Ten key sessions you won't want to miss

Jan. 1, 2008
No Business Owner wants to take a step back or even simply maintain the status quo. Everybody wants to move forward with a profitable business that has

No Business Owner wants to take a step back — or even simply maintain the status quo. Everybody wants to move forward with a profitable business that has happy customers and productive employees.

How can it be accomplished?

Here is a look at 10 key sessions:

Fleet Management Symposium

February 25, 8:30 am-4:30 pm

Presenter: Kelly Walker, President, Kelly Walker Associates, Dallas, Texas

Designed for practicing equipment, fleet, and shop managers who manage a wide range of fleet assets and shop labor in all industries, the Symposium focuses on world-class financial and operational practices that reduce costs 10% to 30% while increasing shop labor productivity.

Discover how to:

  • Compute a fleet meltdown and stoppage formula.

  • Use an eight-step technician recruiting and retention strategy.

  • Learn why insourcing and outsourcing decisions are changing.

  • Use fuel management models.

  • Apply 16 predictors of your future.

  • Manage shop labor.

  • Utilize fleet and shop management software.

  • Structure the department as a separate corporation.

  • Use a 12-step fully loaded labor rate.

  • Determine fleet asset disposal.

  • Optimize shop staffing levels.

  • Calculate fleet asset rental rates and charge-back systems.

  • Maximize warranties/performance guarantees.

  • Benefit from GPS tracking/monitoring/route mapping.

  • Apply 20 benchmarks with 100 performance measures.

  • Reduce fleet costs by 25% in 12 months.

A ticket is required for this event. Symposium attendees receive a completion certificate. The Symposium registration fee includes The Work Truck Show Conference & Trade Show Package.

Hybrid Truck & Alternative Fuels Summit and Reception

February 25, 9:00 am-4:30 pm

With environmental concerns, the rising price of gasoline, and new emissions regulations, hybrid and alternative fuel work trucks are becoming an increasingly larger part of the industry. The NTEA hosted its first Hybrid Truck & Alternative Fuels Summit during the 43rd Annual NTEA Convention in Indianapolis. Last year's Summit was sold-out, and the NTEA is bringing this program back by popular demand to provide technology updates and additional information.

This year's Summit will include presentations by industry experts covering a variety of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicle technologies. Receive updates on technology deployment and how it can be integrated into your fleet. Considerations for determining the cost justification for purchasing hybrids will also be covered.

The keynote address will feature Clarence H Albright Jr, Under Secretary, US Department of Energy.

“Although it is part of The Work Truck Show and Annual NTEA Convention, the Summit has grown into a major industry event,” NTEA executive director Jim Carney says.

“We are bringing together many of the leaders in the industry to provide attendees with the latest information about how they can harness new technology for their customers and in their fleets.

“From the policymaker's perspective offered by Under Secretary Albright, through real-world examples and product-specific breakout sessions led by equipment manufacturers, this is a must-attend event for anyone interested in reducing fuel costs, meeting emissions regulations, and ‘greening’ their fleets.”

The sessions:

  • Future of Hybrid and Alternative: Fuel Work Trucks, Daniel Kratz, Truck Operations Manager, GE Capital Solutions.

  • Implications for Bio-diesel Expansion, Dr Richard Nelson, Professor, Kansas State University, National BioDiesel Board.

  • Overview of Hybrid Truck Upfitter Integration Issues: Greg Loew, Market Manager, Hybrid Vehicles, Altec Industries.

  • Public and Private Sector Incentives for Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Truck Development: Rachel Beckhardt, Project Analyst, Corporate Partnerships.

  • Environmental Defense Hybrid Truck Users Forum

    (HTUF) Update: Bill VanAmburg, Senior Vice President,

  • Light-duty Hybrid Work Truck Action Group Update: Tony Bizjak, Transportation Engineer, Fairfax County Department of Vehicle Services (Virginia).

  • International Truck and Engine Corporation — Refrigerated Truck Hybrid Application: Jim Williams, Director, Sales and Distribution — New Products, International Truck and Engine Corporation.

  • Azure Dynamics — Diesel Electric Hybrid Van: Mark Federle, Senior Vice President — Sales, Azure Dynamics.

  • Georgia Power and American Electric Power — Hybrid Aerial Truck Real-world Performance: Tom Lang, Fleet Specifications Specialist, American Electric Power; and Tony Saxon, Fleet Procurement Supervisor, Georgia Power Company.

  • GM's Energy Diversity Strategy: GM Representatives.

  • Kenworth — Hybrid Truck Product Overview: Judy McTigue, Medium Duty Marketing Manager, Kenworth Truck Company.

