INDIANAPOLIS, IN— Work Truck Week® 2023 was back to full strength as a verified 14,885 industry professionals gathered at Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis March 7–10 for North America’s largest work truck event. Attendance returned to pre-pandemic levels, setting a new record with a 17% increase over the 2022 event. Green Truck Summit, NTEA’s full-day advanced fuels and vehicle technology conference, was sold out for the second year in a row, with nearly 1,000 attendees.
New Exhibitor Pavilion, returning for the first time since 2020, and the Work Truck Show exhibit hall were packed with new commercial vehicles, equipment and technology from 507 companies. As the industry’s transition to electric power accelerates, much of the news coming out of Work Truck Week was related to electric vehicles, including the launch of eight commercial EVs, as well as associated auxiliary power solutions, bodies and equipment. Eager to give potential customers the opportunity to experience their technical advancements, 19 companies participated in Ride & Drive, offering attendees the chance to drive a variety of all-electric and internal combustion engine commercial vehicles.
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
“The work truck industry has a long history of evolving and innovating to keep the world moving,” says Steve Carey, NTEA president & CEO. “This was clearly demonstrated at Work Truck Week 2023 where we had some exhibiting companies marking business milestones of a century or more while others were just getting started. Attendees were able to reflect on where we’ve been while looking to the future through exhibits and educational programming featuring the movement toward electrification, as well as the latest developments in vehicle equipment and components emphasizing productivity and safety.”
Other product introductions included:
· Viatec— SmartPx plug-in electric genset designed to serve as an alternative to gasoline or diesel generators
· Volta Power Systems — 7,000W/240V inverter and Power Distribution Hub that integrate with both traditional internal combustion engine and EV chassis
· Parker Chelsea— e910 Series and e970 Series integrated electric power takeoffs (ePTOs) for BEV or hybrid-electric vehicles
· Safe Fleet— MobileMule AI dual dash cam that detects and alerts for driver drowsiness, sleeping and more; Air Vue wireless transmitter technology for the rear of semi-trailers; and FoldPro Shelving
· Godwin Group— Allied Mobile Systems total truck monitoring system designed specifically for dump trucks
· Lincoln Electric— Ranger Air 260MPX Multi-Function Engine Drive
· Certified Power Solutions — FleetPilot Connect telematics for snow and ice removal fleets.
The Knapheide Manufacturing Company marked its 175th anniversary at Work Truck Week with a heritage display of vehicles from its past alongside its current truck body lineup.
NTEA Annual Meeting
At the association's annual meeting, held as a breakfast on March 9th, David Scheitlin, director of operations at Holman—Manufacturing & Distribution (Roanoke, Indiana), was installed as 59th Board chair of NTEA. He accepted the position from immediate past Board chair Tina Albright, vice president of human relations & safety at Truck Bodies & Equipment International Inc.—TBEI (Lake Crystal, Minnesota), a subsidiary of Federal Signal Corporation (Oak Brook, Illinois).
In his remarks, Scheitlin also introduced the NTEA's 2023-2024 Board of Directors, including the board's executive committee.
[For a full list of the new board members, as well as selections from Scheitlin's acceptance speech, visit David Scheitlin to Serve as 59th NTEA Board Chair.]
Born in Eastern Europe, Herjavec escaped communism in the former Yugoslavia and emigrated to Canada. From delivering newspapers and waiting tables to launching a computer company from his basement, his drive to achieve led him to create a better life for himself and his family. "Nothing I ever do in my life will be as hard as what my father did for me," Herjavec said about his family's early struggles.
It was his time working at an Avis rental car dealership (where he met and got to know company founder Warren Avis) that he came to embrace entrepreneurship. Avis, he said, taught him that the maxim "it's not what you know, it's who you know," is just a myth. The real secret to business, he said, is in delivering value to your customers.
That quest to deliver value led him into technology. After building and selling several IT companies, he founded Herjavec Group in 2003, and it quickly became one of the world’s largest, privately held cybersecurity firms.
Later that same fascination with entrepreneurship led him to Shark Tank. He talked about several deals made on the show, some successful, some not. Through it all, Herjavec said the real indicator of an entrepreneur's future succes is the passion they have for their business—whatever that business might be.
"If you can get into a business that you're passionate about," Herjavec said, "and you work hard, this is the greatest country in the world to succeed in."
For more details about these and other announcements made during press conferences at Work Truck Week, visit worktruckweek.com/coverage.
Attendees who purchased a Green Truck Summit or Work Truck Week Conference Package can access on-demand educational content through April 15 by logging in to their WTW23 Planner at wtw23.mapyourshow.com/8_0/login/login.cfm and selecting On-demand.
Work Truck Week returns to Indiana Convention Center March 5–8, 2024. Sign up to receive email updates about the event, including when registration opens in the fall, at worktruckweek.com/wtw24signup.