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Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association President Tim Kraus plans to retire early next year, the organization announced Aug. 3.
HDMA is the commercial vehicle division of the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association. Kraus, who also is chief operating officer, will step down at the end of February.
He said he’ll miss the personal connections the most.
“This is still, in the industry, very much a relationship business,” Kraus told Transport Topics. “I’ve met thousands of people, and not wanting to sound like I’m bragging, but I’ve got hundreds of friends that I’ve made through all levels of the industry. With the fleet guys and with the people from the associations.”
Kraus noted that his career has been gratifying, but he is concerned that in the future those relationships could be lost with the growing popularity of technology such as videoconferencing.
“So if there’s any one thing I’ll miss it will be the intense contact I’ve had with everybody in the industry,” he said. “I’m not really going away. I’ll probably be involved in some consulting work.”
MEMA is conducting a search for his successor, and whoever that may be, Kraus said, will have to have a lot of drive and energy. That person also will have to possess a thorough understanding of the industry.
“He’ll first shadow me and then work alongside me, and then I’ll assist with their integration into HDMA,” he said. “It doesn’t sound like it’s a real complex job, but there’s a fair amount that goes into it.”
5G wireless networks promise greater bandwidth, faster speeds and improved reliability. But how long will the industry have to wait until this technology is ready for fleet operations? Host Seth Clevenger talks with Chris Wolfe of PowerFleet and John Binder of Trimble Transportation. Hear a snippet, above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com.
Kraus said he expects his successor will be announced in a month or two. The plan was to have someone appointed in April, but the coronavirus pushed everything back.
Kraus has been at MEMA since the early 1980s and served on the board from 1992 through 2002. That included two terms as the chairman. He also is a former MEMA vice president.
He became executive director for HDMA in 2004 and assumed his current leadership roles in 2008.
Kraus also was an active member of HD Business Forum from 1990 through 2004. That included serving on its board for six years. HDBF members are top executives of HDMA companies who meet twice annually. He became chairman of the group in 2000. He currently is executive director.
According to MEMA, under Kraus’ leadership HDMA membership grew from 40 companies to nearly 200. He also quintupled annual revenues.
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