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FRAN

CARS • TRUCKS • JOBBERS

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MOTOESPORTS IN ATLANTIC CANADA OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021 SEASON (STORY ON PAGE 15)

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MAY / JUNE 2021 $4.95

STAFF & MANAGEMENT: THE REAL COSTS (PAGE 12)

CARTER ON MOBILE MECHANICS (PAGE 20)

2021 CANADIAN VEHICLES OF THE YEAR (SEE PAGE 42)

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CROSSWORD GUESS & WIN DETAILS ON PAGES 53 AND 54!

CRAIG ALLEN OF PETERBUILT ATLANTIC TALKS EV TRUCKS WITH US

THRIVING NOT JUST SURVIVING

ATLANTIC CANADIAN ELECTRIC VEHICLE INDUSTRY PLUGGED IN AND POWERED UP THROUGH PANDEMIC OWNED AND PUBLISHED BY ALFERS ADVERTISING & PUBLISHING INC.

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Mail us: 608 - 56 Jacob Lane Bedford, NS B3M 0H5 Canada

FEDS OFFER ZEV MAKERS GOOD NEWS BUDGET – lots of goodies for green recovery industries in first federal budget in nearly two years.

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THRIVING, NOT JUST SURVIVING – In this month’s feature Kristen Lipscombe charts the remarkable resilience and growth of Atlantic Canada’s EV industry.

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ATLANTIC COVID AND TRUCKING NEWS – New COVID-related restrictions announced in N.B. and P.E.I.

ADVERTISING DIRECTORY: PAGE 52 PUBLISHER / OWNER Robert Alfers (902) 452-0345 rob@autoatlantic.com EDITOR Carter Hammett carter@autoatlantic.com SALES MANAGER Dan Hillier (902) 999-1027 dan@autoatlantic.com Auto & Trucking Atlantic magazine is owned and published bi-monthly

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ACCOUNTABILITY OF STAFF AND MANAGEMENT: DO THE REAL MATH – Veteran ATA contributor Bob Greenwood talks dollars - and “common cents”.

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MOTORSPORTS IN ATLANTIC CANADA OPTIMISTIC HEADING INTO 2021 – Atlantic Canucks are nuts for car racing and have been patiently waiting and wondering.

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THE MOBILE MECHANICS – When you can’t get to the repair shop, let the repair shop come to you, writes Carter Hammett.

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THE ROAD AHEAD- Newfoundland NAPA Autopro’s Foxtrap Automotive celebrates five decades of customer service and keeping it in the family.

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FOUR KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE WOMEN WITH DRIVE – Katrina Pizzino reflects on Truching HR Canada’s seventh leadership event.

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OPTIMIZING CLOTHAND FOAM IN CONVEYORIZED WASHES – Del Williams on how these tools offer advantages over touchless washes.

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FIX AUTO ST. JOHN’S AVALON OPENS FOR BUSINESS IN N.L. – A new one-stop shop destination for collision repair opens its doors.

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NEWS OF THE WEIRD – Pizza chain Domino’s and autonomous vehicle start-up form a curious partnership • More!

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WOMEN ESSENTIAL TO CANADIAN TRANSPORT/LOGISTICS INDUSTRY – FedEx Express Canada Women in Transport survey reveals some surprising facts…

Page 42

2021 CANADIAN VEHICLES OF THE YEAR – And the winner is….Automobile Journalists Association of Canada select Mazda 3 as Car of the Year.

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PANDEMIC IS CHALLENGING RECRUITMENT and Onboarding in Trucking Industry – Writer Dave Elniski reports on how COVID is affecting the hiring process.

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THE ATLANTIC ROAD REPORT – Atlantic premiers push back border openings yet again. • More.

by Robert Alfers of Alfers Advertising & Publishing Inc. For advertising rates or information regarding Auto & Trucking Atlantic magazine, please call or write to us at: 608 - 56 Jacob Lane, Bedford, Nova Scotia B3M 0H5. Tel: 902.452.0345. Opinions expressed in Auto & Trucking Atlantic do not necessarily reflect official policy of Alfers Advertising & Publishing Inc. Printed and produced in Canada.

Publications Mail Agreement No. 40062985 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: Alfers Advertising & Publishing Inc. 608 - 56 Jacob Lane, Bedford, NS B3M 0H5.

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WIN BIG! A Rust Check free one-time rustproofing treatment, or a Stanley 123-Piece socket set from NAPA in our contests!! autoatlantic.com

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Letter from the Editor

FEDS OFFER EV GOOD NEWS

BUDGET PACKED WITH GOOD NEWS FOR ZERO-EMISSION TRANSPORT

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By Carter Hammett

HRISTMAS DAY CAME EARLY FOR ZERO-EMISSION VEHICLE (ZEV) MAKERS AFTER THE LIBERALS UNVEILED A WHOPPING $17.6 BILLION IN NEW SPENDING FOR THE GREEN RECOVERY SECTOR AS PART OF THEIR FIRST FEDERAL BUDGET IN NEARLY TWO YEARS.

Relevant to plug-in hybrids, electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, a temporary measure reduces corporate income tax for zero-emission technology manufacturers to 7.5 per cent, down from 15 per cent on the general business rate. For small biz, that figure is again cut in half to 4.5 per cent down from 9 per cent. All of this also applies to EV charging systems, hydrogen refuelling, batteries, and some renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel, among other perks. It’s no surprise that Canada’s waste and transportation sectors are responsible for about 30 per cent of all GHGs, with the lion’s share being claimed by light-and

heavy-duty vehicles. Landfills meanwhile, are a significant source of methane emissions. With a commitment of $104.6 million over five years to Environment and Climate Change Canada, monies will be earmarked to strengthen greenhouse gas emissions regulations for the abovementioned vehicles as well as tackling “off-road residential equipment and establishing methane regulations for large landfills and undertake additional actions to reduce and better use waste at these sites.” Not to be outdone, $5 billion over seven years will be allocated to the Strategic Innovation Fund’s Net Zero Accelerator. These dollars are to be directed toward stepping up “decarbonization projects with large emitters, scale-up clean technology and accelerate Canada’s industrial transformation across all sectors.” Some of these funds will be directed towards development of clean technology in our national motive industry as well as the building a battery division that will be part of an inclusive battery supply chain. Another key budgetary component is the $56.1 million that goes to Measurement Canada to “develop and implement….a

set of codes and standards for retail ZEV charging and fueling stations.” Volumetric charging advocates suggest that drivers should be charged for the volume of energy drawn from battery chargers rather than the amount of time they’re plugged in. As it stands now, drivers are paying more for slower chargers. The plan is to “provide regulatory certainty to providers of charging services and to facilitate the development of the charging network.” With all of these innovations—and renewed cooperation with our neighbours to the south—Canada’s expected to be on track to reduce GHGs by as much as 36 per cent in the coming years. Those are just some of the highlights offered in what amounts to a seriously generous budget that reaffirms the Liberals’ commitment to all things green. And while the document skirts the federal green vehicle rebate amounting to $5K on a wide variety of qualifying vehicles—including EVs, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles—it takes a serious leap towards the future while hoping to land on a foundation significantly cleaner than what we have now.

We are pleased to welcome our friend Teresa Sloan to these pages. She and her animal companion Spirit - pictured here in front of Teresa’s Dodge Grand Caravan just before departing for California - undertook a journey of epic proportions, which she will document here for your reading pleasure. For those under lockdown (isn’t that most of us?) Teresa’s account will be sure to stimulate a longing to put rubber to the road once more. Onward! 4

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THRIVING, NOT J

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JUST SURVIVING ATLANTIC CANADIAN ELECTRIC VEHICLE INDUSTRY PLUGGED IN AND POWERED UP THROUGH PANDEMIC

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By Kristen Lipscombe

T SEEMS NOT EVEN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC CAN PUT THE BRAKES ON THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE INDUSTRY. “It’s been growing exponentially,” said Kurt Sampson, co-founder and chair of regional non-profit group the Electric Vehicle Association of Atlantic Canada (EVAAC), which got its start just over three years ago. “The pandemic hasn’t slowed us down at all.” Whether it’s colleagues, friends, family members – or just those who have stumbled across EVAAC looking for information – more and more people have been reaching out to well-known regional “EV guy”  Sampson  to inquire about the advantages of ditching gas and plugging in. “There are a lot more people getting to the point where they are contemplating or close to being certain that their next vehicle is going to be electric,”  Sampson  said. “They can really picture themselves (driving an electric vehicle); they just need to ask a few questions first.”  Questions from those new to electric vehicles range from how long it takes to charge, to winter range, and long trips. More specific questions come from those who are getting closer to buying one, like “do you undercoat your EV?” or “do they make a difference on insurance?” “They’ll get more specific, like ‘should I get just a 30-amp charger, or should I install one that is 50 or 80 amps?” described  Sampson. “You can tell they’ve been doing research themselves, so it’s good to see.” It’s good to see for many reasons, said  Sampson, who is an EV encourager but, believe it or not, doesn’t sell vehicles himself. His day job is  a  sys-

tems analyst at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S. and those good reasons aren’t just the oft-touted environmental benefits of EVs, although that is largely why he personally drives electric. “I’m a parent of two small children, and I work at a university and am around scientists and have good friends who have been working on issues related to the climate for a long time,” Sampson said. “I have a strong desire to leave the world in a better place for my children, and for everyone’s children.”   The economics are well-worth it, too.  Sampson  is certain of that because he’s put his IT-expertise to work calculating costs of the various hybrid and electric vehicles he’s owned over the years. “They’re a little more expensive up-front, but the operating costs are so low,” he said. “It’s about two cents a kilometre to drive an electric car; that’s for fuelling it and for the most part covers maintenance.” Although Sampson isn’t a car salesman, he’s certainly got a knack for answering all of those questions he’s getting in his volunteer role as EVAAC chair. Craig Allen, on the other hand, is in the business of dealing vehicles; he’s director of sales and marketing for Peterbilt Atlantic, which sells three models of electric trucks and is the exclusive dealer in the region for the brand with eight locations in five provinces. Allen, who is based in Fredericton, said that when it comes specifically to electric trucks, the market “was slightly stalled by the pandemic, but it appears to be charging ahead as the economy rebuilds.” This could be because the medium and heavy EV truck is comparatively quite young. “In ten years, EV trucks will probably be very common,” Allen said, with government regulations and incentives likely to continue driving individuals and companies more toward electric. “The entire Peterbilt Atlantic team is happy to work with any company interested in bringing electric trucks to Atlantic autoatlantic.com

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Dealing with Covid-19

Canada.” David Giles is vice-president of ALL EV Canada, Ltd., an electric vehicle outlet in Dartmouth, N.S., that opened its doors in January 2020, literally just before COVID-19 took hold of the globe. But despite what has been a financial setback for many businesses, ALL EV has already managed to set up a second shop in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Through the pandemic thus far, the company “has still continued to draw a lot of interest for electric cars,” Giles said. “I think a lot of people (have been) at home, looking at different avenues, like ‘look I don’t have to go to the gas station, so there’s less risk of getting sick,’ ” he explained. “And once you get in it, and it’s self-sustaining – ‘meaning I can do every-

