IN a letter to John Adams on August 1, 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”
Jefferson didn’t want to focus on the success of the American Revolution or the things he had accomplished. He was looking ahead, with the idea that he—and the United States—faced an anything-is-possible future.
That’s the approach the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) is taking. The NTEA hosts its 50th annual convention, but isn’t making the gold anniversary a focus of The Work Truck Show 2014.
“Our 50th year is a milestone, but The Work Truck Show 2014 is all about the future,” says Mark Woody, NTEA 2014 Convention chairman and president of Palfinger North America (Niagara Falls, ON, Canada). “For the show and beyond, there is a real focus on new technology, equipment and ways of thinking that are necessary for industry professionals to thrive.”
But the recent past would suggest that this year’s event will be a successful one.
The Work Truck Show has experienced three straight record-breaking years at the Indiana Convention Center, and the NTEA is confident that with an improving economy, this year’s show from March 5-7 will break some more records. (The educational program is March 4-6).
Last year, despite a nasty, uninvited guest—the “Snowquester,” a winter storm that closed roads, canceled flights, and cut power from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic—The Work Truck Show raged on in Indianapolis. Even though some attendees couldn’t make it to Indy due to the weather, The Work Truck Show was bigger than ever in terms of exhibit space and educational programming, and the total verified attendance of 10,351 was the second-highest in National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) history—just 60 short of the record set in 2012, also in Indy.
The Work Truck Show is North America’s largest work truck event. It encompasses a show floor of more than 500,000 square feet, more than 60 educational and technical training sessions, the Green Truck Summit, and the annual NTEA Convention.
In addition to the concurrent educational sessions offered at the NTEA Convention, the following Special Sessions are also available, ranging from two to three hours:
• Customer Service: Creating a World-Class Service Organization, Tuesday, March 4, 8:30 am–11:30 am: World-class customer service is not simply a matter of smiling employees who say “please” and “thank you.” Everything your customers see, hear, or touch impacts their experience. This program, presented by recognized speaker, trainer, and consultant Dennis Snow, will highlight how delivering world-class service requires careful orchestration of the entire customer experience. During this session, attendees will discover: the key points of contact that make or break the customer experience; how to elevate the customer experience from ordinary to extraordinary; and customer service processes that make service excellence “business as usual.”
• Parts and Service Marketing: Making a Difference Tuesday, March 4, 8:30 am–11:30 am: The dramatic changes that have taken place over the past 10 years, and those ahead, demand a more professional, productive and profitable product support operation. This session, presented by Ron Slee, President of RJ Slee & Associates (Rancho Mirage, CA), will review six key elements to help your company effectively build a parts and service marketing plan: the service focus; defining customers; customer relations; designing service excellence; customer loyalty; and measuring and managing success;
• Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program Winter Maintenance Course, Thursday, March 6, 9:30 am–12:30 pm: The Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) will host a winter maintenance training course for local agency transportation managers and industry partners and officials. This interactive session will cover topics that can significantly affect the winter maintenance programs of many local agencies. Experts will review the history of material spreading equipment and the challenges that local agency managers face when attempting to implement salt spreading best practices. In addition, attendees will hear case studies on the calibration of material spreading equipment and the reduction of sand in the salt-sand ratio. Other topics will include direct liquid application of materials and the bounce and scatter effect. Following the presentations, a panel of end users and manufacturers of snow control product applications will discuss some of the challenges maintenance managers face each winter season.
• Generation Next Leadership Workshop & Networking Reception: How to Become a Superior Communicator
Wednesday, March 5, 3 pm–5 pm: Communication is an important skill for any business leader to master, but many have not accomplished this objective. Seventy-percent of the American workforce identifies inadequate communication as the biggest problem in their companies today. Also, studies have shown that poor communication skills cost the average organization 25–40% of their budgets each year. Find out how to become a superb communicator during this lively session presented by Doug Cartland, president of DCI (Sharon, WI). Participants will learn: three keys to making communication work; eight ways to improve your listening skills; ways to master non-verbal communication; how to effectively convey and receive directions; tips for handling interruptions with ease.
