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The Calmont Group: 35 Years of Driving Success

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  • 35YEARS

    The Calmont Group: 35 Years of Driving Success

    By Nerissa McNaughton

    Lawrence Pudlowski, (Senior Vice-President) and Darren Currie, the President and CEO

  • AD

    The year was 1966. Lawrence Pudlowski was fresh out of school and had put in a couple of years working for Pep-siCo when he figured there had to be a better way of life. He answered an ad for Avis Truck Rentals and joined the fran-chise. It wasnt long before Pudlowski and his franchise partners looked up at the Avis banner and had the same thought, why are we paying for the use of the Avis name when we could run a truck rental company on our own? With that thought, the partners sold their Avis franchise and the Calmont Group was born. The

    name, Calmont, is derived from Calgary to Montreal; the fran-chise locations (Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal) of the origi-nal Avis Truck Rental company. As for Pudlowski, this original business partner is still fully active in senior management and cites Calmont as the only job Ive really had.

    Its an exciting business, Pudlowski says as he reflects on the many years and changes he has seen at the Calmont Group. You look forward to coming to work because you know something is going to happen, and its usually something good. Something

    CALMONT Group

    of leadership

    In recognition of

    35 yearsCongratulations!

    Volvo Trucks Canada

    5121 Gateway Boulevard NW Edmonton, AB T6H 5W51-888-436-0496 www.kochfordlincoln.com

    Congratulations Calmont Group on your 35th Anniversary!

    We wish you many years of continued success!

    35YEARS

    2 - Calmont Group | 35 Years

  • AD

    good indeed. What started out as a modest light truck rental business with a fleet of 25 units has grown to a massive enter-prise with over 2,000 rental and leasing units. Approximately 1,400 of those units are rented or leased from Calmonts head-quarters in Edmonton, which operates from the original busi-ness site at 14610 Yellowhead Trail. It is from this Edmonton location that Calmont has grown, changed and adapted into the success it is today.

    The Calmont Group provides financing and leasing of com-pany trucks and cars, service vehicle leasing, short-term leasing, daily rentals, trucking fleet sales, and a parts and service depart-ment that includes complete maintenance, top repair stations, and emergency roadside assistance. Calmonts sleeper, day cab, straight truck and shunt truck fleets have the latest technology for commercial transport rental and leasing needs across Canada.

    Calmonts leasing and rental service empowers transporta-tion businesses to make a smart investment. Leasing or rent-ing allows trucking businesses to launch without the significant start up capital required to purchase a large truck. Calmonts rental service provides a wider range of options for those oper-ating in the oil and gas industry. When trucks are needed for seasonal projects or where the project length is undetermined, a rental can simply be returned, saving the business owner from having to make payments on a truck that is sitting idle and not earning money.

    Franchises of the Calmont Group include, Sport Chassis, Kalmar Shunt Truck (Ottawa) and the Volvo Truck Center. Sport Chassis features luxury Freightliner products that are popular in the fields of ranching, construction and other in-dustries that require heavy truck pulling power. Kalmar is one of Calmonts most successful franchises to date. These shunt trucks provide a safe, fast and efficient way to move and lift semi trailers within warehouses.

    The Volvo Truck Center is the official Volvo franchise for North America. Located at 11403-174th street in Edmonton, the Truck Center features an impressive inventory and a ser-vice center that has won the Cummins Quest Dealer of the Year Award, the North American VISTA competition, and was named Volvo Vista Tech Canadian Champion in three consecu-tive competitions. The Volvo Truck Center was added to the Calmont Group in 1988, as the company wanted to expand into the Class A (heavy truck) business. The most efficient way to do this was to purchase a dealership. Volvos high quality products and parts department were a perfect fit for Calmonts vision. Prior to purchasing Volvo, Calmont would experience a slow season each winter as oil and gas projects slowed or stopped until spring. The parts and service department of Volvo com-pensated for the slow season. As more franchises were added and business expanded, slow seasons became a thing of the past. These days, every season is a busy one.

