Constructive Maintenance Management

When fuel prices rise and times get tough, “there’s no shortage of ‘too good to be true’ solutions vying for fleet managers’ attention,” say officials at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC). “Being able to separate what’s real from what’s not is absolutely critical for fleets looking to improve their operation.”

To help fleets make smart business decisions on maintenance and spec’ing issues, TMC has chosen “Maintenance Solutions You Can Count On” as the theme for its annual fall meeting. This theme will be carried out through technical sessions covering management, training, product selection, regulations and the environment.

The meeting is taking place September 19 to 22 in Raleigh, NC, at the Raleigh Convention Center.

“Finding a trusted source for maintenance solutions is a challenge for every segment of the industry - from the biggest fleets to individual owner-operators; from vehicle manufacturers to service dealers; from fleet maintenance executives to equipment technicians,” TMC officials say. “Attending TMC’s 2011 Fall Meeting is one of the best choices an industry professional can make - a decision that makes the difference between profitability and disaster.”


A technical council of American Trucking Associations (ATA), TMC is North America’s premier technical society for truck equipment technology and maintenance professionals.

TMC has a diverse membership of equipment managers, service dealers, owner operators, industry suppliers and manufacturers, educators, academia and others that support the trucking industry. Members all work together to improve truck equipment and technology.

ATA, the national trade association for the trucking industry, is a federation of affiliated state trucking associations, conferences and organizations that includes more than 37,000 motor carrier members representing every type and class of motor carrier in the country.


Once again, the annual TMC fall meeting’s technical sessions will cover a wide range of topics and issues. Sessions scheduled for this year’s meeting include:

Update of the U.S. DOT’s Wireless/Smart Roadside Initiatives: An examination of the numerous wireless technologies that reportedly offer efficiencies to industry and enforcement agencies.

Manufacturers’ Response to TMC Recommended Practice Usage: Vehicle and component manufacturers will respond to how the industry can best leverage the power of TMC’s recommended and maintenance practices.

These are specifications or practices, the adoption of which is voluntary.

CSA 2010: What Have We Learned? Driver, Fleet and Enforcement Perspectives: Representatives from the driver, fleet and enforcement communities will share their perspectives on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) program and how it has changed the way drivers and fleets approach fleet maintenance.

CSA is an initiative to improve large truck and bus safety.

Among the Study Group sessions taking place during the fall meeting:

  • The Straight Story on Fuel-Efficient Engine Oils.
  • In-Cab Cleaning and Deodorizing Guidelines.
  • Limitations of Wide-Base Tires.
  • Energy Overview of Alternative Fuels.
  • Condition Based Maintenance: Implementation for Onboard Vehicle Electronics.
  • Hybrid, Alternative Fuel and Electric Vehicle Update.
  • Design/Specifications and Maintenance of Liftgates for Light/Medium Vehicles.
  • Merlin’s Magic Coatings: An Overview of Coatings for Corrosion Prevention.


In addition to the comprehensive collection of educational sessions, the TMC fall meeting offers the following opportunities:

  • TMCSuperTech2011: TMC’s seventh annual national technician skills competition, this is North America’s premier skills competition for professional commercial vehicle technicians where they compete for top honors and valuable prizes.
  • PTDC Technician Training Fair: TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee (PTDC) is putting a series of training sessions developed to help commercial vehicle technicians, shop supervisors and fleet managers keeps their skills sharp.
  • TMC Task Forces: More than 100 task forces will be meeting to continue work on developing a variety of recommended practices, information reports and position papers to benefit the trucking industry.
  • Town Meeting: At this session, TMC presents information about what’s happening within the organization.
  • Fleet Operators’ Forum: Here, fleet attendees bring up equipment problems that they’ve been unable to resolve successfully with their product manufacturer or supplier.
  • Fleet Talk: Consistently ranking as one of the most popular features at TMC general meetings, this session is a lively dialogue discussion on what works, or doesn’t work, in vehicle maintenance.
  • Shop Talk: This session will be on failure analysis and will feature expert trouble spotters from all types of vehicle parts who can examine and diagnose the most common failures on-the-spot.