ECM Team
Recorder History
Contact Us

About Us

Background of the "Black Box:"

Detroit Diesel being the first engine manufacturer of the new generation of engine electronic controls presented an opportunity to the fleet manager. He was now able to electronically control new engine functions, such as speed, engine rpms, fan temperature setting and a host of other management functions. Although from the EPA there was word of fuel economy concerns and emissions issues, the engine could not achieve government mandated levels without electronics.

The advent of the “Black Box” appeared. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) goals were to sell additional engines, and the Penske pioneers continued in a “think tank” mode to offer additional compiled data now gathered from numerous sensors and interpreted through computer programming.

How about offering “Data Pages” or “Driver Performance Information?” Can we sell it to our customers? In order to sell the technology the OEMs have created tools such as the Detroit Diesel DDEC III and with further enhancements came DDEC IV and now DDEC V. With the DDEC IV came the last hard brake and last stop information. DDEC III was capable of collecting this type of information but only as an option. And then it had to be purchased and then turned on. What a great way to capture accident information! The other OEMs followed with some form of similar data collection device.

Attorneys became excited about the “Black Box.” Fleet safety managers found excitement in new avenues for accident investigation and driver controls.

Black Box Extraction – The ECM Team

In 2000 Detroit Diesel, corporately made a decision to outsource this service. They wanted to remove themselves from the liability loop, although not completely out of the loop, certainly as far away as they could get. At the same time the corporate support staff and the sales force was being downsized because of the lack of sales. The dealers sales people needed to become more productive and spend time selling and not hooking up their computer for the shop.

Detroit trained and certified the ECM Team, although they had years of fleet experience in general downloading, it was certified training and the passing of the torch. Detroit in 2001 certified the ECM Team and notified all of the Detroit Diesel dealers and vehicle manufacturer dealers, that Detroit Diesel would not be offering that service corporately. They strongly suggested that they outsource with the same intent, to remove themselves from the liability and litigation, as their primary business was to sell engines, trucks and repairs, not spend time in court.

As a group we are able to ensure a quick response and can supervise the securing of downloaded information in a proper legal fashion. We act in a non-bias position, providing a professional data extraction service. We represent the combined experiences of over 100 years of fleet maintenance, management and customer service. We provide conclusive directional information for both plaintiff and defense teams.

The ECM Team, established March 1, 2000

Jack Mears, President, Jack Mears & Associates

Internationally recognized as a leader in organizing fleet transportation.

42+ years of industry background.

Knowledgeable in equipment engineering, specifications, maintenance, operations, forecasting, purchasing and leasing.

He was Vice President of Maintenance for Red Ball Motor Freight, Inc., Director of Maintenance, Mid American Lines and Automotive Fleet Engineer for Michigan Bell Telephone Co.

Other industrial experience includes Assistant to Vice President of Maintenance, Roadway Express and City Manager for Hertz Truck Rental.

University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL - B.S. in Industrial Engineering and MBA in Marketing/Management.


"We want to thank you for the help in being victorious in this $80 million dollar legal case. We needed your expertise in the Fleet Maintenance Management area."
Perry Wilson/ Mike Emerson, Barber, McCaskill, Jones & Hale, P.A.


Copyright © All Rights Reserved.