New products, new ideas

Work Truck Show delivers more than 40 educational sessions, attracts record number of exhibitors with array of new products

It was no place for the complacent. But those who want to be more competitive in today's commercial truck industry had plenty to see and do during the recent Work Truck Show in Atlanta.

More than 7,200 industry professionals attended this year's event February 26-28. Attendees included representatives of some of North America's largest work truck fleets, truck equipment distributors/upfitters, manufacturers, and truck dealers.

A record 538 exhibitors covered more than 450,000 square feet of display space at the show with trucks, components, and accessories. New and updated products could be found in every aisle, as more than 100 were highlighted at the event.

Hundreds of convention attendees kicked off the event by participating in the Hybrid Truck and Alternative Fuels Summit on Feb. 25. The Honorable Clarence H. “Bud” Albright, Jr., under secretary, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), gave the keynote address at the Summit. His address was the first of several by industry leaders, manufacturers, and customers.

Attendees also had the opportunity to take 14 different hybrid and alternative fuel commercial vehicles for test drives as part of the Hybrid Truck & Alternative Fuels Ride-and-Drive Feb. 26-27. They then were able to examine these technologies in detail by visiting the Advanced Truck Technology Pavilion, a special area of The Work Truck Show.

Other highlights of the show and the NTEA-sponsored educational sessions included:

  • “Surviving & Thriving: Trends Reshaping the Truck Equipment Industry” covered what's changing in the industry and how this evolution impacts truck equipment distributors and manufacturers.

  • “Roll with the Changes: Simplifying Vehicle Certification & Labeling” taught final-stage manufacturers and vehicle alterers how to perform a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard compliance analysis and determine which label is required for different stages of certification.

  • A keynote address given by three-time Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip at the President's Breakfast and NTEA Annual Meeting on Feb. 27.

  • A business forum about the importance of branding.

  • Exhibits from 15 of the world's leading truck chassis manufacturers gave attendees an overview of the latest commercial offerings.

  • Thirteen chassis manufacturers presented informational update sessions on specifications, design, and body installation.

“The Work Truck Show 2008 was a great success,” says Jim Carney, NTEA executive director. “The size and scope of the show floor, cutting-edge educational sessions and new product and technology launches were unmatched. It is a testament to the effectiveness of the event that demand for exhibit space at the Work Truck Show 2009 is incredibly high. The Association is working hard to try to accommodate all the requests for booth space at next year's show.”

Many of the exhibiting companies at the Work Truck Show 2008 already have reserved their booth space for next year's show, and remaining space is selling quickly. The Work Truck Show 2009 will occupy the new West Building at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, March 4-6, 2009 (45th Annual NTEA Convention starts March 3).

Online registration for The Work Truck Show 2009 and 45th Annual NTEA Convention opens at in September.

Dennis Jones named NTEA president for 2008-2009

Dennis Jones, vice-president of sales and marketing for Auto Truck Group in Bensenville, Illinois, was installed as president of the National Truck Equipment Association for the 2008-2009 term.

Jones heads up a slate of officers that also includes Andrew Outcalt, president of Meyer Products LLC and Swenson Spreader LLC in Cleveland, OH, first vice-president; Spencer Hinson, president of Lodi Equipment in West Sacramento, California, second vice-president; Allen Birmingham, national sales manager for Tommy Gate Company in Phoenix, Arizona, third vice-president/treasurer; and Jim Carney, NTEA executive director, secretary.

Distributor trustees for 2008-2009 are: Michael Anderson, vice-president of Semi Service, Inc in Salt Lake City UT; Bobby Horton, general manager of Commercial Body & Rigging in Garland TX; Frank P Livas, senior vice-president and COO of Brake & Clutch in Salem MA; Michael Moxley, executive vice-president, Moxley Truck Equipment Div in Street MD; Blake Murray, general manager, General Truck Equipment in Jacksonville FL; and Steven Sill, president, Aspen Equipment in Bloomington MN.

Manufacturer trustees for 2008-2009 are David Gilpatrick, CEO and owner of Thiele Manufacturing in Windber PA; and Jim Radous, vice-president of sales, Knaack L.L.C in Crystal Lake IL.

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