TMC Fall Meeting, TMCSuperTech2009 set for Sept. 14-17 in Raleigh

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The Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations will hold its 2009 Fall Meeting – along with TMCSuperTech2009 – Sept.14-17 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, N.C. The meeting theme, “High Performance Maintenance Strategies,” will be carried out through technical sessions on new fuels, propulsion technologies and how to assess and reduce vehicle downtime with failure analysis.

Technical sessions

Three full-technical sessions offer timely and much needed detail on clean vehicle technologies, new California rules impacting trucking, and access to OEM repair information for increasingly complicated power systems.

A Comprehensive Review of Clean Vehicle Technologies will provide a rundown on the various hybrid technologies coming online and on the way, as well as the pros and cons of many fuels being used and considered for these technologies, including liquefied and compressed natural gas, a variety of biodiesel products, and fuel-cell and hydrogen-based technologies.

California Regulatory Tsunami: How New California Rules Will Impact Fleets Nationwide will detail the latest in a growing list of environmental regulations from California, from trailer refrigerant unit retrofitting, emissions caps, mandating retrofit of pre-2007 model year trucks and tracks with diesel particulate filters, and mandating use of approved tires and aerodynamic features such as trailer side-skirts.

The full-technical session Fleet Challenges Regarding Access to Repair Information looks closely at the problem some fleets and repair facilities have in getting necessary service information to make vehicle repairs, the Right-to-Repair Act now before Congress, and what one TMC Study Group is doing to help remedy the problem.

Study Group technical sessions include:

  • Electrical Technician Training Skills;
  • Prevention Tips for the Industry’s Top 10 Tire and Wheel Issues;
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid for 2010 Engines;
  • The Numbers Behind the Failure – Knowing When Parts Will Fail;
  • Wheel End Maintenance and Failure Analysis Strategies;
  • Making Your Trailers More Fuel Efficient – CARB Compliance and Beyond;
  • New Developments in Onboard Vehicle Diagnostics; and
  • Specialty Vehicles and Failure Analysis – What Fails and Why.
  • Fleet Operator’s Forum, Fleet Talk and Shop Talk again will provide the opportunity for maintenance and equipment professionals to seek redress to equipment problems and exchange information related to equipment problems.

    On Monday, Sept. 14, more than 100 Task Forces will continue work on Recommended Practices. TMC’s new Service Provider Committee will met formally for the first time as it begins working to improve efficiencies and communication between service providers and fleets. TMC’s Corrosion Control Committee and Future Truck Committee also will meet.

    On Tuesday, Sept. 15, the speaker for the Industry Luncheon will be Jack Conlan, senior vice president of customer support for Daimler Trucks North America.

    On Wednesday, Sept. 16, the TMCSuperTech2009 Awards Luncheon will include the announcement of the nation’s top truck technicians. Luncheon speaker will be TMCSuperTech2007 and TMCSuperTech2008 Grand Champion Bryan Lewis of Wal-Mart.


    Organized by TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee, TMCSuperTech2009 is designed to determine the industry’s top technician through prequalification tests and a variety of troubleshooting tests at 14 skill stations. In addition to finding this year’s top truck technicians, the competition provides a showcase for the high degree of skill and knowledge shown every day by trucking industry technicians and acknowledges the “best of the best.”

    Any technician employed in the trucking industry may register for TMC’s National Technician Skills Competition. The entry fee for TMC technician members is $100. The entry fee for nonmember technicians is $200, which also includes TMC technician membership for the balance of 2009. The entry fee is waived for verified champions of 2009 state technician skills contests.

    A maximum of 96 contestants (limit is tentative, subject to change depending on available resources) will advance to compete in the Hands-On Skills Challenge. Certified grand champions from State Trucking Association contests will be included automatically in the Hands-On Skills Challenge. All finalists will receive a special prize package.

    All contestants will compete in a written test and prequalification challenge round on Monday, Sept. 14, consisting of a written multiple-choice examination and a hands-on skill prequalification test. Contestants will be given two hours to complete the test.

    New this year, attendance at the PTDC Technician Training Fair sessions on Monday, Sept. 14, and Wednesday, Sept. 16, will earn contestants additional bonus points that will be counted in the scoring for the Hands-on Skills Challenge, which runs 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and includes the following 14 skill stations:

  • Electrical/Electronics;
  • Starting and Charging;
  • Tires and Wheels;
  • Wheel Ends;
  • Trailer Alignment;
  • Engine (Electronics);
  • Engine (Hardware);
  • Steering/Suspension;
  • PMI;
  • Drivetrain;
  • Service Information;
  • Repair Order;
  • Fasteners/Fastener Repair; and
  • Fifth Wheel.
  • Lunch will be provided for all contestants, judges and other registered guests. Spectators will be welcome on the competition floor.

    TMCSuperTech2009 first-, second- and third-place winners, along with those receiving the high score at each skill station, will be announced at the Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The first-place winner will have the choice of an expense-paid trip for two to the 2010 Daytona 500 or equivalent package, plus other prizes. Second- and third-place winners also will receive trophies and valuable prizes. Individuals who are awarded “Best in Skill” category from each of the skill stations will receive a Toughbook laptop courtesy of Panasonic.

    Technician Training Fair

    In addition to TMCSuperTech2009, TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee will hold a Technician Training Fair on Monday, Sept. 14, and Wednesday, Sept. 16. The hands-on training sessions are designed for technicians, shop supervisors and fleet managers. Other TMC meeting attendees also are welcome to attend the training, which qualifies for National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation continuing education credits. The sessions will be repeated to maximize training opportunities.

    Training sessions include:

  • Basic HVAC Principles;
  • Basic Electronics;
  • Proper Tool Usage and Repair Orders;
  • 2010 SCR Update;
  • Proper Electronics and Wiring Repair; and
  • Enhanced Safety Systems.
  • Meeting and registration information is available online at