Bright lights for NATM

Dec. 1, 2007
The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) heads back to Las Vegas with a new theme for its convention: Don't Gamble on Your Company's Future:

The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) heads back to Las Vegas with a new theme for its convention: “Don't Gamble on Your Company's Future: VEGAS '08.”

It's much more than a play on words referencing the gambling capital of the world.

“With the workshops, the focus is on education and meeting with regulators and basically trying to provide information and networking,” NATM assistant director Michelle Brown says.

The convention, set for February 26 through March 1 at the Las Vegas Hilton, features the first of what are expected to be yearly regulatory roundups and roundtable discussions featuring officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

This year, FMCSA's Larry Minor will kick off the regulatory roundup on February 28 at 9:45am and serve as moderator. Two NHTSA officials — Mike Cole (lighting compliance and certification) and Tina Morgan (Early Warning Reporting) — also will contribute.

“We're starting to get into more government-relations-type things,” Brown said. “We're trying to get more proactive in government relations by trying to stay in contact with officials. We want them to trust us so that if certain issues are coming up, they will give us a heads-up. We attended the National Marine Manufacturers Association roundup in May in Washington, DC, and it worked out very well. So we're trying to do the same thing to help our members get involved so we have names and faces.”

The convention also will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the NATM's founding.

The membership meeting, held on February 28, generally features breakfast and a quick meeting with the convention committee chairpersons. This time, the NATM is making it more of a production, going over what it has accomplished and featuring the keynote speaker, celebrated former Notre Dame football walk-on Rudy Ruettiger. The Presidents Reception on February 27 will have an ‘80s theme that will carry over to the gala on March 1.

There are a few more changes:

The NATM is switching back to the Tuesday-through-Saturday format.

There will be one full day of the trade show, rather than two half days.

Workshops will be held the day before and the day after the full day of the trade show.

Last year's convention in Orlando, Florida, drew more than 1,400 attendees, including representatives of 197 trailer manufacturing companies. The show featured exhibits by 230 companies — occupying 300 exhibit spaces — up sharply from the 237 spaces that were sold in 2006.


“Regulatory Roundtable”

Presenters: Cole, lead safety compliance engineer for NHTSA; Minor, director of the Office of Bus & Truck Standards & Operations for FMCSA; and Morgan, chief of Early Warning Reporting Division for NHTSA.

Cole: Update on the latest light compliance issues and certification process and other projects; and update on FMVSS No 108 administrative rewrite and other projects.

Minor: The Light and Medium Duty Trailer Industry and FMCSR.

Morgan: Update on EWR evaluation; and update on public citizen confidentiality case and other projects.

Presenter: Jep Enck, Enck Resources

“Humor and Health”

In this fast-paced workshop, participants can expect to learn and laugh as they explore their personal humor quotient. Studies have shown that keeping your sense of humor, or in some cases, finding it, will help you ward off all kinds of mental and physical ailments. Designed as a “standup comedy routine”, this will offer insights on how to unleash the power of healing through laughter at home and at work.

“Bonding with Liquid Adhesives”

Presenter: Brian Meagher, BASF

Defines the science behind adhesion and how chemical bonds function and provide manufacturing benefits in today's competitive environment.

“Recruiting Better Employees”

Presenter: Mark Travis, Wimberly, Lawson, Seale, Wright & Daves, PLLC

A growing concern among business owners is how to recruit and retain good employees. From a recruitment perspective, this presentation will address the high cost of turnover, effective recruitment strategies, the generational factors in today's workforce, and how to appropriately address potential employees' needs through recruitment. From a retention perspective, this presentation will focus on steps to an effective employee-retention program, including communication and feedback, fostering work/life balance, and other creative retention ideas.

“NATM Guidelines Update”

Presenters: Greg Soden, NATM Compliance Consultant, and Clint Lancaster, NATM Compliance Consultant

The NATM compliance consultants will provide a workshop of new compliance requirements and non-compliant trends. Find out how to address these trends to obtain or maintain your compliance certification. Topics discussed will include administrative responsibilities, understanding lighting requirements, tire and rim information, as well as other areas identified by the NATM compliance consultants. This is an opportunity to learn directly from the compliance consultants and ask questions that affect a company's operation. Soden will review lighting and conspicuity tape requirements as outlined in 49 CFR 571. In addition to the basic lighting package required for all trailers, the additional lights that are required for trailers meeting specific lengths and widths also will be addressed. Since trailer designs sometimes make meeting lighting and conspicuity tape requirements a challenge, examples of common issues observed and possible solutions will be discussed. Lancaster will discuss tire/rim issues, including tire record keeping.

