Truck News


Never tire of excellence

At the end of June, the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada held its most important event of the calendar - the Annual General Meeting and Conference. This is an educational forum that puts the focu...

At the end of June, the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada held its most important event of the calendar – the Annual General Meeting and Conference. This is an educational forum that puts the focus on the prime raison d’etre of the Council, that being sharing information among our members.

The seminar agenda for the conference was detailed in previous issues of Truck News and in PMTC publications but in case you missed them and were unable to attend, it’s worth giving a brief recap. Seminars included: Trucks & Terrorism, an explanation of how truck fleets can become unwitting carriers of illicit contraband and how fleet operators can protect themselves; a review of the work of the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council, in particular the newly published Guide to Human Resources for the Trucking Community, a valuable tool for fleets of all sizes; some very articulate and interesting speakers explaining programs their companies have undertaken to reduce the impact their truck fleets and logistics operations have on the environment; and a complete explanation of the technology that engine manufacturers will be using to meet the 2010 emissions standards.

This was a full day-and-a-half of knowledge-sharing and networking, and it’s difficult to imagine anywhere else that so much information could be obtained for such a small investment.

Along with the educational portion, attendees were treated to an Outlook on Trucking, a recap of recent significant events, survey results, and a cautious look at what the future might hold, all presented by Lou Smyrlis and James Menzies of this erstwhile publication.

Along with the educational forums, we like to highlight excellence and this year we had lots of opportunity to do that.

During the annual awards luncheon we celebrated the induction into the PMTC/CPC Logistics Hall of Fame for Professional Drivers of three individuals with outstanding driving records.

This year’s inductees were: Laverne Martin of Home Hardware Stores; George Barnes of Huron Services Group driving for Tona Transport; and Bruce Wilson of Global Driver Services driving for John Deere. (For more details, see pg. 64).

Collectively, these three professionals have amassed over 100 years and 10 million miles of safe driving!

And, along with their outstanding safety records these gentlemen represent a bit of an anomaly in today’s world of trucking.

They have had the same employer for 43, 37 and 24 years respectively. In an era where high rates of driver turnover are often an accepted cost of doing business, these are exceptional statistics.

It is refreshing to note that there are employers who treat their drivers so well that they don’t want to leave, and drivers who reciprocate that treatment with conscientious attention to their responsibilities.

Continuing the recognition of excellence, PMTC awarded two fleets with PMTC/Zurich Private Fleet Safety Awards.

These awards are given annually to fleets that have planned and implemented safety programs that deliver results.

The awards recognize safetyoriented efforts and consistency over time, the real indicator of success.

This year Pro Distribution Services took home an award in the small fleet category.

This fleet has operated for 25 years and has won this particular award four times in the past 11 years.

David Chambers, general manager, works closely with his team to ensure that the written safety policy and driver manuals are kept current and adhered to for the benefit of everyone involved with the fleet.

Their program includes regular safety meetings, CVOR reviews with drivers, and a mentoring program for all new drivers.

The result this year was a clean CVOR, and given that much of their travel is in the congestion of the Greater Toronto Area where there is plenty of opportunity to become involved in traffic mishaps, this is a significant achievement.

A second time winner in the large fleet category was Home Hardware Stores.

This familiar yellow fleet has operated for 44 years and accumulated over 16 million kilometres in the past year, servicing over 1,100 Home Hardware stores across Canada.

Home Hardware was among the first fleets to adopt the CSA’s Carrier Safety Management System, an extensive program that documents all phases of a carrier’s safety program, including the hiring of drivers, their orientation to the company, and monitoring ongoing performance.

Excellence in trucking comes in many forms and these PMTC awards are representative of two: driver performance and fleet safety.

Another area of excellence that is popular among private fleets is the PMTC’s Vehicle Graphics Design Awards, sponsored by 3M Canada for the past 23 years.

The popularity of the event is evidenced by the annual increase in the number of entries (another record was set this year) from all corners of Canada.

(To view some of the winners,

If you want to know more about these PMTC awards and the individuals and companies that help contribute to such a vibrant industry, take a moment and visit where you can visit the Hall of Fame and read about award winners in all categories. And make sure you join us in 2009 for the best conference in the private trucking community.

– The Private Motor Truck Council is the only national association dedicated to the private trucking community. Your comments or questions can be addressed to

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