"Forging Alliances in Technical Leadership" will be the theme of the Technology & Maintenance Council's 2009 Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition, Feb. 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando, Fla.

The meeting will provide the opportunity for fleet managers and other industry professionals to gather the latest updates on safety systems, outsourcing, fuel economy improvements, diagnostics and onboard data communication.

Two full technical sessions include "Improving Fleet/Service-Dealer Business Relations" and "An Introduction to Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety Systems." The first, following a new TMC Recommended Practice, offers guidelines for establishing a business relationship between a fleet and a third-party maintenance provider. The second provides fleet perspectives with IVBSS related to integration of vehicle safety systems, operation and maintenance.

Mini-technical sessions will include:
* An Introduction to AGM Battery Technologies
* TMC Presents Comprehensive Tire and Wheel Compendium
* Biodiesel and Your Engine - What Are The Real Savings?
* How Safe Is the Inside of Your Cab?
* The Future of Heavy-Duty Drivelines
* Impact of New Trailer Regulations on North American Fleets
* Ready or Not, Fleets Must Begin Adopting Sustainability Best Practices
* Onboard Diagnostic Tool Selection Guidelines for Fleets and Service-Dealers
* Guidelines for Outsourcing Light- and Medium-Duty Vehicle Maintenance
* Utilizing J1939 on Specialty Vehicles.

TMC's Transportation Technology Exhibition will feature more than 300 displaying the latest technology to help fleets improve safety and efficiency. This year's exhibit will feature a special Tire Industry Association Pavilion in the exhibit hall during all viewing periods. The pavilion will include a "TIA Retread Appearance Contest," where fleet attendees can judge the visual quality of various retreads on display.

The meeting will depart from its traditional schedule of having Task Force meetings on the opening day. Instead, technical sessions will begin the opening day and continue on Wednesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, more than 100 task forces will continue work on creating and updating engineering and maintenance Recommended Practices.

Kevin Knight, chief executive officer and chairman of the board for Knight Transportation, will be the featured speaker for Monday's Kickoff Luncheon. Knight will discuss his company's experience with previous equipment pre-buys, the effect pre-buys have had on the basic economics of the industry, and how he anticipates this will be a factor as the 2010 EPA regulations approach.

A schedule of meeting activities, registration, online hotel reservation and hotel reservation forms, exhibit prospectus and related forms are available at TMC's website, http://tmc.truckline.com.

For additional meeting or exhibit information, contact TMC at 703-838-1763.