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Letter from the Editor
By Carter Hammett
T MAY BE AUTUMN BUT ONE LEAF THAT ISN’T FALLING BELONGS TO NISSAN.
With EV competition moving full steam ahead, Nissan has decided to get serious with a version that travels 50 percent further than its predecessor on a single charge. Sounds good right? While its range is still not as far as vehicles by Tesla or GM, the new Leaf compensates with a stylish new design, auto parking tech and a new one-pedal driving system. Available next year, the Leaf features a new 40 kWh battery, that, depending on where you are in the world will take you anywhere from 150 miles to 248 further. (Different countries have different testing processes and almost always fall about 25 per cent less than European cars). Perhaps the most unique feature about the new Leaf is its one-pedal system which the mere touch of a button transmogrifies the accelerator pad into a kind of e-pedal that can perform a range of
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motions that will create more energy efficiency. The button will enable you to have greater control as you do everything from start, stop and accelerate. Drivers will also be able to use a separate accelerator and brake pedal if they want. Another feature the new Leaf boasts is an automated parking system called ProPilot Park, which will enhance the parking experience by taking charge of the vehicle and moving it into challenging spaces. According to Nissan, the drivers can also adjust the parking spot in advance if the need is present. All this and seven point turns and parallel parking too. With the Leaf being the world’s most purchased electric car, at 283,000 units since 2010, the Leaf has been in a stiff race with
other automakers for a chance of a substantially profitable piece of the pie. The new Leaf will retail for around $30,000 US. But for an extra $5K, drivers can move their new Tesla 3 between 220-and-310 miles further. Tesla is really in a league of its own, so primary competitors to the Leaf include the BMW i3 and Volkswagen’s e-Golf. Indeed, more on the subject of electric batteries is explored in depth this issue. And we’re witnessing an interesting time in the evolution of batteries. All major automakers are jumping on board and racing towards the next big thing, but few are willing to share research info. Some ethical considerations must also be made. And then there’s the whole scenario involving plans for the next generation of batteries before the current generation even hits the road. I often wonder what we’re missing in the process? In fact, economic and environmental considerations aside, there’s always a social impact whenever new trends are introduced. I can’t help but wonder about environmentally conscious consumers trapped in precarious employment trying to support families. Will the cost of these amazing new vehicles ever reach a price point where they come down to earth and actually fall within reach of so many in economically depressed areas that they can actually be purchased? Or will the price go shooting up again when the next big thing is announced? Time will be the only judge of that. Like ‘em or hate ‘em batteries are here to stay. You will see an increase in trucks. You’ll see stories of the competition. You will see editorials expressing concern about depleting lithium stocks. You’ll see stories about increased affordability and competition. Then you’ll read stories about the next big thing. Hopefully you’ll read about all of that here. The truth is, the onslaught of battery stories are just beginning and we’ll be waiting..
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HAVE BATTERY, WILL TRAVEL: THE GLOBAL TAKEOVER OF LITHIUM ION BATTERIES I
By Carter Hammett
N THE SCANT DECADE SINCE INF ILTR ATING THE FIERCELY COMPETITIVE GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE MARKET, LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES HAVE BEEN POSITIONED AS THE “NEXT BIG THING.” SO WHAT’S EVERYONE GETTING ALL CHARGED UP ABOUT? Ever since Sony first commercialized lithium ion (li-ion) batteries back in 1991, batteries have found their way into virtually every gadget going. From solar power storage to surveillance systems; from that upgraded outboard motor to your handheld device, lithium ion batteries have made their presence felt in just about every aspect of our lives. It was only a matter of time before the automotive market came knocking and during the past decade their rise has been meteoric. Back in 2010, as the market was still trying to sort itself out, Tesla introduced a vehicle that cost $109,000, just slightly out of most people’s price range. However, the battery enabled the vehicle to travel over 200 miles on but a single charge. Perhaps there was something to this electrical madness after all… For the uninitiated, Li-ion is a product that contains energy by allowing lithium ions to motion from one side of the system to the other while releasing electricity in a tightly-controlled fashion. Electrical energy is used to push the ions back into their original position during the charging process. They have been perceived as reliable and safe sources of stored energy.
Since largely replacing traditional lead acid batteries, business and science have been making small advances by experimenting with the cathode-contained elements, notably, cobalt and nickel among others. These tiny innovations have contributed to performance increase to a level where EVs are now considered practical choices. Global manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon. Later this year, Tesla’s $35,000 - note the decrease in price - Model 3 will be introduced to consumers and the Chevy Bolt now has a 200 mile range, something approaching a price point comparable to a gas-powered car with a similar range. Furthermore, cars like the best-selling Nissan Leaf can be either charged in about 12 hours from a domestic plug or much faster through a rapid charge port. EVs are at a cross roads of sorts as manufacturers try to balance cost with range and safety. These vehicles have been slow to catch on and in places like Atlantic Canada, the pace has been positively glacial. “The impact in the Atlantic Region is hard to predict as the price of these batteries is very expensive,” says Ken Godin, regional sales manager with battery wholesaler Magnacharge. “In some cases they are 10 times the price of flooded units,” he says, referring to wet cells, which are currently the most common lead-acid battery in use. This however, is not the case in other parts of the world. There’s a race happening now that you might not be aware of and it could have a profound impact on the future of driving. Mere months ago, the world learned that electrical vehicle icon Elon Musk, founder of green vehicle behemoth Tesla, is working on the globe’s biggest battery
factory. Tesla produced 84,000 vehicles in 2016, with a goal of hitting the half million mark next year. However, China has thrown its hat into the ring with some heavy hitting commitments of its own. By 2021, China plans to produce more than 120 gigawatt hours a year. For the uninitiated, that’s enough to supply batteries for either oneand-a-half million Tesla Model S vehicles or…over 13 million Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrids for a year! Right now China controls over half the global lithium ion battery production while the US has about a ten percent share. By 2021 China’s market share is projected to climb to a whopping 65 percent, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. China’s aggressive stance recalls the approach it took with solar power over ten years ago. It virtually controlled the industry with lowered costs down by 70 percent. The same outcome might just happen with the battery sector, creating a more competitive marketplace in this category. Batteries account for up to fifty percent of total vehicle cost. Pundits are projecting lithium ion to be a key technology during the upcoming decade and creating a market worth almost $40 billion by 2025. Lithium-ion had an immeasurable impact on the consumer electronics market during the 1980s, a part of everything including your iPhone. Now the transportation sector, hungry to move past its dependency on oil, is finally moving into an industry dominated by Japan and South Korea. In recent years China has caught up and surpassed Korea as the world’s largest lithium battery supplier for all electronic devices. By 2020 China predicts over 5 million electric vehicles will be making their way across the country, n o v e m b e r 2 017
up from the current 1 million today. But the prevailing question remains: will there be enough lithium to go around? A year ago lithium prices went haywire because volume appeared to be lacking. Today with production relatively stable, supply is in line with projected demand. However, much of the projected growth is also based on a series of assumptions that a new supply can be not only produced but also integrated into current production methods over the next few years. Some pundits question whether there will simply be enough lithium to meet the demand by 2023. There’s no question the supply chain is complex and still finding its way. In the first half of this year, Tesla delivered about 47,000 vehicles, owing to a severe shortfall of battery packs. Meanwhile, Tesla has said it aims to produce 500,000 vehicles in 2018. Part of this will be achieved by opening four new factories by the end of this year. China, lacking a major player, has consolidated all of its smaller battery manufacturers as part of its strategy to help its industry to mature. Part of China’s motive for its aggressive stance on battery production is a response to international pressure to literally clean up its act as a major producer of smog pollution. But another perhaps more subtle reason, is to create a domestic market which can be expanded globally.
