700th Tech Talk with TMC!
by guest blogger, Robert Braswell, Executive Director of the Technology & Maintenance Council
This week "Tech Talk with TMC” marks its 700th episode as a segment on “The Dave Nemo Show.” What a ride it’s been! Our partnership with Dave has allowed the Technology & Maintenance Council — that’s what TMC stands for — to reach millions of drivers, providing top-notch information from the industry’s best technical experts. And on behalf of TMC, let me say we have enjoyed every minute of it. We started riding shotgun with Dave Nemo in September 2004 when the Nemo studios were in Nashville and TMC happened to be holding a fall meeting nearby. I was invited to appear on the show by Dave through mutual acquaintances Al Cohn, Mike Beckett, and John Hawker — all of whom were TMC members and had also been on the air with Dave already. I spent a morning with my then General Chairman Dave Rehurek co-hosting with Dave, talking technology (new emission engines were a real hot topic) and taking listeners' calls. We were hooked. The callers were fantastic and we were happy to reach a new audience that could not attend TMC meetings and benefit from the information we were producing. Less than a year later, Dave invited us to become a regular recurring feature, starting June 14, 2005. The rest, as they say, is history. In that time, so much has happened to our industry, especially when it comes to maintenance and technology, and we’ve had a parade of top-notch experts to share their knowledge with Dave’s loyal listening audience. And the listeners always give us a lot to think about and take back to TMC too, helping us refine the recommended practices we develop to improve equipment, its maintenance, and maintenance management. We’ve covered just about every topic I can think of on the show, but my show log tells me tires, brake cooling systems and lighting/electrical issues were the most covered and most popular. My favorite shows have been our “general maintenance” open forums where we take your calls on what’s important to you, the American Trucker. And I take particular pride in knowing we’ve tried our best to present useful information in a non-commercial, non-biased, apolitical way. Looking back, I wouldn’t have been able to do the show without all the great guests we’ve had on the programs, nearly all seasoned TMC members, some of whom are the recipients of the Council’s highest honor, The Silver Spark Plug. If there is one commonality among all of our guests, I’d say it is a shared sense of being happy to share their information to the folks that keep America moving. Our 700th show will feature "Tech Talk" veteran Darry Stuart, but so many others have graced us with their presence. It's impossible for me to thank them all individually, but names like Peggy Fisher, Tom Cuthbertson, and Dave Walters, immediately come to mind. And I think of those we’ve lost since our show began that were frequent guests, such as Brad Van Riper (our very first guest) and “Uncle” Darrell Hicks. They truly loved doing the show and conversing with our listeners. Most of all, I have to thank Dave Nemo, Michael Burns and all the folks at RadioNemo for allowing me the chance to visit with their listeners each and every week. From first show onward, they’ve made me and the TMC member guests feel welcome, special and appreciated, on what they tell me is the longest running segment in Dave Nemo history. And that’s pretty neat, given Dave’s been doing this since 1972! In closing, I must say I look forward to our 700th show, and hopefully many more afterwards. There’s certainly no shortage of information to share, and with the way our industry constantly keeps changing, the need to share the knowledge our guests bring to the table certainly will only grow in the years to come. So if you’ve got a long stretch of road to travel, and it’s a Tuesday at 10am ET (9am CT), hang out with us for a while on the RoadDog Channel 146 for "Tech Talk With TMC." It’s our pleasure to serve you. Robert Braswell TMC Executive Director