This piece seemed to turn itself into a feel-good type of article almost on its own, but that's just the way I felt on the sunny late spring morning when I sat at the computer to write it. It's often ...
This piece seemed to turn itself into a feel-good type of article almost on its own, but that’s just the way I felt on the sunny late spring morning when I sat at the computer to write it. It’s often fairly easy to fill a column with observations about the myriad of things that plague the trucking industry. A person can choose from an almost endless list of topics. There is also lots of opportunity to differ with proposed initiatives that are advanced for the trucking community, because Lord knows we don’t all agree on the ‘what’ or the ‘how’ of any suggestion.
So, let me begin by acknowledging that this is a particularly trying time for trucking, perhaps the most trying time in many years. The printed pages and the Internet are full of concerns such as the effect of new emission standards on the price of engines, fuel prices that have risen so rapidly that they defy any sort of rational explanation, a continuing lack of qualified drivers, the value of the dollar and its impact on northsouth trade and Canadian manufacturing in general, and all those concerns we have with border crossing. Each of those issues has made its own contribution to the current malaise, and each is a serious problem that fleet operators and owner/operators deal with every day.
But without making light of any of those issues, or the many others that I didn’t list, I think that there is a lot to be happy about at the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC). This is no Pollyanna approach that is meant to ignore the issues, just a statement that it’s not all doom and gloom for trucking.
As we begin to leave the spring behind and enter our (too short) summer months, the PMTC is well into one of its busiest periods. June is consumed with the run-up to our annual conference, and other events that bring industry suppliers and private fleet operators together.
During the annual conference we celebrate a lot of good news, including some remarkable safe driving records for individuals and fleets. Despite difficult times, these professionals don’t cut corners. Those impressive accomplishments don’t happen by serendipity, they are the result of hard work and dedication to ‘doing it right.’
Beyond the activities of the PMTC, I’ve seen enough action on specific issues to make me think that, despite the daily problems, as an industry we continue to move in the right direction.
For example, in Ontario the recent overhaul of the CVOR system, and the introduction of restrictions to the Class “A” licence both signal success; many PMTC members have and continue to contribute to the ongoing review of the facility audit system that promises to bring that program up to date; the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council continues to deliver information that helps the industry with its planning, such as labour market information and occupational standards that have never been available, and they recently published a Human Resources Guide that will prove invaluable – all useful tools that can help fleet operators; and CCMTA is engaged in an interesting study of the human factors that influence carrier safety with the aim of helping help us reduce the number of collisions involving commercial carriers in the future.
Fleet operators are exploring and spending money on technology designed to improve safety, such as anti-rollover devices and on communications and route planning equipment that is contributing to significant improvements in fleet productivity and control.
So, if we just stop to think about it, there is lots of good news out there.
Now if we could only do something about the price of fuel.
– The PMTC is the only national association dedicated to the private trucking community. Your comments or questions can be addressed to email@example.com.
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