American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council is considered to be America’s premier technical society for truck equipment technology and maintenance professionals. TMC features a diverse membership of equipment managers, service-dealers, owner-operators, industry suppliers and manufacturers, educators, academia and others that support the trucking industry.

The organization’s Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition held March 5-8, 2018, in Atlanta was TMC’s largest show in history. It saw over 5,000 registered attendees with record-setting first time attendance. There were a variety of events drawing people to the show.

This event serves as the council’s business meeting, and as such it saw Jeff Harris, vice president of maintenance at USA Truck Inc., elected 2018-2019 general chairman and treasurer during the organization’s Annual Banquet and Reception which closed the event on March 7 at the Georgia Aquarium.

Jeff Harris, USA Truck Inc.

“Jeff 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,” said Robert Braswell, TMC executive director.

Harris, who served this past year as the Council’s vice chairman and chairman of meetings, will succeed Glen McDonald, director of maintenance at Ozark Motor Lines Inc. in this role at the conclusion of TMC’s 2018 Annual Meeting.

A kick-off breakfast featured Carlton Rose, president, Global Fleet Maintenance & Engineering, United Parcel Service

Carlton Rose, United Parcel Service

TMC’s best-attended event, as always, is its Town Meeting and Fleet Operators’ Forum. TMC’s Town Meeting provides an opportunity for the Council to present members and attendees with information about what’s happening within TMC. Topping the popularity list were Fleet Talk and Shop Talk. TMC’s Fleet Talk is a lively dialogue based on TMC’s successful Shop Talk format, but open only to fleet attendees. Topics of interest that emerge from this session were then raised at Shop Talk later in the week for open discussion before the entire Council. This presented attendees with a unique chance to learn and share the tricks of the trade from the industry’s best experts.


TMC Awards Dedication and Excellence

The event is also the location where the Council’s leadership awards are presented.

The Silver Spark Plug Award is given in recognition of an individual’s outstanding contributions to the cause of improving heavy-duty vehicle maintenance. Retired Silver Spark Plug recipients carry TMC membership privileges for life.

“The Silver Spark Plug is our industry’s highest honor, recognizing professional excellence in commercial vehicle maintenance,” said Robert Braswell, TMC executive director. “This year’s winners represent the pinnacle of our industry and we are pleased to bestow this honor on them.”

This year’s honorees were: Todd Cotier, director of maintenance, Hartt Transportation, Bangor, Maine; Randy Obermeyer, terminal manager, Batesville Logistics Inc., Batesville, Ind.,  Paul Menig, CEO, Tech I-M., Sherwood, Ore., and Jeff Harris, vice president of maintenance at USA Truck Inc., Van Buren, Ark.

“I congratulate these tremendous individuals for their efforts to keep our trucks, and America, moving,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “More than half of the 7.3 million people employed by the trucking industry do something other than drive a truck, and without them, our nation’s goods don’t get to our stores, hospitals and factories. These individuals are examples to all of us in this industry and

Other honorees at this year’s TMC annual meeting were:

  • Peggy Fisher, president of TireStamp Inc., was honored with TMC’s Uncle Darrell TMC Mentor Award. This award is presented to those dedicated TMC volunteer members who have demonstrated exemplary efforts while serving as a TMC Mentor.
  • Travis Crow, general manager, Travel Centers of America, was honored with the Excellence in Maintenance Supervision Award. Candidates for this award were all employed in direct supervision of maintenance technicians and exhibited superior performance in equipment maintenance supervision.
  • Brant Schneider, strategic account manager, Alcoa Wheel Products, was honored as a Recognized Associate. This award is presented to individuals in recognition of their contributions in support of TMC projects or services to the industry.
  • Dave Dettman, general manager, QTC Transportation Holdings, LLC, was honored with the Peggy Fisher Study Group Leadership Award. This award is presented to an individual for distinguished leadership as Study Group Chairman and outstanding leadership and contributions to TMC and the transport industry.
  • Steve Woodbeck, director of sales, Lite-Check Inc., was honored with the Study Group Secretary Award. This award is presented to those dedicated TMC volunteer members who have demonstrated exemplary efforts while serving as a TMC Study Group Secretary.


Task Groups and Education

Getting down to business, the event hosts more than 100 industry task forces covering virtually every aspect of maintenance operations. New this year were meetings that covered rim flange wear, demountable tire shop tools and procedures, guidelines for diesel particulate filter cleaning, smoke detection guidelines, updated heavy-duty in-cab air conditioning, updated heavy-duty clutch maintenance, disc and drum brake integration issues and heavy-duty collision repair guidelines.

In addition, there were more than 10 educational sessions covering a range of issues from last mile delivery solutions to career pathways for fleet maintenance executives.

Trade Show

TMC’s annual meeting also features a robust trade show with 11.5 hours for attendees to visit over 400 exhibitors.

TMC’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition is scheduled for March 18-21, 2019,  Georgia World Congress Center.