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That’s a sobering thought when you realize that vehicles are projected to bypass electronics as the biggest users of lithium ion batteries by the end of 2024. This is having massive repercussions at the global corporate level as key players scramble to bang out agreements in anticipation of chain deals, acquisitions and other business. “China is very aggressive in regulation and incentives towards promoting electric vehicles which is driving its battery production industry,” says Dr. Chris Burns of NS-based Novonix Battery Testing Services. “We are certainly seeing a push to a more globally based production market where manufacturing is being moved from only in China (or other parts of Asia). Governments supporting initiatives to promote the manufacturing of batteries outside of China will be critical to see this growth globally.” Donald Trump’s termination of the Trans-Pacific partnership earlier this year sent shockwaves through the sector. Chief among those affected are Japanese companies like Ube Industries and Sumitomo which are investing in serious battery production throughout Asia. Business giant Murata purchased Sony’s battery business and is currently working on a supply deal with Samsung Electronics. With the undoing of the Trans Pacific partnership, Japanese direction is currently in the air as it
had been operating under an assumption it could export product to North America. Regardless, the global market for lithium-ion batteries is expected to reach US$33.1 billion by 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 14.4 per cent over seven years, according to Research and Markets, based in Ireland. A recent Navigant Consulting report predicted worldwide revenue from “li-ion batteries for electric vehicles” will reach more than US$26.1 billion in 2023, up from less than US$6 billion in 2014. That’s pretty powerful stuff and provides an overt statement the current status lithium holds. And with global restrictions on traditional fossil fuels gradually mounting, business is seeking new and innovative ways to exploit lithium’s potential. With companies like Mississauga Ontariobased Electrovaya making multi-million dollar deals overseas, it seems that Canada has finally arrived late to the party.. The Dartmouth Connection Closer to home, another company made headlines this summer when Dartmouth-based Novonix Battery Testing services secured a half-million dollar loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The company, which counts industry giants like Dyson and 3M among its clients, secured the loan to move to a larger facility in order to expand its team and
evaluate cell lifetime and later founded Novonix to provide battery testing equipment and services to the industry with precise equipment to make these measurements of battery performance,” As lithium-ion batteries age the liquid electrolyte in the cells gradually assumes a solid form. Once that liquid is gone, the batteries are dead. Dahn has stated that by determining the fraction of liquid remaining in the battery the health and longevity of the battery can also be identified. “When I started in with Dr. Dahn in 2009, the opportunity to move into a growing field with huge relevance in society was the real interest. I wanted to see my work be applicable in today’s society and batteries was a great way to do that,” says Burns.
breadth of services. The need for powerful, long-lasting batteries will escalate and this will be mirrored by the increased requirements for renewable energy storage. Thus, testing and extending battery lifespan become a key ingredient in R and D. “Electric vehicles are not a fad and provide a way to move transportation to a sustainable form. No matter how fuel efficient ICE vehicles become, they will always burn fuel. As renewable energy generation grows and the power grid becomes ‘greener’ the environmental benefits of electric vehicles will be huge. I believe lithium-ion will be the dominate
chemistry in electric vehicles for the foreseeable future. There are of course always new battery and energy storage technologies emerging but I believe the energy density and power capabilities of lithium based chemistries will remain the dominant player in this space,” says Dr. Chris Burns, Novonix president and CEO. Burns, originally from Massachusetts, graduated with a PhD in Physics from Dalhousie while studying under Dr. Jeff Dahn. His major focus was working on studying electrolytes for extending the lifetime of lithium ion cells. “We primarily used high precision coulometry as a short-term method to
HOW GREEN WAS MY CAR . . . REALLY? But not everyone is unanimous in their praise or support of lithium ion. Last year, Devonshire Research Group concluded that Tesla’s environmental pluses may in fact be overrated, partly because each stage of an EV’s life has environmental consequences albeit in much more subtle ways. EVs don’t need gas. What they do need however, is power and if that electricity comes from coal-burning plants, than your standard EV doesn’t score many green points. If the local grid includes renewables like solar and wind the EV is fairly clean. The “however” comes from other
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types of environmental impact. For example, EVs need to be light. Lithium in batteries is both light and conductive which helps with energy minus the weight. Rare metals are also factored into various car functions, chiefly magnets, included in everything from headlights to on-board electronics. Those metals are usually extracted from environmentally invasive mining practices. And processing those metals leaves much to be desired. There’s a lot of work to extract value out of rare metals and the minute two percent that actually gets exploited means that the remaining 98 percent left behind is environmentally contaminated through the extraction process and worse, dumped back into the earth where it was originally extracted from. But it’s not just during the processing piece either. The recycling piece at a battery’s end of life has raised concerns too. A Tesla battery for example, clocks in at over half-a-ton. Few companies either specialize or have the capacity to recycle lithium batteries at the moment, and it’s simply not economically feasible to recycle the battery since the presence of rare metals is so scant, it’s hardly worth the trouble.
“Recycling lithium batteries is costly with a greater risk of explosion,” says Ken Godin. “Lithium batteries cannot be recycled at traditional recycling plants, either.”
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE Like ‘em or hate ‘em it looks like Li-ion will be around for a long time to come. Never mind that researchers are working round the clock to produce next-generation prototypes that are lighter and contain more storage capacity. Later this year, JCESR a consortium of educational bodies, business and science plan to unveil a promising lithium-sulfur model that might prove to be a more efficient answer to the current Li-ion model. But competition is fierce and despite promising developments, automotive companies aren’t so forthcoming when it comes to sharing their processes. This extends to all variables in the production line. There are concerns the demand for lithium will exceed the limitations of the supply chain. Water shortages are hindering production in Latin America and Congo exploits child labour in its cobalt mines. “The biggest barrier at this point is the cost of the cells, “ says Chris Burns. “As
adoption increases, volumes increase and technology improves, the industry should be able to drive this cost down to make electric vehicles truly affordable at the up front cost compared to ICE vehicles.” Economic benefits aside, one can only hope that as this technology evolves, we’ll have arrived at a place where ethical concerns for alternatives to fossil fuels harmonize with the desire to meet consumer demand while turning a profit. That will be a win-win for all stakeholders, including our planet.
CAR BATTERY ALTERNATIVES STARTING TO MAKE INROADS
Solid state lithium-ion Introducing a battery which uses sulfide superionic conductors. All this means a superior battery. The result is a battery that can completely charge or discharge in just seven minutes, which makes it terrific for vehicles. It’s solid state, which means it’s more stable and safer than current batteries. The solid-state unit should also be able to work in as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius and up to one hundred. Sodium-ion batteries, which use salt, also uses a standard that means it can be n o v e m b e r 2 017
placed in laptops and even work in electric cars like the Tesla Model S. The exact method of build and how it works are being kept secret but the 6.5cm battery can manage 90 watthours per kilogram, making it comparable to lithium-ion but with a 2000 cycle lifespan, which should be improved. Graphene car batteries They say Graphene batteries are the future of batteries There are rumblings that a new battery, called Grabat, can offer electric cars a driving range of up to 500 miles on a charge. Graphenano, the company behind the development, says the batteries can be charged to full in just a few minutes. It can charge and discharge 33 times faster than lithium ion. Discharge is also crucial for things like cars that want vast amounts of power in order to pull away quickly. Aluminium-air battery gives 1,100 mile drive on a charge A car has managed to drive 1,100 miles on a single battery charge. The secret to this super range is a type of battery technology called aluminium-air that uses oxygen from the air to fill its cathode. This makes it far lighter than liquid filled lithium-ion batteries to give the car a far greater range. 12
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NAPA CHASE THE ACE WINNER!
The winner of the recent NAPA “Chase the Ace” fundraiser, was Mark Bowes, owner of Mark Bowes Autopro located at 3 Marville St, Miramichi, NB E1N 6J2, Phone: (506) 773-7821. On August 3rd, Mark found the Ace of hearts and took home the prize pool of $6,544.50! NAPA Auto Parts has raised a grand total of $22,259 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of NB through this fundraiser. NAPA will be hosting another Chase the Ace fundraiser starting in October, tickets can be purchased at participating NB NAPA Stores as well as through the NAPA Heartthrobs Hockey Heroes team members. LEFT TO RIGHT, TROY WATT, OWNER OF NAPA STORES IN MIRAMICHI, DOUGLASTOWN & ROGERSVILLE, KELLY KENT OF NAPA AUTO PARTS, MARK BOWES – WINNER & OWNER OF NAPA AUTOPRO, YVONNE MOORE OF THE HEART & STROKE FOUNDATION OF NB & KEVIN GARDINER – MANAGER, NAPA DOUGLASTOWN)
East Coast Road Report
ATLANTIC ROAD REPORT BITS AND PIECES OF NEWS YOU CAN USE COLLECTED FROM AROUND THE ATLANTIC REGION
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador Partner to Improve Trans Labrador Highway The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in June announced $45.4 million to improve a section of the Trans Labrador Highway. The project consists of the widening and paving of Route 510 from Charlottetown junction to Cartwright junction. Once complete, it will improve the quality of life for local residents, encourage tourism in the region and facilitate the movement of people and goods across the province. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $23.2 million to the project with the Government of Canada contributing $22.2 million through the New Building Canada Fund. Modern and efficient roadways are crucial to encouraging and supporting
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economic activity, facilitating trade, and creating good paying, middle class jobs. The governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador are investing in well-planned infrastructure while supporting sustained economic growth and productivity for years to come. “The Trans Labrador Highway project is extremely important to Labradorians, and is vital to the economic development of the region. Our commitment to the highway and to the people of Labrador remains steadfast. A paved highway will significantly enhance transportation in the region, and will foster the success of key industry sectors such as mining, oil and gas, construction, retail trade, information and cultural industries, and tourism,” said Honourable Dwight Ball Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
Launch of electric school bus pilot program The provincial government has added two new school buses to its fleet of elec-
tric vehicles in time for the new school year. The buses, purchased by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, will transport students to and from school, which began on Tuesday, Sept. 5, as a pilot program. “Your government is committed to addressing climate change by embracing green technology,” said Treasury Board President Roger Melanson. “By adding to our fleet of electric vehicles, we are reducing emissions and decreasing our carbon footprint.” Melanson spoke on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser. One of the new buses is assigned to the Anglophone East School District while the other will be used by the Francophone South School District. Both will operate in the Moncton area. “The students who rode these buses on the first day of school will become part of New Brunswick history,” said Melanson. “Travelling on electric buses to school every day will hopefully inspire them to incorporate green-friendly initia-
East Coast Road Report
tives into their family lives, as well.” The provincial government’s climate change action plan, Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy, recognizes the government’s role in providing leadership and modelling the behaviour necessary to address the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. As part of its commitment to this plan, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is adding electric vehicles to the provincial government fleet. Eleven Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid vehicles are to be delivered early next year. In July, the government joined NB Power in launching the eCharge Network, a group of public vehicle-charging stations around the province. The government continues to work with NB Power and private partners to further develop the network.
