Important days for private trucking

by Bruce Richards

One of, if not the most important benefits of membership with the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada is the readily available opportunities that such membership provides to learn from experts in a wide variety of fields and from the practical experience and knowledge of fellow members.

While these learning opportunities are ongoing throughout the year, they culminate with the annual conference; the key event on the PMTC schedule.

Update your calendar now: June 19-20, Kingbridge Conference Centre, King City, Ont.

The absolute necessity of keeping up to date with changes, gathering new industry information, and learning about new products and services is paramount to serious professionals in this industry. When day-to-day activities seem to be so overwhelming, it’s understandable that some people feel that they simply don’t have time to take in conferences such as these, but that doesn’t change the fact that industry professionals recognize the importance of participating.

If you’re looking for reasons to take in your first PMTC conference, consider that those who make the time, return year after year – a testament to the value of the experience. Consider also that post-conference surveys of participants consistently provide very high ratings for the speakers, topics, exhibitors’ showcase, and venue.

It is the focal point of the year for private carriers and suppliers of products and services to those carriers – two days packed with valuable information and networking opportunities.

This year we return to the KingBridge Conference Centre, just north of the Toronto airport for the fourth year in a row. The venue is outstanding and its amenities and service are an important part of the success of our conferences – that’s why we’re going back.

Elsewhere in this magazine you will find the conference’s seminar agenda (see ad, pg. 30), which I’m sure you will agree, covers a wide variety of important topics. Along with the educational component, this conference provides the single best opportunity of the year to meet with industry colleagues and share experiences and information that will make your operations even better.

The 2013 line-up includes no less than seven seminars on topics chosen by your conference committee for their impact on fleet operators. We will begin by learning how the newly formed Trucking Human Resources Canada will help the Canadian trucking community deal with its myriad human resources concerns and issues. The organization’s goals and current activities will be discussed and attendees will have the opportunity to raise issues of their own for further exploration.

Additional seminars on that first day include a review of the CCMTA study entitled Addressing Human Factors in the Motor Carrier Industry. This study identified a number of specific factors that lead to crashes and delivered recommendations for dealing with them effectively. Human error is responsible for more crashes than mechanical failure and as fleet operators it’s important to understand those errors and how to mitigate them effectively.

We will also address how to identify potentially high-risk drivers at the hiring stage, and look at some of the available tools for identifying driver behaviour that could lead to collisions.

And, one of the most popular sessions will see a panel of private fleet managers discuss their best programs for driver selection, training, monitoring, and rewarding – all valuable tools for hiring and retaining the right drivers for your fleet.

Day one also includes networking and receptions in the Conference Exhibitors’ Showcase and of course the inductions into the Hall of Fame for Professional Drivers and the Private Fleet Safety Awards.

And this year we are pleased to present a very special guest speaker.

Meg Soper, one of Canada’s leading motivational humourists will use her experience as a registered nurse in the operating room, comedienne, wife, and mother of two teenagers to deliver a unique presentation filled with humorous anecdotes and stress-busting strategies for everyday living.

Meg offers strategies for improved communication and life balance with the knock-out punch of comedy. While Meg’s emergence as a premiere motivational humourist was influenced by her ability to make people laugh, it was working in the pressurized environment of hospital operating rooms that she realized how humour could help people better communicate and deal with stressful situations.

Day two begins with a review of the programs available from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA). IHSA is a well-known provider of information, training, and education for the transportation sector and many of their programs will be of interest to the private trucking community.

That seminar will be followed by a presentation from Natural Resources Canada’s FleetSmart group.

We then conclude the seminar with a presentation from Transport Canada’s ecoTechnology group. This group conducts a good deal of behind-the-scenes research that yields valuable information for fleet operators, and we will see an overview of their activities and their product testing program that most fleet operators are unaware of. And of course we will be distributing the PMTC annual vehicle graphics design awards – always a highlight of the conference. You don’t even need to be a PMTC member to attend. We’re in the education business – come on out and get some.

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