article was published in the April 2023 edition of NTEA News.
Truck Week 2023 offered a full slate of educational sessions where industry
experts and thought leaders shared information and strategies to help companies
improve efficiency, implement best practices and enhance operational growth.
Key topics addressed market data and industry trends, vehicle engineering and
compliance, government regulations, advanced fuels and vehicle technology,
workforce development, and more.
year’s program included a new special session, Leadership Journeys –
Highlighting Diverse Experiences, where leaders from various segments of the
commercial vehicle community shared their unique experiences and pathways to
educational sessions included OEM updates, electric vehicle (EV) updates and
topics addressing global trends, vehicle design and specification, risk
mitigation and more.
Process Building Better Commercial Vehicles – Spec’ing 101
session, led by Jens Hellberg, CEO of TruckScience, focused on how to spec’ and
sell the right vehicles for customers to minimize total cost of ownership and
build loyalty. Attendees explored how changing elements in commercial vehicle
specifications can be the foundation for improved sales and growth, and learned
about resources available from NTEA and TruckScience to help enhance processes
and optimize vehicle efficiency.
a Roadmap to Increase Truck Dealer Commercial Vehicle Sales
current marketplace challenges, it’s easy to sit back and wait for economic
improvement before taking action to increase sales. However, there is no better
time than now to employ innovative business improvement strategies and overcome
obstacles to gain new customers. This special session, led by Ken Taylor,
president at Ken Taylor & Associates Inc., provided a blueprint for success
to help commercial vehicle businesses grow and prosper.
by Marc Canton, senior consultant at Mercury Associates Inc., North America’s
largest dedicated fleet management consulting firm, this special session
offered an introduction to important elements of an effective fleet management
program. Topics included maintenance program design and shop operations
management; outsourcing and supplier management; performance measurement and
benchmarking; managing vehicle total cost of ownership; and fleet replacement.
Purchasing Outlook – What Customers Are Saying
this session, Chris Lyon, NTEA director of fleet relations, shared results of
the 11th annual Fleet Purchasing Outlook, which assesses commercial fleet
procurement plans and industry purchasing. The session provided insights from
peers on their direct intentions for the upcoming purchasing cycle, and an
understanding of acquisition behaviors and trends. Vehicle upfitters,
manufacturers and distributors heard firsthand perspectives to support business
strategies, while fleet professionals learned what’s trending within the
industry for the coming year.
Future of Borders and the Work Truck Industry
within the commercial vehicle market move equipment, vehicles and people across
the shared borders of the United States, Canada and Mexico almost daily. Dr.
Laura Dawson, executive director at Future Borders Coalition, shared the latest
policy developments and economic factors that will influence how cross-border
business is conducted going forward.
Your Best, Don’t Pander to the Rest: How to Make Your Best Performers Flourish
too often, business leaders unwittingly create a happier environment for their
poor performers than their best. Time and again, the best performers are burned
out and uninspired, their output is compromised, their capabilities aren’t
maximized, and frequently they leave. During this session, Doug Cartland,
president at Doug Cartland Inc., shared what good employees really want; ideas
for keeping them inspired and motivated; how to create a culture where the best
thrive; and how to stop being sucked into the “poor employee vortex” where time
and emotional energy are often spent.
Journeys – Highlighting Diverse Experiences
new session — moderated by Tina Albright, vice president of human relations and
safety at TBEI Inc., with panelists Amy Dobrikova, vice president of fleet
solutions at Blink Charging Co.; Exavious (Za) Farley, founder/CEO at Black
Fleet Network™; and Kathy Wellik, client success manager at Agile Fleet —
provided diverse perspectives, insights and challenges panelists overcome on
their journeys to leadership in the work truck industry.
Management and Electrical Integration on Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs):
Upfitting Considerations and Challenges
session — moderated by Dave Schaller, industry engagement director at North
American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), with panelists Dan Farrington,
director of ePowertrain at Navistar; Nathan House, electric vehicle integration
engineer at Altec Industries Inc.; and Dan Silbernagel, medium duty & vocational
segment strategy manager at Daimler Truck North America — focused on important
considerations and challenges of integrating body power needs into the chassis
powertrain rechargeable batteries.
Impacting the North American Commercial Vehicle Population
from industry-leading data organizations — Charles Bowles, director of OEM and
strategic initiatives at Trader Interactive; Andrej Divis, executive director –
global heavy truck research at S&P Global Mobility; and Mark Hazel,
associate director – commercial vehicle reporting at S&P Global Mobility —
joined moderator Kevin Koester, NTEA managing director, to examine current and
anticipated trends within the registered commercial vehicle population. This
session provided an analysis of work truck markets by weight class, vehicle
type, fuel type, and regional trends, along with a deep dive into the cargo van
segment. Participants gained insight into how to adjust their market and
U.S. Department of Energy Initiatives Affecting the Commercial Vehicle Industry
Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
representatives — Michael Laughlin, technology manager, Technology Integration
Program and Mark Smith, technology integration program manager, Vehicle
Technologies Office — shared updates on their latest research and development
initiatives impacting the commercial vehicle industry. Attendees learned about
potential opportunities for the industry to help support upcoming projects and
Truck Industry Economic Overview and Market Forecast
session provided economic and market information to help optimize business
planning processes. With expert analysis from Steve Latin-Kasper, NTEA senior
director of market data and research and Andrej Divis, S&P Global Mobility,
executive director of global heavy truck research, attendees learned more about
commercial vehicle industry market trends and how they’re affected by U.S. and
global economic cycles. This session included a North American chassis sales
forecast — a critical component of market planning.
following leading chassis manufacturers presented sessions on new products,
technical changes and design improvements.
- Chevrolet Commercial Vehicles
- Daimler Truck North America
- Ford Pro
- Freightliner Custom Chassis
- Hino Trucks
- International Truck
- Isuzu Commercial Truck of America
- Kenworth Truck Company
- Mack Trucks
- Mercedes-Benz USA
- Peterbilt Motors Company
- Ram Commercial
this year were exclusive session from five electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers.
- Lion Electric
- Lordstown Motors
- Mullen Automotive
- VIA Motors
- Xos Inc.
for more recap details.