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What an incredible business feat! This year, Manitoba-based Big Freight Systems is celebrating 70 years in business. The history of Big Freight Systems Inc. goes back to 1948, when the Coleman family sold their farm in Woodlands, Manitoba and purchased South East Transfer, a four-truck operation in Steinbach, Manitoba. George Coleman and his son Seaton ‘Red’ Coleman immediately got down to business and slowly, but steadily, grew the company. Since then, the family has worked tirelessly to build a company dedicated to honesty, hard work and exemplary customer service. 

Today, under the leadership of President Gary Coleman (Red’s son), Big Freight Systems boasts two primary locations: Steinbach, Manitoba and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Steinbach is home to the Dispatch & Operations center, administration, FleetPro maintenance services (in-house & retail), and a gated secured 16-acre yard. Winnipeg hosts the 300,000 sq. ft. warehouse and the company’s Logistics division. Gary is as humble as his father and grandfather who preceded him in the leadership role of Big Freight and foregoes flashy celebrations, but he states, “Deep down I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

Red was always a truck fanatic and, during his career, would more likely be found beneath an engine rather than behind his president’s desk. That enthusiasm must have been in his DNA, because it passed down to the next generation. Gary states, “There’s a saying that you get diesel in your blood and it makes it hard to leave. After almost 40 years, I still get excited seeing one of our trucks loaded and running down the road.”

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