<< Back
Four Honored with Silver Spark Plug


Contact: Marsh Galloway

February 16, 2015



Four Honored with Silver Spark Plug

TMC’s Highest Honor Recognizes Outstanding Contributions to Industry


Nashville, Tenn. – Today, American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council honored four members with its highest honor – the Silver Spark Plug.


“The Silver Spark Plug recognizes individuals in our industry who are making outstanding contributions to the improvement of equipment, maintenance, industry-related technology and management practices,” said Carl Kirk, ATA vice president of maintenance, information technology & logistics and TMC executive director. “The talent and dedication of these members help make our council a premier organization in supporting the trucking industry.”


This year’s honorees are:


·         Rob Nissen, national service manager, SAF-Holland USA, Muskegon, Mich.;

·         Glen McDonald, director of maintenance, Ozark Motor Lines, Memphis, Tenn.;

·         George Arrants, program director for national training & recruitment, WheelTime Network, Lake Jackson, Texas; and

·         Brian Mandt, engineering manager, Donaldson Co., Bloomington, Minn.


“These individuals are tremendous practitioners and have all been leaders in our industry,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “It is through their hard work, and the hard work of thousands like them, we are doing more than ever before to support an essential industry that is quite literally the lifeblood of America.”


“These Silver Spark Plug recipients represent the best of our council in their commitment to improved engineering and maintenance standards through the development of TMC recommended practices,” said TMC General Chairman Dan Umphress, vice president for maintenance and fleet services, A & R Logistics, Morris, Ill.


Silver Spark Plug Winners


Nissen, a TMC member since 1994, has been active in the S.6 Chassis and Brake Systems and S.7 Trailers, Bodies and Material Handling Study Groups, chairing numerous task forces and serving as a moderator or panelist for technical sessions. He assisted in the development of several TMC recommend practices on topics that include proper fifth-wheel installation, wheel-end maintenance, upper coupler and kingpin maintenance, air ride maintenance, rear suspension inspection, ride height adjustment, trailer axle maintenance, and hooking up double trailers. He also serves on the Mentor and Member Contact Committees.


McDonald, a TMC member since 2004, was active in the leadership of the S.5 Fleet Maintenance Management Study Group as task force chairman, first vice chairman and then chairman before becoming a director at large on the TMC Board of directors in 2012. He has served as a moderator or panelist for numerous technical sessions. McDonald is also active in the Tennessee Trucking Association having chaired the West Tennessee Maintenance Council, State Steering Committee and Technician Skills Competition. He was recognized as the 2012 Maintenance Professional of the Year. 


Arrants, a TMC member since 2005, has served as contest chairman of the National Technician Skills Competition — TMCSuperTech — since its inaugural year in 2005, and has recently spearheaded the effort to expand the competition to include student technicians. He has led several task forces in the Professional Technician Development Committee and is active in TMC’s new Educator Committee, chairing the Increasing Educator Involvement Task Force. He has served as a panelist on educational sessions related to TMC’s technician efforts at TMC and other industry events during the past 10 years. 


Mandt, a TMC member since 2008, serves as the study group secretary and task force chairman for the S.3 Engine Study Group. He continues to contribute preparation for technical sessions, including a fleet fuel survey in advance of the 2015 Fall Meeting. He received the Study Group Secretary Award in 2012 for his outstanding contributions to the Future Truck Committee, and provides assistance to TMC’s Sergeant-at-Arms and Meeting Mechanics groups.


TMC is America's premier technical society for truck equipment technology and maintenance professionals. TMC features a diverse membership of equipment managers, service-dealers, owner-operators, industry suppliers and manufacturers, educators, academia and others that support the trucking industry. TMC member fleets represent the broad range of industry vocations, including truckload, less-than-truckload, municipal, private, on/off-highway, construction and other operations. Find out more about TMC online at http://tmc.trucking.org.


American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward