Flaman Rentals Blog

Top Outdoor Destinations to Visit This Winter

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Jan 12, 2021

This winter will be the perfect opportunity to have that staycation you’ve always dreamed about, to stick close to home and enjoy the beauty your own backyard has to offer. With snow and freezing temperatures come exciting outdoor adventures and activities the whole family can enjoy. So bundle up and make warm and lasting memories, without traveling too far from home.
 
We’ve put together a small list of great outdoor destinations – but there are so many to choose from! As always, please follow local health authority guidelines about traveling and check with the destination to make sure they’re open.


 
Prince Albert National Park
Winter is a beautiful time to visit northern Saskatchewan, especially Prince Albert National Park, a million acres of snow-covered wilderness. This winter paradise offers many family-friendly outdoor activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, skating, winter camping, wildlife photography and much more. Snowmobiles are not permitted in Prince Albert National Park but there are hundreds of kilometers of excellent, groomed trails outside the park (see below for more info).


 
Blue Mountain Adventure Park, North Battleford
If you’re looking for a fun and unique getaway this winter, then Blue Mountain is the place to go. This beautiful outdoor destination has everything on your list, including a tubing park, over 30 kilometers of groomed trails for skating and cross-country skiing, designated trails for snowshoeing, plus a nice chalet to warm up in when you’re cold! You can rent snowshoes and cross-country skis onsite, but you do need to bring your own skates.
 
Johnston Canyon Ice Walk, Banff
This is one of the most popular attractions in Banff National Park, and home to spectacular frozen waterfalls. This guided hike takes you along steel catwalks built into the canyon walls up to the iconic frozen upper falls, with beautiful views into the gorge below. Wander through a natural cave to gaze down at the frozen falls up close or continue onto the upper falls – a tower of ice that rises 30 metres above your head.
 
Canmore and Kananaskis
With gorgeous snowy mountains and many winter activities, Canmore and Kananaskis is fun for the whole family. Enjoy scenic snowshoeing at Chester Lake, cross-country or Alpine skiing, waterfall and ice-cave climbing, underground tours of the famous Rat’s Nest cave under Canmore’s Grotto Mountain or even SnowFlow yoga, designed specifically to elevate your season on the slopes with a mindful, proactive approach.
 

Local Snowmobile Trails
As of the date this blog was posted, snowmobile trails are open in Saskatchewan and Alberta. There are hundreds of kilometers of well-maintained trails in both provinces for sledders to enjoy.


 
Check out these articles from SnoRiders magazine for the top places to snowmobile in Saskatchewan and Alberta. For eight years, readers voted Hudson Bay their favourite spot in Saskatchewan. It offers consistently deep and fresh snow, lasting well into April, and 690 kilometres of maintained trails with 16 warm-up shelters.
 
Or check out one of Alberta snowmobilers’ top picks: Athabasca, on the banks of Alberta’s longest river. This outdoor-oriented town boasts 300 kilometres of groomed trails west of Baptiste Lake, with terrain and scenery including boreal forest, river valleys and rolling hills. Two staging areas allow for easy access to the trails, and there are cabins and warm-up areas with picnic tables, fire pits and firewood.


 
Visit the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association’s website, Snowmobilers of Manitoba’s website, or the Alberta Snowmobile Association’s website for more up-to-date information on the status of your local snowmobile trails.
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Posted in Local News | Tagged with winter recreation staycation snowmobiling ice fishing | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Top Destinations to Ice Fish This Winter

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Nov 25, 2020

This winter, there’s no better time to explore the great outdoors in your own backyard. And one winter activity that’s both fun and family-friendly is ice-fishing!



Even the kids can enjoy this popular winter pastime and come home with exciting stories of their great catch. It’s easy to create long-lasting memories of a day out on the frozen lake: just bring along your fishing gear, hot cocoa, and a little bit of patience.


 
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to ice fishing this winter, Flaman has you covered with many of the ice fishing accessories you need for a successful trip. Haul your gear (or the kids!) to your favourite spot with a sled. An ice shack is a great option to stay warm and sheltered from wind while out on the ice. And there are various accessories to make your trip just a little bit easier: like fishing rod holders or ice hole cover safety screens, so you’ll never lose your keys or phone!
 
Once you have all the necessary gear, the hardest part is finding a top spot to drop your line. No problem – we’ve collected some great ice fishing spots to visit this winter, recommended by local anglers.

 
Top Ice Fishing Spots in Saskatchewan and Manitoba
Tobin Lake, SK
You can’t talk about ice fishing without talking about Tobin Lake. The northern Saskatchewan lake holds the world ice fishing walleye record with an 18.3-lb. walleye caught! Anglers will also enjoy the variety of fish available to be caught, such as perch, pike, whitefish, goldeye or maybe even a sturgeon. Fed by the Saskatchewan River, it continues to produce trophy fish due to great catch and release practices. 

Ice fishing, Tobin Lake Tourism Saskatchewan/Rob Weitzel Graphic Productions


Ice fishing, Tobin Lake Tourism Saskatchewan/Calvin Fehr

Last Mountain Lake, SK
Last Mountain Lake is a favourite spot for ice fishing for many locals. At 93 km long, this lake has almost endless potential for fishing spots. Couple that with a large amount of forage, and you’ll see many trophy-sized walleye, pike, perch and carp. The size and healthy populations of fish mean there is always a new spot to try out with the family.
 
Buffalo Pound Lake, SK
This is a great lake for families to visit – with an abundance of fish, even the kids will have a successful day with the catches they’ll be able to reel in. Lots of perch to be found and even the odd walleye make an appearance. Plus, many locals also say that this lake always seems to have consistently safe ice.
 
Twin Lakes, MB
A twenty-five minute drive north of Roblin, this is a popular destination at the foot of the scenic Duck Mountains. It is one of only a handful of lakes in the province that is home to a brown trout and brook trout hybrid named tiger trout. Add to that specimens caught here regularly surpass Master Angler size and you have a must-fish lake for anyone’s list. 

