It’s been a few weeks since the 2018 TCRA event, the preeminent training and meeting program for the torque converter professional. This year’s event took place in Florida, at the Weston Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village, April 20-21, 2018. And, according to those who made it a point to take part, it was a rousing success.
The event began with a guided tour of the Florida Torque Converter factory. Attendees got a taste of every facet of one of the most successful torque converter rebuilding facilities in the world.
Afterward, Larry St Amand, the owner of Florida Torque Converter, had everyone bussed over to his ranch for a barbecue lunch, an event catered by Bangin’ Dave’s BBQ. There was brisket, ribs, chicken… everything for the discerning barbecue connoisseur.
Afterward, everyone headed back to the hotel. Most traveled back the way they came: by bus. But a lucky few got a special ride back: Larry and Marcin got their powerboats out and took a few folks back over the waterways.
Upon returning to the hotel, they held the TCRA member’s meeting, which was followed by a reception hosted by Sonnax. This was where attendees could meet up with the movers and shakers of the torque converter industry, and make new contacts that will probably follow them for the rest of their lives.
Saturday morning began the training seminars, presented by a who’s who of industry professionals. The day began with ATRA’s own Rodger Bland, who spoke about the importance of great leadership for the torque converter industry.
He was followed by Caleb Haven, who introduced some productivity improvements that you could see using metal-core welding wire. Victor Roses spoke about late-model GM converters. He was followed by Mike Cargill, who offered two programs: one on what we can expect over the next 10 years, and a second offering rebuilding tips and tricks.
Mike Souza came next with his view on the industry’s future. Bobby Mace followed him with the results of his poll of retail converter shop owners. And Bob Warnke closed out the training program with tips for isolating converter problems.
It was a fast moving weekend with different and exciting events packed head to head. And the one thing everyone could easily agree on was that it was a worthwhile experience, one where they learned what to expect in the days ahead, and how to address the latest torque converter problems.
So far, there’s no firm decision on where next year’s TCRA event will take place, but you can be sure it’ll be an exciting and worthwhile program. Keep your eyes peeled for late-breaking updates, and mark your calendar early for the 2019 TCRA program.