Government Supports Sustainable Transportation in Halifax Halifax residents and students will be better connected to their community with support from the province’s sustainable transportation grant program, Connect2. Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis, on behalf of Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan, announced funding for four Connect2 projects Sept. 11. “As we move to a cleaner energy future, we all have an important part to play,” said Mr. Kousoulis. “Projects like the ones announced today improve our neighborhoods and give people more options to reduce vehicle emissions, like carsharing, walking or cycling.” Recognizing that one solution does not work for all, these projects are aimed at giving Halifax residents a variety of options to reduce their personal emissions. Dalhousie University will receive $40,000 for the green corridor multi-use path from Spring Garden Road to Morris Street and $30,000 for DalTRAC to increase awareness of transportation options and services. “DalTRAC transportation group will be generating new ideas for transportation technology and mobility options,” said Ian Nason, vice-president, Finance and Administration, Dalhousie University. “In addition, we will be creating a DalSexton green corridor for multiple transportation users that connects to broader planned city cycling routes. Transportation sensors will be used on our corridor to gauge mobility patterns.” The other two grants go to the Ecology Action Centre which will receive
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$16,750 for their Building Active Transportation Friendly Communities project, and to Car Share Atlantic which will receive $10,000 for their awareness campaign. Connect2 aims to create and promote active transportation options for trips of two kilometres or less between community hubs in rural and urban parts of the province. This year Connect2 will support about 22 projects across the province. More projects will be announced in the coming weeks, and all will be completed by the end of March 2018.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Final Trans-Canada Highway extension project phase begins Work on the final and largest phase of the Trans-Canada Highway extension project from North River to Clyde River has commenced. The Trans-Canada Highway realignment builds on the ongoing investments by the Government of Prince Edward Island in our province’s infrastructure in order to foster economic growth, provide access to resources and markets, and allow for the safe, efficient transport of people and goods. Set for completion in fall 2019, the new 7.8 kilometre stretch of highway will support the province’s growing economy, improve driver safety, stimulate the economy, and create a “main street” for the town of Cornwall. With less traffic, fewer intersections and more consistent speed limits, residents will have easier access to businesses and a safer community. “This new Trans-Canada Highway extension route will ensure safe and efficient transport of people and goods along one of the busiest stretches of our Island’s highway system,” said Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar. “It will be a safe, modern highway that will allow more commercial and residential development and improve our ability to get Island products to markets near and far.” The construction work includes: realigning the Trans-Canada Highway from North River to Clyde River (including a new bridge over the Clyde River); overpasses for Linwood, Bannockburn, and Baltic roads; a diamond interchange at the Cornwall Road; and an interchange at the connection of the existing Trans-Canada Highway in Clyde River. The safety of residents will improve by redirecting heavy truck and commuter traffic onto a limited access road away
from children, students, pedestrians and cyclists. The project will also improve access to important community facilities such as the Terry Fox Sports Centre, APM Centre, and Cornwall Industrial Park. “The restricted access along the existing Trans-Canada Highway has limited developments and forced undesirable traffic through our residential areas,” says Dean Lewis, planning and development officer for the Town of Cornwall. “The realignment project will allow the current highway to change to a main street with reduced speed limits, enhanced pedestrian safety and intersections that will allow better connectivity between the north and south portions of the town. The improvements to safety, access and commute times will nurture development growth for our town.” The province has conducted a number of information sessions since the project was announced: for businesses along the proposed highway route; for property owners in the vicinity of all routes being considered for the highway; and a second session for affected property owners after the preferred route was selected. At the request of residents, the province assessed current noise levels and modeled what future noise levels might be. It has committed to building noisedampening berms that will also increase privacy for residents. An environmental assessment was also completed which allowed the public and affected landowners the opportunity to make submissions about the highway project and its possible effects.
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Atlantic Racing News
THE ANTIGONISH MICACLE OF 2017 AT THE RACE TRACK
By Mike Kaplan
T WAS SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 AS THE TEAMS ROLLED INTO RIVERSIDE INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY IN NOVA SCOTIA. The gates opened for the second last race of Parts For Trucks Maritime Pro Stock Tour for 2017 as the stage is set under sunny skies for the Lucas Oil 150. The race fans came to see the best pro stock racers face off as the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Matt Crafton has also joined this very prestigious field. The eyes are also on a few rivals over the season. The excitement was building all day long as the Napa Sportsman final series race of the season will be the support class in this program. On the Pro Stock Tour there is one driver that the eyes will be on, Dylan Blenkhorn who had a number of feature wins under his belt this year along with very close rivals of Cole Butcher, Shawn Turple, Donald Chisolm. The track is in ideal shape for this very important event. The practice laps are underway and the times set by the pro stock event are very close with 89 Donald Chisolm showing the fastest times and 67 Dylan Blenkhorn in second and Mark Martin very close behind. There were a number of practices set leading up to race time so the crews could make final adjustments to their cars. With one practice to go everyone was on their feet and the pit crews running for an advantage point as the 67 Dylan Blenkhorn with full throttle heading into
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#1 turn as the Right lower ball joint broke in such a way and adding to the experience the challenge of the 67 and the concrete wall was on…. the car buckled under the impact as the right side gave in to the stress and the throttle stuck wide open due to the motor being shifted from its original position upon impact with the wall . . . The car bounced off the wall as it was thrown with force heading now into #2 turn . . . silence hummed over the crowd as it came to rest with smoke billowing from under the engine bonnet . . . now the smoke became thicker . . . Ross Bowness, official from the Pro Stock Tour was at the wall near a fire extinguisher which he grabbed and headed over the wall to get Dylan out of the burning car. As he approached the car the 22 year old 6ft 4” driver bailed out of the car and made his way to get the engine bonnet off...racing gloves still on he removed the hood pins with only one thing in mind, put the fire out and save the car. The fire spread under the car and headed now toward the fuel cell.. one of the strapping big crew members of another crew actually pushed the back end of the car over enough as to keep the flames from getting to the fuel cell. Yes the safety crew and fire fighting crew were there and put it out. The car paint colours were not visible but a thick layer of powder from the fire extinguishers covered the car inside and out. The tow truck hooked onto the car and made its way slowly back to the pit area. An empty feeling filled the air….in the stands race fans disappointed to see this as the talk was common...they were not going
to see this highly respected and quality driver on the track this day…. In the pits the talk was ...looks like Dylan is finished for today and might not finish the season as looks like the car was totaled. The car made its way back to the pits, and you can see what they had to deal with in this photo below. Dylan and his crew walked back to the pits with not a smile to be seen only the thoughts of how lucky Dylan was to survive such a crash and what was facing them when they got back to be reunited with the heavily damaged #67. First task was to use air hoses to blow the powder of the car and look at the damage. The right side crinkled and bent back over the rear wheel, the motor was shifted over 2-3” and of course nothing left of the ball joint and right front wheel assembly… A voice echoed from the pits...how much time have we got till race time….I heard the answer coming loud and clear... 4pm and we have 1 hour to heat race time and possibly a little more as the sportsman go first. It was like all were thinking the same thing which came as an echo… “Guys we can pull something out of the hat and make it out on the track at least for the main feature” It was all agreed to and as a number of other crew members standing around all said they would help . A miracle was to unfold...tonight it will happen. Keeping in mind there was another important factor ...they had not started the engine yet and never even knew what damage the fire had done or would it start at all. Help from many such as Kent Vincent,
