Make time for HDAW

Have you marked the dates on your calendar yet? Have you penciled in your time at HDAW 2014?

Go ahead and check, I’ll wait here.

If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to get on it. January will be here before you know it and you don’t want to miss out on one of the best events in the aftermarket.

Scheduled for Jan. 27-30, 2014 at the Mirage, the upcoming HDAW 2014 event is shaping up to be another great week for the aftermarket.

I spent time at the HDAW 2014 planning meeting earlier this summer and was wowed by the process. The organizers of the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week dedicate a spectacular amount of time working to make January’s event the rewarding and influential experience it is for aftermarket businesses.

I think this year’s event is going to be one you don’t want to miss.

With a theme of “Driving Energy into the Industry’s Future,” the HDAW will feature multiple speakers and educational sessions detailing how energy sources are changing the world we live in.

The rapid acceleration of natural gas as an engine fuel will be addressed, as will the effect the more alternative-fueled trucks may have on your parts and service operation.

But HDAW won’t just look at energy as it relates to vehicle fuels; the convention also plans to provide valuable educational sessions to help aftermarket businesses see how they can take advantage of alternative energy sources to both run and grow their businesses.

I think that’s a great idea.

It’s easy to get caught up thinking about the new parts you need to stock if your best customer decides to purchase natural gas trucks — but alternative energy isn’t just a fuel issue. It could change the way you operate your entire business.

By looking at energy on a much broader scale, HDAW will be able to provide value to not just distributor attendees, but anyone who sits down in a session.

“This exceptional lineup will offer every participant — distributor, suppliers, fleets and OEs alike — takeaways for how to help drive more energy into the people, processes and products that make up our industry,” says Edward Neeley, HDAW co-chair and president of Truck Supply Co. of South Carolina.

Attending HDAW also will put you in position to attend several other valuable industry events.

The Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association will hold its Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue preceding HDAW’s opening reception on Monday, Jan. 27, and various other industry meetings and training sessions are scheduled for that date.

And once HDAW kicks off, there will be great networking events like the comprehensive trade show, luncheons, receptions and an improved feature — expanded one-on-one meeting options.

Spurred by attendee demand, HDAW has expanded its most popular segment to allow for more meetings with the hope that the added availability will ease scheduling concerns.

I think it will, and I think that’s just another great reason to make the trip.

For those of you who’ve never been, I encourage you to at least check out the schedule online at

HDAW is designed specifically for you, the aftermarket business leader.

The educational sessions will address situations you deal with in your business every day. The speakers and moderators will ask and answer the questions you want answered. The one-on-one sessions will allow you to speak directly with your suppliers about how to improve your business relationship.

I don’t think there are any other industry events that focus as exclusively on your business as this one. And it’s only four days.

Taking a week off might seem daunting today, but sometimes it helps to take a step back from the day-to-day and look into the future. The information you could bring home could be invaluable.

The casino winnings don’t hurt either.

After all, it is Las Vegas.

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