 
Top Ice Fishing Spots in Alberta
Crawling Valley Reservoir
Sometimes referred to as Barkenhouse Lake, Crawling Valley Reservoir is an offstream irrigation storage reservoir about 150km east of Calgary, near Bassano. Known for great pike and walleye, locals also report decent whitefish and burbot fishing mid-winter. Off the reedy shorelines which are quite shallow, you will find more northern pike and as you transition into deeper water (9-14 feet) there are more walleye.
 
Lesser Slave Lake
This lake is about a five-and-a-half-hour drive from Calgary and just under a three-hour drive from Edmonton. The most frequent fish caught here are walleye and burbot (and the burbot are known to put up a fight!) There are many fishing hot spots on this lake. It is recommended to bring an ice fishing shack or tent because the lake is notorious for winds blowing down its 100-kilometre length.
 
Gull Lake
Gull Lake is part of Aspen Beach Provincial Park and is popular for its whitefish ice fishing. The lake has also been stocked with walleye in recent years. In wintertime, whitefish, pike, and burbot are plentiful, good-sized, and usually easy to catch.  Locals recommend using a slow retrieve with a small worm or beadhead nymph.


 
Things to Know Before You Go
Wherever you fish, be sure to check the regulations for open seasons and bait allowance each year at the lake you visit. And always check local ice conditions to ensure it’s safe to head out on the lake.
 
For more up-to-date information on provincial ice fishing regulations, licenses and other rules, please check out the following resources:
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Posted in Local News | Tagged with ice fishing winter recreation ice fishing shack | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


A long-distance grain rescue made possible by Bin-Sense

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Oct 14, 2020

You can anticipate grain spoilage as a farmer, but you can never be sure when it’s going to pop up. Or where you’ll be when it does.
 
And what happens if your grain starts to spoil or heat up and you’re nowhere near home, but thousands of kilometers away on a family vacation? That’s what happened to Blake Bergen of 3B Acres in Drake, SK in the fall of 2019 when his Florida vacation was interrupted by news that a canola bin was heating up.



He was getting alerts from his Bin-Sense Live wireless grain monitoring system, an award-winning monitoring system that gives you instant access to your stored grain at any time and from anywhere.
 
With this system, farmers no longer have to be in the same physical location as their hopper or flat bottom bins to monitor them. They can get valuable information about the grain's quality and stay connected with up-to-date text alerts sent to phone or email.



Those alerts warned Bergen about the situation in his bin, when he otherwise may never have known.

“That bin was not top-of-mind among riskier bins, said Bergen. “We thought we had that one well looked-after so it surprised us when we got the alert.”
 
Surprised, but not surprised. There were many factors that had led Bergen and his father to install Bin-Sense Live. They had witnessed a dry spring, which led to late crops in July. They also had questions about the storability of straight-cut canola. “We knew we were going to get some stagey canola coming in,” said Bergen. “It wasn’t going to necessarily be swathed at exactly the right time. There was potential for green seeds.”

The Bergens took the proactive approach through grain drying and monitoring. “We thought the odds of having something happen, just the way the crops were looking, were pretty good. We knew if we had a train-wreck, we’d buy a system so it wouldn’t happen again, so why not buy the system before the train-wreck and then it pays for itself?”
 
In summer 2019, Flaman installed a Live system. Moreover, among their 200,000 bu of monitored grain storage, they also have 42,000 bu worth of hopper bins connected to supplemental heat air drying with temperature and moisture cables monitored by Bin-Sense Live. But it was later that fall when Bin-Sense Live’s communicating technology became critical.


An example of Bin-Sense installed on a bin

“We were going on a two-week vacation to Florida with our extended family,” said Bergen. “On day 1 after landing, we got a chirp on our phone that a bin of canola that had increased in temperature. We decided to watch it for two or three days and could see a constant climb of 1 to 1.5 degrees every day. We phoned home and asked some friends to take a semi-load out of the bin. They took it to the elevator and we saved that bin of canola.”
 
Even though heat rose in the smallest of bins, the save justified the cost of monitoring the entire yard. “There are lots of misconceptions out there about spoilage and the size of bin,” said Bergen. “I look at grain monitoring as a solid return on investment,” noting that he paid upwards of $17,000 for the system. Saving 5,000 bu of canola, Bergen estimates Bin-Sense Live paid for itself twofold.
 
He doesn’t spend much time reconsidering the choice between Bin-Sense Live and systems where you check grain on foot. “You can hem and haw about the investment when you have the capability to check your bins manually, but you still have to make a point of doing it. We have 30 bins on the system so it’s more than a three-minute job. It’s a lot of plugging in and downloading. It’s nice to just bring everything up on your phone or your computer and read the colour-coded heatmaps. It’s quick to interpret and see what’s going on.”
 
So how to thank colleagues who have rescued valuable crops? Blake Bergen squared up, returning from Florida bearing gifts of fine imported bottles. Add the cost to the grain monitoring bill, and he still came out ahead.
 
Call your local Flaman dealership today to find out more about how Bin-Sense can make sense for your farm.
 
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Posted in Product Information | Tagged with grain monitoring grain bins Bin Sense grain temperature | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Tips and Resources for a Safe Harvest

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Aug 17, 2020

As harvest begins to start in many parts of Western Canada, Flaman is here to provide the tools and equipment you need to get your crop off quickly and safely. Along with our wide variety of Harvest Helpers to aid you in your work, we’ve collected some important and useful safety tips for harvest time. We want to make sure all our customers return safely from the field and have the resources to support their employees and family members on the farm.
 
This post will look at 4 main types of safety:

  1. Grain bin entrapment
  2. Fire safety and prevention
  3. Machinery and power lines
  4. COVID-19 safety

 Flat bottom bins

Grain Bin Entrapment
Tough grain is one of the leading causes for producers to enter a bin. Many studies have shown that entering a bin to break up spoiled grain while operating unloading equipment is the leading cause of grain entrapment. A person could become completely covered within 20 seconds. Across Canada, there’s an average of six fatalities every year from grain entrapment or engulfment.
 
If you need to enter a bin to asses grain, there is a Grain Bin Assessment chart from the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association you can use to assess if it’s safe to enter the bin.
 
This fact sheet from the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture also has some helpful information about how grain entrapment occurs, as well as preventative and safety measures.
 
