Trimac Acquires Two More Carriers, Continues to Shop

Canadian Company Looks to Diversify From Chemicals Sector
Sims and Sons truck
Trimac Transportation's latest acquisition is Gleason, Tenn.-based Doyle Sims & Sons Trucking. (Sims & Sons)

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Trimac Transportation Ltd. has purchased two North American bulk haulage carriers in the past few weeks, bringing its acquisition count for 2023 to four with plans to accelerate its ongoing buying spree, said Dan Carpenter, vice president of marketing and business development.

“Growing organically in the trucking space is really difficult,” Carpenter said. “We are always looking for acquisitions.” Trimac has built a cold-calling business that is looking for opportunities, he said.

And they’ve been busy on the deal market. The Calgary, Alberta-based company inked three deals in 2021 and two in 2022. Its most recent deals were for Bonnyville, Alberta-based Jacknife Oilfield Services in late July and Gleason, Tenn.-based Doyle Sims & Sons Trucking on Aug. 23. Trimac did not disclose prices for these purchases.

Jacknife’s primary operations are fluid hauling, transporting fluids to and from well sites. Sims & Sons, meanwhile, primarily services dry and liquid bulk haul customers in the southern U.S. and Midwest, focusing on commodities such as clay, sand, oils and other non-hazardous material products.

Dan Carpenter


As for future acquisitions, “We are speeding up rather than slowing down,” Carpenter said, adding, “We see this as an accelerative model; the more cash you have, the more deals you can do.”

When you earn a reputation as a buyer in the M&A space, the opportunities multiply, Carpenter noted. “My phone doesn’t stop ringing” with offers from investment bankers, he said. He noted, however, that the four deals Trimac has done this year stood apart from about 100 opportunities it has declined in 2023.

Trimac keeps an eye out for acquisitions where the existing management team wants to stick around, and is not interested in companies where that is not the case, Carpenter said. Trimac, he said, wants the “secret sauce” that has led to a company’s success. He also noted that many carriers are looking for family-owned businesses to take them over rather than sell to a private equity group. “Most people who’ve built up a business still want to see their name on the side of the truck,” he said.

The Trimac fleet

Some of the Trimac fleet. (Trimac via Facebook) 

With the Sims deal, David Sims — son of founder Doyle Sims — was the company’s majority owner at the time of the sale. CEO Johnny Wagster will remain following the takeover. Sims & Sons also has a brokerage division called DSS Logistics. Trimac did not have any operations in Tennessee prior to the deal, but has operations in nearby states.

While the company’s focus in the U.S. has primarily been in dry bulk and chemical freight, Carpenter said it was looking to diversify to offset the cyclical nature of the chemicals sector.

Earlier in 2023, Trimac acquired Transport Sylvain Lasalle and AIP Logistics. Transport Sylvain Lasalle specializes in hauling propane and butane gas. Ohio-based AIP specializes in bulk plastics, liquid chemical, food and metals transportation.

Trimac ranks No. 71 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America and No. 3 in the Tank Truck/Bulk Carriers rankings.

Trimac’s chairman is Jeffrey McCaig, grandson of the company’s founder Jack McCaig. The company was founded in 1945.

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