TORONTO, ON – A new maintenance conference has emerged as the successor to the venerable Canadian Fleet Maintenance Seminar (CFMS), which was cancelled this year. It would have been the 49th edition. A new event is planned for May 6, 2013, operated by a breakaway group of seven branches from the Automotive Transportation Service Superintendents Association (ATSSA).
The new body is called the Transportation Maintenance and Technology Association (TMTA).
This follows a difficult few months in which the ATSSA essentially fell apart, and with it the CFMS. An impasse was reached last December, as seven of the eight branch locations objected to control of the Seminar being held solely by the Toronto organization. Those seven – in Belleville, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Ottawa, Sudbury, and Windsor/Chatham – subsequently left the 80-year-old organization to pursue incorporation as the TMTA, in which each branch has an equal vote.
The ATSSA does remain but only with its Toronto branch.
Those other seven branches are operating in strong financial positions with good membership activity and on-going industry sponsorship support, says Jim Pinder, a long-time ATSSA member like his father before him. For many years he’s been a kingpin in the operation of the CFMS and will now play that role in organizing the TMTA conference next spring. In his other life Pinder is manager of Superior Propane’s Ontario fleet, based in Guelph.
Recognizing that there are limits to how well a group of volunteers can create and manage a conference, the TMTA has engaged Alsatian Tech Management to play that role. Led by executive director Don Moore, along with technical director Eddy Tschirhart and administration director Lynn Eden, this is the same group that runs the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association. And runs it well, by all accounts. The ink isn’t quite dry on the agreement but the deal will be done within days, we’re told.
Pinder is keen to say that the TMTA has a national view in the longer term, seeing the possibility to link up with other maintenance groups elsewhere in the country.
“We should be so much more than a regional outfit,” he told Today’s Trucking. “We need to have more structure. We need to be something that companies can partner with.”
He’s referring to the manufacturer and supplier community as well as other maintenance organizations.
For his part, Moore sees a bright future for the TNTA and particularly its maiden conference.
“This is an opportunity to move forward with something very positive,” he told us. ‘The really nice thing to see is the enthusiasm from all the branches to make this something special.”
Contact Jim Pinder at email@example.com or 519-780-5820. — R.L.