New Name, Same Game

Jan. 1, 2002
The Work Truck Show. Roll that name around in your mouth. Savor it for just a second. Sounds a bit simpler and to the point than T3 The Commercial Truck,

The Work Truck Show.

Roll that name around in your mouth. Savor it for just a second. Sounds a bit simpler and to the point than “T3 — The Commercial Truck, Trailer and Technology Expo,” doesn't it?

If it does, that's because the National Truck Equipment Association intended it to. After two years, the NTEA determined that the “T3” name does not adequately describe the full scope of the event. This isn't a gathering of people interested in RVs or pleasure trailers. It's for people who want a tool box, a power takeoff, or a winch on the front of their truck. It's for work truck people. People who work with their trucks.

The Work Truck Show was introduced as a tag line for the 2001 event and now will be used exclusively as the event name. When the NTEA convenes in Orlando, Florida, March 5-8 for its 38th annual trade show and convention, the name change becomes official.

“For the 2001 show, our goal was to develop a personality for the event,” says Steve Carey, meetings and member services director. “Through that process, The Work Truck Show emerged as the one phrase that defined the exposition. Now, based on feedback from attendees, exhibitors, and focus group participants, our Board of Trustees decided to officially change the name of the Expo to The Work Truck Show. We believe The Work Truck Show better describes the wide range of vehicles and equipment, professional interaction and educational opportunities available at the show for today's fleet and industry professionals.”

It's still the same show providing the same opportunities.

It's still a show that fleet managers, truck equipment distributors, and others involved in specifying and using work trucks identify as their best opportunity to examine the latest work truck chassis, bodies and equipment from all the major suppliers, interact with their peers, and attend educational sessions to help them improve their businesses.

It's still a business-to-business trade show designed to bring together manufacturers, distributors, buyers, and users of work trucks in all industries, including delivery, government, utility, construction, and landscaping.

A Busy Convention Center

For three days, hundreds of industry suppliers will occupy the Orange County Convention Center with full-size equipment ranging from lighting and lift gates to the latest truck chassis and bodies. Attendees can examine all the equipment they are interested in while getting their questions answered directly by manufacturers and distributors. The Work Truck Show is the only event of its kind to feature equipment from Classes 1 through 8, so fleets with a variety of equipment needs can find what they are looking for all in one place.

More than 400 industry suppliers — including 12 of the world's leading truck chassis manufacturers — will fill the floor of Orlando's Orange County Convention Center.

The show has experienced tremendous growth over the past three years in attendance and exhibitor participation. Most exhibitors from the 2001 Expo held in Baltimore have renewed or expanded their booths for Orlando. Plus, the facilities at the Orange County Convention Center will allow for significantly larger displays than in recent years.

“Our hope is to continue to grow the show and the conference to serve the needs of the entire work truck industry,” says Kent Grist, NTEA first vice-president and chairman of the Convention and Trade Show Committee. “The NTEA delivers that through education geared specifically at those who design, build, install, sell, and purchase truck equipment and a large-scale equipment exposition where attendees can get their hands on the newest equipment on the market and connect with the right people to operate at top-efficiency back home.”

“Anytime I get a chance to meet with vendors, see the equipment and the new technology, it's helpful,” says Donald Williams, street commissioner, City of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, who attended the 2001 show. “The amount of equipment at the show boggled my mind.”

Show hours have been expanded, with the show floor open Wednesday and Thursday, March 6-7, from 11 am to 5 pm, plus Friday, March 8, from 10 am to 2:30 pm.

Additionally, the event features a full educational conference, with more than 30 industry-specific educational sessions over three days to help attendees improve profitability and productivity to take their fleets to the max.

Here is a look at the educational sessions, breaking them down into the categories of technical, chassis, sales and management, and fleets. (An in-depth look at six other sessions can be found on the following pages.)


“Reduce Mistakes and Comebacks With Proper Driveline Installation,” Tuesday, 1:30-2:45 pm: Review proper driveline installation, including balancing U-joint angles and critical speed. Learn to eliminate driveline vibration and avoid costly installation mistakes. Find resources to use in installation and servicing of drivelines. Presenter: Tom Koedam, Dana Corp, Toledo, Ohio.

“Selecting the Best Steel for Your Truck Equipment Application,” Tuesday, 1:30-2:45 pm: Take the mystery out of deciding which steel is best for your equipment performance needs. Explore the various types and grades of steel and how they are used to balance your need for corrosion resistance, payload handling, weight, and cost. Presenters: Pete Jones, Bob Miller, Joe Paulsen, Crysteel Manufacturing Inc, Lake Crystal, Minnesota.

