“The Drive Back South” – Interactive Mobile Training The Group Training Academy EV Tour

March 23, 2021

March 23, 2021 – Sanford, NC

If I've learned anything during my relatively short tenure at AVI, it would be not to be surprised by changes. One of Paul Louwers' favorite sayings is very accurate; "There's always Moving Parts at AVI." John and I got a couple of Moving Parts today, one good, one not-so-much.

After the Morgantown, WV to Norton, OH, front leg of the trip, I got a chance to see the remodeling job we are performing on AVI North's future studio and technical center. The drywall is hung and the mud work is commencing. I really can't wait to see the content John and Tom will be producing here. The filming studio in Florida puts out amazing video content, but we think that certain AVIOnDemand products will benefit from being produced in an active automotive repair facility. Coming soon from the new AVI Technical Center in Norton, Ohio, will be a Diesel Fuel class from Tom Rayk, the first major production to come out of the new facility.

Hooked up the trailer, loaded John and his luggage, and southward we traveled.


"Hi guys, this is Paul. I have a surprise for you. How much do you like North Carolina?"

One of AVI's business partners is Dorman Products, especially their electric vehicle battery division. Not long after John completed the AVI Prius training tool build, its high voltage battery failed. Dorman stepped up to the plate and sponsored a new bright orange remanufactured battery for our Prius, which got us back training with it in no time. As the Dorman EV battery remanufacturing facility is located in Sanford, NC, Paul had set up a visit to show Dorman the Prius. As a bonus, John and I could get a tour of their facility and their production line. Cool. This would be a bit of a challenge logistically as we still needed to be in Fort Myers, Florida, by the morning of the following day, but still doable.

BTW, this was the good Moving Part.

After the phone call, we stopped for fuel and lunch at Tamarack in Southern West Virginia and discussed how smooth the trip was going so far. Yep, we jinxed ourselves. Not a half-hour later, we had a total tread separation of another trailer tire. This second flat was rather impressively violent (see blog post from March 10 for the narrative on our first tire incident). The separating tread not only made big rubber marks on the side of the trailer but took our fender flare with it. This was the lousy Moving Part.

After installing our SECOND spare trailer tire, it was off to the races against the clock to get to our hotel stay near Sanford as soon as possible to prepare for the Dorman visit, set for first thing the following morning. We put our quest for a new spare on hold, looking to stay on schedule and gambling a bit that we wouldn't have a third tire failure. The rest of the day's travels went smoother, and we survived on energy drinks and candy bars. I wanted Arby's, but we settled for Burger King.

Emails, work, off to bed. Talk to you tomorrow.

Stay tuned to this blog, as we hope to bring you updates on this tour as it goes, both the good and not-so-good, all the way through to its' conclusion on March 27 in Fort Myers, Florida, TGTA's world headquarters.

If you are interested in finding out how to bring TGTA live training to your area, contact us at Phone: 1-800-718-7246 | Email: support@thegrouptrainingacademy.com. We will be adding tour stops for the EV classes and additional content on such topics as advanced diesel diagnostics, ADAS, and light, medium, and heavy-duty braking systems.

Related Videos