Daimler Trucks Executive Gives Business Game Plan at TMC SuperTech

In a keynote address, “Driving from the Red Zone to the End Zone,” at the Technical & Maintenance Council Fall Meeting and National Skills Competition-TMC SuperTech 2009, Jack Conlan, senior vice president of parts and service for Daimler Trucks North America, outlined five key steps to developing and maintaining a winning game plan for 2010.

According to Conlan, maintenance managers will face not only the challenges posed by a recovering economy, but some key imperatives that will become more evident with the introduction of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for 2010, possibly the final step toward near-zero levels of emissions control.

Using a football analogy, Conlan outlined five "plays" managers could use to drive from the "red zone" to the "end zone" in 2010 and beyond.

"2010 will be the time to execute proven plays at the line of scrimmage - it won't be a time of improvising, last-minute audibles, or Hail Mary's," said Conlan. "By developing and maintaining renewed levels of discipline, experience, preparation, partnership and transparency, 2010 will simply become the time to drive the ball into the emissions 'end zone' safely and profitably for your companies, your teams and the entire industry."

Conlan's five game winning principles for 2010 were:

  • No Time for Costly Penalties: A team must maintain a "disciplined approach" to get to the end zone - no time for costly penalties. Develop operational metrics that are transparent to all managers so they can be involved and open to solving problems as they occur.
  • Go with the Best Prepared Players: Now is not the time to question if one of your players has had the right training or not. Partner with manufacturers, suppliers and technologies that not only meet the standards, but exceed them.
  • Winning Coaches Value Experience: In the current high-stakes environment, do not underestimate the value of experience and proven outcomes. For instance, Detroit Diesel engines will be easy to service in 2010 because there will be no changes from the DD13, DD15 and DD16 engines introduced within the last two years, and were designed to integrate with the new emissions technology. Daimler's BlueTec SCR system is approaching more than 28 million miles of testing, including the experiences of more than 40 freight-hauling, real-life customers, customer demo trucks in various configurations and applications on the road today.
  • Have all the Right Gear & Equipment: Now is not the time to question if you, or your service provider, has the right tools, and parts available. You need to have all the appropriate gear. OEMs should make available online and instructor led educational and certification compliance programs for trainers and technicians. Training course material for 2010 Systems Certification needs to include both the after treatment system and on-board diagnostics, including additional "hands on" experience in diagnostics for the after treatment system. Detroit Diesel has prepared an SCR Service Introductory Video that is available online at www.detroitdiesel.com and can be incorporated into any company-specific training program, regardless of OEM preference.
  • The Entire Team Must Be on the Same Page: Not only the players and coaches, but suppliers, employees and support personnel. To be successful, build a strong, committed and knowledgeable network. Education across the company on the diagnostic tools used for 2010, along with system warning functions, will ensure that vehicles are performing at their peak levels and will give drivers the confidence of maximized vehicle uptime and minimized fuel costs.
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