News

GSS Consulting Division


Global Specialized Services offers a wealth of services to customers in the Northwest and Midwest areas of the country, including trucking, heavy-haul, and crane services. GSS also offers Rail Logistics and can assist with everything from unloading at the dock, loading to rail, movement to truck, unloading products, and more.

Recently, GSS has added a Consulting Division to its repertoire, to assist customers in various types of scenarios when it comes to heavy-haul wind components.

“Service-wise, what we can provide is pre-construction consulting to help mitigate any potential issues that are going to come up on that project site in the future,” said Dylan Wisroth, the Senior Operations Manager with GSS.

Wisroth said that the consulting services GSS offers are vast and varied. They include in-person consulting, where consultants will meet with the customer and their team to go over whatever situation they may be facing. They will help them to decide that best haul routes, as well as how to build their string roads, how to build their radius’, how to go about getting permits, and more. In many cases, consultants will actually do the pre-project permitting themselves for the site, acquiring the permits and putting them in order for the customer.

Route planning is an especially large part of GSS’ Consulting Division, as that’s one of the most important parts of any project.

“Site surveys and route surveys are a big part of this service,” said Michael Pantuso, the Operations Field Manager with GSS. “Site surveys are huge. Route surveys are massive too, because these components keep getting larger and larger and the infrastructure in the United States is not set up for that. So having to find the right routes to get some of this equipment to sites, especially where they build the wind farms – those are crucial.”

Additionally, consultants can perform ‘load-outs,’ advising customers on the types of equipment and components to use for each project, as well as traffic control plans.

GSS can also provide customers with drone footage of potential land where projects may take place.

“If they just want a flyover to get the lay of the land so that they can supply that to their team, we can do that,” Wisroth stated. “We’ll just do an auto-turn based on a drone footage snapshot, because Google images are not as accurate. So, the best way to do it is with a drone. We’ll also do dry runs. So, if our customers get to a portion of the project and they believe that the roads are built to where they can get components in there and they want to do a dry run, we’ll actually have one of our trucks and blade trailers go out to the site and actually drive all the site roads to make sure that those clearances are good and that there are no issues. Those are all part of the consulting service.”

The Consulting Division of GSS is a labor of love for Pantuso, who has worked in the heavy-haul industry for almost three decades.

“Ever since I took this position, [consulting] was one of the things that I honed in on and focused on because there were so many areas that this could benefit the company in, and it could broaden our customer base,” Pantuso said. “My 5-year-plan is to have a very large division that employs quite a bit of people. I’d like to have 10 permanent people, just like myself, doing this all over North America and possibly going global with it. We can do this. This is something that’s really, really exciting. And it’s a great opportunity.”

Pantuso said his number one goal is to build the division, and his number two goal is for it to actually finance itself.

Both are goals that could very easily be attained.

Right now, Wisroth said there are only about three people heading up the division at the moment, but the more that word gets out that this is a service GSS offers, the more customers will want to utilize it, resulting in more people being hired to perform the consulting.

This is just one of the services that separate GSS from its competitors, but it’s a stark reminder that GSS is committed to providing beginning-to-end services, allowing customers to rest easy knowing that every step of the haul is being handled by true experts in the field.

And make no mistake about it, Pantuso is very much an expert in this field. He has the experience and, maybe even more importantly, he has the passion to see this division flourish.

“Every person that’s a part of this division are all former heavy haul truck drivers that are trained on all forms of equipment,” he stated. “Consistency is key. So, everybody that comes aboard is going to be trained exactly the same way, to do it exactly the same way, to assess the situation exactly the same way. And they’re all going to have real-world experience.”

Wisroth agreed.

“What separates us from our competitors is just the background of each of our guys on-site,” he stated. “Each one of them come with 25-plus years of heavy haul experience. And, for the most part, I think that we work in every area. We’ve done a lot of work in power plants, mining, wind, oil and gas, and more. And, really, the whole purpose of this division is to save these companies money. We can save companies millions of dollars.”

That is the biggest goal off the Consulting Division of GSS and it’s Pantuso’s goal as well – a goal that he believes his team is more than capable of reaching.

“If you take all the people that could make the decisions to run something here, we have well over 200 years of experience, collectively,” he said. “We have that mix between the younger generation in our office that are brilliant, and then we have my generation that are older and have done all of this stuff before. So, it’s a great mix that we put together, and I think we’re unstoppable.”

