For almost 50 years, Jade Transport trucks have been a mainstay on Canadian and American highways. Founded in 1969 by Jake Dyck, the company began with shipping asphalt out of
Winnipeg, Manitoba, and has grown to provide high volume liquid transport services across Canada and into the United States. Today, the company is run by partners Larry Dyck, his wife Kim and Vice President Greg Arndt, who took over for Jake in the mid ‘80s.
Though they officially became business partners in 1986, Larry and Greg have been building their relationship since high school where they first became friends. Both men have been working hard ever since to make Jade Transport one of the leaders in tanker transportation in Canada.
Leading by example
While Greg and Larry understand the importance of trust and balance in their business partnership with each other, they take this attitude into all aspects of their work with Jade Transport.
“We made a decision decades ago to just run our business in an ethical way. We don’t treat a load as more important than somebody’s life,” Greg explains.
"This can sometimes mean drawing a hard line in the sand with shippers. You have to push back,” Greg continues. “If they ask you to do something that borderlines contravening standards we say no; we’re taking the high road. We’re going to allow enough time for our driver to do it properly and safely.” This can be a hard tack to take, but in the end it’s about staying true to their values and respecting what’s most important.
“Larry and I both drove ourselves, so we’re able to connect with our staff, and we have empathy for our drivers,” Greg says. “We know what it’s like to be tired and driving in a snowstorm. We also know what it’s like to be away.”
Through their people-first approach, Greg knows they’ve prevented accidents and kept drivers from quitting because they know we, as employers, have their back. He’s proud of their commitment to their values. “That doesn’t mean it’s always been easy; negotiating with people [shippers and suppliers], the reality is you don’t always come out on top,” Greg says. “But a lot of times we took the approach that you win some, you lose some.”
The bottom line is: “We want to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about ourselves,” says Greg.
Putting family first
Just as with their drivers, Larry and Greg are serious about the best balance for their work and families as well. It’s through the many years of developing trust and a good working relationship with each other that they are comfortable leaning on each other when one needs time to be with their families.
“Larry and I working as a true partnership and having a lot of trust in each other… it’s helped a lot,” Greg explains. “Sometimes Larry would go on vacation, and I would hold down the fort and vice versa.”
It helps that both men are on the same page with the priority of family time. “Work isn’t everything,” Greg says. “We wanted to be successful, but not at any cost to our families. We’ve both been married for 40 years. It’s important for us to have that balance and to take time off to be with our families and wives.”
It hasn’t always been easy. “In the 1980s and ‘90s when we were building the business, we were doing a lot of things and didn’t have as many people to help us,” Greg recalls. “Work-life balance was a challenge.” But dedication and expanding in the right ways has helped Greg and Larry to find their way through.
Building a trusted relationship with CWB
Jade Transport’s relationship with CWB began in 1998, when Greg and Larry began looking to remortgage their property to expand their facility. “The bank we had been dealing with previously were making it really hard for us,” Greg remembers. “Robert Bean, who was the manager of the Winnipeg Branch [of CWB] at the time, came out to see us and we got the sense that banking with CWB was largely based on relationships.” Jade Transport did get that mortgage, they finished their expansion, and as Greg says, “the rest is history.”
Greg is still impressed with CWB’s ability to assess their needs and provide support for them. Whether it be increasing their line of credit, approving them for a loan or “pretty well anything we’ve needed.”
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