  • Bosch Rexroth Corporation — Intelligent Hydraulic Hybrid Applications: Bosch Rexroth Corporation Representatives.

  • CleanFUEL USA — Direct Injection LPG Fuel Systems for Work Trucks: CleanFUEL USA Representatives.

  • Verizon Communications — Gas Electric Hybrid Commercial Van Field Performance Overview: George Mayhew, Vehicle Design and Specifications Specialist, National Technical Support Staff, Verizon Communications.

  • Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp — Hybrid Package Delivery Truck: Mike Stark, Senior Technical Sales Manager for National Accounts, Freightliner Custom Chassis.

  • Freightliner Trucks — Diesel Electric Hybrid Chassis: Freightliner Trucks representatives.

  • ServiceMaster — Accessory Electrification Through Hybrid Systems: Jim Steffen, Director Fleet Design & Technical Support, ServiceMaster Company.

  • Modec Limited — Electric Drive Work Trucks: William Doelle, Director of Business Development, Modec Limited.

At the conclusion of the day, attendees are invited to network with their peers and talk with the presenters during a reception sponsored by International Truck and Engine Corporation.

The Hybrid Ride-and-Drive is Tuesday, February 26, and Wednesday, February 27, during show hours, and features vehicles showcasing the highest level of technological advancement in hybrid technology or alternative fuel applications.

The Advanced Truck Technology Pavilion is open Tuesday, February 26, through Thursday, February 28, on the show floor, featuring the latest hybrid or alternative fuel technology initiatives and products on the show floor. Types of displays include: hybrid truck manufacturers, chassis manufacturers, system integrators, electrical component suppliers, telematics system integrators, hydraulic component suppliers, alternative fuel producers, and related industry organizations.

Roll with the Changes: Simplifying Vehicle Certification & Labeling

February 25, 10:00 am-2:30 pm

Presenters: Bob Raybuck, Technical Services Director, NTEA; Richard Toner, Owner, Toner Associates, Pentwater, Michigan; and Richard Radlinski, President, Link-Radlinski Inc, Queenstown, Maryland

Proper vehicle certification is required by law, and it helps assure the purchaser of safety, reliability, and durability.

But vehicle certification is more than just sticking labels or placards on trucks. In fact, the certification label is the last step in the process. Payload, weight distribution, and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Compliance analyses need to be completed. Regulatory changes that took effect Sept. 1, 2006, need to be understood, along with their impact on labeling requirements and conformity to the incomplete vehicle manufacturers' Incomplete Vehicle Document. Learn how to perform these analyses and compliance calculations, and determine which label is required for different stages of certification. The presenters will even explain how to properly fill out each label.

Attendees will receive a copy of the NTEA's Vehicle Certification Guide.

Surviving & Thriving: Trends Re shaping the Truck Equipment Industry

February 25, 10:00am-12:00pm

Presenters: Jim Carney, Executive Director, NTEA; and Moh Hayatou, formerly of Acclaro Growth Partners, Washington, DC

Attendees will learn about changes in the work truck industry distribution channel and the opportunities and threats they create.

Based on a recent study conducted for the NTEA by Acclaro Growth Partners, the session will offer a better understanding of the major strategic factors and trends reshaping the industry, as well as the strategic and tactical implications to OEMs, truck equipment manufacturers, and distributors/upfitters.

They will explain technological changes and regulatory trends, how the emergence of private equity firms in the industry will impact profitability, what is causing increased and more intense competition, business transition planning issues, and the impact of globalization.

Attendees will receive a copy of the North American Truck Equipment Industry Outlook and Strategy Report.

Truck Equipment Market Overview, Trends & Outlook

February 25, 1:30 pm-2:45 pm

Presenter: Steve Latin-Kasper, Market Data and Research Director, NTEA

Latin-Kasper will review current data on truck sales and end-use markets, providing analysis.

Where is the truck equipment market headed? What roles are the US and international economies playing in the short- and long-term?

He'll answer those questions, as well as review current statistical information available from the NTEA to help attendees develop more effective business plans for their organizations.

Selling Trucks to the Government: Tactics, Tips, and Secrets from the Front Lines

February 25, 3 pm-4:15 pm

Presenters: Mark Amtower, Founding Partner, Amtower & Company, Highland, Maryland

How do government buyers find you among the surplus of competitors vying for their business? How do you develop relationships with key players? Which events are crucial to your success? How can you effectively use electronic communication?

Amtower will answer those questions, and many more.

He says that the government is an especially valuable market because of its pervasiveness.

