Adversity has made many a man great Who had he remained prosperous would only have been rich

Adversity has made many a man great Who had he remained prosperous would only have been rich – Maurice Switzer

Ever wondered where greatness comes from? Is it something from within, or is it the adulation of the masses, or is it the quiet confirmation of a loved one? Or must it be a combination of all three in order to be effective?

I think you must have all three in order for your greatness or the greatness of a team to really show. The last 6 months has been some pretty heady stuff, doubling of sales, tripling of assets, and more than doubling of trucks and trailers. I have tried to keep my feet on the ground (sometimes successfully, sometimes not), and just trying to stay ahead of the curve. My beautiful bride Lisa, took the time out to sit me down and tell me some really nice things that she was seeing when she stopped and said ‘I have always loved you, but for the first time I admire you. Confirmation that you are doing it right always signals a feeling of greatness.

Just recently I was asked to be a speaker and panelist for an upcoming Eagle Ford Oil Industry Symposium. My first thought was ‘Lord they must be hard up for speakers’, but then I thought about the background of Lake and my 3 decades as president and over 4 decades of working for the company and decided they must see something in me that I could not. Knowing that others see your greatness lets me know that somehow, someway what we are doing right here at Lake…well we are doing it right and our greatness becomes validated.

And then finally, it hits you. Your company, the little engine that could, has built momentum, has gotten the clients that demand the highest level of service, built the assets you need in order to advance and most importantly has attracted the kind of partners/associates/managers/employees that by their very presence says ‘Heck yes, we want to be a part of this’. That’s when you know you have attained greatness. You have gotten to your first goal.

Next week I will share with you where your next step should be. Also there are about 4 really big things that are in the works this week, which I will share with you next week.

Until then…

Everthing Is Going According To Schedule

It has been a couple of weeks since I beat on the keyboard and a number of things have happened and a few more are just a few more steps away before being completed.

First off, Jerry Santos and I met with Antonio Medina down at Halliburton in Laredo to go over the final designs of three of our most ambitious designs: the Gallegos 1680, the bulk barite tank, and the triple pod aluminum bulk trailer. It looks like we are all moving according to schedule and we should be quoting on the aluminum trailers and bulk barite tanks within just a couple of weeks.

Halliburton has also asked us to take over the transportation duties at their facilities in Beeville and La Grange, Texas. That now brings to five the number of Halliburton facilities that Lake is the prime carrier at. Outstanding Job Jerry!

It looks as though Lake will be opening up a permanent terminal in Midland Texas for the exclusive use of Halliburton/Baroid. This could be huge for Lake due to the massive expansion of the Permian Basin fields, Halliburton’s increased use of our assets, and the shortage of experienced dedicated equipment out there. We will start with 5 units and I suspect will be up to 20 by the end of spring.

Started the preparation of the back five acres for Lake Oilfield Services. Hope to have it level and surfaced by April 1st. Our plans are to have 3 service bays by the end of the summer to take care of all the fabrication and maintenance work due to occur because of LOS.

Lake is the cover story for Tank Transport Magazine for February. This issue will focus on the oilfield industry. Thanks to Dave Jagge, our Publicist for putting this together.  Both Lake Truck Lines and Lake Oilfield Services are major sponsors for the 5th Annual Coalition Blowout on January 28th.  Over 500 of our clients will be in attendance.

Wow!  That would be enough….but we have even more going on.

Until next week…


Ooops for those of you nursing a bitty headache:  Happy New Year.

Well it’s a new year, a new day, a new time for all of us. For those of us prone to self reflection, a time to look forward by looking back. A time to replace old worn out habits that did not serve us with ones that bring us to our very, very best.

I want to first thank all my managers for bringing us through and so very far in 2011. You have done a great job, now stop patting yourself on the back and let’s attack 2012.

How will we be attacking 2012? By questioning everything we do and have done over the past 6 decades. By looking at our processes and examining them closely.  Do they serve us, the contractor, the customer. I have found that I have learned more in the last 6 months than the last 26 years. And it makes me hungry for even more.

We will be going after new clients and building strong relationships with our present clients. There will be tremendous growth in 2012 but there will also be growth from our competition, and we must prepare for that.

We will be growing intelligently. Evaluating each new opportunity, running that opportunity through a new number of tests to see if it fits our business model. We will be taking debt on only in a way that allows us to maximize our assets and allows to better serve our clients. Thank you to my banker, Russell Gribble for teaching me that. There will be many deals that we pass on because it is not who we are.

Me personally? Well, I am going to lose weight (diet and exercise, I already have a plan), double my sales calls, relearn golf. Get rid of bad habits and replace them good ones. You can help. I will put my weight down each blog. If I lose weight, give me an atta boy, if I don’t, take me to the woodshed.