And finally, if you wish to create a Confined Space Management Program for your farm, this quick start guide from Ag Safe Alberta is a useful tool. Along with grain bins, confined spaces also include sumps, wells, feed bins, attics and even some equipment.
 
confined spaces infographic
 
Fire Safety and Prevention
Fires in the field can happen all too suddenly when working with dry, flammable material and hot mufflers and electrical wiring. There are some simple pre-cautionary measures you can take to help avoid the risk of injury or loss of equipment due to fire.

  1. Have working fire extinguishers mounted on equipment, ideally one in the cab and one accessible from the ground. Alberta Agriculture recommends a 10 pound dry chemical, multi-purpose ABC extinguisher and a 2.5 gallon pressurized water extinguisher on combines.
     
  2. Remove crop residue, dust, debris, dirt and excess lubricant around all heat sources regularly. Check for a buildup of combustible crop residue around engines and exhaust systems, concealed drive belts and pulleys that can overheat due to friction.
     
  3. Be careful when using low clearance vehicles in fields, as exhaust pipes and catalytic converters can ignite dry grass or stubble.
     
  4. Check exposed wiring and fuel/hydraulic lines for damage, wear and deterioration.
     
  5. Allow engines to cool before refueling.

And for added safety, Flaman carries a variety of firefighting pump and tank units, such as the Enduraplas Fire Ranger or the BE Fire Cart, to allow you to quickly put out any fires in the field while harvesting.
 

 
Machinery and Power Lines
Electrical safety is another important area to be aware of when working with large machinery on a farm. More than 40% of agricultural workers in Canada have reported direct hits or near misses with power lines. In 2019, there were 326 farm safety incidents reported to Sask Power. The most common causes of electrocutions on the farm are portable grain augers, large combines, high clearance sprayers and other tall equipment that can come into contact with overhead power lines.
 
There are two types of electrical injury that can occur:

  1. Electric shock, when electric current passes through the body causing injury or death.
     
  2. Arc flashes: a blast of energy caused by an electric arc, which can produce sounds waves, extreme heat, shrapnel and more, This can lead to lung injuries, ruptured ear drums, burns, blindness or death.

This guide “Electrical Safety on Saskatchewan Farms" from Sask Power talks about potential risks and hazards and offers safety tips, guides and checklists to make sure you and your workers come home safe. Or you can print out this Farm Safety Checklist to make sure everyone knows how to avoid overhead lines and what to do if an accident occurs.
 
Electrical safety infographic
 
COVID-19 Safety
This year, farming operations will have the added tasks of protecting workers and their family from COVID-19. As an essential service, we recognize that farmers must continue to work to grow our food and feed our country.
 
Along with the general pre-cautions such as hand washing, physical distancing, cleaning of work attire and wearing gloves, this fact sheet from the Canadian Centre for Occupation Health and Safety offers many safety tips specifically for the agricultural industry in areas such as:

  • Transportation
  • Sanitation
  • Group Living and Residence Recommendations
  • Team and Site Management
  • And much more.

 hand washing
 
For those interested in creating an overall safety plan for their operation, this workbook from Ag Safe Alberta lays out the steps to create your own Farm Safe Plan.
 


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Posted in Ag news | Tagged with harvest safety farming grain bins electrical safety | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


A Brief History of the Newest Flaman Store in Swift Current

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Jul 07, 2020

Flaman Group of Companies started on the farm over 60 years ago, when founder Frank Flaman saw a way to help other farmers by buying bins in bulk. That spirit of “making things better” for the farming community continues on today, so when Flaman had the opportunity to partner with an innovative, farm-focused company like Gatco Manufacturing, known for its quality products designed for farmers, the choice was easy.
 
The Flaman Swift Current and Gatco location

Products Designed by a Farmer, For Farmers
Gatco was started by a Saskatoon area farmer, Gary Schreiner. Schreiner had a problem: he was losing canola bins to overheating and needed a solution for remote bin yards that had no power.  He began trying different combinations of perforated tubes in an effort to create a venting system inside the grain bin.  This led to the creation of the GrainAir Tube powerless aeration system.  The GrainAir tube allows heat and moisture to escape the bin quickly, by letting heat collect in the central tube and relying on convection to remove heat from the bin without any fans.
 
A couple year’s later, Schreiner was moving his load out auger and plastic hopper in his yard and slipped while maneuvering the plastic hopper.  He knew there had to be a safer way to do this, and so the Auger Hog Hopper was born. This adjustable, detachable grain auger hopper attaches and detaches in seconds with a single mount pin, stays on your auger between bins, and adjusts from 12" to 29" in height merely by moving the handle. Due to the Auger Hog’s u-trough design, it also increases the average augers speed by 20-25% and prevents any product loss.
 
The Auger Hog

With the GrainAir tube working well, Schreiner felt there had to be a way to make a more efficient aeration system.  While researching grain dryers, he found that air moved through grain easier horizontally, so he developed louvered wall columns that were pressurized with a common aeration fan.  The air would leave the wall columns and travel horizontally to the central GrainAir tube and be released out through the bin lid quickly and easily.  This CrossFlow system is far more efficient than traditional air systems, as the air travels less distance and moisture and heat is removed from the bin much faster. 
 
“Gary came up with these unique solutions to help make farming easier,” says Bret Watson, Gatco division manager, who’s worked for the company since 2013.

 Bret Watson (Gatco Division Manager & Flaman Operations Manager)
 
A Natural Partnership in Swift Current
It was that line of innovative, farmer-proven products that made Gatco a natural fit to join the Flaman team, says Watson, who is also the operations manager for Flaman’s Swift Current location. Gatco was purchased by Flaman Sales in 2018, when Schreiner decided he wanted to devote more time to his farming operation. “The companies are both family-owned and started on the farm,” says Watson. “We were selling to the same customers and trying to provide that same level of service. It was a nice, natural fit.” 



With that purchase, Flaman Sales started their 7th store in Saskatchewan. The Swift Current location began as one-person business with Watson, but since February 2020 has added 5 more staff in sales, administration and yard staff, along with acquiring a second, 4-acre yard to expand on-hand inventory and provide better sales and service.


