President and CEO of the NTEA Steve Carey welcomes attendees to Work Truck Week.
Steve Carey

Work Truck Week 2021: Accelerating the Future of Commercial Vehicles

April 3, 2021
The NTEA's premiere event was held virtually March 8-12.

The NTEA, the Association for the Work Truck Industry, welcomed media and attendees to Work Truck Week 2012, held virtually March 8 - 12. During the event more than 300 exhibitors showcased the latest in work trucks and associated products, equipment, accessories and software.

Almost all sessions were recorded, and will remain available to registered attendees through April 9. 103 separate video demos were made available to attendees, as well as updates from OEMs, industry-specific education, extensive product galleries, and "Green Hour" sessions on emission reduction efforts.

Work Truck Week was kicked off with a welcome from Steve Carey, CEO and President of the NTEA. Carey thanked attendees for taking the time, saying that the previous year had taught us all to be "patient and flexible." He hoped attendees would gain the insight, information and networking opportunities the event was known for, and he hoped that he would see everyone, in person, for Work Truck Week 2022, scheduled to be held next year in Indianapolis as a live event March 8-11.

Over the next four days, sessions covered a range of topics. Some of the highlights included:

  • Ranger Design, a market leader in fleet upfits, is leveraging its partners and network to offer a full solution to fleets and leasing companies.
  • A conversation with NTEA Board leaders, during which Peter Miller, 2020–2021 NTEA Board chair, and Jon Sievert, 2021–2022 chair, recapped the past year and discussed what’s next for the industry and Association.
  • Steve Latin-Kasper, Market Data and Research Senior at NTEA offered his work truck industry overview and end-use market forecast, segmented by end-use market, weight class and cab type.
  • Bob Raybuck, Director of Technical Services at NTEA gave a session on vehicle certification, and the importance of payload analysis and weight distribution as part of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard compliance.

(For a full list of sessions, visit:

Ford Commercial Vehicles

The opening day of the event had a presentation by Ford Commercial Vehicles on the company's latest commercial offerings. Philip Podgorny, General Manager - Commercial, Government Sales, Ford Motor Co., began the session by touting the company's recent accomplishments, including the F-150 being named North American Truck of the Year.

Ford is investing in the commercial market, with an aim to help lower the cost of ownership for its customers. The company has 650 dedicated commercial vehicle centers, designed to provide a better customer experience. "We will come to you," Podgorny said, "we will work around your schedule."

Ford is also investing in connectivity, with trucks and vans that can offer mobile 4G wifi, as well as telematics systems, tool charging management and much more.

To speak further on the new technology the company is embracing, Podgorny gave the screen to Alex Purdy, Director of Business Operations - Enterprise Software. Ford's new telematics system has an updated dashboard that allows fleet managers to oversee driver behaviors to improve compliance and safety.

Moreover, Ford is setting the stage for the coming electric transformation with fleet-wide energy monitoring. The aim, he said, was to cut through the overwhelming torrent of data available and provide managers with meaningful intelligence and actionable data to help them get the most out of their fleet. 

Thanks to modems embedded directly in the vehicles, the company's modern, web-based telematics system has access to vehicle systems and architecture. That means remote locking and unlocking, and trouble alerts to stay ahead of downtime issues. The system can also identify physical issues such as a broken mirror—the kind of things you don't normally see on a telematics report. From a driver behavior dashboard (complete with driver scoring) to severe incident and misuse alerts, the entire Ford telematics system is designed to increase productivity and drive down the cost of ownership.

To help with adoption, Ford is offering a modem kit that will allow older vehicles access to the system. The system is also compatible with non-Ford vehicles allowing it to be used with mixed fleets. There is even a stripped-down version, Ford Telematics Essentials, that is complementary for qualified commercial users.

Purdy then returned control of the screen to Podgorny, who closed by discussing Ford's commitment to electrification. Podgorny stressed three key points at the outset: the time is now; we are all-in; we have a clear vision.

Ford has made a $29 billion investment in electric vehicles, including in its vans, pickups and SUVs. "Electrification," Podgorny said, "is just good business for our customers." Between government subsidies and overall lower maintenance costs, ownership of an electric commercial vehicle has never been more practical.

To make a case-in-point, the new Ford E-Transit is being offered with three roof heights, three body lengths and eight body styles, with a payload capacity MAX of 4,250 lb. Pro-power onboard turns each E-Transit into a mobile generator. There has been no intrusion into the cargo area, allowing for an easy transfer of upfit packages.

Ford, he said, stands ready to supply and service e-vehicles today.

New President, New Board

As part of Work Truck Week, on March 9, Jon Sievert, president – Work Truck Solutions for Douglas Dynamics (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), was installed as 57th Board chair of NTEA. He accepted the position from immediate past Board chair Peter Miller, executive vice president of business development & sales at Pro-Tech Industries (LaVergne, Tennessee).

“I am excited for this new journey as your NTEA Board chair,” said Sievert. “As part of my Board service, I hope to bring awareness of work truck industry growth and advancement opportunities for the next generation of talent to come.”

Sievert’s industry career began when he was hired as hydraulics value stream manager for Douglas Dynamics (DD). He has held various positions at the company, including business unit manager and director of operational excellence. In his current role as president of the Work Truck Solutions Group for DD, he has leadership responsibilities at Henderson Products and Dejana Truck & Utility Equipment.

In 2016, Sievert was elected to serve on NTEA’s Board and, for the last five years, has become heavily involved in furthering Association and industry progress.

Also serving on the 2021-2022 Board’s Executive Committee are First Vice Chair Tina Albright of TBEI Inc. (Lake Crystal, Minnesota); Second Vice Chair David Scheitlin of Auto Truck Group LLC (Roanoke, Indiana); and Third Vice Chair and Treasurer Jason Ritchey of Curry Supply Co. (Martinsburg, Pennsylvania).

The newly-installed directors are:

Distributor Directors

  • Rick Albertini, Phenix Truck Bodies & Van Equipment (Pomona, California)
  • Rod Hill, Utility Truck Equipment Inc. (Circleville, Ohio)
  • Teresa Miller, American Midwest Fleet Solutions (Lone Jack, Missouri)
  • Mike Randolph, Fontaine Modification Co. (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Manufacturer Directors

  • Pat Godwin Jr., Godwin Mfg. Co. Inc. (Dunn, North Carolina)
  • Eric Jones, VBG Group Truck Equipment (Vänersborg, Sweden)
  • Chris Weiss, The Knapheide Manufacturing Company (Quincy, Illinois)
  • Ben Winter, Transfer Flow (Chico, California)

Associate Director

  • Joe Curran, Peterbilt Motors Company (Denton, Texas)

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Contractor, create an account today!