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thing from home, I can fuel my car.’ ” Giles agrees that potential buyers seem to be doing “a lot more research” on electric vehicles during COVID, likely surfing the Internet, reading about the growth of Tesla, which has been “growing exponentially over this time” and seeing a lot more news about its CEO Elon Musk, who most recently even appeared as guest host on Saturday Night Live. “Their stocks are climbing, evening during the pandemic,” he said, “and we’re continuing to grow.” “People are buying cars, they’re seeking servicing and we’re getting really wellknown in the EVAAC community; our reputation is growing.” In fact, the company was able to shift

gears last summer from selling and servicing both gas and electric vehicles to focusing on, well – all EVs. “That’s all we do; we don’t do anything else,” Giles said. “The pandemic has almost been a storm that we’re just weathering,” he said. “Hey, if we can survive this, we can survive anything.” That’s no surprise to Sampson, who said EVAAC is also growing on social media, with new followers and members on Facebook joining every day with questions about going electric. “It’s an amazing resource,” he said. Join the conversation at www.fbook.evaac.ca or visit www.EVAAC.ca for more information. Sampson  also encourages Atlantic Canadians to check out what rebates are available in their provinces, such as the EVAssist program through the Clean Foundation, based in Nova Scotia. Visit www.EVAssist.ca for more information. Make no mistake about it; going green isn’t the only reason Sampson is an electric enthusiast. “My dad sold cars out of the driveway, so I was a big motor guy,” he said. “I used to rebuild motors in high school, I drove high-performance motorcycles, so I’m into that.” But Sampson sold his beloved gas motorcycle  and is now  looking for an electric version. “Electric vehicles are totally the new muscle vehicles,” Sampson said. “If you want the best performance vehicle now on the road, you’re buying electric. A lot of people don’t realize that; they’re breaking all the records.”


ATLANTIC COVID & TRUCKING NEWS PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND ANNOUNCES NEW TRAVEL/BORDER MEASURES IMPACTING TRUCK DRIVERS ENTERING THE PROVINCE Prince Edward Island (PEI) has announced new travel measures that will alter travel to the province and will now require all non-PEI resident workers (including truck drivers) entering PEI from outside of the Atlantic provinces to be tested within 72 hours of arriving in the province and requiring a negative test result be able to enter PEI. The measures are effective immediately and will last until at least May 17. Truck drivers that are residents of PEI that travel for work outside of the Atlantic bubble will be required to self-isolate until they receive their first negative result after arriving in PEI, regardless of vaccination status. These new measures come in response to recent cases of the virus that have entered PEI due to travel outside of

the province. The province has indicated that  the public health risk of COVID-19 is being continually reassessed and residents will be updated as new information becomes available. More information on the new measures can be found here:  https://www. princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/threenew-cases-covid-19-pei-increased-travelmeasures

MODIFIED ISOLATION FOR TRUCK DRIVERS Truck drivers do not yet have to register their travel as the provincial government is working collaboratively with the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) to determine the right steps to make the travel registration and isolation requirements as simple and efficient as possible for independent and fleet truck autoatlantic.com

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this time. As part of modified isolation, their families they are living with do not have to self-isolate. It is anticipated that these additional measures will be in place for about a month to achieve a reduction in the spread of the virus, prevent overwhelming the health-care system, keep most of the province at the yellow level and to avoid widespread lockdowns. drivers. “Truck drivers have played an important role since the beginning of the pandemic. Currently with the variants of COVID-19, we know all forms of travel carry a serious risk to the health of New Brunswickers,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “We are committed to working with the industry to find ways to limit the burden for the trucking industry and its drivers while at the same time reducing the risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading in our province.”  As of April 25, New Brunswick truck drivers who regularly cross borders and New Brunswickers who are regular crossborder commuters are following modified isolation guidelines when returning to the province. Truck drivers and commuters can continue to go to work during 10

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ISOLATION IN HOTELS FOR LEISURE, BUSINESS TRAVELLERS, AND THOSE MOVING TO NEW BRUNSWICK Anyone returning to the province from leisure travel, as well as individuals moving to New Brunswick and business travellers who are not rotational workers, truck drivers or regular cross-border commuters, must self-isolate for at least seven days in a designated isolation hotel at their own expense. Upon arriving in New Brunswick, travellers in this category must drive themselves or use a taxi directly to the isolation facility. No family pick-ups or carpools are permitted. These rules apply to travellers, regardless of their vaccination status. Six isolation hotels have been identified in locations throughout the province: the Hilton in Saint John; Hyatt Place

in Moncton; the Delta in Fredericton; the Rodd in Miramichi; the Best Western in Bathurst; and the Quality Inn in Campbellton. There is currently no isolation hotel in Edmundston due to the lockdown status but one will be identified when the lockdown ends. These hotels are not able to take reservations directly. Travellers must call the Canadian Red Cross support line at  1 (800) 863-6582, selecting the option “NB isolation support to non-essential travelers” and a representative will assist them in their isolation support booking. The Canadian Red Cross is co-ordinating the accommodation, food, medical needs and security. The cost to travellers will be about $200 per day.   These travellers will be required to self-isolate for at least seven days in a designated isolation hotel at their own expense, be required to take a COVID-19 test on day five of their self-isolation, and if they get a negative result, they may complete their 14-day self-isolation at home, as long as no other people are in the household. Test results will likely be available on day seven of isolation. Travellers will be required to take a second test on day 10 of their isolation.  


Crime Bob’s Business Prevention Development

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK POLICE SEIZE HUNDREDS OF STOLEN CATALYTIC CONVERTERS

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OLICE OFFICERS IN SAINT JOHN, N.B. HAVE RECOVERED HUNDREDS OF STOLEN CATALYTIC CONVERTERS AS PART OF AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION.

Police say the converters, with a total worth of nearly $1 million, were heading out of the province. Police confirmed all the converters were discovered at the same location. During the past six months Saint John cops have received about 50 reports of stolen catalytic converters from area vehicles. The problem’s gotten so bad, police are warning people to park only in secure areas if possible, such as well-lit lots or parking garages. emorse Catalytic converters are big business right now. Containing a plethora of valuable metals, including rhodium, palladium, and platinum, converters can be sold on the black market bringing in big bucks for unscrupulous sellers. On many vehicles, especially high-riding pickups and SUVs, converters are also easily accessible to thieves. They’re also plentiful, having been part of almost every vehicle’s exhaust system for the past three decades. This type of crime isn’t just limited to N.B. Recently, P.E.I. police recovered $100,000 worth of converters and an Alberta resident was found in possession of 462 stolen items a year ago. As for the victims, converter repairs and replacement repair shops can easily ding you for costs in the four-figure range. St. John police are asking anyone who has had a catalytic converter stolen from their car but not yet reported it, to contact them as soon as possible. St. John officers say more charges are likely. . autoatlantic.com

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Bob’s Business Development

ACCOUNTABILITY OF STAFF & MANAGEMENT – DO THE REAL MATH ONCE THE NUMBERS ARE CRUNCHED, SOME SURPRISING TRUTHS ARE FINALLY REVEALED . . . Robert (Bob) Greenwood, AMAM Accredited Master Automotive Manager

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ANY SHOP OWNERS HAVE A TENDENCY TO LOOK AT TH E I R BUS I NESS OPERATING EXPENSES AND CONSUME TIME WITH THAT TOPIC AS A MAIN COST REDUCTION PLAN TO INCREASE THEIR BOTTOM LINE. The fact is most costs associated with operating a professional service shop are either non-controllable or “common sense” expenses. We fail to acknowledge that management must also be accountable to the business and make better use of time. It’s management’s responsibility to go after the real problems in the business

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instead of nickel-and-diming the business to death, thinking it will save the business and bottom line in the long run. Nothing could be further from the truth. That said, I think it’s time to actually look at the most serious problem in every service shop: what unproductive staff really cost. From there, we calculate that cost as a bottom line loss. For example, if a technician is averaging 5.5 billed hours per day but being paid for 8 then that means 2.5 hours per day are a real cost to the business. If you’re paying the person $25 per hour then $25 times 2.5 = $62.50 per day times 20 days per month = $1,250 per month plus average shop payroll burden = $1,500.00 per month off the bottom line. ($18,000 per year from one person). Add to that, if you were charging $110.00 per hour labour rate on that individual, then $110.00 - $20 basic wage cost = $90.00 per hour lost in gross profit contribution from the lost labour billings that should have been achieved times

2.5 hours = another $225.00 loss per day times 20 days per month = $4,500.00 lost additional gross profit per month which would also drop down to net profit. Total cost to the business from one person being unproductive and unaccountable = $6,000.00 per month ($1500 + $4,500) or $72,000.00 per year. So from this one calculation we can see the actual cost to the business of only having one person not being held accountable for their time and productivity in the shop. Now let’s look at the entire shop as an average and keep it simple. If the entire team were averaging 5.5 billed hours per day as a group average leaving 2.5 hours unaccounted for and you have four techs on the team at an average wage cost of $25 per hour per tech then that works out to a monthly cost of $1,500 X 4 = $6,000.00 per month plus payroll burden = $7,200.00 per month off the bottom line ($86,400.00 per year). Now add in the lost billed labour hours that should have been achieved just


Bob’s Business Development

for the basic eight hours in time they were at the shop. So, $110 labour rate - $25 average wage cost = $85 X 2.5 unbilled hours = $212.50 X 20 days per month average = $4,250 X 4 technicians = $17,000 X 12 months = $204,000.00 per year net profit lost from the tech team when the lost unbilled labour contribution to gross profit is factored in for a total net profit loss of $290,400.00 to the company that is not obtained because the people within the

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shop are not held to be accountable for their time and productivity. This is serious money! and this is where management should be spending their time…fix the accountability issue in the business. Management must be accountable to the business by spending time wisely where it has a real effect on the bottom line. Fixing shop accountability is time well spent. Remember a competent technician should be billing 10-to-12 hours per day

and an apprentice should be billing at least five-to-six hours per day; if they are not achieving those numbers then investigate fully “why not?” Do not guess, don’t listen to rhetoric, find out the facts. That is management’s responsibility to the company. It is time and absolutely necessary to focus on accountability in business by embracing all the processes and management education you have been shown/ taught/exposed to. If you “cherry pick” the processes or what you were taught, then it won’t work. If you “assume” the processes are being followed in the shop, then it won’t work. Every owner/manager must “Inspect what you Expect” from your team and determine why something happened or did not happen or why that particular member of the team is not performing his/her position properly and focus on fixing it. This will be the quickest way to turn any business around. Educate all staff as to why accountability is necessary and as professionals in this industry we must take it seriously. If the business is not profitable then everyone’s income is affected and ultimately the commercial client is affected because the shop does not have the cash to invest in training and keeping on top of latest shop technology and equipment. Stand your ground on this issue and stop babysitting the staff because you’re afraid they might quit. That means they are holding you hostage. Professional people want accountability in the business because that will show everyone where they shine. The others are scared of accountability because they know it would show where they cut corners, prove that they are lazy, show how self-centered they are, as they only think about themselves and are only looking for a paycheque at the end of the week. They really don’t care about the business or the commercial clients the business looks after and these people must be cut loose from the company. Many of us wish that these people would leave the industry all together. Make every single person in the company accountable. I will guarantee you one thing: when you improve the accountability throughout your company it will have five-to-10 times the effect on your bottom line than trying to save money picking away at individual operating expenses. Do the math and insert your own numbers into the equation I have provided. Follow the math in your business, not your emotions, as the math does not lie and then you will truly be working smarter instead of harder.


