Fleet Maintenance - 35

»»With all the advancements in vehicle
technology, the industry must take a harder
look at training for the technicians.
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It's time the
industry works
to educate the
educators and drive
the conversation
on how STEM and
trucking are more
closely related.

What does trucking
have to do with STEM?
Academic disciplines focused on science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics play a critical role in the
design, development, and service of commercial vehicles.
When we hear the term "STEM" it is usually
from educators and administrators talking about
the use of STEM in their schools and programs.
STEM - which stands for science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics - is a term used
when referring to any of these related academic disciplines. When we hear about STEM we
often think about computers and robotics, as
well as other new and emerging technologies.
Now, think about STEM as it relates to the
trucking industry. Have we ever looked at a
truck or tractor-trailer going down the road
and thought, "STEM?"

The reality behind the truck

Think about all the people it takes to come up
with a new concept for a truck. A new concept
requires the designing, building, testing, and

By George Arrants

George Arrants is the vice president for ASE Education
Foundation. Arrants works with instructors and administrators to develop partnerships with local businesses and
industries through program advisory committees. He is
the past chair of the Technology & Maintenance Council's‚
TMCSuperTech‚ the National Technician Skills Competition‚
and TMCFutureTech‚ the National Student Technician
Competition. His entire career has been in the automotive
service and education industries.

manufacturing of that truck. All types of
engineers, draftsmen, finance and accounting personnel, systems developers, and many
others help to make a truck. All of these people,
plus many support personnel, are associated
with STEM in some way.
Think about the number of hours, months, and
sometimes, years it takes to bring a design to
reality. Add to that the manufacturing, gaining
support from suppliers, along with the processes
and procedures developed to build a truck.
Many may not think of a truck as technology
or about the innovation behind the development of these vehicles. To most folks, a truck
is just a truck.
The reality is there are various people with
talent and educational degrees needed to make
a truck. Everybody has their own part of the
project or system or component.
In the end, there is one person who must
understand and work on every part and system
of this truck - the technician. Compared to the
numerous people with their various educational backgrounds who created this vehicle,
something doesn't seem right.

Adjusting priorities

Is it time we step back and possibly adjust priorities? In meetings, conferences, and industry
articles we hear about new and emerging tech-

nologies like autonomous and electric vehicles.
All of the people and brainpower working on
these technologies, yet the industry has hardly
discussed developing and training the folks
who are going to have to repair and maintain
these vehicles.
Maybe it's time as an industry to promote
the truck and trailer as STEM. That way, it may
get the attention of those in the STEM disciplines. If we break down all the systems and
components built into a truck or trailer, and
the amount of communication that travels
throughout those vehicles, it is all STEM.
For example, look at the addition of advanced
driver assistance systems (ADAS) to commercial vehicles including examples like forward
collision warning, blind-spot detection, lane
change alerts, etc. These systems rely on cameras and sensors to be calibrated in order to work
as designed. The most common are camera,
radar, and ultrasonic sensors as well as a steering sensor to help determine the direction of
vehicle travel. If any of the sensors get out of
calibration or are disturbed by even minor
contact, suspension repairs, or alignment by
as small as 1 degree, it could alter the system's
ability to "assist" and/or perform as designed.
Something as simple as a windshield replacement on vehicles requires re-calibration. This is
STEM in our everyday lives. Nearly all vehicles
on the road today have some level of this technology. Sadly, most people still see it as "just a truck."
The tools and equipment used to diagnose
and repair these trucks and systems will
continue to advance. Tool manufacturers
and technicians will work to stay current
with the ever-changing technologies that are
incorporated in trucks and trailers. When you
hear things like Ohm's Law, Pascal's Law of
Hydraulics, downforce, and the coefficient of
drag and so on, you think of engineering, space
travel, and other major science topics. But you
don't think about a truck pulling a trailer and
what it takes to maintain it.
It's time the industry works to educate the
educators and drive the conversation on how
STEM and trucking are more closely related.

March 2020 | VehicleServicePros.com


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Fleet Maintenance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance

Uptime: Get Involved
The Role of Composites in Heavy Duty Trucking
Best Practices to Establish a Total Vehicle Alignment Program
Document Management in the Digital Age
Smoke Out Cabin Leaks
Four Keys to a Successful Extended Drain Interval Program
Management: Be Aware of Maintenance Scheduling Challenges in the Shop
Training: What Does Trucking Have to Do With STEM?
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial: The Ripple Effect of Unplanned Downtime
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime: Get Involved
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - The Role of Composites in Heavy Duty Trucking
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - Best Practices to Establish a Total Vehicle Alignment Program
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - 18
Fleet Maintenance - A1
Fleet Maintenance - A2
Fleet Maintenance - A3
Fleet Maintenance - A4
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - Document Management in the Digital Age
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - 24
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - Smoke Out Cabin Leaks
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - Four Keys to a Successful Extended Drain Interval Program
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - Management: Be Aware of Maintenance Scheduling Challenges in the Shop
Fleet Maintenance - Training: What Does Trucking Have to Do With STEM?
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - 38
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - 40
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - 44
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - 46
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - 48
Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: The Ripple Effect of Unplanned Downtime
Fleet Maintenance - 51
Fleet Maintenance - 52
Fleet Maintenance - B1
Fleet Maintenance - B2