This month we visited with Josh Arbeau at Triple A Automotive in Burton, New Brunswick.
Josh has a successful business in the town and so we had some questions for him about his success and how he went about his business.
Autosphere started by asking when the business was first established and Josh replied, “We started in 2015 as an evening and weekend service with just myself working. At that time, I was working as a mechanic for the Department of National Defense as a civilian. Over the course of the year, I was getting more business than I could handle—and I had to make a decision whether to slow it down or hire more help! So I took the plunge and ended up hiring one full-time employee.”
After hiring the employee we asked if the business had grown over the years and if so, how had it changed.
Josh explained, “From 2015 to 2016 we added one full-time employee—Sylvain—who has been with me since the beginning. In May 2016, we incorporated, and I hired a second mechanic and a service writer—Lola Carrier who is still here and runs the office. Over the years we have had apprentices and school placements as I enjoy training and seeing young talent enter the trade.”
Asking about the current facility, size, number of service bays, services provided onsite, etc., Josh filled us in.
Shop and services
“We currently have a 2,800 square foot shop encompassing three bays with one singled out as our alignment bay. We provide alignments, a/c repairs, government inspections, steering, suspension, accessories, tires and wheels, window chip repair and brake service.
“The staff working at Triple A Automotive now include licensed technicians—Brad Stairs and Sylvain Arsenault. Lola Carrier is our service writer and, of course, I’m here as well as the owner and licensed technician.”
Autosphere inquired as to what Josh’s approach was to train his staff and technicians to keep up with automotive technology/repair requirements. He answered that he certainly encourages his techs to read as much as possible with the everchanging technology. In general, they all take the courses provided by their partners when provided in person—no matter the subject. It’s important to keep up to date with technology changing so fast and so much in the newer vehicles. And of course, EVS are on their way in!
We asked Josh to tell us a little about his customer base and catchment area.
“I am very proud of our customer base. We are located beside the largest military training facility in Canada. We are partnered with Canex which allows members of the National Defense to finance their work through them. The majority of our customers are military or retired military. We could not be happier to help out our veterans and to make vehicle maintenance easy for them. We also work with local government agencies like Oromocto First Nations, and local small businesses vehicles. I feel we have earned the trust of our customers and consider them our friends more than just customers,” Josh remarked.
Autosphere wanted to know what some of the equipment investments were that Josh had made in recent years at the facility.
Josh explained, “Over the years we added the alignment bay, new hoists, new a/c equipment, and a new scanner which is constantly updated. We’ve purchased a tractor for heavy-lifting snow removal and towing cars in order to make our lives easier and have also acquired an alignment machine. We have kept up to date with our diagnostic equipment to allow us to perform all diagnostics and repairs here on site in order to not have to send anything for outsourced work.”
We asked how Triple A Automotive markets to both their new clients and repeat customers.
Very active on social media
Josh stated that they are very active with social media, and the business has been built by Josh making content for social media. “We also host a lot of giveaways—which is fun for local interaction and awareness for our business. Being in a small town, word of mouth is huge. Also being a partner with Canex, we are featured in all welcome packages for new soldiers and families moving to Base Gagetown. This way when they need to get vehicles changed over to New Brunswick, we are here to help from day one with the New Brunswick inspection.
Upon asking what types of vehicles Triple A Automotive typically services, Arbeau told us they service cars, SUVs and trucks up to 3/4 tonnes.
We then wanted to know where Josh thought the aftermarket of the future was going. Do you see small repair shops having to close their doors because of a lack of business due to their lack of knowledge or refusal to change their ways?
“I have plans to be here for the long haul as I love change and the evolution of technology. Being partnered with Auto Value, I feel confident we share the same vision, and we can all embrace change and grow with the changes easily. We have had large changes in the past and over time it has become the norm. I suspect it will remain the same as long as you keep up with training—mainly focusing on hybrid vehicles which we see more of each day in our region. More than likely, we will soon see EVs as well.”
Our last question for Josh was what did he see in his future?
“We do have plans to grow and add bays in the future. We have big plans for the future which will be shared in the coming year.”
Asked if he wanted to add anything else, Josh quickly replied, “I just want to thank my family, staff and all of our customers who continue to support Triple A Automotive. Without them, we would not be here and without their quality work and dedication, we would not be growing as fast as we are with returning customers. The support we have had by partnering with Auto Value has been instrumental to keeping prices fair and the quality of parts top-notch!”