Atlantic Racing News

MOTORSPORTS IN ATLANTIC CANADA OPTIMISTIC HEADING INTO 2021 By Tim Terry

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OR ALL THE DIEHARD RACING FANS WHO’VE BEEN WAITING ALL WINTER FOR THEIR FAVE SPORT TO RETURN, HERE’S A SNEAK PEEK AT THE RACING SEASON THAT’S EXPECTED.

bris flies off the car so you don’t need to throw a caution flag. In short, everyone is expecting to continue but the smallest in-

convenience could put the brakes on the proceedings and the wheels could fall off it, literally and figuratively.

It goes without saying, 2020 was a feast-or-famine year for the motorsport and racing industry within Atlantic Canada. While some tracks in New Brunswick saw “COVID-capacity” crowds, neighbouring provinces saw tracks struggle to open or ultimately stayed shuttered for the year due to government regulations around sporting events and large gatherings. Prince Edward Island’s only oval did not open because they couldn’t host bubbles bigger than 50. Nova Scotia started late July for most of their tracks except Valley Raceway, which decided not to open. Both of Newfoundland’s ovals opened but under tight restrictions from their government. The winter months have been full of pauses and restarts, or in our industry, yellow and green flags. As of this writing, an Atlantic bubble that was envisioned by the Atlantic provinces has been busted by an outbreak in Edmundston and another cluster forming around Halifax. At this point it seems like the racing season may start within each province before any travel restrictions are lifted - but in a small area like ours it creates quite the frustration, especially in several key aspects of the sport. This period can be likened to watching a race where a driver has a loose wheel or a tire going flat. The driver wants to stay out for as long as they can without causing a caution to the rest of the field or ultimately crashing their car or others around them. As a fan, you think the caution is coming but you are also banking on that car getting back to pit road so the rest can continue racing and you see a great finish. As race officials, you are hoping the driver can hold on and no deautoatlantic.com

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Atlantic Racing News

The biggest impact that travel restrictions have in the Atlantic Canadian motorsports industries can be felt on touring series. None bigger than the Maritime Pro Stock Tour. The region’s top touring series, which just announced East Coast International Trucks as their new title sponsor, are slated to begin with back-to-back races at the end of May. These races take place at Petty International Raceway in River Glade, NB and Scotia Speedworld in Enfield, NS. Not only do these races take place in two separate provinces, race teams, officials and fans hail from all three Maritime provinces. Without an “Atlantic bubble,” these touring divisions do not exist. The Maritime League of Legends Tour, the Heart of a Champion Hot Rod Classics and Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour face similar challenges, though the Hot Rod Classics are not slated to start their summer until July. The Atlantic Modified Tour is faced with a situation where all of their tracks and all but one of their competitors, PEI’s Doug MacEwen, are based in New Brunswick. The downside they face is their lead technical inspector, Tony Leonard, lives in Nova Scotia. New Brunswick does not deem motorsports as an essential job, so Leonard has been unable to enter the province since November. With a sealed motor rule with the series and Leonard being the only one able to seal those engines, it leaves the series in a bind ahead of their first scheduled race on May 23rd at Petty International Raceway. The new government rule in New Brunswick that forces truck drivers and non-essential rotational workers to isolate between shifts presents a situation for several tracks with drivers running for points.

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As an example, Street Stock drivers Justin Cole and Chris Wilson, both career truck drivers, would not be able to go to a race track while making a living. This would create a whole new issue for those drivers running for championship points at their home race tracks in the province. With the Halifax Regional Municipality under a lockdown, non-essential travel is not recommended in- and-out of the region. That means Scotia Speedworld is not permitted to open for track rentals or practices even if the facility is ready to open for the year. Teams from the region should not be traveling to other tracks to shake down their cars and if the restrictions continue to the May 20th expected date, it leaves Sydney Speedway in a situation on whether they allow those teams and individuals from HRM to travel and compete in their season opening weekend on Cape Breton Island. In a short week, a lot has changed as the government puts the brakes on a racing season during a pandemic. There is a lot of frustration around rules, changing restrictions and even the fact that our closest friends in New England have kicked off their racing season due to their vaccination program being further ahead. There is a bright side though - with the 2020 season beginning in July in most places and vaccines on the horizon, there still could be a prosperous 2021 season. Many questions remain around the pandemic, however. What’s clear is that all of the region’s organized oval facilities have been working towards a racing season should the government allow it to take place. Here’s a little glimpse, per province, on what to look forward to in 2021.

NEW BRUNSWICK Over the winter, all four major stock car tracks have been working together to help ease the pain on scheduling, even announcing a five race Street Stock Series with Oyster Bed Speedway in Prince Edward Island. Speedway 660 and Petty International Raceway anchor the schedule as both tracks will all but alternate weeks that each run. Fans and drivers from both tracks can expect much the same as 2020 presented with no conflicting events between the two popular venues. The only weekend you’ll see the tracks not hosting stock car racing events is the July 24th25th IWK 250 weekend at Riverside. For fans that want to stay in New Brunswick though, Petty International Raceway will be presenting their Day of Destruction event, which was shelved last year due to the pandemic. Petty International Raceway sees stops from all major regional touring series, anchored by three scheduled East Coast International Pro Stock Tour events. The River Glade International moves to early July and the Mike Stevens Memorial weekend continues with its traditional September date. Speedway 660 has several major events, including the 21st Annual SpeedWeekend on Labour Day Weekend. The season once again extends past the long weekend in September and closes with the Ricky Bobby Street Stock 150 presented by DMR Auto on September 25th. Speedway Miramichi saw a resurgence in 2020 and included more than one “COVID capacity sellout” at the historic oval. The track ran a winter demolition event in March once government restrictions allowed and are planning on another busy schedule that is slated for a


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Atlantic Racing News

May 15th green flag. The Very Best Fall Shootout returns in October but expands to a two-day show on October 1st and 2nd. The season will wrap up on October 23rd with the Halloween Spooktacular and the Last Call Bomber 100. The CENTRE For Speed also returns after a successful season in 2020 that saw Greg Turner help promote the GrandBarachois facility. Several events are on the ever-changing schedule for the track, including the Atlantic Stock Car Championships on Thanksgiving Day Weekend in October.

NOVA SCOTIA Scotia Speedworld and Riverside International Speedway, the two best known oval facilities in the province, remain on the list of recognized venues with the province as of press time. With those facilities, they are typically allowed to host bigger bubbles or pods of crowds, though 2021 regulations have not been announced and are sure to be fluid with the way the pandemic has turned. Both tracks have schedules that are headlined by the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour and are similar to those laid out in 2020 prior to the pandemic hitting. The CARSTAR Weekly Racing Series at Scotia Speedworld kicks off on Friday, May 28th and runs every Friday night (with off-weekends July 23rd and August 27th) until the middle of September. Riverside International Speedway has four major weekends with the Steve Lewis Presents the IWK 250 Super Weekend taking centre stage on the July 23rd-24th weekend. Lake Doucette Motor Speedway was the first Nova Scotia track to re-open in 2020 and is planning an eight race schedule in 2021 that sees the half mile oval operate every second Sunday beginning June 13th. The Passione Flooring & Inte-

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rior East Coast Mini Stock Tour is slated to race at the southern Nova Scotia track on August 8th and an INEX-sanctioned Legend division will be added throughout the year. Sydney Speedway, who got their 2020 season started by racing without fans last July, have added two more divisions (a six cylinder Thunder and four cylinder domestic Hobby class) and are shifting their focus towards a local schedule. More events have been added compared to previous seasons and former Mini Stock champion Kody Quinn will oversee the local portion of the program. The Maritime League of Legends Tour will return to the Cape Breton Island oval on June 5th with the Passione Flooring East Coast Mini Stock Tour heading into town two weeks later on June 19th. Their Thanksgiving Thunder weekend moves a week earlier in 2021 to October 2nd and 3rd. Valley Raceway, the province’s only organized stock car dirt oval, is slated to get back to racing on May 30th for a full season. The track recently updated their Sunday calendar after taking previously released area schedules into consideration. The season ends in late September with the first two Sundays in October reserved for rain dates from the year.

NEWFOUNDLAND Both Eastbound Park and Thunder Valley Speedway are aiming to be open this season for stock car racing. Thunder Valley Speedway in Bishop’s Falls, was first to open in 2020 under strict guidelines when it came to gathering limits. The Central Newfoundland bullring will race five times in 2021 beginning on June 26th and completing their schedule on August 21st. Eastbound Park, back under NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series sanctioning for 2021, will look to return to a ten race schedule. Headlined by the

NASCAR Division I Sportsman class, the season will see the green light on Victoria Day Weekend and run until late September. The track saw a shortened season in 2020.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND The only Atlantic province that saw no stock car oval racing in 2020 returns in 2021 at Oyster Bed Speedway with a ten-race schedule. The race season at the Oyster Bed Bridge oval begins on the Victoria Day Long Weekend on Sunday, May 23rd and will conclude on Monday, September 6th with the optio n of rain dates being added at the end of the season. Two East Coast International Pro Stock Tour dates bookend the month of July and they will also see the Maritime League of Legends Tour, the Passione Flooring & Interiors East Coast Mini Stock Tour and the Heart of a Champion Hot Rod Classics in July. Several major local events litter the calendar from May to September. The track will also kick off the Maritime Street Stock Series with a 100-lap feature on Saturday, June 12th. These schedules are subject to change as the pandemic and restrictions do. For now, if you want to check out what is going on every weekend throughout the season, you can head over to Tim’s Corner Motorsports and their Master Schedule (timscorner.ca/masterschedule) of all the tracks listed above! As always, be sure to check with your local venue on information about their events prior to heading to the track! The bright side? The 2020 season was still a memorable one, albeit different, and it didn’t get started on time. Let’s hope we get started before, we can enjoy some great touring series racing and every driver, track and fan gets to enjoy the sport we all love right in our back yards. Stay safe, follow protocols and we’ll all get back to the track in due time.


Under The Hood

THE MOBILE MECHANICS WHEN YOU CAN’T GET TO THE REPAIR SHOP, LET THE REPAIR SHOP COME TO YOU.

