) arrived and was unloaded with two cherrypickers.
Bob hauled the steam generator into Aberfeldy. He believes Dulwich was the first steam project. Over the years he was involved in a lot of steam floods which involved countless hours of trucking. In one case there was a 55 ton steam generator.
Every time a rig moved, you needed trucks to move it around. He recalls when the Border No.1 rig was towed around. At one point, Bob hauled a rig 300 miles using two trucks (one forward, one backward).
He remembers "Husky" Bill Williams going to an oil show in Calgary with one of the first big generators.
Bob was involved in picking up the rig when there was a blowout at Tangleflags - Border No.1 around 1972. Sedco rig #95 had been moved to directional drill and pump mud into the other well. The timbers on the Sedco rig were burning under the stands when they went in to pick up the rig.
Bob commented on the increase in the price of trucks; in 1975 he paid $35,000 for a '75 Kenworth and by 1988 the price was over $100,000.
Business did go up and down, but after 35 years of involvement he recalls seven years of downturn.