The keynote speaker may have had to bow out at the last minute, and rain forced the opening reception indoors, but that didn’t dampen the 71st annual convention of the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association.

Once the initial storm clouds passed over and CR England’s Dan England filled in admirably for the ailing president of the American Trucking Associations, it was clear sailing for TTMA and its members at a waterfront venue in Point Clear, Alabama.

Attendance once again topped year-earlier levels as the industry continued to strengthen. The event attracted 431 people, including 63 who were there for the first time.

Highlights of the convention included the annual trailer forecast. (Yes, production lines will need to roll a little faster this year and next, according to Eric Starks with FTR Associates.) A panel of some of North America’s leading truck fleets talked about the industry from a customer’s perspective. And speaker Todd Dodge kept the crowd’s attention with his distinct way of viewing life.

Andy Tanner, president of Talbert Manufacturing in Rensselaer, Indiana, is the new chairman of the association. He assumes the position from Grant Smith with West-Mark, a diversified manufacturer based in Ceres, California.

Leading the TTMA in 2013-2014:

Chairman of the Board: Andy Tanner,  Talbert Manufacturing

Vice Chairman of the Board: Dick Giromini,  Wabash National Corp

President: Jeffrey Sims,  TTMA

Treasurer: Menno Eby,  M.H. Eby, Inc.

Chairman Policy Committee: Glenn Harney,  Hyundai Translead

Vice Chairman Policy Committee: Grant Smith,  West-Mark

Chairman, TTMA Convention Committee: Dick Giromini,  Wabash National Corp

Vice Chairman, Convention Committee: Dan Giles, Fontaine Trailer

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