Tradeshow Season

 John Blodgett

John Blodgett

We have completed the first
quarter of 2018. This initial
three months of the year
are a trade show bonanza
for the trucking industry. It starts with
HDAD/HDAW in January, followed by
an alphabet soup of shows and conferences:
TMC (part of ATA), NTEA, TCA,
MATS and ATD (part of NADA). I would
spell them all out, but I only get one page
for this column.

    As one of the people who attends
many of them, I am always impressed
by the work the vehicle and component
manufacturers and other suppliers put
into making these shows a success. The
coordination of getting booths to different
cities (must be some good for-hire
carriers) and staffing them with talented,
knowledgeable professionals is always

     I noticed many new booths this
year or booths upgraded to the point I
thought they were new. There was more
technology incorporated into booths,
such as large video displays (Truck-Lite
had a large screen to display their Road
Ready trailer telematics product), educational
product displays (Dana displayed
old and new driveshaft designs), more
fun (WABCO’s truck driving simulator)
and the always popular bars and deep,
padded carpet (Great Dane, Hendrickson
and others).

    There were new products and
suppliers, including new aerodynamic
trailer products (Michelin was one),
predictive analytics firms and Cummins’
display of electric-powered tractors.
Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, look
online at Shell and AirFlow Truck
Company’s Starship futuristic-looking
truck (which drives on the road today).
It is even cooler in person — I would
like to see it moving down the road with
a STEMCO Trailer Tail deployed, which
would make an impressive profile.

This initial three months of the year are a trade
show bonanza for the trucking
NTEA and TMC had a considerable
number of presentations on new technologies
and products with reviews from
fleets that are actually testing all types of
new products. At NTEA — primarily a
show focused on work trucks — it was
impressive to see some new products
focus on reducing idling time, as well
as Hino’s new Class 7 and 8 trucks. At
TMC, Hyliion HE Drive Axle won the
2018 Jim Windsor Technical Achievement
Award with its fuel-saving electric
drive-axle system, which was very
impressive and not the only one being
promoted at TMC.

    Most of the shows I attended this first
quarter reported record participation
by suppliers and participants, another
indication of the positive economic environment
we are enjoying in the trucking
industry. Certainly, the mood of the
vendors and attendees also seemed to be
very positive.

    There are more trade shows and
industry events with a variety of letters
coming up after the first quarter, such
all with different focuses and themes but
with many similar vendors. Granted you
can get some insights on most of these
products from the various trade publications
and websites (I would recommend
Truck Parts & Service), but I don’t think
you get the same value as talking with a
company representative and seeing actual

    So if you have been staying home the
first three months of the year to enjoy
Nor’easters or Arizona and Virginia’s
road to the Final Four, time to get out
and find a trade show.


Mackay&Co TPS, April 2018, Article by John Blodgett