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Private Links: Sharing information – a PMTC tradition

The 2007 Annual Conference of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada took place in Niagara-on-the-Lake recently, and it presented a wonderful opportunity to participate in two days of learning and ...

Bruce Richards

Bruce Richards

The 2007 Annual Conference of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada took place in Niagara-on-the-Lake recently, and it presented a wonderful opportunity to participate in two days of learning and networking. The event marked the PMTC’s 30th anniversary, and in terms of quality and attendance was the most successful to date.

The conference was designed around the concept of having fleet managers make presentations to other fleet managers and was very well-received by all registrants. Since it was the PMTC’s 30th anniversary, it seemed appropriate to have a conference highlighted by fleet managers sharing information. That is, after all, ingrained in the PMTC’s roots.

Back in 1977, our founders determined that they needed a forum in which to share information and a voice to express their views to government. Thirty years on, the PMTC is still providing exactly that forum.

During the conference we heard a series of fleet managers describe particular problems that they had faced – experiences that perhaps confirmed to other managers in the room that their own problems were not entirely unique – and how they overcame those problems.

Some of the challenges were overcome with the use of technology and some with good old-fashioned brainstorming and cooperation. In every case the fleets improved efficiencies, improved safety, and reduced costs – the ongoing goals of every fleet manager.

There was such a variety in the types of challenges each of these fleets had faced, and in the way they had dealt with those challenges that the audience was treated to a veritable ‘how-to’ lesson on problem solving from their peers.

The Friday breakfast seminar featured Chris Andree of Lawrence, Lawrence, Stevenson, LLP recapping and commenting on recent labour issues that affect private carriers.

Chris is a popular speaker at PMTC conferences and always delivers the information in a clear and forthright manner.

Lynda Harvey of Natural Resources Canada also conducted a seminar entitled Combating the Fuel Crunch with a timely message that included specifics on how to control fuel costs.

Lynda combined information from NRCan’s FleetSmart and the American SmartWay programs to deliver information that fleet managers can really use to make their fleets more fuel efficient.

The awards luncheon on Friday, with visualization handled by 3M Canada’s team of experts, was everything we’ve come to expect.

The Private Fleet Safety Awards sponsored by Zurich went to the TDL Group for the large fleet category; Pro Trucking Systems for the small fleet category; and Maple Leaf Consumer Foods for the most improved fleet category.

Carl Stone of Advantage Personnel, driving for J&F Trucking; Henry Holland, also of Advantage Personnel, driving for Hbc Logistics; and Leonard Long of Kraft Foods were this year’s inductees into the PMTC/Shaw Tracking Hall of Fame for Professional Drivers.

Each of these drivers represent the best in trucking, with impressive safe driving records accumulated over many years and many miles.

You can visit the Hall of Fame and learn more about each of the inductees at

The 22nd annual Vehicle Graphics Design Awards, sponsored by 3M Canada, is always a colourful highlight of the annual conference. This year’s award winners include:

Tractor-Trailer Combination: Cadbury Adams Canada Inc. and Saputo Inc.;

Straight Truck: Elmira Farm Service and Okanagan Springs Brewery;

Special Events/Promotional: Sylvite Transportation Group and Molson Canada;

Night-Time Safety: Praxair Canada Inc.;

Light-Duty Commercial: Knapp Fasteners and TireMaxx;

Identity Fleet Graphics: Roadstar and Marvin Windows.

You can see the winning entries by visiting, and look for the upcoming issue of The Counsellor, PMTC’s international magazine, for a full pictorial report.

The PMTC’s annual conference has proven to be the most worthwhile and cost-effective educational event that private fleet managers can attend.

It is a unique opportunity to meet with fleet managers and industry suppliers in a relaxed atmosphere, and to learn from each. Those who attend year after year are on to a good thing – make it a point to be with us in 2008 when we do it all again.

– 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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