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COVER STORY “There was no question, it was simply


‘You bet,’ ” Hanson said. “I left Plum Creek on good terms. I’ve carried those relations on into our business. We have great relations with Plum Creek.” Most of the Hanson family works in some


capacity in the family business including two of Steve’s brothers. Neal is operations manager and Chris is the maintenance supervisor. Oldest brother Hal has his own


construction business. “As with most people my Dad is a mentor to me, no question,” Steve said.


Under Skip and now Steve, Hanson


Trucking Inc. has grown into an operation with close to 25 trucks and 40 trailers hauling wood chips, shavings and sawdust and expanding to transport resins. But it isn’t necessarily the materials


Hanson hauls that sets it apart, since just about every material finds its way onto a truck sooner or later, it is Hanson’s destinations. In the mid-1990s, after an experiment


hauling material for Plum Creek’s in-woods chipping operation, Hanson partnered with Canadian company Glen Transport Ltd to haul wood chips from the U.S. to Canada and


“IT’S PRETTY SMOOTH. THE PEOPLE AT THE


BORDER ARE SIMPLY DOING THEIR JOBS. THERE ARE NO


HORROR STORIES.”


sawdust and shavings back from the north. “Any time the wheels aren’t turning you’re


not making money but you’re still making payments,” Hanson said. Close to 35 percent of Hanson’s business


is conducted with interests in Canada, and the company delivers and picks up materials as far as 250 miles across the border, going to and from exotic sounding locations like Skookumchuck. That creates a few logistical hurdles not seen by companies operating out of, say, Louisiana. “Some are 25 miles across the border,”


Steve Hanson said. “And others are far up.” Columbia Falls is approximately 60 miles


from the U.S.-Canadian border, and Hanson Trucking Inc. sends approximately 12-15 trucks a day into Canada. That means the drivers have to be well


equipped, and not just with Qualcomm Q-Tracs satellite systems or Cat ACERT 475 engines. “You have to have cross-border hauling


permits,” Hanson said. “You have to carry a manifest. The drivers have to have a passport.” Hanson trucks bear a bar code sticker


You’ve been looking for something like this for a long time. Call today!


on the windshield to be scanned by the Department of Homeland Security and, Hanson said, the biggest challenge is making certain of the proper and current truck-trailer combinations to comply with Canada’s different specs. That can be a challenge to an operation


like Hanson’s which, depending on the job, utilizes several different trailer combinations including A-trains, B-trains, 53-foot trailers and live bottoms, which are dump truck alternatives used for carrying loose material and have a conveyor belt in the bottom to


12 ROADWISE | ISSUE 3, 2012 | www.mttrucking.org


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