New Crane at GSS


Global Specialized Services is proud to announce its acquisition of a new, 120-ton crane to be used in the field in a variety of ways. 

This new crane, serving the Rocky Mountain region, will be based out of Wyoming and used primarily in the oil field and in the erection of cell phone towers, setting up air conditioners on buildings, and more! 

As one of our smaller cranes, this crane has a jib with a reach of 275 feet. This gives it the ability to maneuver in and out of smaller areas with relative ease. It has a compact size for the tonnage, which means it can be utilized in smaller job sites. Because of its longer reach, this crane can get closer to buildings, resulting in more capacity at the same rate.

It is an all-terrain, instead of a truck crane, which makes it a lot more versatile with offroad job sites, as well. 

This crane is designed to be on dirt roads, meaning it can withstand even the toughest road conditions. It has a higher lifting capacity with the same amount of counterweight, meaning teams will not need additional counterweight trucks to balance the capacity. Additionally, it negates the need of a boom dolly, meaning fewer machines taking up space on the job site, and fewer technicians to operate it. 

This crane will be replacing an older model, and it is just the latest example of GSS continuing to innovate, as we offer our customers the best service for all of their construction needs.

A Family Business: Matt Orr Celebrates 10 Years at GSS


There’s something to be said about starting a business from the ground up. There’s even more to be said about starting that business with your family.

That’s exactly what Matt Orr did. Matt, along with his brother Justin, began working for Transportation Partners and Logistics in May of 2011. TP&L was the brainchild of his father, Jim Orr, and when Matt came aboard, he did so with the knowledge, skills, and experience that could have only come from already having spent years in the transportation business.

“My dad has been in the transportation business as long as I can remember,” Matt said. “He worked for a previous heavy haul transportation company for 23 years as the Operations Manager. So, I worked there and my brother worked there ever since they would let us. I started out as a mechanic in the shop, moved out to a pilot car driver, got my CDL and did some truck driving, and then I did a lot of project management work myself. We shipped out a lot of drag lines and that sort of thing, and that was how I got my background in the transportation industry.”

That background would serve him well, because a year after TP&L started, Jim brought his boys on board. This wasn’t a case of nepotism, however. Both Orr brothers knew the job backwards and forwards, and both were eager to bring it to the next level.

Jim Orr started TP&L because he saw the need for a laydown facility with rail access that was centrally located in the United States. So, they chose Garden City, Kansas as their location and started a company that included distribution services, transportation management, and product maintenance for port, rail, truck, and distribution centers.

Following the creation of TP&L, Global Specialized Services was added to provide wind energy transportation across the country. GSS specializes in heavy haul transportation for energy sectors, including wind, oil and gas, coal, natural gas, power plants, and more. They offer a taxi crane service, as well as project management.

Matt said that it just made sense to create a laydown facility with cranes. They already had the contracts. They already knew where loads were going and when they were going. So they might as well be the ones to deliver them.

“We had that background that most over transportation companies don’t have,” he added.

So once the inception of GSS was determined, it was up to Matt to get to work.

“We started off with one truck,” he said. “I was the driver. We had one trailer. And then we just slowly added equipment and personnel as we grew. At TP&L, I started off as a rigger. I had a lot of background experience in cranes and rigging, so it made sense. Then I got moved up to an offload foreman. Then I got my CCO, so I got a lot of crane experience. And then once we started GSS, I had a driver position, I was a crane operator. Basically, I did anything that was needed because we were limited personnel-wise, and it just made sense. Slowly but surely, we got the right people in and added more equipment, and then I moved in as the office manager as we continued to grow.”

And grow, they did. GSS has been in existence for ten years, and Matt Orr has been there for all of them. From driving the first truck, to where he is now, Orr said that the growth of GSS has been incredible, and it’s due solely to their employees and their customers.

“I think over the first year we got up to four trucks and four drivers,” Matt said. “I moved into the office as soon as we hired the drivers and other personnel. We added two cranes within the first year, and now we have seven cranes total. On the transportation side, we’re doing entire wind farm projects in-house, and it’s just great to see.”

Recently, GSS added a second yard in Enid, Oklahoma. Matt said that, in ten more years, he hopes to have ten more locations. And, he said, the success that both TP&L and GSS have achieved is due to the people who work there – from the drivers, to the crane operators, the project managers, the technicians and more.

