Fleet Owner

Read the monthly column of NPTC President & CEO Gary Petty in Fleet Owner magazine.

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Standards for Bigger Stakes (July)


NPTC national conference raises the bar on safety.

by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Fleet Owner, July 2016

Road congestion, eroding, unsafe roads and highways with insufficient lanes for high traffic volume, and dangerous bridges are at epidemic levels.  Poor road conditions account for one-third of highway fatalities.

Lawsuits, jury awards, and settle­ments from accidents involving commercial trucks are routinely at multimillion-dollar levels.

Passenger car drivers are at fault in most car-truck accidents involving fatalities, yet truck drivers and their companies operating well within and beyond compliance regulations are often found at fault and liable for damages.

Truck company safety policies that  exceed legal compliance standards and practiced in good faith are often used by plaintiffs’ attorneys to sway courts and juries approving unfair outcomes with enormous financial cost against defendant truckers.

Media and jury bias against commercial trucks grows despite a significant reduction in truck accidents and deaths over the past decade. In public opinion storylines, the truck driver “villain” always wears the black hat, and the commercial truck is portrayed as a menace to society. 

This pervasive anti-truck sentiment in our culture is getting worse even though trucking itself is comparatively safer than ever.

Studies show the following:

  • Federal and state truck safety regulations have never been greater and enforcement more widespread.
  • Overall safety performance of truck drivers has never been higher.
  • Manufacturers are producing trucks with the highest quality safety standards in history.
  • The use of active safety technologies and related driver safety management policies has risen dramatically.

Nonetheless, even with this “bigger stakes” hostile environment working against even very safe truck operators, much can be done to prevent potentially greater risk, legal exposure, and cost. The National Safety Conference, scheduled for Sept. 15-16 at the Dulles Hyatt Hotel in Washington, is designed to help private fleet companies meet these challenges head-on by further raising the bar on fleet safety standards and practices and deploying the newest safety tools, protocols, technology and best practices.

Topics on the program will include the following:

  • An overview of the National Transportation Safety Board’s perspective on truck accidents 
  • An inside look at fatigue management strategies 
  • Insights into using advanced technology to radically improve safety 
  • How to apply advanced data analytics to prevent accidents 
  • FMCSA regulatory updates
  • How safety policies can mitigate accident liability

“Safety-in-the-Round” open forum discussion groups will cover ELDs, driver screening protocols, driver distraction mitigation, safety training, driver scorecarding and technology, driver safety meeting best practices, driver screening and the PSP Process, how to survive a safety DOT audit or crash review, and a case study in safety excellence.

The conference features a special ceremony and luncheon for the NPTC National Driver All-Stars recognition program, which is co-sponsored by International Trucks/Navistar.

Stay ahead of the risk curve and sign up today for this “You Must Be Present to Win” experience. For more information on the conference or the program topics, just go to www.nptc.org.

Benchmarking Excellence (June)

Measuring private fleet performance is reaching higher standards of accountability with each passing year. Ten years ago, fleets went through a seasonal exercise comparing how well their numbers “stacked up” against. . .  read more . . .

Shifting Gears (May)

Headquartered in Naperville, IL, KeHE Distributors LLC (KeHE) distributes natural and organic specialty and fresh products to retailers across the U.S. and Canada. In the past three years, KeHE has grown rapidly through both organic sales increases and strategic acquisitions. . . .  read more . . .

Aaron’s Fleet (April)

Aaron’s Inc. is the nation’s leading sales and lease-to-own retailer of furniture, home appliances and accessories, computers, and consumer electronics. Founded in 1955 and headquartered in Atlanta, the company has more than 2,000 company-operated and franchised stores in the . . .  read more . . .

Tone at the Top (March)

Founded in 1982, Dallas-based Daryl Flood Relocation & Logistics is widely recognized as one of the best diversified transportation businesses in the United States. Under the innovative and visionary leadership of founder and CEO Daryl Flood, the company has a long-standing reputation for hiring quality people  . . .  read more . . .

