Lysack knows about dedication. His notable career in the Canadian Football League spanned nearly a decade, primarily with the Calgary Stampeders. Edmonton born Lysack lived most of his formative years in Winnipeg before playing college ball for Rutgers University in New Jersey. He then returned to Winnipeg for a stint playing with the University of Manitoba before being picked as a first round draft pick for the Calgary Stampeders in 2003. Lysack has considered himself a Calgarian ever since.
In a sport where the average career lasts about two and a half years, Lysack is an anomaly. His lengthy tenure gave him ample opportunity to distinguish himself as a defensive back, playing safety, and defensive captain on the road to winning a Grey Cup with the Stamps in 2008. Lysack was awarded the Tom Pate Award by the CFL Players’ Association in 2010 for his exceptional sportsmanship and significant contribution to his team and his community.
Lysack’s dedication and influence spread beyond the gridiron however. While still an active player, he was a spokesman for the Canadian Cancer Society and was instrumental in the group’s partnership with the Stampeders. Lysack enthusiastically promoted the Society’s PinkPower and Prostate Cancer Awareness games. But, what does a CFL star do when the floodlights dim?
“Quite a few former teammates, before, during, and after my football career, made their way to downtown Calgary and introduced me to the oil and gas industry,” reveals Lysack. “Knowing so many people and having played so long in Calgary, it seemed like a natural progression to move into the oil and gas sector. I’ve enjoyed working in oil patch ever since.”
“I represent two major players in the oilfield surface rental equipment business – Westar Oilfield Rentals and Hart Oil eld Rentals,” Lysack explains. “The two companies operate within the Enterprise Group, and while separate brands, they function as one company for all intents and purposes. Hart being our Alberta operation, and Westar our Northeastern BC operation.”
Both Hart and Westar began as family operations and were well established as wellsite surface rental equipment companies in their regions before being acquired by the Enterprise Group. Founded in 1987, Hart is headquartered in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta and operates five service locations across northern Alberta and Northeastern BC where equipment is stored and maintained when not rented. Their multiple locations provide overlapping service ‘circles’ to ensure all service and repair requests are responded to promptly.
Westar is based in Fort St. John, BC and has fulfilled a diverse range of equipment rental needs for a variety of oil and gas customers since 2005. The company is focused on complete surface rental/waste management and transport solutions for the Northeastern BC region. The complimentary capabilities of the two companies give the Enterprise Group a strong portfolio to service the Western Canadian oil and gas surface rental equipment market.
“Hart and Westar provide whatever’s needed when a lease is built and the crew is away from home,” says Lysack, “all the way through from accommodations and lighting the lease to generators, office shacks, fuel storage, and towers. Our services cover the life of the well, from drilling through to completion and production.”
“I know there are a lot of other rental companies trying to do what we do,” confides Lysack, “but our niche lies in our innovation. We save oil companies and operators a significant amount of money through our investment in the highest quality equipment and our innovative approach to mobilization. All this leads to greater efficiency for our customers.”
“We are unique because of how we deliver our product,” discloses Lysack. “All our equipment and modular units are skidded, and we use a patented lifting system that enables us to deliver the units without a picker truck. We can be in and out of the lease within an hour, mobilizing efficiently and safely.”
It might be hard to believe loading or unloading a skid could be considered innovative until you see the Hart Combo Hook Load in action. A specially equipped flatbed truck backs up to the combo skid to be loaded, and a mechanical arm with a serious hook reaches back to secure the skid sitting on the ground. The hydraulic arm then lifts one end of the skid over the back edge of the flatbed and then effortlessly pulls the skid onto the truck over a system of rollers. The loading process literally takes only a minute, and then the truck is ready to go.
It might be hard to believe loading or unloading a skid could be considered innovative until you see the Hart Combo Hook Load in action.
For Hart, the innovation goes far beyond delivery and logistics however. In 2006, the company began collaborating with their key customers to develop ‘combo’ wellsite equipment that would combine modules with many complimentary functions on a single skid for deployment. Using proprietary software, Hart engineers design all of their modular equipment before manufacturing the unique combo units. The benefit to their customers was immediately obvious as they now had access to high-grade modular equipment effectively combined and mounted on easily-deployed skids. “Our combination units allow us to have a smaller physical footprint on the lease, which means the operator can use a smaller area,” continues Lysack. “For example, we have a combo unit that houses a scissor lift, fuel, and a light tower on one skid. By combining and placing these essential modules at a single location, things aren’t spread out all over the lease, translating into greater efficiency for our customer.”
Since their development, Hart’s groundbreaking combo units have gained international attention and are patented in both Canada and the United States. Hart’s current line of combo units encompass and combine a wide variety of lease necessities, such as – Fuel Stands, Single and Double Generators, Scissor Lifts and Light Stands, Sun-Light Towers, Sewage Treatment Systems, Fire Suppression, Wash Car, and Medic/Security to name a few.
“Both Hart and Westar equipment can be deployed interchangeably where and as needed by either company depending on our customers’ needs,” clarifies Lysack. “Similar to Hart, Westar has a solid reputation and long-standing relationship servicing the Northeastern BC region with their diverse line of rental equipment. Their mobile office, accommodation, and medic shacks are modern, well maintained, and regularly updated to meet customer requirements.”
“Because we design and build our own equipment, the gear is constantly evolving to meet our customers’ needs,” adds Lysack. “The next generation of modules we are developing can take LNG fuel directly from an on-site well to generate power. And, keeping the environment in mind, we offer world-class on-site waste treatment capability in our modular combo units.”
“We work closely with the onsite consultants to ensure everything is placed exactly where they need it, where it’s most efficient for them. And, that’s why so many consultants out in the eld love our product line.”
“But innovation alone isn’t enough to maintain momentum in this market,” continues Lysack. “Both Hart and Westar’s family roots permeate the way we do business. We take care of our customers the same way a mom and pop country store caters to their local regulars, by paying attention to the smallest details. We have multiple offices in strategic locations to ensure rapid service response. When a shack is out in the field and a consultant is yelling that his coffee machine goes down, we have to make sure we service that!”
Neither Hart nor Westar outsource service. Instead, the companies employ all the necessary staff to mobilize, maintain, and service their rental equipment.
“Hart and Westar pride ourselves on our ability to service our customers,” exclaims Lysack. “The simple fact is anything our customers need, we do it ourselves. Regardless of what it is, we employ the people needed to meet that need. We don’t ‘third-party’ anything out.”
“Ultimately, it’s the guys out in the field, the consultants, who determine whether or not we continue to work for a company,” says Lysack. “We work closely with the onsite consultants to ensure everything is placed exactly where they need it, where it’s most efficient for them. And, that’s why so many consultants out in the field love our product line, and the service that we provide. That’s what puts us ahead of everyone else.”
“In oil and gas, the independent consultant is always moving between companies,” adds Lysack. “Often, consultants will take us with them and recommend our services to their new employers, because they are so happy with what we do.”
“Just as important are the relationships we have with our customers. The reason we have long-standing customers in major companies, such as Encana and Progress Energy, is the two-way communications we have built up with these clients through the service we provide. Through the recent downturn, the companies we have worked with have stuck with us even though there’s other providers out there fighting for the business.”
“We think we have the best equipment on the market available for rental,” summarizes Lysack, “and we have continuously improved all of our equipment to keep up with our customers’ needs. That’s why we continue to grow and expand our territory. We have seven yards and offices giving us a wider range and faster service response.”
“Our unique combo units and patented Hart Combo Hook Load system gets us in and out of a lease quickly,” Lysack continues. “And, we run the best quality gear there is…but I think it’s our dedication to service that really wins the game!”