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Here at Overdrive Heavy Duty, we think it’s important to support local tradespeople and to encourage career building in the Lakeland region. In light of this, we’ve launched a new initiative called The Ray Normand Tradesman Award.

It takes years to become a qualified journeyman within the transportation industry, so we wanted to alleviate some of the financial burdens facing young, aspiring workers who’ve committed themselves to their careers.

As a company, we want to dedicate ourselves to ensuring excellence within the Lakeland, and this is just one of the few ways we’re pioneering this aim.

Continue reading to find out more!

How Does the Award Work?

The Ray Normand Tradesman Award is a bi-annual scholarship created and awarded by Overdrive Heavy Duty Services.

Ray Normand is one of the founders of Overdrive and has played a fundamental role in making Overdrive such a success. He was born and raised in the Lakeland and has always been committed to making a positive impact in our region. He has been and continues to, influence Overdrive’s ongoing efforts to support and grow the local community.

In light of that, Overdrive has decided to name the award after Ray. He’s in the process of retiring, and this is a way of ensuring his passion for the community lives on.

The overarching aim of the award is to help second, third, or fourth-year apprentice technicians within the Lakeland area. The prize money is to help these students pay for the tools and education they need to complete their apprenticeship.

Each award is worth $1,500.00 and can be used to pay for tools and/or tuition as the recipient sees fit.

The winner of the first award will be announced on January 4th, 2019. Then, on June 7th, 2019, the second recipient will be awarded!

The lucky winners of this prestigious award will be presented with their prize at the Overdrive Heavy Duty Services’ Bonnyville facility just a week after the results are announced. Not only will this award help with practical matters of becoming a technician, but it’s also an honour for us as a company. It represents a dedication to growing skills and to helping the community.

Who’s Eligible?

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Be a Canadian Citizen or have Landed Immigrant status in Canada
  • Have either enrolled or have completed their second, third, or fourth-year apprenticeship training in Alberta
  • Have a track record of academic excellence, community involvement, and have clear career aspirations (which involve supporting the future needs of the Lakeland community)
  • Not have won the award previously

If you meet all the criteria, why not fill out an application today? After all, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

How Do I Submit an Application?

Head over to our website to download the application form! Alongside an application form, you’ll need to send all of the following:

  • Your most up to date transcript demonstrating your academic performance
  • A summary of how you’ve got involved in the local community
  • Two letters of recommendation


By Mail

If you want to send an application in the mail, forward your application and accompanying documents to:

Overdrive Heavy Duty
Ray Normand Tradesman Award
PO Box 6130
Bonnyville, AB,
T9N 2G7

By Email

Alternatively, you can send an email with your application form and accompanying documents to admin@overdriveheavyduty.com.

Application forms and all necessary documentation to support your application must be received by Overdrive Heavy Duty no later than December 15, 2018, to be considered for the January award.

The deadline for the award given out in June, is May 15, 2019. Please note that any late or incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

Faxes will not be accepted, so make sure to send your application using one of the two methods noted above.

General Info To Include on Your Application

Here’s a list of the basic information you need to provide:

  • Your last name
  • Your first name(s)
  • Your permanent address
  • Your birthday
  • The best contact number for you
  • Your email address
  • Details of your more recent formal trades training (including transcripts)
  • The status of your Canadian citizenship

You get the idea!

What Does Community Involvement Entail?

Well, community means the world to Ray, and so we have included this as a part of the application and selection process. We want to award individuals with a commitment to their community — a person who shares our core values as a company.

On a separate page, outline all the contributions you’ve made to the Lakeland community. This may include volunteering, fundraising events or not-for-profits you’ve been involved with.

Make sure to provide these details in a table, and include:

  • The name of the organization
  • The nature of the activities you did
  • Any specified dates
  • The total hours you spent volunteering or contributing to the project
  • A small description explaining why you took part and what you learned as a result.


How Do We Support Local Organizations?

We think it’s vital as a business to support the local community. With that said, we’re proud to announce that in addition to the Ray Normand Tradesman Award we support all of the below organizations:

  • Lakeland AA Panthers
  • Lakeland Jaguars PeeWee  Female Hockey
  • Bonnyville Gear Grabbers
  • Ardmore 4H Beef Club
  • Bonnyville Pro Rodeo & Chuckwagon Association (BPRCA)
  • Bonnyville Oil Ladies
  • U13 Rhino’s Volleyball
  • BCHS Grad
  • Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation
  • Pontiacs Jr. A Hockey
  • Bonnyville Minor Hockey


Of course, this list will continue to expand as the years go on!

More Info on Your Letters of Recommendation

You’ll need two letters of recommendation. Unfortunately, friends or family can’t provide these. Instead, it’s preferable that at least one is written from a current journeyman or a teacher of yours.

A letter of recommendation can simply be a couple of paragraphs from a teacher, journeyman, volunteer coordinator that can speak as to why you’re deserving of this award.

How Does Overdrive Heavy Duty Select a Winner?

The winners are carefully selected by the owners and representatives of Overdrive Heavy Duty Services Ltd.  To make sure this process is transparent we’ll be tasking someone outside of the selection committee to remove identifying information from fully completed applications.

Careers at Overdrive

Our family-run business has expanded from a small shop with four bays and a single employee in 2005 to a company of nearly twenty employees with fourteen bays full of high-tech equipment.

To maintain the high level of service we aim for we need the best of the best. If you are looking for career opportunities in mechanics, sales, parts or administration, we want you to apply today!

We are currently looking for applicants for the following roles at Overdrive:

  • Automotive Technician 3rd-year apprentice or higher
  • Heavy Duty Technician Journeyman

Have Questions?

If you have any questions or comments about what you’ve just read, please feel free to reach out and contact us here at Overdrive Heavy Duty, and one of our friendly team members will respond as soon as we possibly can.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in truck repair more generally, peruse through our blog. Over there we cover everything from why a truck heater might not work, to the benefits of having a regular truck service. Enjoy!