Energy Producers Banquet recognizes Mortensen at SUFCO and Barney Trucking
Vernal Mortensen received the Coal Mining Lifetime Achievement award at the Southeastern Utah Energy Producers Banquet on Oct. 2 at the Carbon County Events Center. Mortensen's father was one of the founding members of the SUFCO mine in 1941 in Sevier County. Vernal began working at the mine at the young age of 9. He learned the ins and outs of the business from that time on. The family owned mine used homemade equipment. His father believed in taking care of the workforce and Vernal has carried that tradition on in his care with his workers. SUFCO is one of the most successful mines in Utah.
Vernal served in the military and then went to Utah State. He became the general manager at SUFCO. Coastal States became a partner in the business and the coal mining company started a long wall operation. Safety first is their motto. They opened the Skyline Mine and Soldier Creek. These mines blended their coal to create a more efficient product.
Vernal has also been involved with community service including the Jaycees, American Legion, hospital board, Utah Coal Mining Institute, board of trustees for SITLA and the Utah Mining Association. Vernal retired in 2006. Vernal said he appreciates the associations he has had with coal miners and the trucking industry over the years. He learned to treat people honestly and fairly from his father. He said the reason he started in the industry at such a young age was because his mother died and his father took him to the mine so he could keep track of him. SUFCO was responsible for many advances in mining machinery over the years.
Sam Quigley presented a lifetime achievement award to Glen Barney of Barney Trucking. Quigley said the Barney Trucking Company grew up alongside the SUFCO mine. "It is a true entrepreneurial endeavor. I am amazed at the number of Barney trucks scattered far and wide," said Quigley.
Glen Barney served in the armed forces. Sixty-one years ago he bought his first truck which hauled eight tons of coal. He was raised on a farm and was no stranger to hard work. He started hauling coal. He married Melva Thompson and they have been married for 61 years.
In the off-season he hauled other products. In 1976 the business grew and they built a new office and maintenance shop. The demand for coal had grown and Barney Trucking expanded. The sons were old enough to help out. His son Craig attended SUU during the week and hauled coal to Ely on the weekends. Their sons Brad and Wayne are also involved in the business. The Barney's are even in the Guiness World Book of Records for hauling the most coal safely. The Barney's have a great safety record for coal hauling and have won many safety awards through the years. The Barney's have a great commitment to their communities and have supported many community projects. They are on the cutting edge of developments for the trucking industry. Brad is responsible for maintenance. Their motto is if you are going to take the time to do something, then do it right. Lane takes care of the techology aspects of the business. Barney has 240 trucks and 400 employees.
The Barney's daughter Glenda is also involved in the business.