Private fleet professionals gather

by Bruce Richards

The 2014 annual conference of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada took place in June, and once again proved itself to be the single best educational and networking forum for the private trucking community.

This year’s seminars, all led by knowledgeable and professional speakers, continued the tradition of providing fast-paced, yet in-depth, learning opportunities on timely and important topics for private carriers and their suppliers. 

In addition to the seminars, the learning continued with receptions in our Exhibitors’ Showcase. Each year this mini trade show gives participants the opportunity to view and discuss products and services with suppliers in a relaxed, congenial atmosphere.

PMTC members will agree that one of the most important benefits derived from their membership is the opportunity to learn and to share information and ideas with other fleet operators. This conference provides those opportunities. 

One of the most important features of the conference continues to be the celebration of excellence, both personal and corporate, in the world of private trucking.

The induction into the PMTC Hall of Fame for Professional Drivers, sponsored by Huron Services Group, is one such opportunity. The competition to be inducted is fierce as the number of inductees each year is limited. Limiting the number of inductees ensures that those who receive the honour are truly the best of the best. And given the number of exceptional drivers in PMTC member fleets those that are inducted are truly at the top of their game.

This year the committee selected two drivers for the Hall of Fame. 

Tony Young who drives for the TDL Group, (who we all know as Tim Hortons) was one of the 2014 inductees. Tony has recorded 25 years of accident-free driving during his career, the most recent 16 of which have been with Tim Hortons. Tony is not only a safe driver but is actively involved with company events. He volunteers to help organize family days as well as the annual truck driver rodeo, and he has been a member of the drivers’ committee for 10 years. He is a certified company driver trainer and is extensively involved in the training of new-hires along with any remedial training that may be required.

Allan Cresine, who drives for Home Hardware Stores Limited, was the second inductee to the Hall of Fame for 2014. Allan has been with Home Hardware since 1980 and has logged over 3.5 million kilometres without a preventable accident. He is a member of the company’s driver safety committee and is actively involved with defensive driving seminars and driver training. 

Bob Boyich, vice-president of CPC Logistics, the parent corporation of Huron Services who co-sponsor the Hall of Fame, put these driving records in context: he pointed out that together these drivers have made the equivalent of 10 return trips to the moon or over 150 trips around the earth! 

The Private Fleet Safety Awards, co-sponsored by Zurich, recognize excellent fleet performance over an extended period of time. Two PMTC fleets were recognized for their achievements in developing, implementing and maintaining stringent safety protocols that result in outstanding on-road safety records. 

The 2014 awards were presented to John Deere and the TDL Group.  

The John Deere fleet operates over 50 power units and 140 trailers and ran over 11 million kilometres in the past year. This company does everything right when hiring drivers and monitors all aspects of fleet operations carefully. Their CVOR violation rate of 6.5% is proof that the effort pays off.

The TDL Group, a multiple award winner, has operated its private fleet for over 25 years. Currently there are 255 people attached to the fleet, which consists of 96 tractors and 192 trailers. Last year the fleet operated over 14 million kilometres. As a participant in LCV operations in multiple jurisdictions the TDL fleet is conscious of the need for safe operations. Their CVOR violation rate is under 4%.

Both of these award-winning fleets incorporate extensive pre-screening, background checks, personal interviews, and road tests into their hiring process. They also include in-house training, and mentoring programs, along with regularly scheduled safety meetings. Each has a written safety manual that is kept current.

The PMTC’s first statement in its goals and objectives, written in 1977 and still applicable today, is to “Promote Safety in Private Trucking,” and both the Hall of Fame and the Private Fleet Safety awards exemplify our commitment to those goals.

Also, in the inaugural Top Fleet Employer program, hosted by Trucking HR Canada, Home Hardware Stores took home the award in the private fleet category. This is yet another example of a fleet doing everything possible to ensure safe operations while maintaining one of the best workplaces in trucking – as described by its employees.

And for something entirely different, the Vehicle Graphics Design Awards, co-sponsored by 3M Canada, were presented along with a video of one of the finest displays of truck graphics to be seen anywhere.  

At the PMTC we are proud of the efforts of our association to educate and reward, and we are grateful to each of the award sponsors that support safety in private trucking. We are as proud of the recipients of these awards as they must be themselves.

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