“They’re the ones that really make everything successful,” Matt affirmed. “They’re the ones out there doing the jobs. And we hear that from our customers. We hear that our communication is great. Our people working with them are great. Everything we’re doing on the project management side has really grown over the last couple of years, as we’ve gained more projects and learned more lessons. Our people are everything.”
 

And if there’s one lesson that Matt Orr has learned over the last 10 years, it’s this: Your people are what make you successful. Investing in them, teaching them, even learning from them ensures a successful company. Both TP&L and GSS are successful and, according to Matt, it’s solely because of the people who work there.

He should know. He’s been there from the beginning.

TAKKION Acquires Harvest Energy Services


Acquisition Continues the Expansion of TAKKION’s Renewable Energy Operations and Maintenance Services 

DALLAS, Texas, May 3, 2022  — TAKKION TP&L Holdings LLC (“TAKKION” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Apollo”) today announced that it has acquired Broomfield, CO-based Harvest Energy Services, LLC (“Harvest”). Harvest is an independent services provider of operations and maintenance (“O&M”) solutions to the renewable energy industry.

TAKKION is a premier independent services provider supporting the energy transition. The acquisition of Harvest demonstrates the continued expansion of TAKKION’s capabilities in long-term O&M solutions for renewable energy markets. Harvest is TAKKION’s third significant acquisition in less than 18 months and expands TAKKION’s scale and capabilities in the wind services market.

Harvest acquisition expands TAKKION’s scale and capabilities in the wind services market

The Harvest team will join TAKKION’s leading logistics and O&M services companies: Transportation Partners and Logistics (“TP&L”), Global Specialized Services (“GSS”), RENEW, and AIRWAY SERVICES. The addition of Harvest will grow TAKKION’s wind O&M presence in North America, meaningfully enhancing TAKKION’s ability to provide comprehensive solutions for the evolving needs of the renewable energy supply chain. In particular, the Harvest acquisition expands TAKKION’s technical capabilities in blade repair, and adds a high throughput, state of the art training center in Broomfield, Colorado that will support continued hiring and job creation for the renewable energy industry.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Harvest to TAKKION. Harvest has a long history of performance and we are fortunate to incorporate the expertise of its employees into our businesses. We see compelling opportunities to expand the already market-leading scope of TAKKION’s services, leveraging Harvest’s skills and equipment. The acquisition of Harvest furthers our goal to be the strongest partner to companies across the renewable energy industry.” said Jim Orr, CEO of TAKKION.

Vinson & Elkins LLP acted as legal counsel to TAKKION in this transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal counsel to Harvest.

ABOUT TAKKION

TAKKION is a premier independent service provider of logistics, O&M, and technical repair and remanufacturing services to the renewable energy industry. With the industry’s largest network of people and assets across North America, TAKKION is uniquely positioned to support and optimize the growth and lifecycle of renewable energy. Our brands TP&L, GSS, RENEW, and AIRWAY SERVICES work together seamlessly to deliver quality, performance, and efficiency for our customers. We live by our core values of safety, integrity, transparency, and putting our people & customers first. To learn more about how TAKKION is Moving Energy Forward, visit www.TAKKION.com/

ABOUT APOLLO

Apollo is a global, high-growth alternative asset manager. In our asset management business, we seek to provide our clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum from investment grade to private equity with a focus on three business strategies: yield, hybrid, and equity. For more than three decades, our investing expertise across our fully integrated platform has served the financial return needs of our clients and provided businesses with innovative capital solutions for growth. Through Athene, our retirement services business, we specialize in helping clients achieve financial security by providing a suite of retirement savings products and acting as a solutions provider to institutions. Our patient, creative, and knowledgeable approach to investing aligns our clients, businesses we invest in, our employees, and the communities we impact, to expand opportunity and achieve positive outcomes. As of December 31, 2021, Apollo had approximately $498 billion of assets under management. To learn more, please visit www.apollo.com.

Juan Hernandez Named Operations Manager of GSS Oklahoma Site


When working at TAKKION and any of its sister companies, it’s not just a job; it’s a career. It’s a chance to develop skills and climb the ladder of success until you reach the heights that you’ve always wanted to reach. It’s an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to better yourself, personally and professionally.

That’s exactly what Juan Hernandez has done, and it’s why he was recently named the Operations Manager of a GSS location in Oklahoma.

Juan has been working with GSS’ sister company, Transportation Partners & Logistics, for more than 6 years.