A Model Convention (February)

Over the past 15 years, the National Private Truck Council’s annual conference has become the centerpiece event and premier marketplace crossroads for the private fleet truck industry. Each year, the conference grows a little bigger and provides more value than the year before.

The annual conference has steadily grown in overall attendance figures  . . .  read more . . .

The Best People (January)

Since its founding in 1968, Southern Wine & Spirits of America Inc. has expanded through both internal growth and acquisition of established wholesalers. It is now the country’s largest wine and spirits distributor, operating in 35 states and  . . .  read more . . .

Gold Standard (December)

At its founding and from the time of its charter class graduation in 1993, the National Private Truck Council’s Certified Transportation Professional (CTP ®) program’s guiding vision was to create a widely recognized and respected   . . .  read more . . .

Be Remarkable (November)

Founded in 1921, Coborn’s Inc. started as a produce market in Sauk Rapids, MN, and has grown to 52 grocery stores in five upper Midwest states under a family of brand names including Coborn’s, Cash Wise, Marketplace Foods, and Save-a-Lot stores. In addition, the company provides a home-delivery operation with $36 million   . . .  read more . . .

Prime Grade Fleet (October)

Part of a privately held family business of integrated companies started in 1946, American Foods Group provides highly dependable on-time delivery of the freshest beef to foodservice, retail, and international markets. The company ranks as the fifth largest beef producer in America, shipping over 4 million lbs. daily.   . . .  read more . . .

A Higher Calling (September)

As disciples of Jesus Christ, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strive to follow the biblical admonition to feed the hungry. Welfare services—helping members in need with basic life necessities—became a cornerstone of the Church’s mission at its founding . . .  read more . . .

Safety by the numbers (August)

The opening general session of this year’s National Safety Conference will highlight a report on a year-long study that just ended. Titled The Efficacy of Active Safety Technologies and Policies within Private Fleets, the report was sponsored by NPTC and conducted by the . . .  read more . . .

Superior fleet solutions (July)

Three years ago, the privately owned company formerly known as Hickory Springs Manufacturing changed its name to HSM and began a dynamic transformation of corporate rebranding and reinvigoration. A new CEO with dynamic and visionary leadership came on board, organized a new ...   read more . . .

Sustainable Solutions (June)

UNIFI Manufacturing in Greensboro, NC, is a leading producer of multi-filament POY, textured and staple polyester, nylon-textured yarns, recycled PET chip, and premier value-added yarns. Since 2007, UNIFI has become a global leader in offering transparent and certifiable    read more . . .

Better Ingredients (May)

Last year, Papa John’s Pizza celebrated its 30th anniversary and was recognized as # 1 in customer satisfaction among national brand pizza companies. The company’s enormous success remains driven by read more . . .

“Best Drivers in America” (April)

By reputation within the industry, working as a truck driver for Walmart’s private fleet has always been viewed as one of the best jobs to have – a company with outstanding pay and benefits, an industry-leading read more . . .

Biggest and Best (March)

This year’s NPTC Annual Conference scheduled for April 26-28 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza and Duke Energy Convention Center is on track to be the largest, best-attended, and greatest read more . . .

Productivity Boost (February)

The National Private Truck Council has joined the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of shippers, motor carriers and their associations seeking to increase truck weight limits.      read more . . .

Premier Safety Culture (January)

Founded nearly 20 years ago, Sentinel Transportation is a national model of exceptionally high safety management standards and operational practices.  The company’s 750 employees, including 650 drivers and 400 tractors, operate out of 40 terminals. Sentinel provides specialized         read more . . .

Higher Education (December)

Leading private fleet management practitioners and supplier partners will gather in Jacksonville, FL, January 17-21, 2015, for the Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI) in what promises to be the best program in the event’s two decade-long history. Since the event has a         read more . . .