Mark Mustard responds to: Why should I join the TCRA?
I would like to take a minute of your time to tell you why I have been a member of TCRA for eight plus years.
Number one and foremost: the seminars. Every one I have been to I feel like I have learned something that, to me, paid for the trip. There is so much information to learn, and you can get it there by talking to others in the industry and listening to the speakers from GM, Chrysler and Ford. The hands-on tours help you learn what other people are using, including equipment, gasses to check for run out, how they cut a captive clutch, etc. You can get all this, and more.
Number two: the newsletters. You get one every month with membership, and they include different topics about torque converters with ads for equipment and sponsors. Three: the web site. You also have access to TCRA online were you can get so much more information. Since it is updated weekly, we are looking into having a question forum were you can ask questions that will be sent to all the board members. With such ease, we will be able to e-mail or phone to help you. We are also looking into putting up videos that might be helpful to the industry. I hope this will be helpful in making your decision to becoming TCRA‘s 100th member. If you have any questions, I, or one of the board members, would be happy to help you.
Mark Mustard, Branting Industries
– October 2006
Martin Brooks: Indianapolis and what it meant
Over the last 16 years I have been fortunate to attend many seminars in the USA mainly the Expo in Las Vegas. This year I joined the Torque Converter Rebuilders Association and decided that I would attend the seminar in Indianapolis. As probably the attendee that travelled the furthest to the event I thought that I would put some of the benefits that I have found by attending.
First some background on me. I own two small shops in Christchurch New Zealand; we are mainly a transmission shop although we do have a small converter rebuilding operation. Our main focus is on our own requirements at this stage although we do have some outside accounts. Obviously the cost of attending this type of event is considerable when you take into account the travel costs, the accommodation costs and the actual cost of the event itself. So what is the payback?
For me the seminars are always useful, I really don’t think I have ever sat in a seminar room and not learnt something. There is always at least one comment or piece of information that I can take away. In this case the Raybestos visit was worth the trip all on its own, to see what goes into developing and manufacturing that $3.00 transmission clutch plate was an eye opening experience.
But the main payback for me is the contacts and networking opportunities that arise from this type of event. It is nice to have that feeling that there are others that are facing the same issues day to day as I am and that there is a backup for me to ask questions and get help on the problems that we all face.
I came back from Indianapolis with a new enthusiasm for the business; I have started to make major changes to the way that we do things. We have not had an issue with our quality but we are now looking to improve what we do. We are experimenting with gases and wire, we are looking at our checking and rechecking procedures and we are reorganising the whole converter shop.
It is easy to sit back and just let things run as they are with the attitude “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” but with the advances in transmission technology along with converter technology I feel it is important to keep up with the industry and attend this type of event. I certainly hope to be attending future events and if you are one of the people that say they are just too busy to attend then I encourage you to think again and attend. I hope to see you there!!!