March 14, 2019 7:45 PM, EDT

Editorial: Keeping Trucks on the Road Starts Here

This is a time for talking about truck maintenance, as the March 18 issue of Transport Topics coincides with and will be distributed at the 2019 annual meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations. If you picked up the print issue at Booth 3347 while strolling the show floor, thanks.

TMC 2019 logo

At TMC? Stop by Booth 3347 for a chance to win your own Amazon Echo or Google Home device.

As evidenced by the theme of this year’s show, “Beyond the Frontier of Maintenance,” TMC is looking to the challenges that lie ahead for those in charge of keeping trucks running their best. This includes meetings dedicated to deploying and maintaining active safety systems, the march toward multivoltage electrical systems, cybersecurity, electronic logging devices and even power management strategies for in-cab medical devices such as CPAP machines.

That’s a lot of systems to maintain, and we haven’t even mentioned engines, transmissions or axles.

Good thing, then, that TMC is launching a committee that will work with industry and government on standards for technician apprenticeship programs that, in TMC’s words, “address next-generation workforce development issues.” To be sure, technicians entering the field of truck maintenance today have a lot to learn; the equipment has never been more complex. Diagnostic tools also have never been better, and the access to that diagnostic information also has evolved. Nowadays, a technician can know what’s wrong with a truck before it rolls into the shop based on data transmitted in a message sent from that truck.

With so much technological advancement happening at such a rapid pace, we give kudos to TMC for taking this step to standardize what the next generation of service professionals will learn. The membership of TMC is in a good place to know what these entrants will need to know.

Which brings us to the central mission of TMC, and why, we think, the group has such value. Despite the competitive nature of the business world, the experts who give their time to TMC do so for the good of the trucking industry. Sharing experiences, ideas and solutions to the challenges many face helps the entire industry. Keeping trucks on the road means deliveries are made, and goods reach consumers. That’s all that motor carriers are trying to do each day, and the expertise of those in TMC helps them do so. If you’re a TMC member who contributes to this good work, please accept our thanks.