President’s Report – August 2016

Computers, Smart phones and self-driving trucks…oh my!!!

Greetings, Greetings…hope everyone is well!!  Recently I had a situation where I left my cell phone at home and as luck would have it, I did not realize it until I was almost to the office.  Of course this was a day where I had back-to-back meetings and I was unable to simply run home and get it.  I am sure most of you have experienced this situation in one form or another, but for those of you that have not, let me tell you that it a somewhat uneasy feeling being without your lifeline.

Throughout the day I continued to be reminded of how desperately I needed my phone to perform very simple functions.  Functions such as checking my calendar, responding to an email, answering questions via text and even dialing one of the many phone numbers that I have saved in my phone that I take for granted having access to.  This got me thinking about how far we have come technologically and more importantly where we are going.

Up until a few years ago, we had a mechanic who had been with us for almost 20 years.  He was deaf and he was one of the best mechanics I ever met.  He had a very special gift in that he was able to diagnose problems of our trucks by driving the truck around the yard and by his keen sense of touch on various parts of the engine.  Now you may be asking yourself, why am I bringing up this individual?  The answer is because as I am reminded of how things used to be I also recognize that in the very near future, the days of being able to diagnose problems no matter how small will be limited to a laptop and internet connection.  And the sooner we accept that technology is our friend…the better off we will be.  Most recently I found an equipment maintenance app that cost $4.99 and tracked oil changes, tire rotation, and virtually any other maintenance item could be added and tracked via time or mileage.  All of this can be saved, tracked and viewed right from your smart phone.  And this is just where we are now…in a very short time we can expect self-driving trucks and I am sure numerous more rounds of upgrades and cleaner engine requirements.

Money, Money, Money!!!

For those of us that have fleets of 10 or fewer vehicles and need to upgrade or retrofit another truck by year end there is government funding available.  The Voucher Incentive Program (VIP) has money available and the process is very quick as long as all the paperwork has been submitted correctly.  Advertised turnaround times are around 10-14 business days from submission to approval and you can receive up to $40,000 towards the cost of a model year 2008 or newer or up to $10,000 towards the cost of a qualified retrofit.  There is only a certain amount of this money available so why not give it a shot…even if you get approved you can always change your mind, but at least put yourself in a position to accept whatever amount they offer you for your old truck.

75 years and going strong

The 75th  annual board and member meeting is right around the corner so make your arrangements now…it will be a great opportunity to network with fellow members as well as hear information from some great speakers.  It will be held at Caesars Palace on October 28th & 29th so tell your friends, make the call and come on out to Vegas!  Hope to see you all there!  Until then…take care and keep on truckin.’

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