At the fall meeting, OOIDA members brought driver concerns and experiences to TMC – the group that sets the standards for equipment and maintenance practices for the entire trucking industry. The council convened in October in Jacksonville, FL.
OOIDA member Gail Swiger, West Allis, WI, (Swiger Trucking/FedEx Custom Critical) organized and moderated a Technical Session, “Spec’ing Cabs for Operator Efficiency and Safety.” Swiger is vice chairman of the Cab and Controls Study Group, the session’s sponsor. Presentations at the session summarized the findings of a task force on the subject, chaired by OOIDA member and Land Line Technical Editor Paul Abelson. An 18-year Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) veteran, Abelson also serves on the Council’s Board of Directors.
Swiger’s session informed more than 200 fleet operators and industry suppliers of developments in climate control, cab structure, noise and vibration control, seat comfort and communications.
Presenting the driver’s needs and concerns, OOIDA member Dan Feeley, Mokena IL, president of specialty hauler NMMC, spoke about the need for safer ingress and egress from cabs and decks. He also suggested improvements in placement of controls, readability of instruments and mirror placement.
The next day, Feeley provided driver and small fleet views at the technical session on “Diagnosing Electronic Instrument Clusters,” presented by the On-Board Vehicle Electronics Study Group. There, he reminded attendees of the need for simple diagnosis and repairs. He repeated his call for easier-to-read instruments, especially at night.
OOIDA member Mike Swiger, Gail’s husband and co-driver, accepted the chair of a new task force, “Selection, Installation and Maintenance of Inter-Vehicle Lines,” the air and electrical connections between tractors and trailers. Swiger also chairs a task force on “Electrical HVAC Systems,” devices used to heat, ventilate and air condition cabs when the engine is off.
– Sandi Soendker, managing editor