Fleet managers can learn best practices at the Remote Fleet and Mobile Work Crew Management Technologies Symposium. This popular course on March 4–5 has been updated to include a new focus on the use of remote tracking and measuring technologies. Instead of assigning a manager to every work crew or shop, fleet operators today can oversee progress, handle maintenance issues and take inventory from a single location. An array of modern mobile technology will be discussed, including GPS, telematics, software and credit cards.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be the keynote speaker at the President’s Breakfast & NTEA Annual Meeting Thursday, March 6, from 7:30 am–9:15 am.
Appointed by President Bush in 2005, Rice was the second woman and first African-American woman to hold the post of Secretary of State. She served through January 2009. Her political career also included serving as President Bush’s National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005 and National Security Council member under President George HW Bush from 1989 to 1991, where she served as Director, then Senior Director of Soviet and East European Affairs and Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
Rice’s speech at The Work Truck Show will include insights from both the political arena as well as her educational and managerial career. Rice is a professor of political economy in the Graduate School of Business, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and a professor of political science at Stanford University. She is a founding partner of the international strategic consulting firm RiceHadleyGates, LLC, and serves on the boards of KiORs, a renewable fuels company; C3, an energy software company, and Makena Capital, a private endowment firm.
Rice previously served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993 to 1999, overseeing 1400 faculty members, 14,000 students and a $1.5 billion annual budget. She has authored and co-authored several books, including the best-selling No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (2011) and Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family (2010).
“Condoleezza Rice has a diverse leadership background that will inspire our NTEA members and other Work Truck Show attendees,” Woody says. “She follows in the footsteps of several high-profile leaders who have appeared at the President’s Breakfast and NTEA Annual Meeting, including Presidents George HW Bush in 2004 and George W Bush in 2012.”
Green Truck Summit
Natural gas, other alternative fuels, and advanced vehicle technology take center stage at this year’s Green Truck Summit, held March 4–5.
The vocational truck industry’s premier clean vehicle technology conference also features a chassis OEM forum moderated by Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard, and more than 20 additional educational sessions.
“The use of fuel-saving technology and alternative fuels has grown tremendously in popularity and offers many benefits for fleet managers looking to improve their operations,” says Doyle Sumrall, NTEA’s managing director. “Over its two days, the Green Truck Summit provides a unique opportunity to learn about the latest technology advancements and alternative-fuel options while gaining insights from truck OEMs, government officials, technical experts, and the industry’s foremost leaders.”
The first day of the Green Truck Summit includes several general sessions, including a panel discussion covering “The Vision and Reality of Natural Gas, a 100-Year Transportation Fuel.” The discussion is moderated by Rob Stevens, chief nameplate engineer for Ford Commercial Truck. Participants will discuss long-term supply levels, projected infrastructure growth, engine availability, and transitional challenges.
The Green Truck Summit’s second day features “The Future of Sustainability for Work Trucks—An OEM Forum,” a general session moderated by Ballard. The forum’s panel of experts features representatives from North America’s leading truck manufacturers. Topics of discussion include truck chassis evolution and future products. At the forum’s conclusion, attendees are invited to participate in a question-and-answer session with Ballard.
“Mayor Ballard’s panel is a must-attend event for fellow mayors and government fleet managers,” says Sumrall. “There, attendees will get first-hand insight to where the nation’s leaders are looking to go with technology and fuels.”
Additional Green Truck Summit general sessions include “Work Truck Fuel and Advanced Technology Deployment, Trends and Industry Forecast,” “Successfully Selecting and Deploying Green Technologies—A Fleet Perspective,” and “Low-Cost Strategies for Reducing Fleet Fuel Consumption: Successful Application of New Technologies.” Breakout sessions are held both days and cover a variety of alternative fuels, drive systems, and new technology.
