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Private Links: Meeting the mandate – delivering value

The principle mandates of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada are to promote safety; to help member fleets improve productivity; to support and promote compliance with existing regulations, and...

The principle mandates of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada are to promote safety; to help member fleets improve productivity; to support and promote compliance with existing regulations, and to educate. The Council’s recent annual conference in Niagara-on-the Lake, Ont., when measured against these mandates, was an enormous success. Quality, knowledgeable speakers handled each of our seminar sessions and delivered the type of information that fleet managers can actually use. And let me back up for a moment to remind readers that fleet managers suggest the topics for these seminars, so we know we are delivering value.

On the topic of safety, Zurich opened the conference with a first-rate presentation on how to handle accident scenes. Keeping in mind that all the instructions in the world are often forgotten in the immediate aftermath of an accident, Zurich delivered some fine recommendations for preparing drivers on what to do and what to say, well in advance of any incident.

This is particularly important when considering the potential need for immediate assistance with treating injuries, and the ramifications of having your driver say the wrong thing. Too much talking could possibly indicate responsibility and put the company on the hook for future liability. The Zurich plan for educating and preparing drivers, dispatchers, and other staff is well thought out and could be used by any fleet manager. Two separate seminars delivered information that could help managers improve the productivity of their fleets.

The first dealt with “Performance Management Tools,” and a panel of experts from Cancom Tracking, PeopleNet Communications, and Telus Mobility discussed the benefits of their products for optimizing fleet performance. Judging by the questions and the discussion that followed the presentations this is a hot topic for fleet managers.

The second seminar entitled “Functional Alternatives for Controlling Fleet Costs” featured speakers from Ryder, CP Expressway, and Transcore Link Logistics. Ryder described the technological and software tools now available for fleet routing and scheduling, along with valuable ideas on management indicators for measuring fleet performance and costs. CP Expressway provided an explanation of its alternative service for over-the-road carriers and their niche in the marketplace. Theirs is a service used by a number of member fleets.

And Transcore Link Logistics described real time technology for load and equipment matching that can reduce operating costs, as well as their equipment tracking and driver recruitment services.

Transport Canada helped us with a full presentation on the status of a number of National Safety Code standards that have been implemented or modified in the past year.

These standards included Hours of Service and load securement, along with an explanation of Road Safety Vision 2010 and a comparison of Canada’s road safety initiatives and results to date with other major countries. As expected, Dr. Ian Noy was faced with a host of questions from the audience and handled all of them expertly.

Still on the regulatory front, Chris Andree of Crawford Chondon & Andree, LLP faced down an audience full of questions when he covered recent changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, and reviewed several decisions by the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Chris is fully familiar with private trucking and was able to explain how the ESA and Labour Board decisions actually affect private fleets.

In retrospect, the conference covered the waterfront with these educational and inter-active seminars – time very well spent by all participants.

And as expected, the annual awards luncheon was a highlight of the conference. Three professional drivers, each with absolutely outstanding driving records, were inducted into the Hall of Fame for Professional Drivers, sponsored by Cancom Tracking; two member fleets received awards in the Zurich sponsored Private Fleet Safety Awards; and awards were presented in six different categories for fleet graphics in the 3M Canada Vehicle Graphics Design competition.

This was, and continues to be, the conference for private fleet managers and if you weren’t there this year we encourage you to make plans for June 15 and 16, 2006.

You will enjoy attending useful and educational seminars and having the opportunity to ask questions of the experts – and to hear the responses to the questions that others raise. Combine that with the chance to meet and mingle with your peers among fleet managers in a relaxed forum where information and ideas can be shared. You definitely will not find better value in the trucking community. Mark your calendar now, its June 15-16, 2006.

And a final word on the conference is by way of a thank you to the many conference supporters. You can find them identified on our Web site ( and we most assuredly appreciate their support.

– The PMTC is the only national association dedicated to the private trucking community. Comments can be addressed to

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