No matter what you are doing in your life, reestablish a plan to make your life better and more productive…..and if you need to, lose a few pounds.  You will look better by 2013.

Until next week…

Merry Christmas

What a great and blessed week! Things got moving in a very big way for both Lake Truck Lines and South Texas Oilfield Services in both the vendor and client areas.

Signed two contracts in the same day for Lake, one for Baroid that will increase our business by 60% percent overnight and the other with a client (unnamed for now) that we did business with over a decade ago but favored us over a much, much larger competitor with their new facility in Eagle Pass Texas. That contact will require 5-7 units be in place by Feb. 1, 2012.

STOS just made its very first sale (thanks Jerry), a Gallegos pneumatic triple pod trailer. To top it off, we have two of the Gallegos personnel meeting us next week to go over the designs of our next two products to offer, bulk barite tanks and frac tanks. Our clients have assured us that as soon as we have designs and pricing in place, they will be ready to place substantial orders.

We want to welcome our newest employee, Donna Daniel. She will be in charge of all invoicing and accounts receivables. She has shown to us she truly is an expert in our software program we use and we look forward to getting all the glitches fixed in the upcoming weeks.

So we are down to the last week of the year, the biggest year that Lake has ever had. I think I will actually take a day off tomorrow (Christmas Day) and enjoy my family and what the day means to us. Then back to work on Monday!

To all of my readers (all three of you), thank you for following us on this journey. Next week’s blog will be more definitive of what is in store in 2012. 2012, wow, it’s hard to imagine how fast this year has flown by.

Merry Christmas to all of you and God Bless You

Too Mundane?

An exciting week, but what to bring to print? Sometimes the most mundane things will take on the sheen of importance with the seasoning of time. What I am looking at, all the deals that came across my desk this week. Not just one deal, but multiple deals. Not just on one day but most every day last week. Folks, mark down this week; for starting now the feeding frenzy got started.

I am in the middle of brokering a deal for frac sand. On one side is a client of mine and on the other is the grandson of a past U.S. President (who happened to be an old friend of my late father). Brought to me by my architect, it is amazing to me the people that come into my life.

I fielded a phone call where two complete strangers want me to haul oil from tanks at the rig sites. Better than that: I tried to give the business to my dear old friend Rich Atwell, and he just said, ’Doug, that’s not what we do, but I have 5 oil tankers you are welcome to use for free’. Makes you wonder about serendipity.
Later, I am contacted by a very old friend of mine, (nicknamed Frog) who asks if I have a source for frac sand and can I haul oil from rig sites? Now I don’t know about you but having two identical deals from two different people come in at the same time, is just a bit too coincidental.

There is more to write but right now it’s too mundane, I think I will give the subjects some time….to get the sheen of importance.

Until next week

Important Announcement!

Good Morning: Sorry I took a week off but there was something I was waiting to happen before I wrote about it in the blog. Well it is official now and I want to share this most important news.
South Texas Oilfield Services Inc. was formed last week with Douglas S. Cain as President, Lisa Cain as Vice President, and Jerry Santos as Sec./Treasurer. We will have a website built by the end of January and print media ready by then as well.

To start with we will be selling cement batch mixing equipment for the oilfield and leasing/selling bulk barite tanks, bulk barite silos, and frac tanks. We should have our first prototype ready for field testing by March 1st, 2012.

Now to me an even more important event happened on Thursday. I had a visit from one of my most respected friends in the world, Richard Atwell, President of Coastal Transport. Coastal has been around almost as long as Lake and is widely considered the most professional transportation company in the industry. It is a company I look to emulate as we grow and evolve. Seeing Rich and listening and learning from him was the highlight to my year.

What do these two events, one of them old and one of them new, mean? Well heck maybe nothing at all. But just like it was no coincidence that the Lady Bears of Baylor just happened to be in NYC the very same day that RG3 won the Heisman and they were there to cheer him on, well maybe there is a deeper meaning to it all. To me, there are no coincidences; there is always a divine planning. So I have been looking closely at what it means that two unrelated events that happened at identical times mean.

I think it means as I look to the future, I need to review and study the past. What made us successful in the past can have a profound impact on what will help us succeed in the future. By looking at what Joe Sr. did 60 years ago, that got him through rough times and take advantage of circumstances during the good times, I can learn a lot without having to pay a gillion dollars in consulting fees. We are Lake Truck Lines and STOS, not General Motors. I will get good counsel and learn new ideas and plan, but I will never abandon the lessons of the past.

What does the future of 2012 hold in store for Lake, STOS, and all our associates?  Check in next week for a peek into the future.

