108 Greenwood Drive
Duane and his wife Julia Gallant opened this business in 2008. The family-run company offers truck and trailer and commercial vehicle maintenance and repair. They also specialize in resale and refurbishment of heavy trucks and sanitation equipment.
They have experienced Red Seal licensed technicians and offer service on PEI, throughout Atlantic Canada, and North America. “Julia takes care of the office administration. It is a lot of work for my wife and me to run a business but at the end of the day it is rewarding.
“We are heavily into computerized fuel economy systems,” says Duane. “We can adjust a truck’s system to get another mile per gallon, which is a big saving for trucks of this size and capacity. Although the work is highly electrical and computerized, it is also very labour intensive.
How to become a Truck and Transport Mechanic
“I grew up in the industry,” says Duane. “My grandfather started a refuse business in the 1950s. When I finished school, I worked there and I learned how equipment worked and how to fix it and progressed from there.
“There is no specific training for this trade on PEI. To become licensed in this trade, I put in my hours working under a licensed mechanic, built up the time, registered under the Truck and Transport Mechanic Apprenticeship program, and then wrote and passed my Red Seal examination.”
“The only way on PEI to become a Red Seal licensed mechanic in this trade is to be hired by an employer such as myself and have the training-on-the-job.”
For more information about the Red Seal Truck and Transport Mechanic license process, Click here.
“We do a lot of computer programming for trucks in areas such as emissions and fuel economy. We learn a lot through training provided by the truck dealers. Today’s technology requires in-depth electrical or computerized knowledge.”
About the staff
There is 11 staff and there is very little turnover. “Two of my staff members have worked here since day one. “My cousin has been with me since the beginning, and he is my main guy.”
“We are a small company and it is like a family here,” says Duane. “Everyone gets along, we have a great crew, and it is a fun setting where we can joke around with each other. We have all worked in settings which weren’t so good, so it is great to have this type of working relationship here.”
- Office administration
- Counter staff
- Red Seal Technicians
- Truck driving for pick-up and delivery
About the Truck and Transport Mechanic trade on PEI
Duane says he would be open to an arrangement which would bring in two or three high school students for some on-the-job training. “I took the Co-op program when I was in high school and it was a great experience with a local employer. I worked at a tire, automotive, and engine rebuilding shop.”
Duane says it would be more effective if there was specific Truck and Transport Mechanic training on the Island, because it is a tough trade and the industry needs more trained people.
“The young guys I have hired have grasped this trade well, but it is heavy and dirty work and not a lot of people want to do it. I find the work very rewarding, and there is good money in it. A good technician on the Island would be making up to $32 per hour. It is a very rewarding and in-demand career.
“I think this generation needs to be more aware of the industry. Unless you were born into it or exposed somehow, I don’t think many people pay a lot of attention to it. Every industry requires transportation, and companies like ours keep trucks on the road. I think lack of awareness is the problem.
How to get your foot in the door
“When I look for staff they have to be mechanically inclined and I train them from there,” says Duane. He commented on the great luck he has had hiring locally. “I have hired people from the high school and Holland College. One guy on staff started in the automotive trade and then he came on with me and I trained him to be a heavy equipment mechanic. Automotive is a great foundational start for this trade.
Wages and benefits
Duane says companies have to pay the technicians well in order to get good help. “We offer benefits and a pension plan here at Driveline.”
“My wife and I believe that if a young person wanted to come here and learn this trade he is worth $15 per hour to start. That is for a person coming in the door not knowing anything about the industry. The more experienced people are making good money.”
“I have enough staff right now, but we always have to look ahead to make sure the right staff are in place. We are at a comfortable size, and we do not anticipate expanding.
“I just want to keep the work coming as it is and keep the staff that I have working. But I realize that staff changes can come and I need to be ready.”
Best fit for the job
“Some people who I tried out here had their papers but their work didn’t amount to very much and I let them go. It is heavy work and it is not for everyone.
“I look for a person who is energetic and has good work ethics. A lot of times the best fit are people who come from a farming background, are mechanically minded, and willing to learn as they go.”
How to apply
“When talking to people, I can get a pretty good idea if they will work out or not. I keep suitable resumés on file for future work.”
For more information, contact Duane Gallant
108 Greenwood Drive, Summerside
Call: 902-888- 3588
Visit www.drivelinetruckandtrailer.com or follow on Facebook.