“Spec the Right Lift Axle for the Job,” Tuesday, 1:30-2:45 pm: Improve results with a better understanding of matching lift axle specifications to vehicle type (i.e. dump, mixer, refuse, etc), capacity, and other options. Examine related chassis, tire, service, and tax issues to understand the big picture to create the most cost-efficient, productive work truck. Presenters: Paul Stephenson, Mike Gottschalk, Hendrickson Auxiliary Axle Systems, Hebron, Ohio.

“Truck Frame Overview for Body Mounting,” Tuesday, 1:30-2:45 pm: Do it right the first time and avoid costly product failure. Learn basic frame characteristics and requirements needed for quality and durable mounting of truck bodies. Understand the effects of welding and fastener usage on frame strength and durability. Presenter: Dick Toner, Toner Associates, West Bloomfield, Michigan.

“Simplifying Weight Distribution Calculations,” Tuesday, 3-4:15 pm: Understand the importance of weight distribution calculations in the utilization and design of a commercial truck. Learn the basics of vehicle weight distribution to safely and legally position your payload. See a demonstration of computer spreadsheet software that simplifies these calculations. Presenter: Toner.

“Selecting the Right Transmission for Your Medium-Duty Trucks,” Thursday, 9:30-10:45 am: Until recently, managers of light- and medium-duty commercial truck fleets had to choose between fully automatic or mechanical transmissions. With the introduction of automated mechanical transmissions, that has changed. Each type, however, still offers advantages. During this session, manufacturers and fleet users will describe the characteristics and concerns that various transmission types offer. Presenter: Tom Gelinas, Fleet Equipment Magazine, Mt Prospect, Illinois.


“General Motors Isuzu Commercial Truck Chassis Update,” Tuesday, 3-4:15 pm: Learn about the latest changes and enhancements to the N-Series, W-Series, and F-Series Class 3-7 commercial vehicle for the 2002/2003 model year.

“Peterbilt Motors Co Chassis Update,” Tuesday, 3-4:15 pm: Get first-hand technical information on chassis specifications, design, body installation, and equipment mounting to improve your final-stage results. Learn about the current and future model lineups.

“International Truck and Engine Corp Chassis Update,” Wednesday, 8-9:15 am: Learn about the multiplexed electrical system on the new International 4000 and 7000 High Performance Trucks.

“Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc Chassis Update,” Wednesday, 8-9:15 am: Get first-hand technical information on chassis specifications, design, body installation, and equipment mounting to improve your final-stage results. Learn about the current and future model lineups.

“Ford Motor Co Chassis Update,” Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am: Learn about and ask questions concerning product development, product introduction timing, chassis specifications, body installation, and equipment mounting. E550 Product feedback from appropriate segments will be discussed.

“Kenworth Truck Co Chassis Update,” Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am: Get first-hand technical information on chassis specifications, design, body installation, and equipment mounting to improve your final-stage results. Learn about the current and future model lineups.

“Freightliner LLC Chassis Update,” Thursday, 9:30-10:45 am: Freightliner LLC provides information on new product development for introduction in 2002. Chassis and cab configurations, model descriptions, driver features, body installation, and equipment mounting to improve your bottom line.

“GM Commercial Trucks Chassis Update,” Thursday, 9:30-10:45 am: GM introduces its new 2003 commercial truck — its heaviest light-duty and medium-duty truck.


“Are you 6 Sigma? How to Deliver Quality to Fleets,” Tuesday, 1:30-2:45 pm: Hear an overview of the “6 Sigma” quality methodology. Learn how body builders can integrate this continuous improvement culture into processes to better meet the demands of 6 Sigma fleets. See an example of one fleet's supplier standard. Presenter: Mike Fogarty, GE Capital Fleet Services, Minneapolis, Terry McMahon, Jim Palin.

“Keeping Current on Federal Excise Tax Issues,” Tuesday, 3-4:15 pm: Learn the status of federal excise tax (FET) laws and regulations related to truck and transportation equipment. Better understand your responsibilities for payment or collection of the tax as a supplier or purchaser. Ask questions and be aware of how the FET affects the sale of truck bodies, trailers, semitrailers, parts, and accessories. Presenter: Mark Sidman, Weiner, Brodsky, Sidman & Kider, PC, Washington, DC.

“What Has Your Web Site Done for You Lately?” Wednesday, 8-9:15 am: Is your Web site accomplishing what you had hoped? Are you taking full advantage of the Internet? Industry media and marketing experts help you answer four questions important when improving or building a Web site: 1. Why would people visit my site? 2. What information do they want? 3. What will make them come back? 4. How will I market my site? Presenters: Chad Barczak, My Little Salesman, Eugene, Oregon; and Jeff Filkins.


