It's a success story. It's a love story. Perhaps you could call it a lovely, success story?
Kyle and Richelle Favel are sharing their story with DiscoverMooseJaw.com as they look forward to more growth and moving more and more of the food and fertilizer that feeds the world.
Favel Transportation was founded 18 years ago in 2004 by Kyle and Richelle but their partnership started long before, in high school classrooms at FW Johnson Collegiate in Regina. The high school sweethearts would move on to post-secondary education at the University of Regina and that's when Favel Transportation started from the ground up.
"You know, it was Kyle in his truck driving on weekends while we went to university and I'd do the bookwork in the evenings and on the weekend so it's pretty amazing that we've come from that to where we are now," Richelle explained.
"It's just been a lot of hard work and a dream to build something and to have a value-added business. We always strive to have the best customer service. Our customers are number one. Our drivers and operators are number one. It's our team. We focus on everyone being important in this to make it work. So, even when we've had tough times, we've just put our heads down and pushed through and come out on the other end and that's all you can do," Richelle said.
The single truck operation has grown exponentially over the years and now the Moose Jaw-based business has up to 35 trailers rolling down the highway on any given day.
"We've had times when we are bigger than we are today...but we've grown with the economy and today we have 35 trailers and we're adding more as the year goes on here to get us over 50," Kyle said.
"We're expanding into Ontario with our livestock haul, growing our business, servicing our customers and trying to keep them happy."
Kyle says Favel Transportation is expanding because the need is there.
"There's a lot of trucking demand right now. Customers need reliable supply chains to make sure they have their plants operating and have their animals fed and hauled. We have our customers' backs and we need to service them as they grow their businesses too. Our customers are all ag-based so they're packing plants, protein factories and the big grain conglomerates and fertilizer factories that produce everything that everyone in agriculture in western Canada needs. So, we haul fertilizer, corn, grain, cattle and pigs and make sure the ins and outs are all looked after," Kyle said.
While the Favel's relationship and partnership blossomed in Regina, Kyle says centering their operation in Moose Jaw just made sense.
"Moose Jaw is the ag centre of Saskatchewan, for sure. It's been a great place for us to settle into and make our roots. It's just an amazing community for us to have our trucking business and a growing one at that."
Favel Transportation's fleet travels throughout Canada and the United States, specializing in the transport of live, bulk and refrigerated commodities and they do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with a focus on service excellence.
Kyle says, "Honesty, integrity and work ethic" are the things he and Richelle and their entire staff strive to deliver daily.
"We have an accounting team and an operations team with a load planner, a couple of dispatchers and then a procurement team as well. We've also got all of our truckers and they're our salesmen when they're driving up and down the road and driving onto farms and factories."
"Trucking is always on the move," Kyle says. "Our office opens at 7 AM and it's supposed to close at 5 PM but if customers need us, we shape our hours around their needs. And with expansion into Ontario, with the time difference, we're looking at making some changes there to accommodate our Ontario and Quebec customers as well."
Richelle, a U of R business grad, heads up the accounting team.
"I try to make sure everybody's keeping their stuff together and try to make sure we have a firm support team to support our operations staff and our drivers. That's one of the most important things - to have a good foundation. That's what I bring to our team," Richelle said.
Located at 93 Highland Road in Moose Jaw, the headquarters for Favel Transportation is a busy place on a daily basis with people and computers on the go upstairs and down. The facility also includes a spacious lunchroom for all the staff and shower facilities for the hard-working truck drivers.
"We're always on the go," Kyle said. "All of our movements of grain and fertilizer across the border. It allows our customers in the Belle Plaine area to access those northern states. So, we take the fertilizer down to the states and then we bring back corn out of South Dakota and North Dakota to the feedlots and pig mills in southern Saskatchewan so they can feed the animals...It's quite rewarding to see our very specialized trailers can service those customers and keep that trade happening," Kyle explained.
"Our livestock trailers are specialized to haul a lot of pigs. We haul them from anywhere in the three prairie provinces, allowing those producers to gain market access in different jurisdictions, including the northern United States."
"When hauling cattle, our trailers convert from pig trailers to cattle trailers and we haul them to southern Alberta and southern Ontario and then our Ontario drivers service the Ontario landscape all the way down to the mid-western United States...If we're organizing movements for a customer in a jurisdiction where we don't have our own trucks, we source carriers for the customer. We get the quote, execute the movement and then with full transparency, show the customer that they got their load moved," Kyle said.
"We've grown ourselves and grown our business and now that we're at this point in our professional lives...and then you decide to expand like we did this year by adding over 20 trailers, we've grown again. It's another challenge. It's kind of what we wake up to. We don't want to be status quo. You want to grow your business and have a lot of fun, look at that challenge and take your stakeholders along with you whether it's your drivers or your office personnel. We see the opportunity that will equal success and all of our stakeholders will most definitely benefit from our current opportunities," Kyle said.
And when they're not busy operating Favel Transportation, Richelle and Kyle have two young sons that keep them hopping.
"They are 10 and 8 (Ty and Jace) and they are the most loveable boys - always thinking of others and have just the biggest hearts," Richelle said with a big smile. "They go to Sunningdale School and they both play baseball. They've been training at the Sowden Flanagan Baseball training centre so that's been a lot of fun and kept us busy during the winter. We also like to spend a lot of time outside. We snowmobile together and we're always looking for that fresh snow so, we're a little sad right now that it's all melted but that's okay. We'll be on to our next adventure in the summer. We like camping and boating and that sort of thing so we definitely love spending time together as a family," Richelle said.
Kyle and Richelle also want to get the word out - with expansion comes new employment opportunities at Favel Transportation.
"Yes, as we grow the business, we're looking for the right people to join us and be part of our momentum. They are truckers who are experienced, honest, have integrity and people who are proud to wear our brand and to endorse us as we have their best interests and our customers' best interests at heart. There's no replacement for great people," Kyle said.
If you'd like to learn more about Moose Jaw's Favel Transportation or if you're interested in joining their team, have a look at the website, give them a call or drop into the office: favel.ca Call 306-692 8488. Visit them at 93 Highland Road.