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By Carter Hammett

MONG THE MANY INSIDIOUS WAYS COVID-19 HAS MADE ITS PRESENCE FELT HAS BEEN THE FACT THAT, EVEN THOUGH VEHICLE OWNERS HAVE BEEN DRIVING LESS, THOSE VEHICLES STILL REQUIRE MAINTENANCE TO KEEP RUNNING IN TIP-TOP SHAPE.

But with virus variants interfering with all aspects of daily life, a lot of people simply don’t feel comfortable leaving their homes and sitting in the waiting rooms of repair shops. One solution to that concern has been the rise of mobile mechanics. Whether operating as part of the tra-

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ditional bricks-and-mortar model, or increasingly, alone, mobile mechanics are gradually becoming a popular “come-to” answer for people experiencing common car problems, like changing a tire or checking brakes. One Toronto-based entrepreneur says he saw a big opportunity when he noticed that many consumers weren’t satisfied with traditional car services and the way they were treated. Robert Ostfield founded getweel.com four years ago and really hasn’t looked back. “We provide curated automotive services to find the best and easiest solutions to get vehicles repaired,” he says. Through a vetted network of service professionals, Ostfield says getweel finds the “best match for the appropriate demand. We’ve got licensed technicians and

independent contractors.” Customers book an appointment through getweel’s web site. They have to enter the year, make and model of the vehicle and identify the type of service required. A few seconds later and the customer receives pricing in advance. After the job’s finished customers can visit the web site to rate the service they received. Pricing generally starts at $120.00 for the first hour and $110 for every hour after that. Ostfield says pricing is competitive in the Toronto market. “The consumer doesn’t need to figure it out. That’s Weel’s job. Customers have more security going through us. We have a large volume of service partners and you’ll be treated differently than a guy off the street.” A wide range of services for fairly


Under The Hood

typical vehicle issues are available. Some of these include oil changes, tire swaps, brake checks and diagnosing fluid changes, among a host of other offerings. While Ostfield’s business model has seen healthy growth, the idea for a mobile mechanic business has taken off in recent years. Today you can find this kind of service in virtually every city across the country, from Vancouver to St. John’s. Not to be outdone, the service is indeed available throughout Atlantic Canada as well. Ranging from Halifax’s Rapid Wheels to Paul’s Mobile Mechanic Services in Moncton, there’s never a service that’s too far away from you. Mobile mechanic services are driven by convenience. Although they represent only a tiny percentage of the annual $17 billion Canadian automotive repair industry, the service is being perceived as a growth sector and beginning to be looked on favourably by a growing customer base that enjoys the competitive pricing, red seal quality service

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and relatively quick turnaround time the service offers. Still, it’s easy to perceive the concept as a market disruptor, much in the same vein as shared economy upstarts like Uber or Air BnB. “I prefer to think of it as being a market enabler,” says Ostfield. “We’re using the existing ecosystem and finding more efficient ways of using this ecosystem to help others. “We’re car people,” he continues. “We’re still very new but we’re proving that the customer likes it.” Indeed when one considers how the pandemic has actually stimulated growth in some industries—think call centers, think health care--it’s easy to think that maybe the mobile mechanic is an idea whose time has finally arrived. ”We’re an untapped opportunity.” Says Ostfield. “There’s an expectation on the part of the customer to have services delivered to your house and we’ve shown that that’s possible to do while helping to build your business and meeting that demand.”


Around the Atlantic

THE ROAD AHEAD: NEWFOUNDLAND NAPA AUTOPRO LOCATION, FOXTRAP AUTOMOTIVE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF PROTECTING FAMILIES

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By Kristen Lipscombe

HE OWNE RS OF FOXTRAP AUTOMOTIVE IN CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L., AR E ALL ABOUT FAMILY – AND THEY CONSIDER THEIR CUSTOMERS TO BE EXACTLY THAT. In fact, a half century ago, Eldred Kennedy was “a long-time customer” of the garage he now owns. Eldred took over Foxtrap from a generous man named Richard Porter, who gave him a big “hand up” to help him make his dreams of starting his own business and having a family come true. “I was a loyal customer, but he’s no relation whatsoever,” recalled Eldred, who is now 75 but at that time was a young man who stopped by the garage regularly on his way to and from working at “a mechanical shop in town.” Eldred loved the

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satisfaction of working with his hands to fix something and hoped to open up his own garage one day. “And one evening coming home, getting off work, I pulled in to get some gas, and he called me in the office and asked me if I wanted to go into business.” In fact, the former Foxtrap owner helped the new one get his business motoring by buying enough supplies and gas for the young aspiring mechanic to set up shop “and the rest is history.” “I couldn’t believe the offer that he gave me,” Eldred said of the man he still calls “Mr. Porter.” “All I had to do was put a lot of hard work into it.” And he has done exactly that for the past 50 years. Eldred now runs Foxtrap Automotive, a NAPA Autopro Garage, with his son Darrell Kennedy, while granddaughter Danielle Kennedy helps out in the office. Just as Mr. Porter looked after his customers, including of course Eldred, the Kennedys are committed to taking care of their own customers. “I always liked the slogan ‘the road ahead,’ ” Eldred ex-

plained. “We’re going to protect you and your family on the road ahead.” Foxtrap Automotive has now been protecting families for the past five decades. Eldred was able to establish his shop’s well-known reputation for high-quality service mostly “by word of mouth.” Now, customers from different generations of the same families keep returning because they know they can trust their vehicles with the Kennedys. “When you get repeat customers that you’ve dealt with, and their children are still coming, it makes you feel good,” Eldred said. “It makes you feel like you’re doing something right.” Nestled on Foxtrap Access Road, about 20 kilometres from St. John’s, the family-owned garage has become a Newfoundland staple both inside and outside of its own community. “We get a lot of people from all around,” Eldred said. “With over 50 years, and if you treat your customers good you’re going to have a good return.” Not only do people come from everywhere, but Foxtrap Automotive does “almost everything,” Eldred said.


“Everything pertaining to mechanical, like tune-ups and wheel alignments,” he said, adding that “in years gone by we used to do a lot of radiators, but there’s not much of that work on the go now… but not so much in new cars now.” Foxtrap Automotive also does “brakes, front-ends, exhausts, struts, shocks and oil changes– we do all of that, and also sell a lot of tires.” Eldred and his family have another project this year: organizing their 50th anniversary celebration. In addition to his co-owner son Darrell, the festivities will include Eldred’s wife, Marion, eldest son Darren, daughter Danna, and their grandchildren. “Coming up in the latter part of May is when we’re hoping to celebrate,” Eldred said. “We’re looking forward to it; we’re upbeat about it.” Although it still might be tough to hold a party at that time due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Kennedys plan to have prizes “to give back to the loyal customers we’ve had over the past 50 years” – just like Mr. Porter gave back

to his own customers. Customers have continued to remain true to Foxtrap through the pandemic. In fact, it’s been busy, said Eldred, who has passed on the strong values he learned when he was young to his own staff. “What I like about them is if they took one of their family member’s cars they’d work on the car same as if it was their own,” Eldred said. “And that’s what I want; they take pride in their work.” Although Mr. Porter has since passed away, the business values he passed on to Eldred clearly remain very much with the shop he passed on to Eldred and the rest of the Kennedy clan. “You need trust and honesty in order to build a relationship,” Eldred said. “That was my belief; and it still is today.” The kind of relationship Mr. Porter established with the then-young Eldred. “It was a lifelong dream of mine to go into business, but I didn’t expect it to happen so early,” he said. “Mr. Porter gave me that 50 years ago.”

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Truckers Corner

FOUR KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM WOMEN WITH DRIVE 2021

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By: Katrina Pizzino

R U C K I N G H R CA N A DA’S 7TH ANNUAL WOMEN WITH DRIVE LEADERSHIP SUMMIT KEPT THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATORY VIBES OF WOMEN, WOMEN LEADERS, AND WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY GOING FULL SPEED. While the event was a little different – being the first time it was held virtually and globally, we still brought together over 200 women from the industry to connect and learn from one another.  It left delegates with the regular high dose of inspiration along with practical and insightful takeaways from a roster of formidable speakers. The Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean, who served as Governor General of Canada from 2005-to-2010, and Halla Tómasdóttir, Icelandic businessperson and CEO of the B Team, left us with a plethora of insights.  The 2021 Women with Drive stage provided me with four key takeaways from our keynote speakers:

that our trucks are moving billboards for cause and positivity. This is what many of our Top Fleet Employers do when participating in various charitable causes such as: Plaid for Dad, Pink for the Cure, and Art Saves Lives. We often forget to highlight this part of the trucking industry as an attraction – that it is not just trucking, it is so much more. It is a multitude of causes and action, and ingenuity. By highlighting the change maker abilities of our sector, Jean created a powerful united feeling of potential.

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WOMEN BELONG EVERYWHERE – INCLUDING TRUCKING

Halla Tómasdóttir reminded us of the “inner leader” that we all have. We need to confront our imposter feelings in order to excel and believe in our capabilities. And, as women, we need to stop doubting and questioning our abilities and our right to be in certain professional spaces. Women belong everywhere – and yes, that includes trucking. The pandemic, she noted, has brought about a time when women’s leadership is being noticed and recognized. Tómasdóttir reminded us that when women have a seat at the table, positive changes are made, and we see progress. For more women to be in leadership, young women need mentors and to see women who are succeeding at the highest levels.

NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL

WE ARE CHANGE MAKERS Michaëlle Jean trumpeted the efforts the trucking industry has put forward. She noted that we have been heralded as heroes during this time of pandemic, saying that it is time for the invisible to become visible. She noted that front line workers and those in the trucking industry are finally getting the public attention that they deserve, claiming that it is the hard workers in our industry who have suffered an inexcusable blind spot before the pandemic; and that it is time we recognize that we offer good meaningful work for hundreds of thousands of Canadians. What we do with this new attention and praise is key. Truck drivers notably, as Jean mentions have a remarkable and unique role in that they get to see sights many of us never will. This is perhaps a potential draw for recruiters to take note of. A philanthropist at heart, she also encouraged us to leverage our reach. She earnestly reminded us

helped to dismantle many of the things that are otherwise wrong with our current society. She challenged employers to use this moment for change and examine their own diversity and inclusion policies.

EMPLOYERS HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY Michaëlle Jean also reminded us that the pandemic has created an opening for us to further investigate some of our collective societal issues. Saying, “In the same way lemon juice and a light bulb manifest invisible ink” – the pandemic has highlighted many core societal issues including, racism, sexism, homophobia, and ageism. Thus, perhaps the pandemic has

We may never go back to how things were before the pandemic – and Halla highlighted that this is not necessarily a bad thing. A lot was wrong with the world before and the pandemic is causing us to question what could ultimately, be better. Maybe Canadians can continue to honour truckers and the entire trucking industry as essential work.  Perhaps we can embrace a future when trucking is more alluring to new and young workers. And certainly, with current unemployment rates, we have the possibility to invite and welcome people into our industry more than ever before. The trucking industry is one of change, one that appreciates inclusion and diversity, one that encourages women’s leadership, and one that is filled with Women with Drive. Women with Drive Leadership Summit thus remains an important event for the trucking industry – because we still need and always will need, women with drive. Reprinted with kind permission from Trucking HR Canada.