“Effective Communications”

Presenter: Jep Enck, Enck Resources

The quality of your life is dependent on the quality of relationships you have. And the qualities of your relationships are contingent on how well you communicate within those relationships. In this workshop, participants will learn the latest human technologies that will improve your personal communication style and assist you on building relationships that support you and your goals. Some time will be spent on dealing with difficult personalities and how to communicate better with them.

“Worker Compensation”

Presenter: Mark Travis, Wimberly, Lawson, Seale, Wright & Daves, PLLC

Workplace injuries are a major operating expense for employers nationwide. With health-care costs rising faster than any other segment of the economy, worker compensation is no longer a small cost of doing business. A reactive approach is no longer viable in this area. This presentation will provide cost-saving strategies involving preventive measures, claims investigation, and management, and effective return-to-work programs to reduce liability.

“Manufacturer's Repurchase Requirements/Good Dealer Agreements"

Presenter: David P Weber, Fredrikson & Byron, PA

The workshop will cover various state requirements regarding manufacturers' repurchase obligations when a dealer is terminated. The workshop also will cover important contractual provisions that should be included in all dealer agreements.

“Taming the Inventory Beast!”

Presenter: Dale Billet, RSM McGladrey

Inventory is a difficult area to manage effectively for most companies. This presentation will cover how to minimize inventory costs and shortages through strategic sourcing, vendor relationships/collaboration, balanced internal measurements, and planning techniques. The common causes and corrective measures for high material costs, shortages, obsolete and excess inventory will be examined and discussed.

“Product Liability”

Presenter: Ron McIntire, Perkins Coie

Illustration of basic product liability concepts through a series of documents in the files of a fictional manufacturer.

“Understanding the Wheel Fastening System on Trailers: An Executive Overview”

Presenter: Ted J. Schorn, Enkei America, Inc.

This presentation is intended to reach executives and other decision makers working for trailer manufacturers and suppliers. It will discuss the ramifications of the published ANSI recommended practice TSIC-1 (to be published by the close of 2007) and the book Understanding the Wheel Fastening System on Trailers (published in January 2007 and distributed in May 2007 by RVIA & NATM). This program will include a brief, non-technical description of the materials and what should be done with them. Management, quality, engineering, and legal issues are involved in these materials. Significant opportunity for Q&A and discussion will be made available to attendees.

Keynote Speaker


The chant reverberated throughout Notre Dame Stadium in a 1975 victory over Georgia Tech.

And 18 years later, it reverberated throughout movie theaters all over America.

Against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Indiana, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger carved his name into history books as perhaps the most famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

The son of an oil refinery worker and third of 14 children, Rudy rose from valleys of discouragement and despair to the pinnacles of success. It took years of fierce determination to overcome obstacles and criticism, yet Rudy achieved his first dream — to attend Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish.

In the only play in the only game of his college football career, Rudy sacked the quarterback in the final seconds of a 24-3 victory. He is the only player in the school's history to be carried off the field on his teammates' shoulders.

In 1993, TRISTAR Productions immortalized his life story with the blockbuster film, Rudy. Written and produced by Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh, the award-winning team that produced Hoosiers, the critically acclaimed Rudy received “two thumbs-up” from Siskel and Ebert and continues to inspire millions worldwide.

Today, Rudy is one of the most popular motivational speakers in the United States.

He has recently established the Rudy Foundation, whose mission is to help children of all ages around the world reach their full potential. The Rudy Foundation develops and supports programs that positively impact the lives of children cognitively, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The Rudy Award Program was created by the Rudy Ruettiger Foundation to recognize children who make an outstanding, exceptional effort to do their personal best every day, overcome obstacles, set goals, and stay on track to reach their dreams.


KampCo is once again sponsoring the annual golf tournament, this time held at Red Rock Country Club's Arroyo course, an Arnold Palmer Signature course that ribbons seamlessly through the rugged terrain and is nestled between the spectacular landscapes of Red Rock Canyon, one of Las Vegas' most revered natural landmarks. The par-72, 6,883-yard course features bold bunkering, dramatic water hazards, and the stark contrast of emerald greens against the tanned desert mountain.

Awards will be presented for first, second, and third place, longest drive, longest putt, and closest to the pin. The format is a four-person scramble with a shotgun start at 9am on February 27.

