A jam-packed line-up of technical seminars, a day-long session on hybrid trucks, and almost a half-million square feet of exhibits combined to draw near-record crowds to the 2009 Work Truck Show March 3-6 in Chicago.
More than 8,400 work truck industry professionals attended The Work Truck Show and the National Truck Equipment Association convention, an increase of more than 18% from last year's event. The largest turnout for any NTEA event was just over 9,000 at The Work Truck Show 2007 in Indianapolis.
“The large number of attendees and new products at the show reflect the resilience of our industry and the spirit of our members,” says Jim Carney, NTEA executive director. “Even in challenging economic times, business moves forward.”
T Boone Pickens, a crusader for development of alternative forms of energy, got the “Green Truck Summit” started by delivering the keynote address in which he outlined his plan for breaking America's dependence on foreign oil.
Other event highlights included:
- New products
More than 100 products, including new truck bodies and truck equipment were introduced. Several truck body and equipment companies held special events to announce their innovations, including Dodge, Ford Commercial Truck, International Truck, Maintainer Corp. of Iowa, Nissan North America, North Coast Truck Body, The Reading Group, Smith Electric Vehicle, and Supreme Corporation.
- Extensive educational program
More than 40 education and technical training sessions were offered. They covered a wide range of industry topics, including updates from 12 of the world's leading chassis manufacturers.
Much of what took place at this year's Work Truck Show can be found in the pages that follow. However, because of the scope of the material presented at the event, Trailer/Body Builders will follow this month's special Work Truck Show report with additional coverage in future issues.
Plans are well underway for next year. The Work Truck Show 2010 will be held in conjunction with the 46th Annual NTEA Convention March 9-12, 2010. America's Center in Saint Louis will be the venue.