MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Bison Transport held a grand opening for its new Mississauga terminal today. The building was a $25 million investment for the Winnipeg-based company that has plans to double its fleet size in Ontario within the next two years.
The company treated the more than 100 guests of its grand opening to take a guided tour of the new 19,000 sq.-ft. facility, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and watch a rather unique unique ribbon cutting ceremony.
“We couldn’t just have a normal ribbon cutting, because we’re truckers, we do everything bigger,” said Norm Sneyd, vice-president of business development at Bison.
So instead of a ribbon, Bison used a giant Bison banner and strung it across two of its tractors. Then, Bison put two of its own long-time drivers in the cabs and instructed them to drive in separate directions and – riiiipppp – the ribbon cutting ceremony was complete.
Sneyd said the construction of the new terminal took nearly 11 months to complete, but it was a long time coming since the employees outgrew the old facility a while ago.
“Bison’s been in a growth period for years and we’ve outgrown a number of facilities and this facility allows us to continue our growth,” he said. “We’re going to be good here for many years to come, and with the expansion plans that we’ve got in mind, this facility is going to complement that.”
The new building is the second largest in Canada – the largest being in Winnipeg – and was built with both office staff and drivers in mind, added Sneyd.
“A lot went in to the design of this building, so part of the tour is explaining the rationale and our thinking when we did the layout and design,” he said.
The most innovative features of the building include a fully loaded lounge, where staff and drivers can enjoy a kitchen; couches with a flat screen TV; computers with Internet access; a washer and dryer; and a gym.
“The lounge, gym and laundry facilities are open 24/7 so drivers can access them as they please,” Sneyd said. “It’s a very driver-friendly facility.”
The company’s old building – which is just next door – is now serving as Bison’s new maintenance shop, which will increase Bison’s ability to repair and maintain the equipment more efficiently, ultimately increasing earnings for our professional drivers, said Rob Penner, president and COO of Bison.
So far, the employees who moved into the facility three weeks ago are loving the new space, said Sneyd, adding that drivers are already providing positive feedback about the new facility.