“It is everywhere and does everything,” he says. “When you talk on the fleet side of things, there are no bigger land fleets in the world than those owned and managed by United States federal government. You have the postal service, military service, GSA (General Services Administration), which manages the automotive and truck fleet for civilian agencies. You have agriculture, forests, and parks.

“And that's just the federal side. We're not even talking about state and local governments. There are 86,000 governments in the United States. It's a scary number, but think about it. They're everywhere. There are 17,000 school districts. There are 3,000 counties. There are 20,000 special districts. There are 40,000 townships and municipalities. Over 25% of the economy is government spending, and if you replaced sales with revenue, more than 60% of the Fortune 1000 companies would be governments. So if you're not targeting governments — regardless of what you sell, whether it's trucks or toilet paper — you're missing a huge opportunity.”

He says a lot of companies are intimidated simply by the paperwork the government represents.

“That's understandable,” he says. “It's a very arcane market. But once you get your feet wet, it can be your biggest customer in terms of dollars and products shipped. When they like you and start relying on the product you provide, they will tell you how they are going to be procuring it.”

A Functional Approach for Designing and Specifying Your Next Vocational Truck

February 26, 8-9:15 am (Part 1)

February 26, 9:30-10:45 am (Part 2)

Presenter: Bob Johnson, Director of Fleet Relations NTEA

Part 1: Vocational trucks, by definition, are intended to perform or support a specific job or group of related jobs. Therefore, the functional requirements associated with a particular job should be the primary factors driving the selection and design of the body and equipment (second unit) that will be mounted on a new work truck. Learn a functional approach for optimizing the design of your vocational truck bodies and equipment. Some of the design factors that will be discussed include: defining the application; identifying valid functional requirements for the application; safety and productivity concerns; potential design limitations and constraints; maintenance and repair considerations; calculating second-unit weight and center of gravity; and developing written specifications for a new unit.

Part 2: When specifying new vocational trucks, one of the most common mistakes is selecting the chassis first and then trying to upfit it to meet your needs. Look at a chassis design process primarily driven by the design of the body and equipment (second unit) that will be mounted on the chassis and desired vehicle performance. The ultimate objective of this process is to design a chassis that will be optimized for the intended application while at the same time complying with applicable state and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Critical design issues that will be addressed include frame selection; axles and suspensions; powertrain design considerations; weight distribution and completed vehicle center of gravity; accessory component selection; and completed vehicle certification.

Simplifying Weight-Distribution Calculations for Work Trucks

February 26, 9:30-10:45 am

Presenter: Richard Toner, Owner, Toner Associates, Pentwater, Michigan

Toner will help attendees understand and recognize the importance of weight-distribution calculations in the utilization and design of commercial work trucks, and also the basics of vehicle weight distribution to safely and legally position equipment and payloads while maintaining regulatory compliance of the vehicle.

Attendees will receive a calculation exercise and information about a software package available exclusively through the NTEA.

Benefits of the NTEA's Member Verification Program for Fleets, Leasing Companies, and Truck Dealers

February 26, 8 - 9:15 am

Presenter: Bob Raybuck, Technical Services Director, NTEA

Before you buy your next truck, take a moment to learn how NTEA member companies that have obtained the Association's Member Verification Program (MVP) status can ease the decision-making process.

Commercial truck equipment suppliers and upfitters with MVP status have demonstrated a commitment to higher standards. To qualify for the MVP, companies must submit documentation on criteria that are a critical part of providing quality products and services. In addition, new, more rigorous criteria will be introduced and added to the Program over the next five years.

Attendees will learn how the MVP continuously adds value for fleet managers, leasing companies, and truck dealers looking for industry partners.

NTEA Young Executives Network

Technology Workshop: Improving Productivity and Profitability Through Customer Relationship Management

February 27, 11:30 am-1:30 pm

Presenters: ACT Representatives and a panel of NTEA distributor and manufacturer members

What will it take for more companies to practice what they preach? Everyone agrees that customer relations are a huge part of business, but few put in the necessary effort and commitment.

Results of a survey conducted by the NTEA Young Executives Network (YEN) indicates that NTEA members want to gain a better understanding of tracking customer information and how that data can translate into sales. Attendees will learn how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can be used to improve the productivity and profitability in a truck-equipment business.

The workshop will feature presenters from ACT who will discuss their CRM package, in addition to a panel of NTEA distributor and manufacturer members who have real-life experience using CRM systems in their businesses.

A ticket is required. The session is open to employees of NTEA member companies ages 18-40. Workshop registration includes a ticket to Tuesday's YEN Networking Reception.

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.