Directors for the coming year include standing Perry Lubbers Trail King Industries Ken Nash Ferree Trailers Tracey Maynor VT Specialized Vehicles Corp Dick Giromini Wabash National and Dan Giles Fontaine Trailer Company Shown with them are Dawn Lubbers Diane Nash Jamie Maynor and Hilda Giromini

Directors for the coming year include, standing: Perry Lubbers, Trail King Industries; Ken Nash, Ferree Trailers; Tracey Maynor, VT Specialized Vehicles Corp; Dick Giromini, Wabash National; and Dan Giles, Fontaine Trailer Company. Shown with them are Dawn Lubbers, Diane Nash, Jamie Maynor, and Hilda Giromini.

Trailer manufacturers and suppliers express optimism as the industry convenes

Trailer manufacturers found new optimism and said good-bye to a long-time president at the 68th annual Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association Convention April 21-24.

When the trailer manufacturers met at last year's TTMA convention, the industry was in freefall. This year, however, attendees sensed that the bottom is behind them, and improved business conditions are ahead.

“We can now say with confidence that business conditions are improving,” Dave Tate, TTMA chairman, said during his closing address at the convention. “There are opportunities on the horizon, with great expectations for the future.”

The climb, however, is expected to be long. Analyst Ken Kremar, speaking during the second day of the convention, called for a decent uptick in trailer production this year. Kremar is forecasting incremental gains in 2011 before the industry once again begins producing more than 200,000 trailers annually in 2012.

In addition to the trailer forecast, TTMA attendees heard presentations from Dan Baker, a professional speaker with considerable experience in trucking. Representatives from FedEx and XTRA Lease gave their perspectives on what is happening in the trucking industry today and what they want trailers to be like in the future.

And in an indication that better times are at hand, TTMA associate members once again gave a series of brief presentations on the new products and services their companies are introducing. Details on these presentations can be found on the pages that follow.

The convention was the last that Dick Bowling would attend as president of the association. He is retiring after 21 years as president and a total of 26 years with the association.

Read more coverage from the TTMA Convention: Bowling retires as TTMA president

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