CONCORD, Ont. — At a dinner at Concord, Ont.’s Paradise Banquet Hall & Convention Centre, Volvo Trucks Canada presented the winner of the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Manager of the Year Award.
Steve de Sousa (right) of Volvo Trucks Canada presents the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Manager of the Year award to Chris Iveson of Challenger Motor Freight.
This year, the coveted award went to Chris Iveson of Challenger Motor Freight, who has been in the truck maintenance trade for almost two decades.
Steve de Sousa of Volvo Trucks Canada presented the award to Iveson, outlining the criteria one must possess to be qualified for the award.
When choosing a winner, said de Sousa, emphasis is placed “on the scheduled maintenance program of the company, the quality and frequency of training programs, the major accomplishments and innovations of the individual and the nominee’s contribution to the industry and community in general.” Though Volvo Trucks Canada sponsors the award, it is not involved in the selection process. The winner of the award is selected by past winners and a group of industry journalists.
According to de Sousa, candidates for the award must manage a fleet of at least 25 Class 8 vehicles and perform at least 80% of their own maintenance and repairs.
De Sousa added that Iveson went above and beyond the criteria outlined for the award as he oversees more than 150 staff at four maintenance facilities across the country and maintains nearly 4500 pieces of equipment. In addition, Iveson spends a lot of his time mentoring younger people in the importance of the trade.
“Our recipient has spent most of his career promoting and advising on the industry,” de Sousa added. “He actively promotes truck and coach trade to our future technicians as an advisor at Centennial College and Conestoga College. At work, he spends a portion of his time mentoring and coaching staff with a focus on hiring apprentices and helping them find their way through the truck and coach program. He is also an advising member of the OTA’s technical council and the ATA’s technical advisory council, where he is the only Canadian representative.”
Iveson, a father of six, was very humbled by the award and took the time in his acceptance speech to outline why he spends so much time mentoring students.
“Without Challenger behind me I wouldn’t be standing here today,” he said. “My company has worked closely with me to help us get to where we are today. We’re a proud part of this industry and I’m a proud person to be involved in this industry. We talked earlier about the difficulties with apprentices…and I do feel very passionate about it. If we don’t continue to promote this trade, and we don’t continue to promote business to where it need to go, we’re going to be at a sad loss…I’m very proud of what this trade has done for me. A long time ago my high school auto teacher kind of pushed me into the trade and I never thought for a second I’d be in this position today. So, to everybody I’ve worked with over the years, thank you very much for this award. I appreciate it.”