Friday
Dec092016

TMC — Our Industry's Technology Crucible

(Note: The following appeared as "A Message From the Chairman of Associates" on page 10 of the recently published Fall 2016 issue of TMC's Fleet Maintenance and Technology).

Wow. The Cubs won the Series. That was a historic moment to be sure. Shortly after, we elected our next president and, regardless of which candidate you were supporting, it too was an historic occasion. Have you ever been a part of history? Has your creativity, athleticism, intellect or character created a lasting impact? The answer is “YES!! We all have!”

Most of our contributions of course are small and the majority are soon forgotten. But never doubt the fact that your life has had an influence that will last beyond your lifetime and changed the arc of family, friends and even communities.

Trucking has had historic moments. Like the early automobile, the first trucks created incredible opportunities for individuals and business. The emergence of the interstate highway system was another historic event. These events were before our time. Are we now, in our jobs, leaving a legacy? Are we making a difference? And can it be considered historic?

I like to reflect on the fact that we, in the transportation industry, have an incredible influence on our communities and our country as a whole. Collectively, we have the ability to move freight rapidly, safely and cost effectively, across thousands of miles, in all types of weather, and through all manner of rural, suburban and urban landscapes.

What does that mean? It means factories can maximize their output, maintaining the absolute smallest amount of inventory required to operate. It means housing materials arrive on a job site as they are needed. It means that groceries shelves are kept fully stocked, in most cases 24/7. In other words, our quality of life, which we so often take for granted, is only possible because of the immensely complex yet incredibly efficient process of freight distribution.

For the 60 years that TMC has been in existence, we’ve seen truck transportation become incrementally safer, cleaner and more efficient. Isn’t it great to know that the exhaust of a high-horsepower diesel-powered engine might actually be cleaner than the intake air? And yet, these advances seem small in light of today’s conversations about autonomous trucks, alternate fuels and the continuing electronic revolution. We really don’t know what products we’ll be putting on the road 20 years from now. We really don’t. Things are moving that fast!

You realize the implication of that statement, right? Together, we are going to be part of history. We will have a lasting and important impact on the quality of life experienced by citizens, not just of the United States, but of the world. How does that make you feel? I hope it gives you pause, brings some pride and perhaps energizes you a little bit. What will your contribution be to the latest technology revolution?

If you are unsure, then please come to Nashville at the end of February. Make no mistake, no matter what happens in the areas of fuels, drivers, or telematics, the industry still needs to execute on the basics. Come and be part of that conversation, because now more than ever we need to put best practices into place and TMC excels in that area. But carve out time for conversations about the future of our industry.

When we look back at the history of the trucking industry, this era will be recognized for the sudden acceleration in technology. TMC is the crucible where history is being formed … today!

John Adami, P.E., is the Chairman of Associates for TMC and Principal at Northwest Heavy Duty Inc. He can be reached at john@nwheavyduty.com or via the company website – http://www.nwheavyduty.com.

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