At The Car Wash

OPTIMIZING CLOTH AND FOAM IN CONVEYORIZED WASHES

CLOTH AND FOAM BRUSHES AND HANGDOWNS OFFER SOME IMPORTANT ADVANTAGES OVER TOUCHLESS WASHES, AND FOLLOWING EXPERT ADVICE ON REPLACEMENT AND OPTIMIZATION CAN YIELD EVEN BETTER PERFORMANCE AND PROFITS

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By Del Williams

N TUNNEL CARWASH SYSTEMS USING A CONVEYOR TO CONTROL THE WASH SPEED, THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT MATERIALS, CONFIGURATIONS, AND OPTIONS. However, cloth and foam brushes and hangdowns offer some important advantages over touchless washes. While touchless washes use highpressure water and chemicals, the process takes longer for a thorough cleaning and often has trouble removing heavy mud or dirt, bugs and road grime from vehicles. Also, unsuitable chemical ratios can stain paint, if not monitored. Instead, when vehicles pass through multiple soft cloth curtains or rotating gentle foam brushes, the process cleans faster and more thoroughly, enhancing revenue. Soft friction lifts dirt, droppings, bugs, grime, etc. from the vehicle’s surface. It also cleans problem areas such as rocker panels, the vehicle’s rear, and license plates. So, to help tunnel wash operators get the most out of their investment, we examine some strategies by industry experts that serve to optimize the use of cloth and foam, both in terms of performance and replacement.

CHOOSING CLOTH, FOAM, OR BOTH Both cloth and foam brushes and hangdowns have an important role in tunnel wash operations. However, each material has some pros and cons. So, it is essential to review factors such as tunnel length and potential vehicle damage to know when it is best to use each, or both.

TUNNEL LENGTH “Because cloth is heavier and denser, it will remove more dirt and clean better in less space,” says Robert Pecora, 30

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president of Erie Brush, a supplier to the carwash industry since 1948. “So, if you run a short, 50 or 60-foot tunnel with one set of wraps, one curtain, and a couple of side brushes, you will need to use cloth.” According to Pecora, utilizing foam is fine for longer tunnel washes with more equipment. “If you operate a longer tunnel, on the order of 100 or more feet, with two or three sets of wraps, the foam has

tunnel wash operators choose to utilize both. “On the top half of vehicles, many operators use foam to safeguard wipers, mirrors, and antennas,” says Pecora. “Then, on the bottom half, they often use cloth to better clean rocker panels, tires, and wheels where heavier dirty deposits typically exist.”

MAXIMIZING PERFORMANCE For tunnel wash operators, cleaning ability is the most important attribute to consider.

CLOTH

enough time to sufficiently clean the vehicle’s surfaces,” he says. Pecora notes, that with foam, you do need more chemicals to provide more cleaning and lubrication than with cloth. This can raise operational costs.

REDUCING DAMAGE Rotating foam brushes are gentler on the car than cloth, which reduces the risk of vehicle damage, particularly around problem areas, such as antennas, mirrors, or license plates. Foam can also be lighter on wash equipment than heavier cloth. This tends to extend the equipment’s usable life.

CHOOSING BOTH Since both cloth and foam have pros and cons in certain circumstances, many

When utilizing cloth for general surface cleaning, non-woven fabrics like polyester and polypropylene strike a balance of absorbing sufficient water/ soap solution to clean the vehicle without getting too heavy. The inherent stiffness of polypropylene, however, sometimes prevents its access to small nooks and crannies, such as those around trim pieces. Erie’s Generation 7 Polyester cloth, for example, is softer and more pliable, which allows it to clean better than its polypropene-based counterpart. Another option is a plusher material like ‘cashmere-style’ cloth, which takes advantage of a nappy surface (like the pile on a rug) to do a better overall cleaning job on the vehicle, including windshields. The pile length on this type of material ranges from 0.25 inches to one inch, with longer pile capable of reaching deeper into crevices and providing more overall surface area for cleaning. Pecora advises that tunnel wash owners can install fewer pieces of cashmere than they would with cloth. “Some owners go overboard and use too much cash-


mere, which soaks up water and can become quite heavy,” says Pecora. “Cashmere typically still cleans better than twice as many pieces of cloth.” When it comes to durability, operators want their material to last a long time. However, it is important to strike a balance between getting your money’s worth and jeopardizing the finish on customers’ cars. Some tunnel wash operators want the toughest cloths possible so they do not have to order new ones for a long time. However, tough cloth does not clean as well as soft cloth, since it does not reach into tight spaces and is harsher on vehicle surfaces. Pecora notes that the slit size on cloth hangdowns also makes a difference in performance. “On hangdowns, the wider slits last longer, but don’t clean as well as the thinner slits, which reach into nooks and crannies better,” he says. “So, it’s a good idea to go with thinner slits, if you can. But rather than hold onto materials until they become ragged or no longer clean well, it is best to periodically change them out.”

washes. “For instance, softer, thinner foam spun at lower RPMs is better for the sides. For rocker panels, the foam can be stiffer and thicker to prevent going inside pickup truck wheel wells, which can beat up thinner foams.” According to Pecora, slightly thicker foam also works well in horizontal shaft top brushes, reaching into the nooks and crannies at the bottom and top of the windshield, where trim goes around.

ROTATING FOAM BRUSHES

WHEN AND HOW TO REPLACE

When it comes to getting the most out of rotating foam brushes in the tunnel wash, a switch to a new category of high-quality gentle foam from Erie Brush can often yield better results. Even within this category, the foam utilized is not all equal – some options are denser and are consequently more durable. The softer foam is also so quiet that customers riding along inside their vehicles essentially cannot hear it, so they know the wash is gentle on their vehicles. “When engineered properly and used with enough soap and water, fans of gentle foam feel that it has the softest touch, that it cleans and polishes for a better shine, and that it outlasts other materials,” explains Pecora. According to Pecora, the highest quality foam offers a range of softness, density, and thickness to optimize its use in tunnel

Dennis O’Connell is president of Hoffman Services, a company that builds and remodels car washes in the greater Chicago, Ill. area. “In our business, the majority of what we sell or replace in tunnel washes is cloth. However, we have customers who use foam at the door handle and above, and cloth below where it is a little harder to clean,” says O’Connell. According to O’Connell, to maximize cleaning efficiency as well as ROI, tunnel wash operators often want to know when the best time is to replace their cloth hangdown curtains and rotating brush cores. “We have some rules of thumb about how often the cloth and core need to be replaced. It has more to do with how many cars you have washed, rather than how old it is,” he says. “But you can look at the cloth and usually tell when it is

time to change it. If everything is in good shape but some cloth pieces have ripped off, you can buy some replacement cloth and use it as needed.” When it comes to a tunnel wash remodel, he says, “Often, the first thing that gets replaced in a remodel is the cloth and core because it is very noticeable. Changing out the cloth is one of the easiest ways to spruce up the look of your carwash.” To minimize the time, labor, and cost of changing out cloth and core, O’Connell offers some pointers. “When ordering replacement brushes, order the brush, cloth and core, and install it all at the same time because it is easier. If you are replacing the cloth, your core is probably aged too. If you replace the core later, you will have to take the cloth off strand by strand, replace the core, and then put the cloth back on.” In cases where the tunnel wash operator is replacing cloth and core with a different brand than the OEM, O’Connell has some advice. “Sometimes these are very old units, so you need a brush manufacturer who really knows the product, the equipment, and how it fits, who makes it simple to order and is willing to help,” he says. In this regard, O’Connell says that Hoffman Services often works with Erie Brush. While operators of conveyor washes have many options available to them today, the use of cloth and foam are the most popular in the market for good reason. In the end, when looking to get the most out of their operation using cloth or foam, consulting with experts and following a few simple strategies can go a long way toward enhancing the wash, keeping customers happy, and increasing profits. Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California. For more info, call 800-711-3743 (ERIE) in US, 773477-9620 internationally; Fax 800-7983743 (ERIE) in US, 773-477-6030 internationally; email sales@eriebrush.com; visit www.eriebrush.com; or write to Erie at 860 West Fletcher St., Chicago, IL 60657. Published with permission from Convenience & Carwash Canada magazine. autoatlantic.com

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Around the Atlantic

FIX AUTO ST. JOHN’S AVALON OPENS FOR BUSINESS IN NEWFOUNDLAND NEW FIX AUTO FACILITY EQUIPPED WITH LATEST TECHNOLOGIES AND TRAINED STAFF TO RESTORE VEHICLES TO PRE-COLLISION CONDITION

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ARK WEEKS, REGIONAL VICE-PRESIDENT (ATLANTIC) FOR FIX NETWORK, HAS WELCOMED FIX AUTO ST. JOHN’S AVALON INTO THE NETWORK, CONSOLIDATING FIX AUTO’S PRESENCE IN NEWFOUNDLAND.

Fix Auto St John’s Avalon is a one-stop destination for advanced collision repair serving the towns of St John’s, Mount Pearl, Paradise, and surrounding areas. The facility boasts of its own on-site sales, service and parts department, mechanical and collision repair – ensuring quicker action to all customer’s requirements. With a total 25 years of experience in the collision repair industry, collision

managers Andrea Ghaney and Ern Miller believe that the facility is a true reflection of the team’s commitment to offer outstanding experience to customers and visitors. Fix Auto St John’s Avalon is equipped with the most advanced technology and tools to repair all makes and models to OEM standards. “Every vehicle is an important investment for its owner,” explains Andrea. “When customers come to us, it is because they trust that our team can repair their vehicles to pre-accident condition. As part of our customer-first policy, our operational structure is transparent, and we ensure that our customers always stay informed when we are taking care of their prized investments.” Andrea adds that one of the main reasons for moving to the Fix Auto banner was its knowledgeable and reliable staff,

along with the marketing support. “With Fix Auto, we have access to many consultants to turn to for any issues – from insurance adjusters, lease companies and marketing teams,” she says. “After looking at different aftermarket franchise models, these were the most important deciding factors.” Ern Miller says that Fix Auto St John’s Avalon has been built to provide end-toend collision repair services and more for customers in the area – from estimation to liaising for insurance claims, to providing an exceptional customer service. “A collision can be an intimidating experience for customers, but we support them by providing a hassle-free experience and total peace of mind,” he adds. Located in the Avalon Ford dealership on 621 Kenmount Road, Fix Auto St John’s Avalon recently upgraded the facility and added a host of advanced equipment and tools, including two Devilbliss paint booths and prep stations, Spanesi framemeasuring system, Blackhawk frame straightener, along with a John Bean wheel alignment machine on the floor for lower vehicle access. Commenting on the new location, Mark Weeks, said: “We are very pleased to partner with the Fix Auto St John’s Avalon team. Andrea and her team have built an outstanding reputation among their customers based on their commitment to customer satisfaction and operational excellence. We are looking forward to supporting the team as they continue to grow their business under the Fix Auto banner.”

