BRANTFORD, Ont. — As the saying goes, good things come in small packages.
Bezco Trucking doesn’t deliver small packages. In fact, it specializes in delivering oversized items like steel and oilfield machinery. The small package is Bezco Trucking itself – just a small operation with a mere 17 trucks to its name.
But you wouldn’t know it from any other large carrier in Canada.
Bezco started from humble beginnings in 1984 as a family business. It grew modestly until 2016, when its original owner, Cor Bezemer, decided to retire in 2016 and sell the business. Today the company is run by Jan Bicz, and is headquartered in Brantford, Ont.
Drivers for the former family business haul automotive dyes, steel products, and machinery mostly into the U.S. And so far, it’s been a smooth operation thanks to the family feel the small company thrives on and has been able to maintain.
“Our biggest advantage is the consistency and knowledge of our employees,” Karen Warren, office manager and long-time employee of Bezco told Truck News. “Almost all of our drivers have been with us for a long time, so everyone here knows what they’re doing, what is expected of them, and what the drill is. So almost always, everything here runs smoothly. Personally, for me, coming to work is like coming from home, to my second home.”
Turnover isn’t really an issue for Bezco, thanks to its committed long-term drivers who haven’t had the urge to see what other, larger carriers are up to.
“Fortunately for us, (turnover is) pretty low,” Warren said. “And I think a large part has to do with us being a small company. Drivers here feel like part of a family. They’re not just a number with us. We also have a mixture of equipment that suits any driver’s needs. Some of our drivers prefer to drive the old manuals, so we have those, but we also have new equipment, for those drivers who like the automatics.”
Warren added that Bezco drivers enjoy a great benefits plan and compensation package.
“And we pay weekly, which is a plus for a lot of our drivers,” she said.
Another reason why Warren thinks drivers stay around is because of the company’s esteemed driver-turned-dispatcher.
“Because he was a driver, he’s aware of all the challenges drivers face every day,” Warren said. “He is able to identify with them when any concern or question comes up. If a driver goes to a new destination, he is the first one to help them. He is fantastic that way in that he’ll print out a route and map for them.”
Bezco also takes training and safety seriously. The company prides itself on not having had any accidents for several years, thanks to its onboarding program and ongoing driver training.
“We would never just hire a driver, even one with experience, and just put them out on the road,” Warren assured. “We have a trainer, and if and when we hire a new driver, we make sure to pair the trainer and hire on the road for several weeks, before the new hire goes out on his own. During the time on the road, there is extensive training on the tarping and strapping that is so important in flatbed. And not until the trainer feels confident in the driver’s ability will we send him out on his own. One of our drivers has only been here for a year and he started with no driving experience at all. Today, he’s one of our best guys.”
Warren said the driver shortage still affects the company, as some of its drivers are set to retire in the coming years.
“It is a concern for us, just like everyone else in the industry,” she said. “The driver pool isn’t getting any bigger. Finding young, safe drivers isn’t easy. But our drivers do help us on that front in that drivers we have hired recently have been through word of mouth.”
Warren said Bezco rewards its drivers if they recommend a hire. And so far, that’s worked out for the company.
Looking towards the future, Bezco is looking to grow to be bigger and better, according to Warren.
“I know our new owner is looking for us to grow through acquisition and organically,” she said. “And that’s exciting. I know when the previous owner was looking for someone to buy
Bezco, he didn’t want someone to just take the trucks and amalgamate them. He wanted a buyer who would keep us all together and that’s exactly what he found. So, we appreciate that very much.”