The Work Truck Show will once again host its annual Green Truck Ride-and-Drive event, featuring commercial vehicles which incorporate advances in hybrid technology and alternative fuel applications. This year’s Green Truck Ride-and-Drive is scheduled March 5 and 6.
Take the wheel or take a ride in cutting-edge work trucks equipped with the latest hybrid technology and alternative fuel applications. You will also be able to meet with key suppliers, learn about the latest technologies and clean vehicle solutions, and see the newest trucks in action.
No ticket is required. Participation is free with trade show access and is handled on a first-come, first-served basis, with sign-up conveniently located right on the show floor.
The Work Truck Show includes more than 60 intensive educational programs on upfitting, regulatory compliance and business management topics. In addition, 16 of the world’s leading chassis manufacturers will use The Work Truck Show to provide detailed updates on what’s new and upcoming with their product lines including technical information on specifications and installation.
State of the Industry Overview—The NTEA Perspective, Tuesday, March 4, 1:30 pm–2:45 pm: The work truck industry is in a period of transition, evolving more rapidly than at any other time in history. Gain insights on how you can best navigate the twists and turns of today’s marketplace and find opportunities for future growth and success. During this session, participants will identify and analyze emerging market trends; learn how the current U.S. and global truck industries are changing; and, most importantly, find out how these elements will impact your company. Presenters: Steve Carey, CAE, executive director, NTEA; and Tim Campbell, managing director, Campbells Ltd. (Leyland, England, UK).
Understanding Vehicle Certification—The End-User and Fleet Perspective of Risk Management, Tuesday, March 4, 1:30 pm–2:45 pm: Proper vehicle certification is much more than a simple label on your truck. Aside from being required by law, it helps ensure a safe, reliable, and capable vehicle. Find out all of the factors involved in certifying a vehicle— including weight distribution calculations, payload analysis and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard compliance— and why they matter to you. Learn why a properly certified vehicle is important to your company from a risk-management perspective and how choosing the right work truck industry partners can help. Presenters: Michael Kastner, CAE, managing director, NTEA (Washington, DC); and Bob Raybuck, director of technical services, NTEA.
Planning for Your Company’s Future: Identifying Upcoming Industry and Economic Trends, Tuesday, March 4, 3 pm–4:15 pm: Gain the economic and market information you need to optimize your business planning processes. With expert analysis from the NTEA’s staff economist, attendees will discover where the truck equipment market is headed, learn to identify anticipated trends and find out how the US and global economies impact short- and long-term business cycles. This session also reviews current NTEA statistical and forecasting information. Presenter: Stephen Latin-Kasper, Director of Market Data and Research, NTEA.
The Holy Grail of Federal Excise Tax Concepts, Tuesday, March 4, 3 pm–4:15 pm: Upfitters of work trucks face potential Federal Excise Tax (FET) liability every time they sell a truck, tractor, or trailer. This seminar will address the five key FET concepts you need to understand in order to avoid a potentially catastrophic Internal Revenue Service audit and assessment: the suitable for use test, first retail sales, further manufacturing, the six-month rule and tax-free sales. Attendees will also get the inside scoop on the NTEA’s efforts to repeal the FET. This session will end with the ever-popular “stump the chump” session, during which you can ask FET questions that affect your business. Presenters: Kastner; Rose-Michele Nardi, Shareholder, Transport Counsel PC (Washington, DC); Raybuck; and Mark Sidman, Shareholder, Transport Counsel PC (Washington, DC).
How to Inspire Loyalty and Effort in Your Team, Wednesday, March 5, 9:30 am–10:45 am: It is essential that we, as leaders, inspire loyalty. It is, after all, the most important ingredient in the motivation of our teams. Loyalty is earned and can never be assumed. In this highly interactive and fast-paced presentation, learn how to garner this loyalty and inspire the highest level of motivation in your people. Presented by: Doug Cartland, president, DCI (Sharon, WI).
