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Private Links: Important dates on horizon for private carriers

June 16 and 17 mark two very important dates for the Canadian private trucking community. These are the dates of the 2005 annual general meeting and conference of the Private Motor Truck Council of Ca...

June 16 and 17 mark two very important dates for the Canadian private trucking community. These are the dates of the 2005 annual general meeting and conference of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada and I encourage each of you involved with the operation of a private fleet to be there.

This annual conference is the single best opportunity for fleet managers to meet their peers and industry suppliers on informal ground, and to participate in educational and instructive seminars. The seminars are designed by people involved directly with private trucking and they offer plenty of ideas as you search for ways to make your fleet even more effective. A review of this year’s seminar topics will convince any fleet manager of the value of spending some time with other fleet operators and industry suppliers at such a value laden conference.

Attendees will learn How to Handle Accident Scenes and the follow up investigation. Experts from Zurich will lead us through this seminar, stressing how to prepare your drivers, what they need to know and do if they are involved in a collision, and how to protect your company and themselves. After this seminar you’ll be better prepared to teach your drivers what they need to know. The cost of insurance is something every private fleet manager needs to consider, whether the fleet is covered by the company’s broader policy or purchased separately, and these lessons can help.

We’ll also hear about the latest in Performance Management Tools during a round table discussion and Q & A featuring Cancom Tracking, PeopleNet Communications, Telus Mobility and fleets using their products. Yes, we’ve asked each of these companies to discuss their products and invite a fleet that uses them so we can ask questions and profit from the experience of fellow fleet operators.

There have been many changes and updates to the National Safety Code this year and Ian Noy of Transport Canada will be on hand to explain them all: Hours of Service, Load Securement, Vehicle Inspections and more. This is your opportunity to ensure that you understand the new rules and the implications they have on your operations. (And perhaps we’ll even get a preview of what is coming next.)

Labour lawyer, Chris Andree of Crawford Chondon and Andree, will speak about recent Labour Board rulings and how they impact private fleets. Chris has experience with recent cases involving private fleets and can speak to the issues that were raised in each case. In addition, Chris will discuss changes made to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act in 2005. Judging by the questions we’ve fielded from members on this subject alone, this promises to be an informative session. Every fleet operator needs to understand the implications of these changes. Chris will walk us through them and answer your questions.

Controlling Fleet Costs with Functional Alternatives is the mandate of every fleet manager. We’ve arranged for three well known industry suppliers to discuss the different services they provide – each aimed at cost control or reduction; Ryder Global Logistics, Transcore Link Logistics, and Expressway, CP’s intermodal arm, each offer services that can help fleet managers. You’ll hear about them at the conference and have an opportunity to ask questions. And we wrap up the conference on Friday with the PMTC’s Annual Awards Luncheon. This is the event at which we celebrate the best that trucking has to offer. The Private Fleet Safety Awards (sponsored by Zurich Canada) recognize the best safety practices of Canadian fleets. There are some truly outstanding and conscientious fleet operators when it comes to safety practices, and these awards recognize that performance.

We continue celebrating excellence with the induction of selected drivers to the Hall of Fame for Professional Drivers (sponsored by Cancom Tracking). The Hall of Fame resides on the PMTC web site ( where you can see the names of those enshrined since 1990. And of course the Vehicle Graphics Design Awards (sponsored by 3M Canada) are always a crowd favourite. Fleet graphics have come such a long way in the TWENTY YEARS that we have given out these awards. You’ll enjoy seeing the creative designs that carriers (private and for-hire) use to promote their products or services. It’s a colourful presentation of extremely effective marketing tools.

If you’ve not participated in the conference before, I encourage you to give it a try. A small investment of your time will pay big dividends in learning, and networking. So come out and join us on June 16 & 17 at the White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa, in Niagara on the Lake, Ont., for the only conference designed specifically for private fleets. Full details are available by calling the office toll free (1-877-501-PMTC) or by visiting our Web site ( .

– The PMTC is the only national association dedicated to the private trucking community. This column presents opinions on trucking issues from the perspective of private carriers. Comments can be addressed to

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