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  • The Problem With Technician Competitions

    By Mark O'Connell - Wednesday June 25, 2008
    In the course of updating our State Maintenance Council directory (available in our July issue, and online at www.fleetmag.com/council/), my Assistant Editor, Scott DeLaruelle, heard some comments that aroused some concern. Scott was calling State...
  • Cat Turns Yellow... er

    By Mark O'Connell - Wednesday June 18, 2008
    The big news last week that Caterpillar plans to exit the on-highway diesel engine market as of 2010 probably didn't come as a complete surprise to anyone in the trucking industry. Over the past several months, as other diesel engine manufacturers were...
  • Parts is Parts

    By Mark O'Connell - Monday June 9, 2008
    Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit a pretty remarkable place: ArvinMeritor's aftermarket parts distribution center in Florence, KY. My publisher, Larry Greenberger, and I were invited to Florence by ArvinMeritor Commercial Vehicle Systems...
  • Laying Rubber

    By Mark O'Connell - Tuesday May 27, 2008
    Okay, I admit, I was a little disappointed with the "ride 'n' drive" event I attended last week in Joliet, IL. I had been invited by the folks at Meritor WABCO to see a demonstration of their latest safety systems, including Electronic Stability...
  • Setting the Standard

    By Mark O'Connell - Tuesday May 20, 2008
    I've said before in the pages of Fleet Maintenance Magazine, and I'll say it again here: I have nothing but praise for the work done by the Emergency Vehicle Technician Certification Commission, Inc. (EVTCC). This group, operating out of Dundee, IL, has...
  • Trucks Deliver... Sustainability

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday May 8, 2008
    Today the American Trucking Associations unveiled an ambitious new Sustainability Program designed to lower CO2 emissions and save millions of gallons of diesel fuel. Announced at a press conference in Washington, D.C., by ATA President and CEO Bill...
  • When Super Isn't So Super

    By Mark O'Connell - Wednesday April 30, 2008
    I've been reading up a little on the "Super Warranty" issue, which, I must admit, I had never heard of until my Assistant Editor mentioned it. Super Warranties are being mandated by more and more states to cover automotive emission-control systems for...
  • Squeezed Out, Part II

    By Mark O'Connell - Wednesday April 23, 2008
    My blog post from last week, “Squeezed Out,” has aroused some bad feelings in some parts of the fleet world. In that post, I described a chat I had with a vendor who had dropped out of the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) because they felt...
  • Squeezed Out

    By Mark O'Connell - Tuesday April 15, 2008
    I had an unusual conversation at the Mid-America Truck Show a few weeks back that keeps rattling around in my brain for some reason (a lot of things rattle around in my brain, but that's another story). At MATS, I was talking to specific component...
  • The Slow Lane

    By Mark O'Connell - Thursday April 10, 2008
    This week I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Indiana Motor Transport Association in Indianapolis, IN, and to get to the meeting I drove six hours from Wisconsin to Illinois to Indiana, and then six hours back again. For the most part it's...