After going virtual in 2021, the event is back in full swing at the Indianapolis Convention Center this week (March 8-11, 2022).
Today was another day filled with press conferences, videos, and meetings with key industry players. We’ve been working hard to cover the news as it’s been breaking here on our site.
From a more personal side, there have been three major takeaways that I can share from today. They have to do with the future of fuel, people, and small changes that make big differences.
The Future of Fuel
Yesterday, when asked what word I heard the most, it was “electric.” And today, while that was still a clear message, there was another message: fuel agnosticism.
While electric is absolutely exciting and a big part of the future of work truck fleets, it is still just a part of the future. There is a need for multiple fuel sources for vocational work truck fleets.
In the start, it was a challenge to get a gas station in a town, let alone on every corner. Some stations still don’t carry diesel, or only have a few pumps that you can access the fuel from. It takes a while for infrastructure to come about and the end-result is due to the drive from the motoring public, including work truck fleets.
Another way to look at it, is that very few fleets run a single-sourced fleet of all the same make and model. Work truck fleets are often far more complex with varying needs and, therefore, a varying mixture of makes, models, and upfits. They operate in varying regions, on varying road surfaces, and have far differing needs. Therefore, one solution is not likely to be the solution for everyone.
The biggest message and takeaway that I’m getting right now is that we need to continue to push for the availability of these alternative fuel options, and push for advancements to help lower the price for infrastructure and the vehicles themselves.
People Make the Work Truck World
Next, is people. Like I noted yesterday, the energy was absolutely electric on the show floor. People were excited to be back in person, seeing old friends and finally putting a live face to the names we’ve seen over the past two years.
People are a core part of fleet and the work truck industry. The friendly competition has always been inspiring and watching the interactions on the show floor just continues to motivate me to create our Faces of Fleet series of Truck Chat.
I'm so grateful for all of the people who time out of their busy schedules to meet and chat with me over the past two days.
It’s important that we take the time to cultivate the personal relationships we have in our industry, welcome the new members to our world, and celebrate those who have supported it for decades.
Small Changes Makes Big Change
Finally, small innovations are driving big change. Today I saw some small innovations, including but definitely not limited to:
- The simple act of relocating hinges
- Creating a lightweight floor (partially from recycled tires) with payload in mind for electric vehicles
- Adding a small orange sticker to the handle of a service body box so you can see if it’s closed
- The lit snow guide that I mentioned yesterday
These innovations may seem small to some, but others are looking at that list thinking “that would reduce weather wear,” or “I needed to carry more payload in my electric van,” to “I’ve lost tools before because my latch didn’t close.” It doesn’t always take a major change or innovation to make a major change.
This show is always enlightening and I look forward to sharing more of the insights myself and the team of Work Truck editors has from our time on the show floor.
Til 2023, Work Truck Week and Indianapolis!
Have some thoughts or insights? E-mail me, let’s chat!
Originally posted on Work Truck Online
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