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CFMS gears up for 40th annual conference

TORONTO, Ont. - Fleet and service personnel from across the country will soon descend upon Toronto for the 40th annual Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminar (CFMS).Despite troubles for many conferences a...


ENVELOPE, PLEASE: Last year's Fleet Maintenance Manager of the Year was Bill Dinino (pictured). Who will it be this year?
ENVELOPE, PLEASE: Last year's Fleet Maintenance Manager of the Year was Bill Dinino (pictured). Who will it be this year?

TORONTO, Ont. – Fleet and service personnel from across the country will soon descend upon Toronto for the 40th annual Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminar (CFMS).

Despite troubles for many conferences across the country the last two years, the four-day conference, which begins May 4 at the Inn on the Park in Toronto, has become an industry mainstay and is expected to have a full-capacity turnout.

“I think we’ll do even better than last year,” says general manager Rod Henderson, who organizes the event.

“We’ve been trying to advertise more (and) so far, so good.”

Ten panel sessions, ranging in length from one hour to 90 minutes, will be held over the course of the seminar, addressing issues ranging from disc brakes to low emission engine maintenance.

Two staples of the seminar are the sessions on the latest products, discussed by some of the industry’s top manufacturers, and the medical panel which will be addressing the problem of back pain this year.

Topics are decided upon months in advance, after a 16-person committee discusses which issues are of the most importance in the field.

The committee is comprised of representatives from the Automotive Transportation Service (ATS), which has sponsored the event since its inception in 1963.

“You have a moderator on the topic, and then you have four speakers – usually two from the manufacturing side and two from the fleet side,” Henderson says.

“The manufacturer can tell you (how) it should be, and if it’s any different, the fleet people can tell you (how) it really is.”

A significant portion of each session is devoted to a question period, when any of the delegates can ask specific information of the panelists.

Henderson says this portion is very important, given the limitations of a 60-minute session.

“In the time allotted, you can’t describe everything. It’s a matter of trying to stimulate the audience into asking the questions. I think that part works really well,” he says.

The CFMS will also celebrate its 40th anniversary in one of the sessions, with a light-hearted look back at the changes, mistakes and amusing happenings of the past four decades, Henderson says.

Approximately 700 delegates are expected to attend this year, a large increase from the inaugural seminar’s 400 attendees.

The seminar ends on a high note, with the awarding of the Volvo Canadian Fleet Maintenance Manager of the Year award, which is itself celebrating a 15-year anniversary.

It is awarded on the final day of the seminar, after peer nominations and evaluation leading up to the event.

For more information on both the award, and registration and schedules for the CFMS, you can visit www.cfmsonline.com.


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