Fleet Forum

MATS Fleet Forum is a conference for fleet executives and Heavy Duty/Commercial Vehicle industry VIPs. The forum will combine the resources and expertise of trucking’s two major publications (Fleet Owner & Heavy Duty Trucking) and the largest trade show, to provide an in-depth look at the future of equipment and trucking.

Fleet Forum

March 30, 2016

Wednesday11AM - 6PM


The forum will take place in the South Wing Conference Room C203.

Register To Attend

Register Here

Questions? Contact Exhibit Management Associates at 502.899.3892


11:30 AM

Doors Open

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Presentation by Eric Starks, President, FTR

Transportation and economic expert Eric Starks will provide an economic outlook for 2016 and address questions.

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM


2:15 PM - 3:40 PM

The Connected Truck

Moderated by Jim Mele, Fleet Owner

Today’s truck is always connected, always part of multiple networks that are beginning to radically change the trucking industry from top to bottom. This panel of experts representing truck makers, safety system developers, information technologists and fleet executives will explore the unexpected ways connecting trucks is rapidly changing equipment designs, maintenance practices, freight distribution, customer relationships, fleet productivity and even the lives of drivers. Learn how to best exploit all the new capabilities of your connected truck.

3:40 PM - 3:50 PM


3:50 PM - 5:15 PM

How HDT’s Truck Fleet Innovators Overcome Tomorrow’s Challenges

Moderated by Jim Park, Equipment Editor, HDT

Succeeding and prospering in today's trucking environment takes more than traditional trucking and business skills. Hear from some of the most innovative fleet leaders in the industry with this panel lineup of HDT's 2016 Truck Fleet Innovator award honorees, on topics like:

  • • Smart ways to create capacity
  • • Getting and keeping the best drivers
  • • Innovative equipment spec'ing and maintenance practices
  • • Diversifying the business
  • • Using sustainability to your advantage

5:15 PM - 6:00 PM

Cocktail Reception

Forum concludes with a reception to meet the panelists and network with attendees and sponsors.

2016 Speakers

Eric Starks President FTR Transportation Intelligence

Eric Starks is the President of FTR, the industry leader in freight transportation forecasting. Eric has spent his entire career in the freight transportation sector and is a leading researcher in freight modal share analysis and forecasting. His background includes research in both rail and truck freight movements and asset equipment purchases. He currently is one of the premier industry forecasters on transportation equipment demand for rail cars, commercial trucks and trailers. All of the agency's safety initiatives over the past four years reflect her strong commitment to saving lives by reducing large truck and bus crashes, injuries and fatalities. Eric is a frequent speaker at Wall Street analyst meetings, association events, and private meetings.
He has a unique ability in communicating to his audiences how the economy, logistics, freight, and equipment demand impacts their respective business. He is also an active member of the transportation community and is privileged to sit on the Board of Directors for the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL). Eric holds a BS in Finance from Indiana University and is married and resides in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife Shannon and four children (all boys) who keep them busy. As an avid athlete he enjoys participating in endurance sporting events that include swimming, biking and running. His most recent pursuit being a 1/2 Ironman triathlon.

Jim Mele Editor-in-chief Fleet Owner Magazine - Penton Media

Nationally recognized journalist, author and editor, Jim Mele joined Fleet Owner in 1986 with over a dozen years’ experience covering transportation as a newspaper reporter and magazine staff writer. Fleet Owner Magazine has won over 45 national editorial awards since his appointment as editor-in-chief in 1999. He spearheaded the magazine’s move to online media in 1995, and continues to expand its digital footprint with an evolving web presence, mobile applications, webinars, online commerce, virtual events and other new media projects.
In 2009, he was responsible for the successful redesign and re-launch of American Trucker as a full-featured editorial product. Mele holds a masters degree in creative writing from City College of New York and has authored four collections of poetry and a book on the science fiction of Isaac Asimov, as well a numerous essays, reviews and critical studies for national magazines and anthologies.

Jim Park Equipment Editor HDT Magazine - Bobit Business Media

A truck driver and owner-operator for 20 years before becoming a trucking journalist in 1998, Park maintains his CDL and brings a real-world perspective to his writing. He puts that perspective to work on Test Drives, his “On the Road” blog on Truckinginfo.com, and in-depth coverage of equipment spec’ing and maintenance, driver issues and more. His monthly Tires & Wheels department and semi-monthly Tires & Wheels e-newsletter are widely respected.
His work has garnered nine Jesse H. Neal honors as well as other awards. With trucking radio experience as well, Park offers a conversational tone as moderator of the HDT Truck Fleet Innovators panels.