ABOUT FIX AUTO Fix Auto is part of the Fix Network which is Canada’s largest automotive aftermarket services provider. Celebrating more than 27 years of excellence, each Fix Auto centre is owned and operated locally offering hassle-free care and services that return vehicles to their pre-collision luster and performance. With over 285 locations in Canada and 675 points of service worldwide, Fix Auto is the premier global body shop network. For more information, visit fixauto.com. 32

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Around the Atlantic

FEDS, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR INVEST IN PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSIT

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HE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF CANADIANS ARE TOP PRIORITIES FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA  AND THE GOVERNMENT OF  NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR.

Communities across Canada  are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and need immediate assistance to ensure public infrastructure is safe and reliable. Both governments have been taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, and continue to see what more can be done in these unprecedented times. On April 16, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl,  on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable Elvis Loveless, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and His Worship Danny Breen, Mayor of the City

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of St. John’s, announced funding to support 15 public building and public transit projects in the St. John’s  Metropolitan Area. These projects improve essential components of public buildings in the  St. John’s  Metropolitan Area. For example, windows will be replaced at the Prince of Wales Collegiate and Gonzaga High in St. John’s, and at Holy Trinity High in  Torbay. The Petten Building and Provincial Building 909 will receive new and reliable roofs. Further, the Duckworth Street Provincial Building will receive drainage system repairs, and the Supreme Court Building will receive HVAC improvements and accessibility upgrades for courtrooms. In addition,  St. John’s  residents will benefit from an upgrade to the electronic fare collection system on both Metrobus and GoBus (para-transit) services. This will improve accurate fare collection and the ability to offer real time mobile ticketing or phone payment options to public transit passengers. The Government of Canada is investing more than  $4.9 million  toward these

projects through COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream and the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in  Canada  Infrastructure Program. The Government of  Newfoundland  and  Labrador  is also contributing over  $1.3 million  towards the projects while the  City of St. John’s is providing $122,040 for one project. “We’re improving public infrastructure and transit in St. John’s and Torbay to make our communities cleaner and more inclusive,” said The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities “This is the third time this week we have announced funding for infrastructure upgrades in our province. Provincial buildings often require maintenance and repairs, and we remain committed to addressing these needs. I look forward to working with the towns and federal government on funding for more projects.”


Carter’s Corner

NEWS OF THE WEIRD BITS AND PIECES OF THE BIZARRE, THE HORRIFIC AND THE DOWNRIGHT

PUZZLING SCOOPED UP FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WEB SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO. YER WELCOME.

AUTONOMOUSLY DRIVEN OR IT’S FREE Domino’s, the largest pizza chain in the world (based on global sales), and autonomous vehicle startup Nuro have partnered to launch a pilot program in Houston to deliver pizzas using self-driving robot cars. A limited number of customers ordering online from Domino›s can choose to have their pizza delivered by Nuro’s R2, which is the first completely autonomous on-road delivery vehicle with regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation  to operate with no occupants inside. Customers who want to dive headfirst into a future where everything is robot-

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ic and human interaction is minimized will have to prepay for their food online, choose the autonomous delivery option, then watch their text messages for updates on the robot’s location. When it arrives, they will use a PIN to open the ‘bot and retrieve their hot pie. “There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space,” Dennis Maloney, Domino’s senior vice president and chief innovation officer said in a statement. “This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations.” Following a small partnership with Ford  for autonomous deliveries that required a human occupant in the pizza company›s home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Domino›s and Nuro began  working together in Houston in 2019 and had planned to begin robot deliveries within a few months. There›s a solid chance the global pandemic is responsible for both the delay in getting the driverless service off the ground and in its eventual launch before everything is quite back to normal. In any case, we expect to see more of these autonomous delivery services pop up in the coming months and years.

TRANSPORTING THE DEAD Egyptians were in for a treat of historical and cultural spectacle recently. A total of 22 royal Egyptian mummies – 18 kings and 4 queens – were transported from the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Fustat. The procession covered around 5 kilometres (3.1 miles), which involved lights and ceremonies in honour of the country’s ancient pharaohs. But these royal mummies weren’t transported by normal hearses; speciallybuilt  lorries were used, obviously decorated in a callback to ancient Egyptian civilisation. Hidden underneath are  special shock-absorbers to make sure that the preserved remnants were transported as smoothly as possible. Inside the trucks, the preserved pharaohs were transported in special nitrogenfilled boxes to help shield them from external natural elements. The roads along the long route were also cleared, while the convoy was surrounded by a motorcade and led by replica horse-drawn war chariots.  The heads of the UN cultural agency UNESCO and the World Tourism Organisation were present at the ceremony, as well as other important  government  fig-


Carter’s Corner

STEER BUSTS OUT OF TRAILER, BLOCKS ATLANTA TRAFFIC FOR OVER AN HOUR

imal. It took multiple officers to get the job done, but they couldn’t have done it without the assistance of a citizen who had rope. What methods of capture were the police attempting before some genius with rope came along, you ask? We’re not sure. The police’s Facebook post (below) doesn’t say. You can see photos of the steer tied up to an officer’s Chevy Tahoe. Police confirmed that the animal simply fell out of a livestock trailer (c’mon people, secure your cows). The steer has since lost its sweet, sweet freedom and was returned to its owner. There’s no doubt that the grand escape and time on the run has made it the most legen-dairy steer on the farm.

Local news outlet WSB-TV Atlanta reported  earlier in April that a bovine escaped its trailer on a metro freeway. It reportedly roamed free for over an hour on the highway (I-285 West), causing traffic to pile up and even potentially causing a crash or two. Local news outlets were unable to confirm that the steer was the source of the crashes, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was. Police were called in to corral the an-

Back in November of last year drivespark reported a story about, the Italian police department who used their Lamborghini supercar to transport a kidney to a hospital. The Italian police used the supercar to complete the 500 kilometre journey between a northern town of Padova to Rome in just 2 hours, which otherwise

lised museum, Egyptian authorities are reportedly hoping that this spectacle will revitalise tourism for the nation – hampered in the past years by political turmoil and the pandemic. ures such as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. At the new museum, a 21-gun salute was fired by canons to honour the arrival of the royal mummies. One of the most popular pharaohs transported during the ceremony was King Ramses II who ruled Egypt for 67 years and signed the first peace treaty. The oldest of the preserved remnants was  Seqenenre Tao, the last king of the 17th Dynasty, who reigned in the 16th century BC. Though the goal of the ceremony is to transfer the pharaohs to a more civi-

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ITALIAN POLICE USE LAMBORGHINI HURACAN TO TRANSPORT KIDNEY TO HOSPITAL


would take over 6 hours to complete. The police department shared the video on their social channels, which has since gone viral. The video also came with a caption, which translated to English, reads, “Thanks to our @Lamborghini Huracan, we transported the kidney of a do-

nor in time for transplantation to a person. “To save a life you don’t need superpowers” solidarity, technology and efficiency also help.” The Huracan supercar used was reportedly gifted to the Italian police by Lamborghini themselves, back in 2015. The Lamborghini Huracan in the Ital-

ian police fleet is said to be used for occasions like this, where urgent and highpriority transportation of organs, plasmas, vaccines is required. The supercar is also said to come fitted with a special coolbox at the front boot space, which keeps the organs safe when being transported.

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Truckers Corner

WOMEN ESSENTIAL TO CANADA’S TRANSPORT / LOGISTICS INDUSTRY FedEx Express Canada Survey Reveals Few Women Explore Career Options in one of Canada’s Most Essential Sectors  

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Over the past year, Canada’s transportation and logistics industry has had an increased impact on the lives of millions of

Canadians. However according to a new survey by Federal Express Canada Corporation (FedEx Express Canada), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, very few professional women see themselves being a part of this sector. Less than one in ten women (eight   per cent) stated they considered a career in transportation, logistics, and supply chains an “appealing career choice.”  FedEx Express Canada Women in Transportation Survey (CNW Group/Federal Express Canada Corporation) The first-ever  FedEx Express Canada Women in Transportation and Logistics survey of 1,039 Canadian professional women, conducted by Angus Reid Forum, found that employers in transportation and logistics have much to do to encourage more women to be a part of the industry.   Included among the survey findings: Nearly half of women (48 per cent) surveyed stated that they would not be open to a career in transportation and logistics. Of those, over a third (37 per cent) stated that they did not have enough knowledge of the sector to know if there were professional opportunities that would appeal to them, suggesting that the industry needs to do more to educate prospective women candidates. Roughly one third of those surveyed (32 per cent) said they were actively taking steps to advance their career or planned on returning to school. “Canadians are relying on the transportation and logistics industry more than ever before. Women leaders give our industry greater diversity of thought and provide key perspectives regarding the future of our sector’s performance,” said  Lisa Lisson, President of FedEx Express Canada.  “I would like to see  Canada’s  transportation, logistics, and supply chain industry proactively encourage women to explore the exciting opportunities we offer.  We truly make a difference in the lives of others.” The movement of people and goods is among the largest contributors to the Canadian economy and is a critical facet of some of the fastest growing pillars in com-


merce today. International trade, healthcare, e-commerce, innovation and other exciting fields all rely on a healthy and vibrant transportation and logistics sector.  According to Statistics Canadai, almost a million people are employed in transportation and warehousing (NAICS 48 -49).  However, of the total number of people employed in this industry, only 22.87 per cent are women.  On a positive note, the FedEx Express Canada survey did find that of those survey respondents would consider a career in transportation and logistics, 33 per cent perceived it to be a stable industry due to continued growth in shipping needs.  Further, 13 per cent of respondents who indicated they would consider a career in the industry have seen or read about women leaders who have enjoyed professional success in the sector, representing another motivating factor in their considerations for a career in the industry.  “Like all industries, we need to reflect the customers that we serve.  At FedEx, we are in a fortunate position to be able to offer our staff exciting opportunities to work on projects that engage our strengths in innovation, ecommerce, customer service and more,” said Lisson.  “As our business

continues to evolve to meet an ever-digital world, we are eager to channel our innovative spirit to build the network for what’s next and hope women seeking career advancements see themselves playing a role in this momentum.” About the FedEx Express Canada Women in Transportation and Logistics Survey. These are the findings of a FedEx Express Canada survey conducted

from February 18 to 22, 2021 with a representative sample of 1,039 online Canadian women between the ages of 18 and 60 who currently work or intend to work in the future and are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. The sample frame was balanced and weighted on age, province and education.

