Prince George has always been home for founder Dan O’Brien and the O’Brien Group of companies. For the past 30 years, Dan has been involved in all aspects of logging, road construction, and heavy equipment operator training and commercial driver training.
Dan started in the logging industry in 1993 with one skidder. Today, the O’Brien Group of companies looks much different and much more diversified. The O’Brien Group has eight operating companies that include logging, construction, development, heavy equipment training, commercial driver training, and green energy projects. Dan and his team manage a fleet of over 70 pieces of heavy equipment and over 100 pieces of rolling stock in total.
Fast forward 20 years, O’Brien Training is the largest heavy equipment school in Western Canada. O’Brien Training is based in Prince George with a fleet of approximately 40 pieces of heavy equipment, a state-of-the-art simulator centre, and a commercial driving school. O’Brien Training also includes a remote operation with a fleet of 20 pieces of heavy equipment and simulators. The remote operation allows O’Brien Training to come to the client’s site and train. Over the past 2 years O’Brien Training has been working with First Nations bands on over 10different sites west of Prince George, as far as Haida Gwaii. While Training, O’Brien Training has been giving back to the community by building projects for First Nation bands while training their people. This has been a win-win for all, and many great projects have been completed over the last two years.
Dan started O’Brien Training in 2004 with one excavator and a vision to start a heavy equipment operating school, to help the logging and construction industries that were facing a shortage of skilled operators and give an opportunity to those wanting to get into the industry. In 2006, he expanded to include commercial driver training by acquiring Taylor Professional Driving Ltd.
O’Brien Training’s methods are very practical and hands-on in nature. O’Brien Training students operate machinery at an active construction site (O’Brien Training’s main training facility) just outside of Prince George. For the forestry equipment training side, O’Brien Training works alongside a fully mechanized logging company (sister company to O’Brien Training) based out of Prince George.
Western Canada has a diverse economy and many of the jobs are tied to resource industries. O’Brien Training has taught hundreds of students and used their industry knowledge and connections to match them with well-paid jobs in mechanized logging and heavy construction throughout Western Canada. Additionally, they provide job opportunities. Many local businesses depend on skilled, dependable operators and come to O’Brien Training as a source of new hires and as an option for training their existing staff on heavy equipment