And in those 6 years, he has built a reputation as a reliable, innovative, motivated, hard-working natural born leader.

Before starting with TP&L, Juan worked in the oil field industry, working on various pipelines and compressor stations.

“After that last boom, I just decided I wasn’t going back to the oilfield,” Juan stated. “I was looking for a different path, a different career. And that’s how I started with TP&L. It’s been a long ride, but a really nice and comfortable ride.”

That ride began more than 6 years ago. Juan originally heard about TP&L through a temp employee agency who told him a company needed some general labor workers. He traveled to Garden City, Kansas where he was trained on offloading machine heads and hub trains, tower trains, and blades trains. He started working as a rigger, but then was asked to operate a forklift for a wind project. That was something he proved to excel at.

“I came back to Enid and stayed on the forklift,” Juan stated. “And from there, I went to a lead position; I was leading a crew on offloading trains and components off the trains, loading trucks, and running a crew.”

Following that, he began working as a foreman, helping to “run the yard.” He would be given directions from his superior and would direct his crew to make sure the trucks and trains were loading and offloading on schedule.

Following that, he worked as a foreman and then a site manager, traveling to various sites to ensure the quality of work met the standards of excellence that TP&L is known for.

“I’ve been on the road a lot and I started talking to our regional managers, Ryan and Paul,” Juan said. “I told them I was trying to be home a little more often, so they offered me this position and that’s how I got to where I am today.”

Today, Juan is the Operations Manager for the Enid, Oklahoma GSS site.

“What’s really exciting is that it’s a different work environment,” Juan said. “We’re trying to grow this company down here and, for me, the excitement is getting out there and being the face of the brand, of GSS and building customer relationships. And we’re starting with a small group of employees, but I’m setting a goal for myself that we’re going to expand this site to have 30 employees out here. So it’s exciting for me to challenge myself. I wake up and I say, ‘Okay, today we want to accomplish this.’”

Juan said that he believes the reason he was chosen for this position was because of his drive to succeed.

“One of the things I know about myself is that I’m self-motivated,” he revealed. “To be out there and go from place to place, you’ve gotta be motivated. If you don’t have that drive, you’re not gonna make it.”

But Juan has made it. And he’s excited to help others make it as well. That’s part of being a good boss; investing in your employees and helping them achieve greater things than even you, yourself, have accomplished.

That’s exactly what Juan’s bosses have done for him, and it’s what he does for his employees.

“It’s been a good experience,” he stated. “It’s made me grow a lot. I started as a temp, and to get to where I’m at and look back at what I’ve accomplished with the help of everybody in the company, and all of the trust and support that the company’s given me, it’s a big deal. I know Paul is really proud of me. Paul was the one that brought me up. He saw something in me and he’s the one that pushed me a lot. Even today, I had a conversation with him and he said ‘Keep pushing; give it all you’ve got. And one day, you’re gonna end up being higher than what you ever thought you could be.’”

Juan has climbed the ladder of success that was offered to him at TP&L and, now, GSS. And now that he’s on one of the top rungs, he’s reaching down to help pull others up with him.

And that’s exactly what a good boss, what a good manager, should be doing.

Juan is a good manager. But even more than that, he’s a good man.

Retirement of Floyd Crisp


Global Specialized Services is saddened, but so proud, to announce the retirement of one of our truck drivers, Floyd Crisp. Floyd has been one of Jim Orr’s (President of GSS) right-hand-men since before GSS even existed, and he has been a staple of the trucking industry for decades.

“I started working with Jim Orr in 1999,” Floyd stated. “I worked with Jim at other companies and then when he started GSS, I came along with him.”

Floyd said that he’s been a truck driver for the last twenty years. He began his career working for Casper Concrete and fell in love with the job. He said he enjoyed the simplicity of it.

“They give us a truck, we pick up a load somewhere and drop it off somewhere else,” he laughed. “The most important thing is to take care of the equipment. Make sure the equipment is in good shape at all times.”

And that’s something that Floyd always did. He took his job seriously and he made sure that no matter what load he was carrying, it was always taken care of.

Customers and other employees always enjoyed seeing Floyd pull into their projects. Floyd’s great attitude and work ethic will be missed, but we want to wish him a long and happy retirement.