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From the Showroom Floor

2021 CANADIAN VEHICLES OF THE YEAR - AJA CANADA

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021 CANADIAN CAR OF THE YEAR, 2021 CANADIAN UTILITY VEHICLE OF THE YEAR, AND BEST NEW AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATIONS FOR 2021, ANNOUNCED BY AUTOMOBILE JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

The Mazda3  was announced as the  2021 Canadian Car of the Year  and the  Genesis GV80  as the  2021 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, as selected by the Automobile Journalists Association of  Canada  (AJAC) March 30. For Mazda this adds to the Mazda3’s list of achievements with just the second back to back win in the history of the awards and the first for a car.  The two vehicles were awarded with  Canada’s  highest automotive accolades during a live broadcast of The Morning Show on Global Television. This followed months of testing and evaluation by dozens of the country’s most-esteemed automotive journalists from  Vancou-

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ver to Halifax who tested each vehicle on the same roads and conditions Canadian drivers face each day. Ballots are scored anonymously on many different factors, including performance, features, technology, design, fuel consumption and value, first narrowing the list to eight category winners and finally three finalists for both the Car and Utility categories.  These winners were selected from across more than 250 eligible vehicles - all on-sale vehicles including those newly designed, recently refreshed, or carried over from last year - as long as they received a minimum number of ballots cast. “AJAC is very proud to present our highest honours today to the 2021 Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year,” said AJAC President  Stephanie Wallcraft. “2020 was a challenging year for everyone, our industry included. Despite our inability to hold events such as our annual TestFest due to pandemic-related restrictions, our members rallied to arrange and perform hundreds of test drives from their homes across Canada throughout 2020. It took a

monumental effort to generate the amount of assessment data required to uphold the standards of our program so that we can share our unbiased assessments today with Canadians. Our members take this duty very seriously, and it shows through our ability to produce these results.”    The Canadian Car of the Year award presentation is typically held during the opening ceremonies of the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) in  Toronto, which was cancelled this year due to the public health measures dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic. AJAC looks forward to continuing our partnership with CIAS when the show returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in February 2022. 

BEST NEW AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATIONS FOR 2021 Following the broadcast, three key automotive innovations were awarded the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) 2021 Automotive Innovation Awards presented by the Canadian International AutoShow.


THE WINNERS ARE: Best Safety Innovation - Honda Next Generation Front Passenger Airbag.  Fifty-six percent of all frontal collisions involve an angular impact. This new airbag design from Honda represents an important advancement in airbag development intended to further protect the front passenger in these types of collisions. The Honda airbag activates in a “V” shape unlike the “D” shape of conventional restraints. A smaller centre airbag connects to two larger “wings” that project outward towards the sides of the passenger. Connecting the two “wings” is a cloth panel that catches the passenger’s head and upper torso to ease motion into the centre chamber of the airbag. Developed at Honda’s research centre in Ohio, this next-generation front passenger airbag was first utilized as standard equipment in the 2021 Acura TLX. Honda has made this design available to other automotive manufacturers through their airbag supplier.  Best Green Innovation - 2021 F-150 PowerBoost™ Full Hybrid Powertrain  Available on F-150 models from XL to Platinum, the powertrain is offered with two- and four-wheel drive and produces 430 horsepower and 570 lb.-ft. of torque combined from the 3.5 litre V6 engine and electric motor.  Assembled on the same line as other F-150s, PowerBoost-equipped models incorporate an electric motor in the bellhousing area of the 10-speed automatic transmission and a lithium-ion battery pack mounted between the frame rails just behind the cab. Hybrid models can operate on electric power full- or part-time and achieve a Natural Resources Canada estimated fuel consumption average of 9.8 litres per 100 km for the most popular 4x4 models, a figure 2.2 litres per 100 km better than non-hybrid models, resulting in 19 percent fewer CO2 emissions while maintaining a maximum towing capacity of 5772 kg.  Ford’s F-Series trucks are and have been the best-selling nameplate in Canada, as a result, the increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions offered in the Ford F-150 PowerBoost could have a much larger impact on the environment than a similar innovation would in another body style. 

120 volt accessories or power tools. On the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid, the 2.4 kW system is standard and the 7.2 kW system is optional, with the upgrades providing additional electrical outlets. The 7.2 kW system comes with a 30 amp, 240 volt outlet to power heavy-duty power tools. Ford’s Pro Power Onboard system is more convenient, quieter, and lower-emission than a conventional generator, and does

not reduce truck bed function. Nominations for the innovation awards were made by AJAC members and finalists were selected in each of the three categories. Each automaker selected as a finalist presented its technology virtually to a panel of 10 judges, comprised of some of the most knowledgeable and respected journalists in Canada who regularly cover automotive technologies.  

BEST TECHNICAL INNOVATION FORD PRO POWER ONBOARD The Pro Power Onboard system comes in 3 models: 2.0 kW, 2.4 kW and 7.2 kW, with outlets in the side of the truck box and in the cab allowing the use of autoatlantic.com

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Human Resources

THE PANDEMIC IS CHALLENGING RECRUITMENT AND ONBOARDING IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY

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By Dave Elniski

HETHER MANAGING DIVERSE PERSONALITIES OR PIVOTING TRAINING TO A VIDEO CONFERENCING PLATFORM, COVID-19 IS HAVING A PROFOUND IMPACT ON RECRUITMENT STRATEGIES IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY. Most people in the trucking industry are aware that recruiting drivers is a major challenge. Fears over a shortage of commercial drivers have made headlines throughout North America, and regardless of how real the shortage seems at the level of the individual carrier, labour shortages are always a challenge for a busy business. For companies without the infrastructure needed to work remotely, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly challenging. Many trucking companies rely on inperson training and hiring procedures,

and in the effort to get drivers working as soon as possible, COVID-19 restrictions have created additional obstacles. In the sections below, I’ll dive deeper into some COVID-related driver hiring and training topics. Over the course of the pandemic, these topics have become of particular interest to transportation companies of all sizes.

COMPETITION FOR DRIVERS Trucking companies compete for drivers, and sometimes drivers are more scarce than freight. Whether a company uses employee drivers, owner-operators, or a combination of different labour solutions, no one model offers a bullet-proof path to abundant, qualified applicants. COVID-19 has prompted continually changing workplace restrictions that vary across regions, and companies that can quickly adapt to these restrictions are better positioned than those that drag their feet. It’s not hard for a driver with a reasonably clean safety record to find work throughout the industry. Carriers need to acknowledge that

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they often have to impress a new driver more than the driver needs to impress the carrier. Slow and crude adaptation to new standards - whether the upcoming electronic logging device deadline or changing COVID restrictions - do not instill confidence in a prospective hire.

MANAGING DIVERSE PERSONALITIES Attitudes towards safety differ dramatically between individuals, and this is especially true during the present pandemic. Many people have their own opinions on how serious COVID-19 is, and discussions about the virus can quickly get heated and political. Regardless of a person’s views towards COVID-19 and other safety concerns, restrictions and safety measures need to be implemented for various hazards. These safety measures will be received differently by different drivers. Prospective driver hires who are scared of COVID-19 will welcome enhanced safety protocols and may be critical of safety measures they perceive as suboptimal. On the other end of the


Human Resources

spectrum, drivers who consider COVID-19 to not be a problem may find the enhanced public health safety measures to be annoying and an infringement on their freedom. In my experience, most people accept the public health measures with a subdued annoyance while complying with the regulations. But if your prospective driver hire has an overly negative reaction to your company’s safety protocols, this may be a warning sign of potential future compliance problems. Regardless of how people react to a carrier’s safety measures, the carrier must professionally manage these reactions and different personalities. Rudeness and non-compliance with safety procedures are issues the carrier must address and not ignore.

REMOTE VERSUS IN-PERSON Recruiting and training new drivers can be done successfully through a combination of remote and in-person methods. Jobs can be advertised online, and initial contact with new hires can be through an internet job board, email, or phone call.

REMOTE ONBOARDING TASKS Interviews can easily be done remotely with video conferencing programs, and at the early stages of hiring this may be the best method with or without COVID-19 because it saves the candidate travel time. Once all of the pre-hire safety checks are

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complete, an in-person meeting consistent with public health regulations can be done later. Carriers that train drivers on subjects that can be delivered via a classroom presentation should consider either purchasing training videos or recording their own program (consult provincial legislation first for program requirements). Policy training and sign-offs can also be done electronically, and carriers may find that once they have implemented remote delivery methods for their onboarding that they will not want to go back once COVID-19 restrictions are over.

quences of skimping on these safety controls can be swift and severe. The biggest questions for carriers to consider when adjusting their hiring practices during the pandemic is how much in-person interaction is truly needed. Lots of traditionally in-person events like safety meetings can be successful through a remote platform and therefore do not justify the risks of an in-person gathering; personal protective equipment, social distancing, and other enhanced public health measures can then be used when in-person is of critical importance.

IN-PERSON ONBOARDING TASKS

COVID-19 is frequently described as an unprecedented event and I’m not disagreeing with this descriptor. It is challenging businesses around the world in ways few have ever considered. However, like any challenge facing an industry, those that are able to adapt and continue operations safely and efficiently in the new business climate are in a better position to succeed. In this sense, COVID-19 is a way for quick-adapting carriers to pull ahead of their competition. The pandemic is not equitable in the way that it affects different businesses so it is hard to compare its impacts to one carrier with its impacts on another. But even if a carrier has seen little negative impact from the pandemic, no one should be thinking they are immune from such trials in the future.

Commercial vehicle operation is a hands-on and often physically demanding job. In-person training remains the most effective way to teach a variety of tasks, especially things like how to tighten a load chain binder and how to install tire chains. Driving evaluations, an important part of the hiring process, are also another task that requires in-person evaluation unless sophisticated simulators are available. In-person training can still be done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as long as it is in accordance with the public health restrictions in place at the time. While it may be tempting for some carriers to temporarily cancel some of their new drive safety evaluations and training tasks due to COVID concerns, the conse-

SUMMARY


East Coast Road Report

THE ATLANTIC ROAD REPORT NEWS AND VIEWS COLLECTED FROM AROUND THE ATLANTIC REGION. NEW BRUNSWICK

Tender awarded for construction of Edmundston-Madawaska International Bridge The construction contract for the new Edmundston-Madawaska International Bridge project has been awarded to Reed & Reed Inc. of Woolwich, Maine. This bridge will replace the current structure that connects Edmundston and Madawaska. The current bridge is 100 years old and approaching the end of its useful life. The bridge deck and superstructure are in poor condition and show signs of advanced deterioration. Since October 2017, the international bridge has had a five-ton weight limit, creating a detour. “This international bridge is more than just a piece of infrastructure: it is an important link that brings communities and countries together,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green.

John River at about a 45-degree angle and will be located about 420 metres (1,400 ft.) upstream from the existing bridge. Because of this new alignment, the new structure will be nearly twice the length of the existing one. The new bridge will feature wider travel lanes and added shoulders on both sides. There will also be a raised sidewalk on the downstream side. The bridge will be constructed using steel girders supported on concrete substructures and is designed to last 100 years. Maine’s Department of Transportation is leading this project and awarded the construction contract. They advertised the contract for bids on Dec. 23, 2020 and opened bids on Feb. 24. Three contractors had been pre-qualified to bid on the project and two submitted bids. One of the pre-qualified companies was from New Brunswick, but they did not submit a bid. The low bidder was Reed & Reed,

with the COVID-19 pandemic have laid bare the importance of the connections between Maine and Canada,” said Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note. “We are eager to move forward with this project to greatly improve one of these vital connection points. This new bridge will improve safety and support economic activities on both sides of the international border.” In 2019, the project received a $36-million USD Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. The U.S. Department of Transportation has authorized an additional amount of $15.7 million USD towards Maine’s Department of Transportation capital budget. This funding will be used to cover the cost overages on the international bridge project. The remaining costs are being shared by the Maine and New Brunswick departments of transportation.

