Glen Ertell reflects on a 25-year career at NRT

“And I think it’s a testament that we [NRT] must be doing something right to have drivers who have been with NRT for 37 years.”

Glen Ertell, who’s been a staple at Northern Resource Trucking for 25 years, is retiring. 

Ertell’s journey in the trucking industry began 50 years ago when, at the age of 18, he obtained his chauffeur’s license. “The only criteria to get it was it had to be in a vehicle that had a standard transmission,” he laughs. “I had a 1967 Mustang with a standard transmission, and in Tisdale, it wasn’t really all that hard.

From those beginnings, Ertell’s career took him through various roles, including Gravel Truck Driver, Concrete Plant Operator, and Truck Owner Operator. However, it was in 1998 that a chance encounter with a friend led him to Northern Resource Trucking (NRT). 

“He said, ‘You should come over to where I am and have coffee. This is really pretty unique place,” referring to NRT’s Indigenous ownership group. and hauling into the northern mines.

Starting as a dispatcher, Ertell witnessed first hand the company’s growth and evolution. “I think when I started, there might have been 50 trucks. A few months after I got there, Cameco slowed down big time, and we had to lay off a lot trucks to get right sized. “

Despite the challenges, Ertell remained dedicated to NRT, working his way up to Operations Manager, Branch Manager, and eventually, Vice President.

When asked about the future of trucking, he said, “Canada’s trucking and logistics industry is growing, and it is hard to explain how important it is to Saskatchewan and Canada’s economy. There are careers outside of driving, so I remind young people that there are roles for Mechanics and Dispatchers and that the industry offers lots of opportunities for those seeking a dynamic and rewarding career.

Ertell is a strong advocate on getting an education, he was fortunate to have great mentors and by taking available courses to help his career grow including completing post secondary Business Admin at The University of Saskatchewan when he was 53.

NRT is committed to training and developing skilled professionals, so really, there has never been a better time to consider joining the trucking and logistics industry.”

“Trucking is never the same,” he says. “I told Dave (McIlmoyl) lots of times, ‘There’s probably only a couple of days in my career that I wished I would have phoned in sick.’ But it’s always that crazy curiosity that makes you want to come back the next day to see what happened overnight.”