Trailer OEMs were well represented and impossible to miss at this year’s TMC exhibition. Here, the team at the East Manufacturing booth ready for the arrival of attendees.

Trucks, trucking for techies

May 3, 2019
TMC’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition summary

American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council on March 18 opened the doors on a sold-out exhibit hall as part of TMC’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition. The annual event was held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

“We are pleased to welcome more than 4,500 attendees to this exhibit hall and annual meeting,” said Robert Braswell, TMC executive director. “TMC’s Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition experienced strong growth in 2019, and remains a premier destination for manufacturers and suppliers. Our meeting is one of the few times that key industry decision makers and technology providers can come together and demonstrate the latest advances in trucking, and it remains an event that ATA and TMC’s members should take pride in.”

The exhibit featured approximately 400 vendors spanning nearly 500,000 square feet. Featuring technology and equipment touching all aspects of the trucking industry, this year’s exhibition was the largest tradeshow in the council’s history. 

“For more than six decades, TMC has worked to raise professional and technical standards for the trucking industry,” said TMC General Chairman Jeff Harris, vice president of maintenance at USA Truck Inc. “This annual meeting is an important part of that—not just to see what is available in the field on the exhibit hall floor—but to have the opportunity to discuss and learn about the latest advances in truck technology in our myriad of task forces and educational sessions.”

In addition, TMC announced that Kenneth Calhoun, fleet optimization manager at Altec Service Group, was elected 2019-2020 general chairman and treasurer.

“Kenneth has been a model TMC member and an example of the type of professional standard our council strives to set. I’m pleased to see him elected as TMC general chairman and treasurer,” Braswell said. “His passion for finding better ways to analyze maintenance data and develop our next-generation workforce is well known and a great asset to the Council.”

Calhoun, from Carlisle, Arkansas, served this past year as the Council’s vice chairman and chairman of meetings. He succeeds Jeff Harris, vice president of maintenance at USA Truck as general chairman and treasurer.

“Being recognized like this by my peers in TMC is a tremendous honor, one I am humbled to receive,” Calhoun said. “I want to thank the membership of TMC for the opportunity and thank Jeff for his service to our organization.”

In other ceremonies, TMC honored five professionals with its highest honor—the Silver Spark Plug—during the opening of the exhibition. The Silver Spark Plug recognizes professional excellence in commercial vehicle maintenance. 

“This year’s winners represent the pinnacle of our industry and we are pleased to bestow this honor on them,” Braswell said. 

The honorees are:

• Winston Minchew, training manager, Old Dominion Freight Line, Thomasville NC

• Dave Dettman, president, QTC Transportation Holdings, Freeport IL

• Homer Hogg, manager, technical development, Travel Centers of America, Lakeland FL

• Joe Long, director, heavy duty business development, Old World Industries, New Fairfield CT

• Larry Rambeaux, national fleet and truck representative, Purkeys, Lowell AR

“Only individuals who represent the best of our council in their commitment to improved engineering and maintenance standards through the development of TMC recommended practices are honored with the Silver Spark Plug,” said Jeff Harris, TMC’s general chairman and vice president of maintenance at USA Truck.

Also at this year’s event, TMC honored several professionals with a variety of awards for their important service to the council and the industry.

“For more than six decades, TMC has striven to advance the professional standards for commercial vehicle maintenance,” Braswell said. “The technicians and executives we honor here are doing that every day—and they all set the bar for excellence in this industry every day.”

Abhishek Bharadwaj, north central sales manager, Alcoa Wheel & Transportation Products; Alexandra Knight, manager, market segmentation, Class C Solutions Group; and Mark Willis, business development manager, HDA Truck Pride, were honored as Recognized Associates.

TMC also recognized Pedro Garza, service writer, Texas Disposal Systems; and Leonard Wheatley, maintenance supervisor, FleetPro Inc, with the Excellence in Maintenance Supervision Award.

In addition, the Council announced the graduation of its inaugural group of candidates from the TMC of Tomorrow Leadership Development Program. The program is dedicated to developing future leaders of TMC and the transportation industry.