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Serving Your Needs

By on September 1, 2017
HomerHogg

Technology Requires Continual Training

by: Homer Hogg,  MANAGER OF TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT for TA and Petro

Special thanks to all who read this column, listen to Maintenance Matters on the Dave Nemo Show, call in to provide information or ask questions, and just generally provide support. I would be remiss if I also didn’t thank TravelCenters of America and TA Truck Service for supporting Maintenance Matters and the industry that I’ve known and loved for almost 36 years.

Growing up on a dairy farm, I developed a wealth of experience working on all types of equipment. My dad was a truck driver who provided many opportunities for me to learn how to repair trucks, ag tractors, combines and much more. After graduating from Nashville Auto Diesel College, I joined Ryder as a mechanic, working my way up to Director of Maintenance with responsibility for training, diagnostics, and all maintenance and repair literature. Almost 36 years after starting in the trucking industry as a paid technician, I am humbled to continue serving all TA-Petro customers and helping anyone else along the way, as Manager of Technical Development.

My goal, quite simply, is to assist others who need to establish or improve their maintenance programs. This includes the one-truck owner operator to small and medium fleets and those responsible for fleets numbering in the tens of thousands.

Keeping Pace with Innovations

While modern trucks have become very complex, we can evolve with the technology by continuing to work together. Collision avoidance systems, sophisticated telematics, and autonomous technology are just a few of the sophisticated technologies that will quickly become parts of everyday professional life for truckers and technicians alike.

As I work to enhance the skills of technicians, not only at TA-Petro, but in the industry, I’m well prepared for the magnitude of the work ahead. Not only are we seeing a rapid increase in on-board computer systems, but virtual diagnostics are becoming the norm. Not too long ago, hooking up diagnostic equipment and running troubleshooting routines were considered difficult. Now while a truck is running down the road, technicians are called upon to analyze trouble codes and live-systems data to determine if the vehicle can continue its route or must be diverted immediately to a qualified servicing facility.

Training techniques are quickly changing to keep pace. Many trucking-industry training organizations are starting to use a “YouTube” style learning system in order to provide technicians with just-in-time information and training. This trend will continue, and we believe sophisticated training materials will be inserted directly into service literature.

The times are both exciting and challenging. I can’t wait to see what’s next. Stay tuned to Dave Nemo’s Maintenance Matters show. We will continue working hard to bring you relevant information that will help you make good maintenance decisions and keep your truck or trucks on the road.

Homer Hogg’s Maintenance Matters airs on the Dave Nemo Show (Road Dog Trucking, SiriusXM 146), 8 a.m. ET, the first and third Thursdays of each month.

Homer Hogg, Manager of Technical Development for TA and Petro, has worked as a truck technician for more than 35 years. He is ASE Master-Certified, a Daimler Certified Trainer, and a member of the Nashville Auto-Diesel College Hall of Fame.

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