Bright lights for NATM

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 Exhibitors
Company 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
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 26
3 - 8 pm Registration
5 - 6:30 pm Early bird reception
▪ Wednesday, February 27
8 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 28
6:30 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 29
8 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 1
7:30 - 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
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