Rollie MacDonald, George Koszkulics, Donald Chisolm, Chad Henderson, Bubba, and many others pitched in as all eyes were on Blenkhorns pit. Still there was a lot of doubt of those in the pits. Innovation such as a ratchet strap to straighten out the side was used, then the ratchet strap to pull the engine back into position with no time for getting gauges for measurement and alignment of the parts. The call came for the first heat race. There was another important player in this challenge came to the scene, one no one expected or contacted as the time was up until all felt something in the form of water hitting their arms and looking up saw a large dark rain cloud encompassed the area and as the tent went over where they were repairing the car, the track got a soaking. This gave the team another hour that was not antisipated to work that miracle. It was time for the pro stock heat races. The 67 was called to the line...you could feel the beating of everyoneâ€™s hearts when the 67 came to the line. Around the track the car went under the control of Dylan Blenkhorn but not pushing it. Now the thoughts were different yet they did not count on them really racing. It was time for the feature race and yes they were there. They were not just there but became very competitive to the point they RACED and finished 10 in the Lucas Oil 150. Dylan, when chatting to him later said it was his safety gear that saved him in the crash, the team work of a dedicated team that pulled together to make things happen and without the help of the other crews it would not have happened. The pulling together of the teams to help a fellow racer that could not have done it without the positive feelings and determination to provide the fans what they came to see along with their sponsors. I have been involved in racing for many years in the announcing of such racing and have never seen two winners circles at once at the finish of the race. Donald Chislom of Antigonish won the race in the #89 and yes the winners circle was there in front of a big crowdâ€Ś. the second winners circle was in the pits around the 67 of Dylan Blenkhorn as they pulled of that miracle that all were hoping for, and got on that September 9th night. Congratulations to the Maritime Pro Stock Tour Teams. YOU did it as one big team which proves that the night of September 9, 2017 will be remembered as the time the Maritime Pro Stock Tour racing teams became one. n o v e m b e r 2 017
THE IDLE-FREE ELEARNING SOLUTION COMING TO A DEVICE NEAR YOU By Ron Zima ADpPR
An explosion in fleet data is converging with an ‘eLearning’ revolution which could enable fleets across North America to look like ‘green leaders’ while collectively saving Billions of dollars in fuel over the next few years. Methods and means to conserve that fuel is what we refer to as ‘The IDLE-FREE Savings Market’. First, the explosion in fleet data. Thanks to a U.S. law that goes into effect this December, ‘the ELD rule’ has corporate fleets across the U.S. and Canada scrambling to install ‘electronic logging devices’ to track drivers hours of service, along with other metrics such as ‘IDLETime.’ What the flood of data will further reveal are big numbers on ‘non-operational IDLE-Time’; public and private fleets burning money from their operations as driv-
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ers run the engines when parked, for no operational benefit. Fleet data has shown for years that IDLE-Time is often the biggest cost-avoidance metric. The practice is also usually at odds with the municipality’s anti-IDLING bylaw or fleet policy. It’s also at odds with modern engine specs in almost any vehicle, which manufacturers say should be idled as little as possible. Fleet managers and chief financial officers who’ve already had access to ELD data are often shocked by the driver behaviour driving up fuel bills: “we’re spending what on IDLE-Time??” It’s not unusual for bigger corporate fleets to find they are spending Millions of dollars annually on the behaviour. A growing number are perplexed at how to stem the red ink. For years, many fleet managers have been aware of excessive IDLE-Time by observing driver habits in
the field as well as the wear and tear on display in the shop from all those added non-productive engine hours. Fleet data can now precisely measure how big their IDLE-Time savings opportunity is and form the basis of a plan to manage it. The nut of the problem for fleet organizations has been; “how do we actually change driver behaviour on IDLE-Time long term? Better yet, how do we get any new learning initiative in front of drivers..? Getting our entire driver team together is virtually impossible these days and cost prohibitive.” Which leads us to the educational innovation that’s poised to put a solution to the IDLE-Time problem literally in the hands of managers and drivers. Webbased learning or ‘eLearning’ is taking corporate America by storm: the U.S. eLearning market was valued at over 27 Bil-
lion USD at the end of 2016. Ease of access to interactive learning content on mobile devices is helping drive fleet education from the classroom to the web. The upshot; it will allow a fleet manager with 1,000 drivers across a large geographic footprint to deploy a learning program directly into the hands of drivers, who can log in and learn at their own pace on any web enabled device. The global eLearning market is currently estimated to be over 165 Billion USD and is likely to pass 240 BilAL MACPHEE, HONORARY CHAIR, IDLE-FREE FOR OUR KIDS™ AND PORTLAND STREET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS
lion USD by 2023, according to a forecast report by Docebo. Which is why GoGreen Communications, a leader in IDLE-Time behavioural change, branding and PR is now developing its award-winning IDLE-FREE for our kids™ training content for learning management systems (LMS) in the eLearning market. LMS providers such as Vancouverbased www.Thinkific.com have made it much easier for subject matter experts like GoGreen to structure and share its IDLEFREE educational content one-to-many for fleet operators and drivers across the U.S. and Canada. This target audience comprises The IDLE-FREE Savings Market. As drivers drop their IDLE-Time, the results can be cross-referenced with fleet ELD data showing a reduction in engine hours and fuel costs. In the Canadian market, reducing fuel costs can also mean reducing carbon tax. Fleets will naturally then want to promote their emissions savings leadership to the marketplace and big customers like Walmart who are demanding best practices on reducing carbon throughout their supply chain. IDLE-FREE for our kids™ will be the first of its kind eLearning program: ecodriver training focused on IDLE-Time with interactive, emotional engagement and the proven formula of messages from school kids and car guys. It’s forecast for release in early 2018. The program leverages the expertise and credibility of actual auto experts, debunking the IDLE-Myths which are often the cause of IDLE-Time fuel loss at home and at work. School kids are frequent, inspirational stars of the online program, with video and images from IDLE-FREE for our kids™ long history of community engagement, which began at an elementary school in 2006. The program documents where and how to save IDLE-Time travelling inside the ‘IDLE-FREE Pace Car’. Those savings n o v e m b e r 2 017
over the course of several years by just one driver can be astounding. For me personally, I document how I saved over $4,000 since kicking my IDLE-Time habit in 2004. 90 per cent of my IDLE-Time had virtually zero benefit. I’ve saved an average of $330 and 130 engine hours annually, by making one simple adjustment in my driving behaviour. According to auto experts, less engine RON ZIMA, IDLE-FREE GUY™ AND MACPHEE FORD GENERAL MANAGER ANDREW MACPHEE DISCUSSING THE IDLE-MYTHS
hours can enhance the life of the vehicle and its resale value. By the way, $4,000 is a conservative estimate. Elements of the program were filmed at MacPhee Ford, a leading Ford dealership in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, led by Al MacPhee. MacPhee is honourary Chair of IDLE-FREE for our kids™ public campaign through GoGreen’s non-profit affiliate The Children’s Clean Air Network. MacPhee is also past Chair of The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (2012), effectively, the role of leading car executive in Canada. As MacPhee likes to say, “today’s vehicles are engineered to be driven as much as possible and IDLED as little as possible.” MacPhee became a passionate supporter of IDLE-FREE for our kids™ when he discovered what his grandkids were learning in school about climate change, and the enormous impact educating drivers could have on reducing emissions and improving air quality. Our schools are often idling hot zones, home to an North American asthma epidemic with traffic outside unwittingly cloaking the building in idling exhaust which can be vented inside triggering asthma. What GoGreen has proven with its classroom training is that when kids ask drivers to go IDLE-FREE, a majority of drivers enthusiastically comply. They transform their beliefs and behaviour behind the wheel at home and at work. The IDLE-FREE for our kids™ eLearning formula will soon be available on a web device near you. To test drive the curriculum, visit Facebook: IDLE.FREE.for.our. kids Zima is CEO of GoGreen Communications Inc. - leaders in behavioural change, branding and PR for fleets, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Web: IDLEFREEGuy.com Instagram: @IDLEFREEGuy Twitter: @IDLEFREEGuy 22
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NB’S TRUCKING INDUSTRY CANNOT SUSTAIN WORKSAFE NB’S 2018 ASSESSMENT RATE INCREASE
IEPPE, NB – WORKSAFENB’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS HELD ANOTHER STAKEHOLDER MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 20TH, AT THE FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON IN MONCTON, NB.
owner-operators and associated trades), we are an effective lobby and advocacy
organization dedicated to the continued growth and strength of our industry.
