The Bakken Shale has become a big name in the oil and gas sector, but 10 years ago that wasn’t the case. Likewise, Gold Spur Trucking has been around only since 2008, but the company has become a big name by serving customers in the Bakken fields. President Andrew McClellan says the company started with one water truck serving petroleum companies in Utah, but once it became big enough to serve oil companies in the Bakken Shale, things really began to take off and the company hasn’t looked back since.
In 2010, Gold Spur Trucking was referred down to San Antonio by a client and started hauling crude oil for customers in that area, serving the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin regions. The following year, the company moved its main office from Utah to the San Antonio area to better serve customers in Texas. Today, nearly 90 percent of the company’s work involves hauling crude oil, and Gold Spur Trucking provides in-house fleet and call-out services to customers in Texas, Utah, North Dakota and Montana.
Although Gold Spur Trucking benefitted from being one of the first trucking companies to take advantage of the opportunities in the Bakken Shale, this is far from the company’s only advantage. McClellan says the company’s expertise in the oilfield sector, customer service and advanced technology all contribute to Gold Spur Trucking’s position as one of the most successful privately owned oilfield trucking companies of its size.
Perhaps the most substantial advantage Gold Spur Trucking brings to the table is its expertise and experience in the oilfield sector. McClellan says Gold Spur Trucking has been developing a training program specific to the oilfield sector for the past five years, and he says this gives the company an edge over other trucking firms that serve a broader customer base. Having this edge is important as many large trucking companies try to move into the Bakken Shale and other emerging oilfield markets to try and take advantage of the growth there.
The relatively smaller size of Gold Spur Trucking also works to the company’s advantage in serving the oilfield market because of the focused attention it can provide customers. “We’re very flexible and we’ve met some very large contracts with very short notice,” McClellan says.
Gold Spur Trucking’s belief in providing top-of-the-line customer service has led to lots of repeat customers, and McClellan says many of those customers are referring the company to other customers. In fact, he adds, nearly all of the company’s new sales over the last year have come from referrals from existing customers.
Riding the Boom
The boom in oilfields like the Bakken Shale has been a good thing for Gold Spur Trucking, but it also has created a huge demand for qualified drivers as well as housing for them. McClellan says Gold Spur Trucking counts on its in-house training program to bring new employees up to speed because there are very few drivers out there who already have the right kind of experience. Many shale plays, being relatively new and untouched, also lack infrastructure such as housing, but Gold Spur Trucking has been able to avoid problems by being one of the first on the scene.
“We have typically gotten into oil and gas plays early and been able to lease up houses in those areas before the housing started to disappear,” McClellan says.
Although the expansion of infrastructure in shale areas means more pipelines and less demand for trucks to haul oil, McClellan says Gold Spur Trucking is keeping pace by expanding into new areas of Texas and finding new shales nationwide.
“There’s always a need for trucks,” McClellan says.