With technology transforming trucking, TMC’s new chairman wants to bring young faces and fresh ideas to the industry he loves.
Glen McDonald says assuming the chairmanship of the American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council at the influential group’s Nashville meeting earlier this month is, in many ways, a pinnacle moment in his long career in trucking.
McDonald has been an active TMC member since 2003, and credits Ozark Motor Lines, Memphis, Tennessee, where he is director of maintenance, for supporting his work with the group. “I came to my current position from the operations side, as opposed to the maintenance side,” McDonald told HDT, “and for the first time I was responsible for hiring technicians and keeping trucks running. And I felt like I needed some help.”
McDonald credits Randy Patterson, who was his Bridgestone-Bandag tire vendor at the time, with pointing him toward TMC for that help. “My first meeting was in Fort Lauderdale,” McDonald said. “And I was really impressed. And I came home and told my bosses what I’d seen and learned and asked them to support my involvement with TMC. And to their credit, they did exactly that.”
In his new role as chairman, McDonald said he most wants to “build a bridge” to the trucking’s younger generation just now coming into the industry and work to keep the organization on the cutting edge of all the new technology coming on line today.
“I’m really thinking a lot about the ‘TMC of Tomorrow,’” McDonald said. “This is an aging industry, and we need to put the pieces in place now that will ensure this organization is there to help move trucking forward in the future. We’re just now beginning to scratch the surface of all the changes that will be coming our way. And we’ve got to make sure that TMC stays relevant as those changes happen. We want TMC to be the thought leader in this industry and at the forefront of dealing with change. And we need new blood and fresh faces to do that.”
McDonald is also excited that TMC meetings have emerged in the past couple of years as one of the industry’s most dynamic, and high-visibility events, and is determined to keep that momentum going.
“We’ve got a dynamic new leader at the American Trucking Associations in Chris Spears,” McDonald said. “And he has a lot of great ideas that will help us accomplish that goal. And we need to respond by making sure TMC’s Future Truck Committee is at the forefront of helping this industry navigate the rush of technology coming its way. We need to make sure our Recommended Practices (RPs) stay current as changes occurs, and build on new ways to communicate with our members using social media and the internet.”
McDonald said he has been fortunate throughout his career to be surrounded by good people who have helped him on his journey. “And, ultimately, that’s really what TMC is all about and means to me,” he said. “And the more people with new ideas we can bring into this organization, the better it is going to be for the trucking industry.”