Yet again, more bad news was shared with attendees: an expected 32% to 51% increase in rates. The Board of Directors offered very little information on how they will be able to manage and control these rate increases. The government will need to step in and make some legislative changes because the Government of New Brunswick gives the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Tribunal all the power to make any changes. Essentially, the Board can propose changes, but that’s it. Jean-Marc Picard, Executive Director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association says, “For our members, the rate hike obviously represents an immense increase in costs that we can’t continue to absorb. Along with Fuel increases, carbon pricing and higher than ever equipment costs, we are barely keeping our heads above water”. Businesses don’t know where to turn because neither the Government nor the board of WorksafeNB is offering solutions to resolve the issue. This is a hard blow to all businesses in New Brunswick, with no end in sight of when the bleeding will stop. Picard adds “some of our members have excellent safety records and world class safety programs for their employees but their rates are increasing. The system is failing us and it needs to be fixed ASAP. We pay and trust the Government and WorksafeNB to provide and manage a fair and well-balanced system for employees and employers of NB and right now that is not happening.” The APTA is the trusted and effective voice of the road transport industry in Atlantic Canada. With more than 320 members (commercial carriers, brokers, n o v e m b e r 2 017
Around the Atlantic
NEW OWNERSHIP AND MEMBERS OF THE NAPA FAMILY IN PERTH-ANDOVER, NEW BRUNSWICK
By Andrew Skaling
OU CAN’T BEAT THE LOCATION OF RIVER VALLEY AUTO PARTS. PERCHED IN THE SCENIC NORTHWESTERN NEW BRUNSWICK COMMUNITY OF PERTHANDOVER, THIS NAPA ASSOCIATE STORE HAS A SERIOUS VIEW.
They’re right on the mighty St John river and nestled in the picture perfect valley that makes up the small community, geographically divided by the river, of Perth on one side and Andover on the other. River Valley Auto parts is on the corner where the old two lane bridge joins the two. Well known local businessman Marty Price bought the NAPA store, located in the town’s only mini-mall which Marty also owns, back in the winter of this year. Since then, business has grown and he’s brought in some experienced local auto
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parts staff including store manager Tony Murchison. Tony, a born and raised Perth Andover boy, has been in the local auto parts business for over thirty years and knows their wider service area, Victoria County, and the local market and customers like the back of his hand. On September 9th they held their Grand Re-Opening with a well attended barbecue, riverside of course, that brought out lots of gearheads, locals, friends and family. Prizes were handed out and, with typical Maritime humour, it was pointed out that two big celebrities showed up: “Mr. Hotdog and Mr. Hamburger!” The staff of three, including Tony, not only keep the place running and hopping as a NAPA store but they also operate as a dealer of ATV’s, outdoor yard equipment and various automotive accessories like truck tonneaus and car covers, for which they provide full parts and servicing too. Rural New Brunswickers are known for their love of cars, trucks and anything mechanical, new or old, so despite the small
and spread out population, River Valley has a solid and enthusiastic customer base. Although the River Valley team only has six or seven months under their belt as a NAPA Associate, they’re thrilled with the already growing business, the local response and the tremendous support and resources provided by NAPA Atlantic in both the transition and day-to-day operations. As Tony articulated, everything is so efficient with NAPA, from their delivery and shipment network to the inventory management system that they’ve been very happy to have joined the vast but tight Atlantic NAPA family. Just off the Trans Canada highway and “down the hill to the bridge” is where one can find Tony and the guys. Their business hours are 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM and they can be reached by phone at 506-273-2296. River Valley Auto Parts also keeps an active and up-to-date Facebook page where all their news, occasional antics and business promotions can be found.
AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL ATLANTIC NAPA STORE!
PUTTING TRUCKERS FIRST: THE OPERATORS SHORTAGE AND NEW BRANDING FOR AN OLD INDUSTRY By Jon Barry
HE FREIGHT INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO BE A GREAT CONTRIBUTOR TO THE CANADIAN ECONOMY. ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY BY THE CANADIAN TRUCKING ALLIANCE (CTA), THE CANADIAN FREIGHT INDUSTRY WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR 19 BILLION DOLLARS IN GDP IN 2014. In fact, the freight industry was larger than both the air and rail transport industry combined. In many ways, the freight industry is one of the largest drivers of the Canadian economy. This is true on both the national and
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provincial level. New Brunswick’s Transportation and Infrastructure Minister, Bill Fraser summed up the connections in a press release: “The trucking industry contributes to a seamless, multimodal transportation network and plays an important role in the New Brunswick economy” But the relationship also works the other way with the successes or failures of the freight industry potentially having an impact on the wider economy and GDP. The industry is expected to increase to $24.1 billion in 2024 with an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent. But this increased demand for shipped goods could run into a fundamental law of economics: demand = supply. While demand for freight services is expected to increase, the CTA report was commissioned to focus on the upcoming lack of supply of freight operators that some feel could drastically impact the future of the industry. There were already an estimated 13,000 job vacancies in the Canadian
freight industry according to 2015 Statistics Canada Job Vacancy and Wage Survey. This represents 3.3 percent of all job vacancies in Canada. The CTA study reports that these vacancies will only increase over the next decade with an expected gap of 34,000 by 2024. The CTA even predicts that 48,000 vacancies are a possibility depending on industry demand, occupational attractiveness and labour productivity. In many ways one of the largest factors contributing to the shortage is the freight industry’s own growth success. As the shipping industry has increased in productivity over the years, this has made access to their services cheaper in a positive feedback loop. But this increased demand for products delivered with freight services is still running into the lack of supply of freight operators. This is potentially not only a problem for freight operators, but also the Canadian economy as a whole. Many fear that without an ad-
equate supply of new freight operators to meet the increased demand, that feedback loop could reverse and become a negative loop and impact the economy. While the impending driver shortage is a problem for the entire country, different provinces will have different experiences with the driver shortage. The largest concentration of truck drivers is located in Ontario and Quebec, the areas that are most heavily populated. While those provinces will have more demand for workers, they will also have more supply. Western provinces are also skewing younger in their economies, with their labour pools expected to grow at a faster rate. This is not true in the Atlantic provinces where the labour force is aging at a faster pace and in danger of stagnation. For many freight companies, recruiting new employees and retaining veterans is already their biggest concern. According to US-based RightHire’s 2016 Transportation Report, finding, developing and retaining new talent are the top business challenges facing 59 percent of all freight companies. Many issues that prevent new workers from entering the industry are the same issues that freight veterans say contributes to them leaving a position. They dislike the long hours away from home and the pay they receive for the long hours worked. They dislike using old and outdated rigs that cause more problems for the driver. They feel that their work
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and accomplishments are not appreciated or met with recognition. Shelley Uvanile-Hesch of Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada expressed similar beliefs: “If carriers worked a bit more on driver retention, they wouldn’t have the driver shortage they have now. I know lots of drivers that are tired of it, they have hung up their keys.” When asked what were the ultimate factors that made them give up the driver seat she responded: “The lack of respect. The lack of pay. And the home time.” Righthire argues that increasing pay and upgrading equipment will go a long way toward retaining old employees while also attracting new ones. They also argue that recognition or rewards program and performance-based bonuses would give operators a larger sense of their accomplishments within the industry. Even driver appreciation events can go a long way towards increasing retention and building a sense of community, purpose, and future in an old-school industry. RightHire argues that “it is all about delivering a positive, driver centric environment.” One of the greatest causes for the supply gap of freight operators is the industry’s aging and retiring population. While the labour force is aging in every industry, it is moving at a much faster pace in the freight industry. According to the CTA report, the average age of freight operators increased from 44.1 years old in 2006 to
46.2 years old in 2011. During this same time period, the average age for all occupations was nearly three years younger. This problem is even worse in the maritime provinces. Trucking HR Canada commissioned a report to explore the barriers that are preventing youth from entering the market and to develop better methods of attracting the next generation of drivers to the industry. They found that as a whole, the millennial generation are “less passionate about cars and driving than previous generations.” A substantial number of millennials do not even have their driver’s license and those that do have far less experience on the road than previous generations of drivers. Trucking HR Canada points to the declining connection between driving and identity as one factor that contributes to this development. Millennials no longer view driving as a form of self-expression and skill like their forbearers did. The old traditional branding of the trucking industry will have to be overhauled to better attract young operators and construct a new narrative around an old industry. Trucking HR reports that today’s youth are viewed as more tech savvy and comfortable using technology and social media. But according to RightHire, only 29 percent of organizations use social networks. They are accustomed to immediate feedback, which is not always avail-
able on the long roads alone in a decentralized system. They are more willing to blend work and personal time but want a healthy balance. They are focused on environmental issues and more accustomed to working in a diverse society. Millennials are largely looking for job security with good pay with future advancement and learning opportunities. They also expect their bosses to be good technical managers, good mentors, and to provide
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a personal connection. They want something they can be good at and that they have a passion for. What the millennials see as less appealing about the industry is the same as the veterans. One of the largest barriers for youth into the industry is their sense of insufficient training to operate such dangerous machines. They also claim to desire a sense of autonomy on the road, but also value immediate feedback and a
