WTW24 educational program offered strategies to boost efficiency, operational growth and more

This article was published in the April 2024 edition of NTEA News.

Work Truck Week 2024 offered a full slate of educational sessions, which provided industry professionals an opportunity to connect with technical experts and thought leaders on a variety of topical areas with content designed 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 vehicle and fuel technology, chassis OEM updates, workforce development and more.

Breakout Sessions
Breakout Sessions included updates from chassis OEMs and topics addressing global trends, vehicle design and specification, risk mitigation and more.

A Guide to EV Technology and Work Truck Applications
Mark Childers, manager powertrain & technology at Freightliner Custom Chassis, and Joe Dalum, Odyne president and CEO, led this session exploring the fundamental aspects of electric vehicle (EV) technology and its practical applications in the commercial vehicle space. They covered nomenclature for electrified systems and other EV basics, and explored interim solutions that can help meet zero-emission requirements.

Considerations for Driver Assistance Technology and Second-Stage Commercial Vehicles
The application of driver assistance technology has grown in leaps and bounds in the past few years. As more fleets are demanding safer vehicles, upfitters and manufacturers are pressed to pair these technologies with installed equipment. This session, moderated by Michael Muller, Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), along with Bill Chew, Ford Motor Company, Cody Harris, Transportation Research Center Inc., and Kevin Sumrak, Wabash, provided an overview of these systems and their functions, current test methodologies and guidance for upfitting vehicles with advanced driver assistance technologies.

Demystifying ePTO Applications
In this session, representatives from Altec Industries and Muncie Power Products covered the anatomy of ePTO and associated terminology, including what the term actually means. They provided details on input and output of power, and how manufacturers and OEMs think of ePTOs. In addition, they explored the future state of ePTO and shared what’s on the horizon.

Electrified Propulsion Vehicles (xEV) High-Voltage Electrical Safety Standards
Corey Glassman, an electric vehicle consultant at ASE, provided information on new standards for electric vehicle safety. These standards offer guidance to create electrically safe work conditions as well as establish several levels of certification for individuals working on or around electrified vehicles and provide certification tests for each. This session covered safety standards design and development, identifying differences between the certification levels and test delivery through NetExam.

Expanding TCO Calculations: Factoring in Tax Credits and Incentives for Advanced Fuel Considerations
This session, led by Amy Dobrikova, VP fleet solutions at Rexel Energy Solutions, and Bart Sowa, R&D manager, mobility at GTI Energy, addressed calculating total cost of ownership (TCO) with a focus on advanced fuels and factoring in taxes, incentives and residuals. Considerations included infrastructure and utility costs (construction costs versus charging as a service), state regulations (California, Advanced Clean Fleets, memorandum of understanding states) and more.

Exploring Idle Reduction Technologies for BEV and ICE Vehicles
The commercial vehicle market is rapidly evolving, and it’s crucial for fleet managers to stay ahead of the curve in reducing emissions, saving fuel and increasing operational efficiency. This session explored the array of anti-idling technologies available, such as fuel-operated heaters, air conditioning systems and electrical heaters. George Lenus, Eberspaecher training manager for national accounts North America, shared strategies for configuring fleets and selecting the right system to maximize the benefits of these technologies, considering the unique needs and challenges of business operations.

Global Work Truck Market Trends and Implications
Tim Campbell, managing director of Campbells Consultancy, shared his unique perspective on developing trends in the global commercial vehicle market. He addressed a variety of topics, including regulation, technological advancements and global trends that may impact the North American commercial vehicle market.

S&P Global Mobility: Leveraging New Trends in Vehicle Upfit Data
For the first time, understand how many dump trucks, service bodies, box trucks and more are registered and operating on U.S. streets. Commercial vehicle body upfit data, available exclusively from S&P Global Mobility, has long been a blind spot in the work truck industry. During this session, S&P Global Mobility led an Industry Partner Update introducing the long-anticipated addition to the TipNet database that will make it possible to break down the industry by installed body.

The Top 10 Misconceptions of Vehicle Certification
Vehicle certification involves more than putting a label on a work truck — it’s a commitment to meeting specific and consistent processes to help assure purchasers of safety, reliability and durability. NTEA technical experts Bob Raybuck and Steve Spata shared the basics of commercial vehicle certification, including 10 common misconceptions. In addition, they focused on why proper certification matters and what can go wrong during the process.

Understanding and Working with CARB Regulations
Andrew Wrobel, NTEA commercial vehicle insight strategist, moderated this session with Rick Albertini, president & CEO at Phenix Truck & Van, and Gregory Skinner, vice president of strategic insights at Escalent. The session focused on current Advanced Clean Truck and Advanced Clean Fleet regulations, including who they impact and how industry participants are planning to meet these regulations. This included how utilities are supporting the charging infrastructure build-out and when fleets and OEMs need to be concerned about compliance. In addition, presenters touched on what future changes are expected from California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Upcoming U.S. Department of Energy Initiatives Affecting the Commercial Vehicle Industry
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy shared updates on their latest research and development initiatives impacting the commercial vehicle industry, as well as potential opportunities for the industry to help support upcoming projects and programs.

Upfitting on EVs: Chassis OEM Perspectives
Dave Brosky, director sales & business development, eMobility at Fontaine Modification, led a panel of leading chassis OEM representatives, including Ray Eyles, chief engineer, Ford Transit at Ford Motor Company; David Roberts, engineering group manager at General Motors Upfitter Integration; and Brock Wienczewski, vice president Pro One North America/Ram lead at Stellantis N.V. Presenters addressed a variety of questions about upfitting on electric vehicle (EV) chassis.

Using Time to Create More Time
Doug Cartland, president of Doug Cartland Inc., led an interactive session on how attendees can invest time to literally create more time. Topics included why multitasking is a myth, strategies for dealing with interruptions, techniques to help you function best when you’re busiest, and habits that can increase time.

Work Truck Industry Economic Overview and Market Forecast
With expert analysis from Steve Latin-Kasper, NTEA senior director of market data and research and Andrej Divis, S&P Global Mobility’s executive director of global heavy truck research, session attendees gained economic and market information to help optimize business planning processes and learned 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.

Chassis Update Sessions
The following leading chassis manufacturers presented sessions on new products, technical changes and design improvements.

  • Bollinger Motors
  • Daimler Truck North America
  • Ford Pro
  • Freightliner Custom Chassis
  • GM Envolve
  • Hino Trucks
  • International Truck
  • Isuzu Commercial Truck of America
  • Kenworth Truck Company
  • Lion Electric
  • Mack Trucks
  • Mercedes-Benz USA
  • Mullen Automotive
  • Peterbilt Motors Company
  • RAM Professional

Special sessions
Beyond the breakout sessions, WTW24 featured the following Special Sessions.

  • Advanced Principles of Fleet Management
  • Creating a Roadmap to Increase Truck Dealer Commercial Vehicle Sales
  • Empowering the Next Generation: Community Collaboration Opportunities
  • Exploring Careers in Commercial Vehicles
  • Exploring Ways to Maximize Your Talent Pipeline
  • Generation Next Leadership Workshop & Networking Reception: Leading Through Change
  • Getting Started with Fleet Management
  • Indiana LTAP Fleet Educational Program: Municipal Fleet Management and Incorporating Alternative-Fueled Vehicles

Visit worktruckweek.com/recap for more details.