Tactics for Building a Dynamic, Cohesive Team, Thursday, March 6, 9:30 am–10:45 am: Studies have shown that the ability to be a team player is the #1 trait leaders want in an employee. But that doesn’t mean team members should blindly follow along—just the opposite! It’s vital to the success of any team, however, that each person has the same vision, is pulling in the same direction and is cooperating and communicating well with fellow team members. Learn how to create such a dynamic in this engaging, interactive presentation. Presented by: Cartland.
Understanding the Ins and Outs of NAFTA, Wednesday, March 5, 9:30 am–10:45 am: Learn from the experts about importing and exporting trucks and truck equipment into the US and Canada. During this session, government officials and a customs broker will detail documentation and regulatory requirements as well as government services available to help with international market opportunities. Don’t miss this rare chance to get information and ask questions. Moderator: Anne Cascadden, Trade Commissioner, Canadian Consulate General (Detroit, MI). Presenters: Mark Cooper, Director, US Commercial Service, US Department of Commerce, Export Assistance Center (Carmel, IN); Tony Geoghegan, Executive Director, Southern Ontario Region, Canada Border Services Agency (Windsor, ON, Canada); Augustine Moore, Assistant Director of Field Operations, US Customs & Border Protection, Chicago Field Office (Chicago, IL); and Richard Rocco, Director, Western Region, Livingston International Customs Broker (Taylor, MI).
Calculating Weight Distribution and Payload for Work Trucks Made Simple, Tuesday, March 4, 1:30 pm–2:45 pm: When you’re in the process of designing a new truck, it’s important to ensure that equipment and payloads can be safely and legally positioned while meeting the vehicle’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) and weight law requirements. Weight distribution and payload calculations are key factors in preventing overloading, which can cause problems for end users and equipment installers. During this session, review sample weight distribution calculations, learn where you can access software tools designed to help you perform complex vehicle calculations and find out how they relate to your FMVSS compliance calculations. Presenter: Steve Spata, Technical Services Manager, NTEA.
Preventing Costly Truck Frame Modification Mistakes, Tuesday, March 4, 3 pm–4:15 pm: The truck frame is one of the most important components on the vehicle, acting as the backbone that carries the truck load. Review basic frame characteristics and requirements needed for safe, professional mounting of truck bodies and equipment. Also, find out how the effects of welding and fastener usage can impact frame strength and durability, and learn how you can avoid modification mistakes that can lead to costly repairs. Presenter: Richard Toner, Principal, Toner Associates (Pentwater, MI).
Developing Optimal Specifications for New Work Truck Bodies and Equipment, Wednesday, March 5, 8 am–9:15 am: There are many considerations to take into account when spec’ing a new work truck, including the proposed unit’s functional requirements, vehicle weight and size, operator safety, regulatory compliance, operating costs and environmental factors. In addition, you must also consider potential maintenance issues, company policies, labor agreements and, in some cases, resale value. Learn how to properly identify and incorporate these factors into the specification process to help ensure that the completed unit provides top performance and a safe working environment. Presenter: Bob Johnson, director of fleet relations, NTEA.
Understanding Crane Stability Testing, Wednesday, March 5, 8 am–9:15 am: Learn from the experts about crane stability testing regulatory requirements and methods. Gain insights into proper techniques for testing your truck-mounted cranes to the OSHA and ASME requirements. This session will offer attendees a unique opportunity to get an understanding of the requirements and methods of crane stability testing from a member of the ASME B30.22 subcommittee. Presenter: Walter Timm, technical department manager, Palfinger North America (Niagara Falls, ON, Canada).
Designing Your Next Truck Chassis to Meet the Job Requirements, Wednesday, March 5, 9:30 am–10:45 am: Matching a new truck chassis to the application requirements is critical. Find out how optimizing fuel efficiency, achieving full regulatory compliance and improving vehicle performance can help achieve this goal. Also, learn about essential design issues, including weight distribution, payload analysis, frame selection, axles and suspensions, performance and powertrain considerations, accessory component selection, and completed vehicle certification. Other factors will also be reviewed, such as the use of hybrids, alternative fuels, and advanced fuel-use reduction technologies. Presenter: Robert J Aquaro, vice president, TARA Commercial Vehicle Consulting Services, Inc. (Lake Placid, FL).
