BY CHRIS TRACZEK
With initial data showing an attendance of more than 7,000, The Work Truck Show 2005 and 41st Annual NTEA Convention was the place for industry professionals to see the latest products and product innovations; discover solutions to technical questions; and network with colleagues. The event is the country’s largest gathering of Class 1 through 8 commercial trucks and equipment.
Manufacturers, fleets, leasing companies, distributors, dealers, buyers and users of work trucks in all industries came together March 2-4 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis for the event.
Products from all aspects of the industry, including chassis, bodies, aerial devices, snow and ice control, accessories and components, were represented at The Work Truck Show 2005.
Among the other highlights:
- At the President’s Breakfast and Annual Meeting retiring NTEA trustees were honored and new leaders were welcomed to their three-year terms. Rod Robinson, president of WALTCO Truck Equipment Co., Tallmadge, Ohio, and Menno Eby, president of M.H. Eby, Inc., Blue Ball, Pa., retired from the board of trustees. Mike Frizzell, president of Royal Truck Body-River City, Sacramento, Calif., succeeds Robinson and will serve a one-year term as the 41st president of the NTEA.
“It’s overwhelming to be elected leader of an association that represents a $98-billion industry. To serve the industry in which I have spent my entire adult career is very special,” said Frizzell.
New trustees include Allen Birmingham, national sales manager for Tommy Gate Co., Phoenix; Mark Boice, president of Warner Bodies, Noblesville, Ind.; and Trip Forman, president of Pick Up Pals, Inc., Lubbock, Texas.
- More than 60 new products and product innovations were featured at the show.
- New for 2005, the nearly 50 attending editors representing 70 trade publications were invited to cast a vote for the inaugural Work Truck Show Editors’ Choice Award for New Product Innovation. Crysteel Manufacturing Inc. and Rostra Precision Controls took the honors. Their winning products were Crysteel’s ProMax Super Dump and Rostra’s Rearsight/Passive Rear Camera System.
- Attendees cast their votes for the Work Truck Show New Product Innovation Award. This year’s winner was A.L. Hansen Manufacturing Co., Waukegan, Ill., for its Jet Rack.
- President’s Breakfast keynote speaker Bob Dole wowed attendees with his heartfelt comments on his injuries sustained in World War II and his ability to overcome great adversity.
- More than 30 industry-specific educational sessions were led by industry experts on topics ranging from distributor-manufacturer relations to proper truck spec’ing, and from mitigating the rising costs of business and health care insurance to regulatory compliance for commercial vehicles.
- Twelve of the world’s leading truck chassis manufacturers exhibited at the show, seven of which presented informational update sessions on chassis specifications, design and body installation.
- A silent auction was held in support of the Louis V. Kleinstiver Institute. J. B. Smart, general sales manager of Royal Truck Body-River City, Sacramento, Calif., had the highest bid, entitling him to an exclusive racing entertainment package at the 2005 Brickyard 400.
The Work Truck Show 2006 and 42nd Annual NTEA Convention has been scheduled for March 1-3, 2006, in Atlanta.