Auto Van Can, brings the service to you
It is an idea that makes so much sense, you wonder why we don’t see it more often: Instead of having to take your car or truck to the shop to have routine maintenance performed, the technician comes right to your door, or driveway, as it were.
Tim Bolton Gowling founded Auto Van Can in 2021, but he already had a list of clients from his original start up that operated under the name Tim’s Tire Swap. As the name implies, he could handle the twice-yearly tire changeover by coming to the client instead of the client having to come to him. The only requirement was that the tires had to be on rims. Then, as they say, one thing led to another and the list of services that could be performed grew. “There are some jobs that can’t be done in people’s driveway,” says Bolton Gowling, “but the vast majority can be done as long as there’s not a tornado coming, or an ice storm.”
Bolton Gowling is originally from the UK but moved to Canada in early 2016. His interest and love of working on cars developed long before that.
In early 2004 he completed the UK equivalent of a co-op at a Peugeot dealership. And from there he started working at a local Aston Martin service and restoration shop. He also gained valuable experience working on his father’s farm and keeping the equipment in a good state of repair.
In terms of formal education, Bolton Gowling initially took a management course, then later studied Automotive Vehicle Technology and Motorsports including college level race car engineering at Milton Keynes College UK, graduating in 2012. While a student, he continued to work on, fix, and modify vehicles on the farm. He continued along the same path, gaining experience and then in early 2016, he emigrated to Canada, the place he now considers home. He has worked in several independent shops, Canadian Tire, an executive high-end dealership and now as a self-employed mobile mechanic, which he says is his passion.
The Auto Van Can is fully licensed and insured, and everyday Bolton Gowling continues to add to his 18 years of experience in the trade. He also continues to add to a list of loyal customers. He has a couple of commercial contracts; he said, “it works well because they don’t have to lose their trucks for days on end,” however, it is the individual vehicles that form the bulk of his work. “I think I had about a hundred just after I started out, and now I’m up around 200. It’s been good, I’m loving it,” he says.
In the future, Bolton Gowling says he would like to create the same kind of experience for others as he has created for himself. “One of these days I’ll expand and get an employee and the employee will probably have a new truck and I’ll continue riding around in the old one. It does me good, I’m pretty well equipped. It’s a mobile shop on wheels to be honest.”
In an effort to balance life and work, Auto Van Cam is closed Sunday and Mondays, but is available weekdays, evenings, and weekends. Since he covers a large geographic area, he divides his time a bit by being available weekday evenings in Russell, Embrun and the surrounding area, while Saturdays are spent south and east or west of Ottawa.
Weekday evenings: Russell, Embrun, and the surrounding area.
Saturdays: South and East/West of Ottawa.
For more information on Auto Van Can, you can call or text 613-229-3630 or visit their website at autovancan.com
If you would like to have a light shined on your business, please contact us at: email@example.com or call us at 613-448-2321.
Terry Tinkess is a professional photographer, educator and journalist. He has been making a living with a camera and keyboard since 1999 and has been featured in such publications as The Ottawa Citizen, Cornwall Standard Freeholder, The Globe and Mail, The Miami Herald, Ottawa Construction News, The Ontario Construction Report, Ontario Home Builder Magazine, Reed Construction Data, Canadian Potato Business and most recently, The Record and Eastern Ontario AgriNews. Terry lives in Ingleside, Ontario with his wife Brenda, Mia the anxious Pittie and cats Wally and Chubbers.