“As Floyd stated, I have had the pleasure to work with Floyd for over 20 years. In those 20+ years, Floyd has driven over 2 million miles without a major incident. It has been a great honor to work with a man that has the work ethics that Floyd has. To my knowledge, Floyd was never late for a pickup or delivery and wore the GSS brand with pride. Thank you for all that you have done for the GSS family and enjoy your retirement. You will be greatly missed!”

– Jim Orr

GSS Awarded Project in Central Montana


Global Specialized Services is proud to announce that we were awarded the opportunity to provide the transportation for the second half of a project located in central Montana. This project will be our first major project of the year, and it is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

This comes after GSS already worked on the first half of the project in 2021.

“At the end of the year, around November or December, the bid proposal came out and we were able to make a bid for the second half of this project,” said Dylan Wisroth, Operations Manager at GSS. “During the week of Christmas, as the year was coming to an end, we were given the award to go ahead and start planning our preparation for it. With the first part of this project, we weren’t the only company that contributed to it. There were so many components coming in at such a high volume, and there were multiple companies working on it. So, getting the award on the second part of it was honestly humbling. It was nice to know that we’re doing things right and that the customer felt that we were the right people for the job.”

At GSS, oversize and overweight loads are our specialty, and all of our drivers are experienced and extensively trained to safely transport all sorts of different cargo. This project consists of transporting 16 complete wind turbines to central Montana. It’s a big project, and it’s one that requires a lot of planning and logistics management.

“There’s a lot of time spent planning this project,” Wisroth stated. “Going into Montana in the winter, we knew we were going to come up against quite a few different obstacles and we wanted to ensure that we respect Montana and do it right. We’re also getting everybody spaced out and making sure that it’s communicated across all different levels with our different drivers. We’ve got 38 drivers moving on the road right now, just for this project alone.”

Before sending his drivers on the project, Wisroth made sure he knew the route forward and backward. He completed a route survey and drove the routes himself.

“I physically went up to Montana with the customer,” he said. “We ran 2,000 miles in two days to run routes. I was driving ‘til the wheels came off, but that kind of frontend work is what it takes to be really successful on a project of this size. Most of the routes have over 750 miles of transit, which is a very long haul that has many different turns and so many different obstacles that can happen along the way.”

That is the type of commitment that got GSS the bid, but it wasn’t the only thing that landed them the job.

“I think it came down to not only our relationship with the customer, but our relationship we have with Montana in general and the DOT (Department of Transportation) in this specific project,” Wisroth said. “There are not a lot of wind farms in Montana, so the relationship is kind of new when it comes to wind customers and the energy sector. So, I think that a big reason why we got the job is because we have such a great rapport. We get involved at the very front end of a project and, in the middle, they know that they can call us if there would ever be any issues.”

This project is a big project; one that’s employing roughly 120 people just on the GSS side. That doesn’t include pilot cars, site employees, and more. Driving this amount of wind turbines to Montana in winter is not an easy task, but it’s one that GSS is more than capable of taking on.

“I think it goes without saying, but we have a can-do-attitude,” Wisroth stated. “We’re very solution based. There’s not a problem that can come up that we’re not going to find a solution for. Instead of saying ‘I can’t do it,’ we just figure out a way to make things happen, safely and efficiently. It’s also the flexibility aspect. We’re always ready. Somebody could call us tomorrow and say they have another project and need us to start next week, and we would start the planning and hit the ground running to make it happen. We find solutions and I think that’s a big driver for why GSS gets the projects we do.”

GSS Purchases a Second Demag AC220-5


With the recent purchase of a second Demag AC220-5, GSS is able to now serve twice the amount of customers is Wyoming, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and various other surrounding states. With 7 sections of boom and a 245-ton lifting capacity, this crane is able to lift more weight at a longer reach, making it the solution to just about any job. Having a maximum tip height of 255′, this is one of the longest main booms on a 5-axle crane. This all-terrain crane is able to travel over the road to any job at any given distance. Aside from its large capacity, this crane has a compact design and all-wheel steering allowing it to maneuverer into tight spaces, all while still being able to reach incredible distances.

The AC220-5 has been on numerous wireline, coil tubing, frac operations, and wind farm jobs, and has proven itself to be an extremely reliable crane. It has also lifted gearboxes, cable reels, coolers, lact units, A/C Units, vessels, transformers, drilling rig doghouses, and much more. It is without a doubt that this crane will continue to raise the bar and exceed any expectations. We are proud to serve our customers and take pride in having the necessary equipment in order to get the job done safely and efficiently.