Client Stories | Al and Logan Scharf: Driving Steady

Al and Logan Scharf: Driving Steady
By Cassi Smith

“You’re going to have to put it all out there.”

Al Scharf has more than 30 years in the trucking and hauling business. He’s been all over Canada with different loads, different trucks, and different trailers. But the one thing he says stays consistent? “The tough times are gonna come.”

In an industry like theirs, Al and his son, Logan know that being tough isn’t just about physical endurance. The long hours, high fuel prices, and time away from home can take a toll. “I actually had to shut down when the kids were small,” says Al. “I was gone too much. Driving all night and not seeing them during the day. Eventually I said, that’s enough. Your kids are too important.”

Growing up in Asquith, Saskatchewan, the Scharf family had driving in their blood. “I had Logan driving when he could just see over the steering wheel,” says Al. “He was hardly old enough to do anything, but he could drive a tractor so that’s what he did.” Those early seeds planted by Dad eventually grew into a career for Logan, who now owns and operates S.L. Livestock.

“I started out hauling livestock locally in the auction market,” explains Logan. “And then it got bigger and bigger. It’s taken me all over the country and into the States.” The 29-year-old just got back from his first trip to Alaska. “I didn’t know what to expect, but it went well. With livestock sometimes you don’t get much notice, so scheduling can be really tough that way.”

The struggles of the trucking industry are unavoidable. However, both Logan and Al say their relationship with Clarence Campeau Development Fund has eased the pressures significantly. “I reached out to CCDF when I wanted to buy my first truck in 2014,” says Logan. “It’s been a great relationship; they’ve really helped me be successful.”

“It takes the pressure off,” adds Al. “Basically we used to buy all this stuff at regular price and there’s no way we could make a go of it. CCDF helped finance it at a better interest rate and it takes the pressure off.”

The Scharf family has a long-standing history with the development fund. “My dad’s relatives were the first ones to use them, and it really helped their business grow,” says Logan. “He told me to go talk to them and see what they could do for starting up a business.” More than eight years later, Logan is still a satisfied client of CCDF. “The folks I dealt with were very good.”

As S.L. Livestock continues to weather the tough times and excel during the good times, Logan says a relationship with CCDF is very much in his future. “I would absolutely work with CCDF again. It’s definitely helped out my financial position starting a business,” he says. “I think it’s a great opportunity that more people should use to their advantage.”

Aside from being successful business owners and hard-working family men, Al and Logan are also proud Métis men who say working with a Métis economic development fund has been extremely meaningful. “It’s great to represent Métis,” says Logan. “It lets more people know that we can do whatever business we’d like to.”

“The opportunities given to Métis people by CCDF are very important,” adds Al. “They can help lots of people out – but you’re gonna have to work at it. Tough times are gonna come, but you have to put it all out there. It’s all you can do.”

With no shortage of hard work in sight, the Scharf family says their reputation is everything for their business. “We rely mostly on word of mouth,” says Logan, “so our reputation and customer relationships are the most important part of our business.” From last minute calls to cross-country hauls, weather related obstacles and soaring fuel prices, the financial support of CCDF to ensure they’re able to do the job right has been paramount. “If you can get funding through CCDF it definitely makes a big difference.”

“It keeps us truckin’, that’s for sure.”

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