Until next week……

Douglas Cain

Thanksgiving – Those Who I Am Thankful For

Well it’s Thanksgiving and it has given me time to reflect and think about all the things I am thankful for but more importantly who I am thankful for. Now, we can all use the same pat answers that we use at the dinner table every fourth Thursday of November. But I wanted to go deeper than that. Because only by looking at all the things we are Thankful for in the Past can we really determine our plan of action for the future. And by now, I bet you can see a thread being weaved in my Blogs.

As always, I am appreciative of my sweet father, Joe P. Cain. I learned how to be self reliant and how to make critical decisions. It’s not so much what he taught me but what he allowed me to teach myself. I cannot over emphasize how important that is.

Bruce Booker (and his wife Cindy) has been an integral part of my life here at Lake for over 7 years. Bruce helped me to regain my belief in people again. How to trust, how to take a chance, how to motivate, how to absorb body blows and still get back in the battle. Where would I be without Bruce and Cindy, well not here writing this blog for certain.

Jake Truitt was my high school football coach. Yeah, I know every jock wants to acknowledge their high school coach, so I am invoking privilege and doing it here. Without Jake I would not be anywhere close to the man I am today. He taught me how to push myself beyond the limits I thought were possible.

Ken and Carrie Bevel (and son in law Cody) calmed me down and took the burden of developing the San Antonio terminal on their own shoulders. Ken knows me so well after working together off and on for almost 2 decades that it is scary. He does everything exactly like I would want it done and never even has to ask me for guidance. Without these two, I would have been a complete wreck in developing the new headquarters. In fact, I am not sure it could have been done.

Bernard Rojano is my consultant in the building of the South Texas Oilfield Company, (working title, STO). Bernard has put skin on the bones of my vision of the future and is entrusted in finding within me the meat to put on those bones. What he and I and the rest of the team are building over the next five years will be the stuff books are written about. It is that big, that real, and that attainable my dear readers. Bernard makes me feel like I know significantly more than I realize.

Jerry Santos has been the Operations Manager of South Texas Bulk Division for the past 6 months. He came to me about two years ago after spending a period of time, well shall I say, reflecting on past mistakes. He had nothing, nada, zip, zilch. But he believed in himself, believed in me and taught me how to believe in both of us. He makes me believe in the future and comes up with a dozen fresh, well thought out ideas, for every one of mine. Lake’s success is as much to Jerry’s credit as mine.

Now here is the unexpected one: Bob Stephens. Bob is a business broker that I retained a number of years ago when I was looking at a competitor to purchase. One of the things that I always said was: I leave every meeting feeling like I am a lot smarter than I give myself credit for. Bob at first thought I was slighting him but exactly the opposite is true. Bob was able to make me see past my imperfections and see the kind of man that all those around me see. Bob, I am a work in progress and I owe a lot of today’s success to the times we spent bouncing ideas off each other. Thank you, I owe you more than you can imagine.

My beautiful bride, Lisa… really there is nothing that can be put down on paper than I have not told you 50 times each and every day.

Your success is not just one thing, one decision, or even one person. It is a cumulative effect of things, decisions, and people over a period of decades. Remember, it only took me 25 years to become an overnight success.

Until next week……..


Another exciting week for Lake

We had Gerardo Gallegos, President of Gallegos Trailers of Durango Mexico in the office to discuss the next phase of our expansion. Lake Truck Lines is now the official Distributor of Gallegos Trailers in San Antonio, Texas.

This is important because our dependence on Gallegos Trailers for our expansion in the oilfields of the Eagle Ford Shale. We will be up to 50 trailers by the end of the year and our goal is to be at 100 trailers by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2012.

By being able to sell Gallegos Trailers we will add another revenue stream to our facility and make the company even more profitable and more competitive. This will allow Gallegos to have access to a more significant market than ever before.

The beginnings of another milestone were also discussed. The expansion of Gallegos into the oilfield equipment business is being developed, but that is a subject for another blog in the future.

What is the Eagle Ford Shale?

People ask me what the Eagle Ford Shale is and where is it located. The Eagle Ford Shale is located in South Texas and the formation produces from various depths between 4,000 and 14,000 feet. The Eagle Ford Shale takes its name from the town of Eagle Ford Texas where the shale outcrops at the surface in clay form. (Often, the Eagle Ford is mistakenly spelled as Eagleford.) The Eagle Ford is a booming shale play, results indicate there will be development activity for a long time to come. Visit the Eagle Ford Shale Drilling and Rig Count page to keep up oil & gas activity across South Texas. The Eagle Ford also benefits from high liquids yields across much of the play. Higher oil prices have helped spur development as oil, condensate and NGLs (ethane, propane, and butane) all command better prices than natural gas. From what our clients tell us there is 10-15 years of work drilling in 12,000 foot range and there have already been productive wells at over 20,000 feet