Mellissa Paxman (Administration), Bruce Deg (Ag Sales), Brittany Fiddler (Logistics Coordinator), and Rick Spanier (Yard & Support)

The Swift Current store is a full-service Flaman Agriculture equipment dealership, offering a wide range of in-stock grain-handling equipment such as augers, conveyors, post pounders, grain vacs, grain carts, grain bins, grain dryers, grain monitoring, and water and fertilizer tanks. Customers can also order products from the Flaman catalogue like discs, mowers, chem handlers, pumps, and more.

Bob Schafer (Ag Sales)

“We’re proud to offer equipment options to the local community,” says Watson. “Farmers don’t have to drive to Saskatoon or Southey anymore. This location allows Flaman to serve customers all over southwest Saskatchewan.”

 -----
To contact our Swift Current location, please click here.
To view some of the products in inventory, click here.
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Posted in Division News | Tagged with agriculture Swift Current Flaman new store local shop local southwest Saskatchewan | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Move your auger or conveyor safely with the Lift-EZ Hydraulic Jack

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Jun 30, 2020


If you’ve ever moved grain with a conveyor or auger, you know that standard screw jacks can be inconvenient and a hassle to hook up and connect with your tractor. And if you’ve ever said to yourself “there has to be a better way,” then you’re not alone. The Lift-EZ Hydraulic Jack is a safe and convenient way to connect your auger or conveyor to your tractor
 
We spoke with the product’s inventor, Bret Watson, the operations manager at Flaman’s Swift Current location, about where the idea for this product came from, and why every farmer could use one.



Tell me where the idea for this hydraulic jack came from?
Bret: I invented it two years ago with Bob Schafer. Bob has a service company that deals with farmers, and his customers were having trouble with their jacks getting damaged. They needed another option.
Bob and I were having coffee one day and we said to ourselves, “this is something we could do.” Bob is a mechanic by trade, and I have an engineering degree and manufacturing background. Hydraulics are readily available on back of a tractor so that’s why we chose that route.

 
What was the creation process like?
Bret: We started with some drawings on a piece of paper, then I used CAD to develop it and make a prototype. Then we fine-tuned it to make sure it was user-friendly. From concept to completion it took about 3-4 months.
 
Tell me about the jack and what makes it different.
Bret: With this jack, the farmer can back up to auger/conveyor, connect the jack hoses and then safely lower/raise the unit from the cab of his/her tractor. They can easily get everything aligned, then slide in the implement pin, raise the Lift-EZ jack and then they’re good to go. It uses the hydraulics that tractors already have, so it’s easy to add on. I haven’t seen anything like this for farm use before.
 

Tell me about the added safety features of this hydraulic jack.
Bret: The jack comes with a hydraulic safety valve, so if there is any damage to any hydraulic hose the jack won’t come down. You can adjust the jack from your seat safely. When you get out of the tractor, you don’t have to worry about the jack creeping down, the valve locks it and won’t allow it to come down unexpectedly, which of course could be very dangerous.
 
Can this jack go on any auger or conveyor?
Bret: Yes, it can be retrofitted to any auger or conveyor. The jack stub can be mounted at any height in order to replace any standard screw jack. It’s very user-friendly.
 
What inspires you to invent products like this?
Bret: I’m driven by solving problems and safety. This product came right from a farmer’s need. It’s a safer product and something that will help them.


The Lift-EZ Hydraulic Jack will be available at most Flaman locations in Saskatchewan. Please call your local Saskatchewan store to ask about availability or to speak to a product specialist. 

Hydraulic jack

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Posted in Product Information | Tagged with jack hydraulic jack auger conveyor safety | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Sled N Snap Photo Contest turns international

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Oct 23, 2013

The Sled’N Snap photo contest has launched for its third year and we’re excited to showcase a brand new website! This site will make it even easier for people to share, view and comment on each other’s photos.

Visitors to www.slednsnap.com can upload their pictures in a variety of categories and in April the public will vote for the grand prize winner. The site is also a place to celebrate all things snowmobiling, while promoting safe riding and registered sleds. It has valuable information like trail maps, upcoming events and safety articles.

We’re also happy to announce that Sled’N Snap has turned international and Snowmobile North Dakota has joined the contest! Anyone with a registered sled in that state can enter a photo.

“We are really excited about joining Sled’N Snap,” says Keri Wanner, executive director for SND. In 2011, she attended the Saskatchewan snowmobile show where an enclosed trailer with “Win Me!” on the side caught her attention. It was the grand prize given to the winner of Sled’N Snap to use for a year, which prompted Wanner to find out more about the contest and get involved.

“As a manager of snowmobile trails, there is no other opportunity that can outshine promoting snowmobile registration,” adds Wanner. “That’s how you can maintain trails and do the work behind the scenes to make sure you can ride.”

“Having North Dakota join Sled’N Snap is something I pushed for,” says Chris Brewer, executive director of the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association (SSA), another Sled’N Snap partner. “I don’t believe in borders as a snowmobiler. We all have a common cause: we love to enjoy winter. To open up internationally is absolutely fantastic for snowmobilers.”

Sled’N Snap isn’t the only thing turning international this winter. A new snowmobile trail linking Saskatchewan and North Dakota is opening in February. The first of its kind trail will connect the two systems at the Port of Carievale and allow snowmobilers from either side of the border access to thousands of kilometers of new trails. An international ride to commemorate this trail opening will take place on February 15.

Snowmobilers with a legal sled in North Dakota may cross into Saskatchewan free of charge. Snowmobilers with a legal sled in Saskatchewan coming into North Dakota must purchase an out-of-state permit for $15. This fee will be waived for the International Ride on Feb. 15. Snowmobilers must still cross at the normal border security crossing and have a valid passport.

Sled’N Snap is put on by the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association, the Alberta Snowmobile Association, Snowmobilers of Manitoba, Snowmobile North Dakota and Flaman Group of Companies. For contest details visit www.slednsnap.com.


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Posted in Division News | Tagged with sled'n snap photo contest trailer international trail | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Everest Edition trailer celebrates Flaman manager's summit

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Oct 08, 2013

Standing at 28,700 feet above sea level, the crisp mountain air whipping around him, the first rays of morning sunlight glittering on the untouched snow ahead of him, Steve Whittington, Saskatoon mountaineer and Flaman Trailers division manager, took his final steps onto the South Summit as the top of Mount Everest exploded into view. The Hillary Step and final summit ridge were all that remained between him and the top. At that moment, after living on the side of a mountain for almost two months, he knew he was going to make it. 

