Trailcon donates tractor trailer to technicians-in-training

BRAMPTON, ONNational trailer rental, leasing, and fleet maintenance specialist Trailcon Leasing Inc. has donated a tractor trailer to Mohawk College so technicians-in-training can get hands-on experience.

“The students benefit from working on a trailer that has up-to-date technologies, excellent diagnostics, and works with our scan tools. We can do air brake training, wheel services, body work, and panel replacement. There is even a working temperature controlled unit, so we can train refrigeration specialists, which are in huge demand,” says Angelo Cosco, of the Motive Power group at Mohawk College.

Hamilton-based Mohawk College offers apprenticeship programs for truck-trailer service technicians and truck and coach technicians. Students are trained to repair, test, and maintain the complex systems of trucks and trailers. It 4,500 apprenticeship students each year, and is one of the largest trainers of apprentices in Ontario. The Stoney Creek campus is home to the Gerald Marshall Centre for Transportation, which includes an internal shop that can house up to three full-sized tractor trailers.

“The aging workforce and resulting labour shortage is on everyone’s mind. That’s why we support educational partners like Mohawk and contribute to students through scholarships offered by the Toronto Transportation Club and Ontario Trucking Association,” says Trailcon’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Mike Krell.

At FPInnovations’ Performance Innovation Transport’s recent conference in Toronto, Navistar Canada’s Mark Belisle said his company is short 200 mechanics across Canada at the present time and he says it’s incumbent on the industry to “work as a group to change the perception of what it’s like to work in a shop.”  Navistar is also working with Conestoga College in Kitchener, ON, putting 24 students a year through the heavy-duty diesel program. 

And According to Sheehan Truck Centre’s Marc Poland, the U.S. industry needs 20,000 new technicians but only about 3,500 enter the trade every year.

Krell agrees that industry support is critical to the success of post-secondary education programs and their graduates, especially in skilled trades. He says investing in the next generation is the “right thing to do.”

“We’re always thinking about ways to build for the future,” he says.

Cosco adds: “We need vehicles and components that give our students the best possible experience. The Trailcon trailer does that for us. It helps our students say to future employers, ‘Yes, I can do that.'”

Trailcon has operations in Brampton and Cornwall in Ontario, and Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta. It owns a fleet of 6,500 units, servicing companies such as ATS Healthcare, Canada Cartage, and National Fast Freight, as well as some of the largest grocery and retail chains in the country. Its dedicated fleet maintenance operation looks after an additional 8,500 customer-owned units across Canada.

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