“Critical Success Factors for Today's Fleet Managers,” Wednesday, 8-9:15 am: Discover how you can integrate the 26 business skills needed for top performance as a fleet manager. Identify the skill sets — such as fleet utilization, and fuel, purchasing and supplier management — and how your improvement in these areas can make you a better manager and an asset to your company. Presenter: Kelly Walker, Kelly Walker Associates, Dallas.

“Understanding Vehicle Life-Cycle Costing,” Wednesday, 8-9:15 am: Understand how fleet managers use vehicle life-cycle costing in the buying decision. Learn the factors that influence the financial decision of replacing equipment. See how this technique can help you as a seller or purchaser of vehicles and equipment. Presenter: John Dolce, Fleet Management Consultant, Roseland, New Jersey.

“An Online Bidding Approach to Equipment Purchasing,” Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am: Learn how one truck purchaser uses an online bidding process called Invitation to Qualify (ITQ) to realize significant savings and influence purchasing decisions. This method is now being applied to truck equipment and other types of purchases. Presenters: Larry Allen, Rick Dolbin, Ray Rugh, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

“Evaluating Truck Equipment Quotes and Bids,” Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am: See how to analyze truck equipment quotes and bids. Understand both low and best bid resolutions. Learn how matrix review and analysis are used to improve the purchasing decision. Understand how truck equipment distributors and manufacturers can prepare the most effective bids. Presenter: Dolce.

“What Truck Dealers and Purchasers Should Know About Vehicle Certification,” Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am: Meeting the complex federal regulations for certification is an important aspect of your truck equipment purchase. Understand your responsibilities and what to look for from your suppliers regarding certification compliance and penalties. Ask questions and get the facts on incomplete, final-stage and altered-vehicle certification, and proper labeling from one of the industry's most knowledgeable technical experts. Presenter: Louis Kleinstiver, NTEA.

“Truck Specifications: The Backbone of Your Fleet,” Thursday, 9:30-10:45 am: Understand how properly developed specifications affect everything in your fleet's budget from capital expense, maintenance, daily operations, personnel, and eventually life-cycle replacement. Based on the speaker's 20 years of experience in fleet management, see how you can improve your spec'ing. Presenter: Ralph Kokot, Vanair Manufacturing Inc, New Buffalo, Michigan.

“Understanding Municipal Truck Fleet Needs,” Thursday, 9:30-10:45 am: Hear directly from purchasers in the largest consumer base of work truck bodies and related equipment — government and municipal fleets. Members of the Florida Association of Government Fleet Administrators (FLAGFA) share their spec'ing and purchasing needs when it comes to working with truck equipment distributors, dealers and manufacturers. Presenters: Jim Aggelles, Pinellas County Fleet Management Division, Largo, Florida; Doug Brock, Orange County Fleet Management, Orlando, Florida; Milton Reid, City of Gainesville, Florida; Bob Stanton, Polk County Fleet Management, Bartow, Florida; and Douglas Weichman, Palm Beach County Fleet Management, Palm Beach, Florida.

The convention opens Tuesday with registration starting at 7 am, followed at 9 by the “Economic Outlook for the Work Truck Industry.” The session will explore projections for when truck sales and production might increase and offer an understanding of how markets trends are expected to change. The Economic Update offers an opportunity for a company's top executive, management, marketing, and sales personnel to learn directly what the experts have to say about the customer base.

The opening reception is 6:30-9 pm at the Rosen Centre Hotel, featuring hearty buffets and lively music from the Volcano Joe and the Hot Lava Band.

Optional tours are available Wednesday and Thursday to the Kennedy Space Center (8:30 am-4:30 pm) and Fantasy of Flight (12:15-4:45 pm).

The tour of Kennedy Space Center on Florida's east coast includes the Apollo/Saturn V Center, Launch Complex 39 Observation Gantry, and the International Space Station Center, a 3D IMAX film on the five-story-high screen, a full-scale replica of the space shuttle, the rocket garden, and Robot Scouts — NASA's first and most far-reaching planetary probes.

Fantasy of Flight features the world's largest private collection of vintage aircraft and hands-on flight simulators, an outdoor aircraft flight demonstration, and a series of “immersion experiences” that recount the history of flight. After a preflight briefing, visitors can step into the simulator cockpit of a WWII aircraft for a six- to 10-minute simulation.

In a departure from the previous schedules, the President's Breakfast is Thursday 7:30-9:15 am at the Rosen Centre Hotel, featuring award-winning actor James Earl Jones and his ideas and experiences regarding success.

A buffet breakfast with powerful business ideas for dessert kicks off the last day of the show on Friday. Doug Hall, inventor and author, shares his recipe for success during a business forum. Hall, the founder and CEO of the Eureka! Ranch, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based innovation research and development firm, has been recognized by Fortune, CIO Magazine, Human Resource Magazine and Inc. for his entrepreneurial spirit. His third book, “Jump Start Your Business Brain,” was published this year.

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.