Lewis wins maintenance manager award

TORONTO (April 29) — John Lewis, fleet and safety manager at SLH Transport in Kingston, Ont., has won the 1999 Canadian Fleet Maintenance Manager Award. Sponsored by Volvo Trucks Canada, the award was presented by company president Mike O’Connell during a luncheon at the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminar held in Toronto.

Lewis oversees a staff of 79 employees, 56 of them technicians (and 11 of those are apprentices) from his home terminal in Barrie, Ont. Other SLH maintenance facilities are in Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Regina, Edmonton, and Calgary. Lewis has also certified, by a series of audits, several independent shops to do SLH work.

Not a small fleet, SLH numbers 525 power units and some 2900 trailers.

The company was the inaugural winner of the 1997 Canadian Trucking Alliance/Royal and Sun Alliance National Fleet Safety Award for fleets running more than 18 million miles. SLH also won the Ontario Gold Award of Excellence in both 1992 and 1994.

Such awards, according to company president Peter Bergin, are largely due to Lewis’ skills and efforts.

Lewis, with 20 years of industry experience, has been with SLH for eight years. It’s significant that the company has lowered its per-mile costs for both tractors and trailers in every one of those eight years.

Among his accomplishments at SLH, Lewis established a simple system to warn both dispatchers and mechanics that a given trailer is due for its annual inspection — the trailer’s identification number changes color on the computer screen one month prior to its inspection date.

Lewis is responsible for all equipment spec’ing — done in concert with drivers — and handles the purchasing or leasing as well. In his dual role as fleet and safety chief, he also has eight driver trainers reporting to him.

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