    35YEARS

    You look forward to coming to work because you know something is going to happen, and its usually something good.

    ~ Lawrence Pudlowski, (Senior Vice-President)

    Calmont Group | 35 Years - 3

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    35YEARS

    However, the road to success has not always been a smooth one, a fact that Darren Currie, the President and CEO, knows all too well. There are peaks and there are valleys, says Currie when asked how the company has fared overall during their 35 year reign. We are tied to the oil and gas industries, but if you look over the 35 years, there has always been growth except for those small valleys.

    One such valley occurred in 2008, which was when Cur-rie joined the Calmont group as the Chief Financial Of-

    ficer (CFO). At this time, the oil and gas industry was underperforming and the Canadian economy was in a slump. Currie, ever up for the challenge, battened down the hatches and sailed the group through the financial storm. In 2009 we broke even, says Currie. In 2010 we were profitable again.

    As part of a planned succession, Currie was named President and CEO in 2010. Its been four and a half really good years, Currie admits. We are in a growth pattern for sure. We are in

    4 - Calmont Group | 35 Years

    35YEARS

    the process of re-capitalizing by bringing in a new partner. With Carter, now we have more of a national presence.

    Carter would be Calmonts latest acquisition: Carter Lease and Rentals. Carter Lease and Rentals was established in Hamil-ton, Ontario in 1970. Calmont purchased Carter in 2012, which served to further expanding the Calmont influence into On-tario. Calmont has since built up Carter from a 400 unit rental company to over 500 rental and 25 lease units. The original staff of 26 where retained, and four more were added to accommo-date the franchises rapid growth. The purchase of Carter Lease and Rentals is just one of the steps Calmont is taking to secure the companys future. With the addition of Carter, Alberta to Ontario is covered, says Currie.

    The Calmont Group is not just about pleasing their clients. The employees benefit strongly as well. Each employee gets to learn about the companys many operations, regardless of

    their role. This gives them insight into the overall mechanics of Calmont and helps to keep them invested in their jobs. The sales team are treated like entrepreneurs. Once they have es-tablished themselves within Calmont, they have autonomy over how they choose to sell the product. An influx of younger, for-ward thinking employees has ensured that Calmont is focusing on a strong, growth based culture. Its about developing, not just maintaining, says Currie, beaming with obvious pride as he discusses his team.

    The community also benefits from The Calmont Group as this altruistic company is often seen supporting charity events. Whether it is sponsoring a hole and entering a team at the Make-A-Wish golf tournament; dressing up in western wear and attending the Stars and Spurs Gala in Calgary for STARS air ambulance; providing free truck rentals for Crime Stop-pers, the food bank, and the Dragon boat festival; or donat-

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    We are tied to the oil and gas industries, but if you look over the 35 years, there has always been growth except for those small valleys.

    ~ Darren Currie, President and CEO

    Calmont Group | 35 Years - 5

  • AD

    35YEARS

    However, the road to success has not always been a smooth one, a fact that Darren Currie, the President and CEO, knows all too well. There are peaks and there are valleys, says Currie when asked how the company has fared overall during their 35 year reign. We are tied to the oil and gas industries, but if you look over the 35 years, there has always been growth except for those small valleys.

    One such valley occurred in 2008, which was when Cur-rie joined the Calmont group as the Chief Financial Of-

    ficer (CFO). At this time, the oil and gas industry was underperforming and the Canadian economy was in a slump. Currie, ever up for the challenge, battened down the hatches and sailed the group through the financial storm. In 2009 we broke even, says Currie. In 2010 we were profitable again.

    As part of a planned succession, Currie was named President and CEO in 2010. Its been four and a half really good years, Currie admits. We are in a growth pattern for sure. We are in

    4 - Calmont Group | 35 Years

    35YEARS

    the process of re-capitalizing by bringing in a new partner. With Carter, now we have more of a national presence.

    Carter would be Calmonts latest acquisition: Carter Lease and Renta

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