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McLaren rolls out a “revolution in roll-ups”

September 13, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Brock Weir

A rebranded local company is looking to revolutionize the trucking industry with a new spin on roll-up doors, making heavy, wooden, gas-guzzling features a thing of the past.
After five years under the ownership of Aurora resident Stewart McLaren, RoaDoors announced its rebrand to McLaren Doors on Wednesday afternoon, an unveiling attended by MP Leona Alleslev, Mayor Geoff Dawe, Councillor John Abel, and Sandra Ferri, Executive Director of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.
The company doubled down on its commitment to “advancing the technology of roll-up doors, with a primary focus on the trucking industry,” with an eye to the development of PVC-based technology that is lighter weight, more ergonomically and environmentally friendly and, at the end of the day, better for the cargo inside.”
“This is a five-year project,” said Mr. McLaren. “We bought a bankrupt company and brought it out of the doldrums.”
Mr. McLaren, who also owns the Aurora-based Almac Industrial Systems, which designs and develops material handling and automated systems, said the deal came about after talking with a friend who was also in the business world.
“I said, ‘I’m tired of having to re-engineer and design things every day with the risks involved; I wanted to make something that was just repetitive,’” he recalls. “I was out west on a sales call and he phoned me and said, ‘Stu, I invested in this company and it is going under, but they make things that are repetitive and not that complicated. Would you like to get involved?’ I said yes, like a fool!
“My thought was that synergy could be gained from Almac because this needs to be produced in quantity and we make automation equipment that helps people produce products. We use Almac’s expertise. Our feedback has been that it is an excellent door, the best door they have ever owned. And, one of the great features is when the door is rolled up, it doesn’t leak on people’s products because of our design. For food service, that is a big bonus. When they roll up the door in the winter, they don’t want their stuff dripping on their yogurt! That is a big selling feature for us.”
According to the company, following the acquisition of RoaDoor, Mr. McLaren was able to “visualize key areas within the company that required further development. Working hand-in-hand with his engineering team, McLaren began making several changes, both small and large. After five years of revisions, modifications and testing, McLaren was ready to bring the reinvented company back to the market and has applied his family name to represent the quality and workmanship that his ownership has provided.”
They challenge the standard wooden doors that often swell with moisture and become exceedingly heavy in place. The company prides itself on being able to reduce the weight of the truck doors through the use of PVC, which ultimately helps in reducing gas consumption, lowering emissions and providing a safer environment for drivers.
“Thank you to Stewart and the team [for having] the courage to take something that was perhaps not looking as fantastic and believing that they could make it into something that it is today,” said Ms. Alleslev. “The sky is certainly the limit in terms of where you’re going to go next, but to stay here in Aurora to use that innovation and believe that you can take that something and turn it around. Thank you for keeping it here in Canada because innovation, no question, is our competitive edge.”
Added Mayor Dawe: “This is another opportunity in Aurora that Stewart has taken, along with his staff, in building up a number of jobs, and another reason to work and play in Aurora. I am very pleased to see the growth of his company over the years. It has been a good testament to the hard work that is needed to grow a business like this. My sincere congratulations on taking this product, turning it around, and bringing it to a brand new market.”



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