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Trucking pioneers recognized in Alberta

BANFF, Alta. -- The Alberta Motor Transport Association has recognized five individuals who are principals of Alber...

BANFF, Alta. — The Alberta Motor Transport Association has recognized five individuals who are principals of Alberta fleet operations, and who have been in involved with the trucking industry for 50 years.

Sandy de Waal, Bruno Muller, D’Arcy Foder and Roland and Leona Mullen, were awarded the American Truck Historical Society’s Golden Achievement Award at the AMTA’s annual convention.

Sandy de Waal, of East West Express, emigrated from Holland in 1952. After driving trucks for a few years, he become an owner/operator, and eventually established his own successful company. East West Express has 100 employees, 50 units on the road, and 11 company tracks, with the balance being lease/operators. Fellow fleet operator, Henry VanSteenbergen of Legal Freight Services, indicates that de Waal isn’t all business, but that he also has a spiritual and compassionate nature.

“Last year, at an age when most of us would prefer to take life a little easier, he and some of his church members went to Sudan to see what they could do to help those impoverished people,” he said.

Caron Transportation Systems was established over 50 years ago by Ed Caron, and sold to two partners 18 years ago. One of those partners was Bruno Muller of Wiebel Express and Transport, who is now the president and CEO of the greatly expanded company, which has had many new transport acquisitions that all fly under the Caron Transportation Systems flag.

H&R Transport began in 1955, hauling fruit and produce out of the Okanagan Valley to the Prairies. The company was eventually purchased outright by Al Foder in 1974, a former owner/operator of a firm that the ambitious trucker eventually built into an international operation. Now headed by Al’s son, D’Arcy Foder (the president and CEO), the company has 465 trucks, 700 refrigerated road trailers, 550 intermodel refrigerated containers, and 700 employees.

Mullen Trucking is another family business that has thrived after 50 years, under the direction of partners Roland and Leona Mullen. The company now employees 4,900 people. Mullen Trucking was the only fleet operation recognized that was established 50 years ago, and remains under the founding family’s control, a situation that son Murray appreciates. “Dad and Mom laid the foundation of this company that we are continuing to build on today.”

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