TORONTO, Ont. – It was a long time coming, but for Bill Arthur, the coveted Volvo Fleet Maintenance Manager of the Year award finally came.
“It was a surprise,” admited the 54-year-old grandfather of two, who’s been with L.E. Walker Transport in St. Thomas, Ont. for 37 years.
“I know I’ve been nominated before but nothing ever came of it. And I knew I was nominated this time, but I didn’t see anyone I knew up at the banquet tables in front (of the banquet hall) so I assumed it wouldn’t be me.”
What Arthur didn’t know was that his family, including his wife and son (who has his own truck repair business, W.H. Arthur Entreprises), were hidden around the room, waiting to surprise him after the big announcement.
Arthur said he’s very pleased to have been nominated and plans to display his trophy in the large trophy cabinet at his company’s headquarters in St. Thomas.
The list of Arthur’s achievements during his career with L.E. Walker is lengthy: responsible for over 1,000 pieces of equipment, Arthur has managed to develop a current preventive maintenance program; lead the maintenance department into a new and more significantly regulated environment and; support the Thames Valley Co-op program, which exposes high school students to a possible career as truck technicians.
Arthur also spearheaded the London ATSSA Wheel-End Training Program in 1996.
He’s held an A/Z licence since 1966, and earned the MVM Certificate of Qualification with Inter-Provincial Seal and Diesel Endorsement in 1977.
“The thing that’s made me the most proud over the years are the scores we got after MTO safety audits,” Arthur says.
“The last one we had was in 2000 and we got 97.3 per cent.” (In 1995, the company scored 92.19 per cent.)
Arthur started with L.E. Walker Transport in 1967 and has never looked back.
“I really enjoy what I’m doing and the people I work with – who’ve always made me feel like part of the business.”
Walker was nominated for his extensive service, the excellence of his maintenance programs and management skills, but also for his extensive community involvement, in charity work as well as minor hockey.
“I knew it was going to be me when the presenter (Volvo National Service Manager John Montgomery) mentioned me participating in the wheelchair ramp building project in Inuvik,” Arthur said.