The producer of some of the largest pieces of architectural glass in North America is about to build them even bigger. On Thursday, Collingwood’s AGNORA and the trucking company that transports its architectural glass products — Tottenham-based Briway Carriers — unveiled the new trailers that will be hauling the local glass plant’s product across North America. One of the trailers will allow the company to produce and ship panes up to 300 inches in length; AGNORA general manager Jeff Wilkins said the limit was 272 inches, and the extra 28 inches will make it the largest glass to be able to be transported on the continent’s highways. The company has also developed a collapsible curtain container for the trailer beds; the covering is also important to AGNORA, as it eliminates the need to tarp the glass to protect it from salt and sand, and other road debris.
“We’re answering the customer demand (for larger glass), and this is a great example of the type of partnership that AGNORA stands for,” said Wilkins. Company owner Richard Wilson noted AGNORA is “not a trucking company — we fabricate glass. Everything we’ve done in life is about partnerships… we need people who have faith in our business,” he said. “This is the type of relationship we need with other companies to be better.” Briway president Jamie English said it was a nine-month process to get from concept to construction for the trailer, and it represented a “six-figure” investment by the carrier.
“At the end of the day, the only thing we really offer is service,” he said. “As with everything in life, things get larger, taller, heavier, and the more business we can do for (AGNORA), then together we grow.” The giant steel A-frames, which will support a pane up to 130 inches in length, are also collapsible so the trailer can be used for hauling other items; Briway’s trailers are also designed to carry a variety of large and heavy items, including agricultural and railway equipment. English also noted it’s important to have a skillful and customer-service-oriented driver behind the wheel, given the trucking company hauls product across North America.
“We recognize that we’re going into locations that are not necessarily built to handle one of our trucks, and our drivers have to find a way to navigate that and deliver the product… and be an ambassador for (both companies),” said Briway’s dispatch and customer service manager Peter Humen. “The drivers are critical,” noted Wilkins. “They’re the face of both companies on the job site; AGNORA is all about customer service, and Briway is the same way.” AGNORA is now in its second year of operations, and presently employs about 50 people.