“This project will contribute to our priority of energizing the private sector by facilitating the movement of people and goods. This will allow our businesses to remain competitive while fostering economic growth in the region.” The new bridge will be constructed on a new alignment. It will cross the Saint

with a bid of $86,532,251. This bid results in a total project cost increase of about $10.9 million more than previous estimates. Due to the size and complexity of this multi-year project, the governments of both Maine and New Brunswick have agreed to award the contract. “The year-long challenges associated

Construction work is expected to begin in April. The opening of the new bridge to traffic is anticipated by the end of 2023. Demolition of the old bridge is scheduled to begin once traffic is moved onto the new bridge. The estimated final completion date of the project is June 30, 2025.

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East Coast Road Report

“Reed & Reed is pleased to be rebuilding this critical link between families, communities and nations,” said company CEO Jackson Parker. “We will be looking to hire locally as much as possible. We have a long history of building bridges for Maine’s Department of Transportation, beginning in 1928 with a $1,676 contract to replace a bridge in Hermon. We are excited to begin work on this project.”

NEWFOUNDLAND

Reopening of Atlantic Bubble Delayed Protecting the health of Atlantic Canadians remains the overriding priority of Atlantic Premiers. Premier Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick chaired a teleconference of the Council of Atlantic Premiers with Premier Iain Rankin of Nova Scotia, Premier Dennis King of Prince Edward Island and Premier Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador. They reviewed the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and considered how to move forward on reducing travel restrictions within the Atlantic region. Given the recent surge in cases of COVID-19 in parts of Atlantic Canada and the emergence of more transmissible forms of the virus, the Council of Atlantic Premiers has agreed to delay the reopening of the Atlantic Bubble by at least two weeks, to May 3rd, 2021. The decision is based upon expert advice from the region’s Chief Medical Offic-

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ers of Health. Premiers will meet during the last week of April to review the status of outbreaks and determine if a further delay to May 10th, 2021 is required. This delay will support a continued focus on addressing local outbreaks and the roll-out of vaccination programs across the region. Premiers urge all Atlantic Canadians to adhere to public health measures designed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. When the Atlantic Bubble reopens, residents of the Atlantic provinces will be able to travel within the region without the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days. All public health directives in each province must continue to be followed, including wearing a mask in public spaces, not traveling if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and practicing physical distancing. Premiers noted that the relaxation of travel restrictions will be closely monitored and may change at any time, based on public health advice regarding conditions within the region. Premiers remain committed to working together to limit the spread of COVID-19, protect the health and safety of all Atlantic Canadians and strengthening the region’s economy while returning to community activities. For more information about the COVID-19 response and specific public health requirements for each of the Atlantic Prov-

inces, please consult the following links below: New Brunswick: http://www.gnb.ca/ coronavirus Newfoundland and Labrador:  https:// www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/ Nova Scotia:  https://novascotia.ca/ coronavirus/ Prince Edward Island:  https://www. princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/covid-19

NOVA SCOTIA

Nova Scotia capital budget over $1 billion for second consecutive year For the second consecutive year Nova Scotia’s Liberal government has released a capital budget with over $1-billion in spending — a level the finance minister says will be sustained for years to come. The $1.17 billion designated for highways, schools and hospitals is slightly larger than last year’s $1.042-billion plan, which had been the largest single-year capital plan in the province’s history. Last year, former finance minister Karen Casey said the time was right to spend in areas of need because of the province’s strong financial position after five consecutive balanced budgets. Current Finance Minister Labi Kousoulis told reporters March 23 that situation hasn’t changed, even though there is also a need for stimulus because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy. “We’re going to be continuing with over $1 billion of capital investments in


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the future years as well,” said Kousoulis. “Generally the capital plan would have looked pretty much the same if we had not come into the pandemic.” The minister said the increased capital spending is in part due to the speeding up of some projects in order to signal to the private sector that the government is confident the province will come out of the pandemic in strong economic shape. Kousoulis said the province is able to carry out the increased spending because of its previous series of small surpluses, which improved the debt-to-GDP ratio. He said this happened at a time of low interest rates. He added the province is in a much better fiscal position today than it was when the Liberals took power in 2013. “We anticipate (interest) rates to be low in the coming years, and we are retiring debt from the ‘90s,” he said. The plan also includes $467 million for road, highway and bridge improvements that were previously announced. There is no notable spending increase on government-subsidized housing, although there is some money to upgrade existing housing stock. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2021.

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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

johnbean.com/en-ca

19

1-204-489-4215

convenienceandcarwash.com

38

1-800-267-5744

krown.com

47

Maritime Auto Parts 1-800-565-7278

2

maritimeauto.com

4

Maritime Car Wash

1-902-861-4747

maritimecarwash.ca

15

Maritime Pro Stock

1-902-873-2277

maritimeprostocktour.com

51

MultiServe

1--902-758-4410 multiserve.ca

NAPA Auto Parts

1-800-263-2111

napaonlinecanada.com

17

NAPA Auto Parts

1-800-263-2111

napaonlinecanada.com

21

NAPA Auto Parts

1-800-263-2111

napaonlinecanada.com

35

NAPA Auto Parts

1-800-263-2111

napaonlinecanada.com

37

NAPA Auto Parts

1-800-263-2111

napaonlinecanada.com

49

NLS Products

1-800-465-0500 nlsproducts.ca

5

NLS Products

1-800-465-0500 nlsproducts.ca

9

NLS Products

1-800-465-0500 nlsproducts.ca

10

14

1-902-493-3051

41

Peterbilt Atlantic

1-506-451-2001

peterbiltatlantic.com

28

Rust Check

1-888-RUSTIES

rustcheck.ca

13

SPCA of NS

1-844-835-47980

Truck Stop+

1-506-317-1038

NSTSA

nstsa.ca

novascotiaspca.ca

44

truckstopplus.ca

29

Worldpac Inc. 1-800-888-9982

worldpac.com

55

Valvoline 1-800-TEAM-VAL

valvoline.ca

45

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A Crapaud-area woman who came across a fake road barrier is warning drivers on the Trans-Canada Highway between Crapaud and New Haven to be on the lookout. Susan MacVittie was on her way home to Crapaud from Charlottetown Tuesday night. Around 10 p.m., she was coming down the hill just west of Gass’s General Store. “All of a sudden, in the dark, I came across what looked to be a roadblock that stretched across the Trans-Canada Highway on both sides of the highway,” said MacVittie. There were pylons, wooden barriers and a sign that said Road Closed. “So, you can imagine a car or vehicle is gaining speed, going down a hill – it was halfway down a hill. Luckily, I wasn’t going very fast,” said McVittie. “Then, an 18-wheeler came behind me and all I could think about was, ‘Uh-oh, if that 18-wheeler is gaining speed and suddenly has to put on his brakes, we’re going to get hit.” MacVittie moved her car out of the way, to the shoulder on the other side of the road just as a second transport truck arrived. Then a car stopped from the other direction. That’s when MacVittie called the RCMP. They didn’t know of any road closures but sent an officer and someone from the Department of Highways to check it out. When she drove around the pylons and carried on, she didn’t come across any reason for the road to be closed. “It was highway equipment,” she said. “Someone has stolen some equipment or something, is what I’m assuming.” “All of a sudden, in the dark, I came across what looked to be a roadblock that stretched across the Trans-Canada Highway on both sides of the highway.” On Friday morning, MacVittie saw a post on social media from another driver who had the same experience, this time in Crapaud, on Thursday around 11 p.m. The fake barrier was close to Englewood School. “This is a very dangerous prank that someone is doing,” said MacVittie, noting the two incidents she knows of were in areas with low-visibility – on a turn and halfway down a hill. “This is obviously a public nuisance, and it’s dangerous.”


Crossword Contest

CROSSWORD (ANSWERS IN THE NEXT AUTO & TRUCKING ATLANTIC)

Leo-Paul Leger of Dieppe, NB is our latest Crossword Puzzle winner! Congratulations on winning your new Rust Check treatment. Deadline for entry is June 26th, 2021

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IT’S SO EASY TO WIN! Fill out info below and send your Crossword to us at 608 - 56 Jacob Lane, Bedford, NS B3M 0H5, or Email us at: info@autoatlantic.com NAME:

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YOU TOO CAN WIN ONE FREE RUST CHECK ANNUAL SPRAY AT ANY RUST CHECK DEALER! ENTER FOR YOU CHANCE!

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CROSSWORD BY MURRAY JACKSON - THECROSSWORDGUY.COM

MARCH 2021 WINNER!

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ADDRESS:

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1. Canadian-developed protectant spray (4,5) 6. ‘70s Cougar “Sign of the ____” ads 8. Movie DeLorean driver McFly 9. Instant wealth source 10. Convertible description, some- times 11. Civic-minded carmaker, in a way 12. One-way signs, sometimes 14. 1-Across application interval 17. Famous ‘50s Ford flop 19. BBC TV gearhead series (3,4) 21. BMW Isetta or Smart ForTwo 22. Four-time F1 champ Alain 24. ‘90s Safari van brand (1,1,1) 25. Yeager job description (4,5)

1. Tachometer letters (1,1,1) 2. Winter windshield tool 3. Bonnie’s ‘32 Ford outlaw buddy 4. Join the Canadian Armed Forces 5. Cape Breton ceilidh venue, often 6. Detail a car, in other words 7. Snowmobile or ATV trailer (3,6) 10. Road trip driver’s container (6,3) 13. ‘63-’70 luxury sport Buick 15. Recyclable lube bay liquid (4,3) 16. Winter driving hazards 18. ‘12-’18 Chevy subcompact 20. Headlamp or trailer type (3,2) 23. Body art, briefly

IT’S FUN! IT’S EASY! LAST ISSUE’S CROSSWORD 1

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NAPA Guess & Win contest

NAPA GUESS & WIN! BROUGHT TO YOU BY

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usic fans (or movie fans for that matter), we need to know the name of this famous ‘vehicle’, and please, can you tell us more about it too. Details please and a FREE Stanley 1/4” and 3/8” Drive SAE 123pc Socket Set from NAPA is all yours! The more detail the better! Send in your answer at autoatlantic.com/Contest.htm or Email us at info@autoatlantic.com, and make sure to include your name, town, province and telephone number. Maybe this time it’ll be you! Deadline for entry is June 26th, 2021.

Best wishes go to Chris Murphy of Alberton, PEI, who correctly answered: “It’s a 2021 Ford Mustang ‘MachE’ which is also an SU V . . .” Thank you to all who entered our contest, you could be next!

YOUR NAME: PHONE: ADDRESS: CITY / TOWN / VILLAGE: PROVINCE: POSTAL CODE: EMAIL: YOUR ANSWER:

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