Two owner-operators, one very big impact
If you think one team of owner-operators can’t make a difference, you haven’t met the Swigers.

OOIDA members Mike and Gail Swiger, West Allis, WI, are also members of the Technology and Maintenance Council. When they started attending the annual meeting and equipment exhibit of what was then The Maintenance Council in the early ’90s, they found fleet maintenance executives and industry suppliers seeking their advice on the drivers’ perspective.

Soon, they started attending two, and then all three meetings each year, participating in many of the task forces formed to solve specific problems.

When Gail asked about windshield repair and replacement procedures, she found there were no trucking industry standards. Soon she was chairwoman of her own task force, recruiting industry experts to create what was needed. Meanwhile, Mike, whose hobby is building and programming computers, became active in other task forces.

Two years ago, Gail was asked to become first vice chairwoman of the Cab and Controls Study Group, the one most involved with driver concerns.

At the 2003 TMC Annual Meeting, March 10-14, Gail was elected chairwoman of that study group when her predecessor was elected to the board of directors. And, when a vacancy appeared on the technology side, Mike was elected to chair the Automated Data Entry Study Group.

Mike and Gail Swiger are truckdrivers who are making a difference. They are affecting the way the trucking industry solves its maintenance and information problems. They took advantage of opportunities as they were presented and had their efforts recognized.

If you don’t think you can have a voice, just ask Gail and Mike.

—by Paul Abelson, technical editor