Tom Smith launched his business on a whim in 2009.
“I bought a brand-new four wheeler and wasn’t really doing much so I started plowing snow,” Smith says. “At the end of the day, I had over $800 in my pocket.” TNT Enterprises was born.
The following year, Smith secured a business license, bought a used 1984 Bobcat® 825 skid-steer loader and expanded his offerings to include finishing work, backfilling, unloading trucks, digging ditches and more.
Based in Tom’s hometown of Teslin, Yukon, TNT Enterprises mainly serves members of the Tlingit nation, a First Nations people that makes up the majority of Teslin’s population. Intent on preserving their culture, the local Heritage Centre launched an outdoor expansion project in 2016 – and hired Smith to handle the job.
That fall, Smith broke ground on the project with his new Bobcat S570 skid-steer loader and grapple attachment, constructing an outdoor amphitheater, viewing deck, gravel walking trails and wheelchair ramps. The goal of the project was to not only educate visitors about the nation’s culture but also keep the town’s youth engaged with the traditions of their ancestors.
“I’m very proud of my people, all of the people working here right now,” Smith says. “It’s national pride and pride within myself, too, knowing that I’ve done a good job. When I walk by my clan leader and he taps me on the shoulder and gives me a thumbs up, it’s a good feeling.”