Perhaps reflecting the strong demand and improved business outlook in the trucking industry, the NationaLease 2011 Spring Maintenance Managers Meeting boasted the largest attendance in its history. Each year, NationaLease – a full service truck leasing organization – brings together fleet maintenance managers and other transportation executives to share best practices in truck maintenance.
This year’s event held in Kansas City, Mo., opened on May 10 with the first-ever NationaLease “Top Tech Challenge,” a competition among NationaLease member technicians that qualified them to represent the organization in the TMC SuperTech Competition in September. Later at the Westin Crown Center on May 11, the Maintenance Managers Meeting began with a look at the future of NationaLease, presented by Gene Scoggins, president. It was followed by a presentation by Bobbie Sue Beasley, president and COO of Carco NationaLease (Fort Smith, Ark.), on NationaLease Reciprocal Road Service, recognized by most member companies as one of the principal reasons they joined the organization, according to Beasley.
Keynote speaker Greg Schwem gave a lighthearted look at the way business is conducted today and the latest and often-challenging technologies that have become part of the everyday life of business. Next up was the NationaLease “Idea Session,” where members present an idea, show an innovative use of an existing tool, present one they created in their shops, or share a best practice that has helped them improve productivity, cut costs or improve morale. This session was led by Ronny Brown and Kevin Beard of Catawba Rental Co., a NationaLease member (Conover, N.C).
Other first-day sessions included topics such as “Creating Quality Processes for Shops,” presented by Gary Gid of Logistic Leasing, a NationaLease member (Durham, N.C.); “Preventive, Predictive and Proactive Maintenance Practice,” by Tom Boyer of Hogan Truck Leasing, a NationaLease member (St. Louis); “CSA: As It Relates to Maintenance,” by Frank Molodecki of Diversified Truck Leasing, a NationaLease member (Billings, Mont.); and “Maintenance Shouldn’t Be a CSI Event,” presented by Alex Popov of Vnomics, which discussed how data can be used to measure, monitor and ultimately help solve maintenance issues, control fuel costs, and increase safety and productivity.
The second day of the event opened with an address by NationaLease’s David Nitzsche and Mark Kath of Michelin North American on the rising costs and demand for tires.Both proposed solutions to overcoming the challenges associated with the increase costs. Other cost-saving and productivity suggestions were made by Kevin Seidel of Shell Oil Products U.S. on the lubricants industry and Brett Fincham of Daimler Truck North America on the aftermarket parts industry.
Additional activities of note that day were a Product and Technology Fair featuring 38 exhibitors, a NationaLease member-vendor panel discussion and an awards dinner, where recognition was given to member companies for exceptional service provided to fellow NationaLease member organizations.
The final day of the meeting concluded with a presentation by Max Strathman, Kansas Division Administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation, who provided updates on new and proposed rules coming from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, legislative issues affecting the transportation industry and CSA.
The 2012 NationaLease Spring Maintenance Managers Meeting is scheduled for next May in Greenville, SC. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Kate Barnes at email@example.com or at 856-382-4701.