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Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week organizers report a record crowd of more than 2,500 distributors and suppliers attended HDAW 2019.

HDAW sets attendance record at 14th annual conference

Organizers of Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) said more than 1,800 suppliers and 680 distributor executives attended the 14th edition of the heavy-duty independent aftermarket conference in a record-breaking turnout.

Exhibitor spaces for the HDAW Product Expo sold out in less than a month, resulting in a long waiting list, organizers said, and 1,524 one-on-one meetings occurred during the four-day event at The Mirage in Las Vegas NV.

“The buzz during HDAW 2019 was loud throughout the week, and the attendance numbers support the feeling of excitement felt during the elements of the conference,” said Brett Penzkofer, vice president of North American aftermarket at Meritor and HDAW ’19 supplier co-chair. “The independent aftermarket came together for a tremendous week of camaraderie, and it was great to be a part of this record setting year.

“The Product Expo halls were full of activity as suppliers launched new products, technology, and programs into the aftermarket, connecting the independent distributor to their futures.”

Nearly 1,200 people attended the opening general session to listen to keynote speaker Daniel Burrus, a futurist who presented “The Anticipatory Organization: A Proven Model to Predict Change & Create Extraordinary Results.” The session demonstrated how to understand and adapt to trends, predicting disruptions before they disrupt, and how to pay close attention to emerging opportunities so organizations can quickly capitalize on them.

Afterward, Burrus was joined on stage by Sam Schmitt, an Indy car team owner and driver, to discuss the impact of disruptive technologies in motor vehicles in his life and how he used new technology to overcome his disability and drive a vehicle after a catastrophic test racing accident in 2000.

“In one week, we learned to embrace technology and the benefits of using it in our businesses, finding and retaining the right people for our organizations and understanding what the independent distributor will need to know to prepare for the increasing technology on the vehicles our customers will be driving,” said Ian Johnston, vice president of sales and marketing at Harman HVS and HDAW ’19 distributor co-chair.

“The record number of distributor attendees at HDAW this year shows us that there is an interest in understanding what impact technology will have on their businesses, both on the trucks and in our back offices.”

CRW Parts was named the 2018 Distributor of the Year. Dave Willis, CRW’s president, accepted the award, which was sponsored by Meritor, Minimizer, Interstate Billing Service and Karmak.


CRW Parts was named 2018 Distributor of the Year at HDAW 2019.

John Minor, Midwest Wheel president and CEO, received the 11th Heavy Duty Aftermarket Industry Hall of Fame award sponsored by Fleet Owner. Bob Phillips, CEO of Phillips Industries, was on hand to present the award, which recognizes the significant contributions and altruistic service of an industry leader.

John Minor, president and CEO of Midwest Wheel, received the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Industry Hall of Fame award.


HDAW provided education workshops covering topics on technology, products, customers and people; and more than 100 young leaders in the independent heavy-duty aftermarket attended The Leaders of Tomorrow (L.O.T.) Reception held immediately before the opening All-Industry Welcome Reception, organizers said.

HDAW also hosted the second Distributor Product Sales Training on the Product Expo floor. More than 100 distributors from 63 companies participated in the training offered by ATRO Engineered Systems, Automann USA, ConMet, Dana Incorporated, Dayton Parts, Eaton, Kit Masters, Meritor, Phillips Industries, SAF-HOLLAND and TECTRAN.
The 2019 closing All-Industry Reception/CVSN Pinewood Challenge, sponsored by Minimizer, included 28 race participants. The CVSN Pinewood Challenge is the annual racing event for unpowered, unmanned miniature trucks and trailers that mimics pine-car derby races commonly seen during Boy Scouts of America events.

Pinewood contestants received awards for first, second and third place, and for the best looking and best designed trucks.

Winners of the Pinewood Challenge included:

  • 1st place—Dorman Products, Dorman Diablo
  • 2nd place—Automann, Giddy Up Go
  • 3rd place—Pascale Service Corp, PSC2

Winners of the Concours d’Elegance included:

  • 1st place—Baldwin Filters, BF Bullet
  • 2nd place—Phillips Industries, Velos One
  • 3rd place—Wheeler Brothers, The Goat
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