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President’s Message

Remembering the Past, Preparing for the Future!

Our industry has changed a lot over the last few decades with the transportation of hauling gravel and the way we build roads and other infrastructure.  We have advanced in ways that we might never have dreamed of.  Trucks have more horsepower and haul significantly larger weights than 30 years ago. We have machinery that can make jobs more efficient and greatly improve productivity on our job sites. Emissions have improved a lot – it’s no longer like the old days when starting a truck in a shop with the doors closed would make your eyes water if it ran too long. 

All of these great advancements however, come at a great cost. Those of you who have been in the business for a while will remember that getting into a new truck would cost you around $55,000 and the gravel trailer you pulled might have cost you about $15,000 – and we thought that was a lot of money!  Today a truck will likely cost you around $215,000 and the trailer may be $85,000. 30 years later, we are paying over 400% more – but has what we charge to go to work each day, kept up with that inflation? We need to make sure when we are placing bids that factors like these factors come into play. If you need assistance in calculations, our website and our directory are great resources.

The workforce has also changed dramatically from 30 years ago. There are so many different job sectors than there used to be. Students coming out of school and newcomers to Canada have endless opportunities to choose from and we need to be drawing them to our industry. We have advanced so much with safety on job sites, but what we have lost is veteran workers that have patience and the skill to teach up and coming truck drivers, equipment operators and finishers. 

I remember when common sense was used regularly (definition: the ability to think about things in a practical way and make sensible decisions). We see less of this now than ever before and it is our job to ensure that new employees are properly trained. They need to see the value of being on time and taking pride in what they do. They should be able to look at the road they helped build or the park or hockey arena that they constructed and be excited for their children to play there one day.

We make a huge difference in people’s lives. We plow roads and sand streets during and after snow storms while people are sleeping so they can get to work in the morning and their kids can get to school safely. As President, I have a goal in mind that will see change for the better. I would like to see HEAT take the lead on offering professional training courses that target our industry. I want to find the best instructors who are confident, and will take pride in sharing the knowledge that they have gained. I want students and newcomers to see a path to their future in the heavy equipment and road construction industry. There are many people out there who are capable of doing these jobs. With the right instruction, and the ability to learn from a professional, we as company owners can bring back the type of people that take the time to do things correctly and be the reliable employees that put their heart into their work that we all so desperately need.

Infrastructure is crumbling in Manitoba. People forget we are living on old lake Agassi and we have lots of freeze/thaw cycles. There will always be lots of roads to be fixed, potholes to patch and structures to be built. We need people to do this work now and in the future.  This industry will remain essential forever and we all need to do our part to strengthen it. We appreciate your membership in our Association. Our Board of Directors and our office staff work hard to make sure that you get value from your membership, and I want to thank them for the work they do.

I am so proud to be in this industry. I have met incredible people who all have passion for what we do, and I am encouraged every day by all of the amazing business owners who work so hard for their families. Last but certainly not least, I want to thank my wife for supporting my passions and my goals – she makes it possible for me to do what I strive to do every day.

Gord Bragg


Heavy Equipment & Aggregate Truckers Association

meet the team

2024/2025 Board of Directors

Pete Vogiatzakis
Immediate Past President
Jordan Brown
1st Vice President
Dale Omeniuk
2nd Vice President
Dale Jackson
Wally Strylytski
Michelle Magdic
Bill Sutton
Ryan Foss
Steven Zacharuk
Manny Carvalho
Frank Sousa
Wes Zilke

H.E.A.T. Inc. Past Presidents

H.E.R.A.M. Past Presidents

I.D.T.A. Past