NTEA experts debunk myths, forecast the future at Work Truck Week® 2024

This article was published in the November 2023 edition of NTEA News.

Some of the commercial vehicle industry’s foremost economics and technical experts work for NTEA and will share their insights during Breakout Sessions at Work Truck Week® 2024. Steve Latin-Kasper, senior director of market data and research, analyzes the latest market trends in Work Truck Industry Economic Overview and Market Forecast, while Bob Raybuck, director of technical services, and Steve Spata, senior technical assistance director, tackle technical myth-busting in The Top 10 Misconceptions of Vehicle Certification. Both sessions are offered Tuesday, March 5.

Work Truck Week, North America’s largest work truck event, is March 5–8, 2024, at Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. It encompasses The Work Truck Show®, Green Truck Summit, NTEA Annual Meeting, Work Truck Week Ride & Drive, educational sessions, and more. Green Truck Summit is March 5, educational sessions run March 5–7 and Work Truck Show exhibits are open March 6–8. As the trade association dedicated to the commercial vehicle industry, NTEA weaves decades of industry knowledge and experience into its
annual production of Work Truck Week.

“NTEA is recognized as the leading organization serving the North American work truck industry,” says Pat Godwin Jr., NTEA Education Committee chair, and corporate president of The Godwin Group. “The Work Truck Week educational program is one of the ways in which we further knowledge, offer insight and provide services that help our members and the industry make informed choices for their businesses. For topic areas that are critical to our industry, such as market data and industry trends or vehicle engineering and compliance, the most-qualified instructors often are NTEA staff who work with our members on these matters on a daily basis.”

The annual economic overview and market forecast led by Latin-Kasper and Andrej Divis, executive director, Global Heavy Truck Research, S&P Global Mobility, is a perennial favorite with Work Truck Week attendees. The pair provide and interpret crucial economic and market information to help attendees optimize their business planning processes. The session includes a North American chassis sales forecast, a critical component of market planning.

Latin-Kasper has been on NTEA’s staff since 1999, providing research and analysis on work truck industry markets. His reports cover everything from leading economic indicators for industry application markets and the U.S. economy, to OEM shipments and sales data. In addition to his role at NTEA, he teaches economics at Milwaukee Area Technical College, is a member of National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and is a panel member for Bloomberg’s monthly forecast. He has been named one of Bloomberg’s top economic forecasters.

The work truck industry depends on a multi-stage manufacturing process in which thousands of small companies are charged with designing, upfitting and building end-product vehicles for specific applications and certifying that these vehicles meet motor vehicle safety requirements. In their session, Raybuck and Spata will cover the basics of commercial vehicle certification. More than just putting a label on a work truck, certification is a commitment to following specific and consistent processes to help assure customers of the vehicle’s safety, reliability and durability. The duo will talk about 10 common certification misconceptions, why proper certification matters and what can go wrong during the process.

Raybuck has more than 30 years of engineering experience at NTEA focused on commercial vehicles and is an expert on technical issues and challenges facing manufacturers and distributors. In his NTEA role, he keeps abreast of all government safety standards and proposed rules, including Federal Excise Tax. As part of NTEA’s engineering team, he provides solutions daily on body and equipment installation issues, chassis and equipment compatibility, weight distribution challenges and vehicle certification needs. He also oversees and serves as liaison to four NTEA operating divisions and is a member of SAE International.

Spata’s automotive engineering career spans more than three decades. In addition to fielding member questions on a variety of regulations and standards, he also monitors government agency rulemaking activities, reviews proposed legislation, and assists in developing educational materials and resources for the industry. He oversees and serves as liaison to four NTEA operating divisions, is a member of SAE International, acts as a liaison to the SAE Truck Crashworthiness Committee and is a technical committee member of the National Fire Protection Association 1900 Standard for Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Vehicles, Automotive Fire Apparatus, Wildland Fire Apparatus, and Automotive Ambulances.

Work Truck Week (WTW) and Green Truck Summit (GTS) Conference Package registrants have access to both of these WTW Breakout Sessions and dozens more.

Visit worktruckweek.com/schedule for details and to register.