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Private Links: PMTC annual conference is time well spent

It's a difficult job to run a fleet effectively these days. That statement may sound somewhat patronizing, but it is certainly not meant that way. Today's fleet managers operate under enormous pressur...

Bruce Richards

Bruce Richards

It’s a difficult job to run a fleet effectively these days. That statement may sound somewhat patronizing, but it is certainly not meant that way. Today’s fleet managers operate under enormous pressures to deliver the goods in a safe and timely manner, with expectations of cost control thrown in to the equation.

And, despite these pressures, heaven help the manager whose fleet attracts an unfavourable safety record, can’t meet a prime customer’s delivery demands, or whose drivers leave to work for what they think is more money with a different fleet.

If all that isn’t enough to wear one down, fleet managers are expected to be defacto human resource managers, skilled purchasing professionals, bookkeepers, and have knowledge of truck mechanics. Somehow, with all of that on the plate, they are still required to keep up-to-date on all the facets of effective fleet management.

Little wonder that a common reaction to educational opportunities outside of the office is ‘I can’t spare the time.’

Well, on behalf of those fleet managers, I’d like to put in a word to the people to whom they report. I’d like to point out the importance of helping your fleet manager stay up-to-date on the matters such as regulations that govern trucking; the technological requirements of new emissions-governed engines; and the current tools that are available in the human resource management field.

Continuous education and knowledge of current technology and management strategies will make your fleet manager, and your fleet more effective.

In order to make this happen, fleet managers need to be encouraged to seek help from their peers and from the associations they belong to. They need to have a forward thinking boss who realizes that everyone needs and deserves opportunities to keep learning that will repay exponentially over time.

The annual conference of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada is one of the best opportunities for fleet managers. We’ve been running these conferences long enough to realize that the best people to design the seminar content are fleet managers themselves. They know which subjects they need to have a greater understanding of and they communicate that to us.

Aside from the seminars (which we’ll also review in this article) the conference offers the invaluable opportunity to network with peers in the private trucking community.

For the most part, private fleets are not in competition with one another, and members of the Private Motor Truck Council have a long history of sharing advice, experience, and counseling among each other – it makes us all better at our jobs.

Along with the networking potential, consider the value of these seminar subjects which will be featured during the conference:

Engine and fuel requirements for 2007 and beyond: Here you will learn all you need to know about the emissions and fuel regulations that will guide your equipment acquisitions for the future.

Drug and Alcohol Testing and the Human Rights Commission Rulings: What you need to know about drug and alcohol testing – perhaps the least understood area of fleet operations. And, a discussion of Human Rights Commission rulings on the topic that define what you can and cannot do.

Hours of Service for 2007: Transport Canada’s workshop on the incoming hours of service rules will prepare you for teaching your drivers how to operate in the new environment.

The Coming Bird Flu Pandemic: Health Canada’s estimates that the transportation sector will experience a 30% reduction in the workforce at any given time when the pandemic hits. We’ll discuss steps you can take to help your fleet get through.

Hiring and Assessment Tools You Can Use: We will present three different and valuable assessment tools for evaluating the potential of new-hires and for designing training and upgrading for your existing drivers. Tools you can actually use to reduce hiring mistakes and address the training needs of your drivers.

And of course there is the annual awards luncheon that celebrates the best in trucking, and the Thursday night “Bootlegger’s Ball” a fun dinner evening featuring the Georgette Fry Trio in a prohibition style jazz/blues club.

This conference will take your fleet manager out of the office for a day and a half. That’s time that they may be reluctant to ask for given all the things that need to be done in the office. But, without any doubt, it will be time well spent. Make sure your company has a place at the private trucking sector’s most informative conference for fleets and suppliers.

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

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