When Jim Stolte heard about the natural gas boom in the area, he saw a business opportunity. He had no experience in the oil and gas industry, so he decided to stick with what he knew: Trucks.
"I've been in the trucking business for 35 years," he said.
Stolte opened the northeast division of Clark Trucking, located on Industrial Parkway in Muncy, on April 1, and the business has already taken off.
Stolte joined forces with Andy Miller, operations manager, who holds extensive experience in the oil and gas industry, and began offering truck services to gas companies.
Clark Trucking specializes in vacuum tankers, which are a crucial part of the gas drilling process.
"When gas companies want to drill, they need millions of gallons of water," Stolte said.
Vacuum tankers are used to withdraw water from creeks and public water supplies and transport the water to drilling sites, where several million gallons of water are needed to frac each well. The tanks of Clark's trucks hold about 5,500 gallons of water and several trucks are used for each drilling operation, Stolte said.
The business has only been in place for seven months, and is already growing in leaps and bounds. Clark Trucking opened with three trucks and has since grown to 18 trucks and 37 employees, 22 of whom are drivers.
"We're working for 11 different oil companies," Stolte said. "On an average day, we're running 50 trucks."
Clark Trucking offers an advantage over many other companies offering vacuum tankers because of its location. Companies don't have to wait for trucks to arrive from out of state. Joan Gardner, assistant office manager, said trucks are typically delivered to a site within hours of a request.
"We have a good relationship with our customers," she added.
Stolte hopes to see the company continue to grow in its number of contracts, employees and trucks. The business also offers a number of additional services including waste treatment, water disposal, soil remediation and disposal, testing, permitting, site work, dust control, power washing and transfer pumps.
"We're steadily buying trucks," Stolte said.
The company is also on the lookout for drivers.
Stolte said he sees a bright future in store for Clark Trucking.
"The sky's the limit," he said. "We've got to supply the people we work for with what they want."
For more information, call 940-0070 or visit www.clarktrucking-northeast.com.