5 Truck servicer rolls to second shop.
As a man who makes things happen, he envisioned, planned and built a new independent sales, service and parts dealership for Kenworth trucks in New Liskeard in only two years. At the same time, he filled a gap in the market and created skilled jobs in Temiskaming Shores.
Michaud began the private business in 1988, setting up the sales, service and parts facility on Highway 101, attracting traffic flow just east of Timmins. He brought experience from his log-hauling truck business and filled a void in the market for a Kenworth dealership.
"There was no Kenworth dealer near Timmins, and I was impressed with the quality of the trucks," Michaud says.
Today, the Timmins business is flourishing with about 27 employees.
Again, Michaud has sought to fill a space in the New Liskeard area with his new facility, which opened for business in early February of this year. Although similar to the Timmins business, he calls New Liskeard Kenworth more "state-of-the-art."
Situated on a four-acre site, it is located on the Highway 11 corridor, making it easily accessible for customers along the well-travelled route.
With over a million dollars invested, the 18,000-square-foot service building is outfitted with four drive-through service bays, allowing as many as eight trucks to be worked on at one time. It also features lube service and two full four-foot deep pits, allowing the technician to work on the truck standing up. An overhead crane can easily lift the truck in the air or pull an engine out, thus, creating more efficient work and less wait time.
While they wait for their rig, customers can watch satellite television on a big-screen TV and take advantage of the shower-washroom facilities. The open-concept department also has room for a display truck. Michaud says the idea for the lounge came about after performing some research and by talking with the customers and getting their feedback.
An important aspect to the Kenworth group is that they specialize in custom-built trucks.
"It is a well-respected, well-built product," Michaud says.
Kenworth has also been a leader in winning J.D. Power Awards from the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Heavy Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study. Kenworth achieved the highest ranking in customer satisfaction among Class 8 truck owners, according to the website.
Manager Gilles Lacombe says the Timmins business thrives on good service and keeping customers happy.
"We hope to do the same thing in New Liskeard," he says.
Lacombe, who originally worked at the Timmins dealership for 10 years, moved to New Liskeard because he wanted the challenge of helping start a business from scratch. He is enjoying it and likes the area for its centralized location.
The idea to build in the Temiskaming Township began two years ago. Michaud put the wheels in motion, adding that the township was "quite accommodating and made it an easy transition."
Presently, there are 12 to 13 employees, most of which were local hires.
The official grand opening will be on April 28, from noon until 9 pm. Lacombe says it will be like a small trade show with suppliers, a barbeque and refreshments for visitors.
Michaud says there are possibilities for a third dealership three to five years down the road.
Timmins Kenworth Ltd. was founded in 1988 by Dwight Michaud in order to fill a gap in the local market. This month, he opens his second location in New Liskeard.
By ADELLE LARMOUR
Northern Ontario Business
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|Title Annotation:||Top 5 Companies To Watch|
|Publication:||Northern Ontario Business|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2006|
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