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History of Bert Baxter Transport Ltd.
The founder and namesake Mr. Wilbur Baxter nicknamed Bert and affectionately referred to as Mr. B started into the transportation business in the 1920’s with one truck and some big dreams. In 1943 Bert took his three trucks and men and headed north to Alaska to work for the US Army building the Alaska Highway. After 19 months he returned to Saskatchewan and spent the next few years running a gravel business near Saskatoon and later was agent for Imperial Oil bulk station in Southey Sask. He initially became involved with the oil industry in Regina and Swift Current and finally was persuaded by the oil companies to move southeast Sask. in particular Estevan . It was 1956 and the boom was on and the action was picking up. In a very short time he and his partner, his wife Helen had several trucks hauling coal, oil, pipe, oilfield equipment and furniture. As pipe custodian for several oil companies and steel companies along with the 24 hour days and 7 days a week demands of the oil patch, it was a busy time. As an agent for North American Van lines his trucks moved furniture all across Canada. With the ups and downs of the oil patch the Baxters worked very hard and they did enjoy success. Both Helen and Bert felt they had a very full life and were very appreciative of the city of Estevan
In 1977 after 50 years of service the Baxter’s decided it was time to retire and sold the business to two of their employees, Graham Shirley and Elmer Vicary. Graham had been with the company for thirteen years, first as a truck driver, then as a dispatcher and office assistant. In 1981 Mr. Vicary decided to return to the police work he loved and sold his shares to Graham’s wife Nancy. In later years as the business expanded and grew,the Shirley’s three sons also joined the business each of them starting out at a very young age cutting weeds, and cleaning yard, then swamping, driving truck and finally becoming managers. Today Vaughn, Darryl and Todd are managing the day to day operations completely.
In 1988 a branch office was opened in Edmonton to facilitate the daily runs from the supply depots in Alberta to and from the main office in Estevan and the oilfields of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the United States. In 2008 a new and larger modern facility was build in Leduc to replace the out grown rental Edmonton premises to accommodate further expansion of services.
Expanding service internationally in 2004 subsequently led to involvement in the movement of goods and services back and forth between the US and Canada and to the the hiring of Owner/Operators to assist in this endeavour.
Further expansion was initiated in 2007 when a presence was established in BC oilpatch. Men and equipment are stationed at Fort Nelson to provide service to exploration activities in that area. At present time office and yard facilities are maintained on a year round basis along with the employment of several employees
The company has always maintained its service to the oil industry primarily in western Canada and United States moving all kinds of freight and oil field equipment unlimited distances and destinations in continental North America.
In 2010 after 33 years of ownership the Shirleys are still proud to continue to run their company under the name of a man for whom they all have the greatest respect.