The fee is $150 per person, and only full registrations are eligible to participate. Proper attire is required, including collared shirts and no denim. Non-metal spikes must be worn while on the course.

Trade Show ExhibitorsCompany Booth# 3M 129, 131, 133 ACCESSA Coatings Solutions 653 Active Technology 429 Adchem Adhesives Inc 458 ADI, Addograph Distribution Inc 407 Advantage Sales & Supply 451 Air-Tight LLC 231 AL Hansen 151 Alexandria Extrusion Company 454 AL-KO Kober Corp 239, 338 Allied Tube & Conduit 222, 224 Aluminum Line Products Co 238 American Bank Note Company 504, 505 American Eagle Steel 230 American Metal Stamping 411 American Technology Components 256 Amerimax Building Products 360 Applied Products 534, 536 ARC Fastener Supply & Mfg 430 Atwood Mobile Products LLC 652 Austin Hardware 661, 760 Austin Westran 700 BASF - The Chemical Company 423, 425 Bauer Products 249 BB&T Pruden Insurance Services 326, 328 Bearing Buddy Inc 461 Bearings 2000 Sales Co 208 Best Fender Products 417, 419, 516, 518 Blaylock Industries Inc 237 Blue Ox 450 Bristol Galvanizing 449 Butler Products Corp 228 Buyers Products Co 355, 357 C.E. Smith Co Inc 446 Caple-Shaw Industries Inc 452 Carlisle Industrial Brake & Friction 125 Carlisle Tire & Wheel 143, 145, 242 Cast Products 343, 345, 442 Cequent Trailer Products 422, 424, 426, 428 Champagne Metals 417, 419, 516, 518 Chicago Expert Importers 211 Comeq Inc 333 Command Electronics Inc 445, 447 Connexa Softools Inc 234 CPR Systems 309 Crane Composities Inc 351 Curt Mfg 216 Custen Metal Spinning Inc 412 Custer Products Ltd 609 Custom Rollforming Corp 555 Dake Corporation 253, 255 De La Rue Security Print Inc 109 Dec-O-Art Inc 538 Demco 444 Dexstar Wheel Co 431 Dexter Axle 117, 119 Duro Tire & Wheel 455, 457 Dutton-Lainson Company 243 Elixir Industries 111, 113 EMCO Spring 550 Endura Mfg Co Ltd 706 Engineered Components Co 332 Equalizer Systems 335 Etched Metal Company 500 Exltube 414 Fiber-Tech Industries 312 FIC Performance Hardware-Wesco 334 Force Electronics 210 Foss Mfg 217 Gaska Tape Inc 329 GDC/Trail America 501, 600 GE Money 252 Geocel 201, 203 GKN Axles 202 Globe Specialty Co 359 Greenball 342, 344, 346, 348 Grote Industries 453 Hayes Brake Controller Co 336 HE Parmer Co Inc 101, 103 HE&M Saw 708 HiSpec Wheel & Tire Inc 315 Hopkins Mfg 432 HWH Corporation 115 IMMI Outdoor Division 448 Imperial Stamping Corp 330 Innovative Lighting Inc 400, 402 International Extrusions 233 International Hydraulics 313 Interstate Insurance Services 123 Jammy Inc 508, 510 JPC Specialties 659, 758 KampCo Steel Products Inc 223, 225, 322, 324 Kenny & Gyl Company 750 Kodiak Trailer Components 427 KTI Hydraulics Inc 754 L & D 657, 756 Laclede Chain Mfg Co 107 LaVanture Products 236 Lifelong Locks LLC 212 Lippert Components Inc 503 Lord Corporation 435 Loxcreen Metalsource 214 Lucky “B” 437, 439 M & B Supply Inc 316 M-3 Associates Inc 153 Master Lock Company 251 Merchants Fastener Corp 353 Metalwest 127 Mid America Graphics 606 Mishawaka Sheet Metal LLC 532 Mize & Company Inc 226 Mobile Paint Manufacturing Co 702 Monarch Hydraulics Inc 331 MTE Hydraulics Inc 235 Muro North America Inc 204 North West Rubber 339 Nudo Products Inc 651 ObeCo 258 O'Neill Mfg 401 Optronics Inc 137, 139 Orrco International 337 P.M.C.S. Inc 506 Pacific Cargo Control 548 Pak Ind Inc dba Paktron Products 354 Parkland