After spending 50+ years in the transportation industry and nine years at The Erb Group of Companies, Senior Corporate Fleet Director, Jim Pinder, sat down with us to talk about all things shop. Jim leads a large team of technicians across our terminals, ensuring everyone is meeting their career goals, safety standards, and maintains a large functioning fleet.
Based out of our Baden terminal, Jim starts his morning speaking with technicians and supervisors to get a grip of what’s to come for the day or week. Typically, there are more technicians employed during night shifts because of the requirement for the equipment to be out on the road during the day. But there is an opportunity for new hires to fit in. There are shop specific shifts covering days, afternoons, night and day and afternoon swing shifts.
Key to a Shops Success
Working in a shop is different from a standard desk-job. Every day is different, and it’s very hands-on. Jim says, “The work environment is very positive and a collaborative space. We encourage technicians to speak up and converse on problem-solving.” Another item Jim highlighted was about the physical space being tidy and organized. “Safety is our number one priority. Ask any employee at Erb, whether it’s a driver, technician or staff employee, and they will say safety.” All Baden shops have in-floor heating, LED lighting and easy-access pits to work underneath the equipment. All technicians at Erb must be certified are certified to operate the 5-tonne cranes in each shop, which allows them to get underneath heavy-duty equipment to analyze faults and service requirements.
Another key to success is having the latest technology available to employees. “We invest in software because it enables us to do in-depth programming and adjustments to their equipment. Some examples are Eaton RoadRanger software, Diamond Logic, Detroit, and Freightliner diagnostics. All of which our technicians learn to use and get training on if they are new to it.”
“Without safety, people get injured. If people are injured, we cannot function as a company.” Each shop undergoes a monthly inspection by members of our internal Health and Safety Committee to ensure there is no bias and standards are being met. To keep the space clean, there is a floor sweeper available to scrub clean which is used based on the volume of traffic coming through the shop. During intense weather conditions in the winter, the shop has a standby generator, ensuring the team can continue working efficiently while functioning off-grid with the diesel generator. While the space is a priority, so is training. There are safety module requirements to work in the shop for all employees. On every shift there is a trained St John’s Ambulance technician, several strategically placed well stocked first aid kits and a defibrillator on-site.
Equipment and PPE sometimes needs replacing and Erb reacts to employee needs to address those requirements. A $150 boot allowance and a hand tool allowance of $390 are provided annually for apprentices and technicians.
Considering a technician career?
A good technician will never be out of work. Jim explains, “There will always be job stability and opportunity. Being a technician is a transferrable skill and can be used in any industry. We have many mechanics that started off as auto technicians and have moved to a 310T Truck / Coach or 310J Truck Trailer certification.” He continues, “Our technicians have a unique opportunity because Erb works with temperature-controlled food; we are considered an essential service. Meaning no apprentice or certified technician should ever be out of work.”
Interested in a technician job at The Erb Group of Companies? Technicians work out of our Baden Shop, Sandhills Shop and six other locations where we service, repair, and maintain equipment. Check out our job postings here or speak with our recruiters by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.