The Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations awarded its highest honor — the Silver Spark Plug Award — to five trucking industry professionals during the Council's 2013 Annual Meeting, March 11-14, in Nashville, Tenn.
The 2013 TMC Silver Spark Plug recipients are: Kirk Altrichter, vice president of maintenance for Gordon Trucking, Pacific, Wash.; Tony Tierney, western regional sales manager for BorgWarner, Littleton, Colo.; Bonne Karim. retired fleet training manager for the United States Postal Service, Norman, Okla.; Ken Kelley, president of Webb Severe Duty, Cullman, Ala.; Ken Calhoun, vice president for customer relations, Truck Centers of Arkansas, North Little Rock, Ark.; and Ken DeGrant, field applications engineering manager, DG Technologies, Richmond, Ky.
These recipients were awarded the Silver Spark Plug for their outstanding contributions to the improvement of equipment, maintenance, industry-related technology and management practices.
Altrichter, a member since 2002, has served in a variety of roles in the S.4 Cab & Controls Study Groups before taking his first leadership role in TMC as first vice chairman of the S.22 Automated Data Entry Study Group. He then served as chairman of S.4 from September 2005 until February 2011 when he was elected to TMC’s Board of Directors. He has severed the past year as TMC’s vice chairman and chairman of meetings.
Tierney, a member since 1991, has been an active member within the S.7 Trailers, Bodies and Material Handling Study Group, having chaired or served on several task forces, including the Minimizing Irregular Wear of Wide-Base Trailer Tires and the Cargo Securement Systems for Van Trailers Task Forces, and serving for many years as sergeant-at-arms. He is an active supporter of TMCSuperTech competition, well regarded for his service in the Council’s mentor program for new members, is a long-time fixture at meetings behind the TMC welcome desk. Tierney, a TMC Recognized Associate, served as chairman of study group secretaries for the past four years.
Karim, a member since 1993, has used her technician trainer experience to work closely with the S.5 Fleet Maintenance Management Study Group in efforts for technician recruitment, then served in a variety of roles with TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee (PTDC) since its inception. She helped create the first TMC Technician Training Fair in 2003, and in 2005 helped establish both the TMCSuperTech and the Oklahoma state technician competition. Karim has been chairman of PTDC since 2010.
Kelley, a member since 1992, has been active in TMC’s S.2 Tire and Wheel Study Group for more than 20 years, serving as co-chairman or chairman on several task forces, including the Hub and Spoke Wheel Fastener, Wheel End Conditions Analysis Guide and Brake Drum Removal and Installation Task Forces. He also has served on the Wheel Bearing Adjustment Procedures, User’s Guide to Wheels and Rims, and Effects of Extreme Temperatures on Wheel Torque and Clamp Load Task Forces. Additionally, he served as the S.2 Study Group Secretary for three years and for his work was awarded TMC’s Study Group Secretaries Award.
Calhoun, a TMC member since 2002, was a founding member of TMC’s Service Provider Committee (SPC) and has been active in TMC’s S.5 Fleet Maintenance Management Study Group. He has chaired several task forces, including the Counterfeit Parts Task Force and the Fleet-Service Provider Relationships Task Force, and has helped organize several mini-technical sessions. He has appeared on the Council’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio Show “Tech Talk With TMC.” He led the SPC through an important transition and currently serves as chairman of the Council’s newest Study Group — the S.16 Service Provider Study Group.
DeGrant, a TMC member since 1999, has been very active in the areas of on- and off-board technology within TMC. He supported TMC efforts to establish the IT/logistics sector of the Council, and has served or led numerous task forces within the S.12 Onboard Vehicle Electronics Study Group in the areas of diagnostics, condition-based maintenance and application interfaces. He also actively supports TMC’s National Technician Skills Competition—TMCSuperTech. He chairs the RP 1210, Windows Application Program Interface Update Task Force, RP 1202 Update Task Force, and the RP 1210 Compliance Task Force. He has also chaired the RP 1216, Vehicle to Office Data Communications (Off-Board) Task Force.
The April Truck Tonnage Index rebounded from a dip in March, indicating a robust freight environment, according to the American Trucking Associations.