Equipping Your Shop to Handle Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Wednesday, March 5, 9:30 am–10:45 am: As market adoption of gaseous alternative fuel vehicles accelerates, fleet operators, body/equipment upfitters, and service providers need to be aware of regulations governing work on these vehicles in their shops. This session will help you and your local code authority understand the different code requirements that apply when performing minor maintenance and major repairs. In addition, this presentation will provide practical insights and best practices from experts who have helped educate companies on these requirements and have completed modifications to their own facilities to accommodate gaseous alternative fuel vehicles. Presenters: Bill Burns, fleet operations manager, City of Columbus, Fleet Management Division (Columbus, OH); and Stephe Yborra, director of market analysis, Education and Communications, Clean Vehicle Education Foundation (Acworth, GA).
Optimizing Efficiency and Performance: Properly Spec’ing Your Next Powertrain, Thursday, March 6, 9:30 am–10:45 am: Efficiency, especially in terms of fuel economy, is of utmost importance to today’s fleets. In order to optimize a truck’s fuel efficiency, while still maintaining suitable performance, the powertrain components (engine, transmission and drive axle) must be properly matched to the application and to each other. It’s important to rely on more than trial and error, past experience or just a gut feeling when spec’ing a powertrain. Even when using an OEM’s powertrain design program, truck performance criteria such as starting gradeability and reserve gradeability are often not properly distinguished. Learn how to best identify truck performance criteria, determine torque and horsepower requirements, and match the transmission and drive axle to the selected engine. Presenter: Joe Johansson, Senior Applications Engineer, Allison Transmission Inc (Indianapolis, IN).
Truck Fleet Managers: What’s Keeping YOU Up at Night? Wednesday, March 5, 8 am–9:15 am: Today’s truck fleet managers face numerous obstacles, including volatile fuel prices, rising operating costs, and ever-increasing safety regulations. During this panel discussion, NAFA Fleet Management Association leaders will share the results of a recent survey of truck fleet managers. Along with taking questions from the audience, the panel will address: challenges in equipment procurement; dealing with remarketing specialty equipment; maintaining your own repair center; finding qualified technicians; life-cycle changes on truck-mounted equipment; how fuel costs can affect truck-mounted equipment use; how new emissions and SCR can affect truck specifications and truck-mounted equipment use. Moderator: David Lynn, CAFM, Equipment Center Manager, Penn Line Services Inc (Scottdale, PA). Presenters: Robert Polka, CAFM, director of fleet services, Lewis Tree Service Inc (West Henrietta, NY); and Steve Saltzgiver, vice president of fleet operations, Republic Services (Phoenix, AZ).
Deploying Alternative Fuel Vehicles: Impacts on Your Fleet Operations, Thursday, March 6, 9:30 am–10:45 am: The decision to adopt an alternative fuel is typically based on factors such as fuel costs, compatible vehicle availability, and environmental impact. However, going beyond the potential for fuel cost savings, the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles can impact a fleet’s operations in many other ways. This session will address the cumulative impact of using alternative fuels and will cover issues such as maintenance, infrastructure, driver training, and acceptance, and vehicle utilization. Presented by: Scott Conlon, section chief of equipment management, Montgomery County Division of Fleet Management Services (Rockville, MD); and Ron Halley, vice president, Fleet and Facilities, Student Transportation Inc (Wall, NJ).
Daimler Vans USA LLC—CHASSIS UPDATE, Tuesday, March 4, 1:30 pm–2:45 pm: Daimler Vans USA LLC will present firsthand technical information on chassis specifications, design, body installation, and equipment mounting options. Presenter: Walther F Bloch, Sprinter Engineering Support, Mercedes-Benz USA LLC.
