Fleet Maintenance - 51
» TMC's Recommended Practices assist equipment maintenance staff with guided shop processes
to the future
TMC membership can help industry members
with professional development and growth.
By Janet Howells-Tierney, director of council development, TMC
The smooth operation of any trucking company
relies heavily on the proper maintenance of its
equipment. A well-staffed maintenance shop
includes trained technicians, supervisors, and
managers who strategize how to eliminate breakdowns and increase efficiencies.
ATA's Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC)
recognizes the importance of the equipment maintenance staff - especially the frontline technician
- and develops Recommended Practices (RPs) to
guide shop processes and procedures. Along with
RPs, TMC provides an arena for networking with
peers and real-time discussions about maintenance issues.
Where to begin
Technicians can get their foot in the TMC door by
participating in the annual National Technician
Skills Competitions. The competitions - also
known as TMCSuperTech - have challenged
hundreds of professional technicians since 2005.
The event features a written test (based on ASE
standards) and skills stations that focus on various systems of heavy equipment such as wheel
ends or HVAC. All skills stations are chosen by
TMC's Professional Technician Development
Committee (PTDC), which includes maintenance
professionals and notable contestants from past
competitions. The PTDC is also responsible for
organizing training fairs that are offered in
conjunction with TMCSuperTech.
Often technicians who participate and succeed
in TMC's competitions become valuable trainers
in their own organizations. The most successful
trucking companies constantly train their maintenance shop technicians in the basics - such as
scheduling of preventive service - as well as how
to maintain new technologies which are becoming more prevalent in heavy equipment - such as
safety tools that prevent over-the-road accidents.
As technicians improve their skills, they are
often tapped to be shop supervisors and maintenance managers with increasing responsibilities.
At the same time, their relationship with TMC
often shifts from being tested at TMCSuperTech
to being a tester - or they take the big step towards
helping to develop industry standards in the form
of Recommended Practices.
TMC is made up of 15 Study Groups or
Committees that focus on various truck systems.
TMC Study Groups identify current issues in their
area and create educational sessions to explore
Under each TMC Study Group are multiple
Task Force committees that work to develop RPs
to address particular issues facing the specific
Other learning opportunities
TMC membership has other benefits for rising
fleet professionals. Over the past year, dozens of
TMC members have taken advantage of educational opportunities through the North American
Transportation Management Institute's (NATMI)
Certified Director/Supervisor of Maintenance
certification courses. Classes are scheduled at
various times during the year and usually in
conjunction with a TMC meeting.
Or for a real-time benefit, check out the TMC/
FleetNet America Vertical Benchmarking
Program, a roadside breakdown benchmarking
service which enables companies to compare their
fleets' unscheduled roadside repairs with those of
comparable fleets. The program works by tracking what systems are failing and compares that
to similar fleets, which assists TMC members in
reviewing the effectiveness of their overall maintenance operations.
Another useful member benefit is the trucking cybersecurity initiative known as ATA's Fleet
CyWatch program. This program assists motor
carriers in protecting their operations by identifying emerging cyber threats and helping guard
against malicious actions of cybercriminals.
All these benefits are in addition to a weekly
industry newspaper, Transport Topics, as well as
a monthly newsletter and quarterly magazine.
And we didn't even mention the networking and
collaboration opportunities that are enjoyed by
TMC Leaders of
Most newcomers to TMC are overwhelmed by all
these offerings, so we created a program to help
guide individuals through the membership benefits and ensure everyone succeeds as an equipment maintenance professional.
The TMC Leaders of Tomorrow (TLoT) program
identifies and cultivates the next generation of
TMC and industry front-runners by preparing
them to take on leadership roles in the Council.
These roles include study group chair or directorsat-large. The program provides all candidates with
important skills that will serve them well at TMC
and in their careers.
"My heart will always be with the technician,"
said Daniel Mustafa, assistant manager for technical development at TravelCenters and a recent
graduate of the TLoT program. Mustafa was delighted to hear a panel of expert speakers say they all
started their careers as technicians. "I share the
mindset of those running the (TMC) show so I feel
I belong in TMC." Mustafa first participated in the
TMCSuperTech competition and judged one of the
skill stations prior to attending the full meeting.
Through the TLoT program, participants are
encouraged to cultivate new business relationships and friendships through peer networking
opportunities and to increase their knowledge
of trucking, regulatory, and leadership issues
through professional development opportunities.
TLoT candidates can be nominated by a direct
supervisor or company executive who completes
a TMC Leaders of Tomorrow Nomination Form.
JANET HOWELLS-TIERNEY serves as
the director of council development for
TMC, the only industry association that
is focused solely on truck technology
and maintenance. She is responsible
for the recruiting and building of TMC's
membership, and also functions as the
primary member services link for TMC's
membership of more than 2,400 industry practitioners.
July 2019 | VehicleServicePros.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance
Uptime - How you can make the most out of your shop's ROs
Foundation for success: How do you find and keep technician talent?
Vehicles - Examining the e-systems available for today's fleets
In the Bay - Do techs understand the fundamentals of electrical system diagnosis?
Shop Operations - How to assess replacement parts
Reman, Rebuild, Replace - Reasons fleets should consider reman
Economic Outlook - Uncertainties with today's global economy
Tire Tactics - Factors to help determine the lifecycle of tires
Management - The "shop improvement" conundrum
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial - Increase shop efficiencies through fluid management
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime - How you can make the most out of your shop's ROs
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Foundation for success: How do you find and keep technician talent?
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - Vehicles - Examining the e-systems available for today's fleets
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - 22
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay - Do techs understand the fundamentals of electrical system diagnosis?
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - 28
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations - How to assess replacement parts
Fleet Maintenance - 31
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Fleet Maintenance - Reman, Rebuild, Replace - Reasons fleets should consider reman
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - Economic Outlook - Uncertainties with today's global economy
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - Tire Tactics - Factors to help determine the lifecycle of tires
Fleet Maintenance - 41
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Fleet Maintenance - Management - The "shop improvement" conundrum
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 56
Fleet Maintenance - 57
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 59
Fleet Maintenance - 60
Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial - Increase shop efficiencies through fluid management
Fleet Maintenance - 63
Fleet Maintenance - 64