Whittington and his climbing Sherpa Dawa had been battling a storm for hours considering turning around. When they reached The Balcony they stopped to rest and have a drink. Assessing the situation, Whittington realized his oxygen consumption had been far less than he had originally thought and he didn’t have to change tanks. This meant he was doing better than he realized. “And then I got mad. After 56 days on this mountain I was not going to let a storm turn me around,” Whittington says.
 
After reaching the South Summit, Whittington traversed the corniced ridge line and quickly climbed the Hillary Step. Then it was an emotional victory march as he made his way to the prayer flag adorned summit. “It was clear, it was bright, it was beautiful,” Whittington recalls. “I burned the moment into my soul.”
 
As Whittington stood at 29,029 feet, staring at the world below, 10 years of his blood, sweat and tears had finally culminated into that one perfect moment. There’s not a lot of time to celebrate at the top, but he and Dawa took a few moments to place prayer flags and take photos. Snapshots show Whittington with a banner dedicating his summit to childhood friend Warren Thompson and posing with a Flaman Group of Companies flag.
 
The team at Flaman is extremely proud that one of our own was able to accomplish such an amazing feat. To celebrate Whittington’s summit, Flaman Trailers is introducing the exclusive Everest Edition sled trailers. These trailers come with bonus, value-added features for extra convenience and functionality. Our manufacturers stepped up to help us celebrate and we’re able to offer these features at no extra cost to the customer.
 
The 2014 XR Series trailers come with new interior kick plates, interior black matte trim, new aluminum rims, a cabinet, coat rack, bench and a 110 Volt Plug. You can see all these great features by clicking here.
 
All Aluma flat deck snowmobile trailers and the 2 place enclosed sled trailer come with special Everest Edition aluminum rims. To see the different Aluma trailers Flaman has, click here.
 
Check out these trailers soon, as they are only available this winter! Not all XR sled trailers will feature this new package, so please talk to your local salesperson.
 
Whittington’s journey to the top of Everest started 10 years ago. He has more than 40 summits to his name, including five of the world’s seven summits.  “Climbing Everest was a longing that I didn’t quite understand,” Whittington says. “But I knew I had to be patient enough to build the skills that I needed to climb it over the past decade.”

Whittington followed a grueling program of work outs and went on several climbing trips to increase his strength and endurance, add weight (he lost 30 pounds on the mountain) and increase his maximal oxygen intake. You can read his training blogs on Flaman Fitness’ Fit Talk blog.
 
Could there be a second trip up Everest in the future? Whittington is steadfast in his answer: “I have no desire to go back.” But he does have plans to finish the seven summits and eventually tap the top of Vinson Massif in Antarctica and Carstensz Pyramid in Oceania. Right now, he says, he’s focusing on his family. But the pull of the mountain is strong.
 
“When you’re climbing there are so many uncertainties, so many what ifs. But where other people see uncertainty, I see possibility. This is why I climb.”
 
 
Steve on the top of Mt Everest with the Flaman Group of Companies flag.
 
The new XR Everest Edition sled trailer comes with many great features like:
 
 
New aluminum rims                                      Fold down bench
Coat rack

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Posted in New Products | Tagged with Everest Edition sled trailers snowmobile trailers enclosed trailers flatdeck Mt Everest Steve Whittington | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Flaman named Top 100 Company

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Sep 27, 2013

Flaman Group of Companies is proud to announce that we have been named #49 on Saskatchewan’s Top 100 Companies List for 2013.

This list is published annually in Saskatchewan Business Magazine and looks at a company’s overall sales. The final rankings were revealed at a gala on September 4 and the full list is available in the September magazine edition. Saskatchewan Business Magazine is home to the original and official Top 100 Companies List for Saskatchewan. First published in 1984, the list remains the barometer of Saskatchewan’s top performing businesses. 
 
“The only reason we made the list is because of our customers,” said Don Flaman, president. “Thank you to all our customers for supporting us.”
 
The Top 100 List paints a positive picture for business in Saskatchewan. According to the magazine, revenues are up across the board and Saskatchewan is a “must be” destination for business, boasting major private firms along with the traditional co-ops or Crown corporations.
 
“Saskatchewan businesses have found their stride, a testament to the quality of owners and managers who have developed a unique skill set, learning to excel in a market best characterized by its sparse population and expansive landmass while roughly two thirds of its output is destined for a buyer outside our borders,” writes Paul Martin in the September issue of Saskatchewan Business Magazine.  

“This annual listing is as much a celebration of the past – of those who built an environment that attracts players from all corners of the planet – as it is a tribute to the new players who are helping to broaden and deepen our entrepreneurial pool.”

Saskatchewan Top 100 Companies award   


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Download the new free Flaman Mobile App

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Sep 17, 2013

Flaman is excited to announce the launch of our first mobile app!

We realize that a lot of our customers are coming to our website on their cell phones, and we wanted to make the mobile experience even easier for them. Simple download the free app and you can look for trailers or equipment, plus check out the lastest blogs, videos and downloads.

Looking for equipment? Get instant access to our pre-owned and clearance equipment and trailer inventory right from your smartphone. See what each Flaman store has available and can check out the pictures, specs and prices. Contact Flaman right from your phone when you find what you need. Never miss out on a great deal again!

If you’re out in the field and need to rent some equipment, you can use your phone to quickly and easily find your local rental dealer. See what equipment they carry and use the app to contact them directly as well.

Want even more information? With the app you can get alerts when there are new catalogues posted online, new blog posts and new videos, so you’ll never miss anything. Read the blogs or watch the videos right from your phone.

And if you’re trying to call or visit us, you can conveniently find contact info for all Flaman stores, including Flaman Fitness and our trailer and ag stores. To download the app, visit the iTunes app store, Google Play or go to www.flaman.com/mobile


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Posted in Technology | Tagged with App Rental finder Pre-owned Clearance specials | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Sled'N Snap Calendars have arrived!

