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Highway SOS: when the pros need the pros

Posted: August 1, 2014

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — When Dawn and Alvis Violo started their new business less than two years ago, the idea was, in Alvis’ words, “to become the CAA of trucking.”

The plan: Set up a network of roadside help vendors in every part of the country and then outfit as many fleets and owner-operators as possible with 24/7 access to those vendors. So no matter where or when somebody broke down, all they’d have to do is dial 1- 877-377-2262 and in no time flat the Violos would have them hooked up with a local repair or service facility.

What that meant for start-up purposes is the Violos had to build a network so if Joe Blow phones from outside Port Hood, N.S., with a blown turbo, the Violos would be able to contact a local pro who’d come to the rescue.

By dint of hard work and considerable charm, the Violos in less than two years built up a network of more than 4,000 vendors who they can call on a moment’s notice.

And then, last week, things came full circle.

Not only had their company, Emergency Road Services of Canada Inc., grown to be a familiar face in the Canadian trucking industry, but they got the call they were waiting for.

“CAA called us,” reports Alvis. “In the middle of the night. They had a car broken down in the middle of New Brunswick but couldn’t find anyone to help.”

The Violos leapt to the rescue and the car driver was on his way within two hours.

The boys at CAA are apparently hoping that someday they’ll be the ERS of the car set.

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