From the Managing Editor - March - 2016

ATRA and TCRA: Two Sides of the Same Coin

On April 15 and 16, 2016, I’ll be out of the office: I’ll be in Seattle, Washington, attending the Torque Converter Rebuilders Association (TCRA) seminar and industry meeting, to take part in their program and deliver a presentation. I’ll be joined by ATRA Senior Technical Specialist Mike Souza, who’s going to discuss the wide and varied conditions that somehow always seem to get blamed on the torque converter, even though they generally have nothing whatever to do with the converter itself.

On April 15 and 16, 2016, I’ll be out of the office: I’ll be in Seattle, Washington, attending the Torque Converter Rebuilders Association (TCRA) seminar and industry meeting, to take part in their program and deliver a presentation.

I’ll be joined by ATRA Senior Technical Specialist Mike Souza, who’s going to discuss the wide and varied conditions that somehow always seem to get blamed on the torque converter, even though they generally have nothing whatever to do with the converter itself.

That’s good to know, but it leads to one unavoidable question: Why would the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) be taking such a significant role in TCRA’s annual industry event? It’s an entirely different business association.

The answer is simple… and kind of obvious when you think about it: ATRA and TCRA are two sides of the same coin. They go hand in hand, like chocolate and peanut butter… bacon and eggs… burgers and fries. (Now I’m hungry; isn’t it about time for lunch?)

But seriously, there are no two industries that are more closely tied to one another than automatic transmission and torque converter repair. We depend on one another; we’re the definition of synergy: Two groups that are stronger together than they are on their own.

And that goes the other way, too: If one of us fails, it’s sure to bring us both down in the process. Ask any transmission technician who’s had a rebuild get towed back in because of a faulty converter. Or a converter rebuilder who ended up eating a converter because the transmission technician was a little careless about flushing a cooler.

No doubt about it: We need each other to succeed if we’re both going to survive. So it only makes sense that ATRA and GEARS would support TCRA in its goals to help provide better information and support to the torque converter rebuilding industry. And it’s to all our benefits to get as many people as possible to attend this year’s TCRA seminar program. Complete details on this year’s event begin on page 40.

We’ve even found a transmission shop that also rebuilds torque converters to be profiled in this issue: check out the article on Baker’s Transmission Service on page 50. Marc Baker, the shop’s owner, also owns and operates Accelerated Torque Converters and Drive Line Service at his Grand Junction, Colorado shop, making him a complete, one-stop, drivetrain service center, all under one roof.

It’s easy to see how valuable it’d be for torque converter shops to be represented at the Seattle event. But don’t forget how important torque converter operation is to you. The torque converter is an integral part of your business, so it may well be worth your while to send someone out to see what you can discover at the seminars.

All that great tech and business support isn’t enough to get you to head out to Seattle? Then how’s this: On Friday, we’re all going to take a tour of the Boeing plant; the largest building in the world (by volume). This is where they build the big boys: 747s, 767s, 777s, and the 787 Dreamliners. Absolutely nothing whatever to do with torque converters… but it should make for an exciting day.

Of course, as informative as it would be to attend the TCRA event, consider how valuable it would be to become a TCRA Member. Membership provides you with a number of benefits: You’ll get their regular newsletter delivered to your door, have access to their online bulletins, and receive special discounts for attending their seminar programs.

But maybe most important of all is being able to receive information from another area of the industry, with tips and support to help you get your transmissions out on the road… and keep them there. This is what ATRA has been about since its inception in 1954. And it’s why ATRA supports TCRA in its ongoing endeavors to provide better torque converters and torque converter information to our industries.

ATRA and TCRA: Two great associations that work great together… like bacon and eggs… pastrami on rye… hotdogs and beans… ya know what? I’m going to lunch!