Jeff Harris, Kenneth Calhoun to lead ATA maintenance council

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 386 views 

Over the next two years, the board for the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council will be led by trucking industry executives of Arkansas.

The council recently announced the election of Jeff Harris, vice president of maintenance at Van Buren-based carrier USA Truck, as the 2018-2019 general chairman and treasurer, and Kenneth Calhoun, maintenance data management fleet optimization manager for Altec Service Group in Conway, as vice chairman and chairman of meetings. Calhoun said he will be the next chairman as the vice chairman has assumed that role in the following year.

“I don’t want to take any thunder away from Jeff Harris,” Calhoun said.

Over the past year, Harris was vice chairman and chairman of meetings before he succeeded Glen McDonald, director of maintenance for Memphis-based carrier Ozark Motor Lines Inc. “Being recognized like this by my peers in TMC is a tremendous honor, one I am humbled to receive,” Harris said. “I want to thank the membership of TMC for the opportunity and thank Glen for his service to our organization.”

Calhoun has served as a board member for the Technology & Maintenance Council for three years and was recently reelected to a three-year term on the council. Board members are allowed to serve up to two terms. Calhoun said he’s been attending Technology & Maintenance Council meetings for nearly 15 and has been a member of the organization even longer.

Before joining Altec Service Group last year, Calhoun was vice president of customer relations at Truck Centers of Arkansas in North Little Rock.

In his new role on the TMC board, Calhoun will oversee the meeting planning sessions for the TMC’s spring and fall meetings. Those in the planning sessions will develop a theme and determine guest speakers and the educational and technical topics for the meetings. Most of this is in the works and has yet to be set for the upcoming meetings, Calhoun said. The 2018 Fall Meeting is expected to take place Sept. 15-20 in Orlando.

Last week, Calhoun attended the council’s 2018 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, and he said it was “our largest show ever” with 400,000-square-feet of exhibitions. Some highlights of the event included a Cummins electric truck prototype and a low emissions, fuel efficient diesel-powered big rig called Starship. The hand-built aerodynamic truck looks like a bullet and was developed and produced by Shell Rotella and Airflow Truck Co.

What stood out to Calhoun, whose job relates to technology and information, was the large number of companies representing telematics and data analytics at the meeting. The trucking industry is starting to grasp telematics and data analytics, and some examples of this at the annual meeting included technology that would not only show truck engine data to the driver but also information collected on the trailer related to issues or asset tracking.

“There’s a lot of cool technology that’s coming to the surface,” Calhoun said. “It’s an exciting time to be in our industry.”

The meeting included more than 600 people who attended for the first time, he said. A total of 4,728 people were registered for the event, including attendees from 10 countries and the United States.

“It was a very good meeting,” he said about the sold out event. “Very well attended.”