sense of guidance from those more experienced in the industry. The ability of freight companies and educational institutions to provide a mentor program will greatly decrease the fears around insufficient training while increasing feedback and positive reinforcement of the work being done. There are still significant barriers to entry for new drivers entering the industry. The cost alone to receive certification in some provinces is a significant barrier. Some new drivers, even after having cleared the financial speed bumps could have difficulty qualifying for affordable insurance policies under a carrier’s plan. But even after that, there is still a struggle to start out in the industry. I spoke to Ian, who has built a career for nearly a decade as a young operator in various aspects of the transportation industry. Ian graduated into the recession from college in Toronto where he was studying pre-service fire firefighting, which is where he got his DZ license. “I started applying for driving jobs…Everyone wanted experience and no one would touch me without any, so I started off at the bottom….It did not pay at all.”While Ian received his DZ as part of his college program, he agreed that new drivers are right to be wary of how much training is provided by some organizations: “For people that have absolutely no training… they teach you the bare essentials to pass the Ministry test.” Over the years he worked for a paper shredding company, moved to residential garbage, then worked for two years hauling fuel. But it certainly wasn’t always a smooth ride: “I did get into a fuel company for AZ… and they lied to me to get me into the door about the way their pay scheme worked. And they made it seem like they paid a lot of money. I got in there, started training and spoke to other drivers and realized what was actually happening. And I got the hell out of there after four days. Their payscale was 10 years old. The companies that do sort of pay well, you have to kill yourself with hours.” Ian had the same issues with long hauls that industry veterans drivers have. He also expressed how it really may not be for many people of the next generation: “When I first got my license, I tried doing cross border with a DZ delivery truck… It’s lonely. It’s hard to find places to park the truck to sleep…It’s hard to eat healthy on the road. It’s a lifestyle I wasn’t willing to get into.” He also expressed how the sense of fulfilment, respect and recognition of accomplishments that both seasoned drivers and new ones craved is
lacking: “A lot of the younger generation is far too social to get into such an antisocial job. I felt that in the last company I was in…I was responsible for dealing with a lot of money of products a lot of . . . environmental responsibility, loads, everything. Really at the end of it I was just a piece of meat in the seat.” While Ian built up an eight-year transportation resume, he no longer works in the shipping industry. He is still doing transportation, but as a bus driver for over a year and counting with a major public transportation company, a job he described as the “crème-de-la-crème.” Many of these concerns expressed by Ian and reported by Trucking HR Canada are also repeated by educators and career coaches; vital first points of contact for the industry to attract young drivers. Many freight companies and organizations are attempting to partner with educators and career counselors to better market their industry to the next generation of workers. One of the other successes noted by Trucking HR Canada that can help to attract youth and new drivers to the industry is the establishment of mentor programs that can help alleviate some of the uncertainty about the industry. Insufficient training was consistently noted as an issue by new hires, and many freight companies are focusing on expanding their training process. RightHire found that the 90 percent of drivers will decide to stay at a company within the first six months. It is no surprise that, with experiences like Ian’s, freight companies are trying to improve the new hire experience from initial screenings to onboarding to increase retention. But youth are only one of the new demographics that are being explored to attract new drivers to the industry. Military veterans are also a potential market, and even temporary foreign workers if the problem gets bad enough. But one of the largest unexplored demographics is women. While in the rest of the economy women make up 48 percent of the workforce, in the freight industry, women make up only three percent according to Trucking HR Canada, who have set up their own Women With Drive Project. Shelley Uvanile-Hesch of The Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada explained how WTFC “is about promoting and encouraging women into the work force.” Shelley got into the industry through her family in the business: “I grew up as the daughter of a truck driver.” “I’ve driven just about everything involved in the transportation industry, except for a motorcycle.” Now she enjoys driving her big truck, Ms Destiny Star. “She’s a 5700
Western StarXE” “Baby Optimus Prime is what some call her”. She has also created a mentor program to support women in every aspect of the industry whether its “in the office, under the hood, or behind the wheel.” When asked why she believes more women are not drivers in the industry, she responded: “For some, I think it’s because they are scared of the size of the vehicle” But once she could get women into the actual driver seat, they began to
have a different opinion: “I had a few of the women say they were quite shocked when they actually got up and sat behind the wheel as to how much they could actually see. It started to lessen some of the intimidation.” “We need to start promoting the industry more. In high school. In open career fairs [for] the public. Try to encourage them to come out. Get up behind the wheel. See what I see. And maybe [they] won’t be so intimidated by
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the size of my vehicle.” “We are also hoping to change our public image. Create more media awareness about the positive sides of the trucking industry. There is just too much negativity surrounding our industry.” In many ways the trucking industry is already primed for a rebranding. As the age old industry continues to modernize, organizations can use new technological and environmental implementations as branding and marketing material to attract new and old drivers. They can sell the new technology in the vehicles and ecoawareness measures to the youth to fulfil their needs for a more integrated and connected industry that is conscious of its impact on the environment. They can create a more connected environment that provides feedback and recognition while increasing a sense of community. Companies need to highlight the positive aspect of their industry that youth and veterans find appealing. They also need to further highlight the importance of the industry to give drivers a sense of purpose. Once more as RightHire argues: “it is all about delivering a positive, driver- centric environment.”
ATLANTIC SPOTLIGHT An Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table report on drivers working in Saint John and Halifax found that the drivers interviewed in Atlantic Canada are significantly older than their Canadian counterparts. In the rest of Canada, 47% of drivers are over the age of 44. This compares with 68% of the professional drivers that are over 44 in the Atlantic ports. Almost half of the drivers that were interviewed at the Port of Halifax were 55 years of age or older. This is why one of the greatest concern for freight companies to fill the supply gap will be how to attract youth to the industry. This shortage has become such a growing concern for the Atlantic regions that the provincial government, freight companies, and trucking associations are trying to get ahead of the curve. Last September, The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) announced it had partnered with the New Brunswick government to establish $200,000 funded Labour Force Adjustment Committee to investigate ways to address the labour shortage. 32
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HIGH-TECH AUTO RECYCLING LEADERS IN THE GREEN ECONOMY
By Andrew Skaling
NDREW MACDONALD, OWNE R OF MARITIME AUTO PARTS IN GLENHOLME, NOVA SCOTIA, IS A PASSIONATE VOICE FOR AND LEADER IN THE AUTOMOTIVE RECYCLING INDUSTRY.
His business, which employs 23 people at three Nova Scotia locations, is one of a few dozen recycling operations in the Maritimes that operates to high standards of environmental responsibility and stewardship. All are members of the Auto Recycling Association of Atlantic Canada and as such conform to extremely high environmental standards and practices in all facets of how they process vehicles for recycling and/or reuse. Recycling, reusing and/or repurposing used auto parts is nothing new. Doing it in an environmentally sensitive and hightech era and in a demanding competitive global economy is. As Andrew points out “When we’re bidding at auctions for inventory vehicles we’re not just competing with other local or regional operations anymore but increasingly buyers from around the world. Many of these buyers are in countries with little to no environmental recycling standards so beyond the added buying competition we are concerned about the global green impact.” Added to that are the demands of a modern customer base that requires instant service and high quality and the parts recycling business begins to resemble a localized auto Amazon.com in management, operation and high tech solutions. To keep up with the pace of modern time and delivery standards, Maritime Auto Parts uses an ever more updated and advanced computer system to manage inventory and to maintain up-to-date data on the available vehicle market aka their parts supply. As Andrew explained, on an average one of his vehicle buys he’s looking at twenty core component parts that trend as being in demand at any given time – data he’s able to track through
their computer system. Those core parts are the value proposition for him in a car. The operation will inventory, on average, 75 parts per car but those baseline 20 parts are the business case. Reputations are built on quality and customer service and after over 80 years in business, in one form or another, the latest proprietor is focussed on maintaining that edge and building on the storied history. With expectation of “right now” service in all sectors the auto recycling biz is no different. They field three to four hundred calls a day and not only is time of the essence in terms of delivery so too is quality. Andrew has three quality control staff that verify that each part going out the door is in exactly the condition it’s been inventoried and advertised on their website. Beyond the clear environmental benefits of recycling/reusing parts Andrew made a good point. “If your Subaru ends up in a body shop and needs this or that part, if we’re supplying it it’s an original Subaru part, not an aftermarket one. Important to remember that we’re maximizing, to the best we can, what came out of the, in this example, Subaru factory.” Interestingly, in the ever evolving and progressing world of automotive recycling there is an emerging market in the sale of historically low demand parts to companies that remanufacture them. Everything from key fobs to radiators. Maritime Auto keeps a series of bins where they separate these items out and sell and ship them off to these firms all over North America. Always with an eye on the future and where the industry is headed, the secondgeneration Macdonald owner of Maritime Auto Parts sees plenty of challenges and opportunities moving forward. The Waterloo Mechanical Engineering Alumnus chose to take-over and modernize this business after a few years working for some of the big automakers in Ontario and with his and the wider industries continued dedication to the environmental cause, the auto recyclers really are the “Green Leaders” of the automotive business chain.