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Sep 16, 2013

Now you can relive your favourite snowmobiling memories all year round with the new Sled’N Snap calendar, available from Flaman.

 This 2014 calendar features beautiful winning photos from last year’s Sled’N Snap photo contest. Use it to keep track of your all important events, trips or keep on top of the kids’ activities schedule. The calendar also includes important dates and events from the Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and North Dakota snowmobile associations, and Flaman Group of Companies.

 Even in the sweltering summer you can enjoy the photos and day dream about hitting the fresh powder next winter with your sled.

 Stop by your local Flaman store today to pick up your free calendar. Or you can get a calendar from the Flaman Trailers booth at the upcoming Alberta Snowmobile Show in Edmonton Oct 18-20 and the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Show in Saskatoon Nov 1-3. Don’t forget to grab one for your friends too!

 You can sign up for a Sled’N Snap account and submit photos to contest online at www.slednsnap.com. Next year your photo could be in a calendar!


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Flaman wins the ABEX for Marketing

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Oct 29, 2012

We’re proud to announce that on October 20, Flaman Group of Companies was awarded the ABEX (Achievement for Business Excellence) Award for Marketing.  The ABEX Awards were handed out by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce at the Delta Hotel in Regina. 

In the spring we won the SABEX (Saskatoon Achievement in Business Excellence) Award for Marketing,but the ABEX is for the entire province, so it means much more to be named top in your field for all of Saskatchewan.
 
So what does it mean to be a great marketer? One of the things you need to win in marketing is the “big idea” that resonates with your customers.  In fact, perhaps the greatest challenge in marketing is to come up with these “big ideas,” and when you have many divisions and locations you need even more of them. 
 
Having big ideas for marketing is one thing we do not lack of at Flaman. Everyone on our team has many great ideas.  A lot of our big campaigns didn’t come from the traditional “marketing team” but from the broader team in general. For example:
  • The Great Stuck in the Muck Photo Contest came from Jody Kemp, a salesman in Southey.
  • Flaman Man was thought of by Taylor Assen, a territory manager in Calgary.
  • OPI Canola star commercials were the brainchild of store manager TysonBecker in Yorkton. 
Because we get so many great “big ideas,” our job is to pick the very best from them and implement them with excellence given the resources we have. But marketing is not just about great ideas, it’s also about how you execute these ideas.
 
At Flaman, we’re also very strategic. We create long-term plans and product strategies, and we pay close attention to analytics and stats. We have to make sure our ideas are getting the results we want. If they’re not, we change direction. I’m proud to be part of a marketing team that has great ideas and excellent execution.
 
This award is our team’s award, so congratulations to everyone who has helped us be our very best.
 

L-R: Don Flaman (President), Jennifer Thompson (Marketing Project Manager), Steve Whittington (VP of Marketing & Communications), April Basset (Marketing Co-ordinator), Rudy Flaman (Southey Store Manager) and Jeff Basset (Saskatoon Fitness Store Manager)


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We're proud to be an ABEX finalist!

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Oct 04, 2012

As a project manager for Flaman’s marketing team, I am proud and excited to announce we’ve once again been nominated for a Marketing Award. Flaman Group of Companies was named a finalist in the 2012 Achievement in Business Excellence (ABEX) Awards in the Marketing category.

Our team was then encouraged to apply for the provincial ABEX award after receiving the Saskatoon Awards for Business Excellence (SABEX) award for Marketing in May. On September 5, we waited with baited breath for the announcement of the ABEX finalists and were thrilled when we were listed.

The nominees for Marketing this year are:
Flaman Group of Companies
Refresh Enterprises Inc.
Century 21 Diamond Realty
S&E Trusted Online Directory
Silver Star Salvage

The ABEX Awards are Saskatchewan’s largest celebration of private sector achievement. The event is hosted by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. The awards are open to any private sector business registered within the province, regardless of size, location or industry. In total, 46 nominations from Saskatchewan businesses were selected as finalists within the 10 ABEX categories.

At Flaman, we’re honoured to be nominated for this prestigious award. We work very hard to have a marketing plan that’s both strategic and creative but that ultimately offers up to our customers the products and services that they need.

“The quality and diversity of these finalists really showcases the way in which Saskatchewan’s economy is taking a leadership role within Canada, and across the global stage,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce in a press release.

This year’s ABEX awards gala is set for October 20th at the Delta Hotel in Regina, and is themed as a tribute to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. For more information visit www.saskchamber.com.
 

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Third Time's A Charm

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Jun 26, 2012

For the third year in a row, Flaman Rentals in Saskatoon has been named a Consumer Choice Award Winner. This division of Flaman rents out enclosed and flat deck trailers, along with agricultural equipment like discs, land rollers or mowers.

I recently attended the Consumer Choice Award ceremony with our marketing VP Steve Whittington at the beautiful Delta Bessborough in Saskatoon. We got to sip champagne and rub elbows with a lot of great business owners in the city, and of course, celebrate our own success!

This award is special because the winners are picked by our customers. It means a lot to us that people recognize our efforts to offer great customer service. We were also very pleased to win a Consumer Choice Award three years in a row. This means our team is consistent taking care of our customers’ needs. And we’re proud of that!

What’s great is that the Consumer Choice Award is becoming a trusted name in the Saskatoon area. Looking at the other winners gathered in the room that night, we knew we were in good company amongst other top businesses in Saskatoon.

A big “thank you!” is due to our rental team in Saskatoon for all their efforts and hard work every day and to our customers for continuing to choose Flaman Rentals.


Steve Whittington (middle) receiving our award from Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison and Consumer Choice Award President Marcel Sbrollini

Jennifer Thompson arriving at the awards ceremony.
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Congrats to our Sled'N Snap winners!

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Jun 19, 2012

It may be summer, but there are a few people who are getting excited about snowmobiling next winter. Gerald Serson of Regina recently traveled to Saskatoon to pick up his grand prize from our Sled’N Snap Photo Contest. He won the use of an enclosed snowmobile trailer for a year! 

More than 860 photos were submitted to Sled’N Snap from across Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. The grand prize winner was determined by public voting. Just over 27,600 votes were cast for the top 20 finalists.
 
