How it began

Sterling Hornoi is a true entrepreneur at heart. As a young man growing up on a small farm just outside of Rouleau, Saskatchewan, he was always driven with big dreams and a healthy ambition. The farm life of his childhood impressed upon him certain principles: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Do the right thing. Always work hard. If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

With those principles ingrained in him, Sterling began his adventure in the trucking industry. From 1958 to 1965, he was driving truck for Hornoi Transport, a company that he and his father, Eddie Hornoi, founded. After those years spent behind the wheel, he recognized that the time had come to take a chance and start his first company, Sterling Truck and Trailer Sales in 1972, which still operates today.

During a trip to Ontario to acquire a few used trucks for Sterling Truck and Trailer Sales in the fall of 1973, Sterling made an interesting observation. “There was a rail strike in Canada at the time. I was coming back from Toronto and I noticed all of the leased equipment, rental trailers on the highway, and I thought rentals would be a good thing to bring to Saskatchewan,” Sterling recalled. As fate would have it,
when he returned to Saskatchewan from that trip, a Fruehauf trailer salesman happened to be in town; and Sterling purchased his first three rental units for $1,800 down. Hornoi Leasing Ltd. was born.

Sterling and his wife Pat were determined to build their businesses on the same principles and values they believed in and relied on in raising their family of seven children. Pat was involved in the businesses daily with Sterling, overseeing the books and being the sounding board for Sterling in making the important, and sometimes difficult, decisions it took to allow the business to grow. In those early years, a handful of staff operated both Hornoi Leasing and Sterling Truck and Trailer Sales under one roof in Regina. This tight-knit group handled every aspect of the business at that time, from answering phones, to picking up and delivering equipment, to maintaining the equipment. That work ethic and sense of teamwork in the early stages served the young company well. In those early days the ‘fleet’ consisted of 20 trucks and 50 trailers. In short order, the customer base began to grow.

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