How Might Driverless Vehicles Impact Plumbers?

Does CNG have a future in today’s low-cost fuel market? Join us at The Work Truck Show for more industry insights.
How Might Driverless Vehicles Impact Plumbers?

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Soaking in the sights and sounds of The Work Truck Show this week at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Monday was move-in day. Like the WWETT Show a couple weeks ago, there’s a lot of detailing going on.

As you can tell from my shamelessly free hat, Ford has its name everywhere and just leaked word about new ergonomic and tech options for its 2017 Ford Transit lineup. The news is embargoed for 6 p.m. ET Tuesday, so if I want to keep my hat, better wait until Wednesday to tell you more.

Meanwhile, I did manage to sneak inside the exhibit hall and get a glimpse at some of the brawny bruits parked inside – can’t wait to see them lookin’ their showroom best later this week. You name it – it’s here, including some great storage equipment to organize your service vans and pump up your plumbing profits.

The show shifts into drive Tuesday morning with the Green Truck Summit. This is geared more toward the big boys of fleet management – UPS, FedEx, Waste Management – but I’m thinking there will be some good tips that can benefit even mom-and-pop plumbing operations.

It’s an opportunity to learn firsthand from expert fleet managers about their reasons and processes for choosing and deploying specific technologies.

That’s followed by Mike Britt, director of maintenance and engineering international operations, ground fleet, UPS; Steve Shearson, CNG commercialization manager; and Steve Tam, vice president – commercial vehicle sector, ACT Research, weighing in on the future of CNG (compressed natural gas) in a $2.50-a-gallon gasoline market.

Closing out the day is 'Telematics: Finding Value Beyond Route Optimization and Technology Solutions Almost Within Reach.' Deep stuff, I know. But it’ll be interesting to hear three industry insiders share their vision and understanding of driverless vehicles, advanced batteries, in-motion charging and fuel cells. Don’t know how this might impact plumbing, but I’m willing to give it a listen.

If you’re a Truck Show newbie like me, here are a few tidbits you might find interesting.

The Work Truck Show 2016 is North America’s largest work truck event. Produced annually by NTEA – the association for the work truck industry – it brings together vocational trucks and transportation equipment from classes 1-8, including chassis, bodies, components and accessories.

The show runs March 1-4 and already has attracted a record-setting 10,650 preregistered attendees.

Like WWETT, the truck show covers 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and features 500 exhibiting companies with over 100 planning to introduce new products at the show. I’m thinking it’s a good estimate judging from the number of emails flooding my inbox.

That’s a brief look at some of the insights I hope to bring you this week, including a candid conversation with automotive guru Jay Leno, Thursday’s keynote speaker for the President’s Breakfast & Annual Meeting – yeah, like I’m not looking forward to that!


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