Around the Atlantic
40 YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG MCNEILL’S SHELL TECHNICIAN CARL BARR HAS SEEN MANY CHANGES IN INDUSTRY; SAYS HE HAS MORE YEARS IN HIM IF HIS HEALTH HOLDS UP By Pat Healey
LMSDALE: FORTY YEARS A F TE R G E TTING HIS START IN THE AUTO MECHANIC INDUSTRY, CARL BARR IS STILL GOING STRONG. BARR GOT HIS START AT MCNEILL’S SHELL, LOCATED ON HIGHWAY 2 IN ELMSDALE, NOVA SCOTIA INNOCENTLY ENOUGH. “I started for Don at the airport pumping gas and washing cars,” recalled Barr, taking a break from undercoating vehicles at the busy shop. “A fella broke down and came in asking for help. I went to work fixing his vehicle. “I grew up on a farm so I was always use to fixing things, so it just came naturally to me.” After fixing the car, Don put Carl in the automotive mechanic program. “I went in that and ran the tow truck for him,” he said. “I’ve been working here ever since.” Don’s son Roy and wife Beth now operate the business which still bears the McNeill’s name, along the busy stretch of road that connects Enfield to Elmsdale. It has become a centerpiece so to speak of the East Hants community. Barr has seen many changes to vehicles he and his fellow co-workers see on a daily basis in the shop in the 40 years since he got started. “The biggest change is there’s so much more electrical in cars now then there were years ago,” he explained. “Years ago you might have had 20 wires under an engine bottom of car, now you have like 10,000 wires under the engine bottom of a car. “Everything is a lot more computerized nowadays then when I started. When I started point condensers on carburetors were very simple.” During the late summer season, Barr’s job is to focus on those customers coming in to get their vehicles undercoated. Other 34
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times of the years, he works on brakes; front end alignments; and such. He said with the continuous technological advancements, it means workers like him have to keep training so they can stay on top of things. “We have to keep on it,” said Barr. “More so nowadays, a mechanic almost has to specialize in one part or another, because it’s hard to keep on top of everything.” So what has kept Barr doing his job for the four decades he has? “I enjoy my job,” said Barr. “I enjoy working. I enjoy meeting people. I enjoy when they break down and getting their car mobile and getting them back on the road.” McNeill’s flew Barr and his wife to the Northwest Territories as part of his gift from them to him for his dedicated service and employment at the shop. They travelled there so they could see their niece get married. They flew into Hay River, and stayed four days. He also flew to Calgary where he stayed with a friend he had not seen for 25 years. “That means a lot to me,” he said. “That shows they appreciate me, they stand behind me.” A year ago, Barr was sick and in the hospital. Roy and Beth were in to visit him every day. “They called, they came to the hospital to see me,” said Barr. “They treat me just like I’m part of their family.” Barr said he’s trying to help the other employees with his knowledge when they get older vehicles coming in to get repaired. Did he ever imagine he’d still be going to work as a mechanic 40
years after getting started? “When I started with Don I said ‘Okay, it’s a job and I’ll do it and something else will turn up,’” said Barr. “As the years went on, I felt like it was my business so I just kept working. “We became one team and we just kept going at it.” How many more years does he have left? Barr has no plan to hang up his McNeill’s coveralls anytime soon. “As long as my body will hang out, I’m going to work at least another five, 10 years,” he said. “If I’m still healthy and able to get around, I plan to still work.” And for that the many customers he has helped and his employers Roy and Beth will be very appreciative. Congratulations Carl on your 40th year of working at McNeill’s Shell!!!
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STEERING TOWARDS SKILLED OCCUPATION STATUS
By Kenneth E. Seaton
ID YOU KNOW THAT IN THE CA N A D I A N TRUCKING ALLIANCE’S (CTA) 2014 CANADA TRANSPORTATION ACT REVIEW¹ THE CTA WROTE THAT OVER 90% OF ALL CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND FOODSTUFFS ARE SHIPPED BY TRUCK IN CANADA? Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the for-hire trucking industry is valued at $17 billion, but its impact on our economy is estimated at $65-billion overall, based on benefits to the economy through sales, jobs and taxes generated by firms and sole proprietors operating in the trucking sector. It’s plainly obvious that, when the trucking industry rolls along smoothly, so does the economy. Similarly, what would happen to the Canadian economy when the trucking industry hits a speedbump? By now, most people are aware of the predicted truck driver shortage – of anywhere between 34,000 to 48,000 drivers – that’s forecast for 2024. At first glance the projected numbers may seem daunting – but once the figures are allowed to sink in – they are merely alarming. So much so, that many trucking industry experts and non-experts alike
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are weighing in with varying suggestions, fixes and potential solutions as they try to address the anticipated driver shortage.
RECOGNIZING THAT HAVING ‘SKILLED TRADE’ STATUS IS A GOOD THING One of the soundest proposed suggestions would be to have the government recognize truck driving as a ‘skilled trade’. Official designation status would allow the trucking industry considerably more wiggle room in its effort towards making drivers’ wages, benefits & lives, noticeably better. It would also be seen as a very progressive step towards promoting driver immigration. A change in status would be viewed internationally, as a very positive move. It would also make it more appealing and less complicated for employment consultants and global fleet owners to recruit and hire foreign drivers. Case in point, Vijay Gill – principal research associate with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – stated in a 2013 interview with Business in Vancouver that he believed that one of the reasons for the looming driver shortage is that truck driving is not recognized as a ‘skilled trade’. “If the occupation was recognized as a skilled trade, it would have implications for the supply of drivers,” he said, citing the example of someone who is trying to enter the country as a skilled immigrant and they are trained as a driver, it doesn’t help them get in. Adding that, “It’s not only an immigration issue because if
it’s recognized as a skilled trade, it would likely enhance the image of the industry and the occupation domestically as well.” The Statistics Canada website lists the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 201 as it pertains to truck drivers as: 7511 - Transport truck drivers - Transport truck drivers operate heavy trucks to transport goods and materials over urban, interurban, provincial and international routes. They are employed by transportation, manufacturing, distribution and moving companies, and trucking employment service agencies, or they may be self-employed. This unit group also includes drivers of special purpose trucks and shunters who move trailers to and from loading docks within trucking yards or lots. So, with form NOC 201 in hand there are many individuals out there who still believe that just anyone can drive a truck or big rig and that the position does not merit ‘skilled trade’ status. In fact, Trucking HR Canada noted on its website that Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) code – which groups more than 40,000 occupations into one of four skill levels – only lists drivers as “low skilled”.
SUPPORT NEEDED TO GALVANIZE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INTO MAKING A MOVE It most likely will take considerable combined pressure from immigration consultants, the trucking industry and many other interested supporters, in persuad-
ing the federal government that it should reconsider its position on the contentious trucking ‘skilled trade’ status issue. Contributing to that support, the BC Trucking Association divulged on its website that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce² had approved a policy to support a change to the National Occupational Classification for truck drivers from unskilled to skilled, as well as the development of a national minimum training standard, completion of a training program prior to licensing, and mandatory, ongoing training/re-certification throughout a truck driver’s career. In a 2013 report, Understanding the Truck Driver Supply and Demand Gap³ Vijay Gill noted that, “That there is also an important role for government to play in developing policies and regulatory frameworks in order to establish national occupational, training, and licensing standards that recognize truck driving as a skilled occupation.” The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) – who financially supported the research – wrote in the report that, “Having the occupation recognized as a skilled trade would increase the potential to access im-
migrant labour. To accomplish this, the CTA is recommending that governments mandate a minimum level of entry-level training, ongoing professional development, and enhanced licensing standards. This will also help to improve the image of both the industry and the occupation, which could make it more desirable for younger workers in particular.” Jean Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) thinks that commercial truck drivers should have the designation of a ‘skilled trade’ and the sooner the better. He states that, “This country is dependent on commercial trucking for the transportation of all goods and keeping the economy moving and our most important position is the truck driver.” “The training and responsibilities involved to become a driver are not only important but continuous and their responsibilities are becoming more and more complex.” Picard maintains that, “This would bring structure to our training across the country and consistency as well.” In May of this year the Canadian government responded to a number of reports, submissions and petitions that it
had received. Basically its reaction was that they – the government – weren’t going to give the matter of recognizing truck driving as a ‘skilled trade’ any further consideration. The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour released a Response to Petition 4 statement, stating in part that “Trucking is mainly under provincial and territorial jurisdiction. Each Canadian province has jurisdiction to regulate motor vehicle transportation within its own borders. Driver licensing and training is a provincial/territorial responsibility.”