Plastics 311 Peerless Chain 460 Permacel 254 Peterson Manufacturing 325, 327 Philips Products Inc 512, 514 Phillips Industries 245, 247 Phoenix Stamping Group LLC 347 Phoenix USA Inc 244, 246, 248 Phosphatizing Equipment Mfg 526 Plastics by Design 554 Pneutek Inc 303 Posey Lumber 509, 608 Powerbrace Corporation 323 PPG Industries 443, 542 Premier Lights LLC 205 Premium Supply 752 Quality Trailer Products 522, 524 Quick Coupler by Trailer Gear 704 Rack'em Mfg 257, 259, 261 RB Rubber Products 155 RC industries Inc 607 Redneck Trailer 159, 161 Reliable Tool & Machine Co Inc 215 Reliance Bearing Co Inc 229 Robin Industries 551, 553 RSM McGladrey Inc 147 Rumber Materials Inc 310 Ryadon Inc 209 Ryerson Inc 218 SAF - Holland Inc 356, 358 Scorpion Protective Coatings Inc 436 Seal Rite Inc 650 SFS intec 314 Shapiro Metals 227 Sharpline Converting Inc 507 Sheffield Financial LLC 317, 319, 416, 418 Shelby Industries 408, 410 Shelby Trailer Service 301 Sierra Pacific Engineering & Products 250 Sierra Products Inc 349 Simpson Strong Tie 459 State Wide Aluminum 530 Statistical Surveys 135 SunSource 415 Supervision Security Inc 157 TBEI 413 TecNiq Inc 213 Tesa Tape Inc 207 Textron Financial Corporation 433 Thule Towing-Valley 605 Tie Down Engineering Inc 438 Tiger Accessory Group 660 Timbren Industries Inc 105 Titan International 306, 308 Tredit Tire & Wheel 654 TRIMAX 561 Trim-Lok Inc 544, 546 Truck-Lite Co Inc 232 Ultra Fab Products 601 Unified Marine 350, 352 Unique Functional Products 558, 560 Universal Power Group, Inc 434 USA Harness Inc 200 Valspar 219, 318 Van Guard Mfg 260 Venco Mfg Inc 206 Warn Industries 300 Whitesell Supply 552 Z Tech 502 NATM 2008 agenda▪ Tuesday, February 263 - 8 pm Registration 5 - 6:30 pm Early bird reception ▪ Wednesday, February 278 am - 9 am Golf registration and breakfast 9 am - 2 pm Golf tournament 1 - 7 pm Registration Noon - 5 pm Exhibitor set-up (Badges required for admittance) 5:30 - 7:30 pm President's reception ▪ Thursday, February 286:30 am - 4 pm Registration 7 am - 9:30 am Breakfast, annual meeting & keynote
Keynote address: Rudy Ruettiger 9:30 - 11:30 am Exhibitor set-up 9:45 - 11:15 am Workshop/seminar
• Regulatory Roundtable 11:30 am - 1 pm Golf and Association awards luncheon 1 am - 2:30 pm Exhibitor touch-up 1:15 - 2:45 pm Workshop/seminar
• Humor & Health 3 - 6 pm Exhibition 5 - 6 pm New member reception 6 - 9 pm Sheffield Financial reception ▪ Friday, February 298 am - 5 pm Registration 8 - 9 am Exhibitor breakfast in Exhibit Hall 9 - 10 am Attendee breakfast in Exhibit Hall 9 am - 5 pm Trade show, Day 2 Noon - 1 pm Lunch in Exhibit Hall Noon - 2:30 pm Spouse luncheon (off-site) 3:30 - 5 pm Trade show reception 4:45 - 5 pm Door prizes (Exhibit Hall - Must be present to win) ▪ Saturday, March 17:30 - 8:30 am Breakfast buffet 8:30 -10 am Workshops
• Bonding With Liquid Adhesives
• Recruiting Better Employees
• NATM Guidelines Update
• Communicating Effectively 10 - 10:30 am Coffee Break 10:30 - noon Workshops
• Workers' Compensation
• Manufacturers' Repurchase Requirements/Good Dealer Agreements
• Raw Materials: Where is the Industry Going?
• Product Liability Noon - 1:15 pm Networking luncheon 1:30 - 3 pm Workshops
• NATM Guidelines Update
• Communicating Effectively
• Workers' Compensation
• Understanding the Wheel Fastening System on Trailers 6 - 9 pm Gala reception & dinner