The development of technology and maintenance leaders within the work truck market is becoming critical to the value of the industry. As many prominent figures making an impact and holding significant roles within the technology and maintenance arena move toward retirement, it is crucial to create a pipeline for the industry’s next generation of mentors and leaders.


The Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) is a prime example of a key organization where member recruitment and leadership development is in demand. TMC’s purpose is to improve equipment, maintenance, and maintenance management. The Council develops engineering and maintenance recommended practices (RPs) that are voluntarily adopted by fleets, OEMs, and component suppliers. TMC also conducts industry surveys and promotes the voluntary cooperation among designers and manufacturers of work truck equipment and those who specify, purchase, and manage such equipment. TMC is the only industry association that is focused solely on truck technology and maintenance. Using real world experience, members work together to create the industry’s best practices to help improve work truck equipment and efficiencies throughout North America.
Fleet members of TMC are the heart and driving force of the organization. Their general attendance alone at TMC’s annual meetings is both a draw to suppliers and justifies member investment for attending and supporting the trade association.
The expert industry knowledge that fleet members bring to the table also plays a significant role in generating RPs. Therefore, the fleets’ experiences and interaction with suppliers to solve maintenance and/or safety issues proves that TMC remains relevant and valuable to the industry. However, over the past few years, a number of challenges has been identified, including:

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  • Aging of the TMC membership
  • Low attendance of TMC young maintenance professionals
  • Decreased participation in assuming leadership roles within TMC
  • Leadership development of young fleet members

Therefore, it is now vital a solution be created that guides TMC in recruiting, training, and providing value to the next generation of maintenance professionals in order to ensure membership in TMC grows and continues to thrive.


In response to the needs of the future of the work truck industry, this year, TMC launched its first-ever recruitment and future leaders development program, TMC of Tomorrow, designed to ensure membership growth and ongoing industry value. Inspired and chaired by Arconic Wheel and Transportation Products’ (AWTP) director of marketing and TMC recognized associate and membership outreach committee member, Mike Baird, the inaugural class of TMC of Tomorrow was introduced in February during TMC Annual Meeting’s opening meetings.
The TMC of Tomorrow program will be conducted in conjunction with TMC regularly scheduled meetings, which currently take place two times per calendar year: its Annual Meeting and its Fall Meeting. Fleet members may nominate their own qualified employees for participation in the TMC of Tomorrow program. They can also nominate themselves if they meet the program’s qualifications. TMC staff and/or TMC of Tomorrow organizers may approach fleet member companies and inquire as to whether they have qualified employees that they wish to have participate, as well. The program is intended for participants with less than 10 years of industry experience and/or under 40 years of age.
All participants must be fleet members in good standing and have a minimum of five years’ experience working in the work truck industry.
TMC of Tomorrow’s goals include:

  • Increasing participation of young maintenance professionals in TMC
  • Providing young maintenance professionals broad exposure to TMC events, procedures, and policies
  • Offering young maintenance professionals an overall, big-picture view of the work truck industry, its evolution, and the factors by which it’s impacted

In order to ensure each participant in the TMC of Tomorrow program be provided with the best mentoring experience, each will be paired with a TMC past general chairman who is still active in the organization and attends all TMC general meetings. The function of the mentor is to provide understanding and wisdom in regard to TMC operations, processes, and leadership in a volunteer-based organization, introduce them to TMC staff and leaders they might not ordinarily have access to, and assist with facilitating various endeavors they wish to achieve. Mentors will also provide coaching and feedback to their mentees. A new class of participants in the TMC of Tomorrow program will be initiated at each TMC Annual Meeting.


This February, the inaugural class of TMC of Tomorrow was announced and presented. Companies represented by this premiere group include: FedEx, Pepsi Beverage Companies, Ozark Motor Lines, Dunbar Armored, and Walker Truck, Inc.
The launch of TMC of Tomorrow is an initiative for which its founders are proud and excited. As key TMC leaders move on in their careers, it is crucial that a succession plan be created for the next generation of young maintenance professionals. TMC of Tomorrow is a venture that allows industry influencers to utilize their experience and leadership to help secure the future of the work truck industry.


Mike Baird is director of marketing at Arconic Wheel and Transportation Products, Cleveland, Ohio. Arconic Wheel and Transportation Products serves the commercial vehicle market with products used in a range of applications, including forged Alcoa® aluminum wheels such as Ultra ONE® with MagnaForce® alloy, Dura-Bright®, Dura-Flange®, LvL ONE®, and M-Series® medium-duty truck wheels, as well as a variety of other complementary accessory products for those markets.
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