MANDATORY ENTRY-LEVEL TRAINING OR MELT As early as 2006 the trucking industry was recognized as a skilled trade by the Government of Ontario. At that time the government created the trucking industry’s first apprenticeship program, naming it the Voluntary Apprenticeship Program for Professional Drivers in Ontario. The completely voluntary program comprised of 12 weeks of training with a mentor, followed by up to 40 weeks of on-the-job work training.
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Currently in Ontario, as of July the 1st, any new applicants who wanted to get a complete commercial Class A licence – the class needed to drive trucks with air brakes and vehicles over 4,600 kilograms – must successfully complete an Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) mandatory training course. Only upon completion of the course, will applicants be able to attempt a road test. Those drivers who already hold a valid Class A licence or any drivers who took the road test before July 1, 2017 are not required to take the course. Any new drivers wanting to take the Ministry of Transportation’s Driver Certification Program will have to enroll with an MTO recognized service provider or a registered private career college. In November 2016, the province of Manitoba allied itself with the British Columbia Trucking Association (BCTA) and trucking associations in Albertan and Saskatchewan, as it joined the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA). The four western provinces were now committed to strengthening and expanding Canada’s largest barrier-free interprovincial market.
Working diligently through the NWPTA the BCTA – along with its three provincial partners – have been actively promoting the implementation of a harmonized MELT standard for Class 1 commercial licence holders; a criterion that is consistent with the new Ontario MELT standards. As in other regions across Canada, in the eastern portion of the country, APTA’s Jean Marc Picard says that his association is also aware of MELT and that they have been, “lobbying the Atlantic Governments to mandate training in our 4 provinces but it’s easier said than done.” Consequently, the APTA just recently announced, in partnership with the Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic, that it will be endorsing an industry developed 12 week truck driver training standard. The program is available at various schools throughout Atlantic Canada. This program combines a minimum 8 weeks at a professional training institution and 4 weeks internship with a host fleet /coach. Upon successful completion of the 12 week program graduates will receive a certificate from the trucking industry of Atlantic Canada, recognizing their success.
AND FINALLY . . . It has already proven to and continues to be a very challenging undertaking – in not only obtaining federal government support for – but also raising its awareness level of how knowledgeable, experienced and professional truck drivers are. The government needs to finally acknowledge and reward the industry drivers for the skills they show as they efficiently adjust to ever changing conditions as they carry out their daily deliveries. No funding programs can be offered for skills enhancement, nor will foreign workers be eligible for grants for training, unless truck drivers become encompassed under the heading of ‘skilled trades’. A positive change in truck driver status would go a long way to not only improving, but in boasting the trucking industries image and this will also make it considerably easier to attract a more millennial class of driver. ¹ Canada Transportation Act Review, Prepared by: CTA. PDF file. Fall 2014 ² Commercial Truck Drivers Training and Classification in Canada. Submitted by the Atlantic Chamber Of Commerce, 2016 ³ Understanding the Truck Driver Supply and Demand Gap, Prepared by: Conference Board of Canada, February 2013 4 Response to Petition, Response by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, April 2017
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Bob’s Business Development
TIME TO COMPLETE A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY AUDIT By Robert (Bob) Greenwood, AMAM (Accredited Master Automotive Manager)
VERYONE IS BECOMING VERY AWARE AS TO THE MANY CHALLENGES THAT L AY AHE AD FOR THE INDEPENDENT AFTERMARKET. CHALLENGES CAN TURN INTO INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES WHEN APPROACHED PROPERLY. We are now moving into a new era where the “Trade” days are coming quickly to an end and our “Profession” will step out into the economy and WOW the consumer.
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It will also attract the millennials when they see the exciting technology and opportunities for them to be involved in moving our sector forward. As a Profession we will finally elevate the aftermarket to an income level that mirrors other high end economy segments. Exciting days are ahead but detailed planning is now required to make sure all shops can embrace the future. Consider this list and address how each one affects your business and list the solution required so the shop can continue to move forward. Pick the top 3 that you feel will give you the most benefit to your business.
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY AUDIT:
1. We face increased competition and/or shrinking margins so our focus must shift within the business to selling our knowledge. Billed hours must be our
focus. 2. We need to better understand our target clients…who they are, why they buy and what they really want. 3. We need to do a better job of creating and delivering compelling client value and experiences that will “grab” our target clients, clearly differentiate us and grow our bottom line. 4. We need to do more business with existing clients if we are not averaging 2.5 billed hours per RO on consumer vehicles and attract new and profitable clients. 5. Some of our current and target clients aren’t aware of all the value we offer. 6. We don’t charge as much as we should, because of a lack of confidence in our value, or for some other reason. Have we got our emotions in check? Do the real math and establish the right labour rates for the competency and value we bring to
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our clients. 7. We need to communicate our value story more effectively in a marketplace suffering from increased competition, consumer confusion, cynicism and communication overload. 8. We need to find innovative and affordable ways to promote our business in a market where traditional advertising is too expensive. We must invest in Social Media and how we manage it must be established. 9. We need to increase bottom-line profitability by at least ____%. 10. Our industry faces trust or image issues that we must overcome to create client confidence. 11. We’re “under attack” from “private label”, or by new technologies that threaten our business. 12. We face regulatory or environmental restrictions or over-sight that make operating our business a challenge. We can use this to enhance our corporate image in our community. 13. Are we serving a shrinking or declining market and therefore need to reinvent or relocate ourselves? 14. We need to find, motivate and retain top performers at every level of the shop. On line applications must become our standard and proper retention benefits put into place. 15. There’s a need to improve our focus and productivity. We need to create a culture of commitment and accountability… and we must deal more effectively with non-performance. 16. We need to train and develop our staff more effectively in order to grow the business and remain competitive. 17. We need more clarity and consistency from the top with effective and on-going communication. 18. We need more effective and consistent implementation of our ideas, decisions and processes with defined dates for completion or implementation. 19. We need to create true two-way communication throughout our organization in a way that improves service, efficiency, innovation, profitability, and employee satisfaction. ‑ 20. We need a clearer Vision for the future of our business... and a written Plan to define it and how to get us there. 21. We do not have the working capital we need to operate or grow the business effectively so a specific plan to correct this must be put in place. 22. Our industry and our market are changing quickly. Our current business model may not get us where we need to be. We need to redefine and/or reinvent some aspects of our business. 23. There’s a lack of clarity about who will lead, manage and/or own our business in the future. We need to define a long term plan for succession. 24. Our current measuring format is not telling management what it needs to know on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. We need to understand what should be and how it should be measured. 25. We need to develop within the shop a career culture instead of a job culture which changes the future of our shop to a Profession format instead of a Trade format. The next three years will offer incredible opportunities for the select few who truly learn and embrace the future of the Independent sector. Spend time and plan your business accordingly, it will be the hardest thing you will enjoy the most.
CROSSWORD (ANSWERS IN THE NEXT AUTO & TRUCKING ATLANTIC)
SEPTEMBER 2017 WINNER!
Don Tweedie of Florenceville-Bristol, NB is our latest Crossword Puzzle winner! Congratulations on winning your new Rust Check package of goodies. Deadline for entry is November 15th, 2017
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Fill out info below and fax your crossword to us in Halifax, NS at: 902-423-3354, or mail us: 51 Bethany Way, Halifax, NS B3S 1H6, or Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org NAME: ADDRESS:
1. Nova Scotia-made car (‘63-’98) 4. Mack motors 8. Wind-powered hard-water ride (3,4) 9. Car shopper’s concern 10. Beatlemania description, for some 11. “Crocodile Rock” Chevy colour 13. Home of the Big Fiddle 15. Long term car rentals 18. Fork location 19. Non-traveled highway lane 22. “Nothing runs like a ____” slogan 23. “If I Had a Million Dollars” K-car 24. Today’s tires, typically 25. Rural roadside channel
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NAPA Guess & Win contest
NAPA GUESS & WIN!
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aritime racing fans, we think you’ll like this photo of this well known MPST racer! Maybe you can name who this driver is, or anything more about the team. Details please, and a FREE Stanley 1/4” and 3/8” Drive SAE 123pc Socket Set from NAPA is all yours! The more the better! Send in your answer at autoatlantic.com/Contest.htm or Fax us at: 902-423-3354, and make sure to include your name, town and province and telephone number. Maybe this time it’ll be you! Deadline for entry is November 15th, 2017.
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