Gerald says he was “pretty excited” to hear he’d won the trailer. There are four people in his family who snowmobile, and he says he’ll get great use of it. His winning photo was taken at a warm up shack in Hudson Bay this past January while Serson was sledding with his family.
 
“This photo contest has opened people’s eyes to snowmobiling,” Serson says. “I think some people didn’t realize what’s out there for shelters and trails and all the wildlife you can see.” He believes this contest will help promote the sport and more people will want to try snowmobiling next winter.
 
Random draw winners were also selected by the sled associations for a 2-place tilt sled trailer. The winners were:
Charity Jarduk, Yorkton
Todd Lander, Rocky Mountain House
Treena Massey, Winnipeg
 
You can view all the winning photos at www.slednsnap.com.
 

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Celebrating our marketing success

Posted by Jennifer Thompson May 18, 2012

On May 17, I had the honour of attending the Saskatoon Awards for Business Excellence (SABEX) ceremony. Flaman was named a finalist in the Marketing award category.

This was a very exciting nomination for us. The SABEX awards honour businesses in Saskatoon and area in a variety of categories, such as Marketing, Customer Service, New Business and Business of the Year. Winners are selected from the finalists by a group of their peers. It meant a lot to us that we were recognized for our efforts by business leaders in our community.

This was the first time Flaman was named a finalist for a SABEX award.The ceremony was held at Prairieland Park, which had been decorated in a glamorous 1950s theme. After a delicious supper, the awards began, and I have to say I sat on the edge of my seat until our category was announced. We were up against three other great local businesses, so I was pretty nervous. When they announced the winner of the Marketing award was Flaman Group of Companies, I couldn’t have been happier! Our tables clapped and cheered as Steve Whittington, our VP of Marketing, accepted our award.

This award means so much to us. As a member of the marketing team, I know firsthand how much work goes into our marketing programs. We handle marketing for multiple stores, in many diverse divisions like fitness, trailers, grain cleaning and ag. Along with traditional advertising and marketing, I feel that Flaman is leading the way with things like our websites and online community building.  

The goal of our marketing department is to give our customers what they want and create content that is engaging and interesting. To me this is exemplified in our “Great Stuck in the Muck” photo contest. This contest was created as a way for farmers to share photos and stories about getting stuck, which is a universal problem for anyone working outside. This contest quickly grew to be much more than just a photo site. It’s now known as “Facebook for Farmers” across Western Canada. This site was a way we could give back to our customers and I think it worked. The website regularly gets thousands of visitors each month and many more when voting is happening.

I am so proud of our team! Along with those from our Saskatoon office, we have a strong team of marketers and web designers from all our locations. It truly was an honour to be named a finalist and of course we are so thrilled to be recognized as a leader in the business community. Thank you to the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce and all those in the company that contribute to our success.


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Giving back to the community

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Mar 16, 2012

Are you looking for a meaningful way to give back to your community? Then mark your calendar and get your ticket for the 6th annual Frank Flaman Foundation Gala on March 30, 2012. 

This annual event is the main fundraiser for the Frank Flaman Foundation, the charity created by Flaman Group of Company’s founder and owner Frank. The Foundation is funded by Frank's share of the profits from the Flaman Group, and by private donations. Along with being a savvy businessman, Frank has always been a respected philanthropist, and his foundation gives millions of dollars to local and international charities each year.
 
The gala is a fun and elegant evening, featuring a delicious supper, a silent auction with a large variety of items and an exciting live auction.
 
But this event is not just about raising money, it’s also about showing attendees and supporters how their contributions are making a difference. Representatives from a number of charities are on hand to receive their donations from Frank himself. As well, charitable groups are showcased for everyone to learn about the great work that they do.
 
The charities that the Foundation supports are too many to list, but some examples are: Operation Eyesight, the Salvation Army, Oxfam, Room to Read, Global Neighbours, E4C’s School Lunch Program and many other local and international charities that help women and children in need. To Frank, a needy person is a needy person, whether they live just down the street or thousands of miles away.
 
This year the fundraiser is on March 30, 2012 at the Shawn Conference Centre in Edmonton. Cocktails start at 6:30 pm, with dinner at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $100 or $900 for a table of 10. For tickets or more information, please contact Syndy Bisson at (780) 955-3400.

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New photo contest created for local snowmobilers

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Dec 12, 2011

A new website has been created to get the message out about safe sledding to local snowmobilers.

Sled’N Snap (www.slednsnap.com) is an online photo contest and community forum that celebrates snowmobiling in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association and Flaman Group of Companies recently launched the new website as a way to reach out to the sledding community.
 
“Our biggest challenge is getting the message out to our many members about safe and courteous riding,” says Chris Brewer, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association. “This contest is a fun and interactive way to spread the word to a larger audience.”
 
“But it’s more than just a photo contest. It’s a destination site for anyone who snowmobiles. There are links to trail maps, articles about safety, a tips forum and more.”
 
Sled’N Snap’s premise is simple – visitors to the site upload their photos in a variety of categories like Trail/Scenery/Wildlife, Youth and Family, Action!, or Club Rides. At the end of March, the photos will be judged by an association panel who will select a group of finalists and then the public will vote for the grand prize winner.
 
Up for grabs is the use of the amazing, fully-loaded Stealth aluminum enclosed sled trailer for one year. There are also category prizes from the Saskatchewan Association and every entry is eligible for the random draw for a new two-place aluminum tilt trailer from Flaman Trailers.
 
And it’s a way for snowmobilers across the province to share memories and common experiences. They can leave comments on photos or share pictures on Facebook. “One of the submitted photos is of a cabin that’s used as a shelter, and someone’s already commented on how they remember going to that same place,” says Brewer.
 
The submission period for the photo contest ends March 31, 2012. To be eligible for any prizes, entrants must have a registered sled. For more information, visit www.slednsnap.com.

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Flaman Rentals wins Consumer Choice Award

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Jun 28, 2011

For the second year in a row, Flaman Rentals has received the Consumer Choice Award for the best Equipment Rental dealer in Saskatoon. 

“This award speaks well for the service we strive to give our customers,” says Ellery Erb, the rentals manager at Flaman Sales and Rentals in Saskatoon.
 
