Truck News


Publisher’s Comment: Hats off to the industry’s best technicians

We all know that both qualified diesel technicians and maintenance managers are at a premium these days.

We all know that both qualified diesel technicians and maintenance managers are at a premium these days.

Having just attended the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminars, I’m reminded of just how talented this group of individuals really is.

I had the pleasure of meeting some of Canada’s top maintenance managers during the four-day event.

According to our editors, the seminar’s technical content was timely and well-presented. Hats off to the organizers!

I admit I may not be the most technically-minded individual.

In fact, just checking the oil in my vehicle can represent somewhat of a challenge.

I know what a dipstick looks like but my problem starts way before that point. I usually have a hard enough time just opening the damned hood.

I can never seem to find that little latch…I once had someone offer to help me find it at my local self-serve gas station. How embarrassing.

I’m happy to say, my technically-challenged problems don’t run in the family.

My nephew, David, is looking forward to starting a career as a diesel technician.

He has just registered in a course starting this fall at one of Ontario’s top technical schools.

I don’t know who’s happier…my nephew or my sister. David has spent considerable time deciding on a career path so this announcement has been a long time coming.

I also think my sister has plans for his bedroom.

He should do well.

He’s got a good head on his shoulders (obviously, being born with the Wilkins family bloodline although my wife would argue it skipped a generation when I was born) he’s reliable, and he’s not afraid to work.

A great combination that is not easy to find these days.

He knows that this school is just the beginning.

His learning curve will continue until the day he retires. Every year, on average, he’ll log 100 hours of training in order to stay on top of the technical advancements of today’s engines and components.

I couldn’t be happier for him. He has chosen a great career, not only in terms of wages (diesel technicians do very well for themselves) but it also looks like the demand for quality technicians is not going to change anytime soon. In short, if he’s good, life’s door will be wide open for him.

When I started in 2000, good drivers and technicians were at a premium. Here we are in 2007 and nothing has changed. They continue to be two of our most critical issues.

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-510-5123.

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