Mack Trucks Inc—Chassis Update. Tuesday, March 4, 1:30 pm–2:45 pm: Mack Trucks will present technical information on chassis specifications and wiring schematics. Mack will also share details on its new body builder guide as well as the latest updates and new products. This presentation will include natural gas interfaces and chassis configuration options available to help accommodate body installations.
Chevrolet and GMC Commercial Truck—CHASSIS UPDATE, Tuesday, March 4, 3 pm–4:15 pm: Representatives will present technical information on Chevrolet and GMC chassis specifications as they relate to design, body installation, and equipment mounting options. Attend for the most up-to-date technical information on issues that can affect body and equipment installation, along with alternative fuel solutions being offered by GM. Participants will gain insights into vocation-specific options to help optimize body and equipment installation and operation.
International Truck—Chassis Update, Tuesday, March 4, 3 pm–4:15 pm: During this session, International Truck will provide the most up-to-date technical information on chassis specifications and issues that can affect the installation of bodies and equipment. Participants will gain insights into vocation-specific options to help optimize body and equipment installation and designs.
Peterbilt Motors Company—Chassis Update, Tuesday, March 4, 3 pm-4:15 pm: Peterbilt Motors Company will present information on model lineup, including the new heavy-duty Model 567; updates to medium-duty conventional and cab-over models; chassis specifications; new features; and design, body installation and equipment mounting options.
Freightliner Trucks—CHASSIS UPDATE, Wednesday, March 5, 8 am–9:15 am: During this session, Freightliner Trucks will provide the most up-to-date technical information on chassis specifications and issues that can affect the installation of bodies and equipment. Participants will gain insights into vocation-specific options to help optimize body and equipment installation and designs.
Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc—Chassis Update, Wednesday, March 5, 8 am–9:15 am: During this session, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. will provide the most up-to-date technical information on chassis specifications and issues that can affect the installation of bodies and equipment. Participants will gain insights into vocation-specific options to help optimize body and equipment installation and designs.
Ram Commercial—CHASSIS UPDATE, Wednesday, March 5, 8 am-9:15 am: Ram Commercial continues to expand on its leadership in the commercial vehicle market with a full lineup of best-in-class, hard-working Ram pickups, vans and chassis-cabs. During this session, Ram Commercial will provide the most up-to-date technical information on chassis specifications and address issues that can affect the installation of bodies and equipment. Participants will gain insights into vocation-specific options to help optimize body and equipment installation and designs.
Ford Commercial Truck—Chassis Update, Wednesday, March 5, 9:30 am–10:45 am: Ford Commercial Truck will present firsthand technical information on chassis specifications, design, body installation, and equipment mounting options.
Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation—CHASSIS UPDATE, Wednesday, March 5, 9:30 am–10:45 am: Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation will present the latest technical information and specifications for alternate fuels, hybrid technology, and chassis features and benefits. Participants will gain insights into options that can improve the operational efficiencies and value while operating in vocational-specific environments.
Western Star Trucks—Chassis Update, Wednesday, March 5, 9:30 am–10:45 am: During this session, Western Star Trucks will provide the most up-to-date technical information on chassis specifications and issues that can affect the installation of bodies and equipment. Participants will gain insights into vocation-specific options to help optimize body and equipment installation and designs.
Hino Trucks—Chassis Update, Thursday, March 6, 9:30 am–10:45 am: During this session, Hino Trucks will provide the most up-to-date technical information on chassis specifications and issues that can affect the installation of bodies and equipment. Participants will gain insights into vocation-specific options to help optimize body and equipment installation and designs.
Kenworth Truck Company—Chassis Update, Thursday, March 6, 9:30 am–10:45 am: During this session, Kenworth Truck Company will provide the most up-to-date technical information on chassis specifications and issues that can affect the installation of bodies and equipment. Participants will gain insights into vocation-specific options to help optimize body and equipment installation and designs.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc—Chassis Update, Thursday, March 6, 9:30 am–10:45 am: Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc will present firsthand technical information on chassis specifications, design, body installation and equipment mounting options. ♦