“Our goal is to have quality equipment and trailers to suit the customer’s needs, friendly service at the counter and fair pricing. I think all of those factors combined are what helped us win this award again.”
 
Consumer Choice Awards are handed out annually in cities across Canada in a variety of categories. The awards are based on answers from accurate surveys conducted by a third party research firm, Leger Marketing. Leger Marketing looks at various industries in each city and interviews a sample of people that represents the majority of that city’s population.
 
The first round of research determines the nominees for each category and a second survey asks people which of the nominated companies is their choice for the year.
 
Erb says it’s especially important that this award was voted on by customers, as customer service is the rental division’s number one goal.
 
This year’s awards were presented at a dinner and gala June 23 at TCU Place attended by a host of dignitaries including Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant-Governor Saskatchewan’s David Barnhart and Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison.
 
Flaman Rentals in Saskatoon employs four full time employees and offers a fleet of 48 trailers and various agricultural equipment for rent.
 
 

Steve Whittington, an executive at Flaman, accepts the Consumers Choice Award for Flaman Rentals in Saskatoon.

 


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Flaman Trailers takes to the road!

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Jun 16, 2011

At Flaman Trailers, we’re dedicated to customer service. So much so, that if you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you!

That was the motto behind one of our salesman’s recent trip to Fort McMurray. Aaron Farrell, a trailer specialist at the north Edmonton store, loaded up a H370 flat deck trailer with a XR7 cargo trailer and an Aluma 638 utility trailer and headed up north To Fort McMurray on June 3 and 4.
 
This is the first time Flaman Trailers has gone on the road. Not long ago Aaron was looking through his customer list and noticed that many of them were form Fort McMurray. Talking with his customers, they expressed some difficulty in getting trailers up there. Many of them made the drive down to Edmonton.
 
“I thought: why not go up there? I had nothing to lose,” Aaron says.
 
He set up shop at the Fountain Tire in the MacKenzie industrial area, displaying the trailers on government land right in front of the store so everyone could see them as they drove by. Although Aaron says he had a bit of bad weather on the first day, the set up worked. He even sold the utility trailer on the spot.
 
“Lots of people were pulling over on the side of the road,” he says. “Many recognized the ad we had put in the paper. I talked to about 24 people over the 2 days I was there. It was great!”
 
Feeling confident, the second day he was there Aaron pulled his trailer over to a mall parking lot and set up for a few hours, where he also got a lot of traffic. He says he got a lot of interest from the oil field in equipment haulers and flat decks, but also a lot of interest in cargo trailers.
 
Aaron says he would “absolutely” like to take Flaman Trailers on the road again, and plans to go back to Fort McMurray.
 
 

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Flaman Trailers in Siberia

Posted by Jennifer Thompson May 06, 2011

No, we’re not opening a new Flaman Trailers location in Siberia. But an interesting story unfolded this past March where trailers purchased from Flaman Trailers in Nisku played a background, but important, role in taking some special guests to the northern Russian region. 

Parks Canada moved 30 Wood Bison calves from Elk Island National Park in Alberta to Lenskie Stolby National Nature Park in Sakha, Russia as a way to preserve the animals’ endangered population. This move created what is called an “out-population” in a region where bison went extinct thousands of years ago. Essentially, having these bison in Russia is an insurance policy, in case anything happens to the vulnerable population here in Canada.
 
So where does Flaman Trailers fit into all this? Well, as one woman quips in the documentary of the bison’s journey filmed by Discovery Channel, you can’t transport the bison in passenger seats.
 
The 30 calves were loaded into Southland stock trailers purchased from Flaman to make the one hour trip to Edmonton International Airport. These loaded trailers were then put on a Russian transport plane for the 10 hour flight to Yakutsk, Russia, then continued on a four hour drive along bumpy roads and a frozen river to the nature park.
 
These trailers had been in Russia since 2006, after they carried bison there as part of a pilot project. Almost five years later, as they were given the once over before the bison were loaded in, the trailers looked “excellent” according to the General Trades Assistant at Elk Island. I think it’s a testament to the quality of these Southland units – not only their durability but the fact they were trusted with carrying such precious cargo.
 
You can watch the story of the Flying Bison on Discovery Channel’s “Daily Planet” by clicking this link www.discoverychannel.ca/article.aspx?aid=31897
 
 
 

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Stuck in the Muck random draw winners

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Dec 24, 2010

We’ve made the draw for the random winners of the Great Saskatchewan Stuck in the Muck photo contest.

Congratulations to the winners who also get a new tow rope:
Trevor Berkan, Southey
Rick Yagelniski, Springside
Diane Coombs, Wroxton
Nicole Squires, Prince Albert
Monty Kovlaske, Humboldt
 
You can view all the voting results and photos at www.stuckinthemuck.com
 
We’ve had more than 72,000 visits to the Stuck in the Muck website from across the globe since the contest launched. Over 300 people signed up and submitted 365 photos. Thanks to everyone who support us and helped make the contest a success!
 
We’ve been getting lots of attention in the media too! We’ve had stories on CBC Radio, CBC Online, CTV, Global, CJWW, News Talk CKOM, CKBI in Prince Albert and CJGX in Yorkton to name a few!
If you’d like to check out all the media coverage that Stuck in the Muck has been getting, check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Flaman-Group-of-Companies/147896325258199
Don’t forget to give us a “Like”!
 
We know many producers had a rough time seeding and harvesting in the mud, but we hope you had some fun with this contest and were able to have a few laughs about the “sticky” situations.
 
Trevor Berkan
 
Rick Yagelniski
 
Diane Coombs
 
Nicole Squires
 
Monty Kovlaske

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Trailer Manager Interviewed in SnoRiders

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Oct 20, 2010

When customers come to Flaman Trailers, they can expect not only the best product at the best price, but a knowledgeable sales staff that will find them the right trailer to fit their needs.

One of our own trailer experts, trailer division manager Steve Whittington, was recently interviewed by SnoRiders magazine for an article on how to choose the best snowmobile trailer.

There are lots of options, Whittington points out, such as an enclosed or open sled trailer, or a steel or aluminum sled trailer.

To read the story in the Fall 2010 edition of SnoRiders click here.


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