Some of the most well-known members of ATA's Technology and Maintenance Council have become limited-time executives, spreading their expertise over a number of smaller truck fleets as they spend time with each client to help them get the most out of their maintenance operations.

Doing so brings big-fleet practices and years of experience down to the smaller, intermediate fleet level as a cost that's spread over the client base. And it is precisely when fleets must tighten belts and look for new ways to manage at lower cost that the limited-time executive adds significant value to operations.

Perhaps the first proponent of this new way of managing was Darry Stuart, who does business under the name DWS Fleet Management Services. Stuart is a prior chairman of TMC.

Stuart offers to supplement a company's leadership capabilities on a limited time basis with expertise in organization, purchasing, lease evaluation, vehicle specification and maintenance management, including shop systems analysis and cost control initiatives.

Stuart and his similarly employed colleagues provide fleets in a variety of industry segments with programs specifically tailored for each individual operation, without having to commit the time or expense for an "executive" level employee.

Bruce Stockton left Con-way Truckload recently to start up a similar time-share executive program under the name Stockton Solutions. Stockton for years was vice president of maintenance for Contract Freighters Inc. and continued in his position after Con-way acquired CFI to create its truckload division.

Stockton says he has found there are many fleets that need help not just understanding what is going on with the technology of maintenance and spec'ing, but also with setting up truck fleet maintenance facilities and all the rest of the truck operations.

Stockton describes his offering as interim executive in maintenance, safety, risk management and operations. He includes services such as employee productivity and incentive programs, sustainability and risk factors in litigation, acquisitions and mergers among a host of services.

Ken McKibben also has launched into the consulting business. Many will be familiar with McKibben as the man you had to woo if you were to be a supplier to Penske Truck Leasing. He has resurfaced with a new concept on how to provide guidance to the fleets using his SSTS Expert Team. All members of his team have over 25 years experience in their area of expertise and include industry experts like Joe Stianche, Wayne Lampen, Bob Wessels and Bruce Purkey to name a few.

Together with Eileen Wessels and Andrew Avtjoglou, McKibben started Single Source Transportation Solutions to provide a one-stop shop for all kinds of commercial trucking expertise. McKibben's colleagues use their hundreds of years of experience in all phases of maintenance operations to provide guidance to fleets; evaluate products that meet a higher standard; and improve efficiency resulting in increased profitability.