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Private Links: Two important days for private carriers

The dates of the 2006 annual conference of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada are June 15-16, and I encourage each of you involved in any way with the operation of a private fleet to be part of...

The dates of the 2006 annual conference of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada are June 15-16, and I encourage each of you involved in any way with the operation of a private fleet to be part of the most important event of the year for the private trucking community.

Over the years this conference has become the single best opportunity for fleet managers to join their peers and industry suppliers in a relaxing yet business-like forum where they can participate in educational and instructive seminars. The seminars are designed by people involved directly with private trucking and they will offer plenty of ideas as you search for ways to make your fleet even more effective.

A review of this year’s seminar topics should convince any fleet manager of the value of spending some time with other fleet operators and industry suppliers at such a value-laden conference.

The agenda inlcudes seminars and workshops on such varied topics as:

* Engine and fuel requirements for 2007 and 2010;

* Hours of work regulations – 2007 style;

* Drug and alcohol testing – what you can and can’t do;

* Human Rights Commission rulings that affect drug and alcohol testing by fleets;

* Hiring and assessment tools that you can really use.

Let me preview a little of what you can expect to learn during the conference:

We all know that 2007 will see the introduction of new EPA restrictions that will demand changes in engines and the fuel we use, but now we need to know how those restrictions will affect performance and cost. And, 2010 will bring about yet another level of restrictions that you need to be aware of in order to plan your vehicle replacement cycle properly.

Think you fully understand the new Hours-of-Service regulations scheduled to take effect in January 2007? The questions we’ve been fielding indicate to us that interpretation of some parts of the rules is still a mystery. Transport Canada will run a full workshop to provide practical explanations and answer your questions. This seminar will position you to teach your drivers and answer their questions.

And speaking of mysteries, there is a good deal of confusion over what is allowed and what is not in the area of drug and alcohol testing for Canadian fleets. We’ve brought together the experts to cover the DoT rules, tell us how drug and alcohol testing actually works, and explain how the Canadian Human Rights Commission rulings have established the guidelines for developing your company’s testing policy.

One of the missing ingredients in the process of hiring drivers is a method of assessing a candidates ‘soft skills,’ such as aptitude and ability to read and comprehend maps and instructions. We can assure ourselves that he or she has a valid licence and a good driving record, check with previous employers, and put a candidate through a road test. But how do we determine whether a candidate has the requisite soft skills to be a successful contributor to the company? We’ll have presentations of three different products that can be used at the pre-hiring stage or for assessing existing drivers that will help you with the hiring decision, or guide with developing appropriate training/upgrading to make your driver group the best it can be.

The conference also includes the Chairman’s Dinner Evening, which we’ve called “The Bootleggers’ Ball.” Follow our Web site as we roll out more information on this evening of great food and entertainment.

And a highlight of the conference is 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 recognize the best safety practices of Canadian fleets. There are some truly outstanding and conciencious 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 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 this conference before I encourage you to give it a try. A small investment of your time will pay big dividends in learning, and networking. At the same time we look forward to greeting all our returnees.

Conference registration information is available on our Web site ( or by calling the office at 905-827-0587. We’ve blocked off rooms at the White Oak Conference Resort and Spa, but only for a limited time. So with an